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$25M Price Tag A Record For South African Residential Properties

$25M Price Tag A Record For South African Residential Properties

Construction was recently completed on new home valued at $25 million in Sandton – Africa’s richest square mile – setting what’s thought to be a record for South African residential property values, according to BusinessDayLive.

Insurance tycoon and real estate developer Douw Steyn built his mansion in Sandton’s Fourways. Named Palazzo Steyn, it’s the first home to be completed at Steyn City, a 2000-acre mixed-use development in which Steyn has owenership.

The 32,000-square-foot home on six acres includes a basement garage for 33 cars, which will house Steyn’s sport and vintage car collection, seven bedrooms and a wine cellar.

Born in South Africa, the billionaire founder of Auto & General moved to London in 1992 to start Budget Insurance Company. He now splits his time between South Africa and the U.K. He also owns the Saxon Boutique Hotel, Villas and Spa in Johannesburg and Shambala Game Reserve in Limpopo. And now, he has invested in the development of Steyn City.

Steyn said on Steyn City’s website that he could have invested in a luxury residence in Europe or the U.S., but instead chose to invest in South Africa,  BusinessDayLive reports.

“This is indicative of the confidence I have in our country and the success of Steyn City,” he said. “I also long for the quality of life that we are creating for future residents and it therefore made sense for me to be part of it.


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“My wife and I are looking forward to entertaining our friends and business partners from all over the world at our new residence, while also exposing them to our magnificent country.”

Steyn City will be launched to the public in early 2015 once water, road and sewer infrastructure, an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course and model units are complete.

Steyn City Properties CEO Giuseppe Plumari said half the development is wooded parkland, and total construction cost will amount to $600 million.

While Palazzo Steyn places Steyn City as one of South Africa’s most expensive residential addresses, Plumari said the development is not only for a wealthy few. “The idea is to create a truly mixed-use lifestyle that will appeal to a wide spectrum of potential buyers,” he said. “The estate will comprise close to 1,000 residential units, ranging from one-bedroom apartments to large, stand-alone homes.”

Until now, Waterfall Equestrian Estate north of Johannesburg was believed to be South Africa’s priciest gated enclave. A house valued at $13 million was completed there last year.

A Camps Bay home on Cape Town’s swanky Atlantic Seaboard was listed for $30 million including art and furniture last year, but the residence, known as Enigma Mansion, has yet to be sold.

The most notable big-ticket sales in South Africa so far this year are a Sandhurst home previously owned by the late Rwandan telecommunications billionaire Miko Rwayitare, which reportedly fetched $8 million, and a three-level home in Fresnaye on the Atlantic Seaboard which was sold for $11 million to a buyer from United Arab Emirates.

Other wealthy suburbs of Johannesburg are also testing new price highs. A penthouse apartment in Morningside’s Regent building went on the market two months ago for $6 million. In 2011, a custom-built apartment sold at The Houghton for $5.4 million.

Sandton’s Inanda Club, which sold a third of its land to Investec Property for $7.25 million earlier this year, is also set to become one of Gauteng’s most exclusive residential addresses. The developer sold all 33 lots for $500,000-to-$550,000 apiece before the gated development was officially launched. That is believed to be a new record for Gauteng land values.

Sol Kerzner’s One &Only hotel at the Waterfront in Cape Town, where a luxury penthouse fetched just more than $11 million in 2008, still holds the record for the highest price for a residential property sale in South Africa.

In an interview on the Steyn City website, Steyn said, “The spirit of ubuntu (humanness) is unique and unparalleled anywhere else in the world that I’ve lived or visited. Unfortunately, many successful South African business people, who built their fortunes here, went on to disinvest in the economy. I see things differently.”