Eco Estates and why they are so popular
Tim Johnson, Principal of Seeff North Coast, says the impact that the spaces in which we live have on our lives should not be underestimated.
“People often find it difficult to verbalise why a space makes them feel a certain way, but great spaces can make a person feel uplifted and invigorated.
50% of the world’s population live in constructed, urban environments, therefore there is a growing desire to live in spaces that facilitate community while also solving the problems of energy consumption, climate change and carbon emissions.
Not only do Eco estates offer enhanced security, but they are also playing an integral part in securing and rehabilitating vital ecosystems, encouraging sustainable building practices, building communities and re-connecting people with nature”.
Johnson says it is encouraging to see the commitment that many of the established and new estates in the North Coast have made to the principles of greener living.
“Established estates like Simbithi, Dunkirk, Brettenwood, Palm Lakes and Zimbali have in their own way already created vibrant communities, challenged traditional building practices and protected some of our most precious fauna and flora, while newcomers like Elaleni and Zululami are looking to set new benchmarks.
In Elaleni 17.5 hectares of the 46 hectares of the estate are made up of a protected and rare swamp forest with an enchanting raised walkway.
There are also numerous conservation servitudes and beautifully designed and landscaped common spaces.
Johnson says it is important that eco estates are not only viewed as a home for the privileged few, but that they are also recognised as sanctuaries that protect our natural heritage.
“They are places where we can encourage more balanced and connected communities through the creation of common spaces in a world where we sometimes don’t even know our neighbours”.
The price of land in Elaleni range between R1 635 000 to R3 850 000 and turn-key homes cost between R5 850 000 and R6 790 000. Land in Zululami is available from R910 000 to R3 942 500 and sectional title is available from R2 024 000 to R4 190 000.
Janene Letcher, Sales Administrator at Seeff South Coast, says this area boasts three eco estates namely The Farm, Tabamanzi and Bayhill.
“These Estates all have very strict building regulations which all new home owners need to adhere to. Fauna and flora is protected and Bayhill even offers a "hide" where residents can enjoy bird watching.
Entry level prices in The Farm are about R 1 900 000 and can go up to R 3 500 000. Vacant land in this estate is scarce as no one is willing to sell.
Tabamanzi is very small and is situated inside the Farm. The African design with thatched roofs offers 12 unique homes. Bayhill has entry level prices of about R2 million.
While these environments allow people to live closer to nature, they also offer peace of mind”.
Hout Bay on Cape Town’s Atlantic Seaboard is renowned for its natural beauty and interplay of sea and mountains covered in indigenous flora, the perfect back-drop for its eco-friendly estates which offer various features and generally in the R4 million to R14 million price band.
One is the new Applegarth Estate which, according to Mr Ashley Larter from Seeff, offers homes arranged around a lush greenbelt with landscaping incorporating the natural wetland and trees.
“Plots are laid out with minimum disruption of the natural surroundings and the natural mountain colours and textures are also reflected in the stone cobbles and natural stone cladding used.
There is a choice of modern homes and locations in three to four bedroom options with optional swimming pools, priced from R4.995m (plot-and-plan) inclusive of VAT and with no transfer duty payable”.
Thorny Bush Estate is the first residential golf estate and Wildlife Reserve in the Mokopane region and has grown into a vibrant family friendly community.
Rob Hudson, one of the developers of Thorny Bush, says not only do the families who reside in Thorny Bush thrive, but so does the natural environment, including free roaming game.
“As resources such as water and electricity become more costly and scarcer, owners are encouraged to design homes that maximise resource demand efficiencies.
As a collective it becomes more affordable to become self-sustainable as opposed to doing so on an individual basis, especially with the provision of water.
There is also the important social element within estates. Communities are easily created because there is freedom of movement. People can meet up and socialise without leaving the secure confides of the estate”.
Christine McGrath, Seeff’s MD in Mokopane, says many of the sales in Thorny Bush are made to the local Mokopane market and to buyers from surrounding areas in Limpopo. Entry level prices start from around R450 000 and prices can go up to R1,250 000.
Gerhard van der Linde, Seeff’s MD in Pta East, says you don’t have to live on the doorstep of the Kruger National Park to encounter a herd of antelope.
“The Hills Estate, Silver Lakes Estate and property bordering the Nature Reserve in Faerie Glen all offer nature lovers something a little out of the ordinary.
The Hills Lifestyle and Eco Estate is an upmarket secure 480ha estate only minutes away from major amenities, but also boasts untold open space, antelope including zebra, a fishing dam, tropical plants and 12 km walking trails.
Silver Lakes equally boasts beautiful walking trails, lakes, dams, natural areas, over 140 bird species and game such as kudu, njala, springbok and impala.
Properties bordering the Bronberg Mountain Area in Faerie Glen have a 360 degree view of the Greenbelt Nature Reserve and beautiful views of the surroundings”.
The Hills offer stands between R1 million and R2 million, with smaller apartments within the same price range, while homes start at R3 million going up all the way to R15 million.
Silver Lakes still has stands available for less than R2 million, with two bedroom apartments starting off at R1,2 million. The most expensive homes in Silver Lakes are on the market for between R15 million and R 20 million.
Frans van Staden, Seeff’s MD in Meyersdal, says the upmarket Meyersdal Eco Estate forms part of the greater 1100 hectare Meyersdal Nature Estate.
“People who reside here live in unspoiled nature areas where endangered fauna and flora species are protected, while only being 10 minutes south of JHB CBD.
Meyersdal also boasts 16 km of mountain bike track, three dams with indigenous fish species, 14 Game species including Kudo and Steenbuck, many bird species and a 7km hiking trail.
The majority of properties here are priced between R7 million and R22 million.
Picture attached: An aerial picture of Zululami
Author: Tanya van Buuren Botma