Johannesburg: While South African consumers exercise caution in the face of the country’s precarious economy, sales at Steyn City continue to proceed at a brisk pace.
Since launching a year ago, in March 2015, Steyn City has achieved sales of more than R1.5 billion for its sectional title apartments, clusters, freehold homes and stands.
Added to this, homes have already appreciated significantly in value: properties are now fetching as much as 20%-30% more than they did at launch date a year ago. “Yes, this does mean that Steyn City’s properties are more expensive than homes in other gated communities,” says Tammy Menton, director of Steyn City Sales, “but don’t forget that prices are driven by demand.”
She maintains that it is not surprising that such demand exists at Steyn City: apart from the magnificent parkland surrounds of the lifestyle resort, the developers have invested in excess of R6.5 billion to create infrastructure that makes for an unsurpassed lifestyle.
CEO Guiseppe Plumari agrees that this is one of the factors driving Steyn City’s appeal: “People aren’t lured here with a promise of something that is yet to be seen. We have already built our world-class facilities, from the equestrian centre to tennis courts, children’s play nodes and skate park, our award-winning clubhouse and Nicklaus design 18 hole championship golf course, and well-appointed restaurants and deli.” This stands in stark contrast to most developments, where potential buyers have to adopt a wait-and-see approach to infrastructure, based on the promises of the developer.
Steyn City’s security infrastructure is equally noteworthy. Steyn City has been equipped with the latest technology, supplementing a trained force of security personnel and a canine unit. It is this assurance of peace of mind and the complete freedom to enjoy an outdoor, family-oriented lifestyle that has attracted buyers from Johannesburg’s northern suburbs, as well as other gated communities.
Another market has come in the form of corporates seeking comfortable, secure homes for their international staff on assignment in South Africa. Chrysler is a case in point; the motoring giant has purchased a number of units to house their European staffers.
Interestingly, many of these tenants are willing to pay premium rentals. For instance, in July 2015, realtor Mark Williams of Steyn City Properties secured a lease of R130 000 per month for a five-bedroomed house located on the development. Although there’s no denying that this is a hefty sum, Williams isn’t surprised that there are tenants willing to pay it. After all, he says, lifestyle and security are paramount – and Steyn City provides the best of both.
There’s little doubt that the lifestyle resort will continue to enjoy its status as the darling of South Africa’s property sector as it gears to make more offerings available, extending its appeal to a broader market. For instance, new two and three-bedroom apartments are scheduled for release in the middle of the year. Currently in the design phase, there are 105 of these apartments, located near the William Nicol Gatehouse and the City Centre (which is, itself, currently under construction). Investors can look forward to inviting views of the Steyn City creek from the four-storey high buildings, each characterised by clean, contemporary architecture: think sliding aluminium shutters and corner glass balustrades.
The buildings are prefaced by large lawns, and – as is typical of Steyn City – are protected by a dense planting of trees and shrubs which ensure total privacy. The buildings are built around two lift cores, with single banded corridors and open walkways extending from each block, stepped down to follow the contours of the land. As always at Steyn City, lifestyle is a byword: residents will have their own clubhouse, ideal for community activities like yoga classes. There will also be a private resort pool, spilling over into the already built children’s themed play area with sandpit and pirate ship and a fishing dam.
Another exciting development to be launched this year is the Steyn City office park. The site sprawls over 14 hectares, offering 55 675m² of office space in 10 three-storey, A-grade buildings, complete with basement and outside parking. Each building will have its own design: the developers have offered guidelines to create cohesion in a campus-type environment with premises that appeal to different types of businesses, from creative agencies to blue chip corporates.
Easy access is assured: residents will be able to access the business park from within the lifestyle resort, while non-residents will benefit from the recent upgrade of the R511 William Nicol, which now extends to the N14. There will be two entry and egress lanes respectively at the new sandstone clad commercial park entrance, as well as pedestrian access.
Exciting investment opportunities exist for developers, who may build sectional title offices for leasing purposes within the office park.
Plumari is confident that buyers and investors will be as enthusiastic about these new offerings as they are about the rest of the development.