Residential estates are seeking to buck the downward trend in the property market and are relying on an evolving set of drawcards to lure in buyers, experts say. And with greater competition, niche offerings like equestrian developments and eco estates are increasingly on the table.
Previously, the major advantage of residential estates was enhanced security and, in some cases, an additional benefit like a golf course. This model has now evolved and lifestyle estates now cater for various preferences, says Steve Thomas, secure estate specialist for Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty in Constantiaberg, Cape Town.
“With more and more people making major lifestyle changes in recent years, developers have augmented their offerings to cater to these needs and, as a result, not only do most estates now offer additional amenities, in many instances they are more like integrated villages than residential developments,” says Thomas.
Escaping the city
There is also an increasing number of estates that cater to niche markets, such as eco estates and equestrian developments.
“People are not only wanting to escape the congestion of city living but are also in search of a more tranquil lifestyle in closer harmony with nature, and there has been a notable move towards more environmentally conscious building and living,” says Thomas.
“Additionally, the burgeoning demand for homes in secure estates in recent years has precipitated a move from rampant development to sustainable, environmentally conscious building in this sector and we have begun to see a growing number of eco-estates, especially along South Africa’s scenic coastal areas.”
Ongoing densification has also led to the establishment of equestrian estates, and in the Cape Winelands, these have become more mainstream than niche in recent years, according to Chris Cilliers, CEO and co-principal of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty in the Winelands.
Most equestrian estates offer larger plot sizes which appeals to people who prefer a more rural lifestyle. Equestrian estates in the region include Val de Vie, which also has polo fields, High Riding, Tre Donne in The Winelands, Wedderwill in Helderberg and Klein Zevenwacht in Kuilsriver.
Parkland and wildlife estates with parks, birdlife, wildlife, walks and trails are becoming more popular, especially with city dwellers looking to enjoy a country lifestyle within a secure setting.
In Gauteng, for example, Steyn City offers residents a choice of restaurants and delis, an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus designed golf course, an equestrian centre, tennis, cycling tracks, parkland facilities, gyms and an aquatic centre.
According to Philip Myburgh, co-principal for Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty in the Greater Fourways area, residential estates have continued to buck the downward trend in the property market by consistently attracting buyers, despite the economic climate.
“Young families are especially increasingly drawn to secure lifestyle estates where their children can safely play and onsite amenities like fitness centres and sports facilities mean that people can also avoid additional driving to places like gyms and tennis clubs,” he says.
“Most estates also offer a great sense of community which has been lacking in traditional suburban areas for many years and those which offer multigenerational living and retirement facilities mean that families can also stay together and live in the same community.”
* Compiled by Carin Smith
Source: News 24