2018's most expensive property auction

Villa Royale, the elegant mansion in Sandhurst in the north of Johannesburg, was the most expensive residential property auctioned in South Africa last year. 

The sprawling Coronation Road manor house, previously owned by flamboyant Zimbabwean tycoon James Makamba, was sold at auction for R38.325 million by High Street Auctions in November 2018.

High Street Lead Auctioneer and Director Joff van Reenen say the company recently concluded an audit of residential auctions conducted last year and the Sandhurst sale came out tops.

“More than half a dozen interested parties pre-registered to bid on Villa Royale and initially bidding was fierce from all quarters, but eventually it boiled down to a war between two bidders.

“Bidding opened at a fairly staggering R25m and went upwards from there very quickly.

“Coronation Road has for many years been listed in reports like Wealth-X and from Lightstone as the richest in Johannesburg and this auction only served to underline the desirability of the address to buyers.”

Villa Royale, which was run as an ultra-exclusive boutique hotel, was sold by way of an order of court at the final HSA auction of 2018 at Summer Place in Hyde Park on November 29. It was the biggest sale in the company’s history and the largest property auction in South Africa with a staggering portfolio of stock worth R1.2 billion on the block. 

Van Reenen says in a suburb where extraordinary is the norm this was a stand-out property.

“The double-storey manor has marble flooring throughout and the two levels are connected by elegant staircases. There’s also an elevator should you not want to walk.

“The truly staggering features on this property make an impossibly long list and that’s why bidding was so fierce on the lot. 

“The manor boasts five luxury suites, immaculate landscaped grounds and lounge areas for formal and informal dining. The public rooms include a wine cellar, state of the art gym, 13-seater cinema with reclining leather armchairs, a cigar lounge, a spa and a games room.”

The elegant mansion is approximately 1 650m² in size set in expansive grounds of nearly 2 300m².

According to a report released in 2018 by AfrAsia Bank and New World Wealth, of the 2 200 multi-dollar-millionaires in South Africa, 120 live in Sandhurst.

The report notes that Sandhurst ties for third place in South Africa (with Clifton in Cape Town) for the number of “trophy homes” it boasts. Trophy homes are defined as costing more than R20 million and there are 110 such mansions in Sandhurst. 

Villa Royale was on the market for over a year before the financial institution took control and ordered the bank-instructed auction.

Sandhurst is a suburb of Sandton and features frequently in the media for staggering home sale prices, several of which have in previous years achieved more than R60 million. All entrances to the suburb are gated, it offers no public thoroughfare and security is high.

Van Reenen says HSA has in the past year achieved numerous successes in the ultra-luxury residential market, particularly with homes that owners have not been able to sell through traditional broker avenues.

“Among those last year we also sold the castles at Noetzie that had been on the market for several years through traditional brokers. The sale price was R29.483m. Another trophy property that lingered on the market for some time before being auctioned by High Street was an estate in Monterey Drive, Constantia, that went for R24.075m.

“People from at least five countries registered to bid for the Coronation Road house; there was massive interest in the property,” concludes Van Reenen.

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