KwaZulu Natal Region - potential for growth

“The areas north of Durban, namely Durban North, La Lucia, Umhlanga, Mount Edgecombe and Ballito, are seeing increased activity taking place and this is being driven by the fact that this has become a  key growth corridor or node, rather than the overt recovery of the property market nationally. What we are seeing is a decentralisation out of the city centre into these northern suburbs and this is seen against the backdrop of the launch of the new King Shaka International Airport and major plans for development around the Dube TradePort – which will serve as a catalyst for economic development and increased business activity in these areas. This is coupled with the fact that these areas offer a highly desirable lifestyle in attractive surrounds, with sound infrastructure and good schools,” says Dr Golding.

Greta Daniel, sales and operations manager for Pam Golding Franchise Services comments: “As a region, and since 2010, KZN has seen sales volumes pick up gradually. Over the past year Pam Golding Properties has achieved an increase in unit sales of approximately 10 percent in this region, depending on the area. Property values have increased, albeit reflecting moderate growth, and we note that sales are taking place in a slightly higher price band than previously. We also note an increase in sales at the top end of the market in this region, which is not surprising as high end sellers generally are able to sit out challenging market conditions until more favourable trading conditions return.

“In fact, for the first time in 24 months the greater Durban area – together with coastal towns – is experiencing noteworthy renewed interest at the top end of the market. A combination of confidence in excellent locations or estates and good pricing appears to be culminating in offers acceptable to sellers. Umhlanga has seen increased activity in freestanding homes in the R4-R6 million price range, while nearby Mount Edgecombe Country Club Estates remain sought after due to the lifestyle, security and proximity to good schools, with the Pam Golding Properties office achieving good sales with homes selling from R4 million to in excess of R20 million. In Ballito – now seen as a residential rather than a holiday town and well positioned between the ports of Durban and Richards Bay - offers are being made in the R10-R15 million price range in prestigious estates where good value can be had. Coupled with this, a number of new developments in Ballito, Sheffield and Salt Rock offer first time buyers more affordable options from one bedroom flats at R499 000 to three bedrooms at R990 000.”

Daniel says in Durban’s conveniently situated Morningside area  exclusive townhouses in the R3-R4 million bracket have sold, while Durban North also reports a strong demand for homes under R3 million and interest in homes in the higher prices. And as far south as Margate there has been increased interest with offers on homes in the R3-R6 million price ranges.

She says there is also generally greater buyer activity characterised by higher show house attendance and general enquiries, as well as greater seller acceptance of the prevailing market conditions – all of which is being translated into greater numbers of concluded transactions.
Daniel says in addition to the north coast, PGP is seeing a trend which reflects that the residential property markets in the south coast areas are gradually increasing in terms of activity levels. “The south coast region generally always offers sound value for money, particularly in the middle market. Recent reports regarding proposals for converting the old Durban airport into a dug-out port also bode well for increased economic activity in this area south of Durban – which in turn offers the potential for a higher demand for homes. Other areas which offer value and good buying opportunities include Westville and Pinetown.

“Strategically located between Durban and Pietermaritzburg and with good access to freeways leading to all major routes north, south or inland, Pinetown draws home buyers from a large catchment area and because of its value for money homes, is very popular among young buyers, whether singles, professionals or young families. First time buyers are mainly in the price range from R400 000 to R600 000 for flats, while average house prices are in the region of R750 000 to R800 000,” adds Daniel.

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