A five bedroom under Table Mountain in Cape Town
$4.7 MILLION (79,995 MILLION RAND)
This one house with five bedrooms borders the slopes of Table Mountain in Oranjezicht, a suburb of Cape Town, South Africa. The house sits on approximately three-quarters of an acre and was designed to mimic the landscape of the mountain, a prominent landmark, with an undulating concrete roof and extensive use of wood and stone.
“The house was literally built into the mountain,” said Riaan Ackerman, an agent at Pam Golding Properties, who has the listing. “The owners wanted it to become a sanctuary of sorts. They enjoy meditation and go on health retreats. So it was very much about creating a sanctuary like home.”
The house, built in 2011, was one of the first in the area to have an “eco-pool,” a pool that uses plants and microorganisms rather than chemicals to purify the water, Mr Ackerman said. The pool is heated by solar panels, which are also used for backup power during outages.
The ground floor spa area is located at one end of the pool and the front can be opened to make it directly accessible to swimmers. It has a sauna, hot tub, shower and a hammam with red Zellige tiles made in Zimbabwe.
A concrete staircase rises to the glass front door of the house, one level up. A hallway opens to the main living and dining area, a large, airy space with a double sided fireplace and black granite floors. Glass walls slide away on one side to open the room to a dining patio with retractable awnings.
On the other side of the room is a striking wall of backlit bookshelves that extends to the floor below. A staircase from the living room leads the length of the library to the yoga studio on the ground floor, which is flanked by two office spaces. This floor also has a theater room and wine cellar.
A large kitchen is on the other side of the hall. It has a long, stainless steel island with built-in Gaggenau and Viking equipment. There is a separate utility room off the kitchen, as well as two guest bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms. Stairs from the kitchen lead down to the attached three car garage, laundry facilities and staff quarters.
Another level is the primary suite and what the owners use as a children’s wing. The primary suite has a glass wall that opens to the outside, a wraparound wooden deck, a dressing room and a bathroom with a free-standing bath. The children’s wing has two en-suite bedrooms and a large shared room.
The gated property also has a detached cottage with one bedroom, kitchen and bathroom. Both the cottage and the house have underfloor heating throughout.
Oranjezicht is minutes from Kloof and Bree streets in Cape Town, which are home to many restaurants, cafes and nightclubs. The popular Camps Bay Beach on the city’s Atlantic coast is a 10-minute drive away and Cape Town International Airport is approximately 20 minutes away.
With a coastline of approximately 180 miles and a population of 4.4 million, Cape Town is the largest city in South Africa’s Western Cape Province. The top end of the housing market is booming, largely driven by European buyers
“Cape Town has become the flavor of the month,” said Sean Phillips, a sales associate at RE/MAX Living. “We have more really wealthy clients who are optimistic about the way things are going in South Africa and confident to invest here.”
Nationally, sales in the second quarter of 2022 were 32 percent higher than in the same period last year, according to a report market report from RE/MAX of Southern Africa. The average price for a single-family home was 1.42 million rand ($85,000), up 8 percent from last year.
Bordering the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, the Western Cape is South Africa’s most active and most expensive market, with a median asking price of 2.5 million rand ($150,000).
In Cape Town, entry-level activity — between 3 million and 6 million rand ($180,000 and $360,000) — has declined since last November, when interest rates began to rise, Mr Ackerman said. The rates are now around 9 percent – high compared to the US, but not unusual for South Africa.
But most high-end international customers pay cash and are unaffected by the rise in rates, Mr Phillips said. In the highly desirable Camps Bay area, on Cape Town’s Atlantic coast, homes in need of work start from around 10 million rand ($600,000). $3 million) in the Camps Bay area.
“That’s a beautiful four-bedroom house with spectacular views, excellent craftsmanship, a home intelligence system, automatic blinds, an elevator,” he said. “It could be on the waterfront or on a top floor.”
Sought-after locations are also Cape Town’s southern suburbs, namely Constantia and Upper Claremont, thanks to its proximity to schools, parks and wine estates, said Richard Olotu, an agent at Knight Frank. He also pointed to new luxury developments in Cape Town’s central business district.
Who buys in Cape Town
Cape Town, the oldest and second largest city (after Johannesburg) in South Africa, has long been an attractive investment destination for Europeans, in part because it is in the same time zone as Central Europe, providing a warm refuge during their winter, it said. Paul Turner, owner of Engel & Völkers Atlantic Sea Board and City Bowl.
A majority of foreign buyers come from Germany, Britain and the Netherlands, but there are also some from Italy, France and Switzerland, he said.
Americans are showing up much more often now that there are direct flights to Cape Town from the US. Mr Phillips said he recently sold an unseen property to two Atlanta doctors. Having previously visited Cape Town and losing a property they had bid on, they decided to act quickly when Mr Phillips gave them a virtual tour of another after they returned home.
“They arrived about six weeks later and were pleasantly surprised with what they had bought,” he said.
There are no restrictions on foreign buyers in South Africa, and the buying process is simple, Mr Turner said.
Foreign investors are allowed to borrow up to 50 percent of the value of the property they buy. “But because of our high interest rates, most foreign investors aren’t interested in borrowing locally anyway,” he said.
A lawyer, called a carrier, handles the transaction, including overseeing the proper transfer of the deed. The seller selects the carrier, but the fee is paid by the buyer. Total transaction costs vary depending on the price of the property, but they are generally about 10 percent of the purchase price, Mr. Olotu said.
Non-residents must pay taxes on any capital gains when they sell a property.
Languages and currencies
South Africa has 11 official languages; Afrikaans and English are widely spoken.
South African Rand (1 rand = $0.06)
Taxes and Duties
A transfer obligation is charged on a sliding scale, starting at 3 percent for properties that sell for more than 1 million rand ($60,000). The highest rate of 13 percent is payable on that portion of a property above 11 million rand ($660,000).
The property tax on this home is 16,500 rand ($990) per month, according to Mr. Ackerman.
Riaan Ackerman and Karin Coetzee, Pam Golding Properties011-27-21-276-3233