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Own a home in St Lucia in KZN

14 May 2012

If you want a home in a popular tourist destination and hot investment location node, look no further that St Lucia in KwaZulu-Natal.

Prices for an entry level one bedroom flat in St Lucia will cost in the region of R500 000, a two bedroom flat will sell for around R645 000 and a three bedroom will be priced in the region of R970 000, all of which have furniture included.

St Lucia is the only town in the world that is situated in a World Heritage Site, the iSimangaliso Wetlands Park.

It offers buyers and visitors a unique experience that they won’t find anywhere else on the planet, says Lourens de Lange, broker/owner of RE/MAX Heritage, whose office services St Lucia and surrounding areas Monzi, Mtubatuba and Hluhluwe.

De Lange explains that there are approximately 400 stands and St Lucia cannot get any bigger, which will make it very exclusive for property owners in the near future.

The town is surrounded by the iSimangaliso Wetlands Park, which is 280km long and makes up 8 percent of the South African coastline.

There are no lion in the park, however, it hosts the other Big 4. There is also whale watching and Leatherback turtles in season, along with South Africa’s biggest lake system featuring the 65km Lake St Lucia, with over 1 400 crocodiles and 800 hippos.

According to de Lange, when buyers purchase property in St Lucia they are buying into the iSimangaliso Wetlands Park and everything it has to offer.

“With an R500 per year Golden Rhino, residents can go in to iSimangaliso Wetlands Park everyday for R5 per person.

Where else in South Africa can one buy property and get a Big 4 game reserve, ocean and a lake all together. Properties can be changed or renovated, but the area can’t,” says de Lange.

He notes that after every long weekend and school holiday there is generally an influx of buyers to the area who want to move out of the city.

Many investors are also looking to purchase holiday homes and flats in the area as it is only six hours from Pretoria and two and a half hours from Durban.

Many properties have also been sold to foreign buyers from Netherlands, Belgium and England, with some having started B&B’s.

A six bedroom guest house was sold two years ago for R6.2 million, which is the highest paid for a B&B in the area.

“St Lucia is predominantly a holiday destination with quite a lot of B&B’s and lodges that have emerged over the last five years. It is changing from a fisherman’s town to world class holiday destination.”  

De Lange says that property sales have been quiet over last two to three years.

Along with the approximate 400 stands, St Lucia has around 200 sectional title units.

“We used to sell around 24 properties a year, but over the last two years that has dropped to around ten.”

A free-standing entry level home in St Lucia with three bedrooms and a one bedroom granny flat will cost approximately R1.26 million, depending on its condition.

Between 2005 and 2010 property prices doubled, however, they have stabilised and stayed the same from 2010 to 2012.

Prices for an entry level one bedroom flat in St Lucia will cost in the region of R500 000, a two bedroom flat will sell for around R645 000 and a three bedroom will be priced in the region of R970 000, all of which have furniture included.

A sectional title unit in the Hluhluwe development, which is situated on a 170ha private game reserve, will cost R540 000.

A free-standing entry level home in St Lucia with three bedrooms and a one bedroom granny flat will cost approximately R1.26 million, depending on its condition.

A mid-level, four bedroom home with a one bedroom flat and a swimming pool will cost around R2.65 million and a top-end four bedroom home in a prime location bordering the iSimangaliso Wetlands Park, with quality finishes throughout will cost in the region of R4.6 million.

A private 250ha game reserve in Hluhluwe will be priced around R6.48 million.

Commenting on the future of the property market in St Lucia, de Lange says they know the market in St Lucia is going to take off in the near future.

While buyers can purchase relatively cheap houses and flats in need of renovation at the moment, once they are all gone it is not going to be cheap to buy into St Lucia.

Buyers who want to purchase good value for money property should do so now, he adds.

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