Areas and Places

Growing popularity of cape countryside sparks major development

With the recent upgrade of the N7, the beautiful towns of the Swartland have become much easier and quicker to reach, and are experiencing unprecedented interest from property hunters.

A wave of development is headed for the town of Malmesbury, in the wake of the multi-billion rand upgrade of the N7 and the town’s close proximity to increasingly popular surrounding areas such as the Riebeek Valley, the West Coast and the Paarl Winelands.

No longer just a distant transit town, Malmesbury has become home to young families and professionals seeking a safe and relaxed country lifestyle within comfortable reach of their places of work. With the commute to Cape Town, its suburban centres of industry and Cape Town International Airport now not much longer than the commute from city suburbs, thanks to the new dual carriageway on the N7, there has been a huge increase in demand for quality properties.

However there is a severe shortage of homes available on the market, particularly in safe and affordable group housing and retirement developments.

In response to this need, development on the 511 unit Fonteine Village lifestyle retirement complex starts next month, with a number of group housing projects in the planning phase.

The development will be constructed through a partnership between the Matlapeng Housing Company and Visiondev, who between them boast a solid track record of quality developments over two decades, with a combined total value of more than R5 billion.

Fonteine Village offers a rare opportunity for over-50s, who want to ensure they are surrounded by all the necessary amenities they may need in future, but who are not willing to compromise on their lifestyle, to own a home in the region. On any given weekend, a farmer’s market, music event and art, wine or olive festival is no more than a few minutes away. The site is elevated, which ensures unfettered views of Table Mountain from the homes and recreation areas, and the climate is temperate without the wild winds that keep those closer to the city behind closed doors when the South Easter unleashes its fury. The beautiful Mount Royal golf course is less than 2km away.

Furthermore, construction on an upmarket shopping centre adjacent to Fonteine Village, with top tenants including a full Woolworths, Pick n Pay, Checkers and Clicks, is starting soon.

The R320 million, 22 000m2 shopping centre is set for completion in mid-2016, and there will be a shuttle service available for residents who would rather not walk the short distance.

“With life expectancy now almost two decades longer than it was historically, the decision on where to settle in their later life has become a vexing one for many people. Location, climate, space, safety and affordability are important considerations. Few of us are ready to spend the rest of our days in a small room in the middle of the city while we likely still have several active and productive decades ahead of us,” says developer Ian Phillips.

“These days, retiring means an opportunity to live life to the full, and Fonteine Village was designed around this mindset: that over fifties want to enjoy the best their environment has to offer, while having the peace of mind that, should they need it or should something go wrong, a helping hand is not far away.”

Affordability is another major stumbling block for many people wanting to buy property in a retirement complex. Even on the rare occasions that properties do come onto the market, they are generally well out of the reach of the average middle-class person.

But with property still relatively affordable in Malmesbury, compared to the extreme asking prices for homes closer to the city, the starting price of R1.2 million for a 2-bedroom home puts ownership in Fonteine Village comfortably within the reach of prospective buyers. There are also 3 bedroom units available for those who want more space for guests or a home office. Altogether, 256 single residential homes and 255 flats (2 bed, 1 bed and studio apartments) are planned, although it is expected that some investors will elect to combine erven to build larger homes.

“Of course, any property purchase must make investment sense, and there is little doubt that homes in Fonteine Village will dramatically increase in value in future,” says Phillips.

The complex will boast a clubhouse with dining room, lounge, bar, gym, hair salon, library, swimming pool, and braai areas, as well as tranquil landscaped communal areas. To ensure the wellbeing and safety of residents, it will also offer full 24-hour manned security, electric fencing and CCTV cameras, 24/7 home-based nursing facilities, and frail and post-operative support services. Homes are designed for comfort in line with European best practice.

Occupation is set for November 2015.