Looking back on the history of our beautiful town, we acknowledge what a wonderful place it can be to visit time and again as a prized holiday destination.
Suppose you grew up anywhere in the North Durban area. In that case, you can probably still remember the ‘long’ drive from Durban North to Umhlanga. Once you passed Sunningdale, you literally drove through the sugar cane fields down into the Somerset Valley, up onto the Ridge, and then down into the coastal village of Umhlanga.
It really wasn’t that far to drive, yet it certainly seemed like Umhlanga was far, far away. A fantastic holiday destination, though.
Fast track a few decades on, and Umhlanga is now the epicentre of the North Durban area. First came the development of the Gateway Shopping Complex. Surprised by its sheer size, most were sceptical that it was doomed to become a white elephant. How wrong were we?
Business, leisure, entertainment, and housing developments have all followed, and today the small coastal town of Umhlanga is no longer merely a holiday destination. In fact, it is almost unrecognisable in its new status as the hub of all activity on KZN’s East Coast.
It’s now a holiday destination with so much more. With the property market currently propped up with incredible demand from buyers taking advantage of historically low interest rates, it should be no surprise that the KZN East Coast is proving to be the perfect location for your next holiday home purchase or your next holiday home purchase 2nd home away from home.
For as long as I can remember, there has been a general trend of people moving West (inland) or North (up the coast), away from the more central Durban suburbs. This trend continues today, with the inland and Western suburbs continuing to develop to meet the demands of families looking for that KZN Midlands lifestyle. The Northern suburbs are developing to meet the demand of families looking for a slightly warmer coastal climate.
Umhlanga is at the centre of this growth, and in particular, the development of new gated estates along the coast all the way North past Ballito are providing investors with their top three priorities, namely security, smaller and easier maintained properties, and their preferred lifestyle of choice.
Lifestyle has become very important post-COVID and the lockdown of 2020. This experience has provided us all with a shift in thinking whereby purchasers are now looking to live in closer proximity to their lifestyle of choice, as opposed to living closer to their place of work.
The location of the King Shaka airport and its proximity to Umhlanga and its surrounding suburbs has opened up the entire KZN North Coast to both up-country and inland investors looking to either “semigrate” to the coast whilst still being able to commute back inland to work or purchase that 2nd holiday home.
The three main areas of growth at the moment on the KZN North Coast when it comes to 2nd home purchases, either for holiday homes or a home away from home, are Umhlanga itself, the Sibaya precinct and Umdloti. For the purposes of this article, I have not mentioned Ballito, but this is also a major destination at the moment for both holiday homes and lifestyle investments, and probably another article in itself.
When investing in a 2nd home for your own use, remember that security is so important, especially if you will be spending periods away from this home. Investing in a gated estate will always be a smart purchase, not only for return on investment purposes but also for your own peace of mind when you are away. A point to consider is that because all estates have security as their number one selling point, should you wish to rent your holiday home out for income, you may find that not all gated estates will allow this.
You will pay a premium to be on an Estate, with most entry-level purchases for homes starting in the region of R4 million and therefore, should your budget not allow this, you will still find suitable holiday homes in the form of apartments along the Umhlanga coastline. Whilst seafront apartments will start from R5 Million and above; you will be able to find investment opportunities set back off the sea-line from R2,5 million to R3 million. These options still provide you with a lock-up-and-go type of accommodation that offer secure boundary fences and, quite often, private security patrols.
May you have a wonderful festive season, whether you’re at home or your holiday home, and a prosperous new year.