When compared to international property markets, upmarket property in South Africa offers fantastic value. A case in point is Zimbali, where luxurious homes will cost you the same as a modest apartment in other parts of the world.
Fascination with the world’s leading prime residential markets is something most of us are intrigued by and like to dream about. However, as Principal of Seeff Dolphin Coast, Andreas Wassenaar explains, everything is relative.
An outstanding global resource on research into the world’s top end residential market is Knight Frank’s Wealth Report, which uses the Prime International Residential Index (PIRI) to track the value of luxury homes in 100 key locations worldwide. The most recently published research indicates that a huge gap is emerging between the top- and bottom-ranked destinations. The top tier is completely dominated by cities in China, New Zealand (believe it or not), Canada and Australia. The oil-dependent markets such as Moscow and Lagos are now right at the bottom, showing the impact that a depressed oil price has had on those cities.
Although on average the locations tracked (61% of them) by PIRI indicate flat or rising prices, it is interesting is to see the outstanding performance of those dominating the top slots. Three Chinese cities claim the top three spots, these being Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou, with eye-watering growth in high-end residential prices of 27.4%; 26.8% and 26.6% over a year respectively. A significant gap then opens up before the next four top locations emerge, these being Seoul (16.61% growth), Auckland (16%), Toronto (15.1%) and Vancouver (14.5%).
Europe features in positions 8 and 9 with Amsterdam (10.1%) and Gstaad (10%). Seattle (9.7%), Sydney (9.3%), Melbourne (8.8%) and Berlin (8.7%) follow next, just ahead of the first African city. Yes you guessed it correctly – it is Cape Town, which comes in at position 14, with 8.3% growth.
So who are the big losers in terms of price movements? From position 62 onwards, negative price growth occurs, accelerating as we progress down the list. Not surprisingly perhaps, Rio de Janeiro with -6.2% growth is near the bottom; however, so too are London and Zurich’s top-end residential markets, with reductions in pricing of -6.3% and -7% respectively. The bottom two slots are taken by Moscow (-11.2%) and Lagos (-22%).
If you compare the number of square metres of prime property that a budget of US $1m will buy you, this ranges from a mere 17 m2 in Monaco as the most expensive, just ahead of Hong Kong (20 m2), New York (26 m2) and London (30 m2), with Cape Town offering a more comfortable 209 m2.
It is interesting that Monaco, and ultra-exclusive 2 km2 enclave, has held the most expensive rate per m2 globally for the past 6 years. If somebody tells you that they own a home in Monaco, the chances are they can afford one of our local luxury properties. For those South Africans who are considering an investment in Sydney or Melbourne, the rates per m2 for high-end residential properties average 59 m2 and 110 m2 per US $1m respectively.
Suddenly Zimbali Coastal Resort sounds like more than a great buy! A Zimbali beachfront mansion at R35m is equivalent in value to a modest apartment in the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Currently on the books at Seef Dolphin Coast we have 12 Tinderwood Loop in Zimbali, which is on offer to buy at R25m or to rent (fully furnished) at R100 000 per month. This extraordinary home offers 771 m2 of floor size that defines intelligent design and master craftsmanship. Developed over three levels, the lower ground floor provides the oversized triple garage, utility room, and a staff suite. A kiaat staircase with glass balustrading leads to the ground floor level which impresses with 180-degree sea view; the fifth bedroom with en suite bathroom is located on the ground floor, while the first floor houses four more bedrooms and the elevation ensures that outstanding views are enjoyed from all. The master suite provides remote-controlled curtains, private patio, lavish bathroom and dressing area and outdoor shower. A lift ensures convenience and ease of access to all levels. The advanced home automation system controls all electrical aspects of the home with the touch screen. The heated rim-flow pool is flanked by outside patios.
The designer kitchen integrates perfectly with the formal dining and lounge areas and the unique bar serves a great braai and informal dining space. A separate scullery off the kitchen provides a practical work space and leads outside into the oversized drying yard. Seamless glass stacking doors extend across the full façade ensuring the impressive outlook is maintained under all weather conditions.
Ownership or long-term tenancy includes full access to all the amenities of Zimbali Coastal Resort, including the 18 hole (par 72) Championship Zimbali Golf Course, six tennis courts, two squash courts, extensive Zimbali communal pools and direct access to 3.5 km of pristine beach. The five-star Zimbali gymnasium and fitness centre is a welcome addition. Nature and walking trails are very popular with birders and Zimbali is a superb place for running training at any time of the day. The impressive residents’ clubhouses with the children’s playground and kick-about fields include three cricket nets and a dedicated soccer field. Zimbali has developed into South Africa’s premier and most exclusive lifestyle estate within one of the country’s most naturally beautiful locations. It offers a relatively ravishing lifestyle that competes with the best in the world.