King Shaka International Airport has put Umdloti on the map

For decades a relatively undiscovered gem on the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast, the advent of the new King Shaka International Airport saw Umdloti’s potential as a highly desirable residential destination and investment proposition propelled into view, with homes in this enclave increasing in demand and value.

With spectacular views over the ocean and along the coastline, this luxurious Bali-styled home in Bellamont Road in Umdloti on the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast has three bedrooms plus fourth bedroom or study and three bathrooms, and is marketed by Pam Golding Properties at R15 million. Situated on an erf of approximately 2071sqm, the home includes a beautifully designed deck with swimming pool, ideal for enjoying sundowners in the late afternoon or viewing the sunrise. The property also includes a separate one-bedroom flatlet with its own wooden deck, staff accommodation and garaging for four cars. Watch the whales migrate and dolphins at play from this exceptional villa which has been integrated into the natural contours of the site, blending contemporary Balinese architecture with traditional design and tropical open-air living.

So says Carol Reynolds, Pam Golding Properties area principal, who explains: “Umdloti is really one of the North Coast’s best kept secrets, having previously been considered somewhat isolated. But now, with all the huge development along this coastline and the new airport only about eight minutes’ drive away, this perception has changed dramatically.

“The area still has a small village feel to it – many of the residents know each other and socialise, making this a close-knit community with good security, while all amenities are easily accessible in nearby uMhlanga and the world class Gateway precinct. Umdloti is definitely on the map because of the airport and its beautiful beaches.  Coupled with this, given the fact that uMhlanga’s beachfront mile is filled with apartment living, discerning buyers wanting privacy and grand homes on the beachfront are tending to gravitate towards Umdloti. Today it remains unspoilt, rather than undiscovered, because the locals have chosen to keep it that way, so there is very little commercial or retail space available, resulting in the area retaining its holiday atmosphere. There is also virtually no land available for future development, which means the area is finite, with demand edging upwards on an annual basis and effectively pushing up prices.

“Umdloti has a number of top restaurants, well-patronised pubs and also superb beaches which are seldom overcrowded, particularly on the southern portion of Umdloti, while there’s a safe tidal pool on the northern section. You can walk your dogs along the beachfront, jog, play beach sports, swim, fish, or just enjoy the scenic ocean views and outdoors.”

Reynolds says the demand for residential accommodation in the area considerably exceeds the supply, which has seen residential property prices more than double over the past seven or eight years. “We have buyers looking for homes priced from R1 million up to R10 million and R15 million and beyond. Many are retired and seeking a quieter beach lifestyle, others are executives and professionals working in uMhlanga or La Lucia office parks, while many of the apartments are sought by upcountry purchasers and investors.”

She says property along the low density south side – which is predominantly residential, comprising houses and only seven apartment complexes – only three of which are on the beach, is most in demand, due to proximity to the beach, particularly homes along the front line, which enjoy spectacular unhindered views. “Here R6 million will acquire a modest beach house, and R15 million will buy a beautiful beachfront mansion. The entry level is high, with the market sitting in a niche price band mainly between R6 million and R10 million and with R15 million to R20 million being achieved for top echelon masterpieces. At present we have houses up to R30 million on our books, with apartments still relatively affordable for this North Coast region, with apartments ranging from two bedrooms at R2 million to three bedroom apartments priced from R2.5 million upwards, and with exclusive units selling for as much as R10 million.”

The northern part of Umdloti is considered the ideal holiday destination and has more apartment complexes, but very few houses, mainly priced from around R6 million upwards. Last year (2014) Pam Golding Properties sold a house for R6.5 million, which - Reynolds says - if it had been situated on the south side would probably have fetched R8 million or more. On the north side apartments sell for approximately R1.6 million to R3.75 million for two bedrooms and from around R2.3 million to R4.5 million for three bedrooms, depending on the apartment building, as some are more sought after than others.

She adds: “Private and elevated, with panoramic sea views sweeping from Durban to Ballito is Bellamont Road, where prime position and luxury residences offer a long term, solid investment with steady capital appreciation year on year. Here apartments sell from R1.3 million to R1.6 million for two bedrooms, from R1.6 million to R3.5 million for three bedrooms, and with exclusive estates with a smaller number of units fetching prices of even R12.5 million. Houses in this exclusive road don’t change hands very often as owners hold onto them because of the incredible lifestyle and panoramic ocean views. These range from approximately R5 million to a current listing on our books of R18.5million.  We recently sold a house for R19 million which has been demolished with a modern, luxury home constructed in its place.”

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