A beach in Sudwana, South Africa with people walking, and flying kites.
That section of South African society which keeps an eye on the property trends countrywide is now awakening to the fact that any buy in the Amanzimtoti precinct, 30 km south of Durban, an area which includes Amanzimtoti itself, Athlone Park, Doonside and Kingsbury, is likely to be a sound investment.
This was said recently by Erine Kleyn, the Rawson Property Group’s franchisee for Amanzimtoti, who, in explaining her opinion, said that over the last two years price rises of 5 to 10% have been seen in the area – with the result that today sectional title units, which comprise some 60% of the local housing stock are now selling in a price range of R650,000 to R900,000, while freehold homes usually sell from R900,000 to R1,250,000 – good value by South African standards.
“The bulk of the enquiries,” said Kleyn, who has run this franchise since July 2013, “have been for beachfront properties, particularly those suitable for holiday makers, whether owners or tenants. About 40% of our buyers of all types of property tend to be from Durban/Amanzimtoti, while a further 40% are from Johannesburg and Pretoria.”
Kleyn revealed that her team of seven sales agents is now selling on average eight units per month. In view of the on-going demand for houses now being experienced in the area, she said that they are budgeting for a 10% increase over the coming year.
“It has,” she said, “been of great benefit to have some highly experienced agents with over ten years’ experience working for our team and also to have dynamic and professional intern agents. We do still, however, have room for the enthusiastic rookie whom we can train and mentor.”
Kleyn said that among the major challenges facing her team today is the fact that a high percentage of sellers are still trying to overprice their stock – and are then sometimes deaf to arguments as to why they should reduce their prices. However, she said, those amenable to advice and prepared to accept a Rawson valuation (which is always based on a genuine comparative market analysis of homes in the area concerned) are finding on average that their homes sell within two to four weeks.
Today, said Kleyn, some 40% of her franchise’s revenue is, in fact, generated by rentals and certain of her agents specialise on the leasing of units or on the management of them.
Currently, her portfolio of managed properties numbers 56 to 65. Rents have risen about 7 to 10% per annum in the last two years and Amanzimtoti/Athlone units will rent between R3,000 and R6,000 per month.
Asked to what she attributes her success, Kleyn said that like all good agents she has learned the value of ‘sticking to the basics’, i.e. maintaining a high public profile through constant advertising, holding show houses regularly and canvassing on an on-going basis.
Anyone selling property in the Amanzimtoti precinct, she said, can do so with a fair amount of confidence because of the area’s attractions – beaches, up-to-date, well designed retail malls, quality restaurants and bistros and other entertainment venues and the simple fact that Amanzimtoti is relatively close to Durban.
“All of these factors,” said Kleyn, “contribute to the area’s appeal and the on-going demand for property here.”