Properties in Umhlanga are selling like hot cakes, with an average price increase of 21% over the past two years.
The suburb is often called Sandton-by-the-Sea because it attracts so many well-heeled Johannesburg buyers. We asked agents why Umhlanga was doing so well and most put it down to scarcity of property in a convenient, well-maintained suburb.
Gareth Bailey, principal: Tyson Properties Umhlanga, drawing on information from property data company Lightstone, said the average price of a property, based on the last three months’ transfers there, was R3,75m. He said more people were looking for secure living in apartments, and the demand in Umhlanga “far outweighs supply, which is a significant factor driving price increases”.
Carol Reynolds, area principal: Pam Golding Properties Durban and Umhlanga, said Umhlanga and New Town Centre were fast becoming the place to live, work and play. “With the burgeoning commercial centre in Umhlanga Ridge, we are seeing more and more people moving into this node because of the sheer convenience offered. For many, living in the Gateway/New Town area means walking to work, walking to shops and even walking to hospitals.”
She said one-bedroom apartments in Gateway and New Town start at about R1m and these units achieve monthly rentals of about R5,000. “The general trend of people migrating north … and the airport has also enhanced the desirability of this area,” Reynolds said, adding that the urban improvement precinct, which focuses on keeping Umhlanga clean, safe and beautiful, had widened the appeal.
Grant Gavin, owner/broker: RE/MAX Panache put Gateway starting prices for one-bedroom flats between R850,000 and R1m. “The demand is strong, from both end-users and investors, because of the proximity to all business districts and surrounding retail and leisure complexes,” he said.
Dina Soukop from Soukop Property Group said, “In Umhlanga property you can get a one-bedroom flat (with sea views) for about R1,8m of about 80m2. I would definitely buy in Umhlanga – it is one of Durban’s best bets. It appreciates every year and there is hardly any land for new developments.”
“Umhlanga is one of Durban’s best bets”
Dina Soukop, CEO: Soukop Property Group
This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.