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1st Floor Lona House
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Bo Kaap, Cape Town, 8001

Jaime-Lee Gardner
072 171 1979

Louise Martin
073 335 4084

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Can air conditioners spread coronavirus?

While the country slowly starts to open up after an extensive lockdown period, the spread and effect of the COVID-19 pandemic are far from over. As scientists begin to understand the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, new methods of potential spread are emerging.

Working from home is becoming the norm

SARS-CoV-2 has changed so many things – the way we socialise, the way we work, and – yes – even the way we think. But will it irrevocably change the landscape in which we live? Cities evolved to accommodate the way people worked, so will they now evolve to embrace a new work-life balance? And how will this affect our bottom line as developers? Do we need to think outside of yet another box that we thought was watertight?

The real estate market has gone virtual

Virtual property viewings in South Africa were few and far between pre-COVID-19, but they have been rapidly gaining traction, especially during the national lockdown. As we now begin to adapt to a new, post-pandemic, socially distanced normal, they could become part and parcel of buying and selling a home. So, what exactly does a virtual viewing entail, what are the positives and possible pitfalls, and is the South African property market ready for it?

The future of 12J

It sounds like a win-win deal: you invest in a small- or medium-sized enterprise (SMME), helping it to grow by increasing its access to equity finance, and in return SARS gives you a handsome tax deduction. From a property investment point of view, many of these 12J enterprises were in the hospitality space, with investors buying into properties that catered to South Africa’s booming tourism industry. Then, in early 2020, COVID-19 struck. Boom turned to bust, leaving investors wondering if there’s any future for 12J.

Rental Guarantees

Buying a property for rental is a big investment that is not without risk. So, can rental guarantees sweeten the deal? Rental income is key for investors, so developers offer rental guarantees as a way to entice investors to sign on the dotted line. A rental guarantee is usually a net return that a developer promises to pay an investor purchasing a buy-to-let property.

Picking up the slack for municipal incompetence

South African communities are buckling under the weight of municipal mismanagement and broken promises. What role could – and should – developers play in digging local municipalities out of the mess?

No trees were harmed in the construction of this skinny house

This spectacular, low-impact Frankie Pappas-designed home in the Waterberg sits lightly on the land, appearing to float among the trees. The brief was to design a home that disappears into the landscape, that sits among the rocks and trees and birds, that offers animals and plants and humans equal opportunity to find shelter, and that treats the bushveld with the respect it deserves.

Keep safe and cool in the pool

Researchers at the University of South Australia have developed a new microchip that enables continuous monitoring of pH and chlorine levels in swimming pools, and that will vastly improve water safety. New research shows that it can deliver consistent and accurate pool chemistry for reliable pool management, so it can safely be used by individual home owners and estate management.

Repurposing student housing amid the COVID-19 pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has caused an unprecedented disruption in the student housing sector, because the number of international students coming to the UK has fallen dramatically. This has left cities like Cardiff with an oversupply of high-end, purpose-built student accommodation blocks (PBSAs).

Wild at heart

There is a new foodie trend sweeping across five-star hotels, award-winning restaurants and granite-topped kitchens in leafy suburbs. Actually, maybe ‘new’ is not quite the right word. The trend is foraging, and – let’s be honest – it’s hardly new.

Conveyancers support property owners and sellers during COVID-19

Property buyers and sellers are facing uncertain times during the COVID-19 pandemic. Buyers who are accustomed to a regular salary cheque are concerned that they will no longer qualify for a home loan, as many consumers face the dire reality of a salary cut, retrenchment, or shorter working hours. All these events can result in a substantial reduction of income.

Smart management is cleverer than you think

Some residential estates are very big so it can be difficult to know what’s going on, especially in the wilder sections. Even if your estate is not strictly a wildlife estate, it’s important to know the condition of the veld and the health – or otherwise – of animal communities. The old adage – if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it – is particularly true here. And, surprisingly, there is a fantastic app that you can download for free that will do just that.

Old Mutual survey results are in

The outcome of a recently published financial survey amongst the members of the Old Mutual Rewards Programme is a significant one for property industry.

Sensible permaculture for residential estates and developments

Permaculture is one of those words being bandied about as possibly the only way to save the planet, and to slow down or prevent the demise of humanity. Well, that’s probably a bit over the top, but it is a revolutionary way of looking at how we relate to our world, and – who knows – it might just save the planet after all. Whether you are developing an estate from scratch, managing an existing estate, or just wanting to decrease your personal carbon footprint, permaculture principles can increase efficiency and save costs.

Smooth and seamless transitions

A development is not a residential estate – it’s a place with houses in a greater or lesser stage of completion. But there comes a time when the developer steps out and the homeowners association steps in – and from that moment, the estate becomes a community – a place where people live.

Hunting SARS-Cov-2

You know you need to manage COVID-19 but you can’t manage what you can’t measure. So how do you measure the extent of SARS-Cov-2 infection in your estate? Sounds like a long, involved process, but it isn’t. In fact, it can be done really simply.

Retirees buying off plan: risks and rewards

Buying off-plan is the norm for new residential estates, but it has proven to be not that popular in the retirement village market.

Citizen science

When you look at them closely, the gardens and protected wildlife areas on your estate probably host an astonishing number of different plants, insects, birds, and even reptiles and mammals. Your observations about the natural world around you can be enormously helpful to scientists – and collecting them can be a lot of fun, and a great way of building your community, too.

FLISP subsidy buyers can now qualify for a home loan of up to R 870,000.00

Good news for property buyers, but even better news for property developers and sellers. The affordability ceiling for first-time buyers who qualify for a FLISP subsidy has been increased from the previous average home loan amount of R 680,000.00 to R 870,000.

Commercial space is standing empty in South African cities

A 2019 report by the South African Property Owners’ Association (SAPOA) states that nearly 20% of the office space in the Durban CBD and Rosebank (Gauteng) was empty in the last quarter of that year. And that was before office workers skedaddled home en masse and cyber-commuted while battening down the hatches against SARS-CoV-2. What does that mean for our cities, and for the people who live in them? Or, more importantly, the people who don’t live in them. And what does it mean for developers?

A second life for hotels?

South Africa has had an oversupply of tourist accommodation since at least 2010. With the hotel industry now reeling from COVID-19, what are the prospects for owners and developers of hospitality properties?

Products and tools developed by Meyer de Waal

The introduction of the National Credit Act had an immediate impact on the approval of credit agreements. The affordability factor, which is the capability of a debtor to pay back a loan became, the lender’s primary focus of a lender before granting a credit facility. Lenders are imposed with severe penalties if found guilty of risky lending but, as the market experienced a major decline in home loan approvals, there was an unsurpassed increase in unsecured lending. Capitec Bank is a prime example of expansion of unsecured lending, and African Bank is an example of a lender that was almost sunk as a result of risky lending practices.

Green, green, green

One of the main advantages of living in a residential estate is that – usually – you are surrounded by significant tracts of open land. And very often that land will be left in a relatively natural state. This is a good thing for a whole lot of reasons.

Micro apartments

Inspired, in part, by the tiny house movement, micro apartments have been touted as a solution to the housing shortage, the increasing cost of urban land, and the need to conserve resources. But, as with many things, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted some shortcomings of these tiny spaces.

Selling your development: estate agent vs sales team

Your development is ready for sales, and you need widespread marketing to reach as many potential buyers as possible, followed by a flawless sales process. What is the best way – a dedicated sales team, or an estate agency?

Own a piece of a vineyard

There’s more to offshore investing than money laundering and preserving mega wealth. It’s also about the lifestyle – sitting back with a glass of wine and your little piece of offshore paradise.

Are nuclear families really the norm?

Other than developments specifically designed for retirees, students and/or ‘young professionals’, the homes on estates, and even in apartment blocks, are designed as ‘family homes’, and estates are marketed as places in which families can thrive. But what, exactly, is a family? First let’s look at those ‘family homes’.

Community Scheme COVID-19 Code Of Conduct/Policy & Workplace Plan (Level 4)

On 15 March 2020, in terms of Section 3 of the Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002, the Covid-19 pandemic was classified as a national disaster, due to its potential severity and magnitude. Pursuant thereto, on 29 April 2020, the Risk Adjusted Strategy Regulations were published. These Regulations can be made available upon request.


Trout are originally from the northern hemisphere, but they are a highly sought-after species for epicureans and anglers alike, so they have been introduced worldwide. Their popularity as a fly-angling species makes their introduction into dams or lakes well worth considering. But consider carefully.

What are security companies doing to keep people safe during the COVID-19 pandemic?

COVID-19 has had a massive impact on how we interact with others. This impact is particularly felt by essential services staff, who have to continue working despite unsafe conditions. We examine the dangers of COVID-19 to estate security staff, and what companies are doing to keep both their clients and workers safe during this uncertain time.

COVID-19 and the property market

As we change the way we physically interact, all industries have to change the way they do business – and the real estate industry is no exception. Even before the lockdown, estate agents and prospective sellers were reluctant to let people into their houses – and prospective buyers were reluctant to enter houses where the absent owners may or may not be carriers of SARS-CoV-2. So, even once the lockdown is over, it’s clear we will have to make some serious changes in the way we market, buy and sell property.

Geckos, lizards and chameleons

There can be few things as rewarding as watching a healthy natural mini biome unfold in your own garden. A close encounter with one of our amazing four-legged reptiles reminds me that biodiversity can be maintained in even the smallest of suburban gardens.

Agility is the new normal

At a time when all non-essential services are either in lockdown or reeling from the multiple blows to the economy, a handful of businesses are changing the way they work to stay relevant, and to stay in operation, and to make a difference.

5 Ways to keep safe from crime during the lockdown

We hope that the increased police and army presence on our streets means that we’re safer from crime as well as the Corona-19 virus during the lockdown. But there will always be those opportunistic thieves that take a chance, so here are some tips from Trellidor to help you stay safe while home during the lockdown.

Unpacking the National Water Act

The National Water Act of 1998 (NWA), which was the first comprehensive legislation adopted immediately after the transition to democracy, has far-reaching implications of which most people are blissfully unaware.

Solar energy around the world

There is a worldwide trend towards the uptake of renewable resources for power generation, but it seems that South Africa is lagging behind. So let’s have a look at what other countries are doing, focusing mainly on solar, and see how we compare.

How boreholes work

In times of drought, it’s common practice to sink a borehole. Many estates, and individuals, do this without fully appreciating how an aquifer works, and what legal implications are associated with going off grid, even partially.

Infectious diseases and the workplace

Employers – including HOAs – must provide a safe workplace, even if that means insisting on disease tests for employees. During the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak, cruise ships turned into living, floating laboratories for scientists studying the disease. With their close confines and high proportions of older people (who tend to be more vulnerable to the novel coronavirus), combined with their lack of access to the outside world, cruise ships were – tragically, in some cases – the perfect incubator.

Let’s Talk Property, Hosted by Derek Watts

Last week’s webinar saw Derek and our expert panel give their opinions on the merits of investing in property on the North Coast of KZN, and brief insights on the SA property market as a whole.

Call for the designation of construction sector as essential services

The construction industry has the potential to create employment opportunities to cushion the impact of an anticipated increase in unemployment in the immediate aftermath of the current nation-wide lockdown. This is according to a submission made by the Construction COVID-19 Rapid Response Task Team (CCRR19TT) to motivate for a phased reactivation of the Construction Sector. The task team is a body representing major organizations in the sector including contractors, property developers, construction professionals, suppliers, and service providers.

Sea Point: An Investor’s Eye View

Sea Point has long been regarded as one of the property jewels of Cape Town’s Atlantic Seaboard. But does it still offer good investments? With Sea Point’s natural attractions and strong short-stay letting market, but should investors be scared off by talk of ‘carnage’ in the local market, and new regulations around short-term rentals?

Never let a good crisis go to waste

The crisis we are going through is unprecedented in our lifetime – even in living memory. But it’s not unprecedented in the history of the world and, almost invariably, this kind of crisis leads to immense social, technological and philosophical change. The one thing we can be sure of is that life after COVID-19 will be different, but we can’t be sure of the form that difference will take. So it’s up to us to decide how we want to change, and how we want to live in the future.

Another brick in the wall

When we think of bricks, we tend to think of either baked clay bricks or cement bricks, both of which have a very high carbon footprint – conventional clay bricks are fired at temperatures of over 1,000C, and cement requires temperatures in excess of 1,400C, which requires the burning of coal with all its attendant environmental fallout. But there are bricks – or brick-like things – that can be produced at much lower temperatures, thereby using much less carbon, and producing less pollution. Some are the result of amazing new technological breakthroughs, and are only in the trail phase, while some are so old as to have been virtually forgotten.

Builders face an uncertain post-COVID-19 future

With construction not categorised as an essential service, all projects are suspended under the national COVID-19 lockdown – leaving the sector facing a deeply uncertain future.

Vertical forests

Johannesburg lays claim to being the largest artificially cultivated urban forest in the world, which is great, even if it’s not entirely true. It’s great because it instils a sense of pride in the trees of the city, encouraging citizens and authorities alike to nurture them, and to plant more. And the Soweto Greening Project is extending that tree-planting spirit with – so far – more than 200,000 trees having been planted in Soweto. Not surprisingly, cities worldwide are becoming more and more creative in their greening efforts, with possibly the most spectacular of these being the innovation of vertical forests. Would this be a good idea here too?


If you own, live on, or are developing a piece of land of significant natural value, you will need to come up with a way of ensuring that you manage it responsibly – and the best way to do that is to think beyond your boundary fence. The plants, soil, birds and animals don’t recognise title deeds, so managing for nature requires thinking outside of the strict ownership model of land use.

Herd immunity

Our ancestors were devastated by diseases like smallpox, polio and measles, but we hardly give these ailments a thought. They’re just not a threat, due to an interesting phenomenon called herd immunity – a term that’s being optimistically bandied about in relation to COVID-19.

The 2019 amendments to BBBEE legislation

Government gazetted amendments to the BBBEE legislation on 31 May 2019, with a six-month implementation timeframe. This limited implementation period could negatively impact on your business, depending on your financial year end, and the date of the next BBBEE verification.

Conradie Park’s model for sustainability

Conradie Park, a new mixed-income, mixed-use housing development in Cape Town, has been launched for sale to the public. Its marketing campaign lauds its ‘affordability, sustainability and security’, but how exactly will it be funded and maintained in the long run?

Sustainable, impactful CSI

Corporate social investment is a great way for companies – and for estates – to give back to the community. But, while any CSI is a good thing, there is a huge difference between merely diverting funds to a good cause and actually getting involved with the community on a person-to-person basis. The former – at best – improves living standards for the target community, while the latter builds real relationships that can grow into an ongoing circle of benefit.

Tackling salary inequity

Under capitalism, the argument goes, it’s every man for himself. Through the relentless pursuit of self-interest, everyone benefits, as if an invisible hand were guiding each of us toward the common good. Everyone should accordingly try to get as much as they can, not only for their goods but also for their labour.

The grass is greener

As South Africa becomes more water-stressed, many home owners and estate managers are considering replacing lawns with artificial turf. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages, so you need to look carefully at how the two options stack up against each other in terms of eco-friendliness, durability, and convenience.

Free telephonic consultation for Sectional Title Scheme dwellers

Marina Costas of BBM Law is offering free telephonic or Zoom 30 min conversations from Thursday the 2nd of April until the end of lock down from 11 am – 1 pm. All Trustees can join one meeting and ask top of mind questions around the implications and requirements of the lockdown on Sectional Title Schemes.

Giving developers a greener EDGE

While green building practices – and Green Building Council certification – are known to improve sustainability and reduce running costs, EDGE certification is now also showing its worth as a marketing tool for estate developers.

District Six open for development

Property developers are encouraged to invest in District Six, despite rumours that the historic Cape Town precinct might be declared a National Heritage site. That’s according to Shahied Ajam, chairperson of the District Six Working Committee (D6WC).

Schooling solutions

Estates offer families the opportunity to ‘live, work, and play’ in a single space, which has led to a demand for practical schooling solutions in or close to estates.
But schools take up a lot of space, so it’s worth considering smaller collaborative learning spaces, fuelled by online educational centres and curriculums.

Creating value with running trails

Developing trails in estates not only adds value to properties but provides safe and healthy opportunities for residents – and also creates unique selling features with little investment.


Okay, it’s official. COVID-19 is a pandemic – and it’s caused a national and international emergency. This is serious, and – yes – there is a risk of contracting the disease, and even of dying from it. But is this really the biggest risk? As with many things, it is easier to see the problems ‘out there’ and ignore the ones in our heads. So, while I’m not for one moment denying the seriousness of COVID-19, let’s look at the real risks.

Single mothers constitute a growing demographic of home buyers in South Africa

Single moms have become a force to be reckoned with in the property market. Developers who want their estates to appeal to this growing demographic will need to keep in mind factors such as security, open spaces, schools and modern living units.

Mud buildings of Groot Constantia

Should we be looking to the past for ideas for alternative building methods to reduce our carbon footprint? It makes sense, because traditional, low-tech building methods are almost naturally low carbon-intensive.

What is mould

Most of us can point to the black stuff growing in our shower and say: ‘That’s mould.’ Fewer people can say what mould actually is. There are thousands of different species of mould that all spread through spores. Some of these moulds can cause significant health concerns, ranging from allergies to asthma attacks, and even fungal infections in immunocompromised people. Understanding what mould is, and how it grows, is the first step towards preventing it from growing and spreading in your home.

Top influential women developers share their industry experience

While the property industry has historically been dominated by men, an increasing number of women are making their mark in property development.

BDI pod homes

As sustainability and the desire to live off grid have become mainstream, so too has the trend of tiny homes risen in popularity. We take a closer look at BDI’s PanGoPod home and explore how developers can utilise these methods by thinking out of the box.

Somerset Nurse’s’ Home to become affordable housing

After years of controversy, the old Helen Bowden Nurses’ Home near Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront is set to be developed into social housing following the City’s decision to rezone the site for this purpose. However, the building remains occupied by the Reclaim The City activist group, who moved in in March 2017 and renamed the site Ahmed Kathrada House.

The Property Practitioners Act

The Property Practitioner Act is a new piece of legislation that, once it is signed into law – probably mid-2020 – will replace the Estate Agency Affairs Act of 1976. Its main purpose is to establish the Property Practitioner Regulatory Authority (PPRA), which will replace the Estate Agency Affairs Board; to regulate the affairs of all property practitioners; to allow for transformation in the property sector; and to provide for consumer protection.

Where does Johannesburg get its water

Johannesburg is a unique city because it was built without a local water supply. It has become the only major city in the world totally reliant on water sourced from distant rivers and pumped across mountain ranges. This creates a vulnerability that few appreciate when buying or developing real estate.

Is overpopulation to blame for climate change

A seemingly innocuous comment about overpopulation at this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos highlights how oversimplification of the issues and processes can exacerbate the problem, and shift blame from the perpetrators to the victims.

Size counts

One of the main reasons people move into residential estates is to recreate the sense of community typical of villages or small, well-defined suburbs. People knew their neighbours – and their neighbours’ pets – and they memorised each other’s phone numbers. In their heads! Kids played in the street or in public open space, wandered in and out of each other’s houses, and only came home when they were hungry.

Is it worth building a doggy park on an estate?

Building a dog park on an estate can bring in increased revenue and foster a sense of community. Many of the drawbacks of being dog-friendly can be mitigated through careful planning.

Biometrics: Is Gait ID The New Gate ID?

New technologies allow security teams to identify guests – and intruders – by how they walk. Is this the future of estate access?

Forget streets paved in gold – plastic roads are the future, and Jeffreys Bay is leading the way.

Jeffreys Bay in the Eastern Cape is best known as a top surf spot, home to the perfect wave. The J-Bay Open is one of the stops on the Men’s Surfing Championship Tour, and boasts the longest right-hand point break on the planet.

KZN fastest growing wealth market in SA

The AfrAsia Bank SA Wealth Report for 2019 has named Durban-Umhlanga-Ballito corridor as the fastest growing wealth market in South Africa, with a 25% growth trajectory reported over the last decade.

Zimbali Lakes Resort – Development Site available for development

Estate Living discusses opportunities for development at the gorgeous Zimbali Lakes Resort

Property Practitioners Act: What it means for developers

Early October 2019 saw the Property Practitioners Act of 2019  signed into law by President Cyril Ramaphosa. The new law was generally welcomed by property practitioners … even if there was initially some confusion about who exactly counts as a property practitioner!

Dr Mulder does it again

Chris Mulder is no stranger to winning awards. In his illustrious career, Dr Mulder – together with his team from CMAI Architects – has won numerous awards from US and South African professional associations and universities since he founded the firm in 1980.

Negotiation is key when purchasing a property

Finding the right property is hard enough but negotiating the right price and related fees can be harder, especially if one party is unwilling. Sometimes you may need to walk away from the deal.

Why developing retirement facilities under R1.5m is a no-brainer

We all know retirement facilities are the new big investment opportunity, and research shows that the R1.5 million price mark is the sweet spot. The most recent census conducted in 2011 put the total South African population at 57.7 million people. Of this number, 5.4% were aged 65 and over. When compared to the same figure in 2000, only 3.7% were aged 65 and over.

How does Johannesburg measure up as a megacity?

Joburg is fast becoming a megacity, but how does it compare with existing African megacities for return on investment? Cairo, Kinshasa and Lagos all carry the status of megacity – cities with a population of at least 10 million inhabitants. Fast on their heels are Dar es Salaam, Luanda and Johannesburg, which are predicted to attain the status of megacity by 2030, according to the United Nations.

Bamboo houses … are they the answer to the affordable housing crisis?

Bamboo is sustainable and easy to grow, and South Africa has the perfect conditions for cultivation. Could this be the answer as a building material for affordable housing?

How green is green?

To take the greening of your estate seriously, you must consider each step from conception to design, through the building process and continuing to operation and management.

Xers mark the spot

As Gen X hits 50, existing and planned estates need to re-evaluate their position on retirement, and on multi-generational living. As the oldest of the Gen Xers are turning 50, and watching their baby boomer parents ‘raging against the [dimming] of the light’, they are starting to ponder their own mortality, potential morbidity and – shock, horror, gasp – old age!

Estate Living interview with Santam

Louise Martin, COO of Estate Living, interviews Santams Head of specialist real estate, Karl Bishop, on Santam’s development guarantees.

A global trend

It should seem unsurprising to most of us that urban space is at a growing premium. It’s been a growing trend across the world since the industrial revolution, but particularly so in the last few decades as people flock to urban areas.

Customer complaints & social media

Not so long ago, if somebody wanted to have their complaint heard, the best options were to write a letter to the newspaper (and hope that it would be published) or dial into the radio. now, in the digital age, everyone has a voice. Never before has it been easier to have your concerns or thoughts heard – no matter how insignificant or trivial they are – and that has implications for estate managers

Property Development and Section 12J

The Section 12J tax allowance has introduced an exciting new asset class that has attracted over R6 billion within a very short period of time. Let’s explore how this can benefit developers.

Protecting your investment with insurance

Your home is likely to be one of the most valuable assets you will own. While you put a lot of time, effort and money into making it the ideal home, it is equally important to keep yourself informed on how well this investment is protected.

Estate living: getting ahead in today’s risky property market

As with anything in life, knowledge is power and in today’s risky economic climate, investors need as much as possible to make bold, calculated investment moves that yield great results. Cue Estate Living, South Africa’s leading resource and specialist consultancy within the community living environments. Masters at building relationships and identifying new opportunities, Louise Martin and Jaime-Lee Gardner’s innovative services are helping investors and developers all over the country to understand their market.  

How to find the luxury in city living

Some of us get the idea of “Joburg luxury” completely wrong: We see ourselves in the car of our dreams driving down William Nicol on the way to work. When in fact, real city luxury (or perhaps even city happiness) could be found not when you upgrade your ride but when you shorten your commute. Living closer to work does not only add more time to your day and more buck to your budget, but recent research shows that it can also improve your overall wellness.

What deteriorating municipal infrastructure means for residential estates

Not a day goes by without one hearing of some municipal crisis somewhere in the country. These range from banal but extremely annoying stories of billing crises, lack of budgetary control and bloated bureaucracies to the horror story unfolding in Emfuleni, where total collapse of the municipality as a functional entity has unleashed a tsunami of raw sewage flowing unabated along the streets and through the buildings, as it makes its way to the nearest river.

Simple, transparent utility metering can be a differentiator for developers

In a worryingly flat property market, developers are facing an ever-growing challenge to find value-adds to help them move units.

Investing in a sustainable future

We’ve come a long way since Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth documentary in 2006. Although not the first we’d heard of climate change and the effects of globalisation, it was an eye-opener for many and it sparked fierce debate. Things that were only spoken of then are now becoming reality, and we probably all understand the severity of global climate change, and what this means for future generations. 

Building Retirement Communities

People aren’t retiring like they used to. Instead, many are working longer out of necessity or from a desire to remain vital and engaged.

Keep it Clean

Probably one of the most difficult issues facing estate managers is waste management. It’s a truly Sisyphean endeavour – just when you think you’ve cleared the pile, it grows back. But creative waste management is essential, not only to maintain the beauty and integrity of our estates, but of – yes – the whole world.

Fire Risk Management for Estates

Every time we hear stories of veld fires, we are alerted to the very real danger to our homes of a runaway fire. The devastating Knysna fires of 2017 are a vivid reminder of just how quickly a fire can rage out of control and cause millions of rands of damages. Coupled with domestic risks such as faulty wiring or appliances, it’s essential that bodies corporate and trustees review their estate’s insurance to ensure that they are adequately covered against fire risk.

The Next Chapter

ARC (Association for Residential Community), proactively supports Homeowners Associations and Bodies Corporate, their management teams and trustees, to establish, maintain and enhance the value of residential communities and mixed-use developments.

Evergreen Sitari

A recently concluded joint venture between Evergreen Retirement Holdings and the Uvest Property Group will see the development of Evergreen Sitari, a premier retirement village, set within the Sitari Country Estate in Somerset West.


Bamboo is one of the world’s oldest natural building materials. In Asia and South America, where it occurs naturally, it’s been the building material of choice for centuries for everything from homes to bridges and scaffolding. This wonder plant of the past offers a multitude of options for the contemporary homemaker.

Retirement developer expands into KZN region

The KwaZulu-Natal province is set to see the development of a number of new retirement villages, designed as vibrant communities to accommodate active, healthy and happy retirees.

Builders DIY: How to Make a DIY Chalkboard Serving Tray

In this video we show you how to make a DIY chalkboard serving tray that’s cute and easy to make.

How Do Insecticides Work

In this video Tanya Visser talks about the different types of insecticides and how to use them.

Insecticides are ideal to use for eliminating insects in your garden. Make sure you choose an insecticide that’s suitable for your needs in order to get the best results

Using Water Crystals For Your Plants

The Efekto water-wise crystals is a polymer which attracts water and it’s completely biodegradable and non-toxic.

This means it’s safe and good for your plants. The crystals turn int o jelly when mixed with water, plants then absorb the water from the jelly.It’s perfect to use for garden beds, lawns, plants in containers, hanging baskets and more.

How To Use Fired Earth Woodworks

Fired Earth Woodworks is a water based wood stainer and sealer that’s perfect for interior and exterior use.

Protect your walls with Fired Earth Breakthrough 5-in-1

One paint with five applications. It’s a world-first in paint technology.

Builders DIY: Paint your ceiling with Fired Earth Ceiling Paint

It applies pink and dries white – so you’ll never miss a spot again.

Builders DIY: Geometric feature wall

Transform a bland white space into a stunning feature wall in a snap with this short and sweet DIY video!

Redefine typology

The exclusive Somerset Lakes is situated in Somerset West close to the Hottentots Holland Mountains, False Bay, and the Western Cape’s wonderful wine country.

Breaking Ground with Cape Town student accommodation at the right price

‘Our upcoming studio units in Obs are ideal for first-time investors’ – Rawson Developers’s Brad Morgan. Smaller units geared to students and short-term renters, sold at competitive price points to first-time buyers or investors, is Rawson Developers’s winning formula that is leading the property market in Cape Town’s Southern Suburbs.

New jozi developments may have to include affordable housing

Johannesburg’s proposed new housing policy, which recognises the need for developments to yield a profit, may turn out to be...

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Is bigger always better? Not always – and especially not if you want the convenience of living close to your workplace, and you happen to work in one of the world’s increasingly congested cities.

Why estates should join association of residential communities and estate living partnership

The Association of Residential Communities (ARC) has been in existence for over 10 years, with 11 founder members, 10 chapters around the country and over 300 member estates, home to over 200,000 residents and representing 58% of the market in respect of number of homes.

If you build it, they will come – or will they?

So, you’ve gazed upon your ‘fields of corn’ … you’ve dreamt, you’ve designed and you’ve built. Now what? Do you sit back and ‘wait for them to come’, as Ray Kinsella (a.k.a. Kevin Costner), the Iowa farmer in the movie Field of Dreams, did? If you’re Kevin Costner or some other A-list Hollywood star, chances are they’ll come in droves; unfortunately, the rest of us must rely on good, not-soold-fashioned sales communication strategies and good marketing, which curates leads, from a qualified market.

Best practice transition

A development is not a residential estate – it’s a place with houses in a greater or lesser stage of completion. But there comes a time when the developer steps out, and the homeowners association steps in – and from that moment, the estate becomes a community – a place where people live.

Going green is profitable

It’s good business to protect natural areas within your housing estate, not only because they make it a nicer living space that can command a higher property price, but also because the functions they provide have monetary value for both you as the property owner and also the municipality within which you live.

Landscape construction

Brand image is everything. We understand the importance of this, which is why we ensure that your image reflects perfection and elegance.

Security and beyond security

A professional security presence with 24/7 staffed access is a given, but sometimes a developer needs to add an extra loss prevention and safety component to its security plan.

Fibre is the digital differentiator but what is the cost to you?

As a developer, you are already adding fibre to new properties; in fact, you may very well be retrofitting it to old buildings. Why? Because fibre is the digital differentiator. It adds value to a property and is a make-or-break factor in the buying decisions of property and business owners alike.

Mobile’s next generation

As providers prepare to roll out 5G mobile technology, what does this mean for us? A generation ago, mobile video calls were the stuff of spy movies and science fiction. Now, as mobile technology enters its fifth wave of evolution, we’re stepping into a future that not even James Bond or Star Trek could have imagined. And that’s not hype.

The battle of the brands

There are people who get a thrill out of picking out new furniture and appliances when they move house – and then there are the rest of us, which explains the growing appreciation of, and demand for, integrated appliances.

Getting the retail mix right in mixed-use developments

Gone are the days when developers took a shot in the dark choosing retail tenants, with some white elephants that followed.

Sweet spot

The beautiful plantations of sugar cane that are such an intrinsic part of the landscape of the KZN North Coast are transforming into new urban spaces made up of well-planned mixed-use precincts, and also into green open space and rehabilitated coastal forest.

Urban regeneration vs gentrification

Rejuvenating inner-city neighbourhoods can be an uplifting, progressive and profitable enterprise, but it’s not as simple as that.

Dem bones

You’ve probably heard all the hype about Maropeng and the Cradle of Humankind, but there is a lot more to it than the tourism marketers make out.

Building well for living well

In an urban world where we are increasingly paying attention to our physical and mental health needs, the buildings that we occupy can be designed and managed in ways that help us improve our health and wellbeing. The WELL Building Standard provides indicators that can be used by the designers, owners and managers of buildings to create a healthier built environment.

FTTX Council Africa workshop for estate managers and property developers

Estate Living and the FTTX Council Africa will once again be hosting a Property Stakeholder Workshop during the annual FTTX Council Africa Conference taking place at the Durban Exhibition Centre in September 2018.

Work hard, work fair, nobody hurt

Construction is a hazardous endeavour, so here’s how you can make it as safe as possible – and stay on the right side of the law. Let’s say, for example, ABC Development and Property Management is planning to build a new ultra-modern clubhouse at ABC Golf Estate.

Builders DIY: DIY Kitchen Stand

Andrew Donkin and Builders Warehouse show you how to build your own DIY kitchen Stand.

Builders DIY: How to build a Kitchen

Creating a kitchen with off-the-shelf units not only makes building your kitchen a breeze, but is really affordable too.

JNCS Beyond Security presents the future of proactive estate security

Come and join Estate Living at JNCS Beyond Security’s highly informative presentation on the Future of proactive Estate Security at the Featherbrooke Estate on 8 August 2018. Gain invaluable insights from experts in the industry JNCS Beyond security, Axis Communications and IMC.

Proactive Security is the best protection for todays retirement village

Security is top of mind for people looking for a retirement village, so cutting edge security systems such as CCTV surveillance, intercom systems and 24-hour security guards are the norm – much as   they are on many existing residential estates. But, according to Edward van der Linde of JNCS Beyond Security, the best-of-breed security goes beyond these standard measures.

Wireless – the 5G vision

Mobile and wireless data are expected to increase a thousandfold over the next decade as more than 50 billion devices, all of which will be able to access and share data, anywhere and any time, connect to the cloud by 2020.

Dynamic security solutions with Enforce Security Excellerate Services’

Central to any estate security product offering should be the understanding that estate security is not only about keeping the criminals out, but also about managing the behaviour of those that belong in the community. This includes residents, personal and recreational guests, staff and contractors.

Smart City: Security adds value to estates

Most companies and HOAs strive to appoint a board of directors that will be competent and effective in providing leadership and good governance but, in my opinion, vested interests and limited stakeholder perspectives often reduce the long-term effectiveness of their efforts.

Treasure in the cellar

Perspectives change, and that’s just one of the reasons you need to keep an open mind. This whole management-speak gobbledygook of “thinking outside the box”, “blue-sky thinking”, and – my favourite – “win-win situation”… they’re all just words, until they’re backed up by action. So I was recently delighted to actually witness a bit of corporate blue-sky, out-the-box thinking that really did produce a win-win situation.

Open up your Views

If there’s one strong design feature that defines homes in a modern estate, it has to be expansive, frameless glass doors, enabling a seamless transition from inside to outside, and letting in tons of natural light.

A new semigration destination

The Western Cape may be the primary destination for inlanders seeking a coastal lifestyle, but soaring property prices in the province, and Cape Town in particular, have made potential home buyers turn their focus to the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) North and South coasts.

Enigma Private Estate in KZN sets new records

Having launched 9 months ago, Enigma Private Estate in KwaZulu-Natal has had a positive response, so positive that this new development is in the lead as the fastest selling estate in the greater Umhlanga area. More interestingly, the beginning of this year has been one of the most successful sales phases to date. The recent announcement confirming that construction is set to commence at the end of April 2018  has stimulated a strong response from the market, with the sales team achieving R30 million in sales in just one week.

Silence is Golden

Noise is one of the major stressors of urban living, so almost all residential estates include a clause about noise in their Code of Conduct.

Wireless – the 5G vision

Mobile and wireless data are expected to increase a thousandfold over the next decade as more than 50 billion devices, all of which will be able to access and share data, anywhere and any time, connect to the cloud by 2020.

Water and Real Estate – Making the Connection

For decades, residential real estate developers and managers have worked within a given set of relationships between themselves, the municipality as service provider, the state as regulator and the investors whose primary interests they serve.

Occupational health and safety act (OHS)

At a recent health and safety workshop, the question of contractor responsibility was raised in cases where the homeowners’ association (HOA) of the estate agrees to take responsibility for a contractor hired by the owner of a residence to perform work on the owner’s behalf.

Estates of Play

Since the advent of the first golf estate in South Africa, Selborne Parkin KwaZulu-Natal, which opened for play in 1987, the golf estate phenomenon has been characterised by often unforeseen change. The developments at Selborne were unusual, as they moved the estate away from its original function as a working dairy farm into Denis Barker’s dream of a residential golf estate.

How will we live in 2025?

As early as 2025 homes could look vastly different.

Day Zero

In September 2017, when it became clear the City of Cape Town had few viable solutions for a drought of potentially precedent-setting proportions, members of a non-profit organisation, Water Shortage South Africa, took matters into their own hands. CEO and water expert Benoit le Roy began planning for a proactive campaign to lobby the United Nations for aid and expertise.   “This (drought) is bigger than South Africa can handle,” Le Roy said “How does a country handle four million refugees?”

Regulation of roads in secure estates

Over the past couple of decades, the number of secure estates in South Africa, both residential and commercial/ industrial, has increased exponentially. This has been largely driven by security concerns because of the escalating crime rate in the country.

Seeing value in the Life Right model

One of the biggest business surprises in the latter half of 2017 was PSG’s investment of R 675 million in the Evergreen Lifestyle retirement business.

Sibaya Coastal Precinct: What’s on the cards for 2018

The 1 000 hectare Sibaya Coastal Precinct on KwaZulu-Natal’s North Coast is well on its way to realising its vision as a mixed-use estate for every generation, with new residential and commercial developments, as well as a 2 000-learner school developed by the ADvTECH Academies Brand, in the pipeline

Huge demand sees rapid uptake in Mount Edgecombe Retirement Village – Over 60% of units sold in phase one

With people today living longer and opting for a more active lifestyle, when planning for their future retirement many have no desire to spend their latter years in a typical old age home but prefer a far more independent and active lifestyle – all within a secure location and with medical facilities readily available.

Waterfall wins International Property Award

At a ceremony held at the iconic Savoy Hotel in London on 4 December, Waterfall Management Company was awarded the International Best Mixed-use Development 2017/2018 for the Waterfall development.

Battle of the appliance brands

Today’s executive and luxury properties have one thing in common – they come equipped with fitted, state-of-the-art appliances. The oven is already installed, and often a fridge and washing machine too.

Biodiverse places that connect people to their environment – By the Servest Environmental Team

A new awareness is spreading across the world and it is bringing tremendous hope and excitement. People now understand the vital importance of making our individually small, but collectively massive contribution to the protection of all life on Earth. We are increasingly more willing to practise consumer restraint at home and at our workplaces.

Student accommodation – a robust investment opportunity

In 2009, the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) confirmed there was a serious shortage of student accommodation in and around universities and campuses in South Africa. Fast forward to 2018, and the situation remains largely unchanged, with a constant influx of students from all around the country.

Affordable estate living thrives in Joburg south

The south of Johannesburg has its fair share of lifestyle estates, but what stands out about these is the proliferation of highly affordable cluster and apartment offerings within these gated communities, offering residents all the facilities of the lifestyle estate but within reach of a young professional’s budget.

Some of the main pros of having a GYM at HOME

Many of us aspire to being fitter, stronger and healthier overall than we were yesterday (or at least maintain the level), and one of the best ways to achieve this is by exercising – and the more appropriate the exercise the bigger the gain.

Steyn City Properties CEO named Business Person of the Year

Giuseppe Plumari, CEO of Steyn City Properties, has been named Business Person of the Year at the Nedbank Business Excellence Awards 2017, hosted by the Italian-South Africa Chamber of Commerce and Industries at a gala dinner last night at the Wanderers Club in Illovo, Johannesburg.

FTTX Conference 2017 – Cape Town ICC: 3 – 5 October 2017 

Under the patronage of Dr Siyabonga Cwele, Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Dr Andile Ngcaba, President FTTX Council Africa, the CEO Juanita Clark and other dignitaries, the 6th Annual FTTX Council Africa Conference was held at the CTICC, Cape Town, from 3 to 5 October 2017.

What makes a modern home better?

Two words define modern lifestyles – mobility and flexibility. Building a contemporary home or home office, therefore, has become all about embracing these freedoms, in design elements and materials chosen.

More estates and homeowners are ‘getting off the grid’. Drilling a borehole is a good start.

The world is clearly getting warmer – 2016 was recorded as the hottest year since records have been kept, and experts say this trend is likely to continue over the years to come.

Cape Town’s signature urban spaces

Ten years ago, a desirable lifestyle would probably have been to own a modest house in the suburbs with a pretty garden, located a decent distance from the city for work. Today’s young professionals have a completely different outlook and it’s pushing developers to think way outside of four concrete walls.

Propertuity: Bringing Durban’s grande dames back to life

With land at a premium and in short supply wherever in South Africa you may be, property developers are now steering towards repurposing existing buildings rather than starting from scratch.

Century Property Developments: One size for all

The residential property market, just like any other market today, continues to evolve, and one developer is fast off the mark when it comes to meeting the changing needs of today’s property consumer.

Fire-mitigation – the new priority

The New Priority in construction and building maintenance – Passive fire protection through fire compartments. Architects, engineers, developers and contractors need to look beyond the Building Regulations to proactively seek and apply new solutions to mitigating the spread of fire in buildings.

CMAI Architects

“As long as I am useful, I want to be around and  as long as I am around, I want to be useful”  Dr Chris Mulder, Founder, Chairman  and CEO of CMAI Architects. “I love my work; it is my hobby, my life and my passion and I am in the fortunate position that I share my work with my family who are all involved somehow or the other”, says Dr Chris Mulder who set up CMAI in 1980 with his wife Pat upon their return from America.

Another vote of confidence for Cornubia

The beginning of May this year marks a milestone for MMI Holdings as it takes occupation of its new R306 million KwaZulu-Natal regional headquarters. The milestone is equally significant to Tongaat Hulett Developments as the new building adds to the body of evidence that Cornubia; KwaZulu-Natal’s most ambitious mixed-use property project is booming.

Interesting Easter Traditions from Across the Globe

A typical South African Easter day could go something like this… attend church, eat to many hot cross buns, enjoy an Easter egg hunt, and then spend the rest of the day in a horizontal position. Others are out of town enjoying a mini-break. For some lucky folks, they have the opportunity to travel to far away exotic places, enjoying their Easter traditions with ice and a little colourful umbrella.

Best practice for transitioning developments

Almost every aspect of life can be described in terms of relationships, and the development and growth of a residential community is no exception. Like relationships between people, relationships within residential communities evolve, and we call that process “transitioning”. And, just like evolving relationships between people, transitioning in communities can be harmonious or acrimonious, or even downright nasty.

Edison Property Group – the time for integrated design

Mixed-use development in South Africa started gathering momentum in the late 1990s. It aimed to re-connect people with their workplaces, homes, shops and leisure activities, especially as road congestion continued to increase in our major cities.

Fibre to the home – the next generation utility

Today telecommunications are as much part of life as electricity and water. There are many telecommunications operators and service providers to choose from, and many companies can offer you a next-generation broadband network. These broadband networks will connect ultra-high-speed – 1 Gbps and above − to homes, offices and premises around your development, whether business park, residential community or mixed use.

Urban designs for future cities

Founded in 1996, with offices in Durban and Johannesburg, Iyer has been involved in numerous large-scale projects such as Sibaya Coastal Precinct, Moses Mabhida Stadium Precinct and Cornubia, to name just a few.

Technology the fourth industrial revolution

Dark fibre, dirty movies and sewerage pipes – it sounds a little seedy and sordid, but it’s all part of Link Africa’s mission to bring us closer to the limitless world of the Internet through fibre optics.

Lights, Camera, Action – Estate security that delivers on demand

Vizual Security was established in 2005, in response to a real need in the market for a truly holistic and fully integrated security services offering. Initially Vizual provided primary services including cleaning and hygiene, landscaping and garden services, as well as physical security and manned guarding. Then the founding members of Vizual Security identified a need in the property development and secure estate market for a unique security services offering that would present a fully integrated security solution, together with an attractive and affordable long-term financing model. This would benefit the developers of estates and in particular homeowners’ associations who find it challenging to  raise  finance for these bespoke projects.

New urbanisation with Amdec Group

The past decade has seen a surge in mixed-use property development, a concept described by developers as a space that provides the public with a place that combines living with business and pleasure. The growth and development of South Africa’s major cities in recent years has made space one of the most valuable commodities of our time, but is the mixed-use property concept really all that new?

A new vision for urban renewal

What makes an area attractive to residential and business investors? Good security, aesthetic appeal or convenient access to amenities? For most of us experiential beings, it’s the perfect combination of all three. But employment and budget constraints sometimes prevent us from achieving the picturesque suburban ideal that so many seek. So what if there was a formula that could improve on what’s already been established?

An alternative financing model: Crowdfunding

Realty Africa is a services company in the sub-Saharan region. Their dream is to empower local landowners, developers and architects in sub-Saharan Africa by developing new services and seeking partnerships with other companies. They want to create a total service portfolio that supports local real estate professionals and enables their businesses.

All along the watchtower

With more than 10 000 registered security companies, South Africa has one of the largest private security industries worldwide. The extent to which we rely on the private sector for our personal safety and security is exemplified by the fact that there are 2.5 security personnel for every police officer in the country – and this number is growing exponentially with our crime rate. Out of necessity, private security performs functions in the public sphere which used to be the sole domain of the South African Police Service.

The value of brand publicity

In the growing and highly competitive landscape of property development, creating a clearly defined brand proposition supported by the right sales and marketing strategy is an essential component of any new development.

Sales-driven communication

Current statistics show boundaries of 6 000-plus residential communities in the country and solid growth of 15% in the development and construction of residential communities annually. Competition in the market is healthy but fierce, and we know that a brand communication strategy is imperative.

Tongaat Hulett Developments Open for business

Tongaat Hulett is still primarily what it has always been: a major agribusiness involved in farming, milling and refining sugar cane throughout Southern Africa. But for the past 25 years its development division has also been converting surplus agricultural land into infrastructurally serviced real estate for residential, commercial, industrial, resort and mixed-use developments in KwaZulu-Natal.

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Forest bathing

We all know that planting trees, and – even more critically – refraining from cutting down trees are important strategies in the campaign to slow down global climate change. Trees are good for the earth, but trees are good for people too.


How to acquire and develop the best talent

Finding the right staff is important but, unless you know exactly what you are looking for, you cannot accurately assess and evaluate a candidate during the selection process. There are plenty of things you can easily forget to assess when interviewing for new talent. It is not just skills and experience, but also soft skills, traits, personality, ambition and – most important – cultural fit. These factors are harder, but not impossible, to assess and if you pay attention to this, you increase your chances of finding, and more importantly retaining the best candidate for the job.


Smart management is cleverer than you think

Some residential estates are very big so it can be difficult to know what’s going on, especially in the wilder sections. Even if your estate is not strictly a wildlife estate, it’s important to know the condition of the veld and the health – or otherwise – of animal communities. The old adage – if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it – is particularly true here. And, surprisingly, there is a fantastic app that you can download for free that will do just that.


Commercial space is standing empty in South African cities

A 2019 report by the South African Property Owners’ Association (SAPOA) states that nearly 20% of the office space in the Durban CBD and Rosebank (Gauteng) was empty in the last quarter of that year. And that was before office workers skedaddled home en masse and cyber-commuted while battening down the hatches against SARS-CoV-2. What does that mean for our cities, and for the people who live in them? Or, more importantly, the people who don’t live in them. And what does it mean for developers?


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North Islands View

Located in the heart of Grand-Gaube, on the pristine northern coast of Mauritius, North Islands View benefits from splendid ocean views. This new development overlooks the picturesque northern islands, offering a unique panorama. Its collection of inviting and great value apartments, penthouses and garden houses are swathed in unique natural beauty.


ABC Banking Corporation

Strategically located in the heart of the island’s capital at Place d’Armes, Port- Louis, ABC Banking Corporation is known for its attractive broad palette of traditional and innovative products and services, and its excellent rapport with customers.



With Cape Town’s population growing faster every year, and in light of the new world order after COVID-19, developers will have to embrace a new vision when it comes to the planning of residential estates.


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ABC Banking Corporation

Strategically located in the heart of the island’s capital at Place d’Armes, Port- Louis, ABC Banking Corporation is known for its attractive broad palette of traditional and innovative products and services, and its excellent rapport with customers.



Based in Mauritius, JurisTax is at the centre of trade and capital investment flows between Africa, Europe and Asia and a presence across the region. We have a pool of clients who are active in some of the fastest growing economies, of the world.



Founded in 1987, Huawei is a leading global provider of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and smart devices. We have more than 194,000 employees, and we operate in more than 170 countries and regions, serving more than three billion people around the world.


Tsebo Catering Solutions

Emerging from a single contract in 1999, Tsebo Cleaning Services now has over 500 contracts across South Africa and a staff complement of over 13,000 cleaning professionals.


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