Buy-to-let investors on board in Port Elizabeth

Rental properties of all sorts are in strong demand in Port Elizabeth and investors are setting their sails accordingly.

7 Bedroom House for sale in Bluewater Bay, Port Elizabeth
The beginning of the year is traditionally a busy time in the rental market, says Nikki Strooh of the Harcourts Beachfront office in Summerstrand. "We usually see an influx of new student tenants at the start of the academic year, but this year we have had a very strong surge in demand for rental properties right across the board," she says.
"Consumers are watching their pennies and many prefer to rent a home at the moment because of the high upfront costs of buying. And although the banks seem to have relaxed their credit criteria somewhat and have been faster to grant bonds recently, the January increase in interest rates has further boosted the rental demand."
She adds that buy-to-let investors have been quick to spot the trend and are now actively adding properties to their rental portfolios. "We have seen a substantial upturn in demand since January and our office has notched up several confirmed sales to buy-to-let investors in the past month, with several more pending."

1 Bedroom Apartment for sale in Bluewater Bay, Port Elizabeth
Bachelor and loft apartments selling from around R300 000 to R380 000 are being readily let at the moment, Strooh says, at monthly rentals from R3000 upwards to students and young people starting out on their careers.
Larger apartments at monthly rentals in the R4000 to R5000 range are also quickly taken up by students sharing accommodation or couples with young families. One-bedroom apartments in Summerstrand fall into this category, as do two- and three-bedroom apartments in Humewood.
Townhouses are achieving rentals starting from R8000 a month, while corporate tenants target upmarket properties in the R10 000 to R15 000 a month rental range.
Strooh, whose franchise currently manages 130 rental properties, says local landlords are increasingly appointing rental managers. "Rental agencies have much greater success in collecting monthly rentals on stipulated dates - in our case, 90% of tenants pay by the 7th of the month. One of the reasons is that landlords who manage their own properties tend to be more lenient with defaulting tenants, while rental managers have more resources to ensure timely payment, and know how to secure the right tenants to start with.”

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