A DIVERSE MARKET OFFERING GREAT VALUE
Durban has always been a very popular city: with its beautiful climate, warm sea and well-planned urban layout, it offers a convenient lifestyle with a host of amenities on its doorstep. The Durban market is unique in that it is very diverse. This means that it literally caters for every budget and a wide spectrum of buyers.
The suburbs that traditionally fall into the Durban area include the beachfront; the CBD; Glenwood and Bulwer; and the Berea and Morningside. The area is therefore expansive and buyers can choose from beachfront living to urban living to suburbia depending on their preferences.
The CBD has been problematic for several years, as large corporates have vacated the area and moved north to La Lucia and Umhlanga, but we are seeing a resurgence of interest in the area, with enquiries from large developers seeking to upgrade the inner city. A CBD facelift will transform the area, and we should it transpire, investors will re-enter the area.
For now, the CBD is comprised mostly of sectional title units (95%) and the average selling price of an apartment in the area is R345 000. Forty four percent of recent buyers are between the ages of 18 and 35 years, indicating that first time buyers are able to enter the market because of its affordability. The LSM for the area is 4 – 7. The greatest need in this area is parking and security. One of the challenges the area faces is the fact that the banks will not necessarily finance some of the apartment blocks, and hence buyers need to be mindful of this when looking to purchase.
Moving towards the sea, North Beach has been cited by Lightstone as the best performing suburb in the mid to high property sector in KZN. This is fantastic news for the area, and indeed, investors continue to drive the market and the holiday market has recovered with people buying second homes in the area.
An apartment in North Beach will cost R751 000 as an average. Beachfront seafacing units range from R800 000 to early 2 millions depending on size and specs. The LSM in the area is high at 8.
South Beach has also performed well, indeed, Lightstone ranks South Beach as the highest performing suburb in the middle range in KZN. So all round, the beachfront has certainly come alive post the recession and with the extra security, well-maintained promenade and popular beach restaurants, the area has returned to its former glory.
South Beach offers exceptional value – nowhere else in the world can buyers snap up beachfront property at these prices. Prices average at R300 000, but again, the seafacing units will achieve prices of R1 million. The LSM for the area is 7-8 so whilst prices offer great value, the area appeals to a higher LSM group, because it is largely driven by investors and the holiday home market.
The Durban suburbs continue to hold their own as popular nodes, largely because of the convenience on offer and the excellent schools that are scattered across the area. Glenwood is one of KZN’s finest schools, and hence this suburb continues to attract young families. The Berea is home to several top schools like Durban Girls College, DPHS and Maris Stella. The Berea is a very diverse market attracting not only young families with school-going children, but also retirees, investors and first time buyers looking to enter a market that still offers good value.
On the Berea, you can expect to pay R 2million for an average 3 bedroom home in Essenwood, and approximately R1,5 to R1,8 million for an average home in Musgrave. Essenwood and Musgrave have a high LSM of 9, and both markets are 75% sectional title and 25% freehold. On average, sectional title units in these areas will cost R1 million. Essenwood achieves high prices in the upper pockets, for example, we recently sold a home in Essenwood for R8,8 million, so this illustrates the diversity of the area.
Morningside is perhaps the most sought-after node in the Durban market. Upper Morningside has always been an extremely desirable area, and boasts beautiful grand colonial mansions spanning over 1000m2 on erven of over 2000m2. Sea views are the norm and the generous proportions and build quality from a bygone era is difficult to beat. These mansions are owned by the Durban elite, politicians and local businessman who come from generations of wealth. A home of this stature in this area will cost anywhere from R10 million up to R25 million.
Again, indicative of the wide range of homes in the area, the average price for a sectional title unti in Morningside is around R900 000 and the average freestanding home will cost R2,1 million. The LSM for the area is high – sitting at 9.
In sum, Durban is a vibrant area with a very active property market that caters for all sectors of the market. Our agents are equipped as sectional title and full title specialists and indeed, as also deal with shareblock ownership in this node, a reflection of the diversity in the area.