Safe as houses

Demand for property along the KwaZulu-Natal shoreline continues to grow as buyers seek areas that offer security coupled with aesthetic appeal, says John Pechey, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Dolphin Realtors, whose Ballito office services Salt Rock, La Mercy and the KwaZulu-Natal’s Northern Coast.

The area offers beautiful beachfront property with all the modern amenities that buyers would expect in a metropolitan city, with Ballito being recognised as one of the fastest developing regions in South Africa. Ballito’s business sector has grown into the leading financial hub of the Northern Kwazulu-Natal coastline, which has attracted many buyers to the area.

The area has become highly sought-after among South African holiday makers as well as foreign tourists and property investors. Pechey notes that although the majority of buyers to the region are young professionals following business opportunity, as many of 25% of the buyers to the area are investors looking to buy a second home.

For the young professionals with families and investors purchasing a non-primary residence, Pechey says that gated estates are a very popular option, especially those with ocean views. He notes that this is largely due to the security and lifestyle benefits that these types of properties offer, with many of the investors enjoying the lock up and go situation.

Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says: “Secure gated estates are highly sought-after and generally provide a good return on investment. We have seen a countrywide trend among buyers looking to purchase in these estates, not just in the coastal areas.”

While many parts of the country experienced a severe drop in property pricing during the recession period, prices of property in some areas of the KwaZulu-Natal northern coast were not as affected.  “Inland properties start from R1,1 million to R3,5 million, while beachfront holiday apartments range from R2,5 million up to R11 million, depending on what the property offers in terms of location and features,” says Pechey.    

He notes that there are a few factors that influence the price of a particular home in the region such as a views, privacy, security features and modern finishes throughout the home.  According to Pechey, although valuations are measured on the selling price per m2 and building costs, an ocean view and exotic finishes can add as much as 20% to the value of the home. He adds that in some cases too many security features such as excessive burglar bars and trellidoors can decrease the perceived value of a property, noting that many buyers would rather opt for homes with more discreet security systems such as laser beams.  Pechey says that homes that are not well maintained and are un-kept with no road appeal also lose perceived value among buyers.

RE/MAX Dolphin Realtors currently has a property in a gated estate which they are marketing. The three-bedroom, three-bathroom home is situated in the Eco Estate in Simbithi on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast, overlooking a forest. The home offers exquisite modern finishes throughout as well as a flow-rim pool, opening-plan living with high volume ceilings, staff accommodation and a double lock-up garage.

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