As “Day Zero” looms – when taps are turned off and approximately 4 million Cape Town users start queuing for their 25 litres per person a day allowance at 200 collection points, home buyers are most certainly contemplating avoiding the large properties with deep swimming pools and water-thirsty gardens.
Level 6B water restrictions and tariffs have been implemented as of 1 February, and hefty fines are being issued for non-compliance. This means consumption should be 50 litres per person per day, meaning a four-person household should now be using less than 6 000 litres per month.
And even though Capetonians are hoping for good winter rains, the effects of the past three years of drought will not be remedied overnight.
Water restrictions are not the only reason why home buyers are going smaller and seeking water-wise properties. Other factors including affordability as well as recent political and economic uncertainty is also driving the market choice to smaller properties as well as investing in security estates. Property with a rolling green lawn and glistening swimming pool with security cameras and high fences may have the opposite effect on discerning buyers mindful of the current climate.
With all this in mind, Honeydew Country Estate has moved to energy and water efficiency, with water storage tanks for use on the estate, rainwater harvesting and smart landscaping. A double plumbing sanitary system, using harvested water, is also implemented to contribute to water saving systems. Home owners have the option to install an additional water tank to use this system that is in place when purchasing the property, or continue using municipal water.
Private gardens are intimate, yet home owners do not feel boxed in as the security estate caters for safe, leisurely walks with their animals and children milling ahead on their little bikes. A specific landscape design decision was made to keep the private gardens smaller to enable a larger green belt for home owners and their families to enjoy the outdoors. Green areas with carefully retained old Oak trees and newly planted fruits trees provide an oasis after a hot, busy day. A safe, secure, family lifestyle is most certainly priceless.