Demand for lifestyle retirement properties in the Winelands soars

The rocketing demand for secure lifestyle retirement accommodation in the tranquil Cape Winelands is at an all-time high, with agents reporting a dearth of available stock and long waiting lists at most of the existing developments.

ALLURE OF THE WINELANDS: Retirees are increasingly drawn by the relaxed lifestyle and natural scenic beauty of the Cape Winelands. Towns like Stellenbosch offer tremendous natural beauty, a sense of history and an array of amenities just a short walk or drive away.

This is according to Chris Cilliers, CEO and Principal for Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty in the Winelands, who says: “The retirement sector of the market was overlooked and undeveloped for many years and, although developers have recognised the yawning gap in the market and are looking to source land, there is now much less available than a decade ago and it is also much more expensive.

“The modern lifestyle retirement village concept is very different to the traditional apartment block old age homes which offered little more than a roof over one’s head and three square meals a day, and requires substantially more development property than previously.”

“Their challenge is to acquire suitable land at a reasonable price, otherwise the units become too expensive for older people to afford and will be priced above the general housing market in the area.”

In response to the widening gap between demand and supply, one of the Winelands’ most sought-after lifestyle estates has taken the initiative by developing a retirement facility within the existing development.

Says Cilliers: “We are very excited to have been appointed joint marketing agents for Val de Vie Manor which is due to be launched in September and already attracting great interest.

“Residents will not only enjoy top class retirement facilities including frail care, they will also have access to all the other facilities available on this exclusive estate, which is recognised as one of the most desirable estates in South Africa.”

Lew Geffen, Chairman of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s international Realty says that there are a number of key factors contributing to the in the spike in demand for quality retirement property in the Winelands. 

“More and more people want to retire away from the city and the Winelands is especially appealing as it offers a slow-paced country lifestyle in beautiful surrounds, yet is less than an hour’s drive from Cape Town and a short hop to pristine beaches and popular attractions.”

He cites the current socioeconomic situation in South Africa as another strong driving factor in the growing demand for secure lifestyle retirement properties.

“A decade ago older people still relatively felt safe in their homes and many opted to stay in familiar surroundings for as long as possible. However, many now feel vulnerable and security has become a primary concern.

“Additionally, a growing number of retirees are losing the support of their adult children as a result of emigration and semigration and the sense of community offered by modern retirement villages is therefore very appealing.”

Cilliers says that demand is also being spurred by an emergent trend of which is seeing more and more people planning for their retirement from an earlier age.

“Many people now recognise the long-term value of these developments and the benefits of investing in their retirement home long before retire. Not only are they are ensuring that their golden years are comfortable, but they are doing so at today’s prices because the cost of property is extremely unlikely to come down.

“A sizeable chunk of the bond can also be covered by renting out the property until they are ready to move in.”

Currently investors can expect to pay between R2.5m and R4.5m for a unit in a retirement village, depending on the area, facilities offered, property size and finishes. 

Cilliers concludes; “Today’s retirement villages are centred on offering a quality lifestyle in a secure community for mature people who are still active but no longer want the responsibility of large homes, with many developments accepting residents from the age of 55.”

“And, as these developments recognise that there are different stages of retirement and offer a variety of packages, retirees can settle for life knowing that they can be cared for in their homes or in frail care of necessary.”

“Retirement communities in the Winelands not only offer security, support and a sense of community but can also be a new lease on life for older people who will have myriad activities and facilities on their doorstep.”

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