Nestled near the rolling hills of KwaZulu-Natal and situated close to both Ballito to the north and Umhlanga in the south, the small village of Umdloti has long been regarded the perfect place in which to live and play.
Although the size of the town has not changed much over the years, major development in the mid 1990s saw the residential area blossom and it now sports a healthy mix of permanent and holiday home owners. Many properties in Umdloti are ideally placed to take full advantage of the magnificent sea views, ensuring that they remain not only sought after, but also highly priced. This, however, does not seem to have impacted on demand, and although sales were slower at the height of the recession, encouragingly, these numbers have been steadily increasing since 2009.
Statistics sourced by Lightstone reflect that there have been 111 transactions in the area over the last 12 months. Market stock is made up of 87.42 percent freehold and 12.58 percent sectional title properties and the average prices in the area last year came in at R4 529-million for a freehold property and R1 450-million for a sectional title unit. The highest price paid for a sectional title unit however was R4.1-million. These price averages are impressive to say the least, considering that the area has very little in the way of amenities and although there are a number of good schools fairly close by, there are no educational facilities in the village itself.
Owners appear to enjoy an ongoing love affair with the area as the stats further reflect that 35 percent of residents have owned their properties in Umdloti for longer than 11 years. The popularity of the area, coupled with the fact that price averages have increased threefold over the last eight years, has fuelled the property market. This is evidenced by the number of new residents who have settled there during the past five years and who now make up almost 30 percent of existing owners.
As with many coastal towns and villages in South Africa, the area seems to be attracting those who are prepared to pay a premium for the privilege of living far from the proverbial madding crowd, while still remaining within striking distance of the conveniences of city life. At the height of the property boom, South African banks loaned over R235-million to buyers investing in the area and although this figure has dropped to R121-million, it is still somewhat surprising that a small coastal village can command this amount of financial backing.
Famed for the number of dolphins which can often be seen swimming close to shore, the area is also renowned as a hot spot for whale watchers. The pretty beach has a natural rock pool which is ideal for those looking for a safe swimming experience and is a big hit with holidaymakers, especially those with children, who flock to these shores during peak holiday periods.