John Pechey, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Dolphin Realtors, says: “Although property investors today may not be able to enjoy the prices that they did in 1954 - that certainly hasn’t stopped them from buying property in Ballito. It has been recognised as one of the fastest growing nodes in the country and it offers property buyers all the top-notch amenities one would expect from a cosmopolitan city, while still maintaining that out-of-town feeling.”
Pechey notes that the King Shaka Airport, which is situated just ten minutes away from the town, in addition to the new N2 interchange have ensured that Ballito was earmarked as the biggest growth area in KwaZulu-Natal. “The development in the area over the next five years will be incredible in terms of new shopping centres, hotels, restaurants and the few development sites that are available will be snapped up,” says Pechey.
With a substantial commercial business park neighbouring the N2 motorway, Ballito’s large business sector has also grown and become a dominant financial nucleus of the Northen KwaZulu-Natal coastline. With a full service industry within the commercial business park, Ballito now caters to an emerging business community. The region’s investment arm, Enterprise iLembe, has been formed to develop both Ballito and the iLembe area as the preferred investment destination of choice.
Often described as the Caribbean of the North Coast, Ballito has become a firm favourite among South African holiday makers, foreign tourists and property investors alike. It is a thriving community that offers buyers some of the best schools which are situated both in Ballito as well as in the surrounding areas such as Umhlanga, Stanger and Tongaat. The 2,5km promenade along the beachfront also adds to this area’s allure.
According to Pechey, demand for property is very high in the Ballito area and has remained consistently so over the past couple of years. “We have seen that sales volumes have increased steadily over the last year with as many as 25% of property investors entering the area looking to buy their second home. The largest group of buyers making up about half of all the investors purchasing property in the area are young professionals. Many of these buyers are currently working overseas and are wanting to enter the market as an investment with the idea of returning to this country in the future. The remaining 25% of buyers are families looking to move into Ballito as a lifestyle choice,” says Pechey.
Gated estates are the first choice among the young professionals and families wanting to buy in the area, says Pechey. This is largely due to the security and lifestyle benefits that these type of properties offer. Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa explains that this is a trend among buyers in all parts of the country and not just along the coastal areas. “Gated estates are highly sought-after and therefore generally provide a good return on investment,” says Goslett.
Pechey adds that they have very few distressed property sales in Ballito compared to other areas around the country and while the recession has definitely levelled the playing fields for property investors, property pricing in Ballito has held its own compared to other parts of the country. “An entry-level property such as a two-bedroom apartment will cost in the region of between R800 000 to R1,1 million, while mid-level homes with special features could fetch a price tag around the R3,5 million bracket and top-end homes could sell for anything between R6 million and R14 million mark, depending on location and features,” says Pechey.
RE/MAX Dolphin Realtors is currently negotiating a development that would bring the biggest housing development to Ballito, which will mean more opportunities for would-be investors. “Ballito offers opportunity for investors looking to buy and live in the area as well as those looking to buy the perfect holiday home. With the advances in the country’s infrastructure and the introduction of the Gautrain, Ballito is easily accessible and a mere two hour trip away for inland based businessman to commute,” Pechey concludes.