SA’s 10 Most Expensive Suburbs

While FNB reported earlier in the year that the national average house price had breached the R1-million price mark, the country’s top ten suburbs now boast a phenomenal average sales price of R10-million-plus. Five years ago, only two suburbs topped this average sales price mark.

Based on the latest data from Lightstone, Cape Town tops the list with no less than seven of these suburbs including the top Atlantic Seaboard suburbs of Clifton, Bantry Bay, Camps Bay, Fresnaye, and Llandudno, along with Bishopscourt and Constantia in the southern suburbs.

Only three Johannesburg suburbs are in the top ten list, being Sandhurst, Westcliff and Dunkeld, all in the Sandton area.

These suburbs have, according to Samuel Seeff, chairperson of the Seeff property group, emerged in the post-2007/8 period as the Blue Chip property hot spots. Despite the lacklustre economic backdrop, we have seen local high net-worth individuals and foreigners from across the globe including G7 nations such as Britain and Germany along with emerging economic hot spots such as Nigeria, demonstrate their confidence in these areas by investing their wealth here.

This has been particularly evident on the Atlantic Seaboard, he adds. These suburbs are now so sought-after that where sales above the R15-million-plus price mark even in a sought-after area such as Sandhurst, adjacent to the Sandton CBD are rare, these are now almost common-place in suburbs such as Clifton, Bantry Bay, Fresnaye, Camps Bay and the V&A Waterfront. A top-end villa in Clifton can now attract a premium of 40% more than a luxury estate in Sandhurst, the most expensive suburb in Johannesburg.

That there are now ten suburbs with an average selling price above R10-million must stand in testimony to the strength of the property market, although it is of course by no means immune to economic head winds.

This is again demonstrated by this year’s activity and again, with special reference to the Atlantic Seaboard. While this been a challenging year for the economy with both the JSE and rand on shaky ground, top end buyers have continued investing in the strong growth areas, paying ever higher prices and driving the average sales price ever higher.

Seeff says that the levels of R20-million-plus sales in the Sandton area remain disappointing and shows a lack of confidence. In contrast, there has been no shortage of R20-million-plus sales in the Cape reaching a record-setting R111-million 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 R19.75-million. This is about 34% higher than what the average was last year and about R5-million 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 mark and you would need upwards of about R30-R40-million to well over R100-million (based on a recent Seeff sale), to make any serious offers here, says Seeff. A top end location in Nettleton Road for example can now range to about R150-R200-million. An apartment of the sea-side of Victoria Road will set you back about R120 000/sqm, equating to about R60-million for a three-bedroomed unit with modern finishes.

The second most expensive suburb is Sandhurst (in Sandton) with an average sales price of R14.9-million, about 35% pricier than what it was five years ago. Prices here though range to about R60 million for a spectacular mansion and 5800sqm land with a floodlit tennis court, swimming pool, hotel-type spa, gymnasium, cinema and more.

The third most expensive is the small millionaire suburb of Llandudno on the outskirts of the Atlantic Seaboard. It now boasts an average price of R11.2-million, 50% more than what it was five years ago. This boost comes on the back of an increase in high net-worth buyers paying up to R40-million this year for luxury villas that overlook the surrounding Twelve Apostles mountains and Blue-Flag beaches below, says Seeff.

Bantry Bay boasts the fourth highest average at R11-million, about 38% higher compared to five years ago. To do any serious shopping in the suburb though, you will need upwards of R20-million to R60-million for a spectacular family home designed by Van Der Merwe Miszewski architects.

With an average price of R10.5-million, neighbouring Fresnaye only comes in at ninth place even though its average price is a significant 83% higher than what it was in 2010. Here too, you would need upwards of about R20-million to as much as R120-million for a spectacular home designed by Stefan Antoni, responsible for so many iconic designs on the Atlantic Seaboard.

Camps Bay, with an average price of R10-million, comes in at tenth place. This is some 54% higher than five years ago. This year has also seen a notable acceleration in R20-million-plus sales in the suburb ranging to a top price of R30-million 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 R11-million (18% up since 2010) and R10.5-million (51% up since 2010) respectively.

Bishopscourt and Constantia in Cape Town’s sought-after southern suburbs now boast an average price of R11-million (69% up since 2010) and R10-million (54% up since 2010) respectively.

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

That Cape Town tops the list of most valuable suburbs should also come as no surprise, adds Seeff. Excellent service delivery and confidence in the administration along with the sought-after seaside lifestyle has boosted demand for property. It is the fastest growing city in the country with inward migration of about 30 percent.

The location, lifestyle, Blue-Flag beaches, mountain, sea and just so much land to go around, all add the X-factor, so unique that buyers are prepared to pay millions for a home here. That aside, there is a general spin-off to Cape Town property, says Seeff. Not just the Atlantic Seaboard, but the city and surrounds as a whole is now commanding some of the highest prices in the country because everybody wants to own a piece of Cape Town.


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