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Home buyers increasingly turning to Port Elizabeth for lifestyle and value

Buyers from around South Africa, as well as returning expats, are acquiring homes in Port Elizabeth, says Justin Kreusch, Pam Golding Properties joint area principal.

Says Kreusch: “Interestingly, there are buyers relocating back to South Africa from Australia and Dubai. There’s also a marked increase in the spread of home buyers from regions around the country. At present we are receiving enquiries from potential Gauteng buyers looking to relocate, and seeing others moving to Port Elizabeth for work and lifestyle-related reasons, but mostly they are purchasing due to work transfers from upcountry.

“Other buyers are those with businesses in Jeffrey’s Bay and Port Elizabeth who are relocating from KwaZulu-Natal for convenience, while others emanate from East London, Cape Town and Graaff-Reinet, among others. We also have a strong retirement market.

“Generally, home buyers are attracted by the great value our housing market offers, especially in the upper end of the market – but across the other sectors as well - and for the great schools, beaches and moderate climate. This is having a positive, knock-on effect on our rental book, as many people prefer to first rent in order to get to know the city and their suburb/s of choice better before committing to purchase.”

Kreusch says in recent years, Port Elizabeth has experienced a noticeable increase in sectional title sales, with an influx of young buyers to the CBD, as well as a consistent demand for secure, estate living. Notably, according to the latest Lightstone statistics (January to September 2019), Nelson Mandela Bay has overtaken Cape Town to take top spot among the major metros, with house price inflation of 3.8% compared with the Mother City’s 3.7%. Of interest is that the three major coastal metros, namely the above two and eThekwini (3.2%), continue to outperform the national average of 2.6%

In addition, house price inflation in the Eastern and Northern Cape is rebounding strongly, rising from 3.56% in January 2019 to 4.51% in September 2019 in the Eastern Cape, and increasing from 2.37% to 3.94% in the Northern Cape during the same period.

Says Kreusch: “What we are finding at present is that there is a demand for well-priced properties with sellers who correctly price their properties concluding transactions successfully in a reasonable period of time. There has also been increased activity in the price bracket below R1.5 million and an uptick in rentals due to the constrained economic climate.

“It’s important to note that currently, around 98% of all transactions in the Port Elizabeth area fall below the R3 million price mark. This is an important consideration for sellers whose properties are priced above R3 million, given the decidedly smaller pool of buyers.  While last year we saw most of our transactions falling below R1.5 million, encouragingly, what we have seen since September and October last year is the re-emergence of buyers in the R1.5 – R3 million price range.”

Value-for-money areas include Glenhurd, which is adjacent to Mill Park and Newton Park, a central business hub, and the lower part of Walmer where many younger buyers are purchasing and renovating older homes.

Noteworthy recent home sales by Pam Golding Properties include a sale in excess of R12 million on the beachfront and three in Little Walmer Estate totalling in excess of R17 million. In addition, the agency sold two plots in Brookes Hill totalling close to R10 million, with the buyers’ intention to develop a large-scale private residence – a positive indication of ongoing confidence in Port Elizabeth’s property market.

Says Kreusch: “Currently, we are marketing an affordable new residential development, Fourleaf Estate, which is ideal for both investors and end-users. This brand-new architect-designed, freestanding homes, just three minutes from Bay West Mall, are selling from R733 950, offering easy, lock-up-and-go living, ideal for raising a family but without the hefty price tag.”

The 323 homes in Fourleaf are beautifully designed, uniquely South African with a Scandinavian influence, energy-efficient and affordable. Generous plots allow for future expansion and there are flexible add-on options available. Bordering on Parsons Vlei, a natural wetlands area rapidly becoming a haven for birds and other wildlife, Fourleaf Estate includes themed parks and community vegetable gardens, advanced green initiatives and super internet connectivity, making it an ideal location for first-time buyers, young families and retirees. Being a new development, there are no transfer or legal costs.

A further development marketed by Pam Golding Properties is upmarket Sunset Lane, securely situated at the end of a tranquil cul-de-sac in Lovemore Park, with 14 units, priced from R2.399 million. Designed to maximise the sunny climate, and designed with quality workmanship top of mind, the homes allow masses of natural light via well-placed windows. Situated in a prime address, this development is located close to shopping centres, medical centres and primary and high schools.

Kreusch adds there is a trend towards refurbishment and development, including activity in the commercial property market. “Walmer Main Road, previously a traditional residential street, is currently experiencing much development from business as is Circular Drive, which is attracting major investment in development. There is also much activity in the Fairview area where developers continue to sectionalise plots and build ‘duets’. When the ‘duets’ concept began about four or five years ago they were selling for about R700 000, whereas now they tend to go for about R900 000 and upwards.”

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