There is ongoing demand for property on the KwaZulu-Natal coastline north of Durban, says Carol Reynolds, Pam Golding Properties area principal for Durban Coastal.
“Despite the lockdown, the residential property market in this perennially sought-after region has shown resilience, and we are continuing to experience activity across all price bands.
“Most notably, family homes priced under R5 million are selling quickly while developments are attracting a significant amount of investor interest.”
The real estate firm has reported an influx of Johannesburg buyers shopping for homes in the area, while local property developments, in particular, have attracted investment interest from out-of-towners.
“Although sectional title and estate homes – including sectional title units within estates – have proven more popular in recent years, freestanding homes continue to sell, especially those in low-supply areas such as on the beachfront, particularly frontline apartments, for which there is a high demand as long as realistically priced,” said Gareth Bailey, who is also an area principal for Pam Golding Properties Durban Coastal
While the market has been favourable, buyers and sellers are more informed than ever before and most have a good understanding of what constitutes a reasonable and acceptable market-related price.
Bailey said that the uMhlanga Urban Improvement Precinct has helped keep uMhlanga town and beaches clean and safe, which has had a cumulative, positive effect over time, encouraging more restaurants to open in the area, while the new Oceans development will also include a shopping centre component.
Reynolds said in Durban North’s residential property market there’s a clear trend towards lifestyle as a priority, and as a consequence, many buyers look for spacious homes with gardens and outbuildings that can be converted into offices, or for additional accommodation for extended family members.
“This suburb epitomises convenience for home buyers. In central Durban North, homes sell quickly if correctly priced, with the ever-popular three or four-bedroom family home with outbuildings and level gardens performing well in the price band between R3 million and R5 million.
“This central area is very popular because of its proximity to schools, the beach and the burgeoning business hub in La Lucia/uMhlanga, and also benefits from the Broadway precinct, a self-sufficient business node in itself, making Durban North the ideal place to live, work and play.”
Work from home
Given the work-from-home norm that has arisen, renovations and upgrades are becoming a trend, with many homeowners using their outbuildings not only for additional space for themselves or for multi-generational living, but to generate a passive rental income, said Bailey.
“Apart from Johannesburg buyers seeking a better lifestyle, we enjoy a mix of local mainly family buyers either upgrading or downsizing in the area, as well as those relocating from other suburbs, such as the Berea.
“A major drawcard is the exceptional schools in the area, namely Danville, Fatima, Chelsea, Virginia, Northlands and Northwood.”
Perhaps surprisingly, the upper end of the market here has been more active than it was prior to lockdown, however, buyers are discerning regarding price, he said.
“Mansions in upper Durban North carry a great deal of prestige and are extremely spacious and beautifully maintained, attracting interest in the R8 million to R10 million mark. However, buyers have a good selection to choose from in this price bracket so residences need to be correctly priced in order to sell.”
Reynolds said that prices of homes range from R1.5 million for two-bedrooms, to R2.5 million for larger apartments, while small homes in areas such as Glen Anil, Glen Hills and Park Hill sell between R1.5 million and R2.5 million.
Medium-sized, three or four-bedroom family homes in central Durban North range from R3 million to R5 million, and larger four to six-bedroom homes in the upper areas of Durban North fetch from R5 million to R10 million.