According to Seeff Property Group, the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) property market remains resilient despite the recent spate of unrest.
Joleen Giraudeau, manager for Seeff South Coast, said the KZN South Coast has become the affordable alternative to the North Coast. It still offers excellent value below R1.2 million to R1.5 million and sectional title below R600,000.
The Covid pandemic has boosted demand from buyers looking to swap the confines of their urban houses for a coastal lifestyle. The property group said that the excellent amenities, accessibility, and proximity to Durban are a big drawcard attracting buyers from Gauteng and buyers moving out of Durban down to the South Coast.
Although there has been some slowdown in sales in some villages, the area continues to attract buyers. The Mid-South Coast area remains busiest under R1.2 million. Amanzimtoti benefits from big companies such as Toyota, Sapref and Sappi in the area with more big companies looking to relocate.
Meanwhile, the Hibiscus Coast reports that the market is even busier than last year, with a lot of people investing in holiday homes or apartments. One agent said 95% of her buyers are from Gauteng.
Berea, Durban North and Westville are not just active, but in fact, busier than 2020, according to Roger Hoaten, Seeff’s licensee for the areas. The effect on the market resulting from the events in KZN remains to be seen but aside from the market becoming a little quieter the past few weeks, it is still business as usual, he said.
There is broad appeal – from first-time buyers to families and older buyers – with the R1 million to R2.5 million range in particular demand. The big drawcard for the Berea area is the proximity to major arterials, the best schools and hospitals, numerous shopping centres, and a great lifestyle.
The Durban North and Westville areas are well-established upmarket residential areas featuring top schools, shopping centres, and a wide variety of lifestyle choices.
Ballito on the North Coast is one of the areas affected by the recent unrest, but Graham White, sales director for Seeff North Coast, expects it will continue to attract semigration and second home buyers, driven by a desire for a better lifestyle and the WFH (work from home) trend. It is very accessible from Gauteng via road and air.
He said the market is holding up well, and there has been no “panic selling”, although there may be some people who will now consider selling to move away or possibly emigrate.
On the other hand, the remarkable way the community came together to protect property and businesses, along with the high prevalence of gated estates, may be a confidence booster for buyers.
Although still largely attracting family buyers, White said that there is now an emerging trend of young, first-time buyers heading into the area. Ballito has become a vibrant town, which attracts young people.
It also offers a broad range of property types and price points from around R1.2 million to about R22 million for a luxury estate home.
Price growth for the year to end June was around 4-8% depending on the property, he said. “We are still facing stock shortages in certain areas and price ranges which means that prices will hold. The rental market also continues to perform well with many clients opting to rent here first before they buy, or while they are building their home in one of the many new estates in the area.”
Andreas Wassenaar, licensee and principal for Seeff Zimbali, said the estate could even be seen as an extended suburb of Gauteng, given how accessible it is. Young families semigrating from Gauteng remains a core market.
“The ability to live in the area and remain active working and running business activities in Gauteng is possible as the King Shaka International Airport is close by, and the roads are excellent.”
The rental market is also often boosted by people typically looking to rent before buying when migrating to the KZN North Coast from Gauteng.