Affordable housing for middle earners
Michelle Swart finds out about a new development set to change the face of Cape Town’s northern suburbs area
BUH-REIN Estate, on 87,62ha of rezoned land between Durbanville and Kraaifontein in the Western Cape, will bring 3 511 housing opportunities to the market. The developers say that once completed the project will be a suburb with 3 241 apartments, 133 freestanding homes and 137 townhouses.
“Buh-Rein Estate is the culmination of years of planning and a flagship in delivering reasonably priced yet high-quality solutions to the housing need in this bracket” says CEO Riaan Roos.
For the average South African the chance to be a home-owner has been marred in the past few years by the lack of affordable quality housing projects and available finance, says Roos.
“Aimed at the middle-income housing bracket — R850 000 and under — Buh-Rein Estate will address this issue. We have invested three years of meticulous planning to ensure we can deliver an award-winning solution.”
Mettle, Metropolitan Capital and Omigsa established a funding vehicle called Mettle Property Solutions Securitisation (MPSS) to finance the R1,5bn project, which will be completed in four to five years, to provide affordable housing development finance in SA.
MPSS funding caters for land acquisition costs, development of bulk, internal services, top structures and refurbishment and the conversion of existing buildings in the main metropolitan areas.
The primary target market is providing housing for the Financial Services Charter market (FSC market). The FSC market is aimed at individuals or joint households earning up to R16 500 a month.
“Providing this type of housing is the key to resolving one of the most important issues affecting most South Africans. In future this market will make up the new middle market of SA and therefore is a segment that any finance, product and service provider cannot afford to ignore or neglect,” says MPSS manager Hendrik Bruinette. “Buh-rein will be one of MPSS’s flagship developments due to its excellent location and product offering, and with MSP Developments as developer will provide affordable housing specifically aimed at the FSC market.
“The FSC market in respect of housing has the biggest demand, not only in Cape Town but country wide, and far outstrips past and present supply, which in turn leads to such FSC housing units appreciating faster in value than middle to high-market housing units. The real need in the housing market is for investors, financiers and developers to focus on delivering clever solutions that will transform the South African landscape so that every family can own a home,” says Roos.
Perceptions of lifestyle estates in SA have been coloured by numerous quick-build examples where apartments are densely packed and have no relationship to their surroundings.
“Such estates feel cramped and limiting and do little to foster a healthy community,” says MSP MD John Coetzee. “We had a different vision. Buh-Rein Estate will be a place where a healthy active way of living will become the norm, a warm sense of community will be encouraged and safety of residents will be a priority.”
MSP created a people-centric and environmentally sound design for Buh-rein Estate. The estate’s comprehensive and layered design led to the South African Planning Institute awarding MSP Developments a 2010 Planning Award (Private Sector) at the biannual SAPI conference.
“This is a prestigious award that shows that Buh-Rein Estate, with its environmental and holistic living considerations, is a landmark development that others may well emulate in the future,” says Coetzee.
He highlights four key criteria in designing the development.
“Firstly, we identified the right location: it had to be an area where people would enjoy living. The second consideration is security — residents must have peace of mind and be able to enjoy an outdoor lifestyle. We then incorporated facilities and services to ensure to deliver the fourth criteria, namely convenience. Ease of living is ultimately what Buh-Rein Estate will provide.”
The development incorporates large areas of natural space, including 20 pocket parks and a central green zone designed around stormwater drainage and outdoor activities. Pedestrian and cycling paths connect park areas with each other and with shops and other amenities. There are wide, pedestrian-friendly streets and the people-focused townscape will encourage residents to walk rather than drive. Greening of the estate will see more than 2 000 new trees planted.
An on-site shopping centre is confirmed, with Shoprite/Checkers as owner and anchor tenant, and with smaller retail units also catering to residents.
A medical centre is planned and will be placed centrally in the estate. A hi-tech management centre will house an on-site power and water usage services company. The security central control room and the estate management company will also be housed on the estate.
Sports enthusiasts will have access to the estate’s huge, multipurpose sports field that will be freely used by residents and school teams.
A drive-through take-away and petrol station will be situated on the central access road for quick stops on the way into or out of the estate, while a private school, crèche and community church are all proposed for development.
Buh-Rein Estate will also offer a daily transport service to the Cape Town CBD and Stellenbosch, and provision is made for a train station should such a demand be identified in future.
Coetzee say that the construction of the first precinct will begin this year and will bring six sectional title complexes to the market. These smaller estates within Buh-Rein Estate will consist of between 28 and 53 units each and home-buyers and investors in Precinct 1 will be able to choose between 252 units in total.
The design of these small security estates within the larger framework of Buh-Rein Estate allows for the estate to be fully secured from within rather than by the usual 2,1m-high perimeter walls. Security cameras, technology and dedicated personnel will ensure complete security within the estate, with open areas being monitored 24/7.
Buh-Rein Estate has been designed with an advanced 5-tier security system that will be phased in for total operational coverage by February next year.
Precinct 1 will feature 51m² apartments with two-bedrooms, one bathroom, an open-plan kitchen and a living area leading to a balcony. Each apartment will have a dedicated parking bay.
Units are competitively priced, starting from R442 900, which includes VAT, bond and transfer costs. A R10 000 deposit will secure a unit in any of the six estates in Precinct 1.
The development of reasonably priced lifestyle villages across the country is crucial for solving the housing needs in the country, says Roos.
“Developers must take a longterm view and realise that they are not only building housing but also communities. New-era developments must offer security and amenities never before deemed necessary in the middle to lowhousing segment — only then will we create family-friendly, community-focused villages with room to breathe,” says Roos. Contact: MSP 021 801 5400 SMS buhrein to 32171 and a sales representative will contact you.