South Coast is the new north as KZN property bounces back after unrest

    Amanzimtoti, R1,395m for a three-bed family house close to the primary and high schools

    The KZN property market remains resilient in spite of the recent spate of unrest according to the Seeff Property Group.

    Joleen Giraudeau, manager for Seeff South Coast says the KZN South Coast has become the affordable alternative to the North Cost as it still offers excellent value below R1,2 million to R1,5 million and sectional title below R600 000.

    The Covid pandemic has boosted demand from buyers looking to swop the confines of their urban houses for a coastal lifestyle. The excellent amenities, accessibility and proximity to Durban are a big draw card attracting buyers from Gauteng but also buyers moving out of the Durban down to the South Coast.

    Although there has been some slowdown in sales in some of the villages, the area continues to attract buyers. The Mid-South Coast area remains busiest under R1,2 million. Amanzimtoti benefits from big companies such as Toyota, Sapref and Sappi in the area with more big companies looking to relocate.

    The Hibiscus Coast meanwhile reports that the market is even busier than last year with a lot of people investing in holiday homes or apartments. One agent says 95% of her buyers are from Gauteng.

    Berea, Durban North and Westville are not just active, but in fact busier compared to 2020 according to Roger Hoaten, Seeff’s licensee for the areas. The effect on the market resulting from the events in KZN remains to be seen but aside from the market becoming a little quieter the past few weeks it is still business as usual, he adds.

    There is broad appeal, from first-time buyers to families and older buyers with the R1 million to R2,5 million range particularly in demand. The big drawcard for the Berea area is the proximity to major arterials, the best schools and hospitals, numerous shopping centres, and a great lifestyle. The areas of Durban North and Westville are well established upmarket residential areas featuring top schools, shopping centres and a broad variety of lifestyle choices.

    Ballito on the North Coast is one of the areas affected by the recent unrest, but Graham White, sales director for Seeff North Coast expects it will continue to attract semigration and second home buyers, driven by a desire for a better lifestyle and the WFH (work from home) trend. It is very accessible from Gauteng via road and air.

    He says the market is holding up well and there has been no “panic selling”, although there may be some people who will now consider selling to move away or possibly emigrate. On the other hand, the remarkable way in which the community came together to protect property and businesses along with the high prevalence of gated estates may just be a confidence booster for buyers.

    Although still largely attracting family buyers, White says that there is now an emerging trend of young, first-time buyers heading into the area. Ballito has become a vibrant town, which attracts young people. It also offers a broad range of property types and price points from around R1,2 million to about R22 million for a luxury estate home.

    Price growth for the year to end June was around 4-8% depending on the property, he adds. We are still facing stock shortages in certain areas and price ranges which means that prices will hold. The rental market also continues to perform well with many clients opting to rent here first before they buy, or while they are building their home in one of the many new estates in the area.

    Andreas Wassenaar, licensee and principal for Seeff Zimbali says the estate can even be seen as an extended suburb of Gauteng given how accessible it is. Young families semigrating from Gauteng remains a core market. The ability to live in the area and remain active working and running business activities in Gauteng is possible as the King Shaka International Airport is close by, and the roads are excellent.

    The rental market is also often boosted by people typically looking to rent before buying when migrating to the KZN North Coast from Gauteng.

    Author: Gina Meintjes
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