Expensive estate homes in demand - expert


Paarl - Although security estates make up about 5% of the 6.8 million properties analysed by Lightstone, which provides information, valuations and market intelligence, its total value is about the same size as the total value of the property market in Johannesburg.

Estate properties have about a 15% share of total property-market value, said Paul-Roux de Kock, analytics director for Lightstone, at a property event held at Val de Vie in Paarl on Thursday.

Over 50% of estates – which include golf, equestrian and polo, coastal, lifestyle, country and wildlife estates – are located in Gauteng, and a further 25% in the Western Cape. The Western Cape segment, however, has the largest total value.

The average price of an estate home is R2m, almost three times the national average of R700 000 for a home.

Research by Lightstone found there are about 6 500 closed community or estates in SA. About two thirds of estate properties are worth more than R1m - a lot different to the general property market.

According to De Kock there has been increased activity in the estate market, especially in the Western Cape, due to security concerns and the lifestyle it can offer. About R15bn worth of estate properties are traded about every quarter.

"During an upswing, estate properties usually peak at a lower rate, but during a downturn they even out sooner, which is good for owners of properties in estates," explained De Kock.

Paarl property lawyer Stefan van Niekerk of Minitzers Attorneys, said the Paarl property market is currently fuelled by lifestyle estates

"It is about how Paarl positions itself as the place to work, live and play," he said.

In the Paarl property market, the three lifestyle estates of Pearl Valley, Val de Vie and Boschenmeer did about 60% of the turnover in 2014 to 2015, for instance.

As for the future of developing such lifestyle estates, Van Niekerk cautioned, however, that it is not merely enough anymore for such estates only to offer "a wall and a guard house at the entrance".

"Yes, security is an important factor for those buying in these estates, but it is not enough. You must offer something more and cater for residents' needs."

“In 2004, in the larger suburbs of Paarl, 900 properties were sold at an average price of R750 000. Ten years later, in the same suburbs, 706 properties were sold at an average of R1.85m,” said Van Niekerk.

The Val de Vie Estate, is seen as an example of the increasing demand for secure estate living, having sold in excess of R700m in developers’ properties over the past 18 months, and in excess of R330m in resales. Furthermore, it has recently acquired the neighbouring Pearl Valley Golf and Country Estate.
"The Pearl Valley acquisition will enable the newly formed Val de Vie super-estate to capture a greater slice of the Johannesburg dweller pie, by further developing Pearl Valley’s showpiece offering, its Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course," said Martin Venter, founder and CEO of Val de Vie.

“As figures suggest, investing in an estate home is definitely the safer bet during a downturn,” said Venter. “Gauteng homeowners are choosing an estate lifestyle largely because of the security aspect, and a stronger investment yield. They also want a lifestyle that caters to their pastimes and interests, such as golfing."

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