Glenwood, Berea - a gem in Durban

Area history

Situated on the lower Berea of KwaZulu-Natal is Glenwood. Regarded as one of Durban’s oldest, the suburb extends from the Howard College Campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal to Umbilo Road and features colonial-style homes on tree-lined streets.

Although Glenwood is situated close to the Durban city centre, the area has managed to maintain its individual style and feel. Many of the residents in the area tend to be academics, artists, designers and other creative people who enjoy the distinctly trendy, neighbourly vibe. Many of the old Victorian-style homes have been converted into boutiques and restaurants, particularly those located along Davenport Road, which has greatly added to the appeal of the area. The suburb also has a variety of antique shops and cafes, along with the KwaZulu-Natal Society of Arts, a gallery committed to the promotion of contemporary visual arts.

Due to its location and proximity to the Durban CBD, the area has also remained popular with businessmen who work in the financial hub of the city. Residents are able to enjoy a hideaway from the hustle and bustle of the city activity, while still having easy access to their workplace.  Suburban revival has also had a positive impact on the demand for property in the area.

Area property information

Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says that the trendy vibe of Glenwood continues to attract a significant number of younger buyers to the area with around 34.78% of recent buyers between the ages of 18 and 35 years old. However, while the younger buyers have made a remarkable impact on the property market in the area, the largest percentage of recent buyers is still those between 36 and 49 years old (41.3%), which falls in line with buyer age trends seen across the country.

According to Lightstone data, property in the area consists of 83.71% freehold homes and 16.29% sectional title units. Approximately 40.02% of the property is owned by residents in the 36 to 49 age group, followed by those aged between 50 and 64 years old, who account for 34.56% of the existing homeowners. Around 38.78% of recent sellers were aged between 36 and 49 years old, with 25.51% of recent sellers older than 65 years old.

Goslett says that home prices saw exponential growth between 2004 and 2007, with the average freehold home price doubling during that period. He notes that from 2008 to 2011 prices remained fairly flat, but stable. During 2012, the market saw some upward movement and prices started to gain some momentum. Last year the average freehold home price overtook boom price levels and hit a record high of R1.325 million.

According to Goslett, between 2004 and 2007, sales volumes were relatively high; however, in 2008 the suburb experienced its lowest sales volumes to date. Sales picked up in 2009 and have continued to show growth. Last year the number of sales transactions in the area was almost as high as the level seen during the height of the property boom in 2007.

Property price trends

Demand for property

Goslett says that the greatest demand for homes within Glenwood fall in the R800 000 to R1.5 million category. Approximately 47.7% of all property sold in the area from February 2013 to January 2014 consisted of homes within this price bracket.  Around 6.8% of property sold during this period fell below the R400 000 mark, while those priced between R400 000 to R800 000 accounted for approximately 15.9% of the market. Homes priced between R1.5 million and R3 million accounted for 29.5% of homes sold during this period, while no homes were sold for more than R3 million last year.

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