Big spenders fork out for safe homes

2015-01-18 06:00

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South Africa’s ultrarich are forking out top dollar to feel safe – with a new property report showing that more than 25% of local luxury homes are situated in gated complexes or golf estates.

New World Wealth’s report, titled South Africa’s Top Suburbs for Luxury Homes, reveals that the country has 2?230 homes worth more than R20?million – and that one out of 25 of these are in gated complexes.

New World Wealth provides information on the global wealth sector, with a special focus on Africa and the Middle East.

Its report, published late last year, shows that golf estates Fancourt and Pezula on the Garden Route and Zimbali in KwaZulu-Natal are particularly popular with the prosperous.

At present, discerning buyers can pick up a four-bedroom mansion at Fancourt, near George, for R42 million from realtor Pam Golding.

The area is home to professional golfer Branden Grace and German software tycoon Hasso Plattner.

The property, described by estate agents as a “paradise”, comes with “superb finishes, a fabulous infinity pool and a dreamy gourmet kitchen”.

It also has four garages for at least some of your high-end cars.

At the Pezula Private Estate, perched on sea-facing cliffs overlooking a forest outside Knysna, a four-bedroom house is on the market for R36 million.

Frameless glass stacking doors mean “there will be no restrictions in viewing the whales and dolphins playing below”.

Tennis ace Roger Federer, who’s just recorded his 1 000th competitive victory, owns a holiday home at Pezula.

Not to be outdone, the Zimbali Coastal Resort has a seven-bedroom “trophy home” on the market for R40?million.

The house looks out over the ocean with “seamless integration of the interior and exterior in the architectural design, which presents an open feeling that invokes relaxation”, according to the Zimbali sales centre.

The elusive Fana Hlongwane, former arms deal consultant and government adviser, lives in Zimbali.

According to the New World Wealth report, Cape Town has the country’s highest density of bling pads, with

813 houses valued at more than R20?million.

Lisa Bathurst, managing director of Hurst & Wills, which focuses on bespoke property services for foreigners in the Mother City, says there’s a move to “status, brands and unashamed wealth” in Cape Town.

The city’s platinum suburbs are Camps Bay, with 162 homes valued at more than R20 million, followed by Clifton (with 105), Bishopscourt (with 87), Constantia (with 81), Bantry Bay (with 78) and Fresnaye (with 69).

A new record was set in the area in 2012 when steel magnate Eric Samson bought Unit 1 – a 1 300m² flat with its own gym – in a block called The Clifton for R198 million.

In nearby Fresnaye, former Springbok coach Harry Viljoen’s sprawling mansion was said to have been bought by a Middle Eastern businessman for R110?million in 2013.

At the time, Viljoen would not confirm the sale.

“The Atlantic seaboard and Cape Town’s southern suburbs; these areas are extremely popular with with affluent locals and Joburg commuters.

“There is also a steady supply of overseas investors – not just from Europe, as in the past, but a new wave of buyers from the continent, including Nigeria and Angola,” said Bathurst.

She added that affluent visitors who haven’t already bought are currently paying exorbitant day rates to rent prime real estate – R100 000 a day is not unheard of in the holiday season and R20 000 a day is considered a good deal.

Joburg has the country’s second-highest concentration of uberluxury homes, with 550 properties valued at R20 million and above.

The City of Gold’s frontrunning suburbs are Sandhurst, with 127 such homes, Hyde Park (with 116) and Bryanston (with 58).

In third place is the Garden Route’s Knysna and Plettenberg Bay combined, with 205 properties worth R20 million or more.

Durban and Umhlanga combined took fourth place, with 185.

While Cape Town is home to the most luxurious properties in South Africa, New World Wealth research shows that Johannesburg still has the most dollar millionaires.

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