Top 10 most expensive suburbs in SA

By Drum Digital
18 November 2015

South Africa's top ten suburbs boast an average sales price of more than R10m compared to five years ago

, when only two suburbs topped this average sales price mark, Seeff said on Tuesday.

Based on the latest data from Lightstone, Cape Town tops the list with seven of these suburbs including the top Atlantic Seaboard suburbs of Clifton, Bantry Bay, Camps Bay, Fresnaye and Llandudno along with Bishopscourt and Constantia in the southern suburbs.

Only three Johannesburg suburbs are in the top 10 list, namely Sandhurst, Westcliff and Dunkeld, all in the Sandton area.

These suburbs have, according to Samuel Seeff, chair of the Seeff property group, emerged in the post-2007/8 period as the blue chip property hot spots.

That Cape Town tops the list of most valuable suburbs should also come as no surprise, according to Seeff. In his opinion, it is due to the city's excellent service delivery and confidence in the administration along with the sought-after seaside lifestyle which boosted demand for property. It is the fastest-growing city in the country, with inward migration of about 30%.

"The location, lifestyle, beaches, mountain and sea are regarded as so unique that buyers are prepared to pay millions for a home here," said Seeff.

"That aside, there is a general spin-off to Cape Town property - not just the Atlantic Seaboard, but the city and surrounds as a whole is now commanding some of the highest prices in the country because everybody wants to own a piece of Cape Town."

Despite the lacklustre economic backdrop, we have seen local high net-worth individuals and foreigners from across the globe - including G7 nations such as Britain and Germany, along with emerging economic hotspots such as Nigeria - demonstrate their confidence in these areas by investing their wealth in the top ten suburbs.

This has been particularly evident on the Atlantic Seaboard. These suburbs are now so sought after that where sales above R15m - even in a sought-after area such as Sandhurst adjacent to the Sandton CBD - are rare, these are now almost commonplace in suburbs such as Clifton, Bantry Bay, Fresnaye, Camps Bay and the V&A Waterfront.

A top-end villa in Clifton can now attract a premium of 40% more than a luxury estate in Sandhurst, the most expensive suburb in Johannesburg.

"While this has been a challenging year for the economy with both the JSE and rand on shaky ground, top end buyers have continued investing in the strong growth areas, paying ever higher prices and driving the average sales price ever higher," said Seeff.

The level of R20m-plus sales in the Sandton area remain disappointing, in his view, and shows a lack of confidence. In contrast, there has been no shortage of R20m-plus sales in the Cape, reaching a record-setting R111m in Clifton this year.

From an average price point of view, it comes as no surprise that Clifton tops the list as the most expensive suburb in the country, with an average price of R19.75m. This is about 34% higher than last year's average.

However, he pointed out that in reality there is now very little in the way of houses on offer around this price mark and one would need upwards of about R30m to R40m to well over R100m to make any serious offers in Clifton.

For example, a top end location in Nettleton Road, Clifton can now range from about R150m to R200m. An apartment on the sea side of Victoria Road, Clifton will set you back about R120 000/sqm, equating to about R60m for a three-bedroomed unit with modern finishes.

The second most expensive suburb is Sandhurst (in Sandton) with an average sales price of R14.9m, about 35% pricier than what it was five years ago. Prices here range up to about R60m for a mansion with a floodlit tennis court, swimming pool, hotel-type spa, gymnasium, cinema and more.

The third most expensive suburb in the country is Llandudno on the outskirts of the Atlantic Seaboard in Cape Town. It now boasts an average price of R11.2m, 50% more than what it was five years ago. This boost comes on the back of an increase in high net-worth buyers paying up to R40m this year for luxury villas that overlook the surrounding Twelve Apostles mountains and blue-flag beaches below.

Bantry Bay boasts the fourth highest average at R11m, about 38% higher compared to five years ago and with an average price of R10.5m. Neighbouring Fresnaye comes in at ninth place, even though its average price is a significant 83% higher than what it was in 2010.

Camps Bay, with an average price of R10m, comes in at tenth place. This is some 54% higher than five years ago. This year has also seen a notable acceleration in R20m-plus sales in the suburb ranging to a top price of R30m for a luxury villa recently sold.

The other two Sandton suburbs, Westcliff and Dunkeld, come in at fifth and seventh place with an average price of R11m (18% up since 2010) and R10.5m (51% up since 2010) respectively.

Bishopscourt and Constantia in Cape Town’s southern suburbs now boast an average price of R11m (69% up since 2010) and R10m (54% up since 2010) respectively.

While Durban’s top areas are still somewhat below the national top ten, Seeff said activity in the R5m-plus sector there is on the up. The highest average price is at the Zimbali development at R7.5m, followed by Umhlanga at R5.2m and La Lucia at R3.8m.

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