The residential property market in Port Elizabeth has become more buoyant and beachfront properties are once again in demand.
Harcourts Beachfront, which covers the whole of Port Elizabeth but specializes in beachfront properties in Summerstrand, Humewood and South End, says buyers now have more cash in hand for deposits, which is speeding up transactions. Buyers who buy outright for cash are also active in the market.
She says their office had an excellent August and their six agents sold 12 properties between them in the past month.
According to them, many properties that had been languishing on the market have now been taken up but prices remain stable. “The market still seems to be playing catch-up after the highs the area experienced during the previous boom. Some owners who bought at the height of the boom are still selling at prices lower than their purchase prices.”
However, investors are also getting involved in the market again, she says, since rental demand is strong. “We have lots of tenants who, in spite of favourable interest rates, still cannot afford homes of their own and buy-to-let-investors benefit from a large pool of prospective tenants.”
Older residents and homeowners under pressure from escalating service costs and levies or municipal rates are also selling and renting now since they perceive this as a lower risk, she says.
Home prices in Summerstrand start at around R2 million for houses in need of renovation and climb to around R6 million to R7 million for properties closer to the beach. Guesthouses in popular positions command prices of up to R10 million.
Humewood apartments offer lower prices, says Strooh, but these are on an upward trajectory and starting to catch up with those in Summerstrand. Apartment prices in Humewood start at around R380 000 while top-end apartments reach prices of up to R2 million. Home prices start at around R1.4 million.
Prices in South End, which mostly offers sectional title properties, start at the R370 000 mark and prices of luxury units range up to R3 million. Homes with sea views in all three areas command premium prices.