By Madeleine Pollard
Every year, Time Out magazine surveys thousands of city dwellers globally to compile a list of “the world’s coolest neighbourhoods”. Typically these districts buzz with personality and things to do and see.
As the Covid-19 pandemic has focused our attention closer to home, localities and their amenities have become even more important to our daily lives. Here, we round up five of the best homes for sale in some of this year’s “coolest neighbourhoods”.
For chilled Johannesburg vibes
The leafy suburb of Melville, north-west of Johannesburg’s city centre, clinches 33rd place on Time Out's list thanks to its convivial atmosphere and range of independent shops. While this Bohemian district is still a touch too up-and-coming to feature an array of luxury properties, the neighbouring suburb of Westcliff has plenty to offer. This grand five-bedroom mansion, priced R27m ($1.76m), is a five-minute drive from central Melville and its chilled-out vibe.
For Miami views
During the pandemic, colourful street art and alfresco dining have flourished in the vibrant neighbourhood of Wynwood, according to Time Out, with the hip, young district in Miami’s Midtown taking 26th spot on its list. Priced $2.8m, this two-level four-bedroom penthouse (main picture, above), perched atop a 32-storey tower, was redesigned in 2018 and occupies more than 3,000 square feet. It is characterised by open-plan living and sleek contemporary decor, with glass walls, high ceilings, and marble and wood floors. Wraparound terraces provide spectacular views of Biscayne Bay and the neighbouring Design District.
For friendliness in Lisbon
Ranked 17th, the Alvalade neighbourhood north of central Lisbon is rated by Time Out for its welcoming atmosphere, thanks to a variety of community spaces such as Mercado de Alvalade, its market hall, and A Mariazinha, a speciality tea and coffee shop that is more than 60 years old. Situated on the edge of the district is this 10-bedroom villa, which occupies three floors and features a sauna, gym and outdoor swimming pool. Built in the 1960s, the characterful property is offered at €3.75m.
For Montreal cool
In 11th place, Verdun, in southern Montreal, is a hub for musicians, independent retailers and restaurants. In Île-des-Soeurs, an upmarket neighbourhood just across the St Lawrence River from Verdun’s trendy urban beach, is this beautiful four-bedroom penthouse. Its two floors are connected by a spiral staircase, which on bright days is bathed in sunshine streaming through an octagonal skylight. The future owners will be able to admire the river from the large wraparound balcony, and access a communal indoor saltwater pool and Jacuzzi. The condo is on the market for C$2.25m ($1.74m).
For Parisian chic
Ranking ninth on Time Out’s list for 2020 thanks to its world-class contemporary art galleries, jazzy cocktail bars and swanky restaurants, Paris’s Haut-Marais, just north of the touristy Marais area, has become a hotspot for style. Just around the corner from Les Enfants Du Marché restaurant, a local favourite according to Time Out, is this two-bedroom loft apartment. The chic, open-plan space is available for €1.68m.
Photographs: Mayfair International Realty; South Africa Sotheby's International Realty; António Moutinho for Portugal Sotheby’s International Realty; Alexandre Léveillé, Immophoto for Québec Sotheby's International Realty; Knight Frank