Assagay – Deep in the Heart of KwaZulu-Natal

Private Property South Africa
Lea Jacobs

Situated close to the Valley of a Thousand Hills and Hillcrest on the Upper Highway area of KwaZulu-Natal, Assagay has grown from a sleepy little village into a large, popular residential area. Once home to a plethora of smallholdings, the area now features a growing number of secure upmarket estates and beautiful freestanding homes.

Recent statistics released by Lightstone reveal that there have been 53 transfers in the area over the past 12 months. The majority of property falls into the freehold sector (61%) while sectional titles make up 35%, and secure lifestyle estates coming in at just under 3 percent. The average price paid for a freehold property was R1.549-million, while the average for a sectional title unit was R1.152-million, clearly indicating that in price terms at least, the area is holding its own. Price averages dropped by almost 15 percent in 2009 and 2010. However, the average price paid for property in 2011 increased quite dramatically, returning to levels last seen in 2008.

Although price averages were up in 2011, the numbers of sales that have taken place in the area in recent years have dropped since 2007. The overall effect represents a drop of R38-million in property sales when compared to the R105-million attained in 2007 versus the R67-million turnover in 2011.

It seems that there has been significant movement in terms of recent purchasers, as 33 percent of existing owners have resided in the area for less than five years. Interestingly, the numbers of recent sellers who have owned their properties for less than five years represented 41 percent of homeowners who had sold their properties.

Money doesn’t seem to be an object as Lightstone records that the average income of residents is between R51 000 and R67 000 per month. The majority of homeowners are from the younger generation, with 47 percent of those living in the area under 49 years of age.

In addition to being close to the N3, providing easy access to Pietermaritzburg to the north, the M13 affords residents equally accessibility to nearby Durban. There are also a number of good private schools in the area including Kearsney College, regarded as one of KwaZulu-Natal’s best, and Highbury Preparatory School, which caters for boys from grade R to grade 7.

Interestingly, neighbouring Bothas Hill does not appear to be enjoying the same success. The stats show that there were 48 transfers last year, with the average price of freehold property coming in at R512 000. Sectional title property, however, fared better and the average price achieved was around the R847 000 mark. What is encouraging is that although the price averages dropped significantly during the recession, the situation is improving and sales are once again on the increase, which will hopefully, in turn, drive up prices.

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