TEXT Kim Maxwell PHOTOGRAPHS Supplied
It’s official. The most populated area in South Africa for people aged 60 and older is Gauteng, according to Stats SA’s mid-year population estimate for 2019.
Globally, the proportion of older people in the population is increasing. It stands to reason that there is a rising demand for homes modified for the lifestyle and care needs of this sector. “There is a growing market for retirement accommodation, because people reaching retirement age, whatever that may be, no longer wish to move into an old-age home,” says Pam Golding Property Group CEO Andrew Golding. “With people living considerably longer, it is a new market, plus this age category is leading a more active and independent life, hence the change in demand for a type of lifestyle.”
Evergreen Lifestyle brand marketing director Arthur Case says retiring baby boomers are looking for lifestyle solutions for independent living, both in homes and apartments. “Purchasers are generally scaling down in terms of house size but scaling up in terms of lifestyle – access to technology, resort-style facilities, good security and care when you need it, to avoid the need to relocate later in life.”
In Johannesburg, Evergreen Broadacres offers appealing homes and luxury apartments built around a scenic natural wetland.
A 2000m2 “resort-style” lifestyle centre has dining areas, lounges, a gym, a heated indoor pool, a games rooms, a library and a beauty salon. Primary, recuperative, frail, dementia and palliative care are on offer to residents who need it.
“Evergreen has had tremendous success with the life rights purchase model in the Western Cape and Gauteng,” says Case. “Life rights are chosen by retirees who do not want the burden of estate management and property risk.”
La Vie Nouvelle Retirement and Wellness Estate, also in Broadacres, has 220 units, starting from R1.4 million.
“A retirement estate offering the correct combination of benefits generally attracts good rental demand,” says Calgro M3 Developments head of marketing and sales Ashika Veerasamy. “Based on the concept of holistic wellness, La Vie Nouvelle’s facilities are aimed at creating overall wellbeing, from the specialised architectural design and greening design principles to security measures.”
Celebration Retirement Estate in Northriding and Waterkloof Marina Retirement Estate in Tshwane’s Waterkloof Ridge are two retirement estates pitched at the over-50 market and sold under the brand RetireNow.
Celebration is Gauteng’s first retirement estate to receive EDGE (Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiency) certification from the Green Building Council of South Africa for energy-efficient green design.
The energy-saving design, technology and materials used deliver a minimum of 20% more energy savings, keeping costs down. Celebration’s second phase was launched in October.
Waterkloof Marina is the province’s first waterfront retirement estate. The development has sold 250 units since its launch in July. It is already releasing its second phase of prime waterfront homes.
Central Developments’ retirement estates all offer full ownership, meaning residents own the property outright and have an undivided share in the common property (it is a sectional title scheme).
“Full ownership, coupled with high rental demand, results in an excellent investment with returns of up to 16% per annum – 8% rental returns and 8% capital growth – on selected units,” says Central Developments Property Group MD Anton Crouse. “We see more and more younger people investing as part of their own retirement planning, thus buying a retirement property at today’s prices and letting it until they or their parents want to move in, while getting above-average returns on their investment.”
In upmarket Tshwane East, big things are happening in the developing Hazeldean node. At The Retreat, 24 apartments are currently for sale and under construction. “Some retirees benefit from better financial planning than others, so we offer great value with an apartment in a fully operational estate in a good neighbourhood, with free access to all amenities,” says Craft Homes marketing manager Jessica Cabanita.
Apartments are only a small percentage of what’s on offer at The Retreat, however. Seven phases of freestanding homes have already been completed in this established development.
Hazeldean itself is also on the up. “Together with Abland, we’re developing the Hazeldean mixed-use nodal development of 950ha,” says Cabanita. “In time, there will be a hospital, a shopping mall, office parks and a Gautrain station.”
Smaller towns in Gauteng are also attracting future retirees looking for an experience-rich lifestyle and a relaxed pace.
Devmark Property Group recently launched its first retirement village outside the Western Cape as part of The Retirement Collection. Nooitgedacht Manor retirement village is to the north of White River, a developed town with schools, shopping centres and cinemas. It is 35km from the Kruger National Park, with easy access to Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport.
“The five phases of the development will offer 63 freehold homes and apartments, and a full-service sub-acute hospital. It will also have excellent communal facilities and state-of-the-art security,” says Devmark Property Group residential development director Jean Ehlers.