Greens of envy – Estate living
What is it about estate living that continues to attract growing numbers of South Africans?
Many South Africans Favouring Estates
Estate living is a global trend that came to South Africa in the 1980s but really caught on after 1994, and has given rise to the development since then of a huge variety of golf, lifestyle, eco, wildlife, fishing, wine and equestrian properties to meet the demands of an increasingly diverse market. At last count there were at least 1 500 registered estates in SA, containing at least 140 000 homes, and with the introduction of sectional-title (ST) opportunities into many of the newer estates, demand is no longer limited to those in the higher income brackets – although most estate homes do come at a premium to their counterparts ‘on the outside’.
Appeals to a Range of Demographics
Indeed, estate buyers these days include working singles, young marrieds with small children and active retirees, as well as top business executives and professionals. And although most have sold an existing home in order to move to an estate, a startling 25% are first-time buyers. What is more, our research shows that their reasons for choosing to buy in an estate are equally mixed – although most will include the desire for better security in their top five – and will usually relate to the specific estate on which they have chosen to live and what else it offers in addition to the sense of safety provided by perimeter walls, electric fencing, access control, security patrols, searchlights, CCTV cameras and armed response.
Wide Range of Facilities
For some, it’s the amenities on offer, literally on the residents’ doorsteps. Aside from a championship 18-hole links-style golf course, for instance, Atlantic Beach Estate in Table Bay offers residents access to everything from a leisure centre to tennis courts, a pool and gym. Social butterflies are additionally well catered to with a monthly Farmers’ Market, resident- only braais and various fun days.
Schools Within Estates a Plus
For other residents, it’s the existence within the estate of an excellent school such as Dainfern College or Cornwall Hill College that tips the balance, as award-winning photographer Peter Morey, who has lived in Cornwall Hill Estate for the past 11 years, explains: ‘When the estate was launched, we had already been living in Irene for about 10 years and loved the area, but were put off by the stand prices – which were more, at the time, than the cost of our double-storey house in Irene village. However, a few years later when our first child was born we decided to enroll her at Cornwall Hill College. By that time we also needed a bigger home that could comfortably accommodate my photographic studio and business, and the large size of the stands in Cornwall Hill meant that we would have the space to build exactly what was needed – and be within safe walking distance of the school.