Durban’s Bluff prices showing steady growth

Bluff’s property prices are showing steady growth after the recent boom, according to Lillian Roberts, manager of the Pam Golding Properties Bluff office, who illustrates her point by noting that a basic three bedroom, two bathroom family home with swimming pool purchased in November 2004 for R400 000 sold for R850 000 in March 2006.

She cites another three bedroom, two bathroom home with pool - situated in an exceptionally good area with golf course views - sold in 1994 for R225 000, resold in 1996 for R250 000, then in 2002 for R338 000 and in May 2006 sold for R920 000. In 2004 prices appreciated by just over 30 percent and in 2005 by 18,7 percent.

Roberts says today the highest demand on the Bluff is for basic family homes comprising three bedrooms, one or two bathrooms, single or double garage - anything priced under R1 million.

"Homes are priced across a broad price range, with sectional title homes selling between R400 000 and R850 000; the average three bedroom home selling from R800 000 to R1,1 million; a more upmarket three bedroom home with two bathrooms, double garage, swimming pool, granny flat or sea view priced from R1.5 million to R2 million; four or five bedroom homes with two or three bathrooms, double garage, pool, granny flat and sea view would fetch from R2 million to R2.5 million; and upmarket luxury homes with ocean and breaker views, direct access to the beach etc are priced from approximately R3 million to R5 million.

In terms of suburbs, Roberts says the upmarket area of Ocean View is most in demand - basically anything on or near Marine Drive - with other desirable suburbs being Brighton Beach, Grosvenor and Marlborough Park. Areas such as Wentworth and Fynnland are more affordable.

In recent years the Bluff has seen a major upgrading of shopping centres. Roberts sas the area has great potential and is included in the Coastal Management Plan being drawn up for the south Durban area (from the Bluff to Athlone Park ie Amanzimtoti North). “These include numerous exciting proposals - with the aim of managing the area's numerous environmental resources and recreational use of the coast and beaches," adds Roberts.

Unfairly considered somewhat of a 'Cinderella' suburb, Durban's Bluff area is in fact a safe and affordable area with a strong loyalty and sense of community among residents who tend to be Bluff-born and remain so, says Terry Cousins, Pam Golding Properties area principal.

Cousins says the property market mainly comprises single residential units with relatively few sectional title apartment buildings (comprising about 15 percent of the market) and none of the seasonal or holidaymaker element of the coastal towns further south and north of Durban.

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