Tuscan with a touch of castle
SITUATED just west of Johannesburg’s city centre, Melville offers an array of Johannesburg’s best restaurants, live music venues, shops and art galleries. The suburb has a neighbourly atmosphere which is attributed to its mix of residential and commercial properties.
Some of the suburb’s homes date back to the 19th century and many have been converted into B&Bs and guest houses, which are increasingly popular especially among travellers. The well known Melville Koppies Nature Reserve adjoins the suburb and protects an extensive area of typical Highveld vegetation and includes archaeological remains of both Stone and Iron Age settlements.
Situated on Melville Ridge, which according to deeds office data forms part of the greater Melville precinct, this 1 568m² property is home to a 1 428m² residence, designed and built by its architect owner. Positioned high above the heart of Melville with 180 degree views over Johannesburg and as far as the Magaliesberg, this unique property is situated close to the University of Johannesburg and the University of the Witwatersrand, the SABC and media centres.
The accommodation is multilevelled and spread over three separate buildings with a typically Tuscan design and vibrant Provencal interiors.
The ground floor has dining rooms, lounges, staff accommodation, office and conference facilities, secure parking, on site laundry facilities and bedrooms. The design follows through to the three kitchens, each of which has its own scullery and pantry. On the second and third floors are the main bedrooms.
The 18 separate en-suite bedrooms have a unique ambiance. Many have conservatories, bal- conies and fireplaces. In addition, there are several welcoming reception rooms. The Romanesque pool is set in a lush garden.
This home, built over three stands, took about 14 years to and complete and included the renovation of two existing properties in order to incorporate them into what is now a unique collaboration. Its size makes it the largest non-commercial property in the area and, apart from the unique design, it boasts exceptional views which are the owners’ favourite feature of the property.
The properties have been designed so that indoors link with outdoors with patios, balconies, and glass doors allowing access to the garden. By placing large windows at multiple angles, the owners assured that the fullness of the views could be appreciated.
Talking about property sales in the area, Amelia Bester of Jawitz Properties, who is marketing this home, says that in Melville they saw a 2% drop in the number of sales of full-title homes in the last quarter and a 1% drop in the average sales price from R1 302 000 to R1 248 000. “I attribute this to the 2006-07 buyers’ reluctance to sell under the current market conditions. Home owners are choosing to stay put and to invest more money in their homes. Once homes are priced within a 5%-10% range of where the market sees value, the properties in these areas sell relatively quickly,” she says.
Looking at Westdene, a suburb that borders the Melville Ridge area, Bester says that there was a 2,9% increase in the number of sales of full-title homes in the last quarter. The average sales price has also increased from R885 000 to R917 000 in the last quarter. This, she believes, is due to the heightened interest in the area by young professionals and first-time home buyers looking to set down roots in an affordable suburb in which their time, money and effort will yield returns in future.
Bester notes that entry level homes in Melville are usually twobedroom, semi-detached homes in need of renovation set on stands that measure around 347m². Midlevel homes, she says, are either renovated semis or full stand homes of around 743m² with two or three bedrooms that may also be in need of some renovation.
The most expensive homes offer views of the Koppies, are in top condition and in some cases have commercial zoning rights.
When asked why this area is a good location in which to invest in property, Bester says that it offers properties in an affordable bracket and is centrally located to the economic hub of Johannesburg. It is also within proximity of Wits, UJ, the Milpark Business School, Milpark Hospital and the SABC. These factors draw large numbers of local and international professionals and make for a high demand in property in the area — both residential and commercial.
Added to this, she says that in Melville and Westdene, home owners are getting the cottages on their properties in good nick in order to let them out to students and visiting professionals. Pricing: R16m Contact: Jawitz Properties Amelia Bester 072 472 4196