Eco-estates scoring green brownie points with property buyers


Environmentally conscious property developments which are geared to allow residents to live within natural, eco-friendly environments are sprouting throughout South Africa, starting a new craze internationally.


Alwyn Verster of Sotheby’s International Realty in Warmbaths says these estates are concentrated around areas where naturally occurring wildlife - both fauna and flora - are allowed to flourish relatively undisturbed, in fenceless environments.


“Buyers like the fact that they are in a way helping to preserve nature by living with it. Housing density is low and many of the newer eco-estates require the use of bio degradable household products and diligent recycling.


“Many now use ‘green energy’ which is either gas, solar or wind turbine generated. All of these aspects are very appealing to an increasingly environmentally aware global population.


“The Northern Province and specifically the area known as the Waterberg Biosphere is attracting a huge number of eco-tourists and many holiday makers who visit the area are spurred into changing their lifestyle and relocating to these nature-rich environments.


“I would say the vast majority – about 95% of our eco-estate property buyers hail from this region – but a few foreign buyers mainly from the UK, Belgium, Germany and Holland have also bought in to the development because of its appeal.”


Verster mentions the Mabalingwe Game Reserve, just 1 hour from Pretoria, which is just one of the many developments in the area offering eco-estate living at its finest. Here stand re-sales range from R550 000 – R850 000 for 2000-5000 square meters of land.


House prices start at R2.2-million and the most expensive property currently on our books is a R22-million for a three-storied, thatched mansion with panoramic views of the reserve, allowing one to view giraffe, rhino and  buffalo (among others) from its veranda. 

Barak Geffen, Executive Director of Sotheby’s International Realty, says “eco estates are a fantastic win win for developers and environmentalists. In the past all development was a threat to nature because of their impact on the environment. Eco-estates help protect the environment and have become a major attraction as a residential lifestyle option.


“Estates like Zimbali in Kwa-Zulu Natal, Pezula, 10 minutes outside of Knysna, and Gondwana in the Western Cape - among several others - are attracting a multitude of buyers from around the world, reinforcing SA as a great place for affordable eco-lifestyles.”

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