There has been a noticeable influx of Gauteng buyers moving their families to the Western Cape, and particularly to the Somerset West area. That’s according to Pam Golding Properties’ (PGP’s) area manager for the Helderberg Basin, Louise Varga, who says the group has noted a rise in Gauteng-based buyers during the first months of 2014, as well as increased demand from other up-country provinces. Of PGP’s last 90 sales in the area, 15 were to up-country buyers (12 of them from Gauteng) and another nine to international buyers, mostly from Germany, the UK and USA.
Security and a wholesome family lifestyle appear to be the main factors driving these relocations. Some are moving their entire families to resettle in the Cape on a permanent basis, while other buyers are businesspeople setting up their family homes in a secure environment in the Cape, while still commuting back to Gauteng for work on a weekly basis. As a result, the demand for secure lifestyle complexes is particularly high – and none perhaps more so than for Schonenberg Estate, located diagonally opposite the renowned Lord Charles Hotel.
Schonenberg Estate occupies a substantial area of 65ha, and has close to 530 residential erven, ranging from neat lock-up-and go homes to larger family dwellings. The result is that the estate has a homogenous blend of residents, ranging from young professionals and first-time buyers to families with children and older buyers downscaling for their early retirement years. The excellent security, including controlled access and 24 hour guard patrols, ensures that children can play in safety in the ample green lungs and park areas, while all residents can enjoy the 4km walking trails within the estate, which are well lit at night. A portion of the estate is committed to wetland conservation, and contains protected fynbos as well as several endangered fauna.
The development is approaching maturity, with 439 homes completed and a further 30 currently under construction. Prices range from around R2 million for a compact lock-up-and-go home with two bedrooms, to around R4.5 million to R6 million for larger and more luxurious family homes with swimming pools, double garages and luxury finishes.
Early investors have made a healthy profit, with homes purchased for R1.4 million in 2008 now selling for just over the R2 million mark. PGP’s most recent sales have included a brand new lock up and go home sold for R1.8 million, and a larger three-bedroomed family residence which sold for R2.35 million.
There is also appeal for investor buyers based on the strong demand for rental homes at Schonenberg. PGP agent Mabel Botha says homes currently under tenant in the estate are fetching between R12 000 and R40 000 per month in rentals, with demand consistently outweighing the available supply of rental homes.
Another key appealing factor for buyers is the central location, close to the N2 highway for easy access to Cape Town and its international airport, and well situated for access to the Winelands, top schools and medical care. The estate lies alongside the boutique Waterstone Village Shopping Centre with its Virgin Active gym, Pick n Pay, restaurants, pharmacies and other amenities. The cherry on top is the centre’s Woolworths store, at 2500sqm the largest Woolworths food market in the country, and recent winner of the international Association for Retail Environments’ Design Award for the best Supermarket/Grocery Store of 2014.