Putting the Life Back In Lifestyle Estates

Changing the way we think about developments


By: Otto Bam

Over the last decade, the Western Cape has seen a significant influx of homeowners. A noteworthy example is the dynamic town of Stellenbosch. Highly sought after with a wide range of buyers, it represents an intersection of various thriving sectors:


The highly regarded Stellenbosch University sees thousands of students attending each year. Along with this, the town is home to many of the country’s top schools. These factors mean that, over the past few years, residential space within the town centre has become scarce. As the town’s population booms, many homeowners are opting to convert their properties into rental-income student homes. The result is that property prices within the town have soared.

Business & Tech

Stellenbosch is the chosen location for offices of many major businesses and brands, including Medi-Clinic, Capitec Bank, PWC, Parmalat and Distell. Many young techpreneurs are also opting to base their businesses here, giving rise to a thriving community of young professionals.

Culture & Leisure

Possibly the town’s most famous draw card, Stellenbosch is located amongst several award-winning wine farms. Along with this, the town’s location lends itself to a life of outdoor adventures – with awe-inspiring natural surroundings and countless mountain trails. Not to be left behind are the award-winning restaurants and hotels.

These factors all contribute to the rising costs of property within the town. As a result, many are looking outside the boundaries of Stellenbosch, and most like what they see. Estate living has been growing in national popularity, as more South Africans are looking for safe and easy-to-maintain homes.

Adding to their popularity, estates have also shown to be some of the steadier real estate investments available. Paul-Roux de Kock, Analytics Director at Lightstone, explains that “Although luxury-market buyers are under pressure, the estate-housing market, in general, doesn’t dip as low or peak as high as the rest of the luxury market. We therefore expect it to outperform the luxury market during the current downturn”.

Case Study: Nooitgedacht Village

With growing demand for quality homes near Stellenbosch, new developments are shifting the fence on what estates offer their residents.

“It’s all about adding value”, believes Nooitgedacht Village Managing Director, Werner Wirth. The Nooitgedacht Village lifestyle offering therefore not only relies on its prime location and picturesque setting among vineyards on the historical farm, but has added an office park and retail components.

The Village Piazza will offer residents a charming day-to-day living experience – from relaxing lunches to productive meetings. The Village will also feature boutique shops, apartments, penthouse apartments and other commercial and retail components.

The integrated lifestyle component of the estate is becoming increasingly popular. It allows residents to stay in the Village, quickly heading up the street to grab a coffee or breakfast, and walk to the office.

This means that in addition to the usual package of secure living, space to enjoy leisure activities such as mountain biking and horse riding, golfing and beautiful surroundings, residents become part of a civic-minded community and are ideally located to work and develop their businesses. Residents can work, socialise, and live in one integrated neighbourhood positioned in a dream-like setting, near other centres (including Cape Town, Paarl, Franschhoek and Durbanville), with Cape Town International Airport a quick 30-minutes’ drive away.

The demand for a “live, work, play” lifestyle is high and is now being met by forward-thinking developers. Married with an area primed for expansion, it seems to be a match made in heaven for investors.

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