Demand for property in Durban on the rise

Buyer activity has fuelled the demand for property in Durban this year compared to the same period last year.  

With the banks’ more relaxed policy in granting home loans, and the low interest rate, the lower end of the market, and in particular, first time buyers have benefitted.

Durban’s Bluff and Morningside suburbs show that properties pitched at market related prices are selling within weeks and demand is such that there is a long list of potential buyers with back-up offers on these properties.  However, by and large, sellers continue to ignore market pricing trends, causing their properties to take much longer to sell. 

?1 Bedroom Penthouse for sale in Berea, Durban

Dee Waters from Jawitz Properties says that most areas in KZN are experiencing a stock shortage particularly at the middle and entry levels, but when realistically priced desirable homes change hands fairly rapidly.

House prices differ in Morningside and the Bluff. Morningside itself is the most sought suburb because of its proximity to good schools and the CBD and the average freehold property with three bedrooms is around R1.9 million.

The Bluff, on the other hand, is popular among those who aspire to a certain lifestyle that ties in with family requirements. The average price for a three bedroom home is R1.2 million, but more recently, a property on Foreshore Drive with access to the beach and B&B potential sold for a record R4.65 million. 

A two bedroom property with a lock-up garage recently changed hands for R550 000, which is the lowest price to date in the Fynnlands area - somewhat lower than the average price of between R650 000 to R850 000.  Properties in Essenwood and Musgrave however, range from R781 960 and R1 million respectively.

Families with young children prefer larger properties closer to good schools, work and other amenities. Older age groups tend to downsize to smaller more cost-effective accommodation and some even sell their existing homes and move into cottages on their children’s properties.

At the upper end of the market many buyers are demolishing and rebuilding mansions. Coupled with this are current property owners who prefer to renovate and refurbish their existing homes.  

Investor value can be found in both the Bluff and Morningside. Whether buying to rent on long leases, holiday letting or a permanent residence, the Bluff has a great deal to offer. With the introduction of a major shopping centre, restaurants, schools, a golf course, a yacht club, a nature reserve and of course easy access to the beach, the facilities add to the attraction of the area. As with Morningside being centrally situated and a popular area, schooling and proximity to the CBD has great potential for any investor.   

Development blocks on the Bluff feature two bedroom sectional title flats that sell for around R550 000 to R750 000 in central Bluff and between R500 000 and R650 000 in the Fynnland area. Although there are existing complexes with two and three bedroom duplexes, there is a shortage of accommodation for those who are retiring and wish to downsize to low maintenance simplexes on one level.  The demand for rental properties continues but there is a shortage of rental stock and a waiting list of people looking to rent. Statistics released by Lightstone recently, show that in Morningside, 69.93% of homes are sectional title.

“Clearly, these patterns are closely associated with housing costs and the availability of affordable homes. It is, however, encouraging to see a significant increase of buyers moving from the townships into the suburbs,” says Waters.

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