Area Trend Report – La Lucia

Area history

Located to the north of Durban between Glenashley and Umhlanga in KwaZulu-Natal is the affluent coastal suburb of La Lucia. The area derives its name from Lucia Michel, who together with her husband, Albert Michel, founded the sugar cane farm in the region by the same name. Although La Lucia is just a short distance from the more metropolitan regions of Umhlanga and the Durban CBD, the area has maintained its beautiful environment.

3 Bedroom Apartment for sale in La Lucia Ridge

La Lucia has become a popular destination among holiday-makers and permanent residents from all over the country. This is due to the fact that the area is quiet and peaceful, yet still offers a number of up-market amenities and various entertainment facilities for visitors. La Lucia is close to the Sibaya and Suncoast Casino complexes, Gateway Theatre of Shopping and uShaka Marine World. The beaches and the warm Indian Ocean that flows along the coastline is ideal for watersports and other activities such as fishing.

Area property information

Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says that demand for property in La Lucia has remained fairly stable over the last year, with sales volumes picking up over the December holiday period. He notes that this is due to the fact that many holidaymakers visit the area and fall in love with the lifestyle that is on offer.

According to Lightstone statistics, the area has been particularly popular among buyers under the age of 50 years old, with around 40.31% of recent buyers between the ages of 36 and 49 years old. This demographic currently accounts for around 37.15% of existing homeowners in the area. The area is also popular among younger buyers aged between 18 and 35 years old. While they are not as active as their older counterparts, they account for around 33.33% of recent buyers who purchased property in La Lucia between February 2013 and January 2014.  Grant Gavin, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Panache which operates in La Lucia and surrounds, says that this can be attributed mainly to the proximity of La Lucia to great schools, all of which require residence in their catchment areas as requirements for application, as well as to the fact that many large corporates have recently built or relocated their offices to the La Lucia Ridge business precinct.
Gavin adds that purchasers have an option of upmarket security complexes, a large security estate called ‘The Gardens’ and freehold homes on generous plot sizes, most with swimming pools and ocean views. Property in La Lucia consists of 46.46% sectional title units, 41.87% freehold homes and 11.66% estates.
He notes that while the recession did have a minor impact on the property prices in the area, which dipped slightly in 2008, the property market in La Lucia came out fairly unscathed. The average price for property in 2007, widely regarded as the peak of the boom, was around R2.839 million for a freehold property and R2.289 million for a sectional title unit. Currently property prices in the area are higher than boom-time prices with the average price of a freehold property at R2.984 million and R2.487 million for a sectional title unit.
According to Goslett, the stable pricing is due to the steady demand for property in the area. He notes that given the long-term demand for seaside properties in general and the limited supply thereof, prices are bound to increase even more over time.
Property price trends

Demand for property

Goslett says that more than half of the properties sold in the area between February 2013 and January 2014 were priced between R1.5 million and R3 million, making this the most popular price bracket by far. Around 39.1% of the properties sold during this period were priced above R3 million, while approximately 6.4% were priced from R800 000 to R1.5 million. Property below R400 000 and those priced between R400 000 and R800 000, each accounted for 0.6% of the area’s sales during this time frame.

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