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Moving metros? Does Durban fit your pocket?

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The rejuvenation of Durban’s beachfront along with renewed interest in areas such as the Point Waterfront and continued development north of Durban has seen the area’s residential property market catching up to other metros.

The traditionally upmarket, high-net-worth areas such as Umhlanga Rocks and La Lucia continue to garner investment, attracting significant development and attention in their residential property markets. At the same time, the Umhlanga Improvement Project is increasing the appeal of Umhlanga and Umdloti for residents looking for a clean and safe suburb close to the bustling city of Durban.

How well do you know Durban’s suburbs?

Whether you want to move to the eThekwini municipality to live close to Durban’s Main Beach and the tourist scene, or further north, HomeTimes has asked area experts to give a breakdown of the class of property you can expect to rent or buy within certain budgets.

Buying the Durban dream

This home in Umhlanga is now on the market

This home in Umhlanga is now on the market.

Carol Reynolds, Pam Golding’s area principal for the Durban, Durban North, and Umhlanga areas says that a budget of R750,000 buys a two-bedroom apartment with at least one secure parking in the Durban beachfront area, or in suburbs like Glenwood and Morningside.

Manny Testa of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty says that freestanding homes can also occasionally be found at a budget of R750,000 in areas such as Montclair, Bellair, and Newlands West. He adds that, by expanding the budget to R1,2m, bigger, more modern and recently renovated homes in the areas mentioned above could be considered.

“With this budget you could expand your search to Umgeni Park and Durban North for apartments, and Red Hill and Rose Hill for houses,” adds Testa.

According to Reynolds a budget of R1,2m will also enable you to enter the Umhlanga property market as this budget will buy you a one-bedroom apartment in Gateway.

With a budget of R3m-plus, Reynolds believes you are in a great space to acquire sought-after Durban real estate. She says that R3m will buy you a four-bedroom home in Durban or you could move into the upmarket Durban North residential market, where a spacious three-bedroom family home should be well within your budget. Alternatively, a three-bedroom apartment in Umhlanga could be acquired in this price range.

“The small upmarket enclave of Virginia in the Durban North area, Glenashley and Mount Edgecombe Golf Estate are tops in the R3m-plus category,” Testa explains, adding that these properties are fetching rentals of up to R50,000 or more a month. This increases the attractiveness of buying in these areas if your budget allows.”

Entering the Durban rental market

Three-bedroomed Glenashley family home, with ocean views, on the market for R3,5m.

Three-bedroomed Glenashley family home, with ocean views, on the market for R3,5m.

According to Reynolds a monthly rental budget of R5,000 will get you a granny flat in Durban North, a bachelor apartment in Gateway, or a one-bedroom apartment in Glenwood. She adds that upping the monthly budget to R10,000 would, on average, get you an extra bedroom in these areas while R15,000 a month affords a freestanding rental home in areas such as Morningside. Reynolds adds that a budget of R15,000 a month should also enable you to rent a two-bedroom apartment in Umhlanga.

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According to Testa the rental you pay in the Durban area depends greatly on the property type, condition, and location of the property you are considering.

“It is still possible to find a rental apartment in the Umhlanga Ridge area for less than R10,000 per month, but these are small one-bedroom executive apartments,” says Testa, noting that in his opinion you would need a budget of R20,000 to rent comfortably in the more upmarket areas.

The lure of Durban

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A view of The Pearls of Umhlanga where 41 new sea-facing apartments are for sale at Pearl Sky.

Umhlanga Rocks is experiencing unprecedented growth with two new developments taking place, according to Testa.

“The Pearls and Oceans Umhlanga are set to change the landscape of Umhlanga Rocks forever,” he says, adding that, in general, Durban’s suburbs are well managed and benefit from active involvement from local councilors and the community, with existing amenities kept in great condition.

Virginia and other areas of Durban North are attractive to families who can afford to purchase properties here, and be close to good schools, north coast beaches and the Virginia Airport.

Reynolds adds that, when moving into any suburb in the Durban metro, you are ensured of the full package.

“These suburbs are all fully self-sufficient mini-metros,” says Reynolds. “With everything from banks, to commercial districts, to retail, restaurants, churches and schools.”

Do you know the expected cost of relocating your household goods when ‘Moving metros?’

It seems that, regardless of the budget or property type you are after, when moving to Durban and surrounds, you can, at the very least, be sure of the fact that you will have a beach and a bank nearby.

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Mariette Steynberg is a qualified economist with a post-graduate diploma in financial planning. She has enjoyed working on holistic financial plans for clients in various stages of life, as well as a development economist assessing the socioeconomic impacts of new developments. When she is not working, Mariette enjoys parenting her quirky, delightful toddler girl. Cloth diapering, Eskimo kisses and the importance of reading to your child are all causes close to her heart. Mariette is passionate about financial education and hopes to use the experience she has gained to share knowledge with HomeTimes’ readership. Her goal is to provide information that is implementable by everyone.

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