Although residential property sales figures in the Port Elizabeth area, one of the districts hardest hit by the 2009 to 2010 downturn, are still low in comparison with the buoyant figures achieved in the 2003 to 2008 era, there are now clear signs that an improvement in the market is at last on the way, says Bill Rawson, Chairman of the Rawson Property Group.
Quoting figures from the Rawson Property Group’s fast growing local franchises and from the property analysts, Lightstone (who use Deeds Office figures), Rawson said that it is encouraging to see that the achieved prices of freehold properties have risen from a low average of around R520,000 in 2011 to above R870,000 this year. In sectional title units, he said, the average price since 2007 has consistently been above R500,000 and is now at close to R550,000 and these units have maintained their values ‘very satisfactorily’.
“In 2013, over R900 million worth of sectional title units were sold in Port Elizabeth and this year the figure is already above R600 million.”
What lessons should potential buyers be picking up from these statements?
Rawson said that when property prices rise consistently for three and a half years as those in Port Elizabeth have done, the chances are good that they will continue to rise for another two or three years provided that no unforeseen general economic disasters take place.
“Anyone investing now in a Port Elizabeth home can, I believe, feel reasonably confident that he will experience value rises close on 10% in freehold property for the next one or two years and a lower, but still satisfactory, price rise in sectional title homes. It looks, therefore, as if the dark era in Port Elizabeth property is over and, what is particularly encouraging, is that we are now seeing sales taking place in what was formerly a totally dormant market, i.e. homes priced from R1,5 million to R6 million.”