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The Bluff is Durban's hidden gem

Renovations are the order of the day in Durban’s older areas, according to Hein de Lange, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Advance which operates in the Bluff, Wentworth, Treasure Beach, Brighton Beach, Austerville and Fynnlands.

“These are good areas in which to invest in property as they are safe, close to a range of amenities and of course the world renowned beaches with some of the best surf on the East Coast,” he says.

De Lange notes that due to the fact that these are older areas with no vacant land available, people tend to renovate or to buy old houses, demolish them and then build mansions on the stands. “Alternatively,” he says, “they sell their homes to developers who will then build complexes such as flats, or simplexes depending on the zoning.”

According to De Lange, the Bluff is a hidden gem with the best value-for-money properties in and around Durban. “Where else can you buy a freestanding home with unlimited sea views and private beaches for R3-million?” he asks.

He says entry level properties here start at R400 000 for a one-bedroom apartment or flat in a complex. “In the middle of the market are properties which are, on average, priced between R800 000 and R1,2-million. This will buy you anything from a standard three-bedroom, one-bathroom home with a single garage to a three-bedroom, two bathroom home with a double garage, swimming pool and a view of either the golf course, harbour or sea.” At the top end of the market prices can go as high as R6-million for a home with private beach access and 180-degree unrestricted sea view.

In line with national trends, prices for properties here have come down to more realistic levels. But, de Lange says that while sales did go down last year, they are now on a steady increase, with every month being better than the last. He reports that RE/MAX Advance is selling between 10 and 15 homes each month, which is made up of a mix of distressed homes in addition to standard property sales.

Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa says that overall, sales have improved dramatically in the first seven months of 2010, with RE/MAX of Southern Africa reporting a 40% increase in sales on the same period last year. He also says that to date, the group has sold over R120-million worth of distressed properties, and foresees that this figure will increase as banks continue to bring their distressed properties to the market.

De Lange also points out that developers are starting to develop once more. RE/MAX Advance is currently in the process of selling the biggest development ever on the Bluff with a possible 76 new units to be built within the next year.

“Property prices,” says de Lange, “are starting to grow again and fewer people need or want to sell their properties. This creates a good balance between the supply and demand for properties in the area. However, there will always be movement on the Bluff as this is a working class area where people continually move around within the neighbourhood or upgrade their properties.”

Article from: www.remax.co.za