Boom in property predicted for Bay

Cindy Preller

WITH the average house price rising by nearly 7% countrywide last year, local property experts predict a property boom for the Bay this year.

The FNB House Price Index released this week showed a good average house price growth last year, despite tough economic times. FNB property sector strategist Johan Loos said the average price of homes transacted was R891976 for the year. Loos said despite a slowed economy other factors, like more relaxed lending by banks and a constrained supply in the residential property sector, could “lead us to lift our 2014 average house price growth forecast to 9%”.

Chas Everitt International managing director Berry Everitt said while this was creating some urgency for new buyers to get into the market, they should take care not to make snap decisions or too many compromises about the type of home they want.

“If they do, the chances are that they will find themselves in a home they’re unhappy with or which really does not meet their needs, and will shortly have to move again, with all the stress and expense that entails.”

Local property experts predict higher home prices in 2014 for the Bay due to several mega-projects in the region.

Jaco Rademeyer of Jaco Rademeyer Estates said growth was finally likely after a tough few years for the property market. “The development of the Baywest Mall as well as developments at Coega will see an increased influx of wealth into the city in 2014. The take-off of business within the Coega Industrial Development Zone has re-ignited the residential property market. Although economists say nationally we are still in a bad place in terms of residential property growth, in the Bay we are coming out of that,” Rademeyer said.

Ian Olivier, of Pam Golding Properties, said he was “cautiously optimistic” on the back of a good 2013, characterised by sales of correctly priced properties throughout Port Elizabeth.

“Location and right pricing are behind most sales, a trend which is likely to continue throughout the new year. Renewed interest from developers after a long hiatus, coupled with Coega’s growth and the construction of the Baywest Mall is also likely to have a positive effect on the market,” Olivier said.

If contained, positive capital growth was set to continue, underpinning property’s status as an ideal long-term investment vehicle, he felt.

Christo Slabbert, of RE/MAX Independent Properties, said he was “very positive” and predicted an excellent return on local property investments. “There is a huge demand for rental properties and I foresee that landlords will see great returns this year. With the stronger demand for property in the current market, and inventory stocks among existing homes becoming depleted, there will be further opportunity for the construction of more homes and developments.

“Buyers who were reluctant to invest in the property market during this year will still see viable property options in the future, although at a higher cost,” Slabbert said.

Rademeyer said the positive sentiment would see more people buying property in the Bay this year, instead of opting to rent, as has been the case for the past several years.

Slabbert and Rademeyer agreed that there was an increasing trend towards estate living and gated communities.

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