Durban alive with urban growth & opportunities

With exciting renovations of some of the landmark buildings in the Durban CBD by property development companies a vibrant ’hipness’ is returning to the city centre, according to Michelle Burger, Pam Golding Properties area principal in Durban.

“People from across the city are coming into the heart of the CBD to co-work at the likes of Ambassador house or at the Rivertown precinct in ‘pods’, to do yoga or to come and shop at weekly markets, while others are returning to invest and live.
“Durban is alive with start-ups and entrepreneurs, with many seeking accommodation in the city centre, and now is an ideal time to acquire an affordable investment property as there are still great opportunities under the R300 000 mark with rental income of these properties of around R3 500 per month.

“For example, if you have ready cash, right now small one bedroom or bachelor flats in the CBD can be had for as little as R80 000 to R150 000. Just do your homework and ensure it’s a well-managed block with good financials. Then on the Esplanade, which overlooks the Yacht Mole, bachelor units range from R300 000 to R360 000 for those in well-run buildings.”

Burger says another aspect which certainly will add a lot of value to city living and investment is the Go!Durban transport system which aims to make Durban the most liveable and sustainable city in Africa. This will be the city’s very own Integrated Rapid Public Transport Network.

GO!Durban’s transport plan has four main phases that entail the development of corridors - a term used for a main road or rail that connects two main suburbs. Each phase has been carefully planned to generate world-class results within the designated timeframe. By 2030 the city will be completely transformed with stations, roads, rail and bus lines interlinked to conveniently connect various parts of the city.

Says Burger: “As a positive impact, we have already seen an increase in the median price for sectional title properties in the CBD. Prices have increased as much as 34 percent since 2013 and this together with the consistent good rental return and demand for rentals makes CBD flat purchases still a very clever choice for investors.

“Bear in mind that a cash deposit is needed by most banks if you are considering investing in the CBD, Esplanade and Albert Park areas.

“There is still much talk about the further development of the Point Waterfront which we are confident is going to have a positive impact on values of the surrounding properties, and in time will result in an upgrade of Mahatma Gandhi road and many of the dilapidated buildings in and around this location.

“The investment in the Point development by the city as well as the Malaysian company UEM Sunrise to ensure the project is a success is exciting. We have noted a resurgence in interest for properties here with many buyers purchasing to live whereas before people were mainly buying to let.”

She adds that prices of properties in the Point development have not as yet escalated as many initial buyers who had bought at inception had hoped. “We find that these properties sell if priced competitively, with a big market among investors with vision for the future, for properties priced under R2 million.

“We have just sold a three bedroom apartment in ‘Point Bastille’ in the Point Waterfront for R1.9 million, and currently are marketing a two bedroom unit in ‘The Quays’ for R2.195 million.”

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