While the hoi polloi continue to struggle under the hefty cosh of financial hardship, there’s some good news on the horizon. Apparently, all you have to do to avoid this sort of troublesome existence is to earn pots and pots of money.
But here’s the proof that those at the top of the tree aren’t really struggling very much at the moment:
TROPHY homes are back in vogue with estate agents reporting a strong increase in property sales in wealthy suburbs where price tags typically exceed R10m.
Lew Geffen, chairman of Sotheby’s International Realty in South Africa, on Tuesday described the top end of the market in Cape Town and Johannesburg as being “on fire”. Neither the upcoming election nor the prospect of further interest rate increases had done anything to slow demand for luxury housing.
Fortunately, I don’t think it’s the actual homes, so much as the market that Mr Geffen was referring to. And he’s not alone in his observation: Andrew Golding of Pam Golding Properties, Samuel Seeff of Seeff Properties and Dave Property24 of… er… well, never mind… all agree that sales of properties costing more than R10,000,000 are on the up, giving the media the opportunity to use phrases like “swanky homes” and “leafy suburbs”, in a completely irony-free piece centring around estate agents.
“Until recently, there has been little interest for properties priced above R10m in Constantia,” said Gerald Romanovsky of Rawson’s Constantia franchise. The change became evident soon after the start of this year when we suddenly found ourselves in a new ballpark, handling five or six genuine enquiries per month for this type of luxury property from both local and foreign buyers.”
For me, Gerald’s comments raise more questions than they give answers, namely as to why they haven’t been selling ballparks and exactly how many faux enquiries they’ve been handling each month around luxury property.
All in all (and heavily dependent on your political viewpoint), I suppose that it’s good news that there are still people out there with money to spend, whether it’s from within SA or from investors abroad. These people generally know what they are doing (or at least employ people who do) and if they are still happy to put large amounts of money into large houses here, then maybe things aren’t as bad as they seem.