Supply eclipsed by demand for Pretoria East lifestyle estates

Pretoria East has become one of the city’s most sought-after residential destinations offering buyers increasingly solid investment and rental returns across the board, but the sector seeing the most growth is the estate market which is booming as demand for secure properties spirals.

This luxurious four bedroom family home is set on a generous stand in the scenic nature reserve at Silver Lakes Golf Estate. On the market for R5.6 million, the well-appointed living area flows out to a large covered patio, pool and landscaped garden.

This is according to Juanita du Plessis, Estate Specialist for Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty in Pretoria East, who says estate property values have shown steady growth since around 2010, but they rose substantially during the past year. As a result, the median price in some estates is now double that of just five years ago.

“We are also beginning to experience stock shortages, especially in developments offering excellent security coupled with first-class lifestyle amenities like Silver Lakes Golf Estate, where 115 sales were recorded in the 12 months between 1 July 2015 and 30 June this year.”

Du Plessis says although the greatest demand is for estate homes in the R1.5 million to R2.8m price band, these are now becoming increasingly scarce and buyers are willing to pay a premium for the added benefits of estate living.

“At Silver Lakes investors can expect to pay around R2.5m for a three bedroom sectional title unit and while the average house price is between R3.5m and R4m, there are many properties priced between R4.5m and R6m. There are also homes in the ultra-luxurious R10m plus bracket.”

She adds that location is a key pricing factor on estates, where the most sought-after properties are those nearest golf courses overlooking the fairways or in the most scenic natural settings.

“We are currently marketing three prime properties at Silver Lakes; two with fantastic views of the fairway as well as a luxurious house in the heart of the nature reserve.”

While security continues to top the list of reasons that people choose to buy homes on estates, it’s not the only factor.

Lew Geffen, Chairman of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty, says: “Lifestyle is also a significant drawcard and the most popular estates are those with recreational features on site such as golf courses, gyms, tennis courts, restaurants, walking trails and parks where families can safely enjoy outdoor activities.

“The most exclusive and sought-after developments are literally self-sustaining villages. Lombardy Estate, for example, not only offers beautiful surrounds with greenbelts, streams and wetlands that teem with birdlife, but also has a boutique hotel, a spa and an office park.

“Residents in these estates enjoy an exclusive lifestyle in an environment that gives respite from fast-paced city living – along with the peace of mind of controlled access.”

Geffen adds that the prestige of an enviable address is also appealing to many investors, especially upwardly mobile professionals.

Du Plessis notes that there has been a marked increase in the number of buyers in the 35 to 45 age group who are more likely to be able to spend R3m-plus on a home.

“Conversely, there has been a drop in first-time buyers as the market boom has now placed most estate properties out of the reach of younger investors whose budgets seldom extend beyond R2m and they also require a substantial deposit and spotless credit record to be successful with their finance applications.”

The exponential residential growth in Pretoria East in recent years have also spurred commercial and retail development to meet the demands of the rapidly growing population.

Says Du Plessis: “Everything residents in the area need is now on their doorsteps – as well as new schools that were built to support the population expansion – and neighbourhoods attract a good mixture of young professionals and young families, with kid-friendly activities widely available.

“Additionally, two major highways are only a stone’s throw away allowing for easy commutes to Witbank, Johannesburg and Pretoria’s CBD.”

A new R44 billion “nodal development” is soon set to change the face of Pretoria East even more dramatically. Dubbed “the East City”, the Hazeldean Development master plan includes a residential area, a 100,000m² mall as well as hospitals, a business park and hospitality and tourism components.

With several phases already complete, the suburban precinct also includes the construction of a new R90 million road – the PWV17 – which will link the N4 and the R21.

Du Plessis concludes: “Demand for security lifestyle accommodation is at its peak and, with housing shortages looming, this development offers buyers an ideal solution as a future investment.

“The versatile housing options cater for everyone from young professionals to diplomats, including investment buyers seeking good rental returns and, of course, families.

“And lifestyle quality will further be enhanced by Hazeldean’s focus on energy-saving mechanisms, greener ways of building and a high-tech communication infrastructure.”

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