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King Williams Town property market on the rise

A keen uptick in property purchasing activity and a shortage of recent real estate developments are factors that are creating of a home stock shortage in the affordable sector of the property market in King William’s Town in the Eastern Cape; however there is most definitely a “ceiling” on prices.

This is according to King Williams Town property agent, Bieky Matshobane, from the newly established Chas Everitt International Property Groups King Williams Town office.

Located on the Buffalo River close to Bisho (the Eastern Cape’s capital), King Williams Town is incorporated into the Buffalo City Metropolitan area, which East London forms part of.

King Williams Town has a number of top class schools including Dale College, superb shopping facilities and a mix of both public and private hospitals. King Williams Town is also a favourite as a residential property choice for government and para-statal employees who work in the capital of Bisho, academics at Fort Hare University in Alice and first time property purchasers from the likes Zwelitsha and East London.

“At present King Williams Town property selling prices start at around R200 000 up to the R450 000 region for two and three bedroomed starter homes. For your typical full title family home you are looking at between R500 000 and R750 000 for a three bedroom, two bathroom property with garaging; and from about R800 000 to R1 200 000 for top end King Williams Town properties with four bedrooms and the likes of a pool in the upper end suburbs” she add, “and any house that is priced well is selling very quickly at present,” Matshobane says.

“When you add to this that, the government buildings in the capital are now being extended, a major new road is being developed, and there are plans afoot for a large new shopping centre between the two towns, all of these factors are increasing demand for King Williams Town property in the residential space, especially amongst families, and younger folks starting their careers as well as many from the surrounding areas who due to economic issues are looking to move to town.”

However, she points out, 2 issues are keeping a definite lid on property prices, the 1st being the dearth of new housing development in the area to accommodate  the need for more “modern” homes preferred by younger property purchasers. “Most King Williams Town properties are at least 50 years old, a lot are Victorian style which means that the price needs to be right for the younger market to look at buying them, if they aren’t priced well they simply buy elsewhere.

“Secondly, although there has been an upswing in 2013 in the number of mortgage bonds being granted – and even some one hundred percent mortgages granted – the financial institutions are still very tight on issues like property condition and local market value, so King Williams Town property sellers need to stick within these parameters, even if a purchaser is willing to pay more.”

In the meantime at the top end of the King Williams Town real estate market, those who can afford to buy above the R800 000 mark are tending to opt to go to East London for a larger selection of properties, the beach and the “big city lights”, even if it entails a half an hour or so commute to their employment in Bisho.

“On the other hand, rental property in King Williams Town is also showing ever growing demand, particularly with government employees who have relocated here but in many cases already own property in their home towns. In this sector the demand is mainly for smaller two and three bedroomed King Williams Town houses as well as for the top end properties for the likes of senior company management. Business people in King Williams Town are also finding it convenient to opt for letting larger homes and then renting rooms to the likes of students”


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