South Africa is a global pioneer of residential developments, according to New World Wealth, with annual research suggesting a shift from traditional golf estates towards lifestyle estates. In fact, we rank only second to the US for the number of residential developments in the country.
The property value of a home in an estate is significantly higher than that of a freestanding residential home – with privacy and security driving up the prices. Nationally, not many properties can compete with the superb price and rental growth experienced in these top security estates.
Rising safety and security concerns amongst South Africans are driving the increasing demand for homes in security estates. According to the most recent crime report 2.01 million crimes were recorded in South Africa in 2019 with 22 431 cases of robbery at residential premises. In response to statistics like these, buyers look for properties with perimeter monitoring, 24-hour security and access control.
Security is often the most notable factor for investors when buying into residential estates and a key variable in increasing property values.
Here is an outline of the most appealing attributes of estates for buyers:
High safety and security standards
“Multi-layered security adds such value to a gated community,” according to Clifford Oosthuizen, MD of Westbrook, a secure lifestyle estate in Port Elizabeth, developed by the Amdec Group. “Buyers need to enquire about electric fencing, perimeter monitoring, security control room monitoring of on-site cameras, 24/7 security guards and on-site armed response vehicles.”
Some of the current trends include a combination of CCTV, access control, security lights and outdoor alarm beams so do look out for them in estates yoú’re assessing. “Excellent security brings peace of mind – essential for wellness,” he adds. “It’s a daily focus on our estate.”
A community lifestyle
Estate living offers a community lifestyle boasting many highly attractive recreational and sporting features such as swimming pools, tennis and squash courts, parks, gyms, riding paths, clubhouses and even golf courses.
South African developers are pioneering the trend of building schools on estates, resulting in the utmost convenience for parents who no longer have to do daily school runs, given that their children can safely walk home.
A strong sense of community plays an important role in determining the value of your asset.
Landscaping is key to the overall style and ambiance of a development. The demand for pristine and appealing exteriors of estate homes – known as curb appeal – makes for attractive investment opportunities, with annual increases in property value delivering a good return on investment.
Developers encourage waterwise planting and insist that flowerbeds are tended to regularly. Some go a step further, as in the case of Westbrook, that rescued between 60 000 – 70 000 indigenous plants and replanted them on the estate.
Communal areas kept top-notch
The estate is responsible for the general maintenance of communal facilities like roads, sidewalks, landscaping, perimeter fences and security cameras. This is often overseen by the property owners’ association. The maintenance of these communal areas ensures that property demand remains high and that owners enjoy lucrative growth in the values of their investment.
Enforce architectural cohesion
A good deal of thought goes into planning the architectural features and fittings in security estates and community schemes. This may include everything from the type, colour and size of roof tiles, burglar bars and carport materials, to the style of water tanks and emergency generators. The estate also controls the style and type of windows and doors, along with the placement of satellite dishes, tool sheds, letter boxes and home numbers. By regulating a variety of exterior features and mandating quality, estates are able to maintain the aesthetic factor throughout the estate, thereby increasing property values further.
Property, as an investment, has delivered lucrative returns in South Africa over the past decade with estates being a winning formula for increasing performance. In addition, investors are witnessing just how the security features are enhancing the asset’s growth even further – a benefit very few investments can match.