12 Feb 2013
Situated at the mouth of the Umzimai River, approximately 97 kilometres south of the KwaZulu-Natal city of Durban, is the seaside town of Hibberdene which is considered to be the gateway to the Hibiscus Coast.
Named after the former postmaster-general of Natal, C. Maxwell-Hibberd, this small coastal town has become a popular destination for holidaymakers and property investors alike.
As an affordable holiday destination, Hibberdene is known for its beauty and five popular beaches, four of which have shark nets and are safe for swimming. The beaches are well-known because of the warm Indian Ocean that flows across the shoreline, making the area perfect for a number of aquatic sports such as waterskiing, scuba diving and snorkelling.
Many species of rare marine life live in the unspoiled reefs along Hibberdene’s coastline, which include various types of coral that grow on the reefs such as soft coral sponge, fern coral and the scarce black coral.
Due to the range of amenities in the area, many of the surrounding smaller countryside settlements use the town as their shopping centre. Future development plans for Hibberdene include the establishment of a small craft marina.
Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says Hibberdene is not only an affordable holiday destination but also an affordable investment option with many properties priced under R400 000. He notes that the recession period had a severe affect on the property prices in the area and while they have recovered to some degree they are still relatively low compared to many other coastal areas.
According to Lightstone, a property information and statistics provider, from 2004 the average price of a sectional title unit in Hibberdene increased dramatically until 2007. During 2007, the average price of a sectional title unit was R668 000, the highest price seen in the area over the last eight years. In the same year the average price of a freestanding home was R475 000.
In 2008 the average price of a sectional title unit dropped by over R100 000 and in 2012 the average price of a sectional title unit was R415 000 while the average price of freestanding homes was R457 000.
Goslett says during 2004, freestanding homes were outselling sectional title units by approximately three to one and they continued to outperform sectional title units until 2012.
In 2012, sectional title units marginally overtook freestanding homes in terms of sales numbers.
Around 43 sectional title units were sold from January to December 2012, compared to the 34 freestanding homes that were sold during the same period. Property in Hibberdene consists of about 59 percent freestanding homes and around 41 percent sectional title units.
A large majority of the existing owners in the area are aged between 50 and 64 years old, and they account for over 40 percent of homeowners in Hibberdene. The next highest number of homeowners is from the 36 to 49 age group and they make up around 31 percent. Consumers within the 50 to 64 year old age bracket were also the most active in terms of buying and selling property in the area, and they accounted for 34.01 percent of recent buyers and 42.11 percent of recent sellers.
According to Goslett, the demand for property in Hibberdene during 2012 was highly driven by the price of the property with around 49 percent of the homes sold for under R400 000.
Over 42 percent of the homes were sold for between R400 000 and R800 000, and 6.5 percent for between R800 000 and R1.5 million and only 1.3 percent for between
R1.5 million and R3 million.
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