RE/MAX Area Trend Report – Umhlanga

Area history

Located along the coast of KwaZulu-Natal to the north of Durban is the residential and commercial resort town of Umhlanga. Founded in 1895 by Sir Marshall Campbell, the first hotel was built in the area in 1920, followed by a shop and then a lighthouse. Development in Umhlanga has continued on a gradual but steady pace and today the town has transformed from a small coastal village into a bustling commercial hub.

This meticulous five-bedroom, five- bathroom residence is located in sought after Umhlanga. Close to Gateway shopping mall, the Umhlanga village and beaches it has with easy access to freeways. The home offers sea views and is designed around entertaining with an inside and outside pub, Jacuzzi and swimming pool. Set in a manicured landscaped garden, other features include a double garage, extra visitors parking and staff accommodation.

Much like the commercial decentralisation and migration from the Johannesburg city centre to Sandton, many businesses have relocated their offices from central Durban to Umhlanga. In 2010, the Durban International Airport was also relocated to La Mercy, which is close to Umhlanga, and was reopened as King Shaka International Airport.

Home to the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board, Umhlanga boasts a large variety of top class amenities such as the Umhlanga Hospital, schools, restaurants, entertainment facilities and the Gateway Theatre of Shopping - the largest shopping mall in the Southern Hemisphere.

Area property information

Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says that the commercial development within Umhlanga has been phenomenal and has had a positive contribution towards the residential property market in the area.  He notes that according to Lightstone data, aside from a marginal dip during 2008 and 2009, property prices have performed extremely well over the last ten years. In terms of property sales, while there was a steady decline in the number of transactions from 2004 until 2010, sales turned in 2011 and have been on an upward trend ever since. Last year sales volumes were higher than those seen during 2007, which is widely regarded as the peak of the boom.

Goslett says that the area is popular among buyers from all age groups. Approximately 33.46% of recent buyers in Umhlanga were aged between 50 and 64 years old, 26.54% were between 36 and 49 years old and around 21.15% were aged from 18 to 35 years old.

Chris Pearson, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Address, whose office services the Umhlanga and surrounding areas, says that a growing trend has developed in the region where more and more buyers are looking to purchase property in gated estates. He notes that while properties within gated estates in Umhlanga and the surrounding areas are hard to come by, they are extremely high in demand and sell almost immediately when they enter the market. “Buyers are often prepared to pay premium prices for property within security estates and as a result, they generally offer buyers a good return on investment over the long term,” says Pearson. “The security element, along with the lifestyle offering, often adds to the allure of estate homes.

Steady demand for secure estates in areas such as Umhlanga make these types of properties a good investment option for buyers along the KwaZulu-Natal north coast.”

Property price trends

Demand for property

According to Goslett, more than half of the properties sold in the area between April 2013 and March 2014 were priced between R1.5 million and R3 million, making this the most sought-after price bracket. Properties sold during this period that were priced above R3 million represented 34.1% of the market. Properties priced between R800 000 and R1.5 million accounted for 13.1% of sales, while homes between R400 000 and R800 000 represented 1.5%. Property priced below R400 000 accounted for the remaining 1.2% of sales.

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