Much rejoicing was seen among property owners at De Zalze Golf Estate in Stellenbosch last month, when the estate received the top rating in the Lightstone Top Luxury Investment Suburb category. Because, for many the process of holding on to such high value properties during the economic downturn, has not exactly been plain sailing.
This luxury estate gained qualifying status in SA’s top 11 property categories for 2011 by matching the prime objective of the ratings, as best performer in terms of annual growth in average value in seven years. The report shows growth at De Zalze Golf Estate over the past seven years achieving an average yield of 242%.
While no other private estate came close to this performance, the Western Cape also ranked tops in four other categories, with exceptional growth in value seen at Prince Albert, in the Top Performing Municipality category, while Kleinbron Estate in the northern suburbs was rated as Top Estate (gated, enclosed, secure residential) effectively showing an 89% increase year on year.
De Zalze has a rich history rooted in the erstwhile farming community of Stellenbosch, with its name originating from the merging of three adjoining farms in the area, namely Kleine Zalze, Groote Zalze and De Vleie. Today this prestigious golf and residential estate boasts an 18 hole Peter Matkovich golf course with world class club facilities, and is located on a total of 2 944 684m2 prime land. In addition is the 300m2 portion that has remained an active working farm, of which 120 hectares comprise vineyards, citrus orchards and olive groves.
Having gained a reputation in both the local and international travelling golfing community, De Zalze features a total of 522 properties, where 440 houses have been built on erven measuring 5641m2, as well as the additional 41 sectional share properties.
The Lightstone’s Estate report shows the seven year history of average freehold property values here, starting out at R1-million in 2004 and reaching its peak at R5.9-million in 2010, with a drop in value to R5.5-million in 2011. Average sectional share prices which started out in 2010 at R2.3-million, has shown growth to R2.4-million in 2011.
Property agent Corne Engelbrecht of Most Superb Properties, who is dedicated to De Zalze says that although the estate attracts travelling European golfers who rent accommodation in the golf village, the majority of owners are locals, with only 14 properties owned by foreigners. She says the majority of property owners at De Zalze are permanent residents, mostly families who maximize this central location to Technopark Business Park, Stellenbosch central and Somerset West. Another attraction is the estate’s central location to many educational and tertiary institutions in the area, ranging from public and private schools, to Stellenbosch University and a number of training colleges across the Boland region.
Some residents who have lived here on average five to seven years, downscaling from large suburban homes in outlying areas, say their adjustment to estate living was swift and surprisingly painless. They say that top notch security and friendly residents, made up of a 60/40 mixture of Afrikaans and English speaking families, add to this healthy lifestyle in close proximity to vineyards, the Blaauwklippen River, and the majestic mountainous surroundings.