Diamond class puts sparkle in La Lucia property market

The upwardly mobile black middle class has discovered the glamorous lifestyle in KZN’s La Lucia.


“Top earners in the newly empowered black middle class, known as black diamonds, are very active in the area right now,” says Michelle Ellis, area specialist at the Chas Everitt International office in Umhlanga.


“They are typically between 30 and 40 years old and are targeting luxury homes in the R4m to R6m range.”


Many buyers in the area, she says, are being drawn from Umhlanga and Durban, partly by the growing office component of La Lucia where many of them work, but mostly because the area is perceived to be a top address that offers a certain lifestyle.


“La Lucia’s central position relative to good schools and the proximity of upmarket shopping emporia such as La Lucia Mall and the Gateway shopping complex, also appeal to this class of buyer.”


Ellis says that local property values are still growing at between 10 and 12% per year, outpacing the national average. “And although there is a scarcity of stock, buyers do not succumb to over-priced properties. Well-priced stock sells within four to six weeks of becoming available, but there are many sellers holding out for selling prices of up to 30% above realistic market levels.”


Entry-level prices for sectional title units in La Lucia are currently around R1, 9m, while homes in need of renovation sell from R2, 2m. Units in the popular gated estate The Gardens currently sell at between R2, 5m for sectional titles) and R8m for luxury homes.


Ellis says there is virtually no development land left. “La Palma Terraces, a huge complex, was built on the last substantial piece of land. The third and last phase is nearing completion and offers about 200 units at prices from R2, 2m.”

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