Approximately 6000 closed communities and estates exist in South Africa, translating into roughly 318 000 residential properties and an estimated total value of some R643 billion – according to research conducted by Pam Golding. The popularity of the residential estate is constantly growing and indicates an increased demand for the comforts and security that this form of dwelling traditionally offers, but there is also a growing demand for these estates to offer recreational activities among buyers.
This is according to Jan Minnie, Sales Director of adventure estate Somerset Lakes, who says that there is a growing demand for houses based on residential estates mainly as a result of the value added benefits that these estates offer, such as educational and retail facilities located on the premises. “In addition to these amenities that are typically associated with estate living, more and more property buyers are looking for recreational facilities that are offered by so-called ‘adventure estates’.”
Minnie adds that Somerset Lakes, for example, affords residents the opportunity to experience an array of outdoor activities, including fishing, canoeing, sailing on the 6 hectare lake. “On most adventure estates these types of activities are accessible to all residents, from those occupying sectional title units through to those in free-standing family homes. The convenience of this ‘opulent lifestyle’ is thus extended to many first time property buyers that may otherwise have been unable to access these activities so readily.”
Many adventure estates also focus on a holistic family approach and provide activities for toddlers and children as well, explains Minnie. “In a country where crime is an ever-present threat, immediate access to an array of family friendly activities is a big drawing card for buyers.”
Minnie adds that the community aspect that accompanies estate living is another factor that may be driving the popularity of residential estates. “Residents can meet each other in the clubhouse for leisurely visit, or in the case of adventure estates, running and canoeing clubs are a common sight. Many estate residents also form mobile based chatrooms in which they keep each other abreast of leisure or health and fitness related activities or even potential security threats within the estate.”
He continues that Gauteng was the front runner with regards to estate living for many years, but the demand for housing within residential estates is growing significantly in the Western Cape.
“Somerset West has become the top residential purchasing area in the Helderberg property market in terms of demand and average prices, especially among out-of-town buyers, who currently comprise about 40% of the potential buyers expressing interest in the area. The buyer demographic continues to change as we see an increased number of prospective purchasers from Durban, Pretoria, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Bloemfontein.”
“The rise of the adventure estate can most likely be attributed to the balance it offers its residence. Security, convenience, proximity and now the added benefit of recreational activities creates the ultimate family oriented lifestyle,” concludes Minnie.