The North Durban strip spanning from Durban North, to La Lucia, Umhlanga and Umdloti is without question one of the most highly sought-after areas in KZN, and indeed the country. Our Pam Golding Properties research team has recently noted the hive of activity in this area, and indeed, cites this sector of the KZN coastline as one of the fastest growing areas in the country. With the recent release of land in the Sibaya precinct, the area is abuzz with local and international investors, developers and end-users all wanting a price of the action.
One of the reasons this coastal belt is expanding at such a pace is because of the multitude of mini-metros along the coast. For example, one can choose to live work and play in Durban North. Similarly, La Lucia is a self-sufficient hub with everything from commercial to retail to residential. Then of course, Umhlanga is fast becoming the Sandton of KZN as commercial players flock to the area, supported by a strong residential and development market. Finally, further along the coast to Umdloti, the promise of Sibaya has created a tremendous amount of hype and the intention is for this area to be a vibrant mix of commercial, retail and residential – resulting in convenient living par excellence.
The lifestyle offering in each of these mini-metros is extremely enticing, given the balmy climate, beautiful beaches and renowned shopping centres and restaurants. Umhlanga is a diverse area, hotting up with mixed use areas, commercial and retail hubs, traditional suburban pockets and a beachfront filled with apartment blocks and five star hotels. New Town, which is the Gateway area, has become a highly popular retail centre. In this area, the mixed use concept has been implemented and a lot of young buyers who work in the area have entered the market. Gateway is comprised of 96% sectional title and the average selling price of an apartment in Gateway is R900 000. Rental returns are good – a unit with two bedrooms that costs around R1 million will lease for between R6 000 and R 7 000 per month. Forty four percent of buyers in the area are between 18 and 35 years, indicating that this “urban” lifestyle suits young executives.
Umhlanga Rocks – which comprises of the beachfront, Lower Umhlanga and the Village area is perhaps the most-sought-after node in the area. Seventy eight percent of this area is under sectional title, with twenty two percent freehold. Most of the freehold homes sit in the Lower Umhlanga strip along the beach and in central Umhlanga. Apartment living spans the entire area and attracts a wide range of buyers from investors, to people wanting second-homes, to retirees and to executives. The average selling price for a sectional title unit in the area is R2,8 million; but sea-facing apartments fetch over R10 million depending on location, size and finishes. The average selling price for freestanding homes in the area is R5,8 million, which indicates that Umhlanga is one of the most popular and therefore most expensive areas in KZN.
Estates are being developed all over the area, with the growing need for security, and prices in the estates start from R4 million and exceed R10 million. We are busy with feasibility studies on four new estates soon to be launched in the area. Demand is high and developers are seizing the opportunity.
In closing, we are experiencing very exciting times in KZN with all the development and growth in this northern corridor. It seems with the new airport, commuters are flocking to the area because of its lifestyle offering and KZN is set to become Cape Town’s warmer, sunnier rival.