Durban North property continues to perform

Durban North has retained its demand from purchasers as a very desirable suburb to reside in. This is according to Grant Gavin, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Panache, which services all areas north of Durban through to Umdloti.

“The property market in Durban North has continued to perform well as it’s a perfect location for young families with an abundance of good schools in the area. It’s also conveniently situated for business people working either in central Durban or the ever growing Umhlanga Ridge business district,” says Gavin. “Young families are constantly on the lookout for older Durban North properties that come onto the market and need a bit of TLC. There is usually a queue of buyers lining up for this type of property, as it provides a foot in the door to the suburb.”

Gavin notes that the neighbouring suburb of La Lucia is comparable to Durban North as a very desirable suburb in which to live, for the same reasons. “One bonus that La Lucia has to offer buyers,” says Gavin, “are more sectional title complexes than Durban North, for which there is a huge demand as security is a major priority for buyers.”

Talking about property prices, Gavin says that across all areas in which RE/MAX Panache sells, there has been huge demand for homes priced under the R2,5million price range, although it has been a phenomenal year for property sales in the upper price ranges (above R5million).

“Sectional Title homes have sold very well in 2014 as security is a major factor in purchasing decisions, and there is a continued trend of buyers looking to live in secure complexes and estates. This is most evident in the demand that we always see for Mount Edgecombe Estate 1 and 2.”

However, Gavin points out that there is a premium to be paid for living in an estate, or even in a complex. “We have started to notice that purchasers are now seeing the value in freestanding homes versus buying in complexes, where they are getting more accommodation for their money, and are willing to invest in security systems for their home with the money that they would have spent on an estate or complex levy.”

Another trend that Gavin says the market in Durban North is starting to see is community- street guarding, where communities are getting together and employing private security companies to patrol their streets. “This is having a noticeable improvement in certain areas. Since there is such a huge demand for older homes on big plot sizes, purchasers can invest money to renovate knowing that they are safe with their long term capital appreciation prospects with initiatives such as these,” says Gavin.

“The Durban North suburb accounted for almost a third of all our sales to date in 2014 – over R320million in property sales, at an average of R2,9million per property. It is by far the most dominant suburb for us,” notes Gavin, who says that La Lucia is the second best performing suburb in their area of operation, accounting 20% of sales at an average of R3,5million per property.

“In October this year, RE/MAX Panache reached a major milestone. We achieved R1billion worth of reported sales – which was our annual target – in just 10 months. We are exceptionally proud of this success,” says Gavin.

Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, said that RE/MAX Panache is the third RE/MAX office in the country to ever have achieved figures such as these in the brand’s 20 year history in South Africa. “RE/MAX is exceptionally proud to have Broker/Owners and agents of this calibre among its ranks. The RE/MAX Panache team is dedicated and professional, and this is reflected in their sales figures.”

When asked about the secret to this success, Gavin says that RE/MAX Panache – in line with the RE/MAX ethos – has been built on the cornerstone of being able to attract and retain the best agents in the industry. “Our success comes down to the quality of agents that we have, and the fact that they are able to build their own business within the RE/MAX brand thanks to our unique business model. Buyers and sellers experience this point of difference when they interact with our agents because our agents are not our employees, they are business owners in their own right, and they approach their business with a level of professionalism and care that is unparalleled in the market place. Our average agent boasts 12 years industry experience, and the majority of RE/MAX Panache agents have been with us for an average of seven years, which is a phenomenal statistic for the real estate industry. This is what has given our company the consistency and momentum to enable us to build our market share to a point where RE/MAX Panache is now accounting for almost 40% of all home sales in the North Durban suburbs.”

Gavin doesn’t expect the market to change much in the year ahead. “We should expect fairly similar conditions to the ones that have prevailed during 2014. There is a strong demand for homes in the North Durban suburbs and while we will have a probable further increase in interest rates, I don’t believe that this will put a dampener on our local market as we are still at historical lows in terms of where these rates are.”

Gavin’s top investment tip for buyers in 2015 is to always stretch themselves when buying a house to ensure that you buy in the best area that you can afford to. “Rather buy the smallest house in the best suburb rather than the opposite way around,” says Gavin.

However, having said that, Gavin says buyers should also be cognisant of the fact that they are now going to be buying in a market where interest rates are on the increase, and ensure that this is factored in when calculating affordability factors.

In closing Gavin points out that in 1979, a three-bedroom home in Hoylake Drive sold for R25 000. That same home in today’s market would sell between R2,5million and R2,8million. “Property, in the long term is a very good investment and the best time to buy is always now.”

Via: Durban North property continues to excel – MyPR.

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