KwaZulu-Natal has much to offer investors

by Ofentse Sefolo
KwaZulu-Natal has much to offer investors

“Over the past three years, the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) property market has enjoyed unparalleled growth, outperforming other provinces as an investment destination. And yet, it is still considered one of the best kept secrets in the country,” notes Sershin Moodley, TUHF regional manager for KZN and the Free State.

Going forward, Moodley notes three major trends that he believes will have the potential to significantly change the positioning of KZN and see the province likely experience a surge in investment:
1. Micro-units are becoming more popular, as people are downsizing as a direct result of the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
2. Communal living complexes for families close to the city have become increasingly popular, given the proximity to schools and amenities.
3. High-quality student residential offerings in and around Durban are in short supply. With the city becoming a hotspot for tertiary education, there will be a growing need to house out-of-towners around the universities.

Urbanisation drive
Moodley indicates: “Even though some investors are cautious about the commercial property industry in the central business district (CBD) due to subdued performance in recent years, it is essential to take a long-term view. Many large, listed organisations and investors who own properties in the CBD are either looking to sell or transform their building stock into residential or mixed-use developments.

“Looking beyond possible first impressions based on the facade and physical appearance – such buildings can have the capacity to house up to 400 people, while adhering to safety regulations such as having fire escapes in place and adequate plumbing able to deal with this number. The large corporate buildings have had this in place since they were built, so it presents a soft landing for investors looking to convert these into residential properties.”

The continued migration post-COVID-19 to coastal towns and cities to benefit from the quality of the balanced lifestyle on offer, is evident in the transfer-based data released by Lightstone in September 2020.

Sershin Moodley, TUHF regional manager for KZN and the Free State.

Coastal migration for a better life
“It is about applying the work-life-play concept to be more inclusive to those who might traditionally have had difficulties in affording renting mixed-use properties. By expanding the base, it also creates more opportunities for local small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to be set up to create a self-sustaining ecosystem,” adds Moodley.

He indicates that KZN has a lot to offer from a lifestyle, living and business investment point of view. In other coastal areas, the cost of living may not be as accessible while weather fluctuations are quite extreme when compared to the affordability and year-long reliable climate of Durban.

Companies in KZN are no longer afraid to pay for talent. Durban has already become one of the largest call centre hubs in the Southern Hemisphere. Furthermore, many specialist physicians are moving to the coastal towns and cities, with other professional people choosing to live at the coast and commute to Johannesburg, for example.

“It comes down to the quality of life and the opportunities provided through a more innovative mixed-use property environment. With the repo rate being the lowest since the system was introduced in 1998 and the ability to find the right project at the right price, KZN will start attracting significant investor interest in the coming months,” concludes Moodley.

For more information, visit www.tuhf.co.za.

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