Mas­ter-crafted Natal el­e­gance

Business Day - Home Front - - FRONT PAGE - Michelle Swart michelle@vel­vetsquare.co.za

Cur­rently op­er­at­ing as a B&B, this Dur­ban res­i­dence would make an ideal fam­ily home

SIT­U­ATED in the Berea’s Mus­grave area, this home was built in 1886 by mas­ter crafts­men from Eng­land for a son of the pros­per­ous Butcher fam­ily as a wed­ding gift. Al­though used mainly as a res­i­den­tial home, it saw ser­vice as a nurs­ing home for a pe­riod dur­ing the Sec­ond World War.

Ad­di­tions and al­ter­ations were un­der­taken in 1970 and a lift was in­stalled in 1979.

Built on 1 705m², the house has a for­mal lounge and din­ing room, a con­fer­ence room for 12 del­e­gates, break­fast room, TV lounge and cel­lar bar with full sized bil­liard ta­ble. There are seven well ap­pointed bed­rooms. all en-suite and dec­o­rated in dif­fer­ent In­dian themes, namely Baas, Ganesh, Phal Beea, Gora, Ma­hal, Nehru and Ghandi. There is also a laun­dry and full staff ac­com­mo­da­tion, dou­ble garage and park­ing for six to eight cars with po­ten­tial for more park­ing avail­able.

The house has been beau­ti­fully main­tained with 4m high ceil­ings, sash win­dows, a wide, sweep­ing wrap-around ve­randa, which is one of the owner’s favourite fea­tures, and beau­ti­ful col­umns fram­ing the pa­tio.

Called St Anne’s, this home is cur­rently run as a guest house and con­fer­ence cen­tre with the Vic­to­rian ar­chi­tec­ture and gra­cious sur­rounds pro­vid­ing an ex­cel­lent back­drop for photo shoots.

The prop­erty is fully walled with an alarm sys­tem and elec­tric fence and set in a lush gar­den. It is close to a host of ameni­ties in­clud­ing top hos­pi­tals, schools, restau­rants and the Mus­grave shop­ping cen­tre.

Says Keith Wake­field, CEO of Wake­fields Es­tate Agents: “Like most ar­eas across the coun­try, as mon­i­tored by the First Na­tional Bank res­i­den­tial prop­erty baro- me­ter, ac­tiv­ity lev­els on the Berea have in­creased slightly with 89% of sales be­ing con­cluded at less than the ask­ing price. How­ever, the av­er­age time for prop­erty on the mar­ket has de­clined, not be­cause sell­ers are re­duc­ing prices, but rather be­cause buy­ers are putting in more re­al­is­tic of­fers.”

Wake­field says re­ports of homes be­ing sold due to fi­nan­cial pres­sure de­clined to 24% in the fourth quar­ter of last year com­pared to 28% in the pre­vi­ous quar­ter, but, he says, th­ese kinds of sales still re­mains at high lev­els.

“En­try level houses on the Berea proper are priced be­tween R1,79m and R1,8m for a small three-bed­room house in need of ren­o­va­tion. Mid-level houses with spe­cial fea­tures range be­tween R2,2m and R2,5m,” he says. “In

The house has been beau­ti­fully main­tained with a wide, sweep­ing wrap-around ve­randa

the past 12 months, top end homes have sold for an av­er­age R6,9m ac­cord­ing to fig­ures from the deeds of­fice, with the av­er­age stand size rang­ing be­tween 487m² and 650m².”

Knowl­edge Fac­tory’s SAPTG statis­tics in­di­cate that the av­er­age price of a full ti­tle prop­erty sold dur­ing the 2008-09 pe­riod was R1,6m, which has de­clined to R1,5m in the 2009-10 pe­riod. Trans­ac­tion num­bers have also de­creased slightly from the 44 trans­fers recorded in the 2008-09 pe­riod to 39 recorded dur­ing the 2009-10 pe­riod. The value growth trends look pretty solid, with the one-year trend re­flect­ing a 12,31% growth, the three-year trend show­ing a slight value growth de­cline of -1,01%, and the five-year trend an ap­pre­ci­a­tion of 12,79%.

Wake­field says this area con­sists mainly of up­per-mid­dle class peo­ple lead­ing a favourable life­style com­pared to any in the world, ac­cord­ing to Knowl­edge Fac­tory’s Sub­urb De­mo­graph­ics re­port, Clus­ter Plus. This group gen­er­ally con­sists of older, more sta­ble sub­ur­ban ar­eas with sev­eral pricey new de­vel­op­ments also in­cluded. Prop­er­ties are this group’s most sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ments.

Clus­ter Plus in­di­cates that Mus­grave also in­cludes a clus­ter of home­own­ers un­der the “Ter­ra­cotta Ter­races” group­ing, con­sist­ing of younger home­own­ers, the tech­no­log­i­cally em­pow­ered new gen­er­a­tion of the work­place and the first-time home buy­ers of the past decade. Seven out of ten of th­ese young in­hab­i­tants own the homes they live in, an in­di­ca­tion of their earn­ing po­ten­tial rather than cur­rent fi­nan­cial se­cu­rity.

Their homes are small, at the price, but new. In fact, the ma­jor­ity of th­ese prop­er­ties have been built in the past decade. Ter­ra­cotta Ter­races houses (small), town­houses and flats (a mi­nor­ity) are in­hab­ited by young peo­ple who are mostly sin­gle and well ed­u­cated. In fact, the Ter­ra­cotta Ter­races house rel­a­tively more peo­ple with post-ma­tric qual­i­fi­ca­tions other than de­grees than any other clus­ter. Tech­ni­cal qual­i­fi­ca­tions are the foun­da­tions of this clus­ter. This may ex­plain why they have the high­est per­cent­age of em­ployed peo­ple of all, and also rel­a­tively high in­comes de­spite their age. Price: R6,5m Con­tact: Wake­fields Es­tate Agents Linda Nick­son 084 245 2167 031 204 7100

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