R10 million the average price in SA’s top 10 suburbs – and most are in the Western Cape

While FNB reported earlier in the year that the national average house price had breached the R1 million price mark, the average sales price in the country’s top 10 suburbs has reached R10 million-plus.

Aerial view of Clifton, the country’s most expensive suburb with an average sales price about R15 million more than its next nearest rival.

Five years ago, only two suburbs topped this average sales price, says Samuel Seeff, chairman of the Seeff property group.

Based on the latest data from Lightstone, Cape Town tops the list with seven of these suburbs including the Atlantic seaboard suburbs of Clifton, Bantry Bay, Camps Bay, Fresnaye and Llandudno along with Bishopscourt and Constantia in the southern suburbs.

The only three Johannesburg suburbs in the top 10 list are Sandhurst, Westcliff and Dunkeld, all in the Sandton area.

Seeff says these suburbs have emerged in the post-2007/8 period as blue chip property hot spots.

“Despite the lacklustre economic backdrop, wealthy locals and foreigners from across the globe including G7 nations such as Britain and Germany along with emerging economic hot spots such as Nigeria, have demonstrated their confidence in these areas by investing here.

“This has been particularly evident on the Atlantic seaboard. These suburbs are now so popular that where sales of properties at over R15m-plus even in sought-after areas such as Sandhurst are rare, these are now almost common-place in suburbs such as Clifton, Bantry Bay, Fresnaye, Camps Bay and the V&A Waterfront. A luxury home in Clifton can now attract a premium of 40 percent more than a luxury estate in Sandhurst, the most expensive suburb in Johannesburg,” says Seeff.

“That there are now 10 suburbs with an average selling price above R10m must stand as testimony to the strength of the property market, although it is of course by no means immune to economic head winds.”

He says this is again demonstrated by this year’s activity, with special reference to the Atlantic seaboard. Although this been a challenging year for the economy with the JSE and rand on shaky ground, luxury home buyers have continued investing in the strong growth areas, paying ever higher prices and driving the average sales price up.

Seeff says the levels of R20m-plus sales in the Sandton area remain disappointing and shows a lack of confidence. In contrast, there has been no shortage of R20m-plus sales in the Cape reaching a record-setting R111m in Clifton this year.

“From an average price point of view, it comes as no surprise that Clifton tops the list as the most expensive suburb in the country with an average price of R19.75m. This is about 34 percent higher than the average last year and about R5m more than the average of the next most expensive suburb.

“In reality though, there is now very little in the way of houses on offer around this price and you would need from R30m to R40m to well over R100m (based on a recent Seeff sale), to make any serious offers here,” says Seeff.

“A top location in Nettleton Road for example can now range to about R150m to R200m. An apartment on the sea-side of Victoria Road will cost about R120 000/m2, or about R60m for a three-bedroom unit with modern finishes.”

He says the second most expensive suburb is Sandhurst, with an average sales price of R14.9m, about 35 percent more than what it was five years ago. Prices here though range to about R60m for a spectacular mansion on 5 800m2 with a floodlit tennis court, a swimming pool, a spa, a gym, a cinema and more.

The third most expensive is the small suburb of Llandudno on the Atlantic seaboard, where the average price is R11.2m, 50 percent more than five years ago. This boost comes on the back of an increase in rich buyers paying up to R40m this year for luxury homes that overlook the surrounding Twelve Apostles mountains and Blue-Flag beaches below, says Seeff.

“Bantry Bay has the fourth highest average at R11m, about 38 percent higher compared to five years ago. To do any serious shopping in the suburb though, you will need R20m to R60m for a spectacular family home designed by Van Der Merwe Miszewski architects,” says Seeff.

With an average price of R10.5m, neighbouring Fresnaye only comes in at ninth place even though its average price is a significant 83 percent higher than it was in 2010. Here too, you would need from R20m to R120m for a home designed by Stefan Antoni.

Camps Bay, with an average price of R10m, comes in at 10th place. This is 54 percent higher than five years ago. There has also been a notable acceleration in R20m-plus sales in the suburb this year, ranging to a top price of R30m for a luxury villa recently sold by Seeff.

The other two Sandton suburbs, Westcliff and Dunkeld, come in at fifth and seventh place with an average price of R11m (18 percent up from 2010) and R10.5m (51 percent up since 2010).

Bishopscourt and Constantia in Cape Town’s southern suburbs now have an average price of R11m (69 percent up on 2010) and R10m (54 percent up since 2010).

Although Durban’s top areas are still somewhat below the national top ten, Seeff says that activity in the R5m-plus sector there is on the up. The highest average price is at the sought-after Zimbali development at R7.5m followed by Umhlanga at R5.2m and La Lucia at R3.8m.

“That Cape Town tops the list of most valuable suburbs should also come as no surprise,” says Seeff.

“Excellent service delivery and confidence in the administration along with the sought-after seaside lifestyle have boosted demand for property. It is the fastest growing city in the country with inward migration of about 30 percent.”

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