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Spotlight on Durban North

Spotlight on Durban North

Durban North is one of Durban’s well-established, traditional, old suburbs. The area is family focused and the community tight knit.

It’s so named simply because it’s immediately north of the Umgeni River – one of the real landmarks of the city. An umbrella term for several smaller areas, including Umgeni Park, Riverside, Athlone, Parkhill, Redhill, Rosehill, Glen Hills, Glen Anil, Glenashley and Virginia, as well as what is commonly referred to as ‘Central Durban North’, it begins at the river and extends to La Lucia in the north, with the North Coast Road and the N2 forming the western perimeter.

Proximity to the N2 and Ruth First highways means that access to all other areas of Durban is quick and easy, making Durban North a first choice even for people who work in other areas.

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Umgeni Park, one of the suburbs that make up Durban North, overlooks the Umgeni River

One of the main attractions of this pretty, leafy part of town is the excellent schools, such as Northlands Girls’ High School, Northwood School, Danville Park Girls’ High, Virginia Preparatory, Chelsea Preparatory and Our Lady of Fatima Dominican Convent School, many of which are over 50 years old.

There are also several well supported sports clubs, which also have rich histories, and even a respected tertiary institution in the form of Varsity College. There are also several shopping centres, a myriad restaurants, and places of worship.

Recreation opportunities abound, and a greenbelt runs the length of the east of the area, with Virginia Airport, Beachwood Golf Course and the protected mangrove swamps linking up along the coast, while Virginia Bush is a popular spot for dog-walking – one of many ways Durban Northers can enjoy the city’s famed outdoor lifestyle in their suburb.

Who lives there and what are they paying?

‘Most of our enquiries are from second- and third-time buyers looking to settle in this wonderful family suburb,’ says Carol Reynolds, area principal for Pam Golding Properties. ‘The average buyer is aged between 35 and 50, and in the upper-LSM bracket. Durban North is predominantly a freehold market, with only five per cent of properties there falling under sectional title.’

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Beachwood Golf Course is one of Durban Country Club’s two courses and is a major drawcard for visitors to the area

Janis McManus, sales associate and team leader at Re/Max Panache McManus, adds that the older buyers looking to downsize and those wanting starter homes may seek simplex townhouses, duplex townhouses and cluster homes in Umgeni Park and Riverside, or take advantage of the proximity of these kinds of properties in neighbouring La Lucia, Sunningdale and Umhlanga.

She notes that, on average, there isn’t much property available under R1 million. ‘In fact, in Central Durban North, Virginia and Glenashley, you can’t find much under R2.5 million,’ she says.

Reynolds notes that there are three factors driving this market. ‘Location – convenience and proximity to everything, from beach to CBD to airport; the abundance of exceptional schools within a five-kilometre radius; and the character of the homes, which are well built and ooze colonial charm.’

The area has changed in the last decade and McManus notes that it’s not the small village it once was, with many new businesses and restaurants coming into the area. ‘There’s a real business hub, which is also an attraction, and banks have increased their facilities and upgraded due to the expanding community,’ she adds.

Reynolds says, ‘Durban North is highly sought-after; indeed, it’s one of the most buoyant markets I’ve ever operated in,’ and adds that the area has been even more popular recently, because there’s been a general migration northwards as a result of the new airport. ‘Demand outstrips supply, as people tend to settle here and are reluctant to move,’ she says, citing complexes in Sedgefield, Northfields and the areas of Upper and Central Durban North as particularly desirable.

‘There simply is no area that offers more convenience,’ she says. ‘With rising petrol costs and traffic congestion, families with school-going children are seeking convenience, and Durban North wins the convenience race hands-down.’

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Homes overlooking Beachwood Golf Course are popular with buyers

Resident’s view

‘My wife and I both grew up in Durban North and, having lived away, agreed that there’s nowhere else we’d rather bring up our children. It’s suburban in the best possible sense of the word, with neighbours who often still know each other and a real sense of community. My business, an extra-lessons centre for schoolchildren, relies heavily on word of mouth, and I’ve been overwhelmed by the wonderful support from Durban North parents and fellow business owners. We love our home and its beautiful sea view, and appreciate the fact that we feel safe and secure here.’ – Brett Botha, business owner, UP-grade Extra Tuition

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Durban North boasts many excellent restaurants including a branch of Lupa Osteria

Where to eat, drink and shop…

Mackeurtan Avenue, Broadway and Kensington Drive all boast a selection of excellent restaurants, including branches of Durban favourites Spiga, Kung Thai and Lupa Osteria. Here you’ll also find specialist shops offering everything from second-hand books to jewellery, and the area has plenty of options for grocery shopping. Don’t miss Carol Clark, Nikki’s The Gift Shop and Loafers Urban Deli for delicious banting treats.

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Boutique and specialist stores such as Nikki’s The Gift Shop, are well supported by the community

Resident’s view

‘As well as being upmarket and community-oriented, Durban North is exceptionally well maintained. Our ward councillor, Shaun Ryley, responds quickly to complaints and suggestions, and as a result, improvements are constantly being made in the area, such as the upgrading of roads and pavements, along with timeous repairs, and all the common areas like verges and pavements are kept neat and tidy. I also enjoy the fact that Durban North is so conveniently situated and that everything we need in terms of amenities is available nearby. It really is a great place to live.’ – Helen O’Dwyer, Durban North resident for 16 years

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This oceanside property in Fairways is geared towards entertaining. It has five bedrooms and features a pool gazebo, bar and office and is on the market for R15 million, also with Seeff Properties

Area spotlight: Durban North

This report provides a current snapshot of the Durban North residential property market.

Demand Indicator Metrics

Properties listed for sale in Durban North comprise approximately 8% of the total sale listings in the greater Durban region. Approximately 11% of the interest (views) in properties for sale in the Durban region is attributable to properties for sale in Durban North. Properties listed for rent in Durban North comprise approximately 6% of the total rental listings in the Durban region. Approximately 12% of the interest (views) in properties for rent in the Durban region is attributable to properties for rent in Durban North.

Property Types
  • Sale Listings: The types of residential property for sale in Durban North can be broken down into 86% houses, 9% apartments and 5% complexes. A typical property for sale in Durban North is a three-bedroom house, currently with a median asking price of R2,95m.
  • Rental Listings: As far as rental property in Durban North is concerned, 58% is houses, 25% apartments and 17% complexes. A typical property for rent in Durban North is a three-bedroom house, currently with a monthly median asking price of R16 500.


Median Asking Prices
  • Sale Listings: The median asking price for residential property in Durban is R1,35m for an apartment, R2,39m for a complex and 3,85m for a house.
  • Rental Listings: The median rental asking prices for residential property in Durban North is R5 800 p/m for an apartment, R12 500 p/m for a complex and R16 500 p/m for a house.


Total value of residential properties on Private Property in Durban North

  • Sales: R6 316 993 995
  • Rental: R660 600


Bond Repayment Calculation

For a typical property in Durban North, the monthly bond repayment to purchase a typical property in Durban North, namely a four-bedroom house with the median asking price of R2,95m, is R27 018 p/m over 20 years at prime of 9.25% with no deposit, compared to the monthly median rental asking price for a three-bedroom house in Durban North which is R16 500 p/m.

Notes: The findings presented above used current market data for the period 1 April 2015 until 30 April 2015

Contact details

Text: Candice Botha
Photographs: Supplied

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