Brian’s Walk and OMG HOW MUCH?!??!

After being away for the long weekend and the rigours of the kids’ Science Week to prepare for, plus a myriad of bugs to grow in the lab, I’m only finding time to catch up on the other blogs I read. Top of that list, as regular readers will already know, is BrianMicklethwait.com.
Post lurgy, and with Spring in the London air, Brian took us on a walk along the Thames to Battersea. He took some great photos too, as you’ll see when you click on that link. But it was the seventh one that stood out for me:

PowerStationDwellings

Firstly, I should note that this isn’t as “nice” as some of the other images. But just because it’s not showing “the river… adorned by bright reflections” or “world class roof clutter” doesn’t mean that it’s not a valid photo. It’s taken to share information rather than because it’s pretty. It’s something I find myself doing more and more too – photos of the blackboard shopping list in the kitchen or details of a show or something else I see on a poster for later investigation. Quick and easy.

But if you’re in SA and you’ve looked at that seventh image, then you’ll have seen why is stood out for me.

A 516 square foot, one-bedroom apartment, for £1,400,000.

Look out! Here comes the conversion:

That’s 47.94m² for a cool R25,474,034.59.
Twenty-five. And a half. Million. Rand.

‘Ow Much?!???!!??!?!

I recognise that we’re not comparing apples with apples here. I recognise that this is prime London real estate, but let’s just see what R25.5 million would get you over here, shall we? I popped in at leading SA estate agency Pam Golding Properties for a quick look.

Well, if we’re going down the apartment route, why not buy this place?

367417_H_11   367417_H_2
It’s over seven times the size of the London offering, has 4 en-suite bedrooms, overlooks all four of the beautiful Clifton beaches and comes with two (count them and weep) two parking bays. You’d also have R500,000 spare cash to buy a nice outside table, which would put you one up on the current owners.

But apartments are so boxy, aren’t they? Especially when, for the same money, you could buy your own BOUTIQUE WINE FARM AND EQUESTRIAN ESTATE:

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     413637_H_2   413637_H_6
At 42,505 m², the property size is a mere 887 times the size of the Battersea flat, (although the actual living area is just 17 times the size). That pool is 11m long though, meaning that it’s about the size of the R25.5m London apartment. But what else do you get?

With majestic mountain views as a backdrop and entrancing vineyards gracing the surrounding slopes, one could imagine you’re in the south of France. Enjoy the romance of your own award winning vineyards (Savignon Blanc, Merlot, Shiraz and Viognier), without the labour if you wish, as it can be leased out.
Constantia Nek Farm graces a valley on the back slopes of Table Mountain National Park with a large home, several stables and 3ha of vineyards. Riding in the restricted Orange Kloof area of the park is allowed with a special permit.
The Property also includes a granny flat, two large sheds/workshops, extensive parking, three garages, large spring and perennial stream fed dam, and adjacent staff quarters on the Houtkapperspoort side of its Southern boundary. Amenities include an 11m pool with electronically operated cover and solar heating and heat pump and large, cool wine cellar. The grounds and vineyards are irrigated via a seven station computerised underground system.

And again, you’d still have R500,000 spare for a nice outside table.
Or you could look at the Thames from your shoebox. It really is your call.

Like I said, I know that I can’t legitimately compare these properties. But with London prices and frankly terrifying exchange rates, it makes for an interesting – and, as an ex-pat, rather distressing – juxtaposition.

Still. Where would you rather be?

Where are you going to stay?

With almost all the teams now confirmed for next year’s FIFA World Cup, excitement is beginning to mount and people are suddenly realising the need to start making plans. Flights are getting booked up, rental car agencies are running short of rental cars and flag sales are up to their highest levels since before the world flag crisis of 2003.

Of course, your most immediate requirement as a visitor to South Africa is somewhere to stay. And if you’re looking for a decent place to rent, you’re obviously (obviously) going to head to SA’s premier property group: Pam Golding Properties.

PGP have a specialised 2010 rental department and they have released a portfolio of some of the Cape Town properties that they have on their books for next year’s tournament. In addition, if you’re in Cape Town, you can rent out your property. Just make sure it fits the bill.

These properties have been carefully selected for their outstanding locations and superlative features, all promise first class accommodation with all the added extras.

Check out that first one. Fresnaye. R30,000 per day. Per. Day.

pgp

Even with the Rand doing extraordinarily well at the moment, that’s still $4,000 or £2,500 per day. Don’t even ask how much that is if you plan to stay for the whole 31 days (although you can work it out using mental arithmetic or a simple calculator)*.
But if you are staying the whole month, then you might be able to get in a harvest from the private vineyard it boasts, make some wine and offset a bit of the cost.

Of course, you don’t have to spend all that money. Last time around in Germany 2006, loads of people camped out. But then, during Germany 2006, it was summer. Good luck with finding your tent after we get a traditional Cape cold front coming through.
Start looking halfway to Antarctica.

* If you arrive the day before the first match and leave the day after the final, that’ll be a cool R1,000,000 please.