The best buy in the area
CONSIDERED as home to a range of leaders and captains of industry, the Cape Town suburb of Bishopscourt is undoubtedly one of the most exclusive suburbs in the country. Situated on the back slopes of Table Mountain, the suburb is also home to the worldrenowned Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.
As a prime residential area, Bishopscourt has green belts, treelined streets and the benefit of proximity to an array of amenities from schools and the University of Cape Town to shopping centres, medical facilities and more.
As one of Cape Town’s oldest suburbs, Bishopscourt boasts some of the most valuable real estate in the country. The suburb was originally the site of Jan van Riebeeck’s farm, Boscheuwel, and the hedge he planted in 1660 to protect the cattle of the Cape colonists still stands in Kirstenbosch today.
At present, Bishopscourt has approximately 350 properties, making it the suburb with the largest erven in the southern suburbs. It’s home to large family residences, numerous consulates and embassies, exclusive guest houses and a collection of local and international celebrities — Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his wife, Leah, still number among the residents, and it was in their home that Nelson Mandela spent his first night of freedom after his release in February 1990.
Bishopscourt has historically always retained its property values since demand has always been well in excess of supply. “Currently, the most sought after properties are priced from the entry level of R8m to R15m, and these are likely to include a house you’ll want to knock down and rebuild.
A plot alone, in a good position, is more likely to come on the market at R12m,” says Mike Greeff, CEO of Greeff Properties. Greeff agent for Bishopscourt, Debbie Woods, recently sold four 3 700m² plots for a total of R54m. The sprawling plots which invariably start at around 4 000m² are highly unlikely to be subdivided, thanks to the laws set down by Bishopscourt’s strong and often vocal residents’ association.
Data sourced from Lightstone, a property statistics company, indicates that more than 47% of Bishopscourt property owners have lived in the area for 11 or more years. It also shows that 64% of recent buyers in the area have been aged between 50 and 64. Its property transfer information shows that between November 2010 and November last year, there were 11 sales in total of which seven had an average sale price of over R8m.
This Bishopscourt home, which is on the market through Greeff Properties, is set on 5 612m² and enjoys uninterrupted views of Table Mountain’s south eastern slopes.
Architect Don Albert’s vision for the unique composition is his answer to a brief which stipulated that there were to be no straight lines. The result is a futuristic marriage of tight, crisp and contemporary elements and organic undulating curves. Features include two swimming pools, a Jacuzzi and a gym, an integrated sound system throughout, solar panels and state-of-the-art security. The connoisseur’s kitchen boasts a glass panelled walk-in fridge and a dumb waiter lift from the kitchen to the main bedroom.
From the patio, which leads off the entrance hall, there’s an almost dizzying sensation of being suspended among the tree tops with commanding, uninterrupted vistas of Table Mountain’s south eastern slopes.
According to Greeff, the best buy in the area right now is a brand-new, unfinished, six-bedroom home on 4 000m², with wrap-around sea and mountain views that is priced at R7,95m. Other properties in Bishopscourt, also available through Greeff Properties, include a north-facing 3 718m² plot priced at R15,75m, a gracious six-bedroom Sir Herbert Baker home on 4 907m², which is on the market for R17,9m and a luxurious five-bedroom Georgian home for R22m.
Greeff properties 021 763 4120
ON THE MARKET: Left: This four-bedroom Bishopscourt home, designed by architect Don Albert, is on the market for R35m. The double-volume entrance hall is defined by an elegant sweeping staircase and floor-to-roof glass panels which showcase the view.