Durban identified as a key real estate market for global investors

According to Luxury Defined, an in-depth report compiled by Christies International Real Estate to analyse trends shaping the luxury residential real estate market globally, Durban has been listed as one of the seven key real estate markets globally that present attractive opportunities for investment, exclusivity, and getaways in 2015.

With 1 100 offices in 44 countries, Christies International Real Estate is regarded as a global authority on luxury real estate.

The report defines ‘luxury’ as being a home costing about US$750 000, and confirms that the sales growth in Durban’s luxury home market during 2013 and 2014 has increased by an impressive 50 percent.

Chris Tyson, chief executive of Tyson Properties, an affiliate of Christies International Real Estate, cites a supply shortage in homes as well as relatively low interest rates as factors in driving growth in the luxury property market. In addition, there is a recent trend of new homes being built to satisfy demand, making Durban an appealing investment option for 2015 and beyond.

The city was listed along with Puerto Rico, Canary Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands, Saint-Jean-De-Luz (France), Costa Rica and Telluride (Colorado).

Further reiterating Durban’s investment appeal, CNN recently voted Durban as one of the world’s top 10 most underrated cities, predicting that Durban will be this year’s fastest growing city in Africa and the second-fastest growing tourism city of the 132 cities surveyed worldwide. Durban has also been featured globally on the Smart Cities Programme as one of the top 18 places to live, ultimately attracting international interest to further boost the luxury market.

In addition to this Durban Tourism together with Durban Investment Promotion team and its business partners have launched the Durban Visitor Strategy, a seven year plan aimed at boosting international visitors. The objective of the plan is to attract five million tourists by 2020, inject R10 billion into the economy and support 74 000 jobs. This combined with the fact that Durban is responsible for generating 65 percent of the province’s economy, and that there are large tracts of vacant land available at realistic prices proves that Durban is bustling with opportunities for investment, says Tyson.

“Luxury sales in Durban’s affluent suburbs are on the increase as buyers are returning to the security of long-term investments in the residential property market,” says Tyson.

“This combined with unprecedented growth, lifestyle, great weather, strong local business sector and easy accessibility has really bolstered high-end prices in the greater city.”

Shaun Rademeyer, of mortgage originator BetterLife Home Loans, corroborates this finding, noting an exponential increase in the number of bond registrations in the Durban area, year on year, for properties in the over-R7m category.

Now in its third year, Luxury Defined includes the collective insights and quantitative data from the world’s leading luxury real estate network. It has been widely broadened this year and establishes new benchmarks to further explore and define the dynamics and drivers affecting high-value asset classes (from fine art to real estate). This year’s report ranks the world’s top 10 cities for prime property and analyses more than 70 key regional markets worldwide.

“It’s a great achievement for the city of Durban to gain recognition from global market research. Durban has a lot to offer to investors and tourists – in terms of its cosmopolitan city and beach combination, infrastructure and aesthetics. This insight bodes well for the Durban property market as a whole,” says Tyson.

Other key findings of the report highlight the fact that 2014 welcomed a return to normality in most major cities with growth showing signs of stabilising in locations such as Paris, New York and Sydney. Second home markets led the growth of high-value sales in 2014, with ‘Jet set destinations’ recording on average a 28 percent year on year increase. In addition to this, more properties than ever before were sold and listed for sale at US $100m or higher in 2014.

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