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Now is the time to invest in Durban’s Upper Highway

14 Jan 2019

Consistent broad-based and multi-faceted development, even during a poor national economy, is the foundation of continuing positive growth in Durban’s Upper Highway area.

This four bedroom, three-and-half bathroom home in Highmead Country Estate, Assagay, has access to indigenous gardens and hiking trails. It is on the market for R4.95 million - click here to view.

Michele Wilson, co-director of the Seeff Hillcrest, Kloof & Waterfall office, says the Upper Highway is fortunate that, as a result of ongoing multi-faceted development, the sales tempo has not decreased.

“Newly-launched developments such as the 508-unit Emberton Estate have captured a large segment of the market, and now moves into phases two and three with the launch of freehold townhouses with an average price of around R2.7 million, off the back of over 160 sales of apartments with an average price of around R1.5 million,” says Wilson.

“The recently launched Cotswold Downs Fenns offers 65 apartment-type units. It is exciting to hear that the Stoneford Equestrian Estate is relaunching as Stoneford Country Estate, and phase two will see 1-acre plots reduced to half an acre, with a more affordable yet upmarket package of around R4 million per unit including land. Phase three will offer freestanding sectional title units set in clusters, with a projected price range of R1.6 million to R1.9 million for two or three bedrooms.”

This five bedroom, three-and-half bathroom house in Kloof offers a landscaped park-like garden, built-in braai, jacuzzi and sauna. It is on the market for R3.395 million - click here to view.

The Shongweni area north of Kassier Road, which is owned by Tongaat Hulett, is earmarked for mixed development, including commercial, logistics, light industrial, business park and low-density offices. The development site is approximately 182ha, and is currently agricultural. However, all rezonings have been approved as this development has been 10 years in the planning. Its projected launch in 2019 will see the beginning of a 15-year roll-out process, which once again underpins strong economic activity in the area. It is this economic activity that feeds the property market, she says.

Fellow co-director of Seeff Hillcrest, Kloof and Waterfall, Gregg Wilson, adds that there has also been a dramatic increase in stock levels in the area.

This three bedroom, two bathroom townhouse in Hillcrest Central has a covered patio, private garden and offers access to a communal pool. It is on the market for R1.495 million - click here to view.

“This means that buyers have more choice, and this creates an opportunity for some aggressive buying to take place. So sellers really need to take care in pricing their property correctly in a market which is overstocked in some categories. During 2017 items for sale moved upward by 50% to 696, and the current stockholding for 2018 has increased further to 1 095 items for sale. In short, this means that although our area is still popular, it has become a market that favours buyers because of the large choice available,” he says.

“The pattern for 2018 saw a projected sales outcome for the year of 1 052, which is close to the norm for this area. The Upper Highway area continues to sell a consistent amount of residential properties per annum - between 1 100 and 1 300 of them. Property sales are often driven on sentiment, and there is a cautiously positive outlook founded on the development in the area outlined here.”

This four bedroom, two-and-half bathroom house in Gillitts has a beautiful garden, private pool and study. It is selling for R2.95 million - click here to view.

The Wilsons list the ‘big 6’ most popular selling suburbs in the Upper Highway as follows:

1. Gillitts at approximately 280 units per annum.

2. Kloof at approximately 250 units per annum.

3. Assagay and outlying with 230 units per annum.

4. Hillcrest at approximately 186 units per annum.

5. Waterfall at approximately 58 units per annum.

6. Forest Hills at approximately 48 units per annum.

This four bedroom, three-and-half bathroom house in Forest Hills, Kloof, offers a lovely garden and sparkling pool, and is close to many amenities. It is selling for R2.5 million - click here to view.

The top four price segments with regard to sales are:

  • Townhouses priced between R1 million and R1.5 million at 21 per month.
  • Houses priced between R2 million and R3 million at 10 per month.
  • Townhouses between R1.5 million and R2 million at 9 per month.
  • Houses between R1.5 million and R2 million at 8.5 per month.

The slowest selling price segments in the area are land priced between R800 000 and R1 million at one per month, houses over R4 million at two per month, houses over R3 million at two per month and townhouses between R3 million and R4 million, selling at three per month.

This three bedroom, two bathroom townhouse in Emberton Estate, Kloof, offers a communal clubhouse and easy access to highways and restaurants. It is selling for R2.495 million - click here to view.

There is a strong indication here that high building costs and the availability of already built stock will slow the sale of land. In addition, properties priced over R3 million - both houses and townhouses - have slowed dramatically, says Gregg Wilson.

“Each area has its own economic and property environment, for example, some areas have no room for development, and with the slowdown of sales they also have no stock. The Upper Highway area is an environment where there has been consistent development since 2002. This consistent and quite dramatic growth fuels the local economy as there is an increasing trend to live and work here. This explains the consistent demand over the last five years,” he says.

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