J-Bay market looking vibrant and in good health again, say agents

Shaun Gillham

JEFFREYS Bay’s streets are sporting For Sale and Sold signs again as the resorts town’s property market finally picks up pace.

Real estate agents say the market is looking vibrant and in good health again, and attribute this to the fact that banks in the town are following national trends by accepting more bond applications and issuing 100% bonds again.

“Business is very good right now,” said Petra Pretorius, of Petra Pretorius Properties, who has 27 years’ experience in the industry.

“Prices are low, so it is a buyers’ market, but business is certainly very good. One of the indications we have of the general state of both our economy and that of the national economy is that we are getting cash buyers.

“In terms of the municipality, they are not opening up new areas and infrastructure, but there is a lot of stock on the market and there are a few big private estate developments.”

Pretorius said the demographics of buyers in the local market were changing over the years.

“There is a good mix of ages at present. Younger and older people are getting into the property market here. Many people are also retiring earlier, so I am seeing people in their 50s coming here from other centres to settle. Many start other businesses to keep busy or make a bit of extra cash,” she explained.

Pretorius said she had noticed the market starting to improve over the last three to four years.

“A development like Thyspunt could be a big contributor to this market. We have already seen it with the wind farm developments. However, it can be a problem as people, for example some of the elderly who want to move to a retirement home, are inflating their asking prices. They believe they should be getting more based on the perception Thyspunt is coming and that their homes will then be worth more,” she said. David Barkes, of Independent Property Consultants in Jeffreys Bay, said “just that there is talk about Thyspunt is having an effect on property and prices”.

“We are getting inquiries from engineers and other professionals who could be associated with that development, if it comes to fruition,” he said.

Barkes agreed the market was “thriving”. He reported a “huge increase in inquiries” and said the market had “definitely picked up” and “moved out of stagnation” since he joined the Jeffreys Bay property industry two years ago.

He attributed the many properties currently on sale to movement in the market, more cash buyers coming in, excess stock, good pricing and home owners “testing the market”.

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