Investing in property on the Dolphin Coast

Private Property South Africa

South Africa is one of the most sought-after holiday destinations in the world and also becoming increasingly popular as a residential and holiday property location. Now buyers are also turning the attention to other hotspots besides the famous Western Cape region. These include the north eastern province of KwaZulu-Natal and its Dolphin Coast which stretches along the Indian Ocean. “Property prices in this region of KwaZulu-Natal have consistently provided excellent return on investment. We are seeing strong interest from foreign investors and clients from Europe”, said Craig Hutchison, CEO of Engel & Völkers Southern Africa, adding: “The warm Indian Ocean provides excellent swimming conditions with all the water sports that comes with it, this combined with the sub-tropical climate provides an excellent lifestyle. Compared to other holiday destinations, purchase prices on the Dolphin Coast remain relatively moderate. So now is a good time to invest.”

Highly sought-after: Luxury villas in private resorts

Domestic buyers currently dominate the market in KwaZulu-Natal. The majority of these clients come from Johannesburg and are particularly interested in properties located in first-class residential estates and gated communities such as the Zimbali Estate, Simbithi Eco Estate and Umhlali Golf Estate. In 2018, villas in the Zimbali Estate sold for as much as R21.8 million. “Besides the contemporary architecture, domestic clients are also drawn by the many amenities offered by these luxury residential complexes, such as access to superb golf courses or private beaches,” said Karien Hunter, Licence Partner of Engel & Völkers in KwaZulu-Natal.

Beachfront apartments deemed a stable capital investment

The holiday resorts of Salt Rock, Ballito and Westbrook rank among the highest priced residential locations outside Durban. Large swathes of sheltered sandy beaches are the main attraction of these sophisticated suburbs. Premium apartments directly on the coast are among the most sought-after types of property here, fetching sales prices in 2018 of up to R8.4 million. Clients come primarily from the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium, and invest in beachfront apartments either as secondary homes for private use or as capital investments.

Outlook: Upward trend set to continue

Engel & Völkers anticipates that the regions around Westbrook, La Mercy and Sibiya will develop into premium locations. “We are forecasting a sustained level of high demand and rising prices, as the influx to the north eastern coast of South Africa will continue to intensify,” said Karien Hunter, summing up the development of the real estate market in KwaZulu-Natal.

Read more: 8 tips for holiday landlords


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Small coastal town with a big personality
Ballito, on the Kwazulu Natal North Coast, has grown quickly recently. Upmarket estates, restaurants and shopping centres now inhabit areas that were sugar cane fields not long ago. Many families are relocating to the area to take advantage of the relaxed coastal lifestyle that the area offers, even though it is just 30 minutes drive from Durban. Ballito has 3 excellent malls offering lots of retail therapy, great restaurants, private schools, private hospitals and ample sporting facilities. Beside the houses and flats in the main residential and beachfront areas, there are many newly built, secure estates that provide a choice of property types for those moving to the area.