Multigenerational living has been a growing trend in South Africa for a while, for both economic and security reasons, but also because three, or even four generations living in close proximity promotes a healthy social balance that benefits everyone in the mix.
Lifestyle estates are increasingly embracing young, old and everyone in-between, in sectional title homes as well as rental apartments, providing facilities that cater for children, working adults, and those in their golden years.
Top lifestyle estates like Steyn City in Gauteng, Sibaya in KwaZulu-Natal and Val de Vie in the Western Cape have all gone this route, offering an enviable lifestyle replete with nearby schools, shops, medical care facilities, and every manner of sport or leisure activity for everybody from toddlers to dodderers and pre-teens to pensioners.
Giuseppi Plumari, Steyn City’s CEO, explains the concept well: ‘It’s about creating a multigenerational, city-like environment that harks back to an era when young and old lived together, and there was a strong social fabric within communities.’
Steyn City is arguably the most striking example of a multigenerational estate, with its huge diversity of owners and tenants, and a wide range of properties priced anywhere from around R2.2 million to over R25 million. Its City Centre, which is scheduled for launch in 2020, will include approximately 350 apartments and a central park that will open up onto the northern piazza retail space.
‘The apartments and shops will be wheelchair-friendly, and children have the option to be schooled at Steyn City School, which opened this year. And there are several play and recreational nodes on the estate, including a skate park for teens. A small medical suite (doctors’ rooms) will also come online,’ says Marie Yossava, media relations for Steyn City.
A stronger trend is to have a separate retirement village within the same estate development, and this is the idea behind Waterfall Hills and Waterfall Valley Mature Lifestyle Estates, adjacent to the Waterfall Country Estate, between Kyalami and Sandton in Midrand.
It offers a mix of freestanding houses ranging from one to three bedrooms, and one- and two-bedroom apartments with the usual facilities expected of a top lifestyle estate – golfing, sports, walking trails, gym with full-size lap pool, coffee shop, restaurant, movie theatre, hairdresser and health spa. Residents have permanent on-site nursing staff who provide services in their homes, or – if necessary – refer them to the fully equipped frail care facility located at Waterfall Hills.
Prices for a two-bed apartment in Waterfall Hills start at around R2.2 million, and a two-bed house, around R3.2 million, while a three-bed, two-bathroom house sells for around R4.8 million. In Waterfall Valley, prices start at R3.2 million for a one-bed unit, and around R5 million for a three-bed unit. ‘These two estates are for over-50s, but quite a few of their younger families are living in Waterfall lifestyle estate, so the extended family is within the wider Waterfall estate,’ says Corlea Reuter, sales agent for Jawitz.
Other estates are more of a hybrid of retirees and investor-owned units that are rented out to people over 50. A good example is Carisbrooke Estate in Benoni North on the East Rand, an elegant estate with 78 apartments and 20 two-bed townhouses, priced from R800,000 to R1.9 million.
‘Carisbrooke is a very good investment, as this estate has everything – wellness centre, restaurant, pub, hair salon, billiard room, tennis and squash courts, gym, heated swimming pool, and a doctor’s consulting room,’ says sales agent Chic Berkhout.
Similarly, the Riversands Retirement Village/Lifestyle Estate in Heidelberg, which has a frail care facility on site, is attracting investment buyers and retirees. ‘The entry level for a sectional title unit is R1.2 million, so it is very accessible to investment buyers and retirees, and you have all the amenities you need – schools, shops, hospitals and medical centres – very close by,’ says sales manager Nellie van Staden.
Situated within the bustling Kindlewood Estate in Umhlanga, Mount Edgecombe Retirement Village (MERV) offers active retirees an unsurpassed lifestyle with extensive 24/7 security and beautifully designed, spacious single-level homes, as well as access to convenient and comprehensive healthcare. Prices here range between R2.5 million and R4.5 million.
Alongside all the amenities in Kindlewood Estate, is a variety of healthcare services including assisted living, a frail care centre, and a dedicated dementia facility. Nurses are on call 24/7 to provide either emergency first aid or routine care either at the healthcare facility or in the residents’ own homes. All homes are equipped with state-of-the-art emergency calling systems.
In the Cape Winelands, close to Paarl, the prestigious Val de Vie estate has embraced retirees more fully with the launch of its newest chapter, Val de Vie Evergreen, aiming at over-60s. Val de Vie Evergreen is situated in the heart of Val de Vie, making it a fundamental part of a greater community, and consists of 400 exclusive homes, 208 apartments/assisted living suites, a healthcare centre and an 80-bed frail care centre. Other unique features included a private clubhouse, contemporary library, multi-purpose function centre, landscaped gardens, a hair salon, gym, occupational therapy room, games room, cinema room, lounge, dining area and bistro. Prices start from R3.1 million.
Val de Vie Evergreen residents will have access to the many facilities of Val de Vie – two championship golf courses, an equestrian centre, jogging, cycling and walking trails, fishing and paddling on the Berg River, and exceptional restaurants. While the Evergreen development is contained, it is very much a part of the greater Val de Vie estate, and it’s likely that different generations of the same family will live in different parts of the estate.
Ryk Neethling, group marketing director for Val de Vie , says the resident demographics at Val de Vie are evenly split between working-aged people, who work from home or commute within the greater Cape Town area or even to Gauteng, and retired people, some of whom are ‘swallows’ – intercontinental migrants who spend the summer months in South Africa.
Offerings range from lock-up-and-go premium apartments to nice-sized residential plot and plans for a young families or downsizers. The freestanding plots appeal to those wanting to create their dream home, and rounding off the offering is the expansive gentlemen’s estates – small farms measuring up to 3.5 hectares where you can keep horses and some other livestock. Homeowners can choose from customisable house designs from established architects like iCON Architects, who have a clear appreciation for the estate’s architectural guidelines. This consistency of style contributes immeasurably to Val de Vie’s aesthetic appeal and property values, and the quality of design makes the homes attractive to a range of buyers, from first-time homeowners to empty-nest retirees.
‘The buyers are discerning and come to us because they want the best an estate has to offer, says Neethling, ‘and they want homes that perform the best and that will be excellent investments in the long term.’