Retirement Property Market Upswing

Predictions made late last year that the property market would make a swift recovery in 2010 have become a reality and this is particularly evident in the retirement property market. The upswing in this market can be attributed to a number of factors. With the recent 0.5% drop in interest rates to the lowest rate in 29 years, prices people are able to achieve on their existing house is starting to improve. Also, potential purchasers are able to secure bonds a little more easily as affordability levels and repayment ratios that banks rely on improve. This has given the retirement market renewed confidence to commit to purchasing retirement homes.  According to Russell Masters, Development Consultant at the Schonenberg Retirement Village, “Since January we have seen an enormous turnaround in sales to the tune of R23 million. So far, we have achieved more sales in the last three months of the year than was achieved in  the whole of 2009.”

Now that the burden of financial insecurity and uncertainty about the future that accompanied the recession has lifted somewhat, more people are actively investing in their futures by purchasing properties for their retirement. Masters explains that “The recession was a frightening time for many pre-retirees and as a result, people want more surety”. 

In general, property prices are expected to increase between five and 10 percent this year which is also a contributing factor in people’s decision to buy now for their retirement rather than later. “We have seen a much more serious buyer coming to view our properties and these people are making the decision to buy in a much shorter time frame than they were 18 months ago”, says Masters.

Masters states that the increase in sales at Schonenberg, in addition to the recovering economy, can be ascribed to its unique offering of individually-tailored properties. “Our sales and development teams have worked closely to continually provide homes that suit the lifestyles and personalities of our clients which ensure that they receive the full benefit of their investment.” Recently, a fully customized studio was built for one of the retirement estate’s Philatelist clients. 

In addition to creating personalized spaces for its residents, the retirement village has spent R4.5 million on upgrading, enhancing and extending communal facilities such as the frail care centre and club house. “As the estate has matured, we have seen more residents encouraging others to buy properties with us and these referrals have translated into sales. We must obviously be doing something right”, remarks the Development Consultant.

“Purchasing a retirement property has consistently proven to be a lucrative investment especially seeing as it will probably be the last property investment people make”, Masters concludes.   

For more information about retiring in South Africa and about Schonenberg Retirement Village, located in Cape Town, South Africa, email or visit

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