Houses fetch millions in KZN suburb

Huge demand for golf estate units is bucking the trend of a cooling luxury market.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, demand in the upper end of the property market is still strong and there are insufficient houses to meet demand.

Miles Wakefield, branch manager at Wakefields estate agents, said the Mount Edgecombe golf estate has attracted plenty of prospective buyers and tenants eager to live on the estate.

Wakefields recently sold a property in the estate for R8,5m. That was a record for the group. Property players maintain that foreigners push South African property prices up but Wakefield said the estate is “very much a South African market”.

“Foreigners are looking for coastal properties with sea views and while Mount Edgecombe may be near the beach, it is on the other side of the ridge and there are no sea views.”

The estate is more of a suburb, with the bulk of property owners, mostly locals, being permanent residents, added Sally Cameron, area principal for Pam Golding Properties.

“While Zimbali has long been considered the jewel of the north coast, Mount Edgecombe is hotly contesting that perception, having recently achieved a price for a single residential property of more than R20 million”, she explained.

Development of the estate started about eight or nine years ago. Scheduled completion date of December next year has spurred enormous demand, reckons Wakefield.

“Very few properties are available and buyers are just not willing to sell,” he said.

Cameron added that correctly priced, well-positioned homes were snapped up literally in hours, with purchasers competing with each other for the property.

One such property (below) was recently sold for nearly R6m. The four-bedroomed house has two living areas, a walk-in pantry, cloakroom and triple garage.

“As all the land on the estate has been sold, large sites are at a huge premium, and buyers are now prepared to pay high prices for large adjacent sites,” she said.

The estate is situated on the Sugar Coast of KwaZulu-Natal and is owned and developed by Moreland, the property arm of the Tongaat-Hulett Group.

Estate I is 94 hectares, made up of five residential villages, which are named after Scottish golf courses. There are around 300 units.

Eight residential villages (named after USA golf courses) of around 1 000 homes make up the second estate, which is just over double the size of Estate I.

Dozens of new golf estates are under construction all around SA. The authorities have resolved to curb excessive development because of water and environmental considerations. That means supply could become limited in a decade or so. Development of these estates often takes up to 10 years.

Property experts say location will be the most important determinant of their success. Well located properties such as Mount Edgecombe are fully developed and therefore have an edge. Others still under construction will be cash traps for developers for years.

AltX-listed golf estate developer, Acc-Ross reports good progress with the sale of units at its Gardener Ross estate near Centurion. It plans a billion-rand-plus estate at Lizard Point on the Vaal Dam and last week announced that it is negotiating with a proposed equity partner to help it fund its ambitious developments.

Article by: Gaylyn Wingate-Pearse - from: www.moneyweb.co.za