These are the richest suburbs in South Africa

 ·26 Apr 2022

New World Wealth has published its annual Africa Wealth report for 2022, revealing which countries and cities on the continent are home to the highest net worth individuals – including South Africa.

The report focuses on high net worth individuals (HNWIs) with a wealth of $1 million (R15.70 million) or more. Total wealth refers to the private wealth held by all the individuals living in each country. It includes all their assets  –  property, cash, equities, business interests – less liabilities.

The data shows that Johannesburg is the wealthiest city in Africa, with total private wealth amounting to $239 billion. This includes 16,000 HNWIs, 34 centi-millionaires (R1.5 billion+), and two-dollar billionaires (R15.7 billion+). Most of Johannesburg’s HNWI wealth is concentrated in the suburbs of Sandhurst, Hyde Park and Westcliff.

Cape Town ranks second on the list with total private wealth amounting to $131 billion. The city is home to 6,900 HNWIs, 25 centi-millionaires and one billionaire.

Durban and Umhlanga round up the top three with total private wealth amounting to $60 billion. The data shows that Umhlanga is especially affluent and is home to many HNWIs.

Most expensive streets and suburbs 

When looking at the wealthiest areas and streets sales, the data from New World Wealth shows that almost all of the country’s most expensive suburbs and streets are in the Western Cape.

The city is home to many of Africa’s most exclusive suburbs, including Clifton, Bantry Bay, Fresnaye, Llandudno, Camps Bay, Bishopscourt and Constantia. It also attracts more foreign buyers than the rest of the country due to its attractive lifestyle and high living standards.

Suburb Rand per square meter US$ per square meter
Clifton R80,000 $5,000
Bantry Bay R75,000 $4,700
Fresnaye R58,000 $3,600
Camps Bay and Bakoven R52,000 $3,300
Llandudno R50,000 $3,100

Most expensive streets or suburbs outside of Cape Town

Suburb/Street Rand per square meter US$ per square meter
Lagoon Drive, Umhlanga R36,000 $2,300
Eastcliff, Hermanus R35,000 $2,200
Beachyhead Drive, Plettenberg Bay R34,000 $2,100
Central Sandton R32,000 $2,000
Marine Drive, Umhlanga R30,000 $1,900

Prime property on the decline 

While South Africa’s prime property costs are still some of the most expensive globally, the sector has taken a knock over the last decade, New World Wealth’s data shows, due to a fluctuating exchange rate. Between 2010 and 2012, the rand traded at an average of R7.50, R6.75, and R8.10 respectively over those years.

Prime residential prices surged 37% over the past decade in local rand terms, however, when measured in US$ terms, these prices were down by 30%.

Some of the impossible reasons for this poor performance include:

  • A dip in the top-end market. In particular, free-standing houses valued at over R10 million have become very difficult to sell.
  • Increased utility bills (rates, electricity, and water) have risen by more than three times over the ten-year period. This has discouraged people from buying property and forced many to downsize.
  • High transfer duties of up to 13%. Notably, for properties valued at R10 million and over, transfer duty exceeds R900,000.
  • High crime levels have deterred people from buying freestanding houses, in particular.
  • Threats of land redistribution without compensation may have discouraged people from making large-scale property purchases.

Read: More South African taxpayers are moving to this centrally-located island near Europe

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