Essenwood area and property guide

Private Property South Africa
Lea Jacobs

A selection of property that caters for different markets, lots of amenities and a location that’s central to everything, what’s not to love about Durban’s Essenwood?

About the area

It’s easy to understand why Essenwood is still regarded as one of Durban’s better suburbs. Beautiful properties, many of which boast Victorian architecture, give the area an olde-worlde feel and are utilised by both the commercial and residential sectors. This doesn’t mean, however, that its residents are stuck in some sort of time warp. A growing number of homes are being transformed into modern masterpieces by those who prefer a more contemporary look. The area is also home to a large number of apartment blocks that display various architectural styles, including some of the best examples of Art Deco around.

Freehold property only represents 21% of available accommodation and it therefore makes sense that buyers are willing to pay a premium for the privilege of owning such a property. Lightstone’s statistics indicate that 44 such homes have been registered at the Deeds Office in the past 12 months. A total of 22 homes sold for between R1,5 and R3m, and 22 sold for R3m and above. Although the stats peg the overall average selling price at around R2,9m, it’s worth noting that the median price paid for a home in the over R3m sector was approximately R4,4m. A total of 227 sectional title units with an average price of R953,000 changed hands during the same period.

So what draws buyers to Essenwood? For starters the location is great. Minutes away from Durban’s CBD and with easily accessible arterial routes to Umhlanga and inland towards Pietermaritzburg, the area has always been attractive to business people. The shopping is also great, with Musgrave Centre virtually on your doorstep. And as if that wasn’t enough, the area hosts one of Durban’s most iconic markets in Berea (the locals refer to it as Essenwood) Park every Saturday morning. Add a choice of fabulous restaurants into the mix and you have the perfect place to live.

We have invested in numerous properties in this area and not only enjoy ongoing, good rental returns, but are secure in the knowledge that our investments are consistently growing in value

Charmaine Taylor, resident

Top schools nearby:

  • Clifton School
  • Durban High School
  • Durban Girls’ College
  • Maris Stella School

Nearby medical facilities:

  • Netcare St Augustine’s Hospital
  • Life Entabeni Hospital
  • Netcare Parklands Hospital

Things to do:

  • Essenwood Market is held between 9am and 2pm every Saturday at the - Essenwood (also known as the Berea) Park.
  • There’s a wealth of eateries and cafes dotted in and around this popular area.
  • Good shopping and movies are on offer at the nearby Musgrave Centre.

This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.

Take a beautiful journey through Durban Central here:

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