An­cient beauty ap­peals to af­flu­ent buy­ers

Con­stan­tia holds ap­peal for those look­ing to get away from the hec­tic pace of city life, as Lea Ja­cobs re­ports

Business Day - Home Front - - HOMEFRONT -

AV­ENUES of an­cient oak trees, vine­yards and his­tor­i­cal land­marks, Con­stan­tia in the Western Cape has it all. Of­ten re­ferred to as the jewel of the Cape, the area is steeped in his­tory and once be­longed to the erst­while gover­nor, Simon van der Stel.

It is telling that Van der Stel, an early Dutch set­tler, had the pick of any area around Cape Town, but chose Con­stan­tia. The area was renowned for its beauty and for the ex­cel­lent red wines it pro­duced. Two years af­ter Van der Stel’s death in 1712, the farm was auc­tioned and sub­di­vided into Groot Con­stan­tia, Klein Con­stan­tia and Buiten­verwacht­ing.

Res­i­den­tial and com­mer­cial sub­di­vid­ing of the land in the area be­gan in the 1960s and to­day the area boasts a thriv­ing com­mer­cial and res­i­den­tial com­mu­nity. That said, the area is by no means com­pa­ra­ble to city liv­ing. Winelands still sur­round the re­gion, lend­ing a dis­tinct coun­try feel. A mere 15km from Cape Town, the re­gion ap­pears to be a mag­net for af­flu­ent buy­ers look­ing for a qui­eter life­style.

Van der Stel chose wisely: Con­stan­tia has a tem­per­ate cli­mate and is blessed with spec­tac­u­lar views. The re­gion is also steeped in South African his­tory and has a num­ber of ur­ban trails that of­fers scenic walks for res­i­dent walk­ers and jog­gers to en­joy the val­ley.

The area is close to the world­fa­mous Kirsten­bosch Na­tional Botan­i­cal Gar­dens and many fine golf clubs like Royal Cape, West­lake, Rondebosch and Mow­bray.

Mike Gre­eff, the CEO of Gre­eff Prop­er­ties, says if there is one se­cu­rity es­tate in up­per Con­stan­tia which im­presses all the agents ser­vic­ing the area, it is Sil­ver­hurst Es­tate. Es­tab­lished in 1990, the devel­op­ment fea­tures 75 free­hold prop­er­ties built in the tra­di­tional Cape style.

“Homes on the es­tate rarely be­come avail­able and are highly sought af­ter. It is al­ways a priv­i­lege to mar­ket any home in this par­tic­u­lar es­tate, but this lat­est of­fer­ing is truly plat­inum class.”

Jenny Wil­liams, an agent with the group who lives on the es­tate, says it has great ap­peal for in­vestors be­cause prices have es­ca­lated at a greater rate than in the rest of the Con­stan­tia area. Knowl­edge Fac­tory’s SAPTG statis­tics in­di­cate that four prop­er­ties on the es­tate sold in 2008. The low­est price achieved was R13,360m for a prop­erty on a 742m² erf. The high­est price at­tained that year was R34m. There was one sale in 2009, with a price of R13m.

Gre­eff Prop­er­ties cur­rently have two list­ings on the es­tate. Wil­liams said turnover in the es­tate is low and only a limited num­ber of houses ac­tu­ally come onto the mar­ket.

Very few prop­er­ties are va­cant dur­ing the year and there are a hand­ful of over­seas in­vestors who spend seven to eight months of ev­ery year on the es­tate.

Apart from the many restau­rants af­fil­i­ated to the wine es­tates, there are a wide va­ri­ety of eater­ies through­out the district. The Con­stan­tia Vil­lage Shop­ping Cen­tre has a va­ri­ety of shops, restau­rants and cof­fee bars as well as ex­clu­sive cloth­ing and shoe bou­tiques. The Con­stan­tia Sports Club, with a Vir­gin Ac­tive gym­na­sium, bowl­ing greens, ten­nis courts, rugby and hockey fields is close by.

There are 75 prop­er­ties on the es­tate, 12 on grounds of 4 000m² and the oth­ers rang­ing from 1 350m² to 1 500m². Gre­eff says there can­not be fur­ther ex­pan­sion on the es­tate be­cause homes have been built on all the plots. “The only ex­pan­sion oc­curs when a smaller, older home is pur­chased for the new owner to dras­ti­cally ren­o­vate and re­build.”

There are rules and reg­u­la­tions to en­sure that the prop­er­ties fit in with the es­tate and com­ple­ment one an­other. In ad­di­tion to the 24-hour se­cu­rity, there are large ar­eas of pri­vate open space with two grass ten­nis court and a small pavil­ion. The home­own­ers as­so­ci­a­tion has laid out me­an­der­ing walk­ways that run along­side the es­tab­lished gar­dens and ponds. All the prop­er­ties are pri­vate and gen­er­ally have ex­cel­lent moun­tain views.

Gre­eff Prop­er­ties cur­rently has a man­date for a home within Sil­ver­hurst that has five en-suite bed­rooms, a study and for­mal as well as in­for­mal liv­ing ar­eas flow­ing onto a ve­randa that fronts onto a 25m pool. The prop­erty is sit­u­ated on a sub-di­vis­i­ble 2 785m² gar­den erf that of­fers to­tal pri­vacy.

The in­te­rior spa­ces are filled with light from the floor to ceil­ing glaz­ing. Egyp­tian mar­ble floors give this home an ul­tra-lux­u­ri­ous am­bi­ence and this is en­hanced by high-tech con­trol sys­tems for the in­te­rior tem­per­a­tures, doors, sound sys­tems and se­cu­rity. Cov­ered ve­ran­das with great views and a pri­vate gar­den make al­fresco en­ter­tain­ing a plea­sure. Price: R70m Con­tact: Gre­eff Prop­er­ties Mike Gre­eff 083 679 1809 Jenny Wil­liams 083 656 6811 Of­fice 021 763 4121

This five-bed­room Sil­ver­hurst Es­tate home has come onto the mar­ket and car­ries a price tag of R70m.

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