So says Nicola Criticos, the new Chas Everitt International franchisee in Amanzimtoti, who notes: “Transnet’s development manager Hamilton Nxumalo said earlier this month that the acquisition of the old airport site was close to being a done deal, and that the new port could be expected to begin operations between 2016 and 2018.
“At that stage it is expected to support around 12 000 jobs, but in the meanwhile, at least 20 000 direct jobs are expected to be created during construction, and we anticipate that many of those people drawn in to work on the project will want to live in Amanzimtoti, which is just 11km away and has plenty of rental accommodation as well as everything needed for a family to enjoy a comfortable and convenient lifestyle in the longer-term.
“Indeed, we expect that the town could benefit from this project in much the same way as Richards Bay did from the construction of the port there and the subsequent major commercial and export developments around the harbour.”
Criticos, who recently took over a long-established local agency from her mother Lyn Grundy and immediately converted it to the Chas Everitt International brand, says that at the moment, Amanzimtoti is in fact already seeing an increase in property demand among buyers who intend to make it their permanent home, because prices here compare well with other areas which are a similar distance from the centre of Durban.
“Although Amanzimtoti has always been and remains a popular holiday destination, an increasing number of KZN locals, and especially young families, are now cottoning on to the excellent seaside lifestyle they can enjoy here, and the comparative affordability of local property.
“The town – which was incorporated into Ethekwini in 2006 - has several excellent English, Afrikaans and Zulu-medium primary and high schools, a variety of well-established sports facilities and two large shopping and entertainment malls, as well as beautiful beaches. Warm weather is also the norm, and road access to the Durban CBD or the industrial nodes to the south of the city is easy and quick.”
Even better, she notes, property prices in Amanzimtoti have come down in recent years, with many holiday-home owners having been in a hurry to sell when they found themselves under financial pressure, and quite a number of older residents having decided to sell up their family homes and move for financial, family and security reasons.
“Consequently, it is currently quite possible to buy a bachelor or 1-bedroom apartment on the beachfront for under R500 000; a two-bedroom apartment or townhouse, quite possibly with a second bathroom and a seaview, for under R750 000; and a three-bedroom, two-bathroom family home with double garage and pool for well under R1m.
“However, there is very little new development taking place in Amanzimtoti and the existing stock is being absorbed quite rapidly, so buyers who want to take advantage of these prices should not wait too long.”