Areas and Places

Reasons why the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast holds such appeal for home buyers

Ongoing development and infrastructural improvements on the scenic coastline to the north of Durban continue to boost the migration northwards and similarly, the demand for homes in this sought after, strategically well-positioned region, says Dr Andrew Golding, CE of the Pam Golding Property group.

“Access to good schools, modern office parks and business nodes, King Shaka International Airport, shopping and other amenities are driving home purchase decisions – not to mention the beautiful beaches and spectacular views.

Investment appeal

“Aside from the upmarket areas of uMhlanga and La Lucia, which sustain a constant demand for homes as well as sound capital appreciation in residential property values, the Ballito area and surrounds – including Zimbali, are increasingly appealing both from an investment and primary residential destination perspective,” says Dr Golding.

“In fact,” adds Dr Golding, “Zimbali, with its reputation as a world-renowned resort with secure estate living and relatively short distance to the financial centre of Johannesburg, is a prime location for investors. In some instances property prices have increased by up to more than 10 times the original value since 1996, with for example, beachfront sites which originally sold for R1.2 million currently fetching R12 million.”

Buoyant property market

Neil de Beer, area principal for Pam Golding Properties in the Ballito area concurs: “Generally the residential market in the Ballito area is buoyant, reflecting an increase in enquiries as well as concluded sales. The high desirability of secure estate living is seeing demand outstrip the supply as buyers, particularly those from Gauteng, place a priority on this way of life. Now 85 percent completed, off-plan sales and re-sales in Zimbali are on the up as land purchase options are very limited and the market has stabilised overall.”

Situated between Westbrook and Ballito along a 3.2km coastline, Zimbali’s reputation as a world renowned resort with secure estate living, coupled with a year-round climate and close proximity to King Shaka International Airport underpin the sought after appeal of the area. Says de Beer: “ Entry level homes from R3 million to R5 million have sold well in 2012 and in the past two quarters more homes up to R6/R7 million are selling, as well as a few in the R10 million to R15 million price range. Vacant land in Zimbali is priced from R1.7 million, sectional title homes from R3.5 million to R9 million and houses from R7.5 million up to approximately R40 million.

“In Simbithi, in a prime location with beach access close to Thompson’s Bay, there is a significant demand for primary homes due to the growth in the area, new schools and a number of buyers relocating from Gauteng and surrounding areas. The proximity of the airport has made it attractive for business people to commute, while the family focused lifestyle of the estate and security makes this an easy choice. Coupled with this, constant advances in technology are facilitating an increase in work-from-home buyers. Having sold at prices from R4 million upwards, some 1110 sectional title apartments are already completed in Simbithi with another 58 homes currently under construction.”

Currently, freehold homes at Simbithi range from about R4 million up to R22 million at the top end of the market. Vacant land from the developers is sold out, with only re-sales now available from an entry level price of R1.25 million. Generally, Simbithi is in huge demand, with the cheapest house presently on offer at R4.2 million and with beachfront homes priced from R10 million upwards. De Beer says there are however new developments in the pipeline, at prices set to range from R2.6 million upwards.

“Other large residential estates such as Dunkirk and Brettonwood have also proven popular, while further new developments for the Ballito area are also in the pipeline.”

Easier access

He says the improvements to road infrastructure, providing smoother ingress to and egress from Ballito are undoubtedly going to make a significant difference for home buyers now and into the future. Convenient access to major freeways to the north, south and west, further encourages purchasers, particularly families – to settle here on a permanent basis, as they can easily commute to schools and the workplace in nearby uMhlanga or Durban – or further afield.

“In Ballito, the highest demand is for homes of 250-350sqm priced between R2 million and R2.75 million and centrally situated in the town itself or nearby increasingly popular Salt Rock. Beachfront apartments on this coastline region are priced from R2.5 million for those with views – highly sought after among leisure buyers, and under R2 million for those without.

“With so many compelling attractions, including an idyllic year-round climate, and sound investment propositions, it is not surprising that this key north coast node draws residential property buyers and investors not only from elsewhere in KwaZulu-Natal, but increasingly from Gauteng, Bloemfontein and the Cape. Over and above this, people are migrating to the north coast as growth and development creates additional employment opportunities. Furthermore, we are attracting an ‘overflow’ from uMhlanga. Value for money is a key factor. For example a current sound buying opportunity is a 330sqm, four bedroom, two bathroom house in Salt Rock on the market for R2.75 million. In Zimbali, a 312sqm, four bedroom home for R4.9 million presents a good buy, and a 500sqm, five bedroom home for R13.9 million also offers good value. This latter home recently featured on Top Billing and won the Caesar Stone kitchen award in 2013,” adds de Beer.

Pam Golding Properties also reports a huge demand for houses to rent. “Many people moving from Gauteng look at renting first, then there are young families or couples who cannot qualify for bonds as well as those who rent while building their own new homes. In Simbithi we are renting out a three bedroom home overlooking the estate for R23 000 per month, while four bedroom units in Tamboti – a sectional title complex within Simbithi, are let from R12 000 to R15 000 a month,” says de Beer.