Estate living is likely to become even more appealing in the wake of Covid-19 thanks to its security and its relatively low density
Many residential estates have implemented measures to mitigate the risk of Covid-19 and this, in conjunction with the other benefits of estate living, will keep these properties high in demand.
Crime could also increase as a result of rising unemployment and so the security of an estate will be increasingly sought after, says David Sedgwick, managing director of Horizon Capital.
The popularity of estate living is primarily driven by the security such a lifestyle provides, as well as the convenience of the shared services and facilities.
These often include clubhouses, gyms, coffee shops, entertainment centres and even, in some instances, aftercare services and schools. “But the big drawcard is without a doubt the 24-hour guarding, CCTV monitoring and the peace of mind one has living in a gated and secure community. I’d expect this trend to hold and even increase appeal after Covid-19. This is because with rising unemployment, one might see an increase in crimes such as burglaries driving the appeal of living in an estate.”
He adds that many estates have implemented measures to mitigate the risk of Covid-19 such as facial recognition and entrances which limit physical touch points for owners. The demand for retirement estate living will also grow, says Cobus Bedeker, managing director of Evergreen Property Investments. This is primarily due to it being an environment that is professionally managed by the private sector, which means improved accountability and deliverables to residents.
“Retirees are drawn to both the convenience and security features of retirement estate living. There is a wide array of amenities within the perimeter of the estate that are professionally run by village managers.
“During lockdown our village management built in support structures to include assistance with grocery and other supply shopping, including pharmacy items, to protect residents from exposure at shops.”
While lockdown easing has allowed a semblance of normality to return, the prospect of a possible peak in infections later in the year or a second wave of the virus pose concerns for all citizens and will impact on their choice of residence, says Pam Golding Property Group chief executive Andrew Golding.
“In a time of social distancing, it makes sense for people to minimise their interactions with other people – outside of family and a close circle of friends. One of the ways to achieve this is to remain in one’s neighbourhood – shopping, eating (when permissible) and using the amenities in the area… Another way to minimise interaction with others is to live and work in an estate.”
The lack of congestion on an estate has high appeal for those wanting to escape from high-density, congested city living, where some have been cooped up in tiny apartments for months. Estates will also become increasingly attractive for those who can, and want to, work from home, Golding adds.