Private Property: Ballito Neighbourhood

Private Property South Africa
Private Property Reporter

Reporter: Buying the house of your dreams that's situated in the perfect neighbourhood - let's just be honest it can be a very daunting task, but luckily for you Private Property launched their brand new Neighbourhoods campaign and they're taking you through all those perfect neighbourhoods that you can expect from South Africa. Why is Ballito a good neighbourhood to consider in terms of living?

Simon Bray: I think what you just said, is exactly the reason that we've embarked on this Neighbourhoods project, at Private Property. This idea of showcasing what a neighbourhood has to offer, because a lot of South Africans have built stereotypes around their own experiences. For me as well, growing up in Johannesburg - Ballito, Umhlanga those areas were always holiday areas. You'd go down to the hotels or you'd go down to accommodation, then you'd enjoy a couple of weeks of fun in the sun.

But Ballito's grown into so much more than that so the Neighbourhoods project on Private Property seeks to answer a lot of other questions around neighbourhoods where people are perhaps not thinking about as actively as they would. When you think Ballito - of course there's the beach, there's this beautiful North Coast lifestyle, there's this feeling of great weather. I mean you're virtually in the tropics there, so it's a great place to spend time, particularly winter. The beach is a big component of lifestyle there, but there's a lot more that's started to happen. There's obviously these great estates that have opened up and each of them offer an element of lifestyle or community that is hard to find elsewhere in KZN and shopping centres popping up all over the place. So there's a good growth story and good development story there as well.

When of course you're looking at buying your house, you need to consider the neighbourhood, where it's situated, but also the type of people that live in this neighbourhood. Are you going to fit in nicely as well? Are you going to enjoy it? Who will we find living in Ballito?

It's a great mix actually. There's obviously the Ballito residents that have been there for years and there's a sense of small town feel that's still there, which I think attracts some people to the area - a great move for young Durban families moving North. There's the safety and security, in particular that the estates up there offer, and that's drawing a lot of young Durban families out of the traditional Durban suburbs further North. And it's achievable because the access to Durban if you work in Durban or Umhlanga, there's still easy access from Ballito. It's only a half an hour drive which in the context of Durban locals is a long way, but in the context of nationally, it's actually a short commute. So you're seeing a lot of young families, but you're also seeing an interesting trend where Joburg businessmen are choosing to base their families down in Ballito and work in Joburg. The commute's not that far. The airport's just around the corner.

Are you serious? I mean is that even possible to do that?

It's a fascinating thing and you're actually seeing this sort of trend pop up around the world. I saw an interesting Tweet online this week. A guy that works in London was looking at London apartments, London rentals, and of course those are crazy expensive. He did the numbers and it made sense to actually live in Barcelona and work in London so he now commutes from Barcelona to London every day. Similarly you're seeing that in South Africa. Guys are basing their families as I said in Ballito. There are great schools, there's great lifestyle. The kids get a different type of lifestyle to growing up in Johannesburg and you can still work in Johannesburg quite easily. The commute is a 45 minute flight and then hop in a car so it's feasible to work three, four days in a business in Joburg and still live down on the coast.

I think that's definitely something to consider when you are buying your house. Specifically, thinking about Ballito being such a nice area. Property-wise, what can we expect?

It's a great mix again. I think it's still a value market. There's been a lot of growth in some of the up end of the market particularly, estates like Simbithi and of course Zimbali. Those are upmarket estates for sure and you're going to pay anything between four and six million rand for a nice house there, but there's still value on the other end of the market. You've got complexes and smaller estates that are offering two, three bedroom homes at great prices and that's what's driving a lot of the growth in the area.

If you like the Ballito lifestyle and what it offers, is there anywhere else in South Africa, maybe we can find a similar kind of vibe?

You know it's tough to match neighbourhood with neighbourhood. We've attempted to do it on the website through a cool lifestyle filter so it makes connections between neighbourhoods that are perhaps disconnected geographically, but Ballito's got a unique vibe. It's got that small town feel, that great coastal weather, but if you had to consider its similarities with other areas of the country, certainly the growth is a similarity with some of the areas in the country. Ballito is the fastest growing municipality in South Africa right now. So you're seeing massive infrastructure development, shopping centres, growth in the residential property market. So similar neighbourhoods would be places like Fourways in Johannesburg, Centurion just outside of Pretoria, and perhaps for that beachy feel Umhlanga has also got its own growth story.

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Explore neighbourhoods mentioned in this article

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.