By Ash Müller, Principal Commercial Property Broker and Managing Director of Ask Ash National Property Brokerage. This piece was first published in Asset Magazine.
April 14 2023
With SA’s major cities facing the challenges that come with an influx of people looking to work and live among the hustle and bustle, upwardly mobile South Africans are enhancing their lifestyles by moving to the Cape winelands, especially those that encompass the Boland.
Shrewd developers years ago forecast that the winelands were a new frontier for housing developments, which would accommodate more than retirement living and include voluminous estates with world-class schools, retail centres, working spaces, community entertainment areas and pristine green belts. People living in luxury estates have access to all sorts of outdoor activities like kayaking, horse riding, padel tennis, golf and trail running.
These developers were on the money and rolled out numerous residential winelands estates built to varied levels of luxury.
Locals and foreigners are indeed showing big interest in the Winelands area.
Foreigners can affordably purchase a second home in a safe estate where they do not have to worry about their property while they are away. They become swallows in how they move around. They chase the summer back home only to return to the wonderful winelands for our mesmerising summers. It’s a luxurious and exciting way to live.
But locals have also moved to our prestigious living estates. For example, the KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng riots pushed many Durban, Johannesburg and Pretoria families to migrate to the area. The semigration trend to has increased the number of homeowners within the winelands. Even some Capetonians have taken a leap and left the inner city or northern suburbs to live in beautiful, green safe wine estates.
There really is a product for everyone in the Boland and surrounds, given the thousands of square metres which can house private estate or smaller estates, which are well-priced.
What people look for in terms housing and the living that goes beyond it, varies widely from person to person. It isn’t uncommon to see families swapping sea views for safety as well as value for money private schools with classes that aren’t overly full and outdoor experiences.
A top-end luxury estate like Val de Vie offers all sorts of amenities, many of which remain new and fresh. Residents have access to culinary cuisine, dentists and doctors, hair and beauty stylists and sports facilities like the first ever padel court in SA which was built in the estate located in Paarl.
That’s the key appeal to these, excuse the pun, luscious wineland estate: everything is on your doorstep and your safety is a priority.
As said, the schools on offer are fantastic. For example, in Paarl, the most developed of the winelands area, the schools range from traditional Afrikaans schools that have been around for over a century such as Paarl Boys, Paarl Girls and Gim.
Certain estates like Val de Vie offer pre-primary schools such as Kinderark. This is appealing for new mums who can walk their children safely to pre-school within their security estate. It’s all about convenience with people not having to leave the estate to enter traffic early in the morning so that their kids can get to school.
Educational investors have understood the case for opening even specialised schools in estates. As said, these schools can accommodate classes of 20 children as opposed to over 40 children which has become common in the traditional suburbs of Cape Town. Teachers can lend more specialised attention to smaller classes. The schools themselves can also offer a wider array of sporting and cultural activities.
Other schools such as Bridge House have a range of international students who make up the 800 students that are enrolled. This exposes children to others from different countries, enhancing their socialisation. Newer concepts such as the Green School offer a unique learning experience with a campus that was built less than five years ago, highlighting the values of green living from a young age. There really is a school for every child in the Boland.
Paarl Valleij is another example of an attractive winelands estate which is gaining in popularity. It is in the northern part of Paarl, and its mission statement, says that it brings the year-round splendour of the Cape Winelands to its residents with no loadshedding along the way.
The estate which includes a farm is popular especially for its green spaces, which make up more than half of its footprint and include play parks and splash fountains.
Paarl Valleij is supported by Val de Vie’s management and serves as an impressive companion estate in Paarl.
For those who desire something different from Paarl’s living estates, there is the likes of La Demeure Estate, located in picturesque Franschhoek, originally the French Corner of the winelands where the French Huguenots settled. This is one of the world’s most beautiful areas, having been carefully kept for centuries. There are very few stands left at La Demeure Estate, which is expected to be completed this month. Each stand is between 1 970 m2 and 3 932 m2 in sized and is priced from R5m.
The Boland wine estates really are being developed to appeal to varied types of buyers. Paarl Valleij and another estate, Newinbosch are great for first time home buyers.
Newinbosch is a new neighbourhood development in the student town, Stellenbosch, nestled in the Boland. It’s surrounded wine vineyards and the mountainous nature reserves of Jonkershoek and Simonsberg. Newinbosch is a community driven development which spans the entire property ladder and price range.
Another stellar new estate is in Klapmuts in Stellenbosch. Mount Vernon Estate is surrounded by wine farms, natural dams as well as pristine vineyards with mountain view which Boland dwellers just can’t get bored of. Phase one of the development launched November 2022 and plots have sold quickly. Klapmuts is quieter suburb in Stellenbosch, and Mount Vernon is set to be one of the more laid-back estates in the Boland.
Beyond large estates, there are various smaller apartment developments. These include 2 on Tabak and the new Legaro development, Drakenzicht which includes villas and penthouses.
These numerous Boland housing developments are supported by retail developments. These include the Drakenstein Sentrum. Drakenstein was developed by and is owned by Shoprite. Its anchor tenant is a blue line Checkers and Woolworths. There is also free parking. Drakenstein is a highly appealing community centre. It also hosts a Bootleggers, Salmon & Brine restaurant, a Clicks and a Sorbet.
Another centre is being developed across the road. Its anchors will be Pick ‘n Pay and Dischem. Other retail tenants will include restaurants, a bookstore and others.
The Boland truly offers everybody something different. Lifestyle estates in the Boland are very appealing for families as estates generally have rules that cater for kids. For instance, everyone drives slower to adhere to estate rules which is great for kids who are riding on their bikes and not with adults. Some estates have studios where dance classes and pilates are on offer. There are also family friendly events and sport days.
It’s impressive that two South African estates have been named in New World Wealth’s top ten lifestyle estates for 2023.Steyn City in Gauteng and Val de Vie in the Western Cape are the two South African estates in New World’s Wealth’s list. The Boland is making a name in estate living.
Val de Vie is a piece of South African real estate which we can be proud of.
As said, the estate opened the first padel court in South Africa in 2019 which shows how ahead of other estates in the country they were.
Val de Vie’s developments are ever-growing and cater to a wide range of individuals. Its Evergreen lifestyle estate within the development, designed for the elderly, offers a life rights product. They are also in the process of building a resort style pool, four more padel courts and more residential units.
Houses are going up in price and achieving excellent capital growth in a short span of time. The yields on the rental properties are excellent. Properties go onto websites like Property24 for 3 to 5 days before they are let.
So how does one get onto the property ladder in the Boland, then?
That would be as simple as contacting me!
Ash Müller is Principal Commercial Property Broker and Managing Director of Ask Ash National Property Brokerage. If you’re keen to continue the conversation (because Ashleigh sure is), please connect with her on LinkedIn: Ash Müller or look up Ask Ash on Google to read their reviews.