In many people’s view, the pre-election period sees property go into the doldrums. They will say that the country’s economy is weak and politically the future lacks clarity. However, the Upper Highway area of Durban is a micro-economy which is experiencing a stable sales pattern. Buyers are attracted to the area primarily because of the excellent value for money, the availability of a large range of excellent schooling, and an increasing choice of properties to buy.
Says Dave Jones of Seeff Hillcrest, Kloof and Waterfall, a long-term resident of the area: “This micro-economy also sees consistent development in the area. We have recently seen a private hospital built, which is currently being extended, and the multi-faceted 15-year Tongaat Hulett development in Shongweni commences this year. In addition, there have been multiple new schools in the Waterfall area, and the Curro Primary and High Schools have proved welcome additions.
“The Upper Highway market presents a variety of opportunities for astute buyers, who will appreciate the current value offered. The market is stable in terms of the number of sales, which has been consistent at 1100 sales per annum. However, the current market is overstocked, as our normal stock holding is around 650 properties for sale and it now stands at 1196 properties for sale. It is this choice of opportunity that means that pricing has to be correct for sales to occur.
“It is this climate of choice as well as the projected improvement in economic conditions in the latter half of 2019 that creates the right time to buy – which is now.
“It is interesting to note that the top four property categories in the area in terms of sales are all priced below R2m. The top-selling category is townhouses priced between R1m and R1.5m, which sell at the rate of 21 per month. This is followed by houses priced between R1.5m and R2m, which sell at the rate of 9 per month.
“Traditionally the top-selling suburbs have been Kloof and Hillcrest, but this pattern has been disrupted, with our big 6 by approximate number of sales per year currently being as follows:
- Gillitts – 280 units
Kloof – 250 units
Assagay and outlying – 230 units
- Hillcrest – 186 units
- Waterfall – 58 units
- Forest Hills – 48 units
“It is interesting to note that what is described at Assagay and outlying areas includes not only Assagay, but Alverstone, Bothas Hill, Drummond and Monteseel, where healthy activity is being recorded.
“It is in this area that exciting property opportunities have occurred. Examples of these are Highmead Country Estate, immediately adjacent to the Hillcrest private hospital. In this 24-hour manned security estate we have an upmarket 484 m2 freehold unit on 1500 m2 of ground.
Immediately next door to Highmead Country Estate we have seen an urban farm-style development sell out in 4 weeks. An example in this urban farm development is a 250 m2 unit which sold at R2.925m.
Residentially, Assagay has also seen a freestanding house sell at R2.050m (Seeff sole mandate), after being on the market for just 24 hours. It is also interesting to note that a land sale in excess of R10m has taken place for a retirement village in the area.
It is advisable for buyers who wish to take advantage of current opportunities to have themselves professionally prequalified for bond finance through respected bond originators. This enables the buyer to present the seller with certainty and increases their negotiating power.
The small and medium developers are back with a vengeance, which shows increasing confidence in the area. The Seeff Hillcrest, Kloof and Waterfall office will be marketing a 20-unit freehold development of urban farm-styled townhouses close to the Curro schools towards the end of this year. Should you wish to register your interest in this development, which is sure to fly fast, please contact Dave Jones the details given below.