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Boosting Property Value: The rise of smart technology in South African homes

Trends show that 27% of national homebuyers are between the ages of 18 and 35, with this number set to increase over the next 10 years. Considering that those who make up this market fall within the Millennial and Generation Z cohorts that have an affinity for technology and eco-friendly values, the South African real estate landscape is poised for transformation. This is reflected in an international survey which reveals that 78% of Gen Z homebuyers prioritise properties equipped with smart technology. Homeowners need to take note to remain competitive in the property market now and into the future.


This is according to Dr Andrew Dickson, engineering executive at CBI-electric: low voltage, who says that in the past, the integration of smart technology in homes was met with scepticism. “A decade ago, people were hesitant to trust devices connected to the internet, preferring tactile buttons and switches. But, as the use of smartphones and online platforms became ubiquitous, attitudes changed. People began to embrace technology, and property owners started to recognise the potential of smart devices to enhance their homes.”


“Nowadays, automatised technology in homes is seen as a significant positive with various factors giving it the potential to translate into increased property values, making smart properties highly attractive to both sellers and buyers,” he points out.


Meeting the expectations of modern homebuyers


“One of the primary benefits is convenience as these systems, like the CBI Astute Range, allow individuals to remotely control and monitor various aspects of their homes, including lighting, temperature, and security systems,” says Dr Dickson. “This appeals to tech-savvy buyers who prioritise the ability to effortlessly manage their living spaces.”


He adds that another critical aspect is enhanced security. “Security ranks high on the list of priorities for most homeowners. Smart devices, such as integrated camera systems and motion sensors, provide real-time security monitoring. These systems not only act as deterrents to potential intruders but also offer homeowners peace of mind, knowing that they can keep an eye on their property regardless of their physical location.”


Additionally, he explains that energy efficiency is a major concern for both environmentally conscious buyers and those looking to reduce long-term utility expenses. “Smart technology plays a pivotal role in optimising energy consumption by monitoring and controlling heating, cooling, and lighting, thereby reducing energy wastage.”


“The benefits of smart technology adoption in real estate extend beyond the present as it aligns with the changing energy landscape and global sustainability goals,” notes Dr Dickson. “For example, it can help homeowners who invest in technologies like solar panels and battery backups to secure their energy supply and optimise how these backup power systems are utilised. Additionally, as technology continues to evolve, smart homes can adapt and remain relevant without becoming obsolete. The core services, such as energy management and security, will remain consistent, even as new technologies emerge.”


Prioritising goal-aligned smart solutions


Providing advice for homeowners considering integrating smart devices to increase property value, Dr Dickson points out that the key is intentionality. “Understand the primary elements of how this technology can enhance energy consumption, household protection, and automation. Avoid unnecessary additions and focus on solutions that correlate with your goals.”


Looking ahead, he says that the relationship between smart technology and property prices is expected to grow stronger. “Smart technology will become a differentiating factor in the real estate market. Buyers will increasingly demand homes equipped with smart features and consequently, properties without these amenities may face lower offers.”


“Smart home technology is no longer a luxury; it has become an essential element that enhances the overall appeal and value of a property in the eyes of modern homebuyers,” Dr Dickson concludes.


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