Spotlight on Hillcrest
The attraction of living in Hillcrest, 30km away from Durban’s city centre, has always been its delightful country town feel.
Known for its large plots and beautiful gardens, Hillcrest is a popular choice for people who want to live within easy reach of the city but don’t want the cramped feel and infamous humidity.
Halfway between Durban and Pietermaritzburg, Hillcrest is conveniently located for those who want to work in town, but still retains the feeling of being deep in the countryside. ‘There are no factories or industry in the area,’ says Shane Pearson, Tyson Properties’ Upper Highway Principal, ‘so the air is fresh and clean.’
Recent expansion in the area has made Hillcrest a bustling village. ‘Major changes have taken place in Hillcrest over the last 10 years,’ says Liz Ellice, Principal of Chas Everitt’s Upper Highway and Westville branch. ‘There are now more shopping centres, a large private hospital, more retirement complexes, major roads have been upgraded and many more commercial properties and office parks have been built. There is a lot more planning in the pipeline, too.’ The addition of the Hillcrest Private Hospital is a welcome one for the suburb as are the numerous office parks that allow people to work nearer to their homes in the Upper Highway area. There is plenty to do as well: many great restaurants, interesting shops and cultural attractions such as the Valley of 1000 Hills abound.
Wide Range of Property
Property prices in Hillcrest are extremely varied. Liz Ellice says she has properties on her books ranging in price from R650 000 to R12 million whilst Pearson says properties on their Hillcrest books range in price from R900 000 to over R10 million. ‘You can find just about every kind of property you can imagine in Hillcrest. We’ve got homes on upmarket security estates like Cotswold Downs, Kirtlington and Langford, Sectional Title apartments and complexes and free hold homes and complexes. Complexes are generally in high demand as are any of the gated estates with manned security. There are about ten major Estates, three of them golfing estates,’ says Ellice. He adds, ‘There is still land available for development so top secure lifestyle developments are mushrooming. Good schools and the new hospital and medical rooms are attracting medical professionals as well.’
‘Our most active price bracket is the R1.5 million and below where we achieve 53% of our sales and 77% of our sales are below R2 million,’ says Michele Wilson, Director of Seeff Properties Hillcrest, Kloof and Waterfall. ‘Properties in our area are extremely noted for good value for your rand!’ According to Ellice, Inanda Road, feeding through from central Hillcrest to some major estates and Waterfall through to Crestholme, is always in high demand amongst buyers.
Something for Everyone
‘Our very popular townhouse market tends to be for very modern and trendy units which have entered our developing village since the early 2000s,’ says Wilson. Pearson cites Augusta, Kirtlington, Cotswald Downs, Manorfields, Le Domaine and Plantations estates as the most popular with buyers adding that there is something for everyone in Hillcrest, ‘from starter homes in Plantations to retirement villages in Le Domaine.’
‘The Upper Highway boasts some of the best schools in South Africa and this is a big draw card for families who place their children in private schooling at Kearsney College, St Mary’s Diocesan School for Girls and Highbury Preparatory,’ says Wilson. ‘Our area is a farming area which has grown into a village with a vibe! All major retailers have entered the area, yet a village atmosphere has not been lost, with the ever popular farmers’ market and residents with a love for equestrian interests,’ she adds.
Text: Candice Botha
Photograph: Sally Chance