Realty for the rich
Sotheby's International Realty, whose client base includes 71 of the richest people on Forbes' Top 100 Wealthiest people in the World list and 253 of the wealthiest Americans, is using its new website and links to the global Sotheby's Auction House to expose SA properties to a new worldwide pool of property buyers.

Barak Geffen, Executive Director of Sotheby's International Realty, operated by Lew Geffen in South Africa, says: "South Africa's growing overseas profile with the rich and famous of the world is being egged-on by the 2010 World Cup and more frequent celebrity visits - including Paris Hilton's planned visit in November. Many of them own properties in more than one hot spot.

"And there is a lot of interest in South Africa and South African properties, especially because of our summer months when it is winter in the Northern Hemisphere, our unparalleled lifestyle, wonderful natural scenery and economic and political stability.

"Statistics of Sotheby's Preview magazine, which showcases the full bouquet of products and services for sale including, fine art, furniture, jewelry and real estate and which goes to 85 000 readers globally, shows 70% of them own real estate outside of their home country worth, on average, more than $1 million (R7 million) each."

To best service this sector, Sotheby's International Realty has spent $2-million dollars on upgrading its international website offering to better showcase the most extraordinary properties in South Africa and across the globe.

Geffen says: "The new website:, will be the best real estate website in the world."

Sotheby's International Realty recently sold it highest priced residential property to date for $110 million (around R717 million) in Jackson Hole, Wyoming in the US.

Other recent high profile sales include Gianni Versace's home which went for $10 million (around R65 million) and whose contents, sold via the Sotheby's Auction House, fetched $19 million (around R123 million). The Chateux de Grossey in France was sold via the Sotheby's Auction House and Sotheby's International Realty for a total of $19 million.

South African properties currently on offer to multi millionaires include a state of the art Clifton, Cape Town mansion for R45 million as well a four-bedroomed Eurocentric mansion in Sandhurst, Gauteng - offers from the mid R20 millions.

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