Play here, stay here: Why the KZN South Coast property market is on the up

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Renowned for its Blue Flag Beaches and world-class dive sites, the KZN South Coast has long been a prime holiday destination, but the impact of the pandemic has seen people choosing to move to the coast, rather than just visiting. This has resulted in a buoyant property market along the KZN South Coast, with more affordable pricing making this a key coastal destination.

“The traditional model of working in the city and enjoying the seaside on holiday or retirement has been upturned, and people are now looking to live the holiday lifestyle through remote working or hybrid working models,” commented Phelisa Mangcu, CEO of South Coast Tourism and Investment Enterprise (SCTIE). “From a property investment perspective, the KZN South Coast offers incredible value for money. Seaside property prices are comparatively lower than other South African destinations, with the Paradise of the Zulu Kingdom enjoying year-round subtropical weather and great facilities. We’re anticipating interest in local property to rise as people seek a ‘play here, stay here’ way of life.”

Sam Wenger, the Development Director of Serenity Hills, said they had been overwhelmed by both local and international interest. At the ground-breaking ceremony of the region’s first eco-estate, Wenger said they had buyers from as far afield as Austria, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland with interested buyers from Canada and the United States, as well as significant local interest.

“While we were anticipating interest in Serenity Hills, considering the high-quality offering, security, and value for money, we were really excited by the response which was much higher than initially anticipated,” said Wenger. “It appears that there is significant investment interest on the KZN South Coast – and for good reason.”

This residential property investment trend has been noted by local real estate agencies who’ve seen a spike in interest. Ashley Wann, Pam Golding Properties Regional Manager in the Port Shepstone and Margate areas of the South Coast explained:

“The South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal, with its scenic hamlets and tranquil ambience, offers many attractions for those seeking a coastal lifestyle at an affordable price, coupled with solid infrastructure including hospitals, shopping centres and all amenities on hand.

“As a result, it is not surprising that in recent years, we’ve seen a marked trend among home buyers from other provinces, most notably Gauteng, semigrating to this region to the extent that we’ve seen residential property sales to semigrators increase by about 30%.

“We find that the most popular areas are Shelly Beach, Hibberdene, Uvongo and Margate, with the majority purchasing either for investment, retirement now or in the future, or to work-from-home while enjoying the more relaxed and peaceful lifestyle that the South Coast offers.”

Wann said they believe that Covid-19 undoubtedly fuelled this trend as people were prompted to re-evaluate their priorities.

“Many chose to step away from the hustle and bustle of cities, with the work-from-home revolution enabling them to work remotely without needing to be physically present in the office,” she continued. “The trend has also been reinforced by the redevelopment of many former, mainly retirement and holiday towns, which have seen increased investments in medical, educational, and retail facilities in these areas. This has made them more attractive to a younger, more permanent home buyer with families, as well as having high appeal for retirees.”

Looking at the properties attracting the most attention, Wann said: “Home buyers can find considerable value in beautiful apartments and homes with spectacular views, acquired at prices R3 million and below. Apartments, townhouses, and freestanding homes in the price range between R850 000 and R1.5 million are most in demand, with well-priced stock pegged at market-related prices moving quickly.”

Simon Lee, Branch Manager for Wakefields Lower South Coast echoed this sentiment, stating they’d noted a definite shift in demographics over the past year: “Our on-the-ground knowledge tells us that the bulk of the demand is from people moving to the area from Gauteng or traditional KZN metropolitan suburbs – which has driven a substantial increase in average price and fair volumes.

“It is also interesting to note that we have seen a significant uptick in the number of buyers in the 36-to-49-year age bracket. We believe that most of these are work-from-home enabled buyers who are benefitting from the more stable digital infrastructure we now enjoy. It is releasing them from locational dependency on the metropolitan areas and they are seeking a better lifestyle at a cheaper cost of living, with freehold properties and complexes being equally attractive. And where better than the KZN South Coast?”

Extending from Port Shepstone, the area’s economic hub, throughout the KZN South Coast, there are so many investment opportunities in the property market, as well as other key growth sectors. To find out more about these, get in touch with SCTIE, the KZN South Coast’s One-Stop Shop for investment. Contact SCTIE on 039 682 7944, email or visit  Keep updated on Facebook; South Coast Tourism and Investment Enterprise on YouTube; @infosouthcoast on Twitter or Instagram; and South Coast Tourism and Investment Enterprise on LinkedIn. Follow #unlimitedopportunities #investkznsouthcoast #investment and #kznsouthcoast! And click here to check out previous SCTIE press releases.