New World Wealth has published its list of the 10 best residential estates in the country.
For the purposes of finding the top estates, New World Wealth looks at lifestyle estates, wildlife estates, golf estates, equestrian estates and parkland estates (i.e. themed estates), and assesses them on the following criteria:
- Views, scenery and wildlife.
- Communal gardens and parks.
- Design and space.
- Security features.
- Activities – gym, swimming pool, golf, walking trials, fishing, horse riding, polo, tennis.
- Facilities – shops, offices, parks, gathering places, children playgrounds, schools, hospitals.
According to SA real estate advisor Basil Weinrich (who helped compile the ratings), “residential estate living is on the rise, especially among the more affluent. We estimate that over 40% of South African HNWIs live or have homes on residential estates.”
Weinrich highlighted a few new trends in the residential estate space:
Although the residential market in SA has come under strain over the past year, houses/apartments on top-end residential estates have outperformed the general market, he said.
“A large number of lifestyle and golf estates have started to add luxury apartments onto their offerings. Previously, most of them had focused only on houses. Estates with nice parks, birdlife, walks and trails are becoming more popular,” he said.
According to New World Wealth, most developers are now creating small neighbourhoods within the estates, as opposed to the old model where houses were spaced evenly around the entire property.
The new model allows for more parkland and open spaces between the neighbourhoods, it said.
“Notably, South Africa is one of the global pioneers in residential estate living. In fact, the only country with more residential estates than South Africa is USA (mainly in Florida area).
“Interestingly, residential estates are now becoming increasingly popular across the globe, especially in the likes of the UAE, Portugal, Spain, Mexico, New Zealand, Mauritius and the UK,” the group said.
These are the 10 best estates, the price ranges for homes found there:
Zimbali – R5 million to R75 million
Zimbali is located next to Ballito and about 45km north of Durban. It is arguably the most picturesque estate in the country, with its own natural lagoon and forest.
The vegetation and bird life on the estate is very impressive – it is home to several types of kingfishers, louries, bee-eaters and even the rare Crowned Eagle is a resident (the largest eagle in Africa).
Notably, the estate is right on the beach.
Fancourt – R3 million to R50 million
Fancourt is located in George on the Garden Route. It is undoubtedly South Africa’s top estate for golfers, with three highly rated courses on one estate.
The two original courses (the Montagu and the Outeniqua) were built in the early 90s, whilst the world famous Fancourt Links (the top rated golf course in Africa) was added in 2000.
There are several different residential areas on the estate including: Colonial Lodges, Cape Dutch Homes, Oakland Residences, Links Avenue Properties, Links Ridge Properties and Montagu Ridge Properties.
Val de Vie – R3 million to R50 million
Val de Vie is located in the winelands of Paarl. It is one of the most impressive and well-run estates in the country.
Highlights of this estate include: beautiful vineyards, polo fields, an equestrian center, a highly rated golf course (Pearl Valley), natural fynbos scenery, parks, lakes and mountain backdrops.
Val de Vie contains a number of district and unique neighbourhoods, including:
- Pearl Valley – houses spread along the Pearl Valley Golf Course.
- The Polo Village – one to two bedroom apartments designed by Stef Antoni.
- The Gentleman’s Estate – the most exclusive neighbourhood on Val de Vie – offers residents their own private stables, garden and vineyard. Properties on the Gentleman’s Estate range from 3 to 6 hectares each.
- The River Club – large plots along the Berg River.
- The Reserve – large plots bordering on a Fynbos Reserve.
- Evergreen Retirement Village – upcoming retirement village.
- Several other neighbourhoods, including: Le Domaine, La Vue, the Vines at Le Domaine, the Vines and Val de Vie Phase 1.
Steyn City – R2 million to R35 million
Steyn City is located near Broadacres in Johannesburg.
It also offers a nice mix of houses, townhouses and apartments. In our view, its design and layout has set the blueprint that upcoming estates will try to follow.
The parklands on the estate successfully emulate parks such as Hampstead Heath and Richmond Park in London, where local residents gather during weekends and after work to meet, talk and walk their dogs.
The estate is also very child friendly with walking paths and underpasses under all the roads. To promote bird life, Steyn City works with a local company called Ecosolutions to encourage owls to live on the estate.
This is a particularly noble idea and speaks to the benefits of residential estates in preserving endangered birds such as owls. Wild finches and bee-eaters are also common on the estate.
Waterfall Equestrian Estate – R15 million to R100 million
Waterfall Equestrian Estate is located in Waterfall City in Johannesburg.
It is arguably the most exclusive estate in the country – it is home to some spectacular mansions and stands are particularly large, starting from around one hectare each.
Pezula – R5 million to R50 million
Pezula is located in Knysna on the Garden Route.
The views and scenery on the estate are very impressive, as is the golf course. Pezula includes two sub-estates, namely: Pezula Golf Estate and Pezula Private Estate.
Atlantic Beach – R2 million to R20 million
Atlantic Beach is the ‘hidden gem’ of South African estates. Located between Blouberg and Melkbostrand in Cape Town, the estate features a top rated golf course and lovely vegetation, views and scenery.
It also operates as a wildlife sanctuary, with several wild animals such as antelope living on the property.
Arabella – R3 million to R15 million
Located on the Bot River Lagoon, 28 miles west of Hermanus, Arabella is one of the most scenic estates in the country.
Only a few of the holes have houses on them and as a result stands are limited.
Blair Atholl – R10 million to R80 million
Blair Atholl is a golf and equestrian estate situated near Lanseria in Johannesburg.
Like Waterfall Equestrian Estate, it has relatively large stands, with some very impressive houses and gardens on the property.
Whalerock Ridge – R3 million to R35 million
Whalerock Ridge is located in Plettenberg Bay on the Garden Route. The 100 hectare estate offers residents impressive views over the bay.
The bottom gate of the estate is located approximately 100 meters from the beach.