Into Africa


South Africa is one of the most sought-after holiday destinations in the world, and is also becoming increasingly popular as a residential and holiday property location. Now buyers are also turning their attention to other hotspots besides the famous Western Cape region. These include the northeastern province of KwaZulu-Natal and its Dolphin Coast which stretches along the Indian Ocean.

“Property prices in the KwaZulu-Natal region have consistently provided excellent return on investment. We are seeing strong interest from foreign investors and clients from Europe”, said Craig Hutchison, Managing Partner of Engel & Völkers South Africa, adding: “The warm Indian Ocean provides excellent swimming conditions with all the watersports that come with it. This combined with the sub-tropical climate provides an excellent lifestyle. Compared to other holiday destinations, purchase prices on the Dolphin Coast remain relatively moderate. So now is a good time to invest.”

Highly sought-after: Luxury villas in private resorts

Domestic buyers currently dominate the market in KwaZulu-Natal. The majority of these clients come from Johannesburg and are particularly interested in properties located in first-class residential estates and gated communities such as the Zimbali Estate, Simbithi Eco Estate and Umhlali Golf Estate. In 2018, villas in the Zimbali Estate sold for as much as 21.8 million ZAF (approx. 1.4 million euros) (2017: 17.5 million ZAF, approx. 1.1 million euros).

“Besides the contemporary architecture, domestic clients are also drawn by the many amenities offered by these luxury residential complexes, such as access to superb golf courses or private beaches,” said Karien Hunter, Licence Partner of Engel & Völkers in KwaZulu-Natal.

Beachfront apartments deemed a stable capital investment

The holiday resorts of Salt Rock, Ballito and Westbrook rank among the highest priced residential locations outside Durban. Large swathes of sheltered sandy beaches are the main attraction of these sophisticated suburbs. Premium apartments directly on the coast are among the most sought-after types of property here, fetching sales prices in 2018 of up to 8.4 million ZAF (approx. 534,000 euros) (2017: 6 million ZAF, approx. 381,000 euros). Clients come primarily from the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium, and invest in beachfront apartments either as secondary homes for private use or as capital investments.

Outlook: Upward trend set to continue

Engel & Völkers anticipates that the regions around Westbrook, La Mercy and Sibiya will develop into premium locations. “We are forecasting a sustained level of high demand and rising prices, as the influx to the northeastern coast of South Africa will continue to intensify,” said Karien Hunter, summing up the development of the real estate market in KwaZulu-Natal.

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