Massive economic investment and a new local government in Port Elizabeth are expected to boost high value home buying in the city.
That’s according to Ian Olivier, area principal of Pam Golding Properties in Port Elizabeth, who says the city is increasingly well positioned to attract millionaire buyers from around the country and even internationally, who want to be a part of its economic growth and take advantage of its value-for-money real estate, comparatively low traffic volumes, improved municipal management and coastal lifestyle.
Citing the recent announcement by the Department of Energy (DoE) that the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) would be one of the locations of a R25 billion gas-to-power programme, along with the Coega IDZ’s record-breaking R11 billion investment by the Beijing Automobile International Corporation (BAIC), ongoing development in the Bay West area, the successful relocation and expansion of the region’s vehicle hub to the William Moffett Causeway, the 2017 opening of the Origin Health Fairview Hospital in Circular Drive and the constant construction of business parks throughout the city, Olivier says it’s likely to emulate the upmarket buying trends evidenced in other regions.
“Port Elizabeth, which also has an international airport, is clocking up similar appeal to Cape Town’s coastal suburbs, which have become highly sought-after destinations by business people and professionals on the back of economic growth and effective local governance,” he says.
And what’s more, he adds, prime real estate in the “Friendly City” is significantly less expensive than many of its big city counterparts.
“Port Elizabeth offers an exclusive selection of multi-million rand, magazine-worthy properties that are typically private, secure, architect-designed and offer a luxurious lifestyle with all the trimmings but with lower price tags than many other major centres,” he says.
Among those that fit the bill and currently on the market through Pam Golding Properties PE is Idyle & Wylde in Lovemore Park. Lovemore Park sits alongside Sardinia Bay, areas characterized by indigenous coastal vegetation, undulating green hills, upmarket smallholdings and huge, expensive homes on large tracts of land. Popular with horse owners and those wanting to live close to nature, the area offers spectacular views of the ocean, where dolphins and whales can often be seen. A scenic 20 minute drive to the Port Elizabeth International Airport, top schools and a number of beaches, it’s home to some of Port Elizabeth’s wealthiest residents.
Priced at R9 million, the show-stopping Idyle & Wilde home was designed and built by award-winning ceramicist Charmaine Haines and her husband Martin, in conjunction with local architect Andrew Thompson, in 1990.
The elegant double-storey, along with a matching two bedroom house and a self-contained events venue, both with separate entrances, sits on four hectares of coastal vegetation in a glade surrounded by Milkwood trees.
Absolutely private, the property has a Cape Colonial / Edwardian influence, says Haines. “The land had just been subdivided and it fulfilled our dream of finding a place with indigenous bush and a water source that we could tap into, as well as small buck and plenty of bird life such as loeries and nightjars.”
What they loved most about living there, she continues, was the natural beauty of the property, with its distinctive smell of Milkwood trees, being able to open the stack doors wide open to the deck and listening to the sounds of nature.
The main house, which stands proud at the end of a long, tree-lined driveway, evolved around a host of artistic and historically significant elements, including ceramic tiles by Haines and stained glass windows by David Manning.
The front doors are the original Grey High School doors, which were discarded after being damaged by gale-force winds and then rescued by the Haines’s from a demolisher. The Gothic arch window in the front hallway comes from a farm church in the Bathurst area.
In the main lounge, the large curved bay window, made from Chamfuta wood, had been discarded by an architect, while the steel poles that support the roof overhang on the front veranda were found on a farm outside Uitenhage half-buried under a tree.
The wooden beams in the second lounge came from the Dale College school hall, after being salvaged in a fire. Part of the staircase balustrade is made from discarded chocks of different coloured hardwood that were originally used to support engine parts in the motor industry, and the cornices were also handmade by artisans. The wooden paved area, which leads to a rim-flow pool and boma, is made from wooden sleeper blocks salvaged from an old railway shed.
In all, it’s an elegant, supremely upmarket lifestyle property that offers six bedrooms, six bathrooms, six reception rooms, four garages and an irrigated, landscaped garden.
For those wanting privacy and high technology in the centre of the city, a contemporary 500sqm home in Wembley Road, Mill Park, fits the bill. Priced at R6.75 million, the four bedroom, four bathroom property is close to the Grey Boys’ Schools as well as two hospitals and the central business hub, making it ideal for medical or business people.
It features meticulous design and state-of-the-art technology that includes an automated irrigation system, borehole and filtration system, battery backup, solar panels, LED lights, solar geysers, sound system, Ethernet network, 100meg fibre Internet connection and wifi throughout.
In the same vein, the security system is multi-layered, comprising an electric fence, alarm and CCTV system with eight cameras and biometric-controlled access, all of which can be controlled from a smart phone.
The substantial open-plan living areas, which feature high-pitched ceilings with exposed trusses, include a large children’s playroom, TV lounge, adults’ lounge with Morso fireplace, dining room and enclosed braai room. These flow to the all-weather entertainment area that leads on to a Balau-decked pool and an Astroturf putting green.
The fully-fitted, granite-topped kitchen has a Falcon gas stove and separate scullery. There is also a fitted office with two desks, an extra-length double garage and a double carport behind automated garage doors, domestic quarters with en suite bathroom and a gardener’s toilet and basin.
Then, in one of Walmer’s most popular roads, close to excellent schools and work routes, and secured by a 24 hour dedicated patrol vehicle, is another iconic, very private and elegant property. Fully walled and masterfully renovated, the 545sqm stone and plaster double-storey home on its treed 1595sqm stand, currently belongs to a medical couple who bought it for its convenience and character.
It’s an ode to both old world character and modern chic, designed around entertaining, with a Caeserstone-topped kitchen that leads to a cement screeded indoor braai area, and then out through stack doors to a covered patio and pool. Featuring high-end finishes and bespoke cabinetry throughout, the home is largely open-plan, with a formal lounge and luxurious main bedroom en suite. It also offers a study, well-appointed garden cottage and extra-length drive-through garage with large hobby/store room. Among its many exceptional features are two fireplaces, two air conditioners, underfloor heating, a 5.5 KW generator and a heat pump. With its recycling water filtration system for the pool, 45 000 litre underground water tank and two 5000 litre Jojo water tanks and computerised irrigation system, this is a seriously water-wise home. It is priced at R5.495 million.
Says Olivier: “Technology and easy long-distance travel are changing the way people shop for homes. In the not-so-distant past, wealthy buyers tended to put commuting distance to work at the top of their list of priorities and then bought holiday homes at the coast, where they could relax and enjoy the sea and the sun. Now an increasing number of buyers are choosing their primary residences based on lifestyle and access to top schools, of which Port Elizabeth has an excellent selection. I regularly meet business people at the airport who commute from their coastal homes to and from work in Gauteng and other major centres, and Port Elizabeth is better positioned than it’s ever been to satisfy their requirements.”