Umhlanga market hot as Durban buyers look north

Property sales volumes in the vibrant holiday village of Umhlanga have been unusually high for the past month – with January usually being one of the slowest months of the year in terms of buyer interest.

The view from an R8m apartment in the exclusive Edge of the Sea apartment block in Umhlanga that is for sale through Chas Everitt International. It has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a large modern living area and entertainment patio and comes with two undercover parking bays, storeroom and 24-hour manned security.
“This year has proved to be very different,” says Charmaine Powell of Chas Everitt International in Umhlanga, “with sales getting off to a great start thanks to a steady stream of qualified buyers who know exactly what they want and who are undeterred by the fact that home prices here have generally risen by between 8% and 10% since this time last year.”
In Durban, she says, “the drive is always north” and there is more and more interest in Umhlanga on the part of families that want to move out of the city to enjoy a quality coastal lifestyle, good schools and the convenience of shopping at the Gateway Theatre of Shopping and La Lucia Mall.
“The tremendous growth inland of Umhlanga Ridge has seen this area become the new CBD, which overlooks the seaside Umhlanga Rocks area. Many multinational companies and firms have also relocated their offices there and sales are also being driven by corporate employees and executives who want to live close to their place of work.”
Powell also says that although Umhlanga boasts many grand mansions and state-of-the art beachfront apartments priced at R10m and more, the greatest demand currently is for free-standing family homes in the R2,5m to R3,5m price range. “Then in the luxury market, prospective buyers are mostly looking at homes priced at R3,5m to R5,5m.”
Other draw cards for buyers in this area, she says, are good schools such as Umhlanga College, Altholton Primary, Crawford College La Lucia, Northwood Boys’ High, Northlands Girls’ High and Danville Girls’ High.“And of course Umhlanga has excellent medical facilities, including the new Gateway Private Hospital, the first purpose-built surgical hospital in KZN, as well as the eThekwini Hospital and Heart Centre, a top cardiac centre, and the Umhlanga Hospital.”
As an affluent holiday town, Umhlanga is also a lucrative option for buy-to-let investors, and sales in this sector have also been brisk, says Powell. “The beachfront boasts a string of cosmopolitan apartment blocks popular with investors and supply is being boosted by the development of stylish sectional title complexes in Urban Park, but supply is still way behind demand at this stage.”

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