Now its semigration to KwaZulu-Natal
Much has been said about the semigration of buyers – notably Gauteng buyers – to the Western Cape.

But in reality, large numbers of upcountry buyers are also flocking to KwaZulu-Natal, predominantly to the burgeoning North Coast region. And they are not shying away from acquiring luxury and super -luxury properties at the top end of the market.

Says Neil de Beer, Pam Golding Properties area manager for Ballito: “Some 60 to 70 percent of our buyers in the upmarket Zimbali area are from Gauteng, semi-grating to the coast. The remainder are mainly those relocating from the greater Durban area to the North Coast as well as some overseas buyers, who account for less than 10 percent of the total. These are often expatriates returning to South Africa or acquiring an investment closer to home while they are based abroad, or acquiring homes for holidays in the interim and potential relocation on retirement in the future.”

De Beer says in Zimbali, although the entire estate is well sought after, position and outlook are fundamental requirements for the super-luxury homes in the price range from R10 million upwards. Beachfront homes, where vacant land is already fetching prices from R11 million to R14.5 million per site, traditionally command the most exclusive prices in the market, with fairway frontage homes and those with high elevation sea views not trailing too far behind.

Says Sascha Bausch, Pam Golding Properties area specialist in Zimbali: “With its close proximity to King Shaka International Airport and proliferation of secure lifestyle estates, the North Coast areas from uMhlanga, Umdloti and Sibaya through to Ballito and Zimbali are increasingly in demand among out of town buyers, particularly where the major breadwinner commutes to the workplace in Gauteng while the family resides within a secure estate and enjoys all the lifestyle benefits of living in this highly appealing part of KZN.

“A luxurious, furnished and beautifully appointed home in a contemporary design and with fairway frontage in Zimbali recently fetched R17 million.

“Architectural guidelines on the estate also allow for more bulk, where larger homes are built. Building costs of R20 000 plus per square metre for turnkey projects are the result of award-winning yet less economical architectural designs, high spec building materials and workmanship and the latest trend in interior designs from around the globe.”

Finishes in this high end price category include large scale double glazing, custom-made international kitchens with multi-colour coding, acrylic wrapping, Caesarstone tops, fully integrated kitchen appliances, imported finishes, home management systems for remote control, fully appointed home cinemas, water harvesting and reticulation systems, power invertors / generators and rim flow/ heated pools.

Added to these features buyers of such homes seek lifestyle oriented investment opportunities to suit their own needs, with recreational facilities such as pools, tennis and squash courts and gyms, while keen golfers look to settle among a selection of the country’s finest fairways.

Carol Reynolds and Gareth Bailey, Pam Golding Properties area principals for Durban Coastal concur with the trend towards semigration among upcountry home buyers: “In the estates we are seeing a number of Johannesburg buyers investing in our uMhlanga and Sibaya residential developments.

Says Reynolds: “The KZN coastal strip from Durban to Ballito has suddenly become the place to be. With an influx of Johannesburg clients seeking to relocate to our sub-tropical climate, this area is growing rapidly. Two years ago we were pricing developments in uMhlanga at R20 000 per square metre, now some of our developments are selling for as much as R60 000 per square metre, reflecting unprecedented growth. The ‘Signature Sibaya’ development has almost sold out with vacant land fetching prices of R10.5 million for 2 000sqm of prime land, which means the end price for the homes will range from R20 million up to R40 million depending on finishes.

“Our top end sales along the North Coast in general are achieving prices of up to around R20 million. These include homes in estates like Hawaan Forest as well as mansions near the beach and in the heart of uMhlanga Village. Clients will pay for prime positions and security, while homes with sea views in prime areas such as lower uMhlanga, lower La Lucia and upper Durban North always command high prices. We are also seeing a number of clients buying up old homes and renovating them completely, particularly in areas close to the beach, where there is no land available.”

Says Bailey: “Luxury apartments are also on the priority list for upcountry buyers, particularly beachfront units with exceptional views, quality finishes, facilities and security.”

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What to expect from KZN’s thriving property market in 2018

Terry Swart, General Manager of Seeff, takes a look back over the property market in KwaZulu-Natal in 2017, and gives an outlook on prospects for 2018.

“The general sentiment in terms of the property market in the KZN region is that there is a softening from a demand point of view, given the general economic conditions,” says Swart.

“However, while our major bond partner ooba reports an approximately 10% decline in the number of bonds granted over the past year, the value of the bonds granted has only decreased by approximately 4% in the same period. This points to a marginally more cautious market.”

During 2017, the Seeff KZN group reported a 9% growth in sales over 2016, and this momentum is primarily driven by the availability of stock which is being provided by developers in the areas of Ballito, Umhlanga, Queensburgh and Hillcrest.

Ballito is a fast-expanding area, and the market overall is growing. Seeff Ballito posted a record month in October, with sales of over R53 million. “In this area we have seen developments such as Zululami experience an exceptional sales pace at launch, and this pattern has been repeated in extensive developments by the Balwin Group,” says Swart.

The established market led by Zimbali Coastal Estate reports steady trade. It is forecast that in 2018 these recently-launched developments will come on stream, together with additional developments such as Zimbali Lakes, to cope with increasing buyer demand.

Average prices are expected to be between R3.5 million and R4 million. The expanding market of the Dolphin Coast lifestyle estates is now the preferred mode of living, priced at the over-R3 million mark.

This year the Umhlanga market was characterised by exploding development in the Sibaya area and central Umhlanga, where upper-end apartments and developments such as Pebble Beach have sold out. The recently-launched freehold development, Gold Coast Estate, of just over 200 freehold sites is 80% sold out. It was also exciting to report achievement of a record price for a freehold piece of land in Homeford Drive of R11.675 million. This development-driven activity will continue momentum into 2018.

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