Residential property prices in eThekwini have reflected the ongoing migration of wealthier buyers along KwaZulu-Natal’s north coast and the economic and social challenges faced the central and southern areas which have been exacerbated in recent years by the insurrection in 2021, the floods in 2022, and widely reported complaints of a lack of service delivery in the metro.
Home to around 3.5 million people, eThekwini is the province’s largest metro and economic driver. The metropolitan municipality was formed from seven formerly independent local councils and tribunal land in 2000.
Lightstone splits the metro into four main geographic areas – the city of Durban, the area south to the city to Amanzimtoti and Kingsburgh, the area north-west to Hillcrest and Kloof, and the area north to Umhlanga.
Hayley Ivins-Downes, Head of Digital at Lightstone, said there were 480 000 residential properties in eThekwini in 2022, valued at R470 billion, at an average value of R1.1 million a property which was 62% up on the average value of R680 000 ten years ago.
The single largest property band – with 35% of properties – was the R500 000 – R1 million band but it represented only 25% of the stock value, while the R2 million – R3 million band represented only 5% of the properties but 15% of the stock value.
eThekwini residential property value bands (2022)
Durban, with nearly 150 000 properties, accounted for 31% of the volume and 34% of the value of properties in the municipality, while townships accounted for 21% of the volume but just 8% of the value.
Value of properties
Proportion of stock and stock value within areas (2022)
“The highest average value suburbs in Durban were, in order of value, Durban North, Virginia, Glenashley and Athlone, where the average values were above R3 million. The average value in Durban North was above R4 million,” she says.
Of the high value suburbs, Virginia recorded the highest value growth – 72% in the last ten years, compared to around 50% in Durban North, Athlone and Glenashley.
On a less positive note, Durban Point saw property values increase by only 8% in ten years to its average value of R2.4 million in 2022.
There were 1 200 properties valued above R5 million in Durban, and almost 7 000 valued above R3 million.
Sales in Durban
Sales volumes in Durban have tracked the national averages. Of the 6 700 sales which took place in 2022, 56% were under R1 million and 32% between R1 million – R2 million.
Ivins-Downes says average sales prices have been increasing while volumes have moved consistently between 6 000 – 7 000 sales a year, other than in 2020 when Covid-19 dampened the market.
Average sales price
Durban Central recorded the most transactions in 2022, followed by Bulwer and Musgrave, although as the table below indicates, the highest average prices were found in Morningside and Essenwood.
Of the approximately 6 000 Sectional Scheme properties in Durban Central, almost 500 transacted in 2022, including a full scheme of 150 units purchased. About 50 of the remaining 350 properties were bought at values below their valuation ten years ago, providing evidence of the challenges facing the Durban Central area.
The average value of Sectional Schemes in Durban Central delivered lower than average growth. The properties were valued at just 34% higher in 2022 than their valuations ten years ago (R560 000 compared to R320 000).
The average transaction value in 2022 for Sectional Scheme properties in Durban Central was R425 000 (excluding the purchase of all units in the Russel Mansion scheme). Some 9% of the units in the iconic John Ross House were sold during 2022 at an average price of R466 000, indicating value erosion in real terms as sales prices increased by just 32% over ten years.
Going north towards Umhlanga
Gauteng, Western Cape dominate Estate markets
The area going north – including Umhlanga, Mount Edgecombe, Umdloti and Tongaat – recorded the highest stock growth in the metro in terms of units over the past ten years, with 3 700 new units in Umhlanga and 1 300 in Umdloti. The balance was spread across the region.
The suburbs where the highest volume of stock was added, were:
Estate properties per province:
Ivins-Downes says Umdloti gained a third of its stock in the last year – which included the Sibaya Coastal Precinct, with a mix of residential, commercial, and retail components – and Umhlanga gained 20% more stock over the past ten years. As with most of the North Coast, accessibility to schools, shopping centres and the King Shaka International Airport helped drive the rising value in the residential properties.
The highest value suburbs are:
The strength of the Umhlanga area was evident when analysing some of the data. Sales in Umhlanga totalled almost R4 billion in 2022, at an average of R2.8 million per transaction. This contrasted with almost R1 billion recorded in Umdloti at an average of R2.1 million and the total in Durban Central of R170 million at an average of R350 000.
There were 11 000 properties in the Umhlanga area valued at more than R3 million (compared to 7 000 properties in Durban) and 4 400 properties valued at more than R5 million, compared to 1 200 in Durban.
“Sales also told a different story, with volumes increasing from 2016 until Covid-19, as opposed to Durban where sales had been flat. Sales recovered in 2022 and the trend line should move upwards if current pattens continue,” she says.
Towards Umhlanga: sales transactions
North-east towards Hillcrest and Kloof
The north-eastern areas, which included Botha’s Hill, New Germany, Hillcrest, Kloof, Pinetown and Westville, saw stock growth of just 5% in the last ten years, compared to 22% in the broader Umhlanga area.
The highest value suburbs for 2022 include:
Sales transactions improved significantly in 2021, while the average value of transactions has been increasing steadily over the past ten years.
Average transactions value
Kloof led sales in the area, with 7% of properties transacting at an average value of over R2 million.
Suburbs with a significant number of sales in 2022 (more than 20) with values higher than R2 million were:
There were just 1 600 new units added to the residential property stock in the area towards Amanzimtoti, in contrast to 6 000 in the Umhlanga area.
More significantly, the growth in value (47%) has been lower than any other area in eThekwini – Durban’s value grew by 50%, towards Hillcrest by 61%, and towards Umhlanga by 55%.
There were just ten properties valued above R5 million (total value of R90 million) which transacted during 2022 in the area, and only 105 over R2 million at a total value of R343 million.
The area’s best performer in terms of value growth was Panorama Park in Kingsburgh.
Highest value suburbs