The best view in the Southern Suburbs?

According to Pam Golding Properties, Fernwood is still amongst the most popular sections of Newlands.

Mention the Cape Town suburb of Newlands and what springs to mind – apart from the well-known rugby and cricket stadiums - is generally a picture of shady streets lined with huge trees, a craggy mountain backdrop, large family homes, and access to some of the Cape’s very best schools.  Ocean views, however, might not be high on the list.  So it might surprise many to learn that one particular section of Newlands – Upper Fernwood - offers arguably the best views in the whole of the Southern Suburbs, reaching all the way to False Bay.  

Pam Golding Properties reports that the area is little known to many Capetonians, because of its tucked-away, elevated location on the mountain slopes, with very little through-traffic.  

Yet it remains highly sought-after among sophisticated buyers wanting to live close to nature.

PGP’s area manager for the Southern Suburbs, Howard Markham, says Fernwood in its entirety is popular with family buyers wanting to live close to the area’s top schools, as well as with professionals who enjoy its central location and convenient access via the M3 highway.

Propstats statistics from the Institute of Estate Agents indicate that 33 properties changed hands in Fernwood (across all agencies) during the course of 2011, at an average price of R4.831 million.  Despite the prevailing economic conditions, this is an increase from the 2010 figures – 29 homes were sold that year, at an average price of R4.636 million.  Of the 2011 sales, five were homes priced over R10 million – all of them located within secure estates.  PGP has, for example, sold two homes in the Serene Estate at R11.5 million, in July 2010 and June 2011 respectively.

“The section identified as Upper Fernwood is located above Rhodes Ave,” says Markham, “and extends all the way up to the borders of the Table Mountain National Park.  It is this elevated location which delivers the panoramic views across Bishopscourt and Claremont to the Hottentots Holland Mountains in the distance, as well as magnificent mountain views to the rear of most properties.  It is the ideal environment for those who like to feel close to nature, while still enjoying good security, stylish, modern homes and spacious grounds.  

There is an active Residents’ Association and Neighbourhood Watch, both of which help to ensure the tranquil atmosphere remains undisturbed.  Residents tend to put down long-term roots in this area – evident in the fact that just ten homes changed hands in this section of Newlands during 2011.”

Particularly popular within Upper Fernwood is Upper Fernwood Estate, a secure estate developed in the late 1990’s, which spans the area between Upper Holly and Thorn Streets and above Shamrock Street. Prices start from around R4.5 million for entry-level homes, going up to well over R12 million for top-end luxury residences.  Plots average around 500sqm in size.  PGP sold a three bedroomed lock-up-and-go home on 633sqm here in October 2011, for R4.8 million.  There are just two vacant erven still available for development in the estate, and these are currently on the market at R1.95 million and R2.2 million.

Currently for sale exclusively through PGP is a magnificent contemporary home in Shamrock Street, one of the very highest roads within Upper Fernwood Estate, commanding panoramic views.  The three-bedroomed home with top quality finishes was built just three years ago, and occupies an erf of just under 500sqm.  The property is on the market at R9.95 million, and Markham says it has an unusual history. “The plot occupied by this home was actually never on sale,” he says, “but was owned by an architect who had already drawn up plans to build a spec house on the land.  However in 2006, the current owners spotted the site and convinced the architect first to sell them the property, and then to abandon his own plans and drawn up a new design based on their vision for the home.  

Construction took nearly a year due to the large amount of excavation required into the mountainside.  However the end result was worth the wait – a magnificent home with spacious open-plan living areas, three en suite bedrooms, a gym, bar, and study, plus a superb outdoor entertainment area with a large undercover patio surrounded by stackable glass doors, leading to a pool with balau deck and Jacuzzi.”

The home has a triple garage offering direct access into the house, and an eat-in kitchen with double oven and gas hob, as well as a separate scullery and laundry.  The main bedroom suite has its own private lounge and dressing room.  Other luxury features include an integrated sound system, under-floor heating, American shutters and hi-tech security.  “This is a one-of-a-kind home” says PGP’s MD for the Western Cape metro region, Laurie, Wener, “ideal for the executive family and those who like to entertain all year round.  With its low maintenance garden and excellent security, it would also make a convenient lock-up-and-go pad for those who travel frequently.”

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