Tyson Properties Umhlanga Surfs the Rental Market
Category Tyson Properties
Tyson Properties’ new rental division has opened at its Umhlanga branch – allowing one of Durban’s most innovative property companies to plug into an important emerging trend.
The new division will manage rentals in Umhlanga, Morningside, Hillcrest, Pinetown and Westville. According to Barbara Fisher, who will head up the rental division for the group as well as managing rentals in Umhlanga, there has been massive growth in the rental market within what is undoubtedly one of Durban’s more sought after residential areas. Add a wide range of different properties – from entry level apartments surrounding the Gateway Theatre of Shopping to gated complexes to large homes – and you have “something for everyone.” Fisher said she was confident that the rental market in Umhlanga which had already “taken off hugely” would continue to grow especially with the opening of the King Shaka International Airport and the rapid development of the surrounds.
She said renting a property gave people a platform from which to explore new opportunities in the area without having to put down roots prematurely. Christine Commaille, manager of Tyson Umhlanga, added that agents received enquiries for rental properties on a daily basis. This ‘bread and butter’ income perfectly complemented the sales side. She attributed the intense interest in rental properties to a number of important trends that are specific to Umhlanga. Umhlanga is a popular area for young professionals both because it is close to a number of blue chip companies located on Umhlanga Ridge and because the mixed use developments surrounding Gateway provide to a good mix of convenience and entertainment.
In addition, many of the corporates from Umhlanga Ridge are constantly on the lookout for rental accommodation for young executives that were on short term contracts and could not invest in properties for the long term. Most are more than happy to sign three year leases. Commaille explained that this was particularly helpful for the many homeowners who wanted to sell but were financially stable enough to be able to wait out the weak market until property prices improved.
This way, owners who had been forced to relocate did not have to leave properties empty and could still secure a return on their investments. Although this is a huge plus for the rental side, it provided a number of challenges for the sales side. “This leaves us with a huge gap. There is strong demand – from buyers who are looking for a good deal to families wishing to relocate to keep pace with the city’s move northwards – but not enough quality properties.” Another negative factor remains the banks’ ongoing reluctance to provide finance for many buyers. “Many people actually sell to stay in the area, upgrading from smaller complexes to larger homes.
In addition, with good schools such as Crawford, Umhlanga College, La Lucia Junior Primary and Atholton, Umhlanga is now attracting a lot of families with younger children. It is a market that has something for buyers and sellers across the board.” Commaille said that, in addition to good schools, Umhlanga offered good shopping with both the Gateway and La Lucia Malls, the Umhlanga Hospital, great restaurants and good infrastructure. “We are perfectly positioned. Umhlanga is just 15 minutes away from our new airport and 15 minutes from central Durban. This is the best of both worlds.” She added that the beach offered an additional dimension. Umhlanga offers a fantastic lifestyle that makes it a prime residential area rather than simply an upmarket holiday destination.
“This is a very well run area and residents are extremely proud of it,” she explained, adding that there were even competitions for keeping the best verges and that an urban improvement precinct was in place to help ensure an attractive and safe environment.” Overall, according to Commaille, the Umhlanga market is resilient enough to accommodate any negatives and will remain a strong one going forward.
Author: Chris Tyson