Real Estate in South Africa – New York Times


    $3.8 MILLION

    Nestled on the slopes of Table Mountain, with sunset views over the Atlantic Ocean and a coastal panorama of Lion’s Head and the Twelve Apostles mountains, this creamy stucco eight-bedroom contemporary in the Camp’s Bay section of Cape Town has a whimsical wave to its facade.

    Entry at street level is through a glass and stainless steel door into a vestibule beside a two-car garage, which adjoins two single-car garages. A circular travertine tile staircase with a chrome banister leads to a grassy terrace on the first level.

    The living and dining spaces to either side of a center hall have bowed walls of glass that fold open seamlessly to a curvy veranda with wraparound views, creating an indoor/outdoor living environment. Another glass partition opens to a covered terrace with a tree growing through it. Beyond the veranda is an infinity-edge spillover swimming pool and, a few steps down, a grass lawn.

    Behind the dining room, the kitchen has light wood cabinetry, linear hardware, granite countertops, stainless-steel appliances, a center-island cooktop and built-in wine racks. A scullery and laundry, staff quarters with two bedrooms and a bath, and a guest suite complete the back side of the first level.

    A grand central staircase, in travertine matching the floors and baths throughout, opens to a TV lounge and a rear-facing wood deck. To the front, a master-size bedroom opens to a wraparound balcony. An oval tub is in the bedroom; a three-quarter wall to the rear masks a double vanity, a toilet and closets. Two of the three smaller bedrooms on this level open to the ocean-view balcony.

    The third-level penthouse suite has glass walls opening to a private wraparound wood deck with a hot tub in one corner. In addition to the spa bath and a dressing room, the penthouse has a kitchenette.

    Camp’s Bay is an affluent, cosmopolitan suburb with powder-white sandy beaches fringed by palm trees. Many of the hillside villas are grand and architecturally striking, with apartments closer to the beach. Along the beachfront strip are stylish restaurants, sidewalk cafes and upscale boutiques. In summer, Camp’s Bay is a popular seaside holiday destination for foreign tourists and South Africans. Like many of the mansions in the area, this house is also available as a vacation rental. It is being sold furnished.


    Pricewise, Cape Town real estate is the most expensive in South Africa, with a “definite premium for homes with ocean views,” said Amanda Croker of Engel & Völkers, the listing agent.

    Laurie Wener, a managing director for Pam Golding Properties, said the market in the affluent beachfront suburbs like Camp’s Bay and nearby Clifton “has improved increasingly over the past 12 months.” Prices range from about $350,000, for a two-bedroom apartment, to about $450,000 to $800,000 for a single-family home, although these sometimes exceed $3 million. “The Atlantic Seaboard is a recession resistant, established and sophisticated region,” she said, with a “sound commercial infrastructure. It is an international destination.”

    Mike Greeff, the chief executive of Greeff Properties, an affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate, agreed that the market “has shown a particularly healthy growth this year,” but said homes with water views on the Indian Ocean side of the cape peninsula “offer far more value for money than the Atlantic Seaboard properties.”


    With its proximity to the sea and mountains, and its cosmopolitan atmosphere, Camp’s Bay is a popular choice for wealthy South Africans as well as international buyers from Africa, Europe and occasionally the United States, Ms. Wener said. Because of direct flights and no time change, an increasing number of European buyers are also seeking homes elsewhere on the Atlantic Seaboard, Constantia in the Southern Suburbs and the western cape’s Winelands, Ms. Croker said.


    There are no laws precluding foreigners from owning property in South Africa, Mr. Greeff said.

    But foreigners can borrow only 50 percent of the purchase price if they use a South African bank, Ms. Croker said. The deal must be handled by a “conveyancer,” a lawyer specializing in property transfers.


    Cape Town tourism site:

    Cape Town official site:


    English, Afrikaans and Xhosa, among others; South African rand (1 rand = $0.10)


    Property taxes run about 6,000 rand, or $600, monthly.

    Transfer costs are approximately 8 percent of the purchase price. This includes the conveyance lawyer’s fees and the transfer duty.


    Amanda Croker, Engel & Völkers Camps Bay, 011-27-21-438-8722;

    Real Estate in South Africa – New York Times

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