WORDS: JANE MAYNE :: IMAGES: SUPPLIED
Affordable prices of residential property along the KZN South Coast are attracting buyers seeking value-for-money opportunities for primary residence, as well as buy-to-let investment, leisure getaways and retirement.
The KwaZulu-Natal South Coast has long been a popular destination for an awesome beach vacation. With its golden beaches and warm Indian Ocean, the region offers much to see and do besides just enjoying the glorious sea breeze. Fishing, restaurants, golf, tennis, walking trails, diving and deep-sea boat rides are just some of the activities that serve as a drawcard for travellers from far and wide.
But in addition to the annual pilgrimage both from upcountry and the KZN surrounds, Pam Golding Properties area principal in the Port Shepstone and Margate areas, Mohammed Amra, says the South Coast’s many attractions hold appeal not only for holidaymakers but also for residential property buyers seeking value-for-money opportunities for primary residence, buy-to-let investment, leisure getaways, or retirement – all at affordable prices. He notes that Port Shepstone is also attracting an increasing number of young buyers, with 21% of recent purchases being 35 years or younger.
Coastal town network
“Comprising a network of interconnected small towns and beaches, this region is characterised by its strong emphasis on family values and community spirit, making it exceptionally welcoming to all visitors and newcomers. With a favourable climate, sound infrastructure and hospitals, shopping centres and all amenities on hand, coupled with convenient proximity to Durban, the South Coast is a mecca for retirees, as well as semigrators from other regions around the country. A wide variety of outdoor and leisure activities include deep sea, rock and surf angling, water sports, and golf – with numerous top-class golf courses on hand. In short, there is something for everyone,” he says.
“For retirees, the region is home to exceptional retirement homes that are highly coveted. It’s not uncommon for many to relocate here with the intention of transitioning into these sought-after retirement communities after a few years,” he explains.
“In 2023 we have seen a notable upswing in residential property sales and heightened demand – a resurgence particularly apparent in August, with certain areas experiencing strong sales activity. Notably, St Michael’s on Sea, Shelly Beach, Uvongo and Margate have emerged as the most sought-after areas, with a predominant focus on investment properties typically in the price range from R800 000 to R1.5 million. In contrast, our other areas represent more permanent residential destinations, with ongoing sales transactions being concluded on behalf of buyers who are generally looking to either upgrade or downscale from their current housing situations according to lifestyle changes and preferences.”
Sea view price range
The average price range in the above areas is between R800 000 and R1.5 million. Amra shares that, “For R800 000 to R1 million you can acquire a two-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment with sea views, while for R1 million to R1.5 million you can purchase a three-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment with breaker views and a lock-up garage, or a three-bedroom, two-bathroom freehold property with distant sea views set on an erf of 1000sqm. Frontline property comprises 90% apartments, priced from R1.6 million to R2.5 million in Shelly Beach, between R1.1 million and R1.3 million in Uvongo/St Michael’s, and from R800 000 to R1.5million in Margate.”
High-end sales secured by Pam Golding Properties include a holiday resort in Sunwich Port which fetched R8.025 million and consists of 12, two-bedroom, one-bathroom chalets; 12, two-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom duplexes; 50 camping sites, swimming pool, Putt Putt course, games room and three retail shops. The estate agency also recently sold a three-bedroom, two-bathroom freehold home with four garages in an eco-estate for R4.13 million.
Value-for-money opportunities currently on the market include a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment with one covered parking in Shelly Beach priced at R1.5 million, and a three-bedroom, two-bathroom beachfront apartment with automated garage in Shelly Beach for R2.75 million.
Blue Flag Beach status
The area’s five Blue Flag-rated beaches and seven Blue Flag Pilot Beaches for 2023/2024, is an alluring add-on. This status is good news for the local residential property market, as well as the local economy. “The Blue Flag rating serves to augment the appeal of properties, particularly by bolstering their potential for holiday letting and attracting real estate investors. Although the rating may not directly impact property pricing, it certainly contributes to the overall desirability of the location,” comments Amra.
Blue Flag beaches are audited by the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA) and measured across 33 criteria and in four categories – Environmental Education and Awareness, Water Quality, Environmental Management, and Safety Services.
The KZN South Coast Blue Flag 2023/2024 beaches are: Marina Beach – which has retained this status for 22 consecutive years since inception of the programme; Trafalgar Beach (12 consecutive years); Southport Beach; Umzumbe Beach; and Hibberdene Beach. This coastal region’s Blue Flag Pilot Beaches 2023/2024 are: Pennington Beach, Rocky Bay Beach, Preston Beach, Mtwalume Beach, Scottburgh Beach, St Michael’s Beach and Ramsgate Beach.
Affordability and scenic beauty
“With the festive season around the corner, and with numerous appealing hamlets dotted along a tranquil and scenic coastline, the South Coast is poised to draw visitors due to a combination of affordability and scenic beauty. The ratings of Blue Flag beaches hold paramount importance in the decision-making process for beach vacations, further augmenting the region’s appeal,” says Amra.
Cath Molyneux, Pam Golding Properties area principal in Port Edward and Ramsgate concurs: “The continued Blue Flag status for Marina and Trafalgar Beaches in Port Edward means that visitors and residents can enjoy protected bathing knowing that an eco-award has been given to these selected beaches, which meet strict standards of excellence in safety, cleanliness, provision of amenities, environmental information and management. For home buyers this assists in facilitating capital growth when wanting to sell the property, while families have peace of mind when booking their holidays.”
She adds that: “Since Covid, many who owned holiday homes in this area, many from Gauteng, have relocated here permanently and work from home, plus we are seeing an increasing number of younger home buyers. Apart from the year-round sub-tropical climate, which attracts holidaymakers and home buyers, there is sound value to be had, enabling you to buy a very nice apartment within walking distance of the sea for less than R1 million. A two to three-bedroom unit in Banners Rest Retirement Village can be acquired for approximately R600 000 to R850 000. The average selling price differs between Southbroom and Port Edward – in Southbroom the property prices are higher and very few properties sell for under R2 million.”
Molyneux says that historically, the Hibberdene and St Michael’s areas have experienced a robust holiday season, a trend which is expected to continue its upward trajectory. Meanwhile Umzumbe, while predominantly a residential area, exerts its allure on anglers, with the introduction of a Blue Flag beach expected to entice a growing number of holidaymakers.
Mtwalume Beach offers a contrasting dynamic compared to other locales on the South Coast – shaped by a serene and pristine beach with natural beauty, captivating surrounds and well-appointed estates, it is a preferred destination for those seeking tranquillity and respite from urban hustle and bustle.
Port Edward and Scottburgh
In the southern-most coastal region of KZN, Port Edward is flanked by the Umtamvuna River Gorge. Pam Golding Properties recently achieved a number of high-end sales in Port Edward, including two four-bedroom homes in Southbroom which sold for R9 million and R7 million respectively, and a four-bedroom villa in San Lameer Golf Estate for R5.9 million. Says Molyneaux: “Frontline properties vary from town to town, for example, we have just sold a four-bedroom, beachfront property in Trafalgar for R2.7 million and for R1.7 million in Palm Beach.”
In Scottburgh, which is situated south of the mouth of the Mpambanyoni River, Pam Golding Properties area principal Stef Nel reports increasing signs of buyer interest, adding that the South Coast’s agricultural market is also attracting interest as Macadamia crops are very profitable and well-suited to the region.
Nell adds that, “Foreign buyers are showing interest in this market and we have some encouraging enquiries. In addition, local community activity like the South Coast’s Tidy Towns initiative has had a tremendous positive impact on the cleaning and upgrading of facilities and the beaches.”