The prices of properties along Durban’s beachfront are rising.
There are number of reasons that Mercer rated Durban 85th in its 2015 Quality of Living rankings recently: the city ranked higher than Cape Town (which ranked 91st) and Johannesburg (which ranked 94th), but one of the most important attributes linked to the city is its “plentiful recreational facilities”.
To be fair, Durban lost some of its allure and its main beaches became no-go areas for many some years ago. However, thanks to the 2010 Soccer World Cup the entire area underwent a massive revamp that has been well maintained ever since.
These days the beachfront comes alive with cyclists, joggers and walkers taking full advantage of everything on offer. The area is well policed and there is a plethora of restaurants and other entertainment facilities along the golden mile.
This is good news on all fronts, but perhaps the single most important aspect of the entire affair is the impact it has had on the price of beachfront properties.
Myles Wakefield, CEO: Wakefields Estate Agents, says
The beachfront upgrade has had a significant impact on the North Beach property market, both in terms of prices achieved and demand.
“We’ve seen some record-breaking prices. According to the deeds office, the average price is around R800,000, but we consider it to be higher because share block prices aren’t included in their assessment and is a strong component in the area.”
Bradley Bougardt, franchisee: Rawson Properties Berea, puts the average selling price at about R1,2m. He says that most buyers, especially retirees who are increasingly investing in the area, regard the strong police presence as an advantage.
Wakefield notes that the improvements have altered the dynamic in terms of property trends: “There’s a massive demand for rentals, so there’ll always be investors buying to let.” However, he says, more people are buying in order to live in the area. “It's a tourist hot spot, so the city is focused on crime and grime prevention and it is paying dividends. Today this strip offers a great lifestyle, and with a host of future developments on the table, it’s very promising for property values.”
This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.