Rush to security estates
Buyers are still happy to pay a premium for lifestyle amenities — and peace of mind
The number one reason most South Africans give for seeking out a property in residential estates is security — although of course, these have a lot more to offer residents than peace of mind.
In a country with significant crime levels it’s little wonder that security estates represent an increasing portion of the market value of property sales.
According to Lightstone Properties, in 2016 residential properties within estates made up about 15.1% of the total market value while comprising only 5.1% of the total volume of real estate in SA. The Lightstone report says more than 7,000 freehold and sectional title scheme estates comprise 335,000 properties with a value of R800bn.
The average price of those homes is about three times the national average home price, says Gerhard Kotzé, MD of RealNet estate agency group, which sells properties in many of SA’s top golf and lifestyle estates. “It is clear that buyers in these developments are happy to pay a premium for the additional security and lifestyle amenities they offer.”
Kotzé says the introduction of sectional title units in many of the newer estates means the demand
for estate homes is no longer limited to repeat buyers in higher income brackets. It now extends to working singles, young marrieds with small children and active retirees. A quarter of these are first-time buyers.
Because security estates are usually developed from the ground up, they tend to extend the residential frontiers of big cities. One such example is Dainfern in Johannesburg’s “New North”.
“There are literally billions of rands going into new commercial and residential developments in thisregion, as well as major upgrades to the local roads and other infrastructure,” says co-owner of the local Chas Everitt International franchise Brian Falconer.
“And in the middle of it all lies the iconic Dainfern Golf Estate, where we have seen a huge appreciation in property values over the past year.” His agency is marketing the two most expensive properties on the estate, at R28m and R30m. Falconer says investors are buying up older Dainfern homes at prices between R5m and R8m before upgrading or modernising them. “Dainfern homes have once again become very hot property,” says Falconer, “and we believe they are likely to become even more sought-after as the pace of development in the New North speeds up.”
One of the most high profile developments in the area is Steyn City, where developers have reportedly already spent about R7bn on infrastructure and facilities. Stand and apartment sales values have already topped R1.5bn.Waterfall Estate, by Attacq, with residential developments by Century Property Developments and Balwin, is another high-profile development in the area. It is between Johannesburg and Pretoria on a 2,200ha tract of land, triangulated between Woodmead, Kyalami and Midrand. Developments include Waterfall Country Estate, Waterfall Country Village and Waterfall Equestrian Estate, all withstate-of-the-art, fully integrated security offerings. Also under the Century banner is Blue Hills Equestrian Estate in Midrand, which offers secure country-style living close to the city.
Investors looking to live closer to the traditional centre of Johannesburg would struggle to find a classic security estate, but could instead look at high-end options such as The Houghton that prioritise the security of residents. This apartment and hotel development consists of four phases of between 60 and 80 units, ranging from three-bedroom apartments, starting at R7.9m, up to five-bedroom, three-storey mansions going for R84m. A fifth phase incorporates a new hotel with 61 suites. Units are all supported by the development’s service features, which include high-end security systems with fingerprint access and 24-hour camera monitoring from a control room. The Western Cape Security estates across the Cape Peninsula are among the fastest-growing property sectors in the region, with demand at an all-time high.
TOP TIPS FOR ESTATE BUYING
MD of RealNet estate agency group Gerhard Kotzé says that buying in an estate is not the same as buying in the suburbs. This is his advice for prospective buyers:
• Choose an estate that suits your lifestyle and provides the school, sports facilities and security provisions important to you. If you want to watch wildlife from your veranda, your first choice will probably not be a golf estate. On the other hand, don’t discount a clubhouse, restaurant or wellness spa that might add to the enjoyment of the type of estate you choose.
• Most new estates have teething problems. If that doesn’t put you off buying into one early on, try to get involved in a positive way and help to ensure that the estate will be well managed in the future. Even if you buy into an established estate, check to see that it has a strong home owners’ association, a track record of good management and good financials. The absence of these elements can make a seemingly good investment lose value quickly.
• Find out what the monthly levy is and what it covers. As an owner you will have to pay your own municipal rates, home owner’s insurance and maintenance costs as well as the levy.
• Commit to a purchase as soon as possible. Estate property sells at a premium but its value generally increases faster.
If you have to settle for a smaller property initially, you will be in the right market sector and able to “buy up” in due course. If you leave it too late you may cut yourself out of the estate market for good.
In the Constantiaberg region the average selling price of homes in gated security estates has grown
44% over the past five years, says Greeff Christie’s International Real Estate CEO Mike Greeff. “The
investment opportunity is excellent, especially when a unit is purchased off-plan, in which case there is no transfer duty.”
Greeff says the launch of Wycombe Place, a gated secure estate in the heart of upper Constantia, is perfectly timed. Developed by the Oakhurst Property Group in conjunction with Latitude Developers, the development is set to be an exclusive enclave of six luxury, sectional-title homes in an estate with one entrance and exit point.
Security includes electric fencing, an infrared camera system with full on-site recording and play-back facilities. The system will take full advantage of the latest fibre technology to communicate with home owners directly, using hard-wired connections for uninterrupted security even during power outages.
The Northern Suburbs of Cape Town offer a number of secure estates in excellent locations. Johan Jacobs, licensee for Seeff in the Plattekloof and surrounding areas, says that despite the sought-after location, security and facilities these estates offer, prices are still affordable by Cape Town standards. Properties are available in the R2m to R5m range, with top-end homes on offer at the R10m mark.
An advantage of Northern Suburbs neighbourhoods such as Plattekloof and Durbanville is convenient access to the N1 combined with excellent amenities close by, such as Canal Walk, the Blouberg beaches and attractions in the Durbanville and Tygervalley area. Popular developments include Burgundy Estate and Baronetcy Estate in Plattekloof, and Welgedacht. Security Estate and Kanonberg Security Estate next to the Tygerberg Nature Reserve. The Clara Anna Fontein estate borders a private game reserve. Homes in the first phase of The Village are under construction. De Plattekloof Lifestyle Estate, which caters for over-50s, has a comprehensive array of security features including 24-hour manned security and armed response. Sitari Country Estate in Somerset West lies under the Hottentots Holland mountains to the east of Cape Town. The development offers luxury and premium apartments, village and country homes, and a Curro school. The estate has a high-end security system. Both the main and secondary gatehouse have biometric readers, number-plate recognition and 24-hour manned access control.
KwaZulu-Natal’s Dolphin Coast is enjoying rising interest — and again, it no longer excludes first timebuyers.
“Living in an estate does not have to blow the budget and first-time home buyers are well catered for in and around Ballito,” says Pam Golding Properties Ballito area manager Neil de Beer.
“Our estates offer land, studio apartments, one-, two-, three- and four bedroomed apartments and full title homes. Prices range from an entry level of R3.85m to R8m for a four-bedroomed home orapartment.” Estates in the area include the wellknown Zimbali Coastal Resort, Simbithi Estate, Brettenwood, Dunkirk, Seaward, Umhlali Country Club and Westbrook Beach Club.
Wherever you go in SA, security estates offer a secure environment with lifestyle features to match. Growth in these developments is only likely to increase in years to come.
TOP 10 RESIDENTIAL ESTATES IN SA
• Val de Vie, Paarl
• Steyn City, Johannesburg
• Zimbali, Ballito
• Fancourt, George
• Waterfall Equestrian Estate, Waterfall City, Johannesburg
• Steenberg, Cape Town
• Mjenjane, Crocodile River
• Whalerock Ridge, Plettenberg Bay
• Waterfall Hills Retirement Estate, Johannesburg
• Fransche Hoek Estate, Franschhoek
Source: AfrAsia BankNew World Wealth 2017
Credit: Photos: Supplied, Text: Georgina Guedes