The first thing that strikes you when searching for property in Montclair, Durban is the affordability of the homes. Close to some of Durban’s biggest industrial areas, the suburb has generated a great deal of interest among the first time buyer segment of the market.
It almost seems as if the area has been caught in some sort of time warp and the prices for property in the area are almost unbelievable. For example, a four bedroom, two bathroom home, complete with a granny flat, is on the market for a surprisingly low R800 000. Sectional title flats are also extremely well-priced, starting at around R500 000.
The affordable price of property doesn’t appear to be related to the economic slowdown which has affected property prices across South Africa. Lightstone statistics reveal that price averages in the area have remained pretty static since 2007, when the average price paid for a freehold property was R658 000 and the sectional title average was R414 000. There was, however a steady decrease in the number of properties sold from 2005 to 2009. In 2010 the market turned and the numbers have been steadily on the increase ever since. When compared to other suburbs in the Durban region, the averages are good and perhaps reflect the ever-growing need for affordable property.
The statistics also reveal that the average price paid for a freehold property in 2011 was R643 000, with the sectional title average coming in at R430 000. These price averages indicate that property here would undoubtedly prove attractive to the first time buyer and the stats back this, confirming that 44 percent of recent buyers were between 18 and 35 years of age.
What is interesting is that while the age of the buyers indicates a strong first time buyer market, once people have invested, they are in no rush to leave, with the statistics indicating that 42 percent of owners have lived in the suburb for 11 or more years.
Overall there have been 229 transfers in the last 12 months. The area offers a healthy mix of full title and sectional title homes in terms of market stock, with 51.71 percent of property falling into the freehold sector of the market and 48.29 percent in the sectional title segment. All in all, just under R121-million worth of property has been sold in Montclair during the past 12 months.
The area has a lot to offer in terms of schooling and is home to, among others, Montclair Junior and Senior Primary as well as Mowat Park and New Forest secondary schools. There are also a number of shopping malls to choose from including the Montclair and the Haveside shopping centres.
Affordability seems to play a major role in property sales and although there have been 15 sales priced between R800 000 and R1.5-million, the majority of the sales concluded were under R800 000.