In the area 2 – Richards Bay

The major new city campus for the University of Zululand — with phase one ready for occupation from January 2010 — is set to provide a boost for the residential property market in Richards Bay, says Phil Hammill, area principal for Pam Golding Properties.

To be located in the Richards Bay CBD, the first phase catering for the faculties of business and management will enrol from 1000 to 1400 fulltime and part-time students — a large number of which will be adult learners currently employed across various sectors of the economy and who wish to further their education.

Demand for smaller residential units

"As a result we anticipate that the demand for smaller residential units will increase, providing the impetus for further investment by developers in such housing accommodation," says Hammill. "In addition, the long-term presence of the campus in the city should have positive spin-offs, including the fact that the university will be hosting many international conferences — thereby bringing delegates and visitors to Richards Bay. Phase two, planned for completion in 2013 and comprising computer and engineering technology, will enrol between 400 and 600 students."

In anticipation of the increased demand for smaller units a new 30-unit residential development is already under way, marketed by Pam Golding Properties and priced from R359 000 for one bedroom apartments. "This development comprises six apartment buildings each with five units and a few have already sold," says Hammill. "We anticipate that as the demand for such accommodation increases as the new city campus reaches completion, this will see council release the undeveloped, municipal-owned land in the CBD."

Activity below R1-million

Hammill says, while locals comprise the bulk of home buyers, Richards Bay has always seen a fair amount of new buyers moving in from other areas and this is an ongoing trend albeit at a slower pace given the current economic conditions. Activity in the residential property market tends to be mainly in the price range below R1-million with movement regarding properties priced above R2-million somewhat slower.

"There are also preferred areas which tend to attract slightly higher prices, those such as the well established Meerensee area and the newer suburb of Birdswood where prices average between R1-million and R1.3-million. In the CBD of Richards Bay sectional title units range in price up to R880 00 for a three bedroom unit, offering good value for money. At the Mzingazi golf estate, also in the Richards Bay area, a number of land purchasers have commenced building their homes and the future for this secure, new and uniquely positioned golf estate is very positive," adds Hammill.

Article from: www.iafrica.com