One of the most notable features of urbanisation to date must surely be the surge in popularity of gated residential estates , a phenomenon that has taken root across the globe . Now the COVID-19 pandemic is driving further changes to the way in which people choose to live . But what are the pull factors continuing to drive this world-wide trend ?
A mix of lifestyle features
Equally important are the community lifestyle elements that an estate can offer and the larger the estate , the more options for residents . They boast many highly attractive recreational and sporting features such as swimming pools , tennis and squash courts , green belts , gyms , riding paths , clubhouses and even golf courses . Residents can do a school run , fit in a quick fitness session or jog , all without venturing beyond the gates .
For homeowners , it ' s having everything they need within close proximity to where they live , that is essential for today ’ s full , pacey lifestyle .
Yet another advantage of living in a gated community is the extra privacy that it provides . As only residents and verified guests are permitted access , residents can enjoy their own space with little chance of intrusion by trespassers or strangers ringing their doorbells .
Many developments are becoming eco-estates , protecting and preserving or rehabilitating the area ’ s local flora and fauna .
One of the key drawcards of the Westbrook suburban estate , located a mere 15km from the city centre , is its green elements . It offers a haven of eco-friendly living , with the benefits of being surrounded by nature within the estate . The 128-hectare development has 80 buildable hectares , but also boasts 48 hectares of open space designated to maintain the feel of a peaceful country setting with parks , wide pavements and green spaces .
A school on your doorstep
Amenities and security aside , one of the most appealing fringe benefits for families is to have access to quality education at a private school on or within easy reach of the estate . And South Africa is light years ahead with this trend as it attracts investors to the development and increases the capital appreciation of the estate home over the long term .
For instance , in Johannesburg ’ s Steyn City , families ’ educational needs are satisfied with an early learning centre , preparatory and college all within the estate . Or at Sitari Country Estate near Somerset West , a Curro school on the property caters to children from three months to Grade 12 .
Burgundy Estate , in the foothills of the Durbanville Hills , also offers access to private education for its residents . Preschool children attend Curro Castle or Zenith Montessori , with Riverside College providing independent schooling for children until Grade 12 . Westbrook also offers a compelling value-proposition to investors - a Curro school within its borders , catering for learners from Grade R to Grade 9 , with higher grades being phased in annually .
On a practical level , parents enjoy the convenience , but having a school inside your gated estate encourages an active lifestyle as children are able to walk or cycle safely to school .
The COVID-19 lockdown has sparked a growing trend towards multi-generational households in which adults from different generations of the same family live together , sharing costs . This is the way nearly one in five people in the United States and in Australia live . In November last year , Statistics SA said 32.2 % of homes in the property market housed multi-generational families , indicating the trend is on the rise here too .
This can also be attributed to rising unemployment rates and cultural customs . Another contributing factor is the high cost of living that makes it hard for young professionals to live on their own , compounded by growing concerns about the safety and isolation of elderly relatives .
These estates offer a richness in a community-type lifestyle where multiple generations can live , learn and play together , adding value to one another ’ s lives . It ’ s no surprise this mode of living is proving so popular .
SOURCE TUHF Limited
SA Real Estate Investor Magazine OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2020 19