KZN property demand shifts to Midlands/uMngeni, Richards Bay | Everything Property

KZN property demand shifts to Midlands/uMngeni, Richards Bay

The Seeff Property Group notes that property demand in KwaZulu-Natal has shifted to the Midlands/uMngeni and Richards Bay areas.

The Midlands/uMngeni and Richards Bay areas are now popular KZN property destinations as families opt to settle in smaller towns and estates.

The Seeff Property Group notes that property demand in KwaZulu-Natal has shifted to the KZN Midlands/uMngeni and Richards Bay areas.


The KZN Midlands/uMngeni area just north of Pietermaritzburg, encompassing Howick and Nottingham Road, is seeing high demand for property. This is according to the Seeff Property Group, who comment that many families are moving away from poorly serviced urban areas of Pietermaritzburg to settle in the smaller towns and estates of the Midlands.

Buyers are drawn to the country lifestyle and attractions of the Midlands Meander, a picturesque 80km route of rolling hills, leisure trails, the Midmar Dam and Nature Reserve, arts and crafts, restaurants and more. An added benefit is that with the change in local government, the Midlands/uMngeni areas have undergone a complete clean-up and transformation over the last few years.

Top schools

There is a rising number of estates which are hugely popular, and the area offers access to some of the best schools in the country, including Hilton College, Michaelhouse, Martizburg College, Treverton College.

Deeds Office data shows that transaction volumes in towns such as Howick, Hilton, and Nottingham Road reached record highs in 2021/2. Despite a slow-down, 2023 sales were still well ahead of the pre-pandemic period despite the higher interest rate.

Sean Moffatt, licensee for Seeff Midlands Moffat says about 2,000 applications have been received for private schools in Hilton and Pietermaritzburg for 2025. While only about a quarter will be accommodated, it does boost the second home market for the duration of five to eight years for reasonably priced homes while their kids are at school.

Three hospitals

There are also 200 applications from doctors to do their community service in the same area which has three hospitals. This is a tremendous boost for the rental market.

The highest prices paid tend to be in the estates such as Garlington Estate, where Seeff achieved prices of up to R10 million and R12 million. The highest demand though is under R8 million in Garlington Estate. A commercial property in Howick was also sold for R10.5 million.

The upside of the slower market is that there is now more stock, says Moffat, but adds that with fewer buyers, there is pressure on sellers’ asking prices. Offers are taking longer, and buyers will view five to six homes before committing.

Buyers can now get good value in complexes such as Berry Hill Mews in Hilton central which offers large houses with well-sized gardens and great security, priced at around R2.5 million to R2.8 million.

Good value for buyers

River Goose Estate in Howick also offers great value for buyers. It has lots of open space, a lovely style, fantastic security, and well-priced houses from R1.4 million. Vacant plots sell from R385,000.

The rental market is booming with many potential buyers opting to rent for two years as they wait for the interest rate to come down.

The sales market in Nottingham Road though remains relatively buoyant according to Peter Greene, Seeff’s licensee for the area. An influx of buyers from Johannesburg, and recently also from the KZN North Coast, Ballito/Salt Rock area is keeping the market busy. Most are cash buyers, and the market has not felt much of an impact from the higher interest rates.

There is now limited stock in the high demand price range of R3 million to R5 million. Gowrie Farm Golf Estate has seen prices paid of up to R9.325 million, R10.3 million and R11.5 million, and offers excellent value with houses of up to six bedrooms in the R8 million to R10 million range, and a highest price of R17 million.

Houses with up to four bedrooms are also on offer in the Gowrie Village Estate in the R3 million to R5 million range. Windspur Estate is another popular option, offering houses with up to three bedrooms in the R3 million to R4 million range. Bosch Hoek is another option for large houses with up to six bedrooms in the R5 million to R9 million range.

The rental market is also buoyant with rentals paid of R13,000 to R15,000 per month for two-bed apartments, R18,000 to R22,000 for three-bed houses, and up to R35,000 for luxury homes with up to six bedrooms.

Rentals in Richards Bay

The growth of Richards Bay continues to support a vibrant property market according to Elaine Vandayar, licensee for Seeff Richard’s Bay. While sales have slowed, the rental market has picked up as many are now renting while they wait for a lower interest rate. Newcomers to the city also tend to rent before they buy.

Sales prices of up to R9 million, R13.85m, and R16.5m have been achieved for sectional title homes in the sought-after Waterways Estate with its own yacht club. That said, the market below R1.6 million is the most active. Good value areas include Meer En See which boasts an average sectional title price of R1.2 million and R2.5 million for full title.

Rental prices typically range from R6,000 to R12,000, with secure complexes and sectional titles being particularly sought after in Richards Bay, she says. Additionally, there has been an uptick in investors acquiring rental properties to expand their portfolios, which has kept rental rates elevated owing to supply-demand dynamics.

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