The key to a successful high-density estate is balancing the needs of all possible buyers
THE NUMBER of people preferring to live in sectional title schemes or HOA-run estates has increased over the years, and this trend is set to hold.
Important, however, says Shiraaz Hassan, commercial director of Asrin Property Developers, is that security estates should be built with integrity and thought must be given to who will be living in them in the future, as well as whether they will be able to sustain what the developer has envisaged.
“Looking at various statistics released and previous experience, there has been a 7 percent year on year increase in the demand for sectional title units and first time homebuyers are driving this market.
“When looking at the average ages of each life stage of home buying, it is often not easy to pinpoint why each price category and lifestyle category needs to be assessed when deciding to go ahead with the development of an estate. The imperative goal, however, is balance – achieving a mutually popular, price sensitive product that caters for young families, first time home buyers and older folk reaching retirement.
“With more construction of higher density developments as SA’s population increases but land availability does not, comes the need to soften the impact of these by adding as much greenery as possible to each in the landscaping and communal areas,” says Hassan.
“Adding open space encourages residents of the complexes to engage with each other and not live separate lives.”
Each estate type will have a certain type of person buying into it, for example, first time home buyers will have a certain budget and might not have a need for large family style homes whereas 40-something buyers will often want larger homes, with gardens and space for their children. Buyers are looking for security and lifestyle options such as swimming pools, tennis courts, and other amenities where costs would be shared among the owners. Because living in a freestanding home can be costly, it is easy to understand why buyers opt to live in estates, says Hassan.
“Asrin always carries out extensive research before starting on each development. At Nuutgevonden in Stellenbosch, for instance, the units have been extremely popular with young adults and families alike, because of its competitive cost a square metre as well as the open green spaces and security. Attractions include proximity to the centre of Stellenbosch and the university.
“At Somerset Country Estate near Somerset West, with larger homes and bigger gardens, the buyers have tended to be families and executives who want the quieter lifestyle offered there, with average ages in the forties. There are now only three homes available in this development.”
Creating successful developments is not only about building the units, he says, but rather about the sustainability of the schemes.
“Many developers have in built sound buildings but have not succeeded in implementing the correct management procedures after handover to the owners. The impact that a larger scheme has on the environment as well as maintaining of all the common areas will need a plan from specialists for them to work in the future,” says Hassan.
“Recommendations from consultants should not merely be submitted with the aim of getting schemes approved but should rather be to enhance and improve the area. Construction management plans should be implemented along with post- construction management guidelines, as these will ensure proper upkeep of the estates and all parties should be engaged to understand the plan,” says Hassan.
SECURE: Aerial view of Somerset Country Estate near Somerset West, where only three homes are still available for sale.