Local government elections and the broader economy are just some of the factors expected to influence the Bay property market this year.
While interest in some suburbs is starting to wane, others are gaining popularity for various reasons, Bay estate agents say.
Overall, however, the property market looks constant for at least the next few months.
“The ABSA House Price Index has reported negative growth on house prices for the past three consecutive months and there are no immediate signs yet that this downward trend will be reversed soon,” he says.
This leans towards a buyer’s market and there is also a shortage of properties for those who are currently in the market to buy.
Smart says the downturn in motor vehicle sales could also be a cause for concern especially with Port Elizabeth being so reliant on the motor industry. Coupled with this there is also the impact of local elections. “Hopefully after the elections we will see a change and improved opportunities in the region, including increased job opportunities and bringing more buyers into the housing market.”
Smart says they have experienced high sales in the Parsons Vlei, Kabega Park and Westering areas, particularly for first-time buyers in the under-R1m price range.
Leigh Parry, principal and owner, Leigh Parry Estates, expects the market to perform very much the same as last year. “One of the property economists summed it up very nicely at a recent conference by saying, ‘We’re bouncing along the bottom’. One minute the market appears to show signs of improvement, then the next week the market has gone quiet,” she says. “South Africa needs to wholeheartedly focus on creating stability. The property market is very much affected by economic and political actions. Buyers become overly cautious in times of instability and sellers rather just batten down the hatches and sit tight.”
Ian Olivier, principal franchisee, Pam Golding Properties Port Elizabeth, says house prices are expected to continue rising and demand for right-priced homes is to continue outstripping supply with stock shortages in popular areas expected to increase.
Olivier also anticipates a growing demand for – and delivery of – live/ work/play development where urban and suburban lifestyles combine in the interests of transport convenience, security and lower living costs. “There is a strong demand for freehold and sectional title property in the lower price band (under R1m), and good turnaround times for properties priced up to R1,5m,” he says.
This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.