This region is quickly becoming the new ‘property capital’ of South Africa

The North Coast of KwaZulu Natal is quickly becoming the new ‘property capital’ of South Africa, with steady year-on-year growth in the region’s property market, coupled with new developments and investments making it home to several of the most up-and-coming neighbourhoods in the country.

Carol Reynolds, Pam Golding Properties area principal for Durban Coastal, the North Coast region of KwaZulu-Natal has continued to attract an influx of home buyers from the rest of the province, Gauteng and other regions, and even globally.

“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,” she said.

Reynolds highlighted several of the key features that make the region so appealing:

  • King Shaka International Airport on its doorstep, and nine international flight routes – including three BA flights per week from London’s Heathrow airport;
  • 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;
  • Highly desirable lifestyle and sound value-for-money homes;
  • Ongoing investment in commercial property in hubs such as uMhlanga Ridge and La Lucia Ridge;
  • No shortage of hospitals and medical facilities, the region is also benefiting from a growing retirement market;
  • Access to top schools.

Reynolds said that 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 – which the region has in abundance.

“Also critical is price, as well-priced stock moves while over-priced 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,” she said.

In terms of residential property, the region has also experienced steady growth year-on-year, whereas some other regions have experienced peaks and trough, she said.

New developments planned

On top of the homes available across the region, the North Coast has also drawn significant investment in new developments – which continue to draw interest from prospective buyers, Pam Golding said, particularly for sectional title units.

“In uMhlanga – an area comprising approximately 70% sectional title units – (these 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,” Reynolds said.

Upmarket developments pull top prices, with Gold Coast Estate in Sibaya selling 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.

“Among other top end sales, we sold a frontline penthouse apartment at the Pearls in uMhlanga for R30 million. Encouragingly, we are seeing a number of cash sales across all price bands,” Reynolds said.

Further developments are also on the cards, which include:

  • A prime beachfront block in uMhlanga,
  • In Sibaya, a new development to comprise three apartment blocks, and
  • A huge resort-style development near the casino.

Reynolds said sectional title units 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, with this price band being extremely popular and active, she said.

Vacant land and estates

Pam Golding highlighted that vacant land was also proving to be hot property in the region.

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 per square metre 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,” Reynolds said.

Sibaya has provided a huge boost for this region – with the new private university planned by AdvTech and private schools stimulating further interest in the area.

“The improvements in the road infrastructure near Gateway and Cornubia have also had a positive impact on areas such as Prestondale and Gateway, while the conversion of uMhlanga College to Reddam has also been a positive upgrade for the area.”

In Ballito, Pam Golding said homes within security estates priced between R1.8 million and approximately R6 million are most in demand.

Highlighted estates include the Umhlali Country Club, Ballito Gardens, Simbithi, Brettenwood Coastal Estate, Dunkirk and Port Zimbali.

“Over the years Ballito has emerged from its former image as a holiday town to become a primary residential destination comprising some 70% permanent residents. While Ballito attracts buyers from around KZN and young families relocating from Johannesburg, Zimbali draws mainly Johannesburg buyers,” the group said.

Read: This is what happened to the South African property market after the last five elections

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This region is quickly becoming the new ‘property capital’ of South Africa