Secure and central is the way to go

Private Property South Africa
Anna-Marie Smith

The personal safety of a family increases when parents make lifestyle choices based on secure surroundings in safe neighbourhoods within central locations.

Security as a first choice when selecting a new home has been proven through research conducted by Private Property. This is supported by the property industry, which is of the opinion that secure, centrally-located properties offer greater long-term capital growth prospects. Seeff Properties Chairman Samuel Seeff says the personal safety of families is driving the lifestyle choices of the majority of South Africans.

However, the focus of municipalities on the densification of city precincts is resulting in more public transport facilities throughout the country. Seeff says that investments into secure developments, close to good infrastructure have excellent long term growth potential. He says that large freestanding houses in outlying suburban areas, with high utility bills and less security, are fast becoming a less attractive proposition for upmarket buyers.

Getting there

Increased buyer opportunities nationally are due to good public transport systems in Joburg and Cape Town, and replicas soon to be rolled out in Durban, as well as Gautrain services between Pretoria and the East Rand. This is resulting in higher turnover of smaller, contained houses and sectional title units in security estates.

Coastal cities perceived to offer greater security and better lifestyle, continue to attract young professional, family and retirement investor interest. Dr Andrew Golding, of Pam Golding Properties says: “Buyers who want to relocate to the Western Cape, are drawn to private estates in the Boland because of the security and the lifestyle, as well as close proximity to Cape Town and top schools in the areas.”

Property developer of various mix use developments at Century City, John Chapman of Rabie Properties, says: “An uptick is currently seen in demand from buy to let investors who are showing a preference for good locations, and sectional title units in secure complex developments, close to good schools.”

Amenities for all needs

The scarcity of secure retirement homes, close to public transport, both in the middle and lower ends of the market, is seeing developer interest. Property developer, Charles Robertson, Chairman of the soon-to-be-listed Visual International Holdings, says: ”A significant trend is seen among senior citizens with a preference for downscaling into affordable, yet secure lifestyle estates in Cape Town’s Northern Suburbs.”

Once completed, the My Place retirement facility will offer secure surroundings within the Stellendale Village along the Stellenbosch Arterial in Kuilsriver. Robertson says negotiations are underway for the development of a train station at Stellendale village, where Phase 1 is currently being built. The integration of good schooling facilities are planned to form part of the “village within a village”.

Student-wise

The fast growing student accommodation market in central city and town nodes, is seeing more secure units coming to the market, says Paul Henry, CEO of Rawson Property Developers in Cape Town. He says that demand for well-located student housing in secure complexes with convenient access to public transport in Rondebosch and Stellenbosch is increasing. “Parents who buy secondary properties to accommodate children at tertiary institutions, as well as buy to let investors and young professionals, show a strong preference for 24-hour security, and close proximity to public amenities.”

South Africans in search of safer homes, near good public infrastructure and transport services, are seeing a greater variety of good investment choices with long-term growth potential in the secure, centrally-located lifestyle market.

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