While some areas of the city continue to battle in the property sector, Somerset West has shown little sign of abating in its appetite to expand. By contrast, it has apparently placed its foot on the development accelerator.
Currently under construction are six large developments estates, expecting to deliver thousands of residential units of different shapes and sizes. Moreover, many these of these are only in ‘phase one’ of a potential multi-phase roll-out with thousands more apartments and homes planned over the following 24 to 36 months. At the same time, there is no secret the gloomy economic outlook for South Africa has barely shifted.
So, what is it that the developers are seeing that the pessimists aren’t?
“There is no denying that developments are defying the trend in Somerset West. A savvy and ambitious middle class still need stylish but affordable places to live. The winning developments will stand proud by the simple delivery of value. Homebuyers want the best deal, excellent location, a long list of features and benefits, and a lifestyle experience that sets them apart. Those that can’t deliver on that promise could fall by the wayside,” says Nic Simons, Managing Director of Trilogy, and partner in the new Eastwood Development at Somerset Lakes.
Eastwood is fortunate. It benefits from being a new development in an established and successful estate, surfing on its proven track record. The estate boasts 24-hour premium security, including CCTV, biometrics, and a security record that homeowners can actually check and verify. Its landscaping and gardens - something which is difficult to establish with ‘new build’ developments - has already won awards.
Eastwood combines the best of outdoor living, such as a lake for kayak and fishing, running trails, bike tracks, clubhouse and swimming pool, outdoor gym, jungle gym for children, picnic spots and forest walks, and safe walking distance to Reddam House School, and a short drive to Somerset Mall. But, to close the deal, the developers have tapped a trend - the ‘flexible workspace’. On the back of the international growth of WeWork (which is soon to open on Strand Street in Cape Town) and more locally, ‘Ideas Cartel in the City’, the developers have included a new feature, known as the Eastwood Club - a working space that offers hot desks and meeting rooms which can be scheduled by unit owners. The new gig economy of flexitime employees working from home, and the rapid rise in freelancers, has meant this type of working space is a necessity. Eastwood is leading the charge.
“We have a competitive bundle on offer. We genuinely believe it’s the best value in Somerset West right now. The idea is that we make sure potential investors and buyers see the track record and list of features which are already proven and have been successfully delivered. In some cases new builds cannot deliver this surety immediately. In this economic environment, proof and credibility are important.”
“Even if, for some investors or homebuyers, they’re not fussed about the modern perks or a host of features, it remains the best example of outdoor lifestyle meeting the safe and smart demands of modern living in the area,” Simons concludes.
Prices start from R850 000 - www.eastwoodlife.co.za