Morningside is Up and at It

Private Property South Africa
Lea Jacobs

Virtually as old as Durban itself, the olde worlde suburb of Morningside may have been transformed by an ever increasing number of sectional title units, but the charm that lured buyers in years gone by continues to attract those who are looking for the right address.

Ideally situated close to the centre of Durban and relatively near to the growing commercial hub to the north of the city, the suburb offers a healthy mix of sectional title and gracious freestanding homes of a bygone era. Buyers, it seems, have the best of both worlds and while the peace and quiet of some of the back streets appeals to those with families, the vibrant nightlife which has become part of the whole Morningside package attracts the younger set.

The stats reveal that in the last two years, sectional title price averages and the number of sales that have been concluded have maintained steady growth. In 2011, the average price paid for a sectional title unit came in at a very reasonable R722 000 and a total of 173 sales were concluded. The highest price paid for a unit in the last 12 months was a staggering R9.580-million. Sectional title property dominates market stock in Morningside with 69.91 percent of available property falling into this category.

In terms of freehold property sales, although price averages have held their own in recent years, sales volumes have declined considerably in this area since 2007. In 2011, there were 58 freehold properties sold, with the average price paid coming in at R1.585-million.

With a total of 228 properties changing hands in Morningside in the last 12 months, it is interesting to note that in terms of stable ownership, 32.54 percent of existing owners have resided in the area for longer than 11 years. Equally interesting is that 36.25 percent of recent buyers fall into the age group of 18-35 years while currently, 13.44 percent of existing owners fall within this age parameter. This news is encouraging as it clearly shows that young professionals continue to invest their hard-earned salaries in property in this popular suburb.

In real estate terms, buying property in the right area is most often highlighted as key by property experts and investors who would deem this to be vital in any savvy investment or property purchasing decision. The stats indicate that of the 228 properties sold in the suburb in the last 12 months, 200 of these transactions required mortgage finance. Banking institutions have approved just over R141-million in new loans in the last 12 months, with another R14.8-million in further advances paid to existing home owners, perhaps indicating that the area retains a favourable ranking with banking institutions.

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