Eco-estate living becomes popular in False Bay
MORE buyers are investing in a “green” lifestyle in gated eco estates in the False Bay area, where Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty False Bay has sold R100 million worth of properties recently, says agent Steve Thomas.
“Young families and first-time buyers are drawn to the area because it offers an affordable lifestyle that’s close to nature and within easy reach of the city. Popular eco developments in Noordhoek include De Goede Hoop and Lake Michelle estates.
“In Lake Michelle a typical fourbedroomed home with 2.5 bathrooms sells for R3m to R7m, whereas a four-bedroomed home in De Goede Hoop can fetch up to R30m. The average selling price for homes in the wider False Bay region is around R2m,” says Thomas.
He says homes in eco developments in False Bay are selling quickly because of the high demand for the security of estate living, combined with increased awareness of environmental issues.
On average, a unit in Lake Michelle, once voted the greenest development by SA Property Owners Association, sells in less than 90 days after being listed.
There has been a surge in activity in South Africa’s green building sector this year. The government, businesses and residential developers are increasingly embracing sustainable building methods.
Green Building Council of SA (GBSA) says six green-building certifications were awarded last month, bringing the number of Green Starrated buildings to 36.
The Green Star SA rating tools take into consideration materials used in construction, energy, land use and transport.
“The GBCSA is very encouraged to see this spike in the number of buildings achieving Green Star SA ratings,” says chief executive Brian Wilkinson.
“We are confident that the greenbuilding movement in South Africa will continue growing and that green- building practices will become the norm.”
Many first-time buyers are being influenced by growing international awareness of environmental issues. Young parents feel a sense of responsibility towards their children and are keen to preserve the environment for future generations.
They are also attracted by the cost- saving potential of g reen homes. Electricity prices have risen by 78 percent between 2008 and 2011 in real terms, and this month the tariff increased by 8 percent.
“Hikes in power bills have more homebuyers across the board prioritising solar-heating panels, insulation in ceilings and other measures that save power,” says Thomas.
He says up to one-third of homes on eco estates have solar-heating panels installed, and estimates that no more than one-tenth of residential properties have solar heating.
“With the good value Noordhoek offers and the steady demand for property in the area, buyers of properties in these eco estates should experience a steady growth in their investment as demand continues to outstrip supply,” he says.
Lew Geffen, chairman of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty, says that eco estates are not only increasing in popularity in the False Bay area.
He says this seems to be a nationwide trend as buyers snap up allotments and homes in developments like Boskloof Eco Estate in Somerset West, Simbithi Eco Estate in Ballito, KwaZulu Natal, and Meyersdal Eco Estate in Joburg.
“Eco estates offer the security and sense of community that make traditional estate living so popular, but with the added benefit of costsaving green features and facilities other estates might not have.
“This makes eco estates very attractive to young buyers wanting to save where they can, as well as people wanting to downscale,” says Geffen.
GREEN LIFESTYLE: This Stonehaven home is for sale for R4.9 million.