Carol Reynolds, Pam Golding Properties Area Principal for Durban Coastal, chats to the Afternoon Express team about the property market as well as estate living in her home province, KwaZulu-Natal.
Presenter: Welcome back to Win A Home on Afternoon Express, exclusively on SABC3. Now, as you know, Private Property has teamed up with Afternoon Express to provide you with advice on the different aspects of property on estates. Today we have in the loft with us Carol Reynolds, north Durban area principal for Pam Golding Properties, who's going to talk to us about the property and estate market in her home province of KwaZulu-Natal. Welcome to the loft.
Carol Reynolds: Thank you. Thanks for having me. Good to be here.
Presenter: So Carol, how does one like you get involved in the sort of world of property?
Carol Reynolds: I was born into a property family. My father's a conveyancer, my mom's owned the Pam Golding franchise for 20 years in the Midlands, my sister co-owns it with him, my brother's in construction, my grandfather was a developer, and I did law and decided that I needed something a little bit more vibrant in my life--
Presenter: So you tried to run away, and then the cord was too close, and it kind of pulled you back in.
Carol Reynolds: That's it. I thought, "I've either got to be an estate agent or a lawyer, so let me do property," because I love everything about property. I love renovating, decorating, investing in it.
Carol Reynolds: It's my passion.
Presenter: What's so cool about your family is that you're so diverse in the field of property. So what exactly is going on in the markets in Durban when it comes to property?
Carol Reynolds: 2017's been an interesting year for South Africa, and there's been a lot of negative sentiments. But ironically, people tend to gravitate back towards a bricks and mortar, a more solid investment class. So actually, the residential property market, particularly in Natal, is being really resilient. We've had growth of 9% year-on-year in Umhlanga, which is 4% above the national average. My little Durban North/Umhlanga franchise has done better this year than last year. So I think sometimes you've got to remove yourself from the noise and the sentiment and actually focus on the stats, and you'll see that actually the residential property market's doing exceptionally well.
Presenter: Sure. And speaking of those stats-- I mean, we were mentioning over the last couple of weeks that estates are a growing trend when it comes to property. Everyone's looking to be part of an estate. So what are some of the hottest estates that are happening in KZN at the moment that are around?
Carol Reynolds: Well, just north of Ballito in a little place called Tinley Manor is Palm Lakes. Very popular with the young families because you can get a three to four bedroom home there for 3 million rand.
Carol Reynolds: So it's really affordable, and there're lakes on the estate, lots of community centers, ideal for children. So that's a popular one. Then, moving slightly through the south into the heart of Ballito is Simbithi. Simbithi's done very well over the years. Beautiful modern contemporary architecture. It's got an 18-hole golf course, an equestrian center, so also very popular with families. And then, moving slightly further south to Zimbali, which is on the cusp of Ballito, probably the most well-known security estate in KwaZulu-Natal. It's got Balinesian architecture, very established. It's got a lot of coastal forests--
Presenter: Now, weren't--
Carol Reynolds: --which creates privacy.
Presenter: Weren't they also named as the second, just below an estate in Cape Town, as one of the key estates?
Carol Reynolds: Yes, voted number two in the whole--
Presenter: In the country.
Carol Reynolds: In the country, yeah. Zimbali. And prices there are higher, so your entry level's about 6 million up to over 20 million for a free-standing home, but beautiful, and private, and secure. And obviously, you've got the golf course and the Fairmont hotel, so lots happening in that estate. And then, moving inland to the Hillcrest area's Cotswold Downs, it's more of a rural, sort of country estate, also on an 18-hole golf course. Beautiful architecture, I'd describe it probably as contemporary farm-style. You've got exposed tresses, gray-slate roofs, so it's quite classic and also more affordable. Entry level there's 4 million. You can buy a beautiful home for between 4 and 10 million, so also a lovely estate.
Presenter: Excuse my appropriation when it comes to these things, but Durbanites, we're chill people, and they''ve got lots of really cool activities to engage in, just in their daily lifestyle.
Carol Reynolds: Yes. Yes, we do.
Presenter: So what exactly do Durbanites look for, and the rest of the country look for, when it comes to an estate, because all that's already at your fingertips, beaches and lifestyle?
Carol Reynolds: 100%. I mean, we really are spoiled in Natal. We've got the best climate, the most user-friendly sea, a beautiful coastline, but first and foremost, people are seeking security. And then once you've got security, they look at the features and the benefits. They want their children to grow up in an environment where they can get their bicycles and go and visit their friends, go and play a little bit of golf on the driving ranges. So I think it's just that peace of mind of being within a gated community and having that security, which is absolutely paramount at the moment in the market. And what's happened to KZN, it's become a hotspot for Johannesburg commuters. So there's a mass immigration of Joburg buyers coming down, wanting their families to grow up in these beautiful coastal estates, five minutes from the airport. The convenience and the lifestyle often can't be beaten. There's a reason Durban's been voted best place to live in South Africa for the last three years.
Presenter: Has it?
Carol Reynolds: Yeah, yeah, yeah!
Presenter: Oh, my gosh.
Carol Reynolds: The Mercer Index has rated it the best lifestyle city in the country, so ahead of Cape Town, ahead of Joburg. At the end of the day, you can't beat a beautiful climate.
Presenter: Yeah. Is that going to be expected to grow into the future? I mean, are we going to see these trends moving forward? Is the property market going to continue to increase, or is it starting to reach that cap where it's now too many people there, so it's going to start declining?
Carol Reynolds: No, not at all. The beauty of Natal is there's lots of sugar cane land, and it's slowly being developed. The Sibaya precinct, which is between Umhlanga and Umdloti, is incredibly popular at the moment. It's a talking point. It's literally three minutes away from the airport. So I predict that KwaZulu-Natal is going to grow over the next 10 years. That's why I'm there. I think it's the place to be. It's as though it's finally being discovered. Umhlanga's attracting foreign investors for the first time in the last two years. I'm suddenly seeing a lot of Dubai people investing in our property market, so it's very exciting times. It's a very buoyant market, and we're very blessed because not a lot's buoyant at the moment.
Presenter: Exactly. Yeah. So Carol, thank you so much. I don't want to carry on this conversation [laughter]. I want to go and buy a property in Durban somewhere!
Carol Reynolds: Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. I'll show you which one [laughter].
Presenter: Thank you so much. There you guys have it-- the lowdown on what's happening in the property market in KZN.
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Now, after the break on the show, the judges come feast their eyes on those kitchens.