With security being a key concern for many home-owners, the popularity of access-controlled gated estates has surged over the past decade. The trend has not escaped Cape Town’s Northern Suburbs where the community of Durbanville, in particular, now offers a wide variety of different sized estates with varying levels of security and options to suit almost every buyer type and every budget.
Pam Golding Properties' area manager for the Northern Suburbs, Maureen Nel, says the area offers a number of options for young, single buyers or young couples just starting out their life together. These buyers tend to seek out estates which offer excellent security and affordable prices, coupled with a low-maintenance lifestyle.
"One of the most popular with this category of buyer is Rosedale Estate in Goedemoed," she says, "a very well-maintained estate with 24-hour manned security and lots of open green spaces. The estate offers a mix of some sectional title apartment blocks, with units ranging in price from R580 000 to R650 000, as well as freestanding townhouses which cost between R900 000 and R1.85-million. The environment is very pet-friendly, which is a key selling point for animal-lovers. There is a noticeably high level of owner pride in this complex – it always looks immaculate and residents tend to devote a lot of time to the upkeep of their gardens and homes."
Also popular with younger, first-time buyers as well as empty-nesters and those scaling down for retirement are La Verona and Belvedere Mews in central Durbanville, typically priced from R20-million to R3-million. The Aurora area also offers some options in the R1.3-million to R2.5-million price range including The Paddocks, The Homesteads and Chardonnay.
For family buyers the criteria are somewhat different, says PGP’s MD for the Boland and Overberg regions, Annien Borg.
"Buyers in this category tend to seek out larger homes with multiple bedrooms, offering either their own gardens or substantial common areas where children can play in safety. Proximity to schools, shops and sports facilities is also a key factor."
A good example here is Stellenberg Gardens in Stellenberg which is ideally located close to some of the area’s top schools and other amenities.
Other prestigious estates which appeal to family buyers include Everglen Manor, where prices range from R2.5-million to R6.5-million, as well as Fig Tree Estate in Vygeboom.
Vygeboom is one of the most upmarket areas of Durbanville and, as such, is home to some of the area’s most prestigious gated communities.
One of the most highly regarded is Heerenzicht Estate which was established in 2004 with just 20 plots in phase one. A second phase with 12 additional plots has recently launched. The development has an atmosphere of elegance and quality, and is centrally located close to the TygerValley Waterfront with the Durbanville wine route on its doorstep. There are ample open spaces and water features, and extremely high levels of security including perimeter electric fencing and 24-hour guardhouse. Plots in the new phase can be obtained from R2.3-million.
Another prestigious estate in the luxury category is De Vijgen, located not far from Heerenzicht. This high security estate is known for its beautiful established trees and has just 10 elegant homes, built around an inner mini-estate containing the elaborate Manor House.
Nel concludes that gated communities also continue to prove popular with Gauteng buyers relocating to the Cape, for whom the peace of mind of living in a secure environment is essential.
"There is definitely greater demand than supply at present, yet recent market conditions have moderated prices in most areas, making this an ideal time to buy," she says.