Vibrant East London property market prompts Chas Everitt expansion

After several years in the doldrums, the East London property market has really “come alive” in the past few months – and prompted local Chas Everitt East London franchisee Clinton Krouse to double the size of his operation in the city.

“The latest statistics from ABSA tell the story,” he says, “and confirm the significant rise in home buying activity that we’re seeing on the ground. This has prompted us to expand and open a new office in Vincent to complement the existing one in Greenfields.”

The ABSA figures show that the Eastern Cape is the region with the second highest home price growth rate in the past 12 months (9,3%), and that East London, with a 19,6% growth rate, has been the major contributor to this increase.

“And it isn’t only a case of coming off a low price base and catching up,” says Krouse. “The average price for every type of housing in East London is now higher than the national average for that category.

“The average price of small homes, for example, is R720 000 in East London, compared with R691 000 nationally. The average price of medium-sized homes here has risen 16,9% in the past year to R1,075 million, compared to the national average of R1,023 million, and the average price of large East London houses has risen 32,5% to R1,849 million, compared to the national average of R1,589 million.”

Krouse says the main factor driving the market – and these increases – has been upgrading in order to take advantage of the current low interest rates which make home loans more attainable and affordable.

“Many young people, especially, are now ‘upgrading’ from rental accommodation or living at home with their parents to their own first homes. Their targets are usually cheaper properties, of course, but there has been so little new development here of starter homes in the past few years that virtually anything listed for less than R600 000 is sold within just a few days. And house prices are rising in this category because of the shortage of stock.”

Meanwhile, he says, existing East London home-owners are taking the opportunity to upgrade to bigger homes and better areas. “We are seeing a lot of movement from two-bedroom homes in Mdantsane, for example, to three-bedroom homes in Cambridge, Cambridge West, Gonubie and Greenfields, and sellers in these areas are now on the move to areas such as Beacon Bay, Central, Stirling and Vincent, in order to be closer to the city’s top schools.”

“These trends, along with the much-increased activity, are what influenced our decision to locate our new office in Vincent, from where we can better serve buyers and sellers in the central and eastern parts of the East London property market. And we have already attracted three top-performing agents from other East London real estate agencies to join the new office, with more to follow.”

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