Developments in the Upper Highway area

2017-02-28 06:00
Michele Wilson of Seeff.PHOTO: supplied

Michele Wilson of Seeff.PHOTO: supplied

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THE UH (Upper Highway) market is steady from a supply and demand point of view in that this area continues to sell approximately 1 300 units per annum at an ave price of R1.7m. According to Michele Wilson the reasons people buy in this area are

•the availability of excellent schooling

•value for money for prime property

•strong retiree market

•the lifestyle which despite the growth is still very outdoor based specially with leisure activities such as cycling, horse riding and road running.

However she points out that the market has seen a dramatic change in buying patterns in that for the first time the buying pattern has switched from townhouses to houses. This pattern started in late 2015 and has continued showing that families are looking to place their children in schooling and are finding the purpose of houses more affordable than townhouses by approximately 20% if one compares similar products

This does not mean that the development market is dormant in the UH area. Gregg Wilson, co-director of Seeff Hillcrest/Kloof, points out that there has been a return of the investor market. The growing demand for rentals is at an unprecedented high level, and evidence of this market is in part seen by the successful launch of the Emberton Estate on the Augusta golf driving range, has been a huge success. Andrew Smith who is in charge of marketing the development pointed out that any buyers were young professionals and investors who were taking advantage of modern stock being available at R1,3m and below. This resulted in sales of 111 units out of the first phase of 140 achieved in a 4 week period. Lifestyle facilities such as on-site gym and heated swimming pool have also boosted sales especially in the investor market.

Green Meadow Lane development and the Hillcrest Retirement Village for retirees has sold some 150 units.

It is astounding to hear that in Alverstone’s premier Equestrian development, Stoneford, there are three units that have an investment value of over R15,000,000 each, which sets a record for the area.

Kirtlington Estate remains elite and popular, but is currently experiencing an over demand for its stable facilities.

The Cotswold Downs development has turned into a success story of note and the new clubhouse opens in July which will increase popularity, promising to be world class and an equal match for the already outstanding golf course. Catering at the facility is being done by Guy Cluver and Chris Black of Lupa and Bellevue Café.

In the past year the Cotswold downs development has seen over 120 sales with a total value of just over R110,000,000 and although most of these sales were of vacant land, it reflects huge confidence in the area and means that the 750 unit development now has approximately 650 units sold.

The opening of Inanda Road is a relief and will see further increases in development sales as well as the Waterfall market. Serious braai talk about the Watercrest Mall and the facilities that it offers as well as the competition from various malls is certain to see social activities such as the cinema’s increase in popularity.

The appointment of specialist agents to cater for the development sector is an increasing trend. Michele uses the example of one of her agents, Rose Waldburger, who is an accredited selling agent at the La Domaine retirement village, as an example of success. The public are looking for specialist advice when buying in many gated estates and the retirement market is largely a cash market

Gregg Wilson emphasises that as a business owner he needs to be increasingly aware of changing market conditions and he demonstrates this by saying that although houses have become more popular there is a shortage of development stock below R2m and this is where the strongest demand is as affordability is increasingly a factor. On the other hand he stresses that above R3m townhouses or developments outstrip the sales of free holding houses as this market segment increasingly looks for a lifestyle of communal security, in-house entertainment and the ability for children to move freely within a secure environment.

Michele Wilson concludes we are often asked about our most popular suburbs and in terms of overall sales they are Hillcrest at approximately 540 units per annum; Kloof sells about 278 units per annum; the Waterfall market sells approximately 190 units per annum with Gillitts conveniently placed at 185 units per annum. There is no sign of the demand for sales declining and the planned 508 units in the Emberton estate is strong evidence that developers are back with full confidence in the UH area.

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