African billionaires eye prime Gauteng properties: Look what $9m gets you in Golden City!

Property investors are set to return to Gauteng, predicts Peet Strauss of Pam Golding Properties. Although the trend over the past year or two has been for Johannesburg residents to move to coastal regions, estate agents in South Africa’s biggest city in which to do business believe this will soon change.

Strauss reckons many Johannesburg property owners are now ready to upgrade to more upmarket homes. As they buy up, market conditions should improve for sellers higher up in the property chain where sales have been muted.

Meanwhile, interest in the Gauteng property market has ticked up among business players from elsewhere on the continent who are looking for iconic properties close to the commercial action, a developer tells BizNews. Billionaires from Africa and other countries doing business with South Africa are particularly interested in unique ‘superhomes’ that are fully decorated and ready to be occupied.

Gatsby, a palatial residence in Houghton with impressive views of the city, is an example of one of Gauteng’s unusual properties that is attracting viewers by word-of-mouth.

On the market for R120m, or $9m, the mansion has been finished using materials from around the world. It has a nightclub, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, spa, gym and other features to ensure its rich new owners have all the creature comforts within a high-security home. See the pictures and drone tour, below. – Jackie Cameron

From Pam Golding properties

It has been observed over the last 12-18 months or so that investors have been moving their attention to coastal regions such as the Atlantic Seaboard and the KwaZulu-Natal coastal regions, says Peet Strauss of Pam Golding Properties’ Johannesburg Developments.

“We, however, foresee something of a slowing down in this trend and a return of residential property investors to Gauteng, as it is recognised that the province is still the economic capital of South Africa and it remains the place to do business,” adds Strauss. “In addition, properties in the region have tended to remain more realistically priced thereby offering better returns on investment.”

“There is, furthermore, rapid growth across a number of centres within the province, and considerable investments are being made by the private sector in numerous retail, commercial and residential initiatives across the province and local governments are supporting these developments with infrastructure projects.”

Read also: SA has 2000-plus trophy homes: Does your property make the grade?

According to Strauss, the result of this is clearly evident in booming centres such as Sandton, Rosebank, Midrand, Fourways, Menlyn in Pretoria as well as a number of others, including a renewed energy in the Johannesburg city centre. “It speaks to the great confidence of a wide spectrum of investors in many areas of the economy but also follows a natural migration occurring across Africa towards urbanisation.”

“Over the last three or fours years, there has been considerable take up of more affordable homes in the R450 000 to R1.3 million range. These buyers are reaching a more mature stage in which they are starting to look to buy up, which bodes well for the more upmarket range of development properties.”

Good opportunities

Strauss says that a number of attractive new residential developments across greater Johannesburg are set to come on stream over the next 18 months to 20 months. “A large number of opportunities are opening up within the development field and any aspiring residential property investor should look to secure their off plan purchases, effectively fixing the purchase price but only taking ownership later.”

“As delivery in the residential sector slowed across the region in recent years, it enabled demand to catch up. As a consequence of this and coupled with a new crop of investor purchasers, we foresee exciting prospects for young up-and-coming developers going forward,” adds Strauss.

“There is renewed interest in the market and a range of residential developments have been, or are in the process of being, constructed. These have included smaller- to medium-scale developments, as well as number of large multi-million rand residential projects.”

“We believe it is an excellent time to invest. We are seeing some a number of well placed and well-priced apartments becoming available off-plan, for which no transfers fees are required, and which represent a sound long-term investment with solid rental returns.”

According to Strauss, the Pam Golding Properties’ Johannesburg Developments Division is reaching new levels of maturity and is partnering a number development projects across the region.

One such venture is the residential component of Melrose Arch, where Pam Golding Properties has been active for some 13 years. One on Whiteley is another premier development at Melrose Arch where units are at present on sale off-plan and construction recently commenced.

Read also: Houghton a clever choice for high-end buyers

There are a number of other larger projects in which Pam Golding Properties Developments is currently involved in including Park Central in Rosebank. This iconic development is set to raise the level of residential offering in Rosebank.

“Some developers are offering once-in-a-lifetime special deals in order to attract younger, less established buyers, who may struggle to afford a once-off deposit. At Park Central, for example, buyers are offered a special deal in which they are enabled to pay off the 10% deposit over 12-month period. Units at Park Central are priced from R1.8m.”

There are a number of other schemes earmarked for Wierda Valley, Morningside, Bryanston, Houghton and Rosebank to name just a few. These include excellent buy-to-live as well as investment opportunities and include small- to medium-sized projects as well.

Overview of House Gatsby

Located on the highest point of Houghton Ridge in one of the country’s most affluent suburbs; affording arguably the best views over Johannesburg and Sandton. The scale is immense, and this R100m plus project took over six years to complete. The Pellerade Design Group was involved in the architecture and interior design of this 2000m2 plus mansion from conception to completion.

gatsby house
gatsby place Houghton

Some stats:

The house

• Built over 4 levels it includes
o 8 bedrooms en suite
o night club
o spa
o gymnasium
o library
o Grand room
o Indoor and outdoor swimming pools
o conference facilities
o state of the art home automation
o satellite controlled CCTV
o 23 TV monitors throughout

• Stephen Pellerade personally sourced fittings and fixtures from throughout the world
o The balustrades are solid marble from Turkey, possibly the only house in the country to have this
o The massive floating front oak doors are from a palace in Buenos Aires
o Chandeliers were found in France, Italy and Germany
o Ceiling plaster work was brought in from England
o Versace plaques adorn doors and railings
o Cupboard handles in bone and onyx from India
o Local artists created frescoes in domes

The architecture

• The brief to Pellerade was for a timeless Palladium inspired palace infused with contemporary finishes and maximum use of glass to optimise the views.

• The entrance façade is a perfect example of this combination : oversized classical wooden doors floating within a large expanse of frameless glass; and flanked by double-volumed pillars with Corinthian caps.

The gardens

• Based on the Peterhof Palace in Russia, formal terraces were created to maximize the views and the topography.

• Over 10 000 tonnes of soil was transported to the site over 3 years; whilst 2 engineers worked on creating the many levelled terraces to include intricate drainage and stormwater reticulations.

• A dozen fountains were created; including marbelled statues from Argentina and deco bronze statues from France.

• Highly respected local landscaper Jean Bax De Keating personally took charge of this project

The interiors

• The brief to Pellerade was for contemporary furnishings combined with period pieces and antiques. To create a private hotel, which would easily facilitate large functions to a royal scale as well as intimate family gatherings. Specifically, this home was to hold it’s own on an international stage.

• Modern sofa designs were tweaked with deep buttoning. Extensive use of contrast pipings.

• Modern art, both local and international, live with grand masters and classic paintings.

• Contemporary bronze and stone sculptures mix with exclusive local bronze collections; as well as European classical pieces

• A leading South African heritage sculptor, Cecelia Wilmot, has her entire Royal African Collection of bronzes; depicting King Shaka Zulu, Princess Nandi, Zulu warriors and Reed dancers, housed at Gatsby. This is one of only two complete collections in the world; and the only one in Africa.

About the Pellerade Design Group

  • Involved in the architectural and interior design and development of palaces and high-end homes and penthouses throughout Africa. Clients include presidential families and African royalty.
  • Well known for the creation of “Superhomes”…the ultimate trophy homes; featuring the ‘extravagant necessities’ for an elite client base such as Hollywood cinemas, bowling alleys, triple storey libraries, exclusive family spas, champagne bars and home conference centres.

* Peet Strauss of Pam Golding Properties

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