SA’s wealthiest cities and residential estates

SA’s wealthiest cities and residential estates

Private Property South Africa
Kerry Dimmer

The wealth held in Africa has risen by some 14 percent over the past decade.

Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban/Umhlanga have a combined total wealth of some US$435-billion, according to The 2019 Africa Wealth Report issued in December, by New World Wealth in collaboration with AfrAsia Bank. This is not to say that the cities themselves are wealthy but rather the individuals that live in them, and based on their asset packages, which include property, cash, equities, and business interests, less any liabilities.

The report considered four specific wealth bands in 2018: billionaires, those with net assets of US$1-billion or more; centi-millionaires (asset worth of US$100-million or more); multi-millionaires (US$10-million or more); and millionaires, also known as High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) (US$1-million or more).

The three South African cities feature in the top six of the wealthiest cities in Africa according to the Report, which also reveals that Africa’s total wealth market is massive at some US$2.2-trillion. This comprises 140 000 millionaires, some 42% of Africa’s total wealth, whose top spend is on dining, travel, shopping and recreation.

Andrew Amoils, wealth analyst at New World Wealth says that the wealth held in Africa has risen by some 14 percent over the past decade ‘despite the constrained economic conditions in the three largest continental markets of South Africa, Egypt and Nigeria.

Over the next 10 years, growth in South Africa is expected to be moderate, with most of Africa’s future wealth growth being fueled by Mauritius, Ghana, Rwanda, Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda.

This is not to say that Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban/Umhlanga won’t continue to perform well. Traditionally these are cities that always attract investment, particularly in real estate. ‘Cape Town for example, whose total wealth is US$133-billion,’ says Amoils, ‘is a hotspot for wealthy second-home owners from around the world. It offers some of the most exclusive and expensive suburbs in the country like Clifton, Bishopscourt, Camps Bay and Bantry Bay. Apart from real estate, Cape Town attracts investment in financial services, retail and tourism.’

Sandton in Johannesburg (total wealth of US$248-billion) is the suburb with the most pull-factors in terms of business activities. It is home to many of the head offices of most of Africa’s largest banks and corporates, and the largest stock exchange in Africa, the Johannesburg Securities Exchange (JSE). Amoils also highlights Hyde Park, Sandhurst, Houghton and Westcliff as desirable for HNWIs whose main interests in the area, according to the Report, lie in financial services, professional services such as law firms and consultancies, telecoms and basic materials.

‘The total wealth package of the Durban/Umhlanga base includes that held in La Lucia and Ballito, with Umhlanga and Ballito two of the fastest growing regions in South Africa in terms of wealth growth over the past 10 years,’ says Amoils. This region’s major sectors, like Cape Town and Johannesburg, include financial services, with the addition of healthcare, real estate, and transport.

Top residential states

South African HNWIs real estate investments into residential estate living is on the rise, says another report issued by New World Wealth, ‘The 2019 Estate Ratings’. According to this report, 40% of the most affluent live or have homes on lifestyle, wildlife, golf, equestrian and parkland estates, and top luxury apartment complexes.

‘Notably, we see a trend emerging away from golf estates towards more lifestyle and retirement focused complexes, particularly those offering parklands, birdlife, walks and trails,’ says Amoils. ‘Another popular choice is to buy into estates that offer small neighbourhoods, or districts, within them, and/or the addition of luxury apartments.

‘Outside of the United States, South Africa has the most residential estates in the world and is considered a pioneer in residential estate living.’

The top residential estate in South Africa (and leading the Western Cape category), according to New World Worth, is Val de Vie in the Cape Winelands. Its unique offerings include vineyards, polo fields, an equestrian centre, golf course, and incredible natural scenery with mountain backdrops. House apartment prices on the estate range from R3- to R50-million.

In Gauteng, Steyn City reigns supreme. Featuring distinct residential neighbourhoods comprising a mix of houses, townhouses and apartments, the estate presents huge expanses of parklands, rivers, dams, and birdlife. House and apartment living will set you back anywhere from R2- to R40-million.

Kwazulu Natal’s impressive Zimbali estate has always been popular given its views and access of/to both forest and beach. House prices here range from R5- to R75-million.

The Estate Ratings Report includes among its top 10: Fancourt as the top residential estate on the Garden Route; Whalerock Ridge Ridge in Plettenberg Bay; Steenberg in the Cape; Simbithi in Ballito; Pezula in Knysna; Atlantic Beach in Cape Town; and Arabella in the Cape.

Top retirement villages

The five top retirement villages were also included in the 2019 report: Clé du Cap, Cape Town; Evergreen Val de Vie, within the broader Val de Vie Estate; Helderberg Village, Somerset West; Onrus Manor, Hermanus; and Waterfall Hills, Midrand. These five offerings include independent- or assisted-living lifestyles and healthcare facilities.

Top wildlife estates

In the Wildlife (or Eco-living) estate category, the top five are: Gondwana Private Residences, Garden Route; Royalston, Port Elizabeth; Welgevonden, Waterberg; and Leopard Creek and Mjejane, both neighbouring the Kruger National Park.

Top luxury apartment complexes

New World Wealth rates the top 10 luxury apartment complexes in SA for 2019 as (no particular order): De Meermin, Plettenberg Bay; Embassy Towers, Melrose Arch and Raphael Suites, all in Sandton; San Michele and The Bantry, Cape Town; The Houghton, Johannesburg; The Pearls, Umhlanga; The V&A Marina Apartments, Cape Town; and Whitehall Court, Johannesburg.

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