Got a spare R60m lying around?

WHILE there is no doubt that the property market has cooled, there is still interest at the top end of the market, with a certain breed of buyer willing to splash out on prime properties from R10m-R20m. But since the price tag of our feature home, Bird’s View, in the well-established suburb of Sandhurst, Johannesburg, is R60m, only über-rich buyers need apply. Although R60m may seem like a hefty sum, the 5500m² of property with dynamic views and the home itself, measuring about 1900m² ² under roof, could make the asking price a little more palatable. The land is a combination of two stands measuring 4267m² and 1250m² , which have two separate title deeds.

Bird’s View does not need any introduction in Jo’burg’s property market. Right from when it was designed by Achilles Apostolellis in the ’80s, it was hailed as one of the modern architectural landmarks in the area. When architect Johann Slee was recently appointed to undertake renovations on this home, no major structural changes were necessary and he simply injected new life into this stately residence.

Kitchens and cupboards were replaced, the bathrooms were remodelled and re-equipped, and the sauna and gym were refurbished to house a home wellness centre. A fully equipped gym has also been installed in what previously was the home office.

Says Slee: “The house is surrounded by a large park-like garden and has beautiful views over Sandhurst and the Magaliesberg in the distance. This is an exquisite home with exceptional finishes — perfect for executives who do a lot of entertaining. This is mainly due to the fact that the entertainment areas feed out onto the swimming pool, the created wetland on the one side and the cycad garden on the other.”

The indigenous gardens were designed by prominent South African landscaper Patrick Watson, who has undertaken many high-profile landscaping projects including Sun City, the Mount Grace Hotel & Spa and the Saxon Hotel.

Inside, the downstairs area boasts a Jacuzzi with refrigerated plunge pool, sauna, steam room seating 11 people, and a staircase connecting to the main suite. There is a home theatre, winter patio and sun room, a covered patio and bar with a full wine cellar that has a 4000-bottle capacity. The main dining room seats 14 people, while the music room leads into a sunken lounge. The Italian kitchen with Miele appliances includes a walk-in cold room. The breakfast room is just off the kitchen, which has a separate laundry and scullery area. Downstairs also houses the main study and working study (office with separate entrance). There is a storeroom, garaging for three cars and an art room which could be used as two extra garages.

The five bedrooms are upstairs. Three have en-suite bathrooms, while two share a bathroom. The master suite has a private patio. Upstairs also has a billiard room and a full-size gym.

Special features include electric blinds, doors sliding into cavity walls, a water purification plant, and a Crestron fully integrated home-automation system that includes audio and video throughout. There is also a CCTV security system with lighting.

As one of Gauteng’s top suburbs, where demand is still actively driving property sales, Sandhurst is one of Jo’burg’s few remaining low-density areas. The area boasts great views as it is situated on a northwestern slope, and also allows its residents easy access to the main CBDs and a variety of amenities and educational facilities.

Security in Sandhurst is paramount, with private security guards patrolling the streets, most of which have been closed to public thoroughfare.

Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty agent Daniella Apteker, who is marketing this home, says the Sandhurst property market, like the rest of the country, has changed.

“However,” she says, “the fundamentals of the market have not. Sandhurst is perceived to be one of the most sought after and expensive suburbs in Johannesburg, followed
by Hyde Park.”

Knowledge Factory’s SAPTG backs this up, showing that average prices for full-title properties in Sandhurst have increased from about R7,2m in the 2006-07 period to just more than R8,2m in the 2007-08 period. The number of sales, however, has declined from 37 to 30. And while the one-year trend reflects a -8,54% decline, both the three- and five-year trends look healthy, showing a 7,29% and 32,69% appreciation respectively.

PRICE: Asking price R60m

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