The prices of commercial and industrial property sales in Durban and its surrounding precincts have picked up significantly in the last year – and one area in particular, says David Hitch, the Rawson Property Group’s Kloof commercial franchisee, is going ahead very fast.
This is the Hammarsdale to Cato Ridge corridor.
Sited just off the N3 leading to Johannesburg and strategically placed between Durban and Pietermaritzburg, this area, says Hitch, is destined to attract a great many industrialists over the next decade – and as there is ample land they can all be accommodated. Already Chinese, Indian and other Asian buyers have been prominent among those purchasing land here.
“The reasons for Cato Ridge’s appeal,” says Hitch, “are that land here, both serviced and un-serviced, is considerably less expensive than that in the traditional Durban commercial areas: prices can vary from R350 to R750 per m2 depending on how close the property is to the M7 and to what extent services, if any, have been put in. In addition, the area does not suffer from the congestion and traffic jams experienced in the last few years in the Durban industrial areas and being some 1,100 m higher than the coastal belt it offers a far cooler, more congenial climate. It also has ample labour supplies from settlements nearby, including Hammarsdale which is still the home of many former textile workers, now no longer employed.”
As has been widely reported, the new Durban deep draft ‘wet’ port, which will be developed on the site of the old airport and is due to come on stream from 2017 onwards, will fundamentally improve Durban’s shipping, loading, off-loading and turnaround times – and Cato Ridge will benefit from this because it is now known that it has been selected as the site of the inland ‘dry’ port which will handle the ‘wet’ port’s cargo.
Hitch says that his Rawson Commercial franchise has three agents focusing on Cato Ridge and this year they expect to greatly increase sales and to take a larger market share.