Durban-Umhlanga-Ballito named fastest growing wealth market in SA

The AfrAsia Bank SA Wealth Report for 2019 has named Durban-Umhlanga-Ballito corridor as the fastest growing wealth market in South Africa, with a 25% growth trajectory reported over the last decade.

Comparatively, between 2008 and 2018, Cape Town saw 11% growth and Johannesburg saw a 9% wealth growth. This coupled with the fact that Durban has been awarded the best lifestyle city in South Africa for the last few consecutive years according to the Mercer [2019 Quality of Living] Index is evidence that Durban is fast becoming the destination of choice for High Net Worth Individual (HNWI) investment in property.

Among the list of criteria by which the metrics of the report are set, the AfrAsia SA Wealth Report 2019 also lists the top assets in which HNWI’s are investing in. Property, both local and offshore, still remains on the list accounting for just above 28% of HNWI’s investable assets.

Within KZN’s North Coast alone are three key growth areas: Umhlanga, Ballito and the Sibaya Coastal Precinct. Although Umhlanga and Ballito are deeply established residential areas with a mix of housing types and price points, the Sibaya Coastal Precinct is officially only a few years old, with development happening on a continuous basis. However, recent buyer activity in the Sibaya Coastal Precinct is showing that this node is fast catching up with the likes of Umhlanga and Ballito as a desirable property destination and further bolstering the evidence that this corridor is seeing the results of this regional wealth growth.

Within the node itself, high value homes have been sold within the range of R10 million to R80 million. This is staggering considering that currently only a handful of residential estates have launched.

The sentiment pre-elections was that we would see a significant drop in property sales, however Balize Private Estate has just recently sold two properties valued at over R10 million each. This is testament that property remains a desirable and attractive investment option with even high-priced properties being snapped up, especially along the Umhlanga to Ballito corridor” says Peter Cameron, Sales Director of Balize Private Estate.

Buyer activity has also shown a steady influx of people from Gauteng choosing to set up primary residence along this corridor and choosing to commute into and out of Johannesburg for business. Cameron continues, “Durban has pipped Gauteng and Cape Town to the post as the best performing growth node in South Africa. Durban has historically been seen as offering little more than sunshine and the seaside, but investors are choosing with their feet and showing that Durban really stands head and shoulders above its sister cities in terms of quality of life. The North Coast of Durban boasts high-end residential property, shopping malls, premium schools and what’s more, the Umhlanga Ridge has become a home for Blue Chips and business heavyweights. This is also strengthened by a high degree of accessibility- getting to and from main roads and highways is fairly easy along KZN’s North Coast“.

Despite an average residential property price drop across the board over the last decade, some residential segments have seen major growth, most notably homes within luxury residential estates and luxury sectional title apartments.

Balize Private Estate offers buyers both luxury sea-facing freestanding Villas and apartments within a secure estate. Being within the Sibaya Coastal Precinct only adds value to Balize and with that, appeals to out-of-towners due to the high degree of accessibility (to main roads and highways) and King Shaka International nearby. Historically Durban is simply less congested in comparison to the CBD’s of Cape Town and Johannesburg. The push Northwards has been driven by the establishment of Durban’s new CBD on the Umhlanga Ridge and if your daily commute is from the Umhlanga Ridge to the Sibaya Coastal Precinct and back you’re certainly not going to sit in a backlog of traffic for hours on end before you reach the highway to home” says Cameron.

The AfrAsia Bank SA Wealth Report 2019 also lists the criteria which are managing to attract and retain HNWI’s in the area, among them are lifestyle aspects like the warm climate, good private schools, shopping centres and robust private healthcare

Moreover, it is estimated that in excess of 40% of HNWI’s own property in gated estates, both as primary residential homes and as secondary properties. Among the list of factors for the popularity of gated estates are safety and security, lifestyle and sporting amenities, a sense of community and vital lifestyle aspects like central piazzas, playgrounds and schools, and safe spaces for children with controlled traffic and thoroughfares. There is nothing in Durban like the Sibaya Coastal Precinct and it has shown itself to be a magnet for prime property investment. The Precinct will offer private schooling and university, a retail piazza and medical suites as well.

The desire for ‘neighbourhoods’ within neighbourhoods is becoming increasingly popular as is the desire for what is termed “parkland estates”. This is where investors at Balize Private Estate can see value- the Sibaya Coastal Precinct is designed to create smaller pockets or neighbourhoods within but still maintain and open, accessible sense of community with the inclusion of green spaces, nature boardwalks and central public areas such as the retail piazza” concludes Cameron.

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