Areas and Places

East London home sales on the rise

This spacious family home in sought-after Beacon Bay is for sale through Chas Everitt International for R1,65m. It has three bedrooms, main ensuite, and lovely open-plan living areas leading to a wooden deck, a thatched lapa with undercover braai and a swimming pool.

Residential property transactions in East London have picked up speed in the past few months thanks to an improvement in stock availability and more bond applications being granted.

That’s the word from Clinton Krouse, owner of the local Chas Everitt International franchise, who says activity started to pick up rapidly last October and since then has been more buoyant than at any time in the previous 12 months. “More stock became available, as is usual in the last quarter of the year in East London, and more buyers have been having success with their bond applications,” he says.

“The end of the year is when we are used to seeing people relocate both to and from East London for work, and also when more entry-level homes come back on to the market because their owners now have older children and want to move closer to their chosen high schools – and the fact that we are seeing this pattern re-emerge bodes well for the stability of our market going forward.

“Meanwhile, we have also observed that quite a number of buyers who did not qualify for bonds in the early part of 2014 are now doing so. And this is not because banks have relaxed their lending criteria, but because those consumers have worked hard over the past 12 months to fix impaired credit records and improve their financial position.”

Buyers with young children are now targeting homes priced at up to R1,2m, compared to an upper limit of R1,1m in early 2014, Krouse says. Comfortable family homes in this range usually offer three bedrooms and two bathrooms and, depending on the area, may include upgrades such as a swimming pool.

Buyers who are upgrading to be closer to high schools now typically target homes in the R1,2m to R1,8m range that offer three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a double garage and a pool, he says.

At the lower end of the market, the number of young first-time buyers is also increasing, and townhouses with two or three bedrooms and two bathrooms are in high demand. “As an example we recently sold two townhouses offered at just under R800 000 each very shortly after they were listed, but any quality stock offered at market-related prices will now sell within two to three weeks,” Krouse says.