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Moving metros? Does PE fit your pocket?

Port Elizabeth is best known for its car manufacturing plants and two harbours. However, recent economic development and the resultant injection in the property market are driving the property market there.

Marc van Heerden, realtor for Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty in Port Elizabeth, explains that the development of Baywest in the Western Suburbs and the resultant capital injection will likely see more than 1,200 new homes being built over the next few years. At the same time the rejuvenation of the Rink Street area next to St. Georges Park will drive the short-term rental market due to increased desirability to cricket fans and sports enthusiasts.

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According to van Heerden, the South End and Humewood areas also stand to experience an increase in property prices in the near future. “There is a scheduled plan for a waterfront development in 2018 which will draw massive interest to the original PE harbour,” says van Heerden. “Although focused on retail and possibly events, the tidying up of the harbour will result in potential property value increases in nearby residential areas.”

Before you move metros to settle in the windy city, we at HomeTimes take a look at how much home you can expect to get.

Looking to buy

This warm three-bedroom family home in Thornhill is on sale for R950,000 through Lew Geffen Sotheby's.

This warm three-bedroom family home in Thornhill is on sale for R950,000 through Lew Geffen Sotheby’s.

Since about 2010 subdivision of the traditionally large stands commonly found in PE has meant that R750,000 to R800,000 can now buy you a 130m² two-bedroom home in western suburbs like Parsonsvlei with a single garage. Increasing this budget to between R800,000 and R1m will get savvy home buyers an original 150m² to 160m² three-bedroom home in need of modernisation. This, according to van Heerden, who explains that the required renovations would exponentially increase the re-sale value in a short space of time, offering a great investment opportunity.

Ross Harker, principal agent for Jawitz Properties Port Elizabeth, says that a budget of this size could also buy a two- or three-bedroom townhouse in a complex in suburbs like Charlo, Lorraine and Kabega, with a fairly big range to choose from.

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“The picture changes completely with a budget of between R1,5m and R3m and even upwards of R3m,” says Harker, explaining that a buyer willing to spend just under R3m will have access to a wide variety of properties in just about all of PE’s suburbs. “From R3m and up there is a good selection of homes in more upmarket areas such as Mill Park, Summerstand and Walmer.”

According to van Heerden a renovated home in suburbs such as Fernglen, Framesby, and Mount Croix will cost you between R1,2m and R1,5m. These homes are close to good schools which make them perfect for growing families.

Van Heerden adds that, in the price band up to R3m, are lifestyle properties on the outskirts of Port Elizabeth which are found in golf estates and private nature reserves. There is also an option to apply for a residence in development with a private airfield, which, if approved, would make it the first of its kind in the country.

Rental properties

This studio apartment is within walking distance of St Georges Park and the local college on sale for R395,000 through Lew Geffen Sotheby's

This studio apartment is within walking distance of St Georges Park and the local college on sale for R395,000 through Lew Geffen Sotheby’s

Van Heerden explains that rentals in PE are very affordable. For R4,200 a month you will be able to rent a modern two-bedroom apartment in areas such Kabega Park or South End. In the same areas an older freestanding three-bedroom home with single garage would be available in the region of R6,500 with slightly more modern homes available for about R8,500 per month.

Upping your monthly rental budget to about R10,000 will get you a large home in areas such as Fernglen and Framesby. However, if it is a coastal view you are after, then for the same price you will be able to rent a two-bedroom apartment along the coastal area in Summerstrand.

For a more upmarket lifestyle, a three- to four-bedroom home with a double garage in areas such as Summerstrand, Walmer or Humewood would require a monthly rental budget of between R12,000 and R16,000. Van Heerden adds that the closer you get to the beach, the more you should expect to pay.

Things to consider before making a move

Parsonsvlei two-bedroom, two bathroom starter home on an 800m² erf on the market for R690,000 through Lew Geffen Sotheby's.

Parsonsvlei two-bedroom, two bathroom starter home on an 800m² erf on the market for R690,000 through Lew Geffen Sotheby’s.

According to van Heerden the current residential market is one where buyers outnumber sellers, driven by the city’s active rental market. “City councillors are therefore primarily focused on ensuring initial existing services are met,” he says. “But they are also looking specifically at improving the infrastructure and services which are the backbone for further development and employment opportunities.”

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He adds that there are still some areas lacking basic infrastructure and services, but that this will hopefully be addressed after the next local election in August, enabling infrastructure to grow and stabilise along with the predicted growth in the residential property market. He adds that the city’s boundaries have been increased from Greenbushes to Wedgewood Golf Estate, with the large tracts of land in between adopted under the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro.

This could be viewed as a positive for local authorities, as the increased tax base, especially if development of the vacant land takes off, should enable them to improve service delivery. The other side of the coin is, of course, the added pressure on basic services.

Regardless of whether you choose to take the cup half full or half empty position, there seems to be a comfortable home at a reasonable price for you in PE which both matches your needs and your budget.

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Top photo: This luxury villa can be found in the village of Blue Horizon Bay for R6,5m from Lew Geffen Sotheby’s.


Mariette Steynberg is a qualified economist with a post-graduate diploma in financial planning. She has enjoyed working on holistic financial plans for clients in various stages of life, as well as a development economist assessing the socioeconomic impacts of new developments. When she is not working, Mariette enjoys parenting her quirky, delightful toddler girl. Cloth diapering, Eskimo kisses and the importance of reading to your child are all causes close to her heart. Mariette is passionate about financial education and hopes to use the experience she has gained to share knowledge with HomeTimes’ readership. Her goal is to provide information that is implementable by everyone.

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