Area review: Property in Glenwood

Private Property South Africa
Antoinette McDonald

Glenwood is a glorious mix of the young, the restless, the bold and the beautiful. From the student digs off York Avenue, to the marvelous mansions in Manning Road and down the drag to the older, more affordable homes near Umbilo Road – there is property in Glenwood for everyone. One of Durban’s oldest suburbs, the area retains some of its old-school, vintage charm while having embraced an art deco vibe, which has attracted the hip set. Property in Glenwood is performing wellGlenwood’s a hit among creative types, probably because its home to some of the city’s finest antique stores, art galleries and specialty outlets. The NSA (Natal Society of Arts) in Bulwer Road regularly exhibits the work of both established and up-and-coming artists. It’s also a delightful spot to grab a light lunch while the kids play in the park next door. The African Toy Shop at The Fresh Paint Gallery is another gem in Glenwood. And then there’s Euphoria at 134 Davenport Road – a fabulous concoction of food, art and literature. Gen and Dean Lund brought their gorgeous family home in Glenwood six years ago. Their Victorian-style abode has almost every feature on the trendy-house checklist: pressed ceilings, big bay windows, wooden floors, a neat garden and an elegant balcony around the front and side of the house. “Our home was affordable back then and because it was old, it came with loads of character.” Back in 2003, the Lund’s paid R400 000 for their three-bedroom, two-bathroom property in Glenwood. They’ve spent a couple of hundred thousand on a pool, entertainment area, new kitchen and bathroom. According to Lightstone property research experts, the municipal value of their house is now R1,23m. Gen says that she finds Glenwood a very convenient place to live. “We’re close to all the shops we need and our daughters go to a great private school nearby.” Glenwood boasts some of Durban’s oldest and finest schools: Glenwood Boys High, Durban Girls High, and Marais Brothers to name a few. “Dean enjoys cycling in Glenwood – there are some nasty slopes which make for a challenging climb. And I jog in the neighbourhood, which is perfectly safe.” The Lunds also enjoy the buzz and vibe of the sidewalk cafés and boutique stores on Davenport Road. “Hemingways Bistro on Davenport Road has a great menu and serves delicious food. Corner Café on Brand Road is stunning too – great cappuccinos and funky, retro vibe.” A view of the city from GlenwoodOn the downside, Gen says that sadly, prostitution seems to be on the rise in Glenwood and it’s not uncommon to see prostitutes plying their trade on Clark Road. And although the Lunds have loved living in the area, Gen says that they’d like to move to Durban North in the near future. “We are looking for property for sale in Durban North. When we first moved in, we loved how the Glenwood homes were literally on the road side. Six years in and that novelty has worn off and we feel a little exposed being so close to the road”. According to Lightstone, Glenwood has fared as a solid investment for homeowners. Most of the property in Glenwood is freehold – a high 84% - and since 2004, freehold property owners have enjoyed a 45% increase in the value of their homes. For example, five years ago freehold properties in Glenwood went for about 870K. These days, freehold properties in the leafy suburb sell for about R1,3m. Sectional title schemes in Glenwood have enjoyed a higher return on investment at about 61% since 2004. Zelda Van Wyk of National Letting Durban has been working as an estate agent in Glenwood for the past two years. She says that the rental market in Glenwood is strong with properties in high demand. “A one-bedroom property in Glenwood goes for about R3500-R3800 per month. A two-bedroom can fetch anything between R4200 and R4500. Three-bedroom homes rent for about R6000 and can go up to about R8000 a month.” Zelda says that communes are popular in Glenwood. “We mostly rent to the younger generation (under 40s). They love the area – it’s close to all the shopping centres and about 15 minutes’ drive from the beach. The police have a community forum in Glenwood too and that’s great because they patrol daily.”

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