Why SA's most expensive home costs R450m


Cape Town - Justifying the hefty price tag of $35m (about R450m) for South Africa’s most expensive single family home, Lew Geffen of Sotheby’s International Realty in SA, said the Camps Bay property would be as at home in Beverley Hills as it would be on the French Riviera.

"It is in fact superior to most homes one would find in those locations," he told Fin24 on Wednesday.

Geffen said with the ongoing weakness of the rand, the luxury band of the Cape Town property market had been moving in the direction of international currency values for some time now.

Also, because the city is one of the world's most desirable destinations to both visit and own property, houses in the top price bands were increasingly being valued according to the merits of the property itself compared with a similar property in an equally desirable global destination, rather than average surrounding land values.

“Casablanca in Camps Bay is one of those properties and we need to compare apples with apples, ie not looking at the property in terms of land value and what’s available down the road on an erf of the same size, but how this house compares to similar properties around the world.

“There are very few private city residences in the world in which one could comfortably entertain 1 000 people, or host a formal dinner in the dining room for 48 people," he said of the home Sotheby’s describes as "designed and built for an international mogul who enjoys lavish entertaining on a grand scale".

VIEW: Inside the R450m home

The house boasts among others an 18-seater private cinema, a full-size squash court, a massage therapy room, 13 bathrooms, a 14-car garage and a 12-seater sauna, all with staggering views over Camps Bay beach.

Priced at about $1 000 (R12 760) per square metre, Geffen said the market would ultimately dictate whether this price was sound.

The luxury properties are marketed exclusively to ultra-high net worth individuals across the world rather than locally, he said.

Other listed properties more or less in the same league as the Camps Bay home are a beachfront estate in the Bahamas at $36m and a chateau in California for $34.5m.

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