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

Business Day - Home Front - - HOMEFRONT -

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.

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