The coastal hamlet of Umdloti, just north of Umhlanga in KwaZulu-Natal, is experiencing a recovery in the residential property market, says Elwyn Schenk, Pam Golding Properties area principal.

“Sales are definitely improved over last year, with the demand mainly in the price range up to R2 million. Coupled with this, Umdloti is becoming a popular whale watching area during the period from the end of June till the end of November. While dolphins are frequently seen all year round, of late we’ve noticed increasing interest in whales, and it certainly adds to the appeal of the area. There’s even a whale sightings register on-line where sightings are regularly reported during the season,” says Schenk.

The Umdloti residential property market is currently seeing total sales of approximately R15 million per month, which as Schenk points out is a positive indicator for a relatively small area which runs parallel to the sea and has virtually no land for future development, apart from via the demolition of older properties.

“Umdloti has universal appeal among home buyers across a broad cross-section – retirees seeking an unhurried way of life, buy-to-let investors who have returned to the market, holidaymakers who either own or rent properties, and those residing here permanently and enjoying the leisurely vibe while commuting to places of work nearby.

“This is a relatively secure area, with easy access to shopping centres, including Gateway, and conveniently near the new King Shaka International Airport.  Umdloti’s charm is enhanced by a backdrop of indigenous forest where sightings of small buck and other creatures are common. Fishing off the coastline is excellent and the natural rock pools are ideal for snorkelling, while south beach has good surfing conditions. Despite its laidback and quiet village atmosphere, Umdloti has a number of appealing restaurants which attract patrons from the local areas, including Durban, and further afield.

“While the advent of the new airport is yet to make its presence felt in terms of the residential property market, doubtless in time the Umdloti/La Mercy area will enjoy the growth which airports invariably bring to adjoining suburbs,” says Schenk.

The north beach area of Umdloti comprises mainly apartment blocks, from two bedrooms priced at approximately R1.5 million to penthouses in the region of R4.5 million, while south beach is a mix of upmarket, freestanding homes priced up to R12 million, with apartments priced from R1.5 million.

Issued by Gaye de Villiers

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