The compulsion to escape from the pressures of the modern world to imaginary utopias has long been a lucrative selling point for urban developers. This is a true phenomenon in many cities in Africa. The rise of middle class is being witnessed all over the continent as well as the steadily growing number of high net worth individuals – those with net assets of $1 million or more. This group leads the property boom as they search for their own little ‘utopias’. Here’s a look at the Top 10 Most Sought After suburbs in Africa

1NAIROBI, KENYA

NAIROBI, KENYA

Real estate prices in Nairobi have risen fivefold since 2007. This is according to the data from Hass Consult, a Nairobi based property agency. Some of the residential areas in the city where this rise is most prominent include Karen, Gigiri, Muthaiga, Kileleshwa, Lavington amongst others.

KAREN is one of the oldest residential areas in Nairobi. It is named after Karen Blixen, the Out Of Africa writer whose farm originally covered the area. Its selling point is the provision of a blend of colonial mansions and villas coupled with a sense of country life while still able to access the modern bustling city. It also provides a glorious view of the rolling Ngong hills which are at the edge of the Great Rift Valley. The suburb is home to some of the oldest white Kenya settlers (popularly known as KC – Kenyan Cowboys). Be prepared to fork out $687,575 to $785,800 for a 4 bedroom bungalow. Renting here is not cheap either, you will have to pay up to $2,455 a month.

MUTHAIGA is a traditionally ‘old money’ neighbourhood. The suburb blends in with winding roads through lush green hills and valleys with clear water streams that turn in-to quick flowing rivers in the rainy seasons. It is home to wealthy Kenyans, along with diplomats and expatriates. An acre of undeveloped land here goes for $1,178,701.

2LAGOS, NIGERIA

POSTAL CODE 221106

The absolute size and power of Lagos fuelled by oil and natural resources has resulted in tremendous growth in the real estate market.

BANANA ISLAND is a man-made island in the located in the Lagos lagoon screams of luxury and splendour. It has one of the highest density of millionaires within its boundaries. According to the data from property.com.ng, Nigeria’s largest property portal, a three bedroom apartment sells for $625,000 and a five bedroom house can cost $2.81 million. Rental properties are also popular here. The rent for a 3 – bedroom apartment costs around $63,000 a year.

POSTAL CODE: 221106

IKEJA is a paradise for those who crave a more private lifestyle. It is home to wealthy Nigerians as well as a few expats. To own a home here, it is necessary to part with money in the excess of $1.5 million.

3JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA

There are now at least 5 suburbs in City of Gold, as Johannesburg is commonly known, where the average free-standing home price is above $724,210.

SANDHURST is one of the wealthiest suburbs in South Africa and houses some of the most expensive real estate in the country. It is home to Oxford Street which is known for being the most exclusive street in Johannesburg. The suburb remains quiet, leafy and sedate with the tree lined streets devoid of traffic. Property here is valued at around $2,400 per square metre.

ROSEBANK is said to be one of the best Johannesburg northern suburbs. A crowning jewel of the old green ones, not the cocky new ones. It is wooded, walkable, and possesses that characteristic Johannesburg of chic and seedy. The long established Rosebank rooftop market operates every Sunday and has traders from other parts of Africa. It provides an alternate to the normal mall experience. A home here goes for an average of $951,732.

4CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA

Cape Town is an exceptionally stunning city, described by many as “one of the most beautiful cities in the world.” It is situated between the mountains and the coast giving it a unique aura of urban bustle and leisure.

CAMPS BAY is home to many properties exceeding the $2 million mark. The beach lined suburb sports some of the trendiest places in Cape town. The white sands of Camps bay are populated by locals and expatiates alike. Here you will find supermodels and rock stars from the world over hanging out. The accommodation is offered in wide range, from the self-catering apartments to stylish villas. There is something for everyone, if you can beat the price that is.

BISHOP’S COURT is a suburb situated under the world famous Table Mountain. It has large and impressive homes with leafy gardens characterised by high stone wall for provision of privacy. The suburb was once a farm owned by Jan Van Riebeek. With views of Table mountain, lush green gardens and tree lined avenues, it is no wonder that Bishop’s Court is favoured by families seeking ample bedroom space and expansive gardens. Here a 5 bedroomed house with all the luxurious amenities goes for an average of $2,312,681.

VICTORIA AND ALFRED WATERFRONT (V&A) is ranked as South Africa’s most expensive residential resort. It is positioned at one of the most popular tourist attractions in the land. Properties here are valued between $181,052 and $796,631.

5ACCRA, GHANA

ACCRA, GHANA

TRASACCO VALLEY is one of the most affluent areas in the residential part of East Legon and closely situated near the capital, airport and the port of Tema. The valley offers a serene environment with the villas so rounded by the lush green trees as well the perfect manicured side-walks. The average cost of a house here is $2 million and it is populated by footballers and tycoons.

EAST LEGON is an area which screams affluent by its very look. It is occupied by sophisticated modern low-rise apartment blocks and detached houses. The population here is kept at minimal and the prices are high. They average $220,842.

6LUANDA, ANGOLA

LUANDA, ANGOLA

Luanda, the Angolan capital, boasts the title of the world’s most expensive city for expatriates. This is according to the data provided by the research bureau Mercer. The city brags the magnificent horse-shoe shaped bay with well-manicured lawns, palm trees, flowers benches and playgrounds. It is a sure magnet for the rich.

LUANDA SUL is the city’s satellite suburb extremely popular with expatriates. Here a 3 – bedroomed condo rents for at least $12,000 a month.

TALATONA is a wealthy suburb south of Luanda. New business parks and villas are being built here as the area grows in popularity.

MIRAMAR is an exclusive area situated in one of the best neighbourhoods in Luanda, the old cinema. Its major attraction is the Alto das Cruzes cemetery located in the upper town, part of Miramar. It is the most famous cemetery in the city where great people were buried. It is popular with foreign diplomats and extremely wealthy Angolans.

7DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA

DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA

The prime areas in the seaside city of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania are Mikocheni, Upanga, Masaki and Oyster Bay.

OYSTER BAY is an elite suburb known for its striking beach. It has been a residence for Europeans since the colonial times. Tanzanian independence introduced senior government officials and wealthy businessmen as part of the exclusive clique which lives here. Rent in Oyster Bay for a 2- bedroomed fully furnished apartment ranges between $2,000 to $4,000 a month. A three bedroomed family home attracts a figure of $3,000 to $4,000 in the same period.

8ABUJA, NIGERIA

ABUJA, NIGERIA

The seat of Nigerian government is a planned city with a population of 979,876 people. It came in-to fore in the 1980s and has a very strict housing and development policy.

MAITAMA DISTRICT is a neighbourhood is populated by the elite. There are homes belonging to former or serving governors, senators, ministers, and diplomats. A 2 bedroomed apartment goes for $ 12,547.08 for a period of 12 months.

ASOKORO DISTRICT is home to the Nigerian presidential complex, Nigerian National assembly, and the Supreme Court. These are centred on Aso Rock, a 400 – metre monolith which is also the city’s most perceptible feature. Data from property.com.ng shows that a house can cost as much as $ 2,612,500 here.

9MARRAKECH, MOROCCO

MARRAKECH, MOROCCO

This Moroccan city is characterised by the winding alleyways of the Medina, distinctive riads hidden behind nondescript doors as well as stalls of silks, slippers, and brass on sale.

HIVERNAGE suburb is situated in Ville Nouvelle, and boasts the title of the city’s most elite neighbourhood. It is characterised by leafy boulevards which make the haggles of souks in the city seem miles away as modish Marrakshis sip fresh juices and coffee at upscale cafes. Riads, the traditional Morrocan house, cost between $200,000 to $1 million, depending on the size. A 500 square metre riad fetches $1 million.

10TUNIS, TUNISIA

TUNIS, TUNISIA

CARTHAGE is a neighbourhood which packs history going back nearly three millennia. It was once the heart of powerful mediterranean empire before being levelled by Romans in the third Punic War in 146 BC. Right now it is a calm, picturesque and family oriented suburb which also doubles as a UNESCO world heritage site. It is filled up with huge villas though apartments are available, mostly in the ‘Salamabo’ area. The population consists mostly of expats who work for embassies and high-powered companies. Here a three-bedroom villa averages a price of $177,000

LA MARSA is a beachfront suburb known for its corniche, shopping, bars and cafes. It is home to a number of villas and apartments that are populated by families. The upscale suburb is approximately half-hours drive from the city. House prices here range from $ 756 to $ 1,563 per square metre.

Eric Mutema
Staff journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya. Eric is a Journalism graduate from Shang Tao Media Arts College and is passionate about technology and science fiction writing.