KwaZulu-Natal - The Current Property Market in KZN
The Current Property Market in KZN
“With some of South Africa’s top beaches, a profusion of holiday accommodation, and a pulsating entertainment industry, Durban has much to offer.”
KwaZulu-Natal - the home of the Zulu Kingdom
With its soaring mountain peaks and magnificent coastline and diversity in colour and culture, KwaZulu-Natal is one of South Africa’s most vibrant and vivid provinces. A multi- cultural region has been born from its fascinating history of famous battles to its Indian heritage that has been paved by leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi, all of which have contributed to KwaZulu-Natal becoming a popular destination amongst local and foreign visitors alike, and real estate being some of the most sought-after in South Africa.
It is no surprise that many investors are eager to buy property in Durban and real estate in midlands, Northern KwaZulu-Natal, Southern KwaZulu-Natal and the Durban Metropolitan. Set in sub-tropical lush vegetation, boasting a world-class trade and commerce, one of South Africa’s busiest harbours, as it forms the economic hub of KwaZulu-Natal and is one of the fastest growing urban areas in the country, mainly due to the fact that its port is one of the ten biggest in the world. With some of South Africa’s top beaches, a profusion of holiday accommodation, and a pulsating entertainment industry, Durban has much to offer.
Durban’s beachfront is often termed the Golden Mile’ due to the prolific presence of luxury hotels and holiday accommodation catering for the local and international tourist market. With the 20 I 0 World Cup on its way to South Africa, the residential property market in Durban has benefited and in recent years the city has proved it is no longer lagging so far behind Cape Town and Johannesburg in the property stakes. The area is known for its excellent value for money when it comes to property investment, as prices are still about 20 percent lower than in other big cities. Whether you’re looking to purchase holiday homes or residential properties, you’re sure to uncover a wealth of exclusive properties for sale or rent in Durban.
The Drakensberg, known as the Soul of the Zulu Kingdom, is a 200 kilometre paradise of rugged cliffs in the north and soaring sandstone walls in the south. Not surprisingly, Drakensberg real estate has some of the most desired properties for sale and rent in KwaZulu-Natal. Many individuals eager to buy holiday homes in South Africa choose to purchase property in KwaZulu-Natal and, thanks to its exquisite beauty, many opt to buy property in the Drakensberg. The sub-tropical regions within KwaZulu-Natal called the South Coast and the North Coast, has a popular year-round holiday destination by virtue of its superb weather, golden beaches, rocky coves and varied accommodation, being famous for its sugar cane-covered rolling hills, rich conservation areas, indigenous coastal forests, timber plantations and private game reserves.
The North Coast also boasts the biggest and busiest port, as well as the world’s largest single coal mining facility, which is found at Richards Bay.
What do some of the top Estate Agencies in KZN have to say?
Some of the top estate agencies in KwaZulu-Natal feel that the banks are still being extremely strict on granting credit, which sometimes acts as a stumbling block. Another problem is that Sellers are still determined to get prices that the property market had in the “boom period” which causes a problem. Sellers have set their prices at levels based on when the market was much stronger, which gives unrealistic expectations. Genuine sellers need to heed the advice of the experts and place your home on the market at a realistic price otherwise buyers just keep “shopping around” until they find a better deal. However, there are still a few cash buyers making “cheeky offers”.
In the past couple of months, there has been a lot more activity in the marketplace in terms of people looking at properties especially with the latest interest rate cut. Although this has given more of a confidence booster than an actual awakening of the market, estate agents still seem to feel that credit is the biggest problem, with banks not granting bonds.
Even those with large deposits are not automatically granted bonds as the banks look at their overall exposure, and it is therefore more difficult to get bond approval. The drop in interest rates have had little bearing on the market at this stage as it is more a case of affordability and how much cash people have for deposits. It is still virtually impossible for first- time buyers to enter the market. At this point if they don’t have cash and parents are in most instances reluctant to stand collateral security for them. The middle market is just about non-existent but there is still a movement at the upper end, where there is still cash available.
Although the drop in interest rates was most welcome, Estate agents would really hope that there is some kind of relaxation from the banks if that is possible, and smaller deposits than are currently required would also help since people just do not have the cash.
Property along Kwazulu-Natal’s North and South Coasts KwaZulu-Natal North Coast Property (Dolphin Coast)
The property market on the KZN north coast is set to receive a major shot in the arm over the next few years courtesy of the Dube Trade Port and King Shaka International Airport at La Mercy, situated between Ballito and Umhlanga Rocks.
It is estimated that these projects will create in excess of 269 000 jobs over the next 25 years and the spin-offs are already being felt in surrounding areas with increased demand for goods, services and accommodation for workers driving property prices up. Further galvanizing is a new 100 000sqm shopping centre for the town which has grown over the past few years from a highly popular holiday venue to an area of choice for permanent residents looking for a better quality of life. Properties in gated communities are proving the most popular with this set.
Umhlanga’s inherent appeal and village-like ambience has also done much to bolster the local property market in recent times but property prices in the area still compare favourably when judged against those in other coastal hot spots” such as Camps Bay in Cape Town. Wealthy South Africans and international property investors have also found plenty to please them along the Dolphin Coast in recent years in super- luxury developments such as the, Simbithi and Seaton Deleval Estates.
KwaZulu-Natal South Coast Property (Hibiscus Coast)
Known as South Africa’s most popular playground, the KZN south coast starting at Durban attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors and holidaymakers every year, and consequently has a wealth of properties available for short-term lets, from apartments and townhouses to self-service chalets and imposing mansions on the beachfront.
Famous for the annual ‘sardine run”, for angling and for whale and dolphin watching, the area is sometimes also called the ‘golf coast” as it has nine superb 18-hole challenges, including the Selbourne, San Lamer running all the way south to and the Wild Coast, the area includes major centres such as Amanzimtoti, Hiberedene, Port Shepstone, Shelly Beach and Margate, as well as a myriad of seaside villages, very few of which have escaped a wave of holiday unit development in recent years.
Indeed, investment in such properties and second homes was the mainstay of this area’s property market for a long time, but now it is also a favourite among retirees and an increasing number of families that are looking to escape city crime and grime. This has resulted in an increase in the number of permanent residents, the construction of new shopping malls, schools and other infrastructure, and improving prospects for all types of businesses in the area. Property prices are generally lower on the Hibiscus Coast than for comparable properties along the north coast, which is also helping to boost the area’s popularity, although there are several upmarket residential estates including the new Wozani Ridge development near Hibberdene.
Courtesy: Agent – The Official Publication of the Estate Agency Affairs Board
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