Holiday bargains to be had

THE leisure real estate market is going through a rough patch and sales of coastal properties especially have shown a marked drop. Paul Winterstein of Aucor says sales are in a downward trend, and many owners are struggling to sell their holiday homes.

Sales are being squeezed by the slowing economy and loss of confidence in SA, with a drop in the number of overseas buyers in the market.

“The foreign interest is still there, but much of the enthusiasm has waned,” Winterstein says.

Some of these properties have been on the market for as long as 18 months. A number of brokers and investors have now decided to put the properties on auction.

“There are many advantages; there are no suspensive clauses or mortgage bonds, and there is a concentration of buyers on the spot. The sale can be concluded on the same day.

“People who are emigrating and those who are having trouble with banks and who want to sell their holiday homes urgently are coming to us.

“We have been successful in moving these properties at auctions in Johannesburg from time to time.”

Aucor has had a good response in this segment of the market and is continually looking at affordable coastal units, which Winterstein says he would like to become a standard line of the company.

Values of middle-range holiday homes have dropped 20% on average, making them more affordable. The residential market is now a buyers’ market and auctions have become a strong option.

Properties in Margate, Ramsgate, Port Edward, Jeffreys Bay, Umhlanga and Durban will be on the vendors’ roll at Aucor’s sale at the Inanda Country Club next Thursday.

Three one-bedroom units will be on offer in Platinum Towers, Umhlanga. The complex is close to the Gateway shopping centre.

Umhlanga — or Umhlanga Rocks, as it was originally called — has been a firm favourite among holiday-makers for decades.

Growth has been phenomenal and developments such as the Gateway centre and the Ridgeside development, as well as resorts including Zimbali, have made Umhlanga one of the most dynamic coastal resorts in SA.

This is a far cry from its humble beginning in 1869, when, says Connolly’s Guide to Southern Africa, its first building was erected, a cottage named Oyster Box, now the name of the famous hotel.

On offer in Margate is an apartment block with two sectional title units on a 4046m² stand. The apartments are furnished and are within walking distance of the beach, shops and entertainment. Amenities include undercover parking, a pool and laundry facilities.

Originally a farm, Margate was sold to one Hugh Ballance for £466 in 1919. It was granted municipal status in 1948. Incidentally, it was here that Harry Fynn buried his hoard of ivory when pursued by Shaka’s impis. He survived, but was never able to find his treasure afterwards.

His son Frank was less fortunate. He and his party, which included Zulu refugees, Connolly’s Guide notes, were killed at what is today Ramsgate.

Ramsgate’s popular Crayfish Inn, which for decades was a popular stopover for local and overseas travellers, is for sale and expected to attract keen bidding.

Described as “a quaint village inn”, it is especially known for its restaurant and its proximity to the beach.

Of interest too is the Edwardian Hotel in Port Edward, a gateway to what was the Transkei. The hotel is close to the Wild Coast Sun casino.

A rental investment of two 154m² units, each with three bedrooms and two bathrooms, are for sale in Paradise Palm at Jeffreys Bay.

Coming under the hammer in Durban is a three-bedroom, furnished apartment in Moldanado on Marine Parade.

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