03 Nov 2011
In a property market cycle where some are seemingly battling to sell property, others have found a niche market and continue to defy the odds.
Century Property Developments sold out its 250 residential units at the Waterfall Hills Mature Lifestyle development in Gauteng in 20 months at a time when the housing market elsewhere was crashing.
The Waterfall Hills Mature Lifestyle Estate is located next to the Vodacom World of Golf on the R55 and the company will develop 2 000 new residential units in the same area over the next few years.
According to Mark Corbett, chief executive officer of Century Property Developments, there is an increasingly growing trend towards secure, estate living.
People want greener living, more facilities such as schools and shops that are normally found only outside housing estates and they want even greater security,” he says.
He says the Waterfall Hills Mature Lifestyle Estate offers residents a return to the no walls style of community living and this is what attracts buyers to this area.
Corbett says the demand for secure, community-conscious estate living prompted the company to find a solution that offers the kind of facilities seldom seen in South Africa such as a school located within the estate, critical care facilities for the elderly, a five star hotel (Tinswalo Lodge in Midrand), a conference centre, offices, a 10 acre lake for water sports, a gym, malls, retail centres, lifestyle centres and a cemetery.
The demand for greener living enabled the estate to introduce extensive alternative energy such as piped Sasol gas to every home which will substantially reduce energy bills in the coming years as Eskom prices escalate, he says.
Asked to explain the concept of green living, he says this entails that architectural guidelines are very specific to South African design, no Tuscan designs for example.
The guidelines at the estate stipulate LED lighting, solar geysers, gas, and encourage natural products or recycled products such as face brick.
Corbett says security is another priority that buyers are looking for when purchasing a new home.
Recent research done by Century revealed that a home within a genuinely secure estate is valued more than double the same type of home outside a secure estate.
He says Century developments offer the kind of security one expects at OR Tambo International Airport or the US Embassy.
Having found a niche market and demand for secure green living, Century is gearing itself for further growth as the property market recovers.
It recently acquired an additional 4 000 hectares for future development and has unveiled plans for an additional R12 billion in developments.
What you can expect to pay?
One of the things we often hear on Property24 is that banks are strict when it comes to granting home loans.
Corbett however says they have almost all the banks on board and buyers at any Century developments can obtain up to 95 percent bonds as banks have confidence in the developer.
A number of savvy property investors have also bought into some of the estates.
“Many of our buyers are selling their current homes and buying in our estate and use a bond to cover the shortfall of which many purchasers qualify for.”
Asked about property prices at these estates, he says prices start from R850 000 at the Country Village Estate aimed mostly at first time buyers.
At the Waterfall Country Estate, the entry stand price is R1.6 million for 990 square metres to 1 450 square metres and buyers are aged between 30 and 50 years old, highly educated and many have built homes before.
He says the Waterfall Hills and Waterfall Valley Mature Lifestyle Estate is for over 50s on average 60 with an entry level price of about R2.1 million for the house and stand.
The Waterfall Equestrian is for the elite that are extremely successful individuals and major players in South Africa industry with an entry level price of R6 000 000 for a stand measuring 8 500 square metres or a show house at R25 million.
On levies, he says one can expect to pay an estimate of R1 200 at Waterfall Country Village Estate, R1 600 at Waterfall Country Estate, Waterfall Hills and Valley are on a levy package that is determined by the amount of occupants and the unit size and at the Waterfall Equestrian Estate, R4 900.
He adds that a property price one can expect to pay is dependent on the estate but should one work on average of the land and construction, properties at Country Village Estate carry a R3.5 million price tag, R6.5 million at Waterfall Country Estate, R3.5 million Mature Lifestyle Estate and R25 million at the Equestrian Estate. – Denise Mhlanga
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