It’s a rich man’s world
SA’s ultra-luxury properties offer the right style at the right price for those who are able to afford it. Lea Jacobs reports
WHILE money does not make the world go around, it certainly buys enough comforts to ensure the journey is smooth. The Forbes list of billionaires lists Carlos Slim Helú as the wealthiest person in the world with a fortune of $53,5bn, Bill Gates is worth $53bn, Warren Buffett $47bn, Mukesh Ambani $29bn and Lakshmi Mittal has a fortune worth $28,7bn.
In South African terms in a report published last year, the Rupert and Oppenheimer families once again made the rich list along with a fairly new entrant Patrice Motsepe, who has amassed a fortune of $1,3bn. These buyers are every estate agent’s dream. They demand a certain type of lifestyle and are willing to pay for it.
High-end South African properties meet this criterion on a number of fronts and many of the country’s finest properties are owned by ultra-wealthy investors from around the globe.
Lew Geffen from Sotheby’s International Realty says that in property terms South Africans often under-estimate their own worth. “We have some of the best properties in the world.” He says that high-end properties attract a huge amount of interest from buyers in most of the African states.” We have daily enquiries from African foreign dignitaries who wish to reside in South Africa either as an investor or as the owner of a second home.” There is also a demand from European investors seeking holiday homes on the coast or on exclusive golf estates as well as a continuing demand from the local populace.
The demand outweighs the supply and Geffen notes that the recession has played a role in the shortage of luxury properties throughout SA. “Generally speaking wealthy people are not forced to sell and simply withdraw the property when markets go down. This affects the supply.”
Andrew Golding, the CEO of Pam Golding Properties says however, that there has been an increase in the number of highend homes coming onto the market. He believes this is due to expectations that the World Cup generated and in certain instances, due to global economic conditions requiring increased liquidity of assets.
“As the market has improved a little, it would seem that those clients who had been holding off on listing their homes and who are under no pressure to sell have decided that due to the shift in sentiment it may be timeous to list their properties.
Buyers in this segment of the market can afford to bide their time, waiting for the right property to be listed. Golding says that there are buyers who are very particular about where they want to live and these buyers will often wait until the right opportunity presents itself. These buyers include those who are interested in some of the well-known historical homes in affluent areas.
What makes South African property so appealing? Golding says SA is home to some of the world’s prime real estate set in spectacular environs with arguably some of the best views and scenery globally — particularly in terms of our exceptional coastal property. Luxury properties at the very top end of the market are extremely spacious by global standards, are of world-class quality and design, and compete with the best in the world.
The right climate, spectacular landscapes, comparatively large properties, a relaxed lifestyle and favourable exchange rates should engender much interest when the global economy picks up again. Houses that fit the bill are situated in the right areas and offer buyers the lifestyle they seek. All countries have their share of ultra-luxury properties, but when it comes to value for money SA has to be up there with the best of them.
Seeff Properties is currently marketing a penthouse at the One & Only in Cape Town for R100m. Designed by Dennis Fabian and situated at the V&A Marina, the unit measures 1 435m².
There are four bedrooms, all en-suite. Three bedrooms have private terraces overlooking Table Mountain, while the master bedroom offers his and hers bath- rooms, a well-appointed walk-in dressing room and a fireplace.
Sotheby’s has listed a home for R110m on the Atlantic Seaboard. The award winning property boasts six magnificently appointed reception rooms and six supersized bedrooms, all en suite. The home is set on 1 500m² of parklands and has spectacular views of the sea and 12 Apostles.
Pam Golding Properties has a R100m home on their books. Situated in Bantry Bay and billed as a luxury 900m² Stephen Antoni Olmesdahl Truen masterpiece, the property features two reception areas, one of which adjoins the cocktail bar. Five sea-facing en-suite bedrooms all with magnificent views of the Atlantic, a cigar lounge, gym, and a steam room.
RE/MAX is selling a property in Fresnaye for R110m. The architecturally designed home features four en-suite bedrooms and a cinema. There is a heated rim flow pool with a spa bath .The property is being sold fully furnished and the price includes a staff house with a separate garden. There is a lif tand an advanced CCTV security system in place.
Most properties in the R100m price bracket are not marketed by conventional means. Buyer qualification plays a significant role in this end of the market.
Owners are as discreet as the people who want to invest and many of these homes change hands without coming to the attention of the general public.
A penthouse at the One & Only in Cape Town is listed with Seeff Properties for R100m.
This property situated in Bantry Bay is being marketed by Pam Golding Properties for R100m.