In the area 2 – Johannesburg

Orman purchase signals confidence in future of Jo’burg property

Spectacular and unrestricted views are the hallmark of the über-luxury The Cliffs development in Northcliff, Johannesburg where personal finance guru Suze Orman has invested in an apartment

World-renowned personal finance guru Suze Orman is obviously no slouch when it comes to picking good investments, and one of her most recent is a home in SA - an apartment in the über-luxury The Cliffs development in Northcliff, Johannesburg.

This speaks volumes about the positive prospects for SA’s property market – especially at the upper end - as this is the only country besides the US where Orman has chosen to buy. (She also owns a townhouse in San Francisco, a condominium in Fort Lauderdale and two apartments in New York).

And it underlines the growing investment potential, in world terms, of upmarket properties in Johannesburg in particular, even though the city has long been regarded as the poor cousin of Cape Town with its multi-millionaires’ playground along the Atlantic Seaboard.

Indeed, Orman says she bought the Northcliff property “for the same reason I invested in the number one property markets in the USA - San Francisco, Florida and New York – position, position and position”.

Johannesburg’s attraction, says Lew Geffen, chairman of Sotheby’s International Realty in SA, is that it is increasingly recognised by the international business community as the “real gateway” to potentially lucrative South African and African markets.

“Cape Town has natural beauty and glamour, but it’s where the money goes on holiday. Jo’burg has the business infrastructure and connections: it’s where the money lives and works. It is one of the three biggest cities in Africa and rated as the best of them to live in, so if you’re an international businessman looking to set up an African operation, Jo’burg is the place to start.

“And because of its growing global reputation, it’s a great place to buy luxury property, especially if you are buying in dollars, euros or pounds. Mansions in suburbs such as Sandhurst and Hyde Park cost a fraction of what they would in the upper income suburbs of American and European cities, and for high-flying executives who prefer lock-up-and-go properties, there are apartments such as those in the Melrose Arch, Michaelangelo and The Cliffs developments that are also very well-priced in world terms.”

At The Cliffs, for example, the three apartments left are priced at between R5m and R9m – or around $500 000 to $900 000, which is an easy reach for someone like Orman, who makes about $80 000 per speaking engagement as well as the revenue from her books, columns and TV shows.

And as for position, Northcliff is not called “the rooftop of the City of Gold” for nothing. It is quiet, exclusive and boasts many architecturally designed homes as well as spectacular and unrestricted views that are the perfect backdrop for The Cliffs sleekly modern apartments. “It is,” says Geffen, “an oasis of luxurious calm which is actually not unlike the Atlantic Seaboard in that its property has an increasing rarity premium.”

Article by: