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Somerset West’s sought-after estates

11 Jul 2014

While the concept of living within a boomed-off suburb may once have been considered an unusual one, suited only to a small niche category of buyers, modern lifestyle changes and the search for security have seen the concept of the residential estate come into its own in recent years.  

This Ervinale Golf Estate home offers four bedrooms, open plan living areas, a swimming pool, garden and two garages. It is priced at R7 645 500 - click here to view.

It is now one of the highly sought-after options for many property buyers, from first-time buyers with aspirations of homeownership to those buying in the top-end luxury bracket. Investor buyers also tend to favour such properties due to their potential to generate high rental income. 

Pam Golding Properties’ (PGP) area manager for Somerset West, Louise Varga, says this shift in perception is nowhere more evident than in the Helderberg basin, where both completed homes and vacant land in secure estates are now among the fastest selling properties, provided they are appropriately priced. She says almost 30 percent of the current market stock in that town is located within an estate, with most properties selling within six weeks of listing. 

Varga says security is usually the key factor which attracts buyers to a secure estate, due to the reduced fear of crime and perception of a safe environment in which to raise a family. However, she says safety is not the only factor, often it is also a lifestyle choice based on the unique culture and character of the estate, which may feature facilities such as golf courses, that supports a particular hobby or passion, and in the case of some estates, a sense of exclusivity and status associated with the address.   

Situated in the Ervinvale Golf Estate, this home has four bedrooms, four bathrooms, a study, three reception areas and a double garage. It is on the market for R12.6 million - click here to view.

PGP agent, Edelweiss Hankey, says another factor is the search for a more old-fashioned sense of community and neighbourliness. “A recent study by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) on gated communities found that the social connections offered by this lifestyle are often equally important, especially in communities where there is a shared interest such as golf or horse riding at the heart of the product offering.” 

Hankey says residents are able to enjoy harmonious living with like-minded neighbours, in an aesthetically pleasing environment which offers security and peace of mind, without a sense of living in an unsightly barricaded fortress. 

Varga notes that buyers considering a home in a secure estate should pay careful attention to the specific rules and regulations of that environment, including any stipulations set down by the Homeowners’ Association, as well as the specific building and design guidelines which govern the estate. She says buyers must also ensure they are able to keep up with the monthly levies.  

This three bedroom home is situated in the Ervinvale Golf Estate and has a modern kitchen, study, family room and home office. It is priced at R22.9 million - click here to view.

The variety of secure estates on offer in the Somerset West area ranges from established larger and luxurious communities to new, smaller developments offering just a handful of homes. Among the largest and most prestigious is Erinvale Golf Estate with 433 properties which including both freehold and sectional title options, a state of the art golf course, hotel, spa and restaurant. Prices can range as high as R29 million for the most elaborate top-end homes. Currently on the market is an elegant four bedroom home located in a quiet cul de sac with beautiful mountain views, priced at R7.655 million. 

Equally prestigious but far smaller is Silvertree Heights in the upmarket suburb of Spanish Farm, an estate which occupies over 20 000 square metres yet includes just nine exclusive homes, designed with a mix of Tuscan, Provençale and English colonial styles. Most residents are mature buyers over the age of 50, who enjoy the proximity to local amenities such as the Waterstone Village shopping centre and Vergelegen Medi-Clinic. Homes do not come onto the market very often, with the last sale in 2011 fetching R2.3 million for a vacant stand of approximately 1 850 square metres, and the last two homes sold in 2009 for R9 million and R7 million respectively. 

Brand new to the upper end of this market is a development known as Silverwood Close, which is located in a prime position in the heart of Parel Vallei. The estate consists of just eight beautifully appointed prestige homes, with prices starting from R5.99 million. 

Those seeking more affordable homes in a secure estate may consider Summergreens, which consists of 39 stands situated alongside the Somerset West Country Club. The location close to schools and public transport makes this an ideal environment for young professionals and families, with prices ranging from around R500 000 for vacant stands and up to R2 million for a four bedroomed home. Currently on the market is one of the largest stands in the estate, a 450 square metre stand occupying a prime location bordering a green belt. It is on the market for R875 000.

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