03 Jun 2013
More and more property buyers are uncovering Durban’s best kept secret – the leafy suburb of Westville.
This is according to Lee Ellis, inland director of Tyson Properties, who says during the past year they have sold 175 properties. He says during the month of December 2012, they broke all their previous records and achieved the greatest number of sales in rand value.
Ellis attributes this ongoing success to the fact that Westville ticks each of the five boxes that prospective buyers should seriously consider when investing in properties for the long term.
Westville and its surrounding areas are close enough to Durban to be convenient and far enough to allow residents to enjoy the more country-like feel of the Upper Highway area and enjoy beautiful green areas such as the Palmiet Nature Reserve.
He says the local weather in Westville and Cowies Hill is ideal in that the days in summer are often hot but the humidity is somewhat lower than it is in central Durban.
For commuters, Westville is particularly well positioned within a network of highways such as the M13, M19 and N3, making the city centre as well as major nodes to both the north and south easily accessible.
The suburb is just 15 minutes from the Durban CBD and about 30 minutes from King Shaka International Airport. Westville has little traffic congestion along the Fields Hill route that is often a problem for others in the Upper Highway area or the log jams experienced on the major north coast routes.
According to Ellis, the area is home to some of Durban’s best government schools with parents often choosing a home that will suit their children for the duration of their school careers – from primary through to high school and even university thanks to the close proximity of the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Westville campus.
Good medical facilities are close at hand in both Westville and Pinetown and there is plenty of good shopping at the Pavilion, Westville Shopping Mall, Village Mall and Westwood Shopping Centre. At least two more major commercial developments are underway and big brands such as Pick n Pay, Woolworths and Spar are increasing their retail footprints in the area.
Ellis points out that the best way to measure the quality of life in an area is by how long people stay. He says the suburb of Cowies Hill, where most properties are freehold and new residential developments are few and far between, is a good example. “Here, people buy to stay. Interestingly enough, nearly
50 percent of sellers in Cowies Hill over the past year owned their properties for more than 10 years. Approximately 70 percent of the recent buyers in Cowies Hill were under the age of 50 and 60 percent of the existing owners in the suburb are over 50 years old.”
Ellis says the total value of residential sales in the suburb in 2012 was similar to the total value of residential sales in 2006 before the economic downturn.
Westville brings with it the value attached to an established and sought after area and in Dawncliffe, for example, just over 50 percent of existing owners and recent sellers had owned their homes in excess of 10 years, he says.
It should be noted that over 80 percent of recent buyers were under the age of 50 years old and an interesting fact is that the average age of existing owners in Dawncliffe has reduced substantially of late as the homes in this suburb are more affordable and younger buyers with families are seeking good value for their money.
The average price for a residential home in Dawncliffe is in the region of R1.5 million. The total value of homes sold in Dawncliffe in both 2011 and 2012 was higher than the period during the property boom a number of years back between 2004 and 2006.
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