New Stellenbosch developments excel

Strong demand for affordable homes in and around Stellenbosch is evident in the quick uptake of units in new developments brought to market at reasonable prices.

One of the most outstanding successes, says Shawn Pieterse, co-owner of the local RealNet real estate franchise, is the Mountain View development in Pniel, a small village about 7km from Stellenbosch.

"All 20 units in the first phase were sold even before the development was officially launched. We invited local residents to a pre-launch and 47 qualified buyers queued to reserve units. A week later all units were sold off-plan and we now have a long waiting list of buyers for the next two phases in the development."

Mountain View is the brainchild of local building contractor Mark Mentoor, who obtained the land and decided to develop affordable units aimed at buyers from the local community. In the first phase, plot-and-plan packages for two or three-bedroom units on small stands of about 300sqm were sold at prices of between R599 000 and R730 000.

Pieterse says that at these prices local buyers with young families can afford to buy their own homes in a market that is generally very pricey because of the strong perennial demand for student housing in and around the university town.

Plans are in the pipeline for a further two phases in Pniel. Homes in these phases will be slightly more upmarket and will be open to the general market.

Construction of homes in the first phase will start in February and the second phase will be launched towards the end of the year (2013). Pieterse adds that all four major banks have pre-approved the development and qualified buyers in the first phase had no trouble obtaining bonds from the institution of their choice.

Another development launched recently, Nooitgedacht Village near the Devondale golf course on the Krommerhee road, also sold fast off-plan. Only three units in the first phase are still available, says Pieterse, although the development is more upmarket and prices start at around R1,3m for three-bedroom homes.

The village is designed in the style of old European villages, with cobblestone pathways and small shops dotted about the estate. A total of 1200 units in the mixed-use estate will be developed in future phases.

Construction of units in phase one starts this month (January 2013) and units will be handed over to the new owners in April.

Meanwhile young professionals and buyers with young families are targeting the Welgevonden estate about 6km from Stellenbosch, says Pieterse. Good security and value for money are the main draw cards, and homes of between 130sqm and R240sqm are selling at prices of between R1,3m and R2,1m.

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