Ballito – Belle Of The Beach?
Category Area Review
BALLITO – BELLE OF THE BEACH?
Extraordinary residential, commercial and retail growth on the KZN north coast is no longer news, but the speed at which Ballito has catapulted itself into the limelight still is.
Ballito was always one of the favourite KZN holiday towns, and although it’s retained that magic draw of great beach and enticing range of holiday accommodation and action, the balance has tipped towards permanent residents over holidaymakers. More than half the homes are now occupied all year round, and the figure continues to rise. There are many reasons for this, but in a nutshell, it’s a combination of position and possibilities. In terms of position, aside from its speedy access to the business mecca of Umhlanga, it’s also a stone’s throw from King Shaka International Airport and Dube Tradeport. And possibilities? Endless.
There can be no other town with such a good spread of excellent gated estates, from first-time purchases and retirement complexes, to those right up there with the finest in the province. Eco, beach, internationally rated golf courses, hiking, cycling, bird-watching, sea views, clubhouses, and community living...you can have whichever lifestyle you choose, all within the secure environment of a well-managed estate. And in Ballito, it’s all within five to ten minutes of sea and sand, or just a couple of hours from the superb public and private Big Five game reserves.
With residential growth has come an unprecedented commercial and retail expansion, and although - like any town where growth has outstripped infrastructure – endless construction and service delivery issues can be frustrating...but the future for Ballito couldn’t be brighter. Where previously living at Ballito meant travelling elsewhere for shopping or, indeed, work, now, shopping for any- and everything is either right there or within easy reach. In addition, small and medium businesses have been seizing the day, so potential for entrepreneurs is unlimited.
As would-be residents home in on Ballito and surrounds as not only a great place to live, but the right place to invest, so too, have developers accommodated first-time buyers with estates such as Manor Estate, Sheffield Estate and Caledon Estate. For those newcomers putting their toe in the water, rentals are in great demand – particularly in the price bracket up to R10 000 per month - so great opportunities exist for the buy-to-let investor.
Flanking Ballito are, among others, the seaside towns of Salt Rock and Sheffield Beach, and residential estates such as Dunkirk Estates, Richmore Estate in Salt Rock, and Palm Lakes Family Estate in Tinley Manor increase the spread of residential options in the region – both price and lifestyle wise.
Although throughout Kwazulu-Natal, the property market has not only revived but faces a growing shortage of stock, sales at a number of north coast estates along this short stretch of coastline barely flinched through the downturn. Simbithi Eco Estate’s a good example. This premier residential estate on a 430 hectare piece of north coast land, is set between Ballito and Salt Rock, and offers both freehold sites and various sectional title units. A mere 30 minutes from Durban, 10 from the international airport, its state of the art security(zero crime rating) combined with a golf course, beach access to Thompsons Bay, and strong eco ethos has made it immensely popular. Land prices start from about R1m, apartments R1,7m, with houses from R3,9m upwards.
The Indonesian-styled paradise which is Zimbali Coastal Estate offers those who’re in that upper price range, a wide spread of glorious options in terms of environment and lifestyle. Live on the beach, in a forest, with or without views, wildlife, golf and luxurious international hotels, restaurants and a spa component. Land begins at around R1m, apartments from R3,5m, and homes start at R5,5m.
Ballito is a hive of major developments and massive investment, from the new interchange off the N2 freeway, to the new four-lane entrance into Ballito. The main Lifestyle shopping centre has expanded, while two other shopping centres have sprung up. New malls are planned for the near future, promising to ease the current congestion. The business park is complete, and new businesses open their doors steadily. Private schooling in the region is excellent – Ashton College, Crawford Private School, Curro Mount Richmore - while more affordable government schooling is scarce to non-existent. There are two state of the art private hospitals, medical centres and a wellness clinic.
For retirees, as everywhere, there’s a shortage of accommodation. Most choose retirement homes within gated estates, and farmers/business owners who’ve lived in the area for many years are choosing to retire in Ballito. This shortage should ease once new estates incorporate the retirement element into their mix. Many new developments of gated estates are being planned and construction is already in progress every which way you look.
Ballito may act, even feel, as if it’s the next Umhlanga, but underlying all that, there’s still a strong sense of community and seaside town ambiance. It’s no wonder so many Johannesburg commuters live here and spend their working week upcountry – the airport’s ten minutes away. And no surprise that young property investors are choosing Ballito as the first rung on their ladder – with the wide range of accommodation, they’ll be able to climb their way to the top without leaving the region.
Author: Anne Schauffer