R45 million for a pad in Plett

2014-06-22 15:00

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The sea-facing Millionaires’ Row in Plettenberg Bay is living up to its name with a recent record-breaking sale of R45?million for a luxury beach home.

The 1?300m² five-bedroom house in the posh Garden Route town has a swimming pool with views of the ocean and the Tsitsikamma mountains, with a private promenade to the beach.

The unnamed buyer is “a South African businessman who spends much time abroad”, according to the estate agency that closed the deal.

Ink is also drying on a R36?million sale to an unnamed local celebrity who bought a property just down the road.

Seeff agent Alet Ollemans said: “Beachy Head Drive is commonly referred to as Millionaires’ Row. It really should be Billionaires’ Row,” she said.

In its latest report, consultation firm New World Wealth named Plettenberg Bay?–?or Plett as it’s popularly known?–?as a choice destination for South Africa’s rich.

The report focused on “ultrahigh-net-worth individuals” – people with assets of R300?million or more. It found that second homes in the Western Cape towns of Knysna, Franschhoek, Plett, Stellenbosch and Umhlanga in KwaZulu-Natal were all the rage in this income bracket last year.

The report estimated that there were 65 homes valued at R20?million or more in Plettenberg Bay.

FirstRand co-founder Laurie Dippenaar?–?named the 31st richest man in Africa by Forbes Magazine, with an estimated fortune of R6.73?billion?–?owns a holiday house along Beachy Head Road.

His neighbours include the controversial businessman and renowned tax rebel Dave King, whose seaside Plett mansion was placed under curatorship during his 11-year-long brawl with the taxman.

Eight construction projects are under way along Beachy Head Drive, where older homes are being knocked down to make space for modern beach villas.

Plettenberg Bay beachfront building costs could amount to R15?000m² because the palatial homes are built on shifting sand, said Ollemans.

Seeff boss Kevin Engelsman remained tight-lipped over the identity of their affluent clientele.

“The R36?million sale went through last week. The buyer is a well-known South African who did not want to be named. My guess is the place will be knocked down and rebuilt too,” he said.

Five years ago, there were almost no sales above the R10?million price mark in the Garden Route town, Ollemans said.

However, in the past year, she has sold eight luxury homes priced at over R10?million. She added that they had seen a notable return of Joburg and Capetonian buyers to the area.

Airline operator CemAir noticed the gap in the market and is now shuttling wealthy passengers from the country’s biggest cities to Plett in style.

Plettenberg Bay Airport was reopened for commercial use in April when a new, exclusive air route between Plett, Cape Town and Joburg was launched.

This week, CemAir told City Press that the new flights?–?costing R1?500 from Plettenberg Bay to Cape Town and R1?800 from Plettenberg Bay to Joburg?–?were mostly full.

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