Zimbali Coastal Resort sales hit R2.7bn
There has been a rapid growth in sales since the first prime beachfront sites were put on the market at the North Coast estate, near Ballito, in 1996 and the number of completed properties has more than doubled in the last 11 years, going from 452 completed by 2007 to 1261 by last year.
“There are 100 sites still left to develop and they have all been sold. Some owners have already started building,” said Sarika Sewpersad, general manager of the Zimbali Estate Management Association (Zema), the homeowners’ association, which operates like a “mini-municipality” administering every aspect of the landmark estate.
In the last seven years, Zema has spent some R86million on upgrades and enhancements.
“By 2018, there was R320m worth of infrastructure under the Zema management,” Sewpersad said.
Zema membership of levy-paying property owners reached 964 by 2007, growing to 1401 by last year. About 87% are residential members and 13% hotel membership.
The investment portfolio - which funds future infrastructure ensuring the estate stays up to date with its facilities - has also gone from R11.9m in 2007 to R72m last year.
Launched in 1995 by property developer Tongaat Hulett Developments, the Zimbali vision was to create a quality-of-life development with an ethos of “Living in Harmony with Nature”.
Zimbali, the first gated estate in the region, became a catalyst for significant investment to the North Coast property market.
It ranks as one of the top 10 luxury estates and resorts in South Africa and according to the New World Wealth research team, “it is arguably the most picturesque estate in the country with its own natural lagoon and forest”.
The vegetation and bird life on the estate was impressive and home to several types of kingfishers, loeries, bee-eaters and even the rare crowned eagle, the largest eagle in Africa, the researchers said.
With homes ranging from R5m to R35m, owners had seen significant increases in the value of their investments over time, Sewpersad said.
With the estate’s growth came a range of new facilities. “Taking into account the trend of promoting a healthy lifestyle it was decided to construct a fully-equipped members' gym which now caters for 61 people at a time.
“The estate’s Bushbuck Club and Pools, one of two members’ recreational and restaurant facilities, have also been upgraded and are equipped with a wide range of amenities, which also caters for children. Over the last few years, more younger families are calling Zimbali home, so we are catering for multi-generational living,” Sewpersad added.
With residential estate living on the rise, the New World Wealth researchers point out that although the residential market had come under strain in the past year, houses and apartments in top-end estates had outperformed the market.