Apartment developments are a huge trend in South Africa’s major centres, as they offer a safe, lock-up-and-go lifestyle, usually within walking distance of every kind of amenity.
They also provide a sense of community, and services such as housekeeping, dining and a concierge. For mature professionals and active retirees, the appeal is obvious.
‘People over 50 and retirees have realised the benefits of apartment living. Considering the lower maintenance, the additional amenities and services provided, and the excellent security in newer developments, apartment living is now an attractive proposition for seniors,’ says Martin Kotze of Retire 24, developers of the Featherwood Retirement Estate east of Pretoria, which has 86 apartments selling from R1.2 million.
‘Essentially, it’s about downscaling – and freeing up equity from selling a bigger home – to enjoy an easier lifestyle and community benefits in a safe environment,’ he says.
Cape Town and surrounds
One of the most exciting new apartment developments in this market is The Quadrant Gardens in Claremont. Designed for over-60s, it has 75 spacious life right units intended for independent as well as assisted living, at prices starting from R2 million.
The Quadrant is located within a mixed-use complex consisting of apartments, consulting offices and retail space, which includes an Italian restaurant, coffee shop, hairdresser, massage spa, wellness centre, gymnasium and a 25-metre indoor pool as well as the Claremont public library. A 19-bed Care Centre is also on site, available for those who require 24-hour nursing.
‘Several of the apartments in The Quadrant Gardens were already sold before launch (in May) and we expect that, given the limited availability of urban retirement options in the southern suburbs, these units will be in very high demand,’ says Bev Bloch, manager of the Pam Golding Properties southern suburbs retirement sales team.
Another great mixed-use development in the city is The Yacht Club, the iconic Amdec Group development in the Roggebaai Canal precinct just outside the V&A Waterfront, attracting over-50s either as investors or as residents.
Like One on Whiteley at Melrose Arch in Johannesburg, the 170-apartment Yacht Club features the same state-of-the-art security and offers, as an additional perk, connectivity to the V&A Waterfront and CBD via water taxi or pedestrian walkway. All apartments are currently sold out.
‘There is a clear demand in the mature market for these types of developments. It’s about a lifestyle that offers safety, security, convenience and, ultimately, freedom,’ says Amdec Property Developments MD Nicholas Stopforth, who himself lived in an apartment in Melrose Arch before relocating to Cape Town.
Simon’s Town’s Harbour Bay Village, which launches in 2020, is an exceptional apartment development targeted solely at retirees. It offers luxury apartments – priced from R1.6 million to R6.7 million – with retail, restaurants and a medical facility all within a short walk.
‘This is the first mixed-use development of its kind in the country, with a hospital and shopping centre in the precinct, as well as spectacular views. We’ve already sold 14 units, and a further 22 are reserved, so we are doing well,’ says sales executive Amanda Stocks.
The Village, within the Langebaan Country Estate up the West Coast, is taking shape. When completed it will offer one- and two-bedroom courtyard apartments as life right investments. The Village will have all the expected amenities – clubhouse, restaurant/bar, hairdresser, laundry, library, coffee shop and function room – as well as optional assisted living facilities.
Similarly, in Johannesburg, the ‘live, work, play’ lifestyle that apartment developments offer to a mature market is the strongest drawcard.
With units selling from R2.1 million, One on Whiteley, a 241-apartment block currently under development within the Melrose Arch precinct, is also exceeding expectations in the mature investor market, for the same reasons.
‘The biggest attraction for both buyers and renters here is the security – you even feel safe if you don’t lock the front door. You can also walk to wherever you want to in an enclosed and secure environment. You can walk home late at night from a restaurant and feel completely safe. That is a primary concern among all buyers, especially mature buyers or retirees,’ says Peet Strauss, sales manager of the Melrose Arch branch of Pam Golding Properties.
Nearby is Pembury Melrose, an elegant retired lifestyle apartment building. The apartments are offered on a rental basis and are fully serviced, including meals, housekeeping and laundry. Prices start at R23,220 per month for a studio, to R31,860 per month for a double studio. Pembury has four similar properties in Sandton, Bryanston, Fairland and Magaliesburg.
‘The Pembury apartments are ideal for the elderly because they are very safe, assistance is on hand, and meals are included. Apartment living also enables people to develop a social network, an important insurance against dementia, which is especially prevalent in women, who live longer than men,’ says Heidi Hirner, marketing manager for Pembury.
Apartment options are also available now at Evergreen Broadacres in Fourways.
In Umhlanga is a brand new mixed-use development called The Skye, with 183 luxury apartments including a selection of four- and five-bedroom penthouses, and – in its second phase – a hotel and lifestyle centre. Prices start at R2.1 million for a one-bedroom apartment, to just under R10 million for a four-bedroom penthouse, and a significant number of buyers are retirees.
The development is spearheaded by hotel mogul Saantha Naidu, CEO of Coastlands Hotels and Resorts and the SNG Group of Companies, whose vision for The Skye is to have multiple generations living upstairs and working downstairs, with shopping facilities and restaurants closing the experiential loop.
‘It is all about creating the perfect lifestyle living environment into which people can retire. The Skye will provide families of all ages with a welcoming, child-friendly environment underpinned by world-class security measures,’ says Naidu.
Further north, in Sibaya Coastal Precinct, the apartment option is Shoreline Sibaya, consisting of modern, luxurious single- level sectional title apartments for over-55s in a wheelchair- friendly environment along with a concierge service available to all residents. Once completed, there will be 400 units, with phase one consisting of 223 properties, and occupancy taking place in early 2019.
‘Research shows that more than 70% of retirees now look for a property price point of between R1 million and R2.5 million, so the studio apartments at Shoreline Sibaya start at R1.4 million, while one-bedroom apartments begin at R1.8 million, two bedrooms from R2.4 million and three- bedroom apartments from R4.3 million,’ says Louise Hunt, CEO Hunt PR, PR for Sibaya.
‘There has been a phenomenal take-up of units on this property. Also, because of the interest in retirement property as an investment opportunity, the developers have permitted buyers as young as 20 to buy, but they can only occupy the units once they turn 55,’ says Hunt.
Rob Roy Retirement Lifestyle Village in Botha’s Hill offers 51 modern apartments, either bedsitters or one- or two-bedroom units, in wings connected to the central building – previously the Rob Roy Hotel – with all its facilities. Prices range from R750,000 to R2.1 million. Overlooking the Valley of a Thousand Hills, Rob Roy offers apartment living in a country setting.
‘We’ve just completed the new wing, Inverness, and already sold half of the units off plan. Both sales and re-sales are robust at Rob Roy,’ says consultant Anne Peddle.