In the greater Cape Town area – where house prices continue to rise at rates that outpace the rest of the country’s – one new estate stands out, both for the quality of its homes, and for its entry-level affordability.
Consider Paarl. A municipality of its own within commuting distance of the centre of Cape Town, it’s both a city and a rural destination – and it’s quickly becoming recognised as one of the Western Cape’s most liveable residential addresses.
Billing itself as ‘The Heart of the Cape Winelands’, it’s a unique mix of residential and business areas built into a mosaic of farms, vineyards and orchards on the banks of the Berg River. It boasts hundreds of dining and culinary experiences and a rich and varied cultural life. And it’s surrounded by enormous nature reserves and high mountain ranges with a broad spectrum of attractions for everyone who loves the outdoors: MTB, running, hiking and walking trails, horse riding (including polo), fly-fishing, birding, and much, much more.
Close enough to world-class universities, it’s also the home of some of the best schools in South Africa – and, by the way, of one of the country’s most prestigious school sporting events: the annual Paarl Gimnasium/Paarl Boys’ High rugby tournament.
This is the enviable environment into which established developers Schone Cedar have recently introduced Mountain Crest Private Estate.
THE STAR OF THE SHOW
Strategically situated in a rural residential node in the southeastern corner of Paarl, and about two kilometres off the N1, Mountain Crest is perfectly placed to take full advantage of the region’s natural assets – including sweeping views towards Paarl Rock in the west, and the Drakenstein and Du Toitskloof mountains in the south.
According to the developer’s property specialist, JJ Basson, sense of place and sense of community were two of the key considerations behind the choice of the estate’s architecture – a modern interpretation of traditional Cape style – and also of its street layout, which is based on the concept of the woonerf (living space), in which people and pedestrians share the roads harmoniously with cars and bicycles.
Walled and secured, pet- and child-friendly, with a central community park for the benefit of all, and with Fibre To The Home available as an option, Mountain Crest aims to create a safe and comfortable community for young families and work-from-home executives who need the convenience of being close to Paarl itself, and to the neighbouring towns of Wellington, Stellenbosch, and Franschhoek.
With only 105 units, Mountain Crest Private Estate offers a range of two- and three-bedroom homes of between 127.5 and 165.3 square metres on stands of between 180 and 410 square metres. All units have open-plan kitchen and dining areas, single garages, and pergola-covered carports, and each is individually designed to fit its stand. But what sets this estate apart is that it offers high-end design and high-quality finishes at entry-level prices.
‘Mountain Crest has come about through collaboration with top-level professionals, including Dennis Moss Architects and Town Planners (the designers of De Zalze Winelands Golf Estate and Nooitgedacht Village in Stellenbosch among others), and Global Aurecon Advisory and Consulting Engineers, who’ve worked on many prestigious projects like Century City, and Val de Vie Lifestyle Estate,’ said Basson.
Because the developers are positioned to buy top-of-the-range building materials and finishes at bulk-purchase rates, they’ve chosen to pass these savings on to home owners, he explained. ‘The spectrum of finishes available – and optional extras like stacking glass doors, which truly bring the outside into the home – allow buyers to custom-design their homes to their own needs.’
THE BOTTOM LINE
Investor-friendly, and with a strong potential for rental yields, almost half of the homes on Mountain Crest Private Estate are priced below the R2 million mark, which is a top-performing asset class in the Western Cape’s property market.
This price point compares favourably with neighbouring estates, where new-build homes of a similar quality are currently selling at between R2.3 and R6 million. And the low monthly levies and rates – around R1,200 and R600 respectively – make Mountain Crest even more attractive for investors and potential residents alike.
‘At these prices, people who sell their houses in Gauteng can now afford a quality buy in the Cape,’ said Mr Basson. ‘Entry-level property can be used as the underlying asset class for creating wealth,’ he adds. And, ‘given the projected yields, market value, and sustainable capital growth that units at Mountain Crest are likely to deliver, I believe investors would find it difficult to find a better location for their investments.’
According to research conducted by three estate agencies on behalf of the developers, average rentals in this part of Paarl come in at around R15,500 for the kind of freestanding, three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom houses available at Mountain Crest, which is significant, because this is a segment in which rental demand is currently higher than rental supply in the Boland.
Significant, too, is the fact that the latest figures show that house price inflation in the Western Cape is currently hovering at an ‘unmatched’ 10.2% – despite the fact that the market isn’t currently performing as well as it did in recent years. Some of the reasons for this positive increase are thought to include climbing confidence in the quality of government in the province, and the number of semigrants choosing to settle in the Cape metropole.
Schone Cedar Property Developers offer a one-stop property and investment service – including advice on accessing potential tax rebates for qualifying investors, help from local rental agents, and access to solutions like Rental-Shield, which can mitigate tenant risk for investors.
‘Four major South African banks have confirmed that they find 100% value in Mountain Crest homes, and qualifying clients will be able to secure finance through Nationwide Home Loans, who will find buyers/investors the best rates,’ notes Basson.