Areas and Places

Sandhurst remains Gauteng's most exclusive suburb

Set on over 6 300m² of prime real estate, this lavish five-bedroomed mansion with hotel rights in the heart of Sandhurst is an entertainers dream at R60 million plus VAT. Features include a gym, spa, cinema, private library, cigar bar, a separate entertainment summerhouse, a billiard room and a championship floodlit tennis court.

Sandhurst is the quintessence of the phrase “where the other half lives” and it is for very good reason that this northern Johannesburg suburb is regarded as the most exclusive and prestigious in Gauteng.

Data recently released by Lightstone Property revealed that not only is Sandhurst one of the top five wealthiest suburbs in South Africa, it is also home to some of the most expensive real estate in the country.

After first-ranking Clifton, where the median price for houses is R27.1 million, and Glen Beach Road in Camps Bay, Sandhurst’s Coronation Road scoops third place with an average sale price of just under R25m.

Recent impressive sales on Oxford Avenue have nudged the prestigious street into the same exclusive bracket as Coronation Road and it is on these two roads that you will find an impressive assembly of palatial trophy homes with rolling lawns and landscaped gardens, many of which fall into the R25m-plus price band.

This is according to Daniella Apteker and Tasha Rossen, Area Specialists for Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty.

“At this level, the mansions are set on sizeable erfs of around 4 000m² or more and usually have at least five en-suite bedrooms, several reception and entertainment areas, perhaps four garages and staff accommodation.”

Apteker adds that there are few “entry level” properties in Sandhurst, with more than half of the homes falling into the R25m to R35m price range.

“At the ‘entry level’, R7m will buy a 350m² cluster home set on an erf of 600m², but there are few cluster developments in the area as most properties in Sandhurst are still freehold”.

“Mid-level is around R15m and most of these homes are on the fringes of the suburb; often not in the best positions.”

Rossen says that Sandhurst is also home to properties at the top end of the market that only the super-wealthy can afford as private residences, such as the recently built Harrow House, which at R60m is more of a palatial estate than a house.

Set on 6 300m², this state-of-the-art home boasts a gym, hotel-type spa, cinema, private library, cigar bar, separate entertainment summerhouse, billiard room and a floodlit tennis court.

“Homes like this are often snapped up by foreign buyers, corporates or even foreign diplomatic missions because of their facilities, security and highly desirable position,” says Rossen.

According to Apteker, one of Sandhurst’s main drawcards is that it offers its residents not only the privacy they seek, but also a very elevated level of security.

“Most of the properties have their own state-of-the-art security systems on top of being set back on stands behind walls at least two metres tall, and the streets are generally heavily patrolled. These precautions ensure that the suburb remains quiet and peaceful.”

Lew Geffen, Chairman of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty says: “Whilst the property landscape in Sandhurst hasn’t changed much in recent years, one aspect that has changed significantly is the investor demographic.The suburb is now very representative of the current top South African wealth profile with more and more of our political heavyweights, business entrepreneurs and captains of industry choosing to live in Sandhurst”.

“A recent property owner profile conducted by Lightstone revealed that the majority of the current Sandhurst residents have lived in the suburb for less than five years, with only 30% of owners having bought more than 10 years ago.”

Geffen says what is not surprising is that almost half of the residents are between the ages of 36 and 49, with 20% being in the 50 to 64 age bracket, but what is notable is the increasing number of buyers who are under the age of 35.

“Over and above the elevated security and privacy residents enjoy, two other major appeal factors are Sandhurst’s prime location and its proximity to several of Johannesburg’s best schools,” says Rossen.

Sandhurst is only minutes from South Africa’s financial heart, Sandton, and residents have their choice of top schools including St David’s, Kingsmead, Pridwin Prep, Hyde Park High, Redhill and Crawford.

“If you have the capital to invest, there is no better location in Johannesburg than Sandhurst.”