South Africa’s Most Expensive Houses for Sale

Antique lamps, crystal chandeliers, fully furnished indoor cinemas and meticulous landscapes are just some of the features found in South Africa’s most expensive houses for sale. And while these homes make no apologies for their opulence, private cinemas, heated swimming pools and massage rooms are luxuries most of us simply cannot afford. That however, does not mean we can’t take a peep into the luxurious homes resided in by the country’s elite.

These are five of South Africa’s most expensive houses for sale according to Property24.

1. R360 million: 8 Bedroom House in Camps Bay

Camps Bay House

The Enigma Mansion, located between Clifton and Camps Bay, resides on Cape Town’s most expensive land. The over 7000 square meter property offers unobstructed views of the Atlantic Seaboard as well as a 3D cinema, Versace pool, teahouse, Balinese massage temple and underground parking. Additionally, The Enigma Mansion boats a state-of-the-art media room, dance studio, sauna, wine cellar, gym and of course breakfast, lunch and dinner menus served by acclaimed Chef Richard Chamberlain. This palatial property is undoubtedly one of South Africa’s most expensive houses for sale.

2. R120 million: 9 Bedroom House in Upper Constantia

Upper Constantia 1

Previously owned by Earl Spencer and visited by the late Princess Diana, it’s not hard to see why this 2 acre makes the list of South Africa’s most expensive houses for sale. The residence includes en-suite dressing rooms in each of the main bedrooms, a wine cellar, library, tennis court and two vineyards.

3. R110 million: 5 Bedroom House in Fresnaye


This five bedroom house boasts rare white Carrara marble floors, an elegant living room area housing three fireplaces, a custom bar, gourmet kitchen and spectacular views of the ocean towards Robben Island. Additional features include lift access, a cinema, braai area, swimming pool and fully equipped gym. Situated at the end of an exclusive cul de sac, this property is third on the list of South Africa’s most expensive houses for sale

4. R78 million: 4 Bedroom House in Uitzicht


Designed by architect, John Halford, this property boasts a pool room, wine cellar, private lounges, heated indoor-outdoor swimming pool and gym. At approximately 8.84 hectares this Uitzicht residence commands a glorious view over the lagoon and provides private access to the beach.

5. R75 million: 10 Bedroom House in Upper Constantia

Upper Constantia 2

Cielo nel Capo’s architecture is reminiscent of a Tuscan Villa. Considered to be one of the top properties in Africa, Cielo nel Capo has featured in Hollywood, European and Bollywood films in addition to numerous advertising campaigns.

This villa which is set over five levels, accessible by two elevators, boasts a state of the art cinema, heated indoor swimming pool, tennis court, spa and steam room. Cielo nel Capo has a home automation system which controls lights, pool pumps, irrigation, security gates and is integrated with a comprehensive alarm system. Cielo nel Capo is number five on the list of South Africa’s most expensive houses for sale.

Safety tips for travel

Crime is a problem in most places in today’s world so it’s important that one makes personal safety a priority when undertaking a travel. These are some basic safety tips for travellers.

1. Stay Connected

If you plan to travel the first thing you should do is check that your mobile device has roaming capabilities as well as the costs involved. If not ensure that one you have reached your travel destination you obtain a rental device or alternatively purchase an international sim card should you have an unlocked GSM device.

2. Vehicle safety

Should you be driving during your travels always ensure that your doors are looked and all valuables are kept in the boot or underneath the car seat where they cannot be seen. This will help avoid car hijackings or “smash-and-grabs”. Take note of your surrounding when at traffic lights or stop streets. Should you opt instead to use a tour operator or travel service only use reputable ones and if unsure ask your hotel to recommend a service provider.

Municipal rates and taxes track at 2.5 times the inflation rate

Second fastest-growing operating cost item for property owners and investors

To put some numbers around the issue, consider that total operating costs for commercial properties in 2014 averaged R47/m², of which R11.60/m² went to municipal rates and taxes. That means municipal rates and taxes effectively doubled in real terms since 2000, when rates and taxes accounted for R4.93/m².

As Gopal points out, the report concludes that rates and taxes are the second fastest-growing operating cost item for property owners and investors. Indeed, only electricity costs have risen at a higher pace.

“Real increases in rates and taxes have been especially pronounced in the retail sector. Since 2007, retail property rates and taxes have grown by inflation plus 11.6%,” says Gopal.

The report pinpoints other trends that raise red flags for the property sector. While municipal rates and taxes largely moved in line with commercial property values during the early 2000s, before the global recession, the opposite has been the case ever since.

In recent years, rates and taxes in SA have increased at a significantly higher rate than commercial property values.

“By June 2014, that growth had resulted in an over-recovery of commercial rates and taxes of about 12%, and there is little likelihood the gap will close in the foreseeable future,” explains Gopal.

The analysis further finds a weak relationship between a property’s market value and the level of rates and taxes levied. The largest mis-pricing is in the office and industrial sectors of the market – typically sectors where properties have unique characteristics that could impact their value.

To attract more built investment

The report notes that some smaller municipalities could change their rates policies to attract more built investment. Nelson Mandela Bay, Buffalo City and Mangaung all charge commercial property rates over two cents in the rand, a position that is not considered pro-business.

“A lower ‘cents in the rand’ rate could act as a catalyst for increase investment flows,” comments Gopal.

This is echoed by SAPOA’s regional Chairman for KwaZulu-Natal Edwin van Niekerk, who believes that municipalities would do well to expand the rates base rather than simply increasing the burden on existing landlords.

“Rates and the cost of doing business are a key consideration in corporate location decisions. It’s a balancing act that cities get wrong at their peril,” he adds.

Still, as he underscores, it’s important to consider the context of individual municipalities. “Consider the case of Ethekweni, which has large areas of previously-disadvantaged communities and a significant need for infrastructure development,” he elaborates. “It’s not realistic to compare that with a municipality which is almost fully developed.”

The challenge is that property rates and taxes are a key generator of revenue for municipalities. This year, property rates and taxes brought in 17% of total municipal revenue for the eight municipalities included in the study.


Accommodation and travel - always hand in hand

Accommodation and travel go hand in hand, whether the purpose of travelling is for business or leisure. Budget, location, facilities available and level of comfort and luxury required by the traveller all come into play when choosing accommodation. There are many different types of accommodation options to consider as well. Hotels, guest houses or B&B’s, self-catering chalets, even caravans or tents all offer a different experience while travelling.

Probably the most important aspect any traveller needs to consider is the price range of accommodation. A luxury, five-star hotel will obviously be much more expensive than a simple B&B. However, it may include many tangible and intangible benefits that more affordable accommodation would not, including breakfast and or/dinner, expensive toiletries in bathrooms, tea- and coffee-making facilities in rooms, room service, privacy, a spectacular view and safe parking.

Location is another vital point to consider, especially for business travellers. Being close to the venue where meetings will be conducted, or a conference attended, would obviously be preferable to staying far away from the venue and having to negotiate rush hour traffic in an unfamiliar city. Leisure travellers, on the other hand, might prefer accommodation with a nice view, close to the beach or as far away from the town or city’s business district as possible.

The facilities offered by different places of accommodation may differ vastly and travellers may regard these facilities with varying degrees of importance. Business travellers, for example, may require a hotel or guesthouse to have Wi-Fi access, a business centre with fax and Internet facilities, and a desk in their room where they can work. Leisure travellers may prefer facilities such as a swimming pool, tennis courts or even a golf course.

The level of comfort or luxury required by a traveller is closely associated with the price range of an accommodation establishment. The more luxurious and comfortable a room, the more expensive it is likely to be.

With regard to the types of accommodation offered, business travellers tend to prefer hotels over B&B’s. Hotels offer a fairly impersonal, standardised experience, with most offering parking, breakfast and some satellite television channels. Offering an impersonal service is not necessarily a bad thing. Many travellers, especially business travellers, do not necessarily want to engage with the staff or other guests and prefer to be left alone.

Guesthouses or B&B’s are smaller establishments, which offer a more personal accommodation experience. It might not have all the facilities of a big hotel, but usually there will be a lot more interaction between guesthouse staff and guests. B&B’s are often nothing more than a few rooms in someone’s home and it offers travellers, especially those travelling to foreign countries, the experience of “staying at a home away from home”.

Self-catering chalets, caravans and camping are popular choices for families travelling with children, or those seeking a more adventurous accommodation option. These types of accommodation allow for a lot more freedom with regard to meal times and entertaining other guests. It is usually also a much cheaper option and therefore one often the first choice of families with children.

For every traveller, there is a place of accommodation just right for him or her. It is simply a matter of doing the research, establishing which aspects are most important and finding the right option.

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