DURBAN - The North Coast region of KwaZulu-Natal continues to attract an influx of home buyers from the rest of the province, Gauteng and other regions, and even globally.
Carol Reynolds, Pam Golding Properties area principal for Durban Coastal said, "With its laidback ambience, golden beaches, idyllic year-round climate and abundance of good schools, semigration to this coastal belt between Durban North and Ballito remains a recurring trend, particularly in Sibaya, eMdloti and uMhlanga. This includes Gauteng commuters seeking an unbeatable lifestyle while the main breadwinner travels to work Monday to Friday or as needed. It’s a quick and easy commute, avoiding traffic congestion while you sit in air-conditioned comfort in the cabin".
Durban has won best lifestyle city in South Africa for the past few consecutive years according to the Mercer Index, further underlining investor confidence in a province with a highly desirable lifestyle and sound value-for-money homes.
This is coupled with ongoing investment in commercial property in hubs such as uMhlanga Ridge and La Lucia Ridge. And with no shortage of hospitals and medical facilities, the region is also benefiting from a growing retirement market.
Reynolds said, "Whether you choose Durban, Durban North, uMhlanga, eMdloti or Ballito, you have everything on your doorstep, including all amenities, office parks and a range of residential property options from modern apartment buildings and spacious freestanding family homes to secure lifestyle estates".
She said people are looking for security and lifestyle – the ability to enjoy the freedom of cycling, walking and playing golf within secure environments with dams, lakes, forest and walkways, as well as the beach.
Reynolds added that price is critical, as well-priced stock moves while overpriced property sits on the market. Buyers are also showing a preference for renovated homes rather than fixer-uppers. In addition, sea views are sought after despite premium pricing – and we find the higher-priced sea-facing units in developments sell out considerably ahead of those without sea views.
In terms of residential property, this region has also experienced steady growth year-on-year, whereas some other regions have experienced peaks and troughs.
New developments planned
New developments have sold well – in uMhlanga – an area comprising approximately 70 percent sectional title units which are either nearly or fully sold out, while in Durban North, catering for a huge demand, all 26 units phases one and two in a new development called Stonehurst sold out in a few weeks, well priced under R1.5 million.
Upmarket developments are fetching top dollar - Gold Coast Estate in Sibaya sold out quickly, with plot and plan package deals selling between R5 million and R12 million on relatively small plots of around 500 to 600 square metres and vacant plots peaking at R6 million.
Further developments are also on the cards - a prime beachfront block in uMhlanga, and in Sibaya, a new development to comprise three apartment blocks as well as a huge resort-style development near the casino.
Reynolds said that sectional title in uMhlanga and freestanding homes in central and upper Durban North are still performing well, as are security estates in uMhlanga.
Buyers of development units range from end-users and Johannesburg commuters to investors and people seeking a lifestyle change.
"In central Durban North the average family home sells for an accessible R3.5 million to R4 million, so this price band is extremely popular and active," said Reynolds.
This is a non-seasonal, stable market with well-priced homes on level stands enjoying good proportions and attractive gardens. It also has a central self-contained business district, so residents are able to live and work in the area, without ever having to drive for more than five minutes, and with petrol prices increasing, less travel time is become more and more appealing.
Vacant land selling
In Signature Sibaya, plots of vacant land of about 2 000sqm are selling at R12.5 million. “Sibaya prices as a whole have surged from R25 000 in 2016, when Ocean Dunes was first launched, to over R40 000 per square metres for new developments. In Signature Sibaya, further capital is being invested in new homes which will attract prices upwards of R20 million to R30 million when completed.
"Not to be overlooked is nearby eMdloti, which is currently one of our busiest suburbs, which we believe is driven by increased activity in Sibaya, which has bridged the distance between the hub of uMhlanga and eMdloti. In addition, while Sibaya offers spectacular views, there is a limited stretch of prime beach land in eMdloti which attracts those seeking to literally live on the beach," said Reynolds
In Ballito, to the north of eMdloti, Pam Golding Properties says homes within security estates priced between R1.8 million and approximately R6 million are most in demand.
Pam Golding Properties area principal Farrah Williamson said, "Over the years Ballito has emerged from its former image as a holiday town to become a primary residential destination comprising some 70 percent permanent residents. While Ballito attracts buyers from around KZN and young families relocating from Johannesburg, Zimbali draws mainly Johannesburg buyers".