Johannesburg, South Africa

The Address for Privacy, Security and Prestigious Properties

Iyna Bort Caruso

Gauteng may be the smallest of South Africa’s nine provinces in terms of land mass but it is its most populous--and home to some of the most privileged properties in the country.

Johannesburg is Gauteng’s provincial capital and the nation’s economic engine. Located in the center of the Highveld, or the high plateau region, “Joburg” is known for its dry and sunny climate and a skyline that is one of the most dramatic on the continent. The city is trendy and frenetic with a sizable ex-pat community served by several top quality international and private schools.

The highest home prices in the country are in west and, particularly, north Johannesburg. A prestigious cluster of neighborhoods studs the Sandton area. Sandton is a financial and business Mecca known as Africa’s richest square mile. It is especially popular with foreign nationals. Neighborhoods are referred to as suburbs here although they are within Johannesburg’s city limits. In fact, they are some of the wealthiest neighborhoods in all of South Africa. The area on top of the city’s northwest slope known as Sandhurst has the highest density of multi-millionaires in the country, according to research from WealthInsight, which provides analysis on the world’s high net worth individuals. Other enviable addresses are Bryanston and Westcliff, both known for their panoramic views, as well as Atholl and Gallo Manor.

Estates are built with an emphasis on privacy and security, marked by gated communities and strong residential associations. Behind the gates are magnificent residences of space and scale with sculpted gardens and staff quarters.

Many enclaves here like Houghton, and Saxonwold are known for their heritage homes, which are period residences dating back to the late 1800s when Johannesburg’s pioneering mining magnates, known as Randlords, built opulent homes designed by the leading architects of the day. These historic estates make up a coveted niche in the Johannesburg real estate market.