Lap of luxury | Everything Property
15 September 2023

Lap of luxury

The penthouse at The Poplar with views across the city and mountain, developed by Horizon Capital


SA’s penthouses are among the most desirable globally, from those in the Western Cape with ocean and mountain vistas to Gauteng’s sleek and chic city pads

If you’ve got a few million to spare and you’re eyeing exclusive real estate, you’re in good company. SA’s luxury penthouses are among the world’s most sought-after properties, offering stunning views, prime locations, privacy, exclusivity and serious status. It’s where discerning high-end buyers are investing their wealth. This is according to licensee for Seeff Atlantic Seaboard and the City Bowl Ross Levin.

Whether it is the spectacular sight over the Atlantic Seaboard and out towards Robben Island, views over the Indian Ocean in Umhlanga or beautiful cityscapes from the exclusive patios of Sandton penthouses, demand for these home is growing, says Levin. “Buyers are looking for views and exclusivity, luxury interiors, and often a concierge and valet service as well. It is also about status and convenience.”

The world’s most pricey 

The world’s most expensive penthouses have all sold for more than $100m (about R2bn). Notable examples include the Odeon Tower Penthouse in Monaco ($440m), Penthouse D in London’s One Hyde Park ($237m), the Ritz-Carlton Penthouse in New York ($118m), Woolworth Tower Residence in New York ($110m), House No 1 in The Peak in Hong Kong ($102m), and CitySpire Penthouse in New York ($100m).

Penthouses consistently command higher prices compared to houses due to their rarity – typically, there’s only one per building, located on the top one or two floors, providing unobstructed 360° views. 

These spacious residences, ranging from 600m² to 1,000m², feature premium finishes, en-suite bedrooms, smart luxury features and often private terraces, sometimes with pools. They also offer access to five-star amenities, including gyms and private lifts.


The Poplar

Place of natural beauty

Penthouses on the Atlantic Seaboard in Cape Town are highly sought after, fetching a premium of 40% to 50% compared to other apartments. Prices range from R55m (about $3m) to R250m ($13m) for penthouses here.

Exclusive options include penthouses at the One&Only at the Waterfront, Waterfront Marina and Clifton overlooking Moses Beach. According to Adrian Mauerberger, a luxury sectional title agent with Seeff, Bantry Bay and Sea Point are becoming sought-after areas. The most exclusive options include The Bantry, Aurum, The President and The Fresnaye. Prices start at R30m. 

The Poplar by Horizon Capital Residential is a boutique apartment block in Cape Town offering exclusivity and a luxury lifestyle. The last of the development’s three penthouses offers an apartment area of 90m² and has a private 75m² pool terrace with stunning rooftop views of the city, harbour and sea. 

Floor-to-ceiling windows flood the apartment with natural light, overlooking iconic Cape Town landmarks. The design combines elegance and sustainability features, while CCTV and secure access provide peace of mind.

“The Poplar is our third development in Vredehoek that follows a more gentle art-deco inspired aesthetic,” says group MD David Sedgewick. “We’ve tried to capture the heritage of the area by incorporating more curvature, setting back the building from the boundaries to ensure breathing room between neighbouring properties and incorporating timeless vertical accents.”

A penthouse at Ellipse Waterfall, one of only seven available for sale

City of gold

In Sandton, Waterfall City’s ultra-luxurious penthouses have been sold for up to R75m. Exclusive options include the Michelangelo and Da Vinci, with prices ranging from R80m to more than R250m.

Ellipse Waterfall, developed by Tricollt and Attacq Limited, has only seven beautifully designed penthouses, ranging from 165m² to 390m² and priced between R7.7m and R14m available for sale. 

One such penthouse spans two levels and offers panoramic city views. The interior features an open-plan kitchen, lounge, dining area, two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a balcony on the first level. 

The second level houses the master bedroom with a walk-through wardrobe and lavish en-suite bathroom, leading to a private terrace and second lounge. The unique double-level design offers distinct living areas, and soundproofing ensures peace and quiet. 

Ellipse Waterfall provides 24-hour security, CCTV, secure parking, backup power and water facilities. Residents also enjoy top amenities including dining at the Olives & Plates restaurant and wellness services at TriFit Wellness and Life Day Spa.

This Lawhill penthouse at the Waterfront Marina is marketed by Seeff Properties

Pearls of Umhlanga

According to Seeff licensee for Umhlanga Anni Eisele, the area offers exclusive penthouses with a 45% to 50% price premium over other apartments. In-demand options include The Oysters, which sold for R13m, was resold for R29m after renovation, and is now valued at R35m. The Pearls of Umhlanga penthouse sold for R50m in 2021, the highest in the Durban and Umhlanga area.

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