Phase two under way at Val de Vie Estate

Of the 552 residential plots for sale in the 220ha phase one of Val de Vie Estate near Franschhoek, 545 have been sold and more than 400 homes are already completed.

Completed homes at Val de Vie Estate near Franschhoek.

Bordering the Berg River in the Paarl-Franschhoek Valley, the second phase comprising a further 330ha is well under way, including the sale of plots in the Gentleman’s Estates, River Reserves, Le Domaine and La Vue. Close to 40 percent of the plots released in phase two have been sold within a month, and final phases on the estate will incorporate a retirement village, further residential plots and additional stables.

When completed, close to 50 percent of the entire 550ha estate will remain green or open space, while maintaining a maximum density of about three homes to every 10 000m², says Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive of the Pam Golding Property group.

“Val de Vie was originally launched in 2006, with the first transfers taking place that same year. Property prices of vacant land on the estate have almost doubled since 2010, despite the economic recession, which severely affected the residential property market during 2008 and 2009. Notably, in 2012, a completed home in Polo Village was sold for a Cape Winelands record of R22 500/m².”

Golding says the most significant capital growth has been experienced over the last two years, with land prices increasing by 50 percent and house prices by 20 percent.

“In 2012 vacant stands were selling at an average of R1 500/m² compared with a current average in 2015 of R2 100/m². In 2012 the average price of a home was R12 000/m², which has escalated to R18 000/m² in 2015.

“Resale house prices of R4 million to R5.5m are not uncommon, as well as prices of R7 to R9m for re-sale homes fronting onto the river or lakes. The highest price paid for a home on the estate is R12m. In addition, recent buyers of vacant land are investing sizeable amounts in building luxurious homes catering for their every need. The rental market is also strong, with no stock available at present.”

At Val de Vie Estate the developers have sought to incorporate homes that cater for different buyer requirements, with an entry level of R1.8m for apartments in Polo Village and prices from R2.8m to R5m for homes in The Vines, with residential plots selling from R1.4m to R4m and more recently from R7.5m to R10.5m for exclusive smallholdings in Gentleman’s Estates and up to R12.5m for River Reserves.

Buyers on the estate comprise a mix of locals from Paarl and other Western Cape areas, but recent statistics reveal that about 75 percent of buyers are those moving from Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, as well as expatriates returning to South Africa from abroad.

Says Surina du Toit, Pam Golding Properties area manager in Paarl, Franschhoek and Wellington: “An important part of the success of the estate is its appeal for young family buyers, who are increasingly turning to secure residential estate living with easy access to good schooling. According to Lightstone statistics, just over half the recent buyers in Val de Vie are 36 to 49 years old and 23 percent 18 to 35. These two age brackets also represent a total of 69 percent of existing owners who have owned their properties for more than 12 months.

“With Bridge House private school in Franschhoek just 16km away and five primary and four high schools in the Paarl area within a radius of about 10km, and a wide range of leisure and sports activities – including a 25m heated indoor pool, squash courts and two gyms, as well as stables, polo fields and clubhouse, parks, vineyards, lakes and olive groves, game reserve, and a restaurant, Val de Vie has everything any family could ask for and more. A further important draw card for family buyers is the established Kinder Ark Farm pre-school. With Paarl on its doorstep, a provincial hospital, medi-clinic and extensive shopping facilities, including Paarl Mall, are readily accessible,” says du Toit.

Brought to market in June, only three of a total 13 Gentleman’s Estates properties are available to buy, priced between R10m and R10.5m for plots between 2.9ha and 3.13ha. One of the four River Reserves has been sold, with remaining plots from 2.56ha and 5.83ha in size priced between R8.995m and R10.5m. Construction of the roads and services will begin in September, with transfer planned for early 2016.

Says Du Toit: “Two of the Gentleman’s Estates were acquired by existing homeowners on the estate, one of whom owns race horses and will now have a property with a barn and stables, and the other buyer wanted a bigger property and a home with an indoor swimming pool and total privacy. Other buyers of the Gentleman’s Estates are planning to grow vegetables, nut trees and the like, and all plan on living permanently on the estate. The uptake for these properties has been exceptional, however it is an unusual offering with nothing comparable in a secure estate – you can’t buy a smallholding with this kind of security and lifestyle.”

At The Vines, launched in March, where 142 plot and plan homes will be set on 12 ha with views of the Paarl mountains and four lakes, 47 units have been sold. Buyers have a choice of modern homes designed by Stefan Antoni Stefan Antoni of ARRCC, ranging from single-storey 172 to 188m² homes to double-storeys of 248 to 264m² and double-storey, luxury homes of 290m².

Construction of roads and services are well under way, with the building of homes to commence in January 2016. Most homes are in the R3m to R5m price range and with the potential for attractive rental yields, a number of these have been acquired as buy-to-let investment properties.

At Polo Village, with only five units out of a total of 60 one and two bedroom apartments available for purchase at R2.85m, construction began on site in May. Buyers are a combination of end users and investors planning to capitalise on rental opportunities for polo players and other visitors attending events held at Val de Vie. Once all the units are sold, one lucky buyer will be the winner of a Ferrari.

Further sales of vacant erven are progressing in Le Domaine and La Vue in phase two of the estate, with only 12 of the total 33 stands available in La Domaine at prices ranging from R1.425m to R1.595m for 675 to 773m². In La Vue, 10 of the total of 33 stands have already been sold, priced from R1.75m to R4.3m for 891 to 2 058m².

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