Micro mansions? No, but wealthy South Africans are prepared to pay for luxury
Did you know downsizing is the new upsizing? Forget property specs like rolling lawns, Olympic-size swimming pools and guest cottages. No, affluence now comes in the form of sweeping ocean views, state-of-the-art security systems and concierge services.
Adrian Mauerberger is an estate agent with Seeff Atlantic Seaboard & City Bowl. In the past few months, he’s seen much interest from potential buyers in luxury flats, especially on Cape Town’s Atlantic Seaboard. “People don’t want the upkeep and management of large properties,” he said.
Mauerberger suggests the urge to downscale may have something to do with less maintenance and more security.
“There’s definitely a trend towards smaller buildings as opposed to larger ones,” he added.
Also, consider this: most top end luxury apartments offer luxury living with excellent accommodation, often with en suite bathrooms, full living areas, modern finishes and spacious outdoor terraces. Some even have their own private swimming pools.
The reason for downscaling could also be something as simple as space. Premium space is hard to come by, especially in expanding cities like Cape Town and Joburg. Homeowners who can afford it would rather forgo the upkeep of large grounds in exchange for the convenience of urban living.
It’s a sentiment that’s echoed by Andrew Golding, chief executive of the Pam Golding Property group. “You can still create a showpiece with all the latest luxury features, unique appeal and privacy to boot,” he said.
According to Golding, SA’s wealthy are gravitating towards hassle-free “micro mansions”. The only requirements are that the price tag is less than R50-million, and places have sweeping sea views and state-of-the-art features.
He also mentions that other affluent areas like Joburg’s Hyde Park are getting in on the action as homeowners prefer to concentrate on contemporary designs instead of massive grounds and old world architecture.
But Ross Levin, managing director for Seeff Atlantic Seaboard, Waterfront & City Bowl, is of a different opinion. He says that there has been notably more demand for luxury sectional title property compared to luxury full title houses.
“Over the last 18 months or so, there’s been a marked trend towards more sectional title sales versus full title sales on the Atlantic Seaboard as wealthy buyers look to downscale, not on price necessarily, but looking for less maintenance and the convenience on offer,” he noted.
Levin then refers to the latest stats, saying that an analysis of this year’s sales shows that of the 152 units worth just over R1.3-billion that sold on the Atlantic Seaboard for the January - April period, 78 percent of all sales in unit terms and 59 percent of the value generated were for luxury sectional title properties.
Another interesting observation is that five of the highest prices paid on the Atlantic Seaboard for the period January 2018 to May 2019 were for luxury sectional title properties. These were flats in Bantry Bay which ranged from R53.8m to R80m, another in Mouille Point sold for R40m and a Clifton flat sold for R42m.
Testament to this is a booming business of high-rise flat living. Ellipse Waterfall is the latest development in Gauteng’s fastest growing business node.
From executive one-bedroom flats to flagship three-bedroom duplex penthouses, the Waterfall City expansion includes private rooftop gardens and heated pools. Prices are set to range from R1.49 to R12m. Giles Pendleton, head of development at Attacq comments: “Waterfall’s expansion into the residential space was both strategic and necessary, which is why we entered into a joint venture with industry leaders, Tricolt.
“We believe that with this addition to our residential offering, the precinct will finally cement its place as Gauteng’s most prestigious mixed-used precinct,” he concluded.