Situated halfway between Durban and Kosi in the middle of the country, Richards Bay began as a small seaside village; the city underwent massive industrial transformation around forty years ago due to the establishment of the Richards Bay Port.
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According to Seeff Richards Bay licensee Elain Chetty, the Richards Bay property market is thriving. However, the market reached unprecedented heights in the last year with the most significant recorded turnover in five years; these figures, unaffected by favourable bank lending circumstances and recent price hikes, resulted from categorically-low interest rates.
Chetty further elaborates that Richards Bay remains a seaside village at heart despite considerable advances over time. The city retains stunning marsh and beach landscapes offering potential residents a fantastic coastal lifestyle; Richards Bay also remains a popular holiday destination due to its proximity to Gauteng and Durban. These variables all contribute to the market's success, surpassing broader predictions.
With significant transactions falling below R1.6 million; however, the most active price range remains between R1 million and R1.5 million. According to comprehensive statistics gathered by Lightstone Property, the previous year's market turnover of 767 properties came close to R1 billion (R949, 620) with an average property price of R1,238 million.
These figures equated to the most transactions in over five years, both in value and volume. Despite these high figures, affordability still dominates the Richards Bay property market, with significant transactions falling below R1.6 million; however, the most active price range remains between R1 million and R1.5 million. Additional Lightstone data shows that although the average price for sectional title property in the area sits at around R976,000, buyers might find cheaper townhouses for R900,000 and other stock at bargain stock at R500,000.
Chetty claims that she and her team weathered the test of time, resulting in one of the most successful sales in the Richards Bay property market last year. Seeff bestowed the "Seeff Group Licensee of the Year" award for the second consecutive year to the Seeff Richards Bay branch in 2021; they also nominated the department for the Best of Zululand Readers' Choice Awards under the "Best Estate Agency' category this year.
According to data gathered by the deeds office, the average price for a stand-alone house is R1.5 million; however, Chetty believes there is still value at lower prices ranges, with current stock fluctuating between R700,000 to R2 million for an average family property. In stark contrast, the price for luxury properties in places like Meer en See start at around R17 million; these immense properties (roughly 19,000 square metres) available for wealthy buyers are stunning residences that offer unsurpassed views of the yacht club and surrounding bay.
Chetty states that the rental market is still growing despite obstacles posed by the recent Covid pandemic. A variety of causes fuel rental demand, including the vast number of enterprises that require rental space. The sectional title sector still holds the highest demand for houses, but freehold houses also continue to grow in need. Apartments enter the market at R4,500 pm (per month), townhouses at R6,000 pm, and homes at R7000 pm. On the other end of the price spectrum, rent at the prestigious Mzingazi Golf Estate starts at R27,500 pm for a three-bedroom apartment and R44,000 pm for a four-bedroom home.
In her closing statement, Chetty remarks that the Richards Bay property market prognosis is very favourable. Although the two recent interest rate hikes might deter some consumers, it still sits at its lowest recorded figure in decades, acting as a substantial incentive to prospective buyers.
Furthermore, banks continue to encourage loans with deposit requirements at their lowest recorded level in a long time. Buyers can apply for bonds with larger loan-to-value ratios, while eligible first-time buyers can still acquire 100% bond rates at the cost of additional charges.
Contact Seeff Richards Bay on 035 789 0490/1 for more information on purchasing property in the area.