The Durban metropolitan area has been highlighted as a key strategic growth node for Pam Golding Properties (PGP), which has launched a new flagship corporate office at 187 Montpelier Road, upper Morningside.

"Located in a region of economic significance, we see Durban as an area whose property market has considerable unrealised potential. As a result, as a group we are significantly growing our presence here, with the new Durban branch office to incorporate the areas of Durban central city, beachfront, the Point and Waterfront, Berea, Morningside, Overport, Glenwood and Umbilo. This new office will provide a springboard for additional satellite offices to be launched in these areas, which we anticipate will see us significantly increase our market penetration," says Dr Andrew Golding, CE of the PGP group.

KZN has always been a stronghold for PGP, which originally launched its operation in the province in 1993. Currently the company has 46 offices throughout the region.

Comments Patrick Maingard, MD Pam Golding Franchise services, who originally hails from KZN: "As a major port and with the new airport and tradeport on the horizon, Durban is strategically well placed for future growth, while the city centre has considerable potential for the redevelopment of commercial properties into residential developments. We market homes across a broad price range and variety - from a one bedroom apartment of around R200 000 to mansions in excess of R12 million. In this regard, a R12.8 million top price was achieved in January (2008) for the sale of a luxury six-bedroom, four bathroom, double-storey home offering expansive views and prime position in sought after Morningside. Our expanded Durban operation is further boosted by the appointment of Carol Reynolds as manager from March 1, 2008, who brings considerable experience and expertise in the property industry as well as financial and legal experience."
Previously regional manager in the Western Cape for Rodel Property Finance, and born and educated in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, Reynolds is a qualified advocate, real estate agent, former production and events manager and also former Miss Universe South Africa. Having worked as an estate agent at PGP's Pietermaritzburg and Hout Bay offices, Reynolds, who relocated to Cape Town 10 years ago, is delighted to be moving back home to KZN to take up this new position and one of her first priorities is to further increase the agent complement of the Durban operation.

Commenting on the marketplace, PGP KZN regional manager Barbara Becker says The Point Waterfront is now seeing prices appreciating with luxury apartments selling between R2- and R7 million. "This is in line with global trends, as prices of waterfront homes anywhere in the world come with a premium price tag," she says.

In sought after St Thomas Road on the Berea PGP is currently marketing a new development with units priced from R1.4-R2.4 million. "Across the Berea, including Overport and the North Ridge Road area, there's a definite trend towards homes being purchased for redevelopment - for the construction of upmarket new apartments - given the fact that there is no land available for new development. The tranquil leafy suburb of Glenwood is in high demand among purchasers seeking good value and convenience, offering a range of homes across a wide price range, including quality student accommodation. Both Glenwood and the Umbilo area offer affordable options for young couples buying their first home. Properties are larger, offering value for money, while character homes offer heightened appeal, and schools are conveniently accessible. In addition, they vary from student flats to luxury homes." Becker adds that Durban offers a good market for investment properties, with rentals ranging from R3 000 per month.
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