Positive prospects for KZN property in 2018

Private Property South Africa
Press

Renewed optimism and confidence bodes well for the property market in KwaZulu Natal.

We are just over a month into 2018 and already there is plenty of good news for the KZN property market, reports Tim Johnson, Sales Director/Licensee of Seeff Dolphin Coast.

The election of Cyril Ramaphosa as ANC president in December boosted the rand and in some way lifted all-round confidence levels. In December alone the rand gained more than 10% against the US dollar, strengthening to levels that were last seen back in 2015. Many economists believe that the rallying of the rand in the last few weeks of 2017 could help keep inflation in check over the first few months of 2018. It might even lead the Monetary Policy Committee to ease up on interest rates later on in the year. If the trend continues, the hope for all consumers and for homeowners in particular would certainly be for the Reserve Bank to drop interest rates.

Apart from rand strength, Ramaphosa’s win has lifted business and consumer sentiment, and this will definitely have an effect on the property market if trust continues to be built between government and the private sector.

The recent holiday season was a very busy one for KZN estate agents. I found that online enquiries were well up, year on year, and the number of walk-in clients and phone calls was incredibly positive. Not even Christmas and Boxing Day stopped the healthy level of enquiries for our team. Much of the interest was from people from upcountry wanting to relocate to KZN – and many of them returned towards the end of January to complete their transactions. By the end of January our office had sold 11 properties that had been enquired about in the period between 12 and 31 December! This is double the figure of the previous year.

During holiday periods in the past we always noted a number of ‘browsers’, but this season a combination of overall optimism in the outlook for 2018 and the desire to make a lifestyle shift meant that the quality of enquiries was very good. We saw many people looking ‘with intent’ and being ready to transact – which was evidenced by the surge in deals concluded within a matter of a few short weeks over the holiday period and early January.”

The Seeff KZN group as a whole saw a 9% increase in sales in 2017 compared to 2016. This momentum is largely being driven by the fact that so many developers are bringing new projects on line, which means that there is plenty of stock available for buyers and investors. Development is especially active in Ballito, Umhlanga, Hillcrest and Queensburgh. Ballito is continuing to expand at a rapid rate – evidenced, for example, by Seeff Ballito’s record sales of over R53 million in October 2017 alone.

In this area developments like Zululami have seen an exceptional sales pace at launch, this pattern being repeated in extensive developments by the Balwin Group. The established market led by Zimbali Coastal Estate reports steady trade, while we expect the new developments to do well as they try to keep up with burgeoning buyer demand for the area, at average prices of between R3.5m and R4m. In the expanding market of the Dolphin Coast, lifestyle estates are now the preferred mode of living, priced at over the R3m mark.

While it is still early days in 2018, with such a positive start to the year and a number of new projects and developments on the cards, it is hard not to be excited about what the year has in store for the KZN property market.

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Explore neighbourhoods mentioned in this article

Ballito
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.
Umhlanga
Upmarket Convenience
Upmarket Umhlanga has become the neighbourhood of choice for many who have moved North from more central areas. In Umhlanga you have the beach on your doorstep, along with malls and shopping centres just minutes away. With its top schools, great hospitals, business parks, gated estates, beachfront apartments and coffee shops, Umhlanga is convenience personified. Umhlanga offers a lifestyle for everyone, be it the happily retired, the on-the-go business person or the young and trendy student.