Bargains on the beachfront in Umhlanga

A number of beachfront properties in the KZN playground of Umhlanga have recently come on to the market at excellent prices, making this the ideal time for those with surplus cash to invest in this prime real estate.

So says Neville Melville, regional sales manager for Chas Everitt international in KwaZulu-Natal, who notes that while current market conditions are a source of stress for many homeowners, bargains aplenty have come on to the market and that Umhlanga is no exception to this trend.

"Seaside properties will always be in demand. However, those without views are proving to be less resilient and are selling at lower than average prices. Typically, properties in this category now start at R1,8m, while prime sea facing properties are still selling for as much as R25m."

Umhlanga attracts a broad spectrum of buyers, he says, with families generally gravitating towards the more established residential areas where freehold properties range from R2m upwards depending on position. Young, wealthy "up-and-comers" meanwhile are finding their niche in gated communities such as Hawaan Forest, where stands are priced at R1,8m and home re-sales of R4m are common.

Umhlanga's appeal lies in a number of factors, including its village-like ambience, superb beaches, good infrastructure and services, temperate climate and proximity to a variety of game parks. "And prices in the area compare favourably when judged against similar properties in, for example, Camps Bay where a two bedroom bungalow can fetch as much as R20m.

"Similarly, overseas buyers are increasingly picking up on Umhlanga's value for money when compared to other overseas hotspots. For instance, luxury apartments in Cannes go for as much as 670 000 Euros while a similar setup in Umhlanga can be found for a third of that price."

Investment into the area has also remained robust, says Melville, as evidenced by a number of mixed-use developments in the pipeline. One such development has been planned for the Umhlanga CBD and consists of a five-star hotel, shopping complex and exclusive apartments.

The famous Oyster Box hotel is also in the process of being upgraded and will no doubt also be a draw card for locals and tourists alike.

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