The steady recovery in the residential property market continues to gather momentum and is increasingly evident in KwaZulu-Natal, a region where the value for money on offer resonates among buyers across all price sectors, says Dr Andrew Golding, CE of the Pam Golding Property group.
“With interest rates still at historic lows, despite a moderate increase, there is growing confidence among home purchases – a trend especially prevalent among local buyers – including family-oriented purchasers and a younger generation of savvy buyers seeking to gain a foothold in the market for sound medium to long term investment purposes.
“Realistically priced stock is selling well, while stock shortages are apparent in popular and high demand central nodes such as Durban North,” says Dr Golding. He says while Durban’s Berea and Morningside areas remain in high demand throughout the year, due to their strategic position and attractive homes and locales, the suburb of Glenwood, within easy reach of the university and schools, is also experiencing growing interest and demand among home buyers.
Carol Reynolds, Pam Golding Properties area principal in Durban, Durban North and La Lucia, says stock under R3 million is in high demand in Durban North – an area conveniently situated close to schools, business hubs and major routes, and where activity is limited only by the supply of available properties and access to finance.”
As a value proposition, KZN has much to offer home buyers across all price brackets. This is of particular benefit to those in the lower to middle segments of the market. “For example, you can still acquire a bachelor or one bedroom apartment on the Durban beachfront for as little as R500 000, acquire a two bedroom unit from R700 000, a two or three bedroom starter house or townhouse for R1.5 million in pockets of Glenwood and the Berea, or buy a good sized four bedroom family home in a good area for R2.5 million. Even upmarket homes in Morningside and Durban North are well-priced between R3.5 million and R5 million, with mansions ranging from R5 million up to R9 million,” says Reynolds.
While KZN is seeing increased activity across the board, mainly in the price band from R1.5 million to R3 million, there has been a noticeable uptick in the western corridor leading from Westville through to Pinetown, Kloof and Hillcrest. With access to good educational facilities and a more temperate climate, these areas offer home purchasers a wide range of properties from flats and townhouses to generously proportioned family homes and luxury mansions on spacious erven.
In Pinetown central, stock under R750 000 is highly sought after, with a major demand for apartments, complexes and security units resulting in stock shortages. Mohammed Amra, Pam Golding Properties area principal in the Pinetown and Westville areas, says Pinetown is the first choice for many government employees and first-time buyers.
“Residential property to rent is also in high demand – including the area around the University of KwaZulu-Natal (formerly known as University of Durban Westville), which makes this an attractive market for investors. Construction of GO!Durban, the Integrated Rapid Public Transport Network is well under way, with major work currently taking place in Pinetown along Josiah Gumede Road (Old Main Road) which is being rebuilt to allow for dedicated Bus Rapid Transit lanes and transfer stations. This will change the landscape of Pinetown and help facilitate smooth traffic flow with less congestion and easier transport access for commuters.”
Amra says an area well positioned within easy reach of all major routes such as the N2, N3, M13 and M7 is Westville, which is experiencing a strong demand for homes in the price range up to R1.6 million. However, homes below R950 000 are hard to find, with stock shortages the main issue and many new sellers not realistic on selling prices.
Good news for the area is a new intermediate care and step down facility which will provide intensive rehabilitation services for patients which no longer require critical care, but are not ready to return home. Pam Golding Properties Westville have been mandated to project lead the facility, which will be situated just off the M13 on the corner of Jan Hofmeyr and North Cliff Roads and will be a further benefit for residents in the area.
In Kloof and Hillcrest, Pam Golding Properties area principal Alwina Muggeridge also reports a high demand for stock under R3 million. “We are also experiencing a strong demand for entry level properties of approximately R1.5 million, although there is not much available in that price range unless buyers are prepared to move to the Waterfall area. We also note that demand is growing for the higher price bracket from R4 million upwards.”
Over and above this the KZN region continues to enjoy a sustained high demand for a broad cross-section homes in the sought after region extending to the north of Durban, including Durban North, La Lucia/uMhlanga, uMdloti and Ballito. Furthermore, the recent announcement that Dube TradePort has gained IDZ status (Industrial Development Zone) augurs well for the region, as it carries a range of benefits for enterprises located within the zone and is also positive for the promotion of foreign and local direct investment into South Africa.
As stated in a recent publication to publicise the prestigious new status of Dube TradePort, the range of benefits offered to business enterprises include fiscal and customs incentives and are designed to promote business growth, revenue generation, employment creation and the attraction of both foreign and foreign investment. As such Dube TradePort IDZ aims to promote regional development, stimulate the creation of new employment opportunities and enhance current skills and technology transfer levels.
The Mayor of eThekwini, the Hon James Nxumalo, said Durban’s positioning as the gateway into Africa will accelerate growth and radical economic transformation. The city took a conscious decision to expand towards the north and this IDZ will act as a catalyst for further expansion, he said.
A further media report announced that over the next five years King Shaka International Airport will undergo major development with offices and a conference centre planned, as well as an extension of the taxiway. In addition, a site with shops and offices is envisaged for Dube City.