Older homes maintain appeal in Bishopscourt

The Cape Town suburb of Bishopscourt is one of the city’s oldest and most prestigious, renowned for its elevated leafy location and grand homes set amid huge grounds.  

Like any lady of substance, she’s refused to let her age show, and her property owners have a reputation for meticulous care and attention to detail when it comes to maintaining their homes and grounds.  Over the past decade, a number of properties have received significant facelifts - either through complete demolition of older homes to make way for new modern buildings, or by extensive renovation and modernisation of the existing dwellings.  But Pam Golding Properties (PGP) reports that while there has been an upward trend in buyers seeking modern houses which don’t need much work done, the old grandes dames of the suburb are still highly sought-after, and continue to attract significant interest when they do come onto the market.

PGP’s area manager for the Southern Suburbs, Howard Markham, says the large scale and classic designs of many of the suburb’s older homes ensure their enduring popularity, particularly with larger families and diplomatic buyers who need multiple bedrooms and substantial entertainment spaces.  “In an area where vacant land is in very short supply and building costs are relatively high,” he adds, “there is always going to be sustained demand for older properties which can be bought and renovated.  Apart from land which could feasibly become available through sub-division, Bishopscourt has just five vacant erven which are currently on the market at prices between R10.5 million and R15.75 million.  As a result, the opportunities to build brand new homes from the ground up are few and far between.  For most buyers it is far cheaper, easier and more practical to purchase an existing home, and then invest in modernising and redecorating to their own taste.”

Sales have been quiet in Bishopscourt over the past year, with just eight properties changing hands across all agencies in 2011, at an average price of R15.38 million (source - Propstats).  PGP achieved the highest price of the year with a R35 million sale in September 2011 – an eight-bedroomed home in Klaassens Road, set on over 8000sqm.  This was R15 million more than the next highest price achieved by any agency.  The highest price ever achieved in the suburb was R40 million, for a home sold by PGP in December 2009.  Markham says current pricing sees an entry level for the suburb of around R10 million to R15 million for a relatively modest or older home - and this is the price bracket most in demand at present.  “More upmarket, modern and large-scale family homes set on larger grounds will cost between R15 million and R25 million,” he says, “while the super-luxurious celebrity homes and embassies can cost anything from R25 million upward, depending on the size of the property and age of the home, as well as the quality of its mountain views and luxury features.”

PGP’s Bishopscourt agents Myrna Duveen and Richard Epstein say there is currently a good selection of upmarket homes for sale in the suburb, particularly in the mid- to top-end price range from R20 million to R35 million.  “These are mostly executive homes which have already been renovated for modern living, with ambassadorial proportions, spectacular views and abundant living space.  With its central location providing zoning for top schools as well as easy access to the business hub of the central city, Bishopscourt remains an excellent choice for senior businesspeople and executive families,” they say, “as well as for those who entertain frequently and on a grand scale.  It offers all the prestige of a premier address, without compromising on family lifestyle, space or accessibility.  It’s no surprise that executives with families dominate the buyer profile in the suburb, or that many of the Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal residents who are relocating to the Cape in search of a better family lifestyle, look here first.  For those leaving behind a large property in Bryanston or Sandhurst, for example, Bishopscourt is a natural next step – the difference being that here, their luxury mansion on large grounds comes with a mountain view as well.”

Released on behalf of Pam Golding Properties by Philippa Hudson.

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