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Richards Bay's growth spurt driving property market

16 Oct 2015

With the recent announcement of a further R2 billion investment boost for its Industrial Development Zone, Richards Bay on the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast is poised for another massive growth spurt, and the only factor holding its property market back at the moment is a shortage of stock.

This four bedroom house in Arboretum, Richards Bay, has an open-plan lounge, a lapa area with built-in braai and jacuzzi. It is on the market for R1.95 million - click here to view.

This is according to Sonja Dry and Joyce Ortmann, the new Chas Everitt International Notebook licensees for Richards Bay and the neighbouring towns of Empangeni and Mtunzini.

Dry and Ortmann say the main purpose of the Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone (RBIDZ) is to attract and enable major corporate investments that will create sustainable jobs, foster skills transfer and promote local economic development. As it continues to fulfil this mandate, they say it is driving additional demand for residential property in Richards Bay and the surrounding areas.

The agents say the City of uMhlathuze municipality, which includes Richards Bay and Empangeni, is already home to some of South Africa’s key enterprises, including BHP Billiton, Mondi Paper, Foskor and Transnet, as well as the Richards Bay Coal Terminal.

Now experts have predicted the investments into capital projects in the oil and gas, and renewables sectors will generate 1 600 more employment opportunities, and an influx of home buyers is already having an impact on stock levels.

“Entry-level buyers aged between 18 and 35 are our primary purchasing group at the moment, but although home prices in this area start from around R350 000, they range all the way up to around R4 million in the exclusive suburb of Merensee,” say Dry and Ortmann.

“We know there is huge potential in the market in this area, and new commercial developments such as the John Ross Eco-Junction being built by Liberty Properties will boost the attractiveness of Richards Bay even more. This R220 million development is a healthcare facility due for completion at the end of next year.”
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