Durban North - catchment area for families

The well established and ever-popular area of Durban North has grown into an urban retail hub and with its close proximity to central Durban, La Lucia and Umhlanga and array of good schools, is proving a magnet for families, especially young families who are second time buyers looking to upgrade from a flat into a family house that offers value for money, says Carol Reynolds, Pam Golding Properties manager for the Durban North, central Durban and Beachfront areas.

"While Durban North has wide appeal for people from all walks and stages of life, we've noticed a growing demand among families as with its scenic leafy surrounds, large properties and level gardens - plus excellent educational facilities - it's ideal for raising a family," she says. The area comprises predominantly four bedroom homes ranging in size from 250-500sqm with generous erven in the region of 1000-3000sqm. On average prices fall within the range of R1.5 million to R3.5 million, with some high end areas that achieve prices of up to R10 million. Buyers are able to find good family homes on level stands with child-friendly gardens for around the R2 million market. The homes tend to be old and established with some requiring modernising, but on the whole the proportions are spacious and the homes stately with high ceilings and quality finishes and gardens treed and well established. Generally those who reside in the area tend to remain there even when upgrading or downsizing, coupled with the fact that there are always new buyers looking to move into the area.

With its sound infrastructure, shopping facilities, medical practitioners and financial institutions and being within easy reach of the city centre and beaches, Durban North still offers well priced properties and has a buoyant rental market. Its property market remains active all year round - erven are large and homes are gracious - many of which include outbuildings and staff quarters. Recognising the potential for this area, with both commercial and residential components, PGP is growing its presence here and has converted its office above the Spar on busy Kensington Drive to a corporate office offering a full range of real estate services including not only residential sales but also a division focused on commercial property sales and letting.

Comments Dr Andrew Golding, CE of the PGP group: "Having highlighted the Durban metro area as a strategic growth node for our company, we are continuing to entrench our presence and increase our market penetration by focusing on key areas which includes Durban North - which now falls under the very capable management of Carol Reynolds together with Heather Sudding, administrative manager for Durban. While Durban North is a fully self-sufficient node with its own business centre and shopping centres, there's no doubt that its close proximity to the La Lucia and Umhlanga Ridge business nodes in the growth corridor north of Durban further enhances its appeal and investment potential," he adds.

Reynolds herself lives in Durban North and has an easy eight-minute commute to work on the Berea, while she says the drive to Umhlanga is just five minutes and to La Lucia even less. She says while new developments in the Durban North area are few and far between, PGP is currently marketing a luxury six bedroom home priced at R9.9 million within a prestigious and sought after security estate in Monteith Place.

"This is Durban North's best address, with most homes on the estate enjoying panoramic seaviews and with luxury finishes. As a result, homes here command high prices. In terms of rentals, these range from R3000 per month for a granny flat to R15 000 for a four bedroom family home. On average a three bedroom house in a good location will fetch between R10 000 and R12 000 per month, while rentals of simplexes and flats range from R5000 to R10 000, depending on their size and specifications."

The PGP Durban North office will also service the La Lucia area, where prices are slightly higher with homes achieving prices of up to R20 million. The average four bedroom family home in La Lucia is priced between R2- and R4 million, so entry levels are slightly higher than in Durban North. Says Reynolds: "An interesting sale has been a property in La Lucia which has been sold three times and currently has two back-up offers on it. This home is extraordinary in terms of its accommodation with five bedrooms, four bathrooms, large reception areas and a swimming pool. It has just sold for R2.5 million and the fact that we had five offers on the property is a reflection of the fact that if properties are well priced they are being snapped up by eager buyers looking for good value," she says.

Issued by Gaye de Villiers

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