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Richards Bay property on track to boom again

A flurry of development in Richards Bay is setting the Eighties boom-town up to emerge again as a serious contender for costal property investment.


So says Lionel Foster, principal of leading local agency Harcourts Richards Bay who notes that a number of major developments are poised to change the image of Richards Bay, create jobs, drive up property prices and create demand for permanent and rental accommodation alike.


The remodelling of the Richards Bay marina is just one such development. The marina will comprise a mix of low and high-density stands and is being fashioned along the lines of the fashionable Cape Saint Francis enclave.


Other developments include the relocation of the Tusk casino from Empangeni to Richards Bay and a new University of Zululand campus in the town. Richards Bay Minerals is also extending its mining operations in the area.


Says Foster: "Taken together, these projects are set to galvanise the local market, and those looking to invest would do well to purchase one and two-bedroom flats now while they're still selling cheaply. Such units, will no doubt appeal to a burgeoning student population, and are already in demand among the many 'black diamonds' employed in the town's industrial sector and relocating from the townships."


Demand for holiday rentals has yet to peak, he says, "but that's primarily due to the fact that Richards Bay is still considered a 'working' town, which should change soon". The demand for long-term rentals, though, is now outstripping supply thanks to the area's growth surge and the fact that many would-be buyers cannot get finance and are being forced to rent instead.


Two-bedroom apartments in the CBD are particularly popular. Such accommodation is letting for between R4000 and R5000pm and can be purchased for between R600 000 and R700 000. Foster says rental demand for freehold homes is also quite high and that these are letting for R5000pm on average.


As for buying activity, entry-level sectional title accommodation priced between R300 000 and R400 000 is being snapped up by cash buyers, and freehold homes are selling relatively well from R700 000 up to R1,5m.


ISSUED BY HARCOURTS AFRICA



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