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Raising the bar for lifestyle estate living in Port Elizabeth

07 Jan 2020

Buyers in the market for either a first or a new home are becoming more and more cautious. When considering one development over the other, the quality of construction is often more important than price.

This three bedroom, two bathroom home in Westbrook, Port Elizabeth, offers good security and is close to amenities. It is on the market for R1 210 500 - click here to view.

The top residential estates in South Africa offer added value in terms of design and space, communal gardens and parks, location, maintenance as well as security and sporting facilities. Added value then comes in the addition of on-site schools and amenities such as shops and office space, says Clifford Oosthuizen, managing director of Westbrook.

Traditionally, this quality of development has only really been seen in “high-priced” estates such as Zimbali in Durban, Fancourt along the Garden Route, Val de Vie in Franschhoek and Steyn City in Johannesburg.

But as buyers become increasingly educated on how best to spend their money, a comparable degree of quality is now expected in more affordable estates as well. There are a number of developments coming on board with new offerings that make the mark.

This three bedroom, two bathroom home in Westbrook, Port Elizabeth, has a built-in braai and private garden. It is selling for R1.25 million - click here to view.

Oosthuizen says among the new estates that look towards this level of quality is the 230-hectare Victoria Country Club development in Pietermaritzburg, which will feature a nature reserve, golf club, sports clubhouse, and restaurant along with walking and cycling trails, with prices from R1.5 million.

Just outside of Cape Town, in fast-growing Somerset West, Sitari Country Estate is also expected to fall into the high-appreciation category. With a central park running through the complex connecting a range of 3 150 apartments (R1.395 million) and houses (R3 million) to a country clubhouse, the development boasts a Curro school (up-and-running) and a shopping complex is planned too.

For the most part, however, he says these developments have been situated in or close to South Africa’s largest metropolitan cities - Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. But Port Elizabeth has now entered the marketplace with its Westbrook estate ticking the same high-quality, value-for-money boxes for buyers.

It’s already showing returns for investors, says Oosthuizen. “One unit that sold for R995 000 in the first phase of the development two years ago, recently sold for R1.21 million - an appreciation of 10%, far beating annual property growth figures.”

This home in Westbrook, Port Elizabeth, has three bedrooms and two bathrooms. It is on the market for R1.285 million - click here to view.

Among the many reasons that Westbrook is doing so well in spite of a tough housing market is that the development has broken the mould of other more traditional counterparts in PE by ”taking the townhouse feel” out of the estate, he says Oosthuizen.

“Within a typical townhouse development, all the units look the same from the roof colour to walls or finishes. At Westbrook, we’ve made all the units different given the entire development a more residential suburb feel.”

In fact, the Westbrook development team have shied away from the use of the word “complex” entirely, referring instead to the nine different “villages” that will ultimately be part of the estate.

However, it does have all the security of a gated townhouse complex, with a perimeter fence around the entire estate and 86 security cameras up-and-running by the end of this month.

This three bedroom, two bathroom home in Westbrook, Port Elizabeth, is selling for R1 210 500 - click here to view.

It also has a 5km track where residents can walk, run or cycle. Parklands and amenities such as a Curro school (already accepting learners up to Grade 9 are all part of the mix.  Still to come are “village-like” amenities including the Westbrook Town Square that will offer medical facilities along with retail and premium office space.

There are a handful of units still remaining in phase 4 of the first village - the Ridge - with phase 1, 2 and 3 already sold out. Ground was broken on the second village, River Dale, in October with the first of its 221 three- and four-bedroom units due for completion in March 2020.

However, the success behind Westbrook, in which the renowned Amdec Group is the parent company, goes well beyond its village-like feel and speaks to the quality of development it has created for PE buyers, says Oosthuizen.

“Our build philosophy is very clear. We would rather not build than build something wrong and rather not make a unit available to the buyer if the quality is not 100% right,” he says.

”The Westbrook philosophy also extends to “seeing is believing”. We say to any potential home buyer in PE: ‘don’t buy anything, anywhere, until you’ve seen what you intend investing in,’ because invariably, once we get a potential buyer on site, the quality of what they see does the rest in convincing them to commit.”

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