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Top 10 residential estates in South Africa for 2017

06 Sep 2017

AfrAsia Bank and New World Wealth have just released this year's review of the top 10 residential estates in South Africa. 

This modern family home in Pearl Valley Golf Estate, Val De Vie, in Paarl is on the market for R25 million - click here to view.

Ratings criteria included: 

- Design and space.
- Communal gardens and parks.
- Maintenance.
- Location.
- Security features.
- Views, scenery and wildlife.
- Activities: gym, swimming pool, golf, horse riding, polo, tennis.
- Facilities: shops, offices, parks, gathering places, children playgrounds, schools, hospitals. 

This newly built four bedroom en suite home in Steyn City, Midrand, is on the market for R10.5 million - click here to view.

According to the report, recent trends in this space over the past year include:

- There has been a rise in demand for retirement estates especially and wildlife estates are also on the rise. Overall, there is a move away from traditional golf estates.

- Many developers are now creating small neighbourhoods within the estates as opposed to the old model where houses were spaced evenly around the entire property. The new model allows for more parkland and open spaces between the neighbourhoods. 

Here are SA’s top-ranked estates: 

1. Val de Vie 

This Balinese style home in Zimbali Coastal Resort & Estate, Ballito, on KwaZulu-Natal's north coast is selling for R16.5 million - click here to view.

Val de Vie in Paarl retains its position from last year as the top residential estate in South Africa. 

Highlights of the estate include: beautiful vineyards, polo fields, an equestrian centre, a highly rated golf course, natural fynbos scenery, parks, lakes and mountain backdrops. House/apartment prices on the estate range from R3 million to R50 million. 

Val de Vie contains a number of distinct and unique neighbourhoods, including:

- The Polo Village - one to two bedroom apartments designed by Stef Antoni.

- Pearl Valley - houses spread along the Pearl Valley Golf Course.

- The River Club - large plots along the Berg River.

- The Reserve - large plots bordering on a Fynbos Reserve.

- Evergreen Retirement Village – new 600 unit retirement village (400 homes, 200 apartments) with full frail care facilities and recreational facilities.

- The Gentleman’s Estate – most exclusive neighborhood on Val de Vie - offers residents their own private stables, garden and vineyard. Properties on the Gentleman’s Estate range from 3 to 6 hectares each.

- Several other neighborhoods including: La Vue, the Vines and the Oaks. 

2. Steyn City

Set in Fancourt Estate, George, in prestigious Links Avenue, this mansion with sweeping views is on the market for R45 million - click here to view.

Steyn City, ranked fourth last year, moves up to second place this year. The newly built Johannesburg estate includes an equestrian centre, golf course and over 250 hectares of landscaped parkland. 

The communal areas, vegetation and parklands on the estate are particularly impressive, as is the birdlife. The parklands on the estate successfully emulate parks such as Hampstead Heath and Richmond Park in London, where local residents gather during weekends and after work to meet, talk and walk their dogs. The estate is also child friendly with walking paths and underpasses under all the roads. 

To promote birdlife, Steyn City works with a local company called Ecosolutions to encourage owls to live on the estate. This is a particularly noble idea and speaks to the benefits of residential estates in preserving endangered birds such as owls. Wild finches and bee-eaters are also common on the estate. 

This country-style residence in Waterfall Equestrian Estate, Midrand, is selling for R18 million - click here to view.

The estate is still at an early stage in its development – there are plans to add two private schools, offices, convenience shopping, a retirement village and private hospital. Once fully complete, Steyn City will be the most extensive estate in the country (in terms of facilities and activities). House/apartment prices on the estate range from R2 million to R30 million. 

3. Zimbali

Zimbali is located next to Ballito, 45kms north of Durban. It is arguably the most picturesque estate in the country, with its own natural lagoon and forest. The birdlife on the estate is impressive - it is home to several types of kingfishers, louries, bee-eaters and even the rare Crowned Eagle is a resident (the largest eagle in Africa). Notably, the estate is right on the beach. House prices on the estate range from R5 million to R50 million. 

4. Fancourt

This contemporary-styled property in Steenberg Golf Estate, Cape Town, is priced at R22.5 million - click here to view.

Fancourt is located in George on the Garden Route. It is undoubtedly South Africa’s top estate for golfers, with three highly rated courses on one estate. The two original courses (the Montagu and the Outeniqua) were built in the early 90s, whilst the world-famous Fancourt Links (the top-rated golf course in Africa) was added in 2000. There are several different residential areas on the estate including: Links Ridge, Links Avenue, Cape Dutch Village, Oakland’s Village and Montagu Ridge. House prices on the estate range from R3 million to R50 million. 

5. Waterfall Equestrian Estate

Waterfall Equestrian Estate is located in Waterfall City in Johannesburg, overlooking the newly built Mall of Africa. It is arguably the most exclusive estate in the country - stands on the estate are particularly large, starting from around one hectare each. House prices range from R10 million to R70 million. 

6. Steenberg

This five bedroom lodge in Mjejane Game Reserve, Malelane, is on the market for R12.5 million - click here to view.

Steenberg is one of the pioneer estates of South Africa. Originally a vineyard, Steenberg was redeveloped by JCI in 1990 to include a golf course, hotel, spa and housing estate. The estate still contains a large winery and vineyard to this day. There are relatively few houses at Steenberg, when one considers the size of the estate. House prices on the estate range from R10 million to R30 million. 

7. Mjejane

Mjejane Lifestyle Estate is the only wildlife estate in our top 10. It is located on the banks of the Crocodile River (bordering and open to Kruger Park). Notably, Mjejane has access to the full ‘Big Five’. The estate offers 200 stands (around 50 houses have been built to date) over 4 000 hectares with 10km of river frontage. House prices on the estate range from R5 million to R30 million. 

8. Whalerock Ridge

On the eastern side of the exclusive Whale Rock Ridge Private Estate, Plettenberg Bay, this house offers sea views and is selling for R9.4 million - click here to view.

Whalerock Ridge is located in Plettenberg Bay on the Garden Route. The 100 hectare estate offers residents impressive views over Robberg Beach. The bottom gate of the estate is located approximately 100 metres from the beach. House prices on the estate range from R3 million to R35 million. 

9. Waterfall Hills Retirement Estate

Waterfall Hills Retirement Estate is the only retirement estate in our top 10. It is located in Waterfall City in Johannesburg. Retirement estate living is on the rise in South Africa and this estate has definitely set the benchmark that others will look to follow. House prices on the estate range from R3 million to R6 million. 

10. Fransche Hoek Estate

Fransche Hoek Estate (also known as Fransche Hoek Agricultural Estate) is a relatively new estate situated in Franschhoek. Franschhoek is the fine food capital of SA and one of the fastest growing towns in the country in terms of wealthy people buying homes there. The estate has its own private vineyards and fruit orchards. All the houses on the estate have lovely views of the surrounding valley. House prices on the estate range from R10 million to R60 million. 

Sub-categories (alphabetical unranked): 

Top 10 wildlife estates in SA:

- Gondwana Private Residences
- Hopewell Conservation Estate
- Intaba Ridge
- Kruger Park Lodge
- Mahathunzi
- Mjejane
- Raptor’s View
- Royalston Wildlife Estate
- Shandon Estate
- Zandspruit Estate 

Top 10 golf estates in SA:

- Eye of Africa
- Fancourt
- Pearl Valley (part of Val de Vie)
- Pezula Golf Estate
- Pinnacle Point
- Simola
- St Francis Links Estate
- Steenberg
- Steyn City
- Zimbali 

Top 10 retirement estates in SA:

- Constantia Place
- Evergreen Bergvliet
- Evergreen Noordhoek (new)
- Evergreen Val de Vie (new)
- Mount Edgecombe Retirement Estate
- Plettenberg Manor (new)
- San Sereno Bryanston
- Somerset Lifestyle & Retirement Village (new)
- Tokai Estate (new)
- Waterfall Hills Retirement Estate 

For the full report and further commentary, click here.

For last year’s ratings, click here.

About the Author
Andrew Amoils

Andrew Amoils

Andrew is the head of research at New World Wealth, a global wealth intelligence company based in Johannesburg. He can be contacted on

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