Winelands com­mu­nity gets a boost

Peral Val­ley and Val de Vie merge to be­come trend-lead­ers with the Cape’s first su­per es­tate

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PROPERTY -

PAARL may still be re­garded as a sleepy coun­try town com­pared to its bustling Mother City neigh­bour, but this fast- de­vel­op­ing node also re­cently pi­o­neered a first for the Western Cape with a land­mark prop­erty deal that has re­sulted in the amal­ga­ma­tion of its two most sought- af­ter life­style res­i­den­tial es­tates.

The Cape’s first su­per-es­tate was formed with the merger of Pearl Val­ley and Val de Vie, with the award- win­ning de­vel­op­ments poised to be­come a sin­gle lux­u­ri­ous, self-sus­tain­ing com­mu­nity next to one of South Africa’s most beau­ti­ful towns.

And prospects for this su­per es­tate are so pos­i­tive that bil­lion­aire Pa­trice Mot­sepe’s African Rainbow Cap­i­tal has just bought a 20 per­cent stake as its maiden foray into prop­erty in­vest­ment.

Now col­lec­tively known as Val de Vie Es­tate, res­i­dents of the new 900ha devel­op­ment will ul­ti­mately ben­e­fit across the board from mul­ti­ple strate­gies in plan­ning that will re­duce costs as well as aug­ment life­style ad­van­tages, es­pe­cially once in­fra­struc­ture is in place to grant un­ob­structed ac­cess be­tween the two prop­er­ties.

Ge­orge Cil­liers, Winelands co­prin­ci­pal of Lew Gef­fen Sotheby’s In­ter­na­tional Re­alty, says: “The pri­mary eco­nomic ad­van­tage will be the re­duc­tion of levies due to the con­sol­i­da­tion of se­cu­rity, main­te­nance and land­scap­ing costs.

“And, once the planned changes and up­grades have been im­ple­mented, res­i­dents will even­tu­ally en­joy shared and easy ac­cess to ameni­ties on both es­tates, in­clud­ing the Jack Nick­laus Sig­na­ture Golf course, fit­ness cen­tres, ten­nis and squash courts, in­door and out­door swim­ming pools, eques­trian fa­cil­i­ties and two polo fields.”

Cil­liers says that more im­me­di­ate ad­van­tages in­clude the new bridge be­ing con­structed over the Berg River which will al­low quicker ac­cess to the R45 Si­mondium road and the N1, cut­ting trav­el­ling time to Stel­len­bosch by 10 min­utes, as well as the broad choice of prop­erty op­tions now avail­able to in­vestors.

“Within Val de Vie are sub-sec­tions to suit a va­ri­ety of bud­gets and life­style re­quire­ments, in­clud­ing The Vines, Pearl Val­ley, The Re­serve, The Polo Vil­lage, The Gentle­man’s Es­tate, River Club, The Oaks and Le Vue, with the Val de Vie Manor re­tire­ment vil­lage due to be launched in Septem­ber.”

Cur­rently va­cant land is priced from R1.69 mil­lion to R4m, re­sort lodges from R3.95m and house prices range be­tween R 5.2m and R28.5m.

Leigh Robert­son, agent at Pearl Val­ley for Lew Gef­fen, says: “Dur­ing the decade that I have sold Pearl Val­ley prop­erty there has been a con­sis­tent de­mand. On the face of it the es­tate has been im­per­vi­ous to mar­ket trends and the 2008 credit crunch, as well as the cur­rent mar­ket slump.

“Pearl Val­ley has con­sis­tently been rated among the top five golf cour­ses in South Africa over the past 10 years and was named ‘Best Res­i­den­tial Es­tate in South Africa’ last year in a New World Wealth sur­vey.”

Robert­son says that Val de Vie’s many awards, which in­clude “Safest House in Africa” and “Best Devel­op­ment in South Africa” make it the per­fect part­ner for the ground­break­ing merger.

“Both es­tates are well-es­tab­lished with ex­cel­lent in­fra­struc­ture as well as qual­ity land­scap­ing and ar­chi­tec­ture, and they of­fer a mix of lux­ury life­style fa­cil­i­ties in one of the most scenic and sought-af­ter ar­eas in the coun­try.”

An­nel­ize Rein­muller, Robert­son’s part­ner spe­cial­ist with Lew Gef­fen, says the es­tates are also well-po­si­tioned in the Winelands, with easy ac­cess to many good schools, sur­round­ing towns and to Cape Town and the air­port.

Be­tween them, the part­ners have sold 25 homes at Pearl Val­ley this year alone, with their high­est prices re­alised be­ing R3.8m for a plot and R15m for a house. How­ever last year they achieved the high­est price ever in the joint es­tate when they sold a lux­u­ri­ous prop­erty for R22.5m.

Lew Gef­fen says: “The pos­i­tive mar­ket re­sponse to the in­cor­po­ra­tion of the es­tates is ev­i­denced by the African Rainbow Cap­i­tal in­vest- ment, es­pe­cially since this is the first prop­erty ac­qui­si­tion the fund has made in SA.

“The large in­vest­ment un­der­scores the fact that this su­per es­tate’s prospects are ex­tremely pos­i­tive de­spite the gen­eral state of the econ­omy, and epit­o­mises what buy­ers are look­ing for in the Western Cape Winelands.”

Re­cent sales in both es­tates also mir­ror an emer­gent trend of a grow­ing de­mand from younger in­vestors, with just over 50 per­cent of buy­ers now be­ing in the 36 to 49-year-old cat­e­gory and less than a third are aged be­tween 50 and 64.

Says Rein­muller: “SA buy­ers gen­er­ally dom­i­nate the Winelands mar­ket, but in these es­tates there is a bal­ance be­tween lo­cal and Euro­pean buy­ers, with most SA in­vestors be­ing mainly from Gaut­eng and the for­eigner buy­ers from the UK.”

The Light­stone Over­view of the Prop­erty In­dus­try pre­sented at Pearl Val­ley Golf & Coun­try Es­tate in March re­vealed that around 318 000 of all res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties (5.2 per­cent) in South Africa are now in se­cure gated com­mu­ni­ties.

But while es­tates may only com­prise around 5 per­cent of the over­all hous­ing mar­ket sup­ply they ac­count for a stag­ger­ing 15 per­cent share of to­tal mar­ket value, ac­cord­ing to the prop­erty an­a­lyt­ics com­pany.

With a com­bined value of R643 bil­lion at an av­er­age of R2m a prop­erty, this is al­most three times the na­tional av­er­age of R700 000 a home.

Rein­muller says: “The de­mand for homes in se­cure es­tates is def­i­nitely in­creas­ing through­out SA but in ar­eas like the Winelands the al­ready strong lo­cal de­mand is com­pounded by the in­flux of up­coun­try and for­eign buy­ers, which has re­sulted in a dearth of avail­able stock, es­pe­cially on the most pop­u­lar es­tates.”

This spa­cious four-bed­room fam­ily home on a 1 306m² stand over­look­ing the fair­way in the Pearl Val­ley Golf es­tate sec­tion of the greater Val de Vie Es­tate, is for sale at R14.4 mil­lion.

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