What drives Umhlanga prices upwards?

Located some 15km from Durban on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast the scenic Umhlanga Rocks area retains its appeal for savvy home buyers, particularly the Umhlanga beachfront, which continues to be highly sought after, with little new stock available,” says Elwyn Schenk, Pam Golding Properties (PGP) area principal. “However several new projects are in the pipeline, albeit with a three to five year timeline. This means that existing stock should, even with modest growth, start to see a strong uplift in prices.”

He says sound medium to long term investment potential is another key motivation for residential property buyers in this area, which is also within easy reach of the new airport and all major routes to Durban and North and South.

“The opulent ‘Dubai-style’ Pearls development, right on the main beachfront and comprising a mix of luxury apartments, duplexes and penthouses, has proven an extremely sound investment with values having more than doubled since launch just five years ago. Investment potential of Umhlanga property, especially on the seafront, has proven very resilient over the years, mainly due to its scarcity value.

“For many people Umhlanga is a close second to the Cape’s Atlantic Seaboard as a highly desirable area in which to live. From a property value perspective this is certainly reflected in property prices – while luxury homes can fetch upwards of R40 million on the Atlantic Seaboard, in Umhlanga top apartments can be acquired for less than half that amount.  From a quality of life consideration, Umhlanga is a close rival for the top spot – a viewpoint shared by many locals who would argue it is preferable given the year round exceptional climate,” says Schenk.

Recent sales by Pam Golding Properties include two properties in Lagoon Drive, which runs along the main Umhlanga beachfront, the first a 238sqm four bedroom apartment sold for R6.7 million and the second a three bedroom apartment of 290sqm which fetched R5 million.On the south side of Umhlanga, with direct beach access, PGP sold a four bedroom, 260sqm apartment for R5.1 million.

“All these properties were for the owners’ personal use.The average price per square metre is between R15 000 and R28 000, which is considered modest for beachfront properties.The Pearls, arguably the most luxurious apartment blocks on the beachfront, have a few remaining units on sale at up to R35 000 per square metre. Direct comparisons with the Cape are difficult, however, in areas such as Camps Bay, prices are generally higher at R25 000 to R70 000 per square metre.
“Ironically, property in certain countries which were badly affected by the credit crisis can be purchased for around the same levels as in South Africa, at current exchange rates.Thus beachfront property in Spain’s costa Blanca is available at between R15 000 and R30 000 per square metre, but obviously caution and due diligence is required when investing in foreign markets.  

The impact of the global financial crisis was far less severe in South Africa than in Europe and the United States. The effect in more affluent areas of South Africa such as Umhlanga was even more muted and prices remained relatively flat. Serious sellers, however, had to be more realistic in their pricing aspirations which meant that in such instances asking prices were adjusted according to market conditions.

“Durban is South Africa’s only destination with tropical summers, balmy winter weather and 320 sunny days a year. Visitors from around the world flock to the holiday resort of Umhlanga to relax and have fun on one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. Add to this first world shopping centres and the King Shaka International Airport and you have an enviable location in which to live, work and enjoy a wide variety of leisure activities in a relatively low crime area.”

Schenk says predictably the most sought after apartments are on the beachfront. Along Marine Drive in the south are established complexes such as La Lucia Bay, with units affording direct access to the beach, and priced from R7.5 million. Two of the three units currently on sale have private, exclusive use gardens with beautiful dune vegetation separating them from the pristine beach, which is popular among surf fishermen, paddle skiers and wind surfers alike. Priced at R8.5 million, one of the units has recently been completely refurbished to a high standard.

Close to Umhlanga village is a cluster of four high rise apartments adjacent to the 5-Star Oyster Box Hotel, now world famous for hosting a spectacular reception for the newly-wed royal couple of Monaco. Within this grouping of high rise apartments a multi-level penthouse at Oyster Quays is on the market for R18.9 million. Comprising 575sqm and with five bedrooms and four bathrooms, this apartment incorporates two enclosed living areas with a Jacuzzi, roof garden and pool with 360 degree views which include ocean vistas both up and down this scenic coastline.

Smaller apartments in the same complex start from R5 million – which would comprise a two bedroom unit with a high standard of finishes and excellent sea views.

On the northern beaches, which include the main swimming beaches, is Lagoon Drive, home to apartments of various styles and sizes and priced from R2.5 million to R20 million. “All these areas in Umhlanga are literally minutes’ walk to the beach, village and restaurants, resulting in their values having increased substantially over the years,” adds Schenk.

It will would seem that Umhlanga is fast becoming the East Coast’s property hotspot.

  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 21 Feb 2018
      Given the hand they were dealt, government has performed a delicate balancing act which it is hoped will serve to reignite confidence in investment in South Africa, regain our global credibility and satisfy the credit ratings agencies, says Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive of the Pam Golding Property group.
    • 21 Feb 2018
      The real estate mantra, ‘location, location, location’ remains a strong market influence regardless of the prevailing economy, with suburbs like Rondebosch enjoying the buffering benefit of being ideally situated.
    • 21 Feb 2018
      These days most buyers are using online property portals like Private Property when house hunting due to the convenience, up to date information and variety on offer. “The property portals have revolutionised the way buyers shop, but they do need to be cautious – viewing photos online is no replacement for viewing the property in person,” says Bruce Swain, CEO of Leapfrog Property Group.
    • 20 Feb 2018
      Owning a home is a milestone that most South Africans aspire to. Becoming a homeowner is a step towards growing personal wealth and owning an asset that appreciates in value over time, provided of course that the correct principles are applied during the buying stage of the process, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
    • 20 Feb 2018
      The suburb of Greenstone in Johannesburg east came to be over the last two decades. “In the beginning, it was literally just a hill with not so much as a shopping centre,” says Michael Levy, Property Consultant at Jawitz Properties Bedfordview. Today it has plenty shopping facilities and is fully built, boasting high-density, upmarket housing and residential estates, though still has a few pockets poised for commercial development.
    • 20 Feb 2018
      A major shift in the ageing paradigm has precipitated an equally dramatic transformation in the retirement sector, with modern accommodation options worlds away from the conventional model.
    • 19 Feb 2018
      Possibly one of the biggest sources of contention between landlords and tenants surrounds the rental deposit. “Most tenants rely on getting their rental deposits back when moving, so that they can use it to pay a deposit on their new home. Having it withheld or even having large amounts deducted can lead to a lot of distress,” explains Bruce Swain, CEO of Leapfrog Property Group.
    • 19 Feb 2018
      Situated approximately halfway between Johannesburg and Pretoria, Midrand was established in 1981 and forms part of the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality. It has become one of the major business hubs in the country with major pharmaceutical, textile, telecommunication and motoring giants situated within its boundaries.
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us