18 Jul 2013
Those who own property along the 70 kilometre stretch of coastline that is KwaZulu-Natal’s Hibiscus Coast from Umzumbe to Port Edward are able to enjoy an everyday reality of dipping toes into warm ocean water, falling asleep to the sound of the waves, exploring blue flag beaches, and meditating on sunrises as well as lush, colourful vegetation.
The area is also popular for its robust communities, quiet living, healthy lifestyle, and adventure sports, all of which add immeasurably to the quality of one’s living.
Following on from the improvement experienced in 2012, this year has continued to see an overall increase in both sales and prices along the Hibiscus Coast. Although not an out-and-out sellers’ market, properties are selling closer to the asking price than in the past.
He says while prices do vary significantly for the same-sized property, depending on the housing standard for a particular area, demand remains fairly constant across the price ranges. Generally speaking, a modest three bedroom home can be bought for between R700 000 and R800 000.
A mid-level home (i.e. a home on a large or double stand with en suite bedrooms and special features like a swimming pool) can be bought for R800 000 to R1.5 million. The most expensive homes can reach R10 million and beyond.
Much the same pricing applies to flats and townhouses. Wakefield says confidence in the market place is encouraging the emergence of new developments, which on the whole are selling well. The past ten years have seen the building of a large number of new developments, particularly in the bigger growth nodes of Margate, Ramsgate, Shelly Beach and Uvongo.
Depending on the area, a plot-and-plan home can be had for as low as R400 000 - a buyer can buy land for as little as R120 000 and then make use of a specialised builder to build a modest home for around R280 000. This is a specialised market but sales are on the increase.
There is also a slow but steady return of investors, who are purchasing mostly flats for the purpose of entering the rental market, says Wakefield. The holiday market is not as buoyant as it was some years ago and the trend is still towards short-term holiday letting, but there has been a discernible swing towards converting to less seasonal, long-term rentals of six to 12 months.
He says the coastal lifestyle will never lose its appeal, and as a result, the Hibiscus Coast will always flourish. While the bulk of new buyers are those entering into their retirement years, there always will be those seeking a holiday home as well as investors looking for a return from the letting market.
Wakefield says the ‘permanents’ tend to be of an older age group, and so there is a strong community-minded atmosphere that is noticeable in the numerous shopping malls. This however, changes dramatically during the holiday seasons when a completely different and festive vibe takes over.
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