You may be considering investing in a property in a gated community. Does this increase the value of your property investment?

Here are some statistics and facts about gated communities and cluster developments:

'The best place to hide something is in plain sight'. I am sure this is a sentiment shared by many career criminals. Nevertheless, clusters and gated communities are safer than free-standing properties.

It is a perception that once a community is closed or gated it has become exclusive. Access control, security, right of admission and exclusive club membership will become an everyday living standard.

Statistics are not very clear on whether gated suburbs are indeed safer, and that these properties are exclusive is also debatable. For a nominal fee a Home Owners Association can have their suburb gated. Their exclusivity can be driven by the fact that access is restricted and thus this mere fact could lead to a rise in the property value. Also keep in mind that exclusivity does increase the demand of property. Other factors which lead to exclusivity are restrictions the Body Corporate could impose on speed limits or exclusive use to amenities. So if there are many speed restrictions (speed bumps), the area would be perceived as a child safe environment.

Some of the negative factors could be that the specific municipalities could view the tarred roads as private property. Maintaining the "public" roads may become a burden to the community. Security guards at the entrance gates are paid from levies raised from the home owners. So in reality the value has not escalated but the services have added value to the community. The increase in value could then be construed as inflated. Services have merely been added, not adding to the actual value of the property. This perceived "increase" could equate to 10-15% of actual market value.

Some further unsubstantiated statistics indicate that police are not interested in policing what is perceived to be a self-policed community.

There are benefits to both free-standing and gated properties. It all comes down to your preference.

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