Private Property South Africa
Lea Jacobs

The idea of hopping on a plane and flying off to work may once have been reserved for the rich and famous, however, the concept of living in one area and working in another is beginning to take off. More people than ever before are taking full advantage of an ever-changing technological world, harnessing the power of the Internet, Skype and other communication services and are choosing to live far from the madding crowd.The concept is not an unrealistic one for those who dictate their own working conditions. Catching a plane has literally become as common place as catching a bus for numerous executives and many have chosen to house their families in coastal regions with lower crime rates and commute to the busier centres by air to work.While this may seem slightly bizarre to some, in reality, it takes less time to fly from King Shaka Airport outside Durban to Johannesburg and to catch the Gautrain into Sandton than it takes to drive from Pretoria to Johannesburg by road. The fact that an executive from Durban can be sitting at his desk within two and a half hours of leaving home has made the idea of living in an upmarket estate on the edge of the Indian Ocean extremely appealing.The trend is also expanding beyond our borders and property markets in countries such as Mauritius are beginning to reap the benefits of those who wish to work and play in totally different arenas. Leaving the family in a safe environment in a tropical paradise that has numerous tax benefits is catching on and those that can afford it, are buying into the dream.Although the concept appears to be fairly new to South Africa, executives in other countries have been living in safer outlying communities with good schools and commuting to work for years. It appears that family comes first for these people and although travelling from outlying country areas in the US takes its toll (some end up putting in a 15 hour day) few would move closer to the office.Choosing this type of lifestyle does not necessarily come cheap; houses in the right area tend to be more expensive, the costs of commuting have to be factored into the equation as well as the time it takes to get to the workplace. The stress of travelling can also become an issue and many have found it more viable to live in an outlying area and rent an apartment closer to the office, returning home to spend time with the family on weekends.In South Africa where crime levels are traditionally higher in the larger centres, the concept could hold particular appeal. According to one developer who is developing an upmarket estate to the north of Durban, the trend has already started to impact on sales. The iLembe District Municipality that services the area has recognised the potential and are in the process of setting up high-tech communication platforms to cope with the increasing demand throughout the region.


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