Shelly Beach – The Heart of the South Coast

Private Property South Africa
Lea Jacobs

Regarded as the retail hub of the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast, Shelly Beach has always been popular with those looking for a permanent base as well as with those seeking a holiday home.

The recession and subsequent economic fallout has had an impact on both the value and volume of sales in the area.

Long walks are the order of the day...

This is partly due to the rapid increase in property prices throughout the South Coast region during the boom. This picture, however, is beginning to change but, like in other hard-hit areas, many sellers are struggling to break even. Mike Willemse, principal of the Harcourts Property Perfect office in Shelly Beach says that unfortunately the high expectations of sellers in this category are not being met.

“Realistically priced homes are selling far more quickly than those that are considered to be overpriced in the current market. Buyers, particularly those who come from out of town, are far more savvy and au fait with the local property market than before. These individuals do their homework and know exactly what is overpriced. The area still appeals to those looking to invest in a second home, although most buyers in this segment look at sectional title properties."

He says that the area has a number of things in its favour, including a mild winter climate and a relatively low crime rate. “It is still regarded as a top choice among retirees, and even though the area reports lower crime statistics than many other areas in the country, most buyers in this category are looking to invest in a secure estate or complex.”

The demand for property is steadily increasing and statistics released by Lightstone reveal that there have been 114 transfers in Shelly Beach in the last 12 months. The outlook for this year looks fairly positive, as price averages have increased from the R887 000 achieved in 2011 to R980 000 for a freehold property thus far in 2012. In the last 12 months, there have been a total of 59 sales falling into this sector of the market and the highest price paid overall for a freehold home was R4-million.

Price averages for sectional title properties have increased by just over 20 percent to R1.034-million, from the R861 000 achieved in 2011.

Market stock is fairly evenly spread, with 53.39 percent of property falling into the freehold sector and 46.61 falling into the sectional title sector. Interestingly, but perhaps not surprising given the impact of the economic downturn, over 53 percent of recent sellers have owned their properties in Shelly Beach for less than 5 years. Many homeowners speculated in this popular South Coast suburb and there was a major increase in residential developments during the boom. This is perhaps in part due to the fact that the area is home to two of the region’s major shopping centres, is well placed in terms of business activity and is close to some of the area’s best schools.

Sales volumes in the area are still under pressure when compared to the 261 sales achieved during the height of the buying frenzy in 2006. This said, sales numbers have remained fairly stable since 2008, and there has not been a drastic decline the number of sales attained since then.

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