Port Elizabeth may be one of SA’s most underrated cities

Port Elizabeth is one of those South African cities that is frequently overlooked in favour of bigger, busier hubs like Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town.

Although it certainly used to be a sleepy little town, in recent years Port Elizabeth has grown into a sizeable cosmopolitan city, driven by a thriving industrial sector.

The lifestyle in Port Elizabeth is very much influenced by its natural surroundings. Often called “The Windy City”, it hugs the shores of Algoa Bay, whose warm waters play host to some of the country’s top aquatic sports. The lively winds make it a prime sailing and windsurfing spot, and the warm temperatures, diverse marine life, and numerous reefs and wrecks make it a favourite with scuba divers looking for underwater adventures.

On land, the area has a number of highly-regarded nature reserves, including the famous Addo Elephant National Park. Safaris, canoeing, hiking, and birdwatching are just a few of the activities on offer, and the wild flowers in the area draw crowds of visitors in season.

“PE’s residents are as diverse as their surroundings,” says Bradley Murray, the Rawson Property Group’s PE premier franchisee. “There’s a great community culture and a rich, vibrant history, and the atmosphere is one of family, friends, and quality time.”

This sense of community can be clearly felt in PE North, where Murray began his career in property. “It’s not a wealthy area,” he says, “and the average household income is only about R8 000 a month. The homes tend to be small – some as little as 45m² in size – but the atmosphere is one of unity and heritage, despite the social struggles that the community faces.

“The culture of property is also a little different here, and transfers can take a bit longer than in other areas. Property has steadily increased in value, however, which makes buying a home in PE North a smart investment.”

On average, a house in PE North costs around R300 000, although prices range from R180 000 to R1.2 million depending on location. Facilities like hospitals, schools, public transport and public security are all easily accessible, and community events like live music festivals and sports tournaments are common occurrences.

Lonwabo Fololo, the Rawson Property Group’s PE diamond franchisee, echoes Murray’s sentiments about the vibrant community spirit in the northern suburbs. Focusing on less urban areas, like Motherwell, New Brighton, Kwazakele and Dwesi, as well as the expanding beachfront suburb of Bluewater Bay, Fololo describes his experience of PE as a great reflection of the New South Africa.

“If you look at a place like Bluewater Bay, you see a vibrant, coastal suburb, with a diverse and cosmopolitan population sharing a sun-drenched, beach lifestyle,” Fololo says. “Then you have Motherwell, where all kinds of people gather to watch concerts or sports matches on the big screen at the Nelson Mandela Peace Park. There’s a lot of community stuff happening all over PE, and it makes for a great atmosphere.”

According to Fololo, freestanding houses in township areas sell for anything from R150 000 to R600 000, whereas more suburban environments see prices of R250 000 to R1.5m. You’ll find more expensive properties in the southern suburbs of PE, along with top-quality private schools, well-stocked shopping malls and the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.

Port Elizabeth’s airport is also to the south of the city – something that may have been inconvenient if PE’s compact design didn’t mean that all suburbs are just a few minutes’ drive away.

“With its natural beauty, community-oriented lifestyle, vibrant population, and affordable property, it’s only a matter of time before the rest of South Africa catches on to the spirit of Port Elizabeth,” says Fololo.

  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 22 Feb 2018
      While every owner wants to sell their property at the best possible price, overpricing a home can be the kiss of death for a sale.
    • 21 Feb 2018
      Given the hand they were dealt, government has performed a delicate balancing act which it is hoped will serve to reignite confidence in investment in South Africa, regain our global credibility and satisfy the credit ratings agencies, says Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive of the Pam Golding Property group.
    • 21 Feb 2018
      The real estate mantra, ‘location, location, location’ remains a strong market influence regardless of the prevailing economy, with suburbs like Rondebosch enjoying the buffering benefit of being ideally situated.
    • 21 Feb 2018
      These days most buyers are using online property portals like Private Property when house hunting due to the convenience, up to date information and variety on offer. “The property portals have revolutionised the way buyers shop, but they do need to be cautious – viewing photos online is no replacement for viewing the property in person,” says Bruce Swain, CEO of Leapfrog Property Group.
    • 20 Feb 2018
      Owning a home is a milestone that most South Africans aspire to. Becoming a homeowner is a step towards growing personal wealth and owning an asset that appreciates in value over time, provided of course that the correct principles are applied during the buying stage of the process, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
    • 20 Feb 2018
      The suburb of Greenstone in Johannesburg east came to be over the last two decades. “In the beginning, it was literally just a hill with not so much as a shopping centre,” says Michael Levy, Property Consultant at Jawitz Properties Bedfordview. Today it has plenty shopping facilities and is fully built, boasting high-density, upmarket housing and residential estates, though still has a few pockets poised for commercial development.
    • 20 Feb 2018
      A major shift in the ageing paradigm has precipitated an equally dramatic transformation in the retirement sector, with modern accommodation options worlds away from the conventional model.
    • 19 Feb 2018
      Possibly one of the biggest sources of contention between landlords and tenants surrounds the rental deposit. “Most tenants rely on getting their rental deposits back when moving, so that they can use it to pay a deposit on their new home. Having it withheld or even having large amounts deducted can lead to a lot of distress,” explains Bruce Swain, CEO of Leapfrog Property Group.
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us