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Secure Stellenbosch estate homes

20 Aug 2014

Security estates are currently some of the most sought-after properties in the Stellenbosch market, especially by buyers from Gauteng and a handful of buyers from overseas.

This modern home in Capolavoro offers three bedrooms, two bathrooms, open plan living areas and a garage. It is on the market for R2.635 million - click here to view.

According to Chris Cilliers, the Principal of the Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty office in Stellenbosch, there is a lot of movement between Gauteng and the numerous multinationals headquartered in Stellenbosch and, because of the nature of the residential landscape in Johannesburg in particular, buyers from there tend to feel more comfortable with properties on security estates.

She says they have a lot of buyers from Gauteng who are used to living in secure estates and feel more comfortable in this type of environment, and this has had an effect on the demand. Cilliers says international buyers are also generally looking for a secure environment but a luxury version of lock-up-and-go, where their properties are safe and their gardens tended when they’re out of the country.

As for pricing of these homes, he says the prices vary depending on how close they are to Stellenbosch and the density of the estates. “On the higher density estates such as Welgevonden, Nuutgevonden, Capolovoro and Nooitgedacht, average stand sizes range between 200 and 450 square metres and prices would be between R1.6million and R3 million. These developments are generally situated just outside of town.”

This four bedroom home in Brandwacht has two and a half bedrooms, a tropical-like garden and two garages. It is priced at R4.2 million - click here to view.

Cilliers says larger stand sizes, those between 350 and 6 000 square metres, are found on more upmarket estates such as De Zalze Golf estate, Brandwacht Aan Rivier, Mont Blanc, L’Hermitage, Vallee Lustre and Den Bosch. She says these estates fall within the suburban fringe and have larger homes that sell from R4.5 million up to R30 million.

She says in the current market conditions, homes on security estates priced between R1.5 million and R5 million are selling within a month or two. Prices above this range may take slightly longer to sell as the pool of buyers is smaller.

Lew Geffen, chairman of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty, says compared to the first six months of 2013, the market this year has been much busier, particularly in the upper end of the market. He says prices are higher and sales across the board have increased. Geffen says they are seeing quite a bit of foreign capital spend, but a fair amount of South African money is returning from offshore as well as the currency situation which makes local property investment an attractive proposition.

Situated in Klein Zevenwacht, this home offers four bedrooms, three and a half bathrooms, unrivalled vistas and two garages. It is on the market for R5 million - click here to view.

“A fair amount of that spend is flowing into Stellenbosch because of the multinationals headquartered there, but also because of the pastoral environment so close to Cape Town. It’s also a family-friendly environment offering top public and private schools. There are still a substantial number of buyers with families who prefer to live within walking or cycling distance to the popular schools.”

Cilliers says the buyers of security estate properties can be categorised by the types of homes they buy. She says in the higher density security estates, the main buyers tend to be young professionals, first-time buyers, university staff and small families.

She says the lower density luxury security estates tend to appeal to empty nesters and retired people in addition to professional families.

As for overseas buyers, known in the industry as swallows, she says they like the lower density security estates mainly because they need to know that their property is secure in the winter months when they are in Europe.

This newly built home offers three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a garage. It is priced at R2.635 million - click here to view.

According to Cilliers, the biggest drawcard for security estate properties in Stellenbosch are the modern custom-built houses. “Whereas the traditional Stellenbosch suburbs tend to have older homes that will be or have been renovated, there are not so many new builds, and these generally tend to be owner builders.”

She says the only thing that has limited the development of more estates in the area is the lack of available development land. Cilliers says this is due mainly to the fact that Stellenbosch is surrounded by top agricultural land which cannot be rezoned.

She explains that the main development area is towards the N1 where there is still land available to be developed. In this area and in the Klapmuts area there are several developments currently taking place with many more applications on the cards, she says. Therefore, she says the lack of development possibilities within the municipal area is driving up the prices of the estates that have already been established.

One of the recent secure developments is Klein Zevenwacht where there is space for 41 homes to be built on land that was until recently part of the adjoining farm of Zevenwacht Wine Estate, which has strong viticulture roots with the historic past of South Africa.

Detlef Struck, a property consultant with Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty, says the size of the stands is between 4 500 and 7 500 square metres, and all the vacant stands on the estate except one, have been taken up and developed.

Struck says while some building restrictions apply, the homes that have been so far built on the estate have not had to look identical as happens on some other estate developments, leaving room for some individuality.

“Homes on the development do not often change hands but we currently have two properties up for sale, these are a R 12 million three bedroom villa with its own separate fully equipped guest cottage and a R5 million four bedroom villa.”

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