PROPERTY NEWS - Penthouses are an iconic component of the luxury market. Interestingly, they initially served as servant's quarters in 1920s New York because they were often dark and gloomy spaces that nobody wanted to live in.
However, as apartment blocks became higher to accommodate the growing demand for inner-city living, the views these spaces offered became increasingly desirable and it was not long before top floors were transformed into the luxury spaces they are today.
According to regional director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, Adrian Goslett, penthouses offer unique investment opportunities for today's luxury buyers.
"As our cities and other mixed-use precincts become more densely populated, rooftop spaces are going to become increasingly valuable, which makes penthouses prime real estate for future-focused investors," says Goslett.
Unpacking the appeal of the penthouse a little further, Louise Killeen of RE/MAX Living explains that many of her high-end clients like to live on the top floor where there are no neighbours above them.
"Penthouses provide that feeling of exclusivity while still feeling like a house.
"They are also great lock-up-and-go spaces, offering high levels of security and low maintenance effort, which is very appealing to the high-end, swallow-type buyer who can lock up and go on holiday on a whim," Killeen says.
In terms of the additional costs to consider when owning a penthouse, Killeen says that the levies are shared between the owners and are usually calculated in a sectional title per square metre, unless otherwise stipulated. "For example, we have a four-bedroom, 562m² penthouse in Greenpoint currently on the market for R32-million.
"The levies on this penthouse are divided on a 60/40 split. The buyer for this home would cover 60% of the levies as it has the better position. This is why it is important to ask your real estate agent about the levies rather than to assume an amount," says Killeen.
"The key to purchasing a penthouse is to partner with a knowledgeable real estate professional who can help you find what you're looking for," says Goslett.
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