Motor Industry Recovery Boosts Demand for Property in Port Elizabeth

Motor Industry Recovery Boosts Demand for Property in Port Elizabeth

Private Property South Africa

The residential market for property in Port Elizabeth is showing signs of a strong rebound on the back of improving prospects for the motor industry and more positive buyer sentiment. According to sales figures at the local Chas Everitt International office, sales of property in Port Elizabeth in the last quarter of 2009 equalled those in the first nine months of the year. Newly-appointed sales manager for the office, Charlotte Vermaak, says October was a record month for the office, following a strong showing in September. “The momentum was sustained in November and December and is expected to carry through well into 2010, with buyer sentiment being underpinned by better economic prospects in general and better job prospects in Port Elizabeth in particular. “The motor manufacturing industry is the biggest employer in Port Elizabeth, so we were thrilled when the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers (NAAMSA), reported at the end of last year that the industry was clearly out of the recession, with domestic vehicle sales having climbed steadily in the second half of 2009 and export sales to markets such as the EU, Japan and the US having increased substantially in the last four months.” What is more, she notes, NAAMSA’s forecast is that ongoing increases in both domestic and export demand will boost vehicle production in SA by some 17% this year, “and in fact, local job opportunities have already improved to the extent that employees at many manufacturing plants are again working overtime. “This has really boosted local consumer confidence and is obviously exciting for us better job prospects translate to more affordability in the housing market, which is currently being further facilitated by low interest rates. Indeed, most of our buyers currently are salaried workers at vehicle manufacturing plants or in one of the many support industries here.” In addition, home prices are attractive at the moment, Vermaak says. “Prices are on par with those seen in 2006. However, we expect that growing demand will see prices of property in Port Elizabeth start to rise towards the second quarter of this year.” Prices of small apartments in less favoured suburbs currently start at around the R230 000 mark, but the biggest demand is for small homes priced at between R685 000 and R725 000, says Vermaak. “Homes and sectional title units in this price range in the suburb of Lorraine are currently hot sellers.” Vermaak, who joined the agency at the beginning of September, has extensive experience in banking with specific reference to home loans. She spent 15 years at Standard Bank and was the regional manager, Eastern Cape of mortgage originator Betterbond before joining the Chas Everitt group.

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