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Top global trends in upmarket lifestyle residential estates

By Thabang Mokopanele

Lifestyle residential estates have long been synonymous with luxury living, exclusivity and exceptional amenities and, as the world evolves, so do the trends shaping these prestigious communities.

“In recent years, lifestyle residential estates have emerged as sought-after havens for homebuyers worldwide as these exclusive developments offer a unique blend of luxury living, community engagement and, very often, a wide array of onsite amenities,” say David Burger and Stephan Thomas, Secure Estate Specialist Team for Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty in Cape Town’s Southern Suburbs.

“These developments are also generally renowned for their meticulous attention to detail in terms of infrastructure and design and, from well-maintained roads and landscaping to aesthetically pleasing architecture, they also offer a visually appealing and cohesive environment.

“The infrastructure is carefully designed to enhance the overall living experience, with thought given to traffic flow, pedestrian safety, and sustainable practices.

Like all aspects of real estate, trends in this sector have evolved over time but, with many of these properties being in the luxury category, emergent trends at this end of the market differ somewhat from the general estate market.


According to the Thomas and Burger, the following are the trends expected to make the biggest splash and stay the course:

  • On-Demand Services and Concierge:

The demand for convenience and personalised services has driven the emergence of on-demand services within lifestyle estates. From concierge services and private chefs to dog walking and housekeeping, residents can access a range of services to simplify their lives.

Future trends may see the integration of advanced AI-powered concierge services, virtual assistants, and personalised lifestyle management platforms that cater to residents’ individual preferences and needs.

  • Leisure and Entertainment Experiences:

Lifestyle estates are increasingly focusing on providing unique leisure and entertainment experiences for residents. This includes private movie theatres, gaming rooms, sports facilities, art galleries and event spaces.

In the future, we can expect the integration of immersive technologies, virtual reality experiences, and curated cultural events that offer unparalleled entertainment within the estate.

  • Smart Homes and Integrated Technologies:

The integration of smart home technologies has already become a prominent trend in lifestyle estates and home automation systems that control lighting, security, temperature, and entertainment are increasingly sought after.

The fast-approaching digital future will witness more advanced technologies, such as voice-controlled interfaces, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality, offering residents a seamless and personalized living experience.

  • Sustainability and Green Living:

As environmental awareness grows, so does the emphasis on sustainability within lifestyle residential estates and buyers are increasingly drawn to developments that prioritise eco-friendly practices, such as energy-efficient homes, renewable energy sources, water conservation measures and green spaces that promote biodiversity.

There is no turning back and we will see an even greater emphasis on sustainability, with eco-conscious designs, carbon-neutral initiatives and a focus on harmonizing with nature.

  • Wellness and Health-Oriented Amenities:

The pursuit of holistic well-being has become a significant trend in lifestyle estates and a growing number of residents now seek amenities that promote physical fitness, mental health and overall wellness. In-demand facilities include fully equipped fitness centres, yoga studios, meditation spaces, spa and wellness centres and outdoor recreation areas.

Future trends will likely see the integration of advanced health technologies, personalised wellness programs, and access to specialised healthcare services within the estate.

  • Co-Living Spaces and Community Collaboration:

A growing trend in lifestyle estates is the incorporation of co-living spaces and collaborative communities. These developments offer shared living spaces, communal gardens, co-working areas, and interactive platforms for residents to connect, collaborate, and share resources.

The future will witness the evolution of these communities, with increased emphasis on shared experiences, co-creation of amenities, and platforms that foster collaboration and social engagement.

  • Integrated Work-From-Home Facilities:

The shift towards remote work has prompted lifestyle estates to adapt and cater to the needs of professionals who work from home. Over and above high-speed connectivity, there are often onsite meeting areas and restaurants/cafes where residents can meet clients.

We’re already seeing the integration of dedicated co-working spaces, high-speed internet connectivity, video conferencing facilities, and flexible office solutions within the estate which help to create an ideal work-life balance for residents, combining productivity and convenience.

“Several South African estates like Stonehurst Mountain Estate in Tokai are already on the path to the future,” say Burger and Thomas, adding that they are finding that such estates are being prioritised by foreign buyers.

“What it takes is dynamic estate management and Trustees who buy in to all the technology that is becoming available.

“And, with a growing focus on technology, sustainability, wellness, convenience, and personalised experiences, these developments are poised to redefine luxury living.

“As we look to the future, we can anticipate further integration of advanced technologies, heightened emphasis on sustainability, and a greater emphasis on fostering community collaboration.

“These trends will shape the next generation of lifestyle residential estates, offering residents an unparalleled standard of living,” conclude Thomas and burger.

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