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Speed of high-tech roll-out a big challenge for SA homes market

18 Jun 2019

“Are South African homes, and homeowners, suitably enabled for the fast-approaching super-tech world?”

“Homeowners who are planning to renovate should bear in mind that, within the next three to five years, more and more home appliances and systems will be run by online 'convenience' platforms," says Ennik.

Put another way: “Will home renovations and homeowners manage to cope with – and reap the benefits of – the avalanche of new technology that is starting to roll across the residential property landscape?”

Johannesburg/Sandton-focused residential real estate principal Ronald Ennik raises these questions at a time when, he says, “the face and pace of South African home design, construction and maintenance is changing faster than ever before.”

Even newly built, or fully renovated, houses can now easily, and rapidly, become outdated as new inventions, designs, materials and finishes continue to roll out, he adds.

Design features and finishes outdate quickly

“Irrespective of whether they are the latest type of security blind, the smartest LED light fitting, or even a particular organic product (such as a bamboo-based floor etc), they are soon improved upon and become outdated faster than before,” says Ennik.

“The reality is that creativity has now become endless on the homes front. It is in perpetual motion. And technology is driving it – by way of easy access to information that is now effectively at everybody's fingertips.

“Homeowners need to take that into account when renovating their properties,” says Ennik.

“Furthermore, they should avoid spending to the maximum on materials and finishes. Why? Because, within two to four years, new products will far exceed those that were regarded as the most expensive – and the best – at the time of the renovation.

“For example, it is quite amazing just how much cheaper top-notch security systems are these days as a result of the rapid advancement of technology,” says Ennik.

Convenience platforms

“Against that background, homeowners who are planning to renovate should bear in mind that, within the next three to five years, more and more home appliances and systems will be run by online 'convenience' platforms.

“They will drive lighting, security, heating, refrigeration, cooking, cleaning, entertainment, and even certain routines, such as feeding of pets, watering gardens, pool maintenance, certain child care chores, transport arrangements, and connectivity to family and friends,” says Ennik.

“This all comes together as a process that requires that your home is geared not only to see the future but enabled to cope with, and accommodate it, as well.

“The reality is that the future is arriving very fast. And it adds a whole new dimension to the process of choosing and buying a home”.

A giant leap

“It is quite understandable that many homeowners – both existing and aspirant – may well feel overwhelmed by the prospect of this, clearly must-do, giant leap into modern-day technology, and the speed at which it has become necessary.

“My advice to them is to include a tech guru amongst the plumbers, carpenters, painters and bricklayers – so that he may advise on how to prepare your home for what is coming,” says Ennik.

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