Recent statistics released by Lightstone reveal that there have been 108 transfers concluded in Sydenham in the last 12 months. These impressive figures are up by 35 percent from the 70 sales that were recorded in 2010 and an increase of 38 percent on 2008’s figures.
This colourful suburb, not unlike others across the country, has had its share of misfortune in terms of the recent property downturn. However, the statistics paint a brighter picture for those who own, or who are looking at owning, property in Sydenham.
An Internet search revealed an abundance of sectional title units in the area which are on sale at under the R400 000 price mark. This would certainly appeal to those first time buyers who need to get a foot onto the property ladder without breaking the bank. In real estate terms, over the years much emphasis has been placed on the first time buyer sector of the market and it seems that the new kids on the block could fast become the leaders of the pack in Sydenham. The statistics reveal that 23 percent of recent buyers fell in the age category of between 18-35 years, which is perhaps indicative of just how affordable property in the area is, especially to those taking their first tentative step into home ownership.
In terms of overall sales performance, Lightstone’s statistics further reflect that the average price paid for freehold property in Sydenham was R763 000 and the highest price paid for a freehold property was R3.4-million. The sectional title average came in at a much lower R368 000, with the highest price paid for a unit coming in at R1 450-million.
Interestingly, 64 percent of market stock falls into the sectional title category, and given that the majority of property in this area is sectional title and that demand for property in this sector is increasing, price averages remain fairly low when compared to other suburbs in the region.
Sydenham is conveniently accessible from major highway arteries, which also provide easy access to the Durban CBD. It is also in close proximity to the industrial hubs of Umgeni Business Park and Springfield Park, and could prove to be an attractive option for those who work in these areas. Sydenham is strategically placed to take advantage of some of the best schools and shopping centres in the region which are situated in the neighboring, traditionally more popular suburbs of Morningside and Berea.
Residents aged over 65 years of age make up 34 percent of stable owners in the area and 64 percent of residents have lived there for longer than 11 years. The area therefore presents a good mix of young and old who, once making Sydenham their home, seem to find little need to look for greener pastures.
There is a great sense of community in the suburb and the St Philomena’s Community Development Centre bears testament to this. Initially built as a children’s home on the grounds of St Augustine’s Hospital in 1895, the centre was relocated to Sydenham in 1976. These days the institution cares for hundreds of destitute people within the community.