Wanted: Wealthy buyer for ‘Princess Diana property’ in Cape Town (see pictures)

By Jackie Cameron

One of Cape Town’s most prestigious addresses is for sale. The Constantia home where Princess Diana visited her brother, Earl Spencer, is on the market, with the bedroom where she slept listed as a key selling point.

Princess Diana property
The Princess Diana property in Cape Town: Estate agents have been emphasising the connections between the ex-wife of Prince Charles and this mansion in Cape Town.

The property is expected to fetch a big sum, though estate agents are refusing to say what an acceptable minimum asking price would be. Instead, estate agency Seeff is asking for bids.

Apartments have been selling in Cape Town’s Atlantic Seaboard for not far off R200m, so it is likely that the buyers would like more than that amount. On the other hand, property per square metre isn’t as pricey on the leafy side of Cape Town, where you can find palatial homes on offer for R50m.

The property’s marketing history suggests that the sellers would like R80m to R100m. The house was on Seeff’s books as recently as 2012 for R80m.

In June, Harcourts International announced that it had been given an exclusive mandate to sell this property, at the time putting it at a price of R120m (or R120m). South African property owners generally expect to be negotiated down a little in price, so it is possible the sellers would have been happy with an offer of R100m.

That sole mandate has expired.

Marie Durr of Seeff told BizNews this week that the property is “fresh on the market” for Seeff. She said she has already received calls from potential buyers and their agents. A US buyer has apparently been sniffing around the property.

Durr said she expects this property will be attractive to a corporate buyer on the hunt for an exclusive property to entertain business guests. A boutique hotel is a possibility too, as the property has nine bedrooms and several cottages. It has a tennis court, swimming pool and vineyards.

Seeff said this deal is not a forced sale. The property is owned by unnamed people who travel extensively. “The place is very large for them. They go to Europe a lot,” said Durr of the reason the “mixed citizenship” owners are wanting to sell.

The agency says the bedroom in which Princess Diana allegedly slept has been left unrenovated since it was used by the glamorous ex-wife of England’s Prince Charles.

In addition to being able to brag about owning a property with a bedroom that was used by Princess Diana not long before she was killed, the house is furnished and includes fine art works. These can be bought with – or separately from – the property.

Times Live reports that the property, called Tarrystone, was sold by Earl Spencer in 2000. The German buyer sold it on to British buyers in 2004 and six years ago South African buyers “snapped it up”.

With the rand weakening against major currencies, the property could prove attractive to an international buyer.

Here are the full details released by Seeff on the property (scroll down for pictures):

Tarrystone, the estate where the late Princess Diana holidayed back on the market in sought-after Upper Constantia

Tarrystone, the Upper Constantia estate, formerly owned by the Earl Spencer and where the late Princess Diana often visited is on the market. While the home has been beautifully renovated, the suite that Princess Diana stayed in as late as the January before her death has been preserved as it was.

No price is attached to the property and it is being offered on sale by tender. The agents say that it is difficult to determine the value as there is nothing to compare in the suburb and sale by tender has proved very effective when the value of a property is difficult to determine. There is, however, no doubt that, either unfurnished or furnished, this property will achieve a record high price for the area.

This magnificent property is located just off Southern Cross Drive, and comprises around two acres of land positioned with magnificent views over False Bay. The grand double-storey home comprises about 1,100sqm in floor space with large rooms, double-volume ceilings, state of the art security including a guardhouse, several guest cottages, a manager’s office, two separate staff quarters, private vineyards, a tennis court, fully equipped gym room, Jacuzzi, koi pond and a swimming pool.

The home and cottages are beautifully furnished by the internationally acclaimed decorator-owner and can be sold fully furnished with or without the art that alone is valued at about R10 million. This also adds to the difficulty in determining the value, says Kruger. The bespoke finishes include imported Venetian chandeliers, fireplaces, marble and solid Oak wooden flooring, under-floor heating and air-conditioning, a fully integrated home automation system, a fire sprinkler system with smoke detectors and more.

The main house includes a spacious entrance hall that is glass-fronted for stunning views of Table Mountain and False Bay and an indulgent powder room. There are a multitude of living rooms including a family room with a bar, dining room, 10-seater cinema/media room, study, library and wine cellar. The state-of-the-art kitchen includes a host of integrated Gaggenau appliances including gas cookers and various cooking equipment, a large double fridge and a chef’s fridge. The kitchen flows to a conservatory-styled breakfast room that opens to a private courtyard. There is also a laundry.

The home includes four spacious bedroom suites, all luxuriously finished and furnished. The uber-luxury main suite includes a dressing room, over-sized bathroom and private study and opens to a private balcony. Next to the swimming pool and Jacuzzi, is the fully equipped gymnasium with a steam room, sauna and bathroom. An outdoor entertainment area with drop-down blinds that includes a lounge and dining area with a bar and braai facilities overlooks the garden and swimming pool and enjoys stunning sea and mountain views, say the agents.

The three guest cottages are all privately located. Each is fully self-contained with a kitchenette and dining area and lounge with a fireplace. Two of the cottages have two bedroom suites with each suite containing its own living area and kitchenette.

The vineyard currently produces about 300 bottles of private label Pinotage wine each year.

The property includes garaging for five vehicles and additional secure parking. In addition to the main entrance, there are a further two service entrances to the estate. There is also a borehole and automated irrigation for the garden. The estate has three-metre perimeter walling with electric fencing with a state-of-the-art security system including CCTV.

Constantia consistently ranks amongst the top suburbs in the country for wealthy buyers, say the agents. This year, about 154 sales worth almost R955 million have already been concluded here. Since 2010, about nine top end trophy homes priced above R20 million to just under R40 million have sold in the suburb. Property here is also a sound investment with the average house price in the suburb now at around R9,3 million, up by just over 20% from 2009 when it was about R7,7 million.

Located against the back slopes of Constantiaberg, the suburb is steeped in history and has retained its wonderful rural tranquility, say the agents. It is of course the oldest wine-producing valley in the country and is home to prestigious wine estates such as Groot Constantia, Klein Constantia and Buitenverwachting. Oak-tree lined streets, a number of green-belt areas and walking and bridle paths all add to the attraction. Top schools, shopping centres and restaurants also abound in the area.

 

 

A peep inside the property Princess Diana stayed in during visits to Cape Town:

Princess Diana property

Princess Diana property

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Is this the bedroom where Princess Diana slept in Cape Town?
Is this the bedroom where Princess Diana slept in Cape Town?