Property

How much cash you'd need to splash to live on SA's most expensive streets

A new report gives insider info on where South Africans wealthiest citizens live — and how much it costs to buy a home in these sought-after suburbs

22 May 2018 - 12:32 By Roberta Thatcher
This five bedroom home in Hyde Park, Joburg, is perfect for entertaining. It’s is on the market for R25-million through Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty.
This five bedroom home in Hyde Park, Joburg, is perfect for entertaining. It’s is on the market for R25-million through Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty.
Image: Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty

When it comes to putting down roots, the city in which you live has a lot to do with the size of your pay cheque. 

The recently released 2018 AfrAsia South Africa Wealth Report, compiled by global market research group New World Wealth, looks at the most expensive suburbs and streets in South Africa.

Let’s see where our country's tycoons chose to live.

SA'S MOST EXPENSIVE SUBURBS

Remarkably, the country’s top 10 most expensive suburbs, when it comes to the average price  per square metre, are all in Cape Town, according to this report.

These prime destinations are:

  • Clifton (R82,000/m²);
  • Bantry Bay (R76,000/m²);
  • Fresnaye (R61,000/m²);
  • Camps Bay (R56,000/m²);
  • Bakoven (R56,000/m²);
  • Llandudno (R54,000/m²);
  • Granger Bay (R54,000/m²);
  • Mouille Point (R52,000/m²);
  • Green Point (R48,000/m²); and
  • City Bowl (R47,000/m²).

For Lew Geffen, chairman of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty, this list comes as no surprise. “The Atlantic Seaboard’s leaderboard position has been well established for years and this is unlikely to change soon,” he says.

This designer six-bedroom home in Fresnaye, Cape Town, boasts its own vineyard with wine-making room. It’s on the market for R75-million through Lew Geffen Sotheby's International Realty.
This designer six-bedroom home in Fresnaye, Cape Town, boasts its own vineyard with wine-making room. It’s on the market for R75-million through Lew Geffen Sotheby's International Realty.
Image: Lew Geffen Sotheby's International Realty

While this is, of course, due to reasons such as the superior quality of homes, proximity to the ocean, incredible views, the popularity of this area among tourists and the unique topography that prevents expansion, there’s another, unstoppable, force at play.

“Cape Town has for nearly a decade seen average year-on-year house price inflation hovering in the double digits,” says Geffen. “This compound inflation has substantially increased prices by large annual sums in the more upmarket areas.”

While he doesn’t expect the list to change anytime soon, Geffen mentions in the Western Cape, the winelands have already become a preferred destination for many high net worth individuals.

“The winelands offer an exclusive lifestyle, while still being in close proximity to Cape Town and the airport,” he explains, adding the region is home to several top schools and offers “an incomparable lifestyle”.

JOBURG PACKED WITH 'TROPHY HOMES'

The report uses a second way of judging the most exclusive suburb in a city and that’s to record how many so called "trophy homes" there are; these are houses that cost R20-million or more. 

Cape Town’s Camps Bay and Bakoven lead by miles, with 200 trophy homes, but Joburg’s Sandhurst comes in tie second with Clifton, boasting 110 such mansions.

The next most coveted suburbs in the City of Gold are Hyde Park (100 trophy homes), Houghton (100), Bryanston (80) and Westcliff (50).

“These areas are noted for their elegant mansions set on large grounds and their character as [these] suburbs have not changed substantially over the years,” says Geffen.     

Boasting some of the best views in Bryanston, Joburg, this four-bedroom designer home is on the market for R39.5-million through Pam Golding Properties.
Boasting some of the best views in Bryanston, Joburg, this four-bedroom designer home is on the market for R39.5-million through Pam Golding Properties.
Image: Pam Golding Properties

Sandra Gordon, senior research analyst for Pam Golding Properties, agrees and while she acknowledges this list hasn’t changed much over time, she has seen the trend moving north, with more and more trophy homes popping up in wealthy suburbs in Pretoria and the likes of Steyn City in Fourways. “We call this area the ‘new north’,” she says.

Geffen adds in Gauteng, investment in luxury estates is a consistent trend. “The two major driving forces behind this are security and superior lifestyle offerings and I don’t foresee this changing in the medium term.”

The report confirms his observation, pointing out South Africa is one of the global pioneers in residential estate living. In fact, the only country with more residential estates than South Africa is the US, with these mainly being found in Florida.

Interestingly, residential estates are becoming increasingly popular across the globe, especially in the likes of the United Arab Emirates, Portugal, Spain, Mexico, New Zealand, Mauritius and the UK.

THE APPEAL OF SMALL TOWN LIVING

After Johannesburg and Cape Town, the Garden Route town of Plettenberg Bay is the top location in South Africa for R20-million and over homes.

The town’s prime real estate stretch, Beachy Head Drive, is in fact considered the most expensive road in the country for residential property outside of Cape Town, with land going for R43,000 per square metre.

That is, however, still a far cry from Cape Town’s most expensive streets, The Ridge and Cliff Streets in Clifton, where one square metre can set you back R95,000.

Lagoon Drive in Umhlanga, Durban, is another contender, with property going for R36,000 per square metre.

Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek combined form the fastest growing area in South Africa for high net worth individuals.

Knysna, also on the Garden Route, is one of the top retirement destinations for wealthy South Africans, while Ballito, George, Wilderness and Hermanus are also ranked among the most exclusive towns in South Africa.

NEXT PRIME POSTCODES

The report predicts Keurbooms, Nature’s Valley, Zinkwazi, St Francis Bay and Noordhoek are expected to be the next hotspots for R20-million and over homes in South Africa.

The appeal of these towns is that they are relatively untouched, surrounded by nature and offer a degree of privacy not available in cities.      

Geffen also hints that Cape Town's Woodstock should be on our watchlist. “Its location is a big plus factor for future growth – someone has to start the trend and it will explode.”


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