La Lucia is an upmarket suburb to the north of Durban that has expanded at a fairly rapid pace over the past 10 years.
Home to magnificent properties, upmarket sectional-title units and exclusive gated estates, the area is popular with those who are looking for an exclusive address. La Lucia Ridge offers fantastic views of the city of Durban and the sea and although buyers should expect to pay a premium, property prices are generally a little lower than nearby Umhlanga. It does, however, pay to remember that certain areas, such as those close to the beach and those with good ocean views, generally sell for more than the suburb’s average price.
Lightstone statistics indicate that 42 estate properties have been sold within the last 12 months for an average price of approximately R3,3m. Freehold property has also performed well and 58 units, at an average price of approximately R3,6m, have been sold. However, the sectional-title sector has really proved popular and 139 units have changed hands within the last year.
The average age of stable owners is dominated by those between 50 and 64 years of age. However, 35% of those who live there are aged between 36 and 49. This age group also dominates the figures for recent buyers, with 45% making this suburb home.
La Lucia is a beautiful suburb, but that's not its only attraction. The area is close to the commercial and business centres on the North Coast which have literally experienced a development explosion over the last decade. The region has also become a shopping Mecca, and, in addition to the La Lucia Mall with its wide range of shops and fashionable boutiques, the suburb is close to the Gateway Theatre of Shopping complex.
Things to do:
- La Lucia Mall offers 130 shops and restaurants.
- Wave House at the Gateway Theatre of Shopping is a great place for family outings and offers a broad spectrum of board sports from mild to wild.
- The Barnyard Theatre Gateway Theatre of Shopping offers a wide variety of entertainment including an IMAX theatre and the Barnyard Theatre that hosts a variety of upmarket stage productions.
Best in food:
- Al Firenze is one of the best-loved Italian eateries in Durban.
- Butcher Boys in Umhlanga is every carnivore’s dream.
- Europa at La Lucia Mall offers café, grilled and deli cuisine.
- Umhlanga Ponds is a haven for wetland and coastal forest birds. It has some of the best bird-watching on the coast.
- Beachwood Mangroves Nature Reserve has several interesting walkways laid out along the mangrove estuary.
- Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Trail offers visitors the chance to see the region’s natural heritage and forests.
This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.