Reporter: What is the Durban Central Neighbourhood all about?
Simon Bray: I mean Durbs is all about the beach. It's a beautiful place. In fact I studied in Johannesburg and I kind of fell in love with Durban when I was a student. The surfing lifestyle, the beach, the warm weather. I'm lucky enough now that Private Property's head office is based just north of Durban, so I get to enjoy that everyday.
We've seen it starting to grow and change shape, a lot of those suburbs changing along with the times. What is Durban all about when we look at the property market there in the residential areas?
Durban's a beautiful, old area. You've got a lot of old architecture, old homes. Many of the houses actually up on the ridge are heritage homes, so they're protected, and they've got this lovely sense of character. Interestingly, most of them in the warm, hot, humid climate of Durban have got fireplaces. It's like this throwback to some European heritage. It's a very diverse place, very energetic, interesting place. You've got restaurants and curry houses, and you know there's just a vibe that Durban has.
There are a lot of new developments in Durban. What's the property market like?
I think the most exciting thing about Durban is how affordable the property market is. You know you look at a lot of great areas in South Africa, and I'd classify Durban certainly as a great area in terms of lifestyle. But in terms of the value for money which you get in Durban, its tough to beat anywhere in the country. So an average home is around R850 000 for a two bedroom apartment. To put that into perspective, the repayments on a place like that are only about R7000 to R8000 rent a month. So that, and the average rentals in Durban are about R7000 rent a month. So it actually pays to own your own place in Durban, which is pretty cool. There are not a lot of places like that in South Africa where the rentals and the cost of ownership are about the same. Good for investors and also good for people looking to buy and own their house.
Who lives there? Who would my neighbour be in Durban?
Obviously the beach is a big thing in Durban. We've got this unbelievable surfer lifestyle. The promenade that was developed around the World Cup now stretches all the way from the harbour entrance, all the way up to Blue Lagoon. So it's miles and miles of beautiful pristine beach front. Guys are cycling there on the weekends, walking their dogs, going for a surf, going for a swim. That really has energised the market in Durban itself. But there are a lot of other things that make Durban special, and I think that's what drives the property market, and perhaps defines the type of people that live there. Some of the best schools in all of KZN are located right on the ridge there in Durban, so a lot of family-orientated people live there. We profiled one such guy, Brandon Rubinke, ex-Lifesaver, international long-boarding champion. He's obviously in love with the beach. But now he's got a young family lives up there on the ridge, they go to school just down the road. And that's the type of scene you see a lot in Durban. Young families want to enjoy the lifestyle but also tap into great schooling and the convenience of access. You've got Westville just up the road or Umhlanga just a little bit further. So very central.
If you could pick one suburb to living in in Durban?
You know, Morningside is beautiful, because you're kind of perched up at the top of that bowl and you get to look out over the stadium, over the beautiful ocean, and that's a very pretty, leafy suburb. I would love to live in Morningside.
Do you have one last tip concerning Durban?
Durban is all about the lifestyle, but a great tip is that is a super affordable property market. So if you're looking to get in, as a first time buyer or as an investor it certainly makes a lot of sense.
Check out some of the fun things to do in Durban especially at night.