If there were any doubts that people in Port Elizabeth may have harboured regarding the local residential property market’s ability to revive, they have been summarily dispelled this year, says Susan Chapman, franchisee for the Rawson Property Group’s Port Elizabeth Platinum franchise. This franchise covers the whole of Port Elizabeth, including the coastal suburbs such as Kini Bay Village, Beachview, Seaview and the picturesque Blue Horizon Bay.
Chapman, who established this franchise from scratch in August 2012, after acquiring seven years’ property marketing experience with other property groups in Port Elizabeth, recently took the top Rawson Property Group prize for her region. This was not surprising because by the end of 2013 her team will have sold over 120 homes and she is now, she said, “more than confident” that this figure can be raised by 50% in 2014. She currently ranks the agency among the top five in the Port Elizabeth area.
“In 2012,” she said recently, “there were already clear signs of a recovery, but it gained strength this year, with the result that all prices have either stabilised or are now rising. Most agencies to whom I talk are reporting at least a 25% increase in sales.”
The big demand, said Chapman, is still in the R600,000 to R900,000 bracket and here the turnover of homes is very high indeed. This bracket accounts for about 50% of her team’s sales. There has, however, she said, also been a noticeable upturn in the R1 million to R2 million bracket, which is where another 20% of her franchise’s sales take place. Above R2 million there are now at last regular sales, although small in number, and these are more than matched by sales in the R350,000 to R600,000 bracket. The upper market, she predicted, would continue to revive and take off by the middle of 2014.
This Rawson franchise has, said Tony Clarke, the Rawson Property Group’s Managing Director, shown an exemplary ability to help buyers to prequalify for bonds and thereby to avoid the delays and lengthy rectification procedures that follow on from a bond being rejected: 96% of their applications are, in fact, successful. In addition, said Clarke, their ability to do wholly accurate and realistic valuations has won this agency a particularly good reputation and it is worth noting, says Chapman, that when people are completely open and honest in this matter, the response in the long run is always good, even though some may be disappointed at what initially appears to be a low bond figure.
Chapman currently employs six agents and is operating from an office in Lovemore Park. As indicated, she is confident of a 50% rise in her sales in the coming year and this, she believes, will be accompanied by a further 15% average rise in Port Elizabeth prices, which again will be particularly high in the lower and lower middle brackets.