Hillcrest favoured by Durban commuters

Hillcrest, long a quintessential KwaZulu-Natal village, has now settled into a new role as a premier dormitory destination for Durban commuters.

This four-bedroom family home near Langford is on sale through Harcourts suburban spaces at R2,25m. It has a one-bed flat and a 100sqm cottage and is set in an acre of garden.

Buyers with young families are targeting secure townhouses and fast taking up the available stock, says Murray Aberdein, owner of the new Harcourts Suburban Spaces real estate office in Hillcrest.
"Until quite recently, prospective buyers could pick and choose between up to 40 available units, but now they are lucky if they get to choose between five. Prices have also firmed slightly to between R1,5m and R2,5m, depending on location and security measures."
New stock is now required to keep pace with growing demand, he says. “Development of new units came to a standstill during the recession, and although there is now talk of much-needed new developments, finance remains a headache since developers no longer have ready access to bank finance and often have to foot the bill themselves for the entire development from start to finish.”
Aberdein adds that older family homes offer excellent value at prices ranging between R2m and R4m.“However, free-standing homes currently find much less favour among buyers, mainly because of perceived security issues.
“The situation is likely to change, though, as the stock of townhouses decreases and buyers become more educated about increased home security measures, including the closed circuit television monitoring by security companies that has recently been instituted in the suburbs.”
Aberdein, who joined the Harcourts group in March this year after running a successful independent estate agency for five years, says the growth of his business echoes the fast-paced development of Hillcrest from village to a mid-size town.
"Hillcrest went through a lot of growing pains regarding infrastructure, which are being addressed on an ongoing basis. The town has seen major progress in the past 15 years with phenomenal price growth in the period - a home sold for R300 000 in the late 1990s is now worth about R2m."
He decided to join the Harcourts group because it offers excellent technology platforms and support, as well as a local network of more than 140 offices and international marketing exposure. "Hillcrest is marching to a quick beat now - and consumers deserve property services that will keep up," he says.

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