In the area 2 – KZN North coast

John Pechey, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Dolphin Realtors, which covers the KwaZulu-Natal north coast from Westbrook through Zimbali to Ballito, Shaka’s Rock, Salt Rock and Sheffield Beach as far as Zinkwazi, says that the pricing and demand for property in these areas has been consistent – a stark contrast from the rest of the country.

Pechey says that this is because the area attracts buyers from the top income groups and the capital growth has held its own, even through the bad times. “While a high percentage of property investors in these areas are holiday home buyers from up country, the demand for permanent residential property is also on the increase,” he says. Pechey attributes this demand partly to the opening of the King Shaka Airport in La Mercy. “This development has and will continue to have a major positive affect on the area.”

He says the buyer mix along the north coast in now approximately 60% holiday home owners and 40% permanent residents. “This is quite a change from the 80/20 split the area’s property market had in the past,” he says. “Permanent rentals are also in huge demand, especially from employees at new airport.”

Other property trends Pechey has noticed along the KZN north coast is the high level of demand for vacant land in the gated estates and the fact that ‘retirement’ planning is on the increase. “Developers are actively seeking out sugar cane farms for re-zoning to residential, and development sites are scarce. There is also a huge demand for small homes under R1m mark from first time buyers and those looking to retire.”

Pechey notes that many Gauteng buyers are relocating their families to the Ballito area and the husbands are commuting to Johannesburg from Monday to Friday. With the increase in families, there has also been an increase in the number of high schools and private education institutions that are open and operational along this stretch of coastline.

“Home buying priorities have changed for many families,” says Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa. “Whereas before homes were chosen primarily around their easy access to amenities and proximity to work and school, nowadays many buyers are looking for homes in locations that offer good lifestyle and security benefits. The KwaZulu-Natal north coast is well poised to take advantage of this shift in buying mentality.”

Such a vast area naturally has a wide property price range from entry-level homes to upmarket, prestigious homes that sell in the region of R30m. However, Pechey notes that on average, a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment would sell for around the R800 000 mark, while a typical three-bedroom, two- bathroom home would be priced between R1,6m and R2,5m.

Looking to the future of property along KwaZulu-Natal’s north coast, Pechey foresees huge growth over the next three years and says the area is positioned as one of the biggest growth nodes in the country. “The KwaZulu-Natal north coast will always remain a sought-after area,” he says.

RE/MAX Dolphin Realtors has recently been elected to market the prestigious, upmarket Zimbali Estates and the office currently enjoys around 60% market share in the area at present.

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