Shops lure buyers south
IF YOU ARE looking to buy in Chatsworth, Yellowwood Park, Queensburgh and Amanzimtoti, do so soon because agents say the time to secure bargains in southern Durban suburbs is now.
The market is being driven by first-time buyers looking for value for money. And agents say the new Galleria shopping centre has put a shine on the area.
Jan Vermeulen from Seeff in Queensburgh said a six-bedroom house with three bathrooms, a dining room, kitchen, study and double garage, plus a fitted one-bedroom granny cottage was on the market for R800 000.
Tony Hickman, chairman of Seeff KZN, said Chatsworth house sales had increased steadily with the average price R550 000, while sales were also rising in Queensburgh and Amanzimtoti.
“There is a great transport system with buses, taxis and trains running around the area and to the Durban city centre. There are good schools and major stores and fast food outlets. Interest is growing steadily due to affordability.”
Terry Cousins, Amanzimtoti area principal for Pam Golding Properties, said, “Sales and rentals have improved this year, with increased activity among cash buyers in the R700 000-R1.3 million range.
“But the main excitement is over our new shopping centre, The Galleria, which is due to open at the end of November. This centre offers 87 shops, an entertainment arena with an ice rink, cinemas, 29 restaurants and take-aways.”
Maxprop Residential MD Brenda Liversage said, “The new shopping centre is already stimulating interest. The lower-priced properties between R600 000 and R900 000 are selling much faster than those over R1 million.
“If properties are priced right they move within a month.”
Keith Wakefield, CEO of Wakefields Estate Agents, said there had been a “marked upturn” in the south Durban market, following the banks easing up on lending and their loan-to-value criteria.
“In Chatsworth, first-time home buyers are driving the property market with the greatest demand in the R350 000-R500 000 price range.
“Many of these first-time home buyers are aware that the property market is poised to turn and are getting in now.”
Wakefield said R500 000 could buy a three-bedroom semi-detached house with drive-in access and possibly an outbuilding converted to a granny flat that could be rented out.
Further up the scale, areas such as Havenside and Arena Park saw free-standing houses marketed around R700 000 and selling quickly.
“Chatsworth has most ameni- ties. The centre caters for the full range of shopping needs and from a sports perspective the area is spoilt. It has cricket, soccer and swimming facilities as well as tennis courts and bowling grounds that are all well kept.”
He said Chatsworth had good schools and public transport.
On the Bluff nearby, he said, starter homes were priced from R650 000 and flats from R350 000.
“We have seen a huge improve in activity with a lot more 100 percent bond applications. Similarly, in Amanzimtoti we have seen a dramatic surge in enquiries and sales.”
Wakefield put prices in Amanzimtoti at between R500 000 and R700 000 for sectional title flats or townhouses and between R800 000 and R1.2 million for freehold houses.
Des Landsberg, sales director of Woodpark Real Estate, said Yellowwood Park had properties ranging from R800 000 to over R2 million and market activity had increased 50 percent in the last three months.