Demand for King William's Town property has received a shot in the arm with the recent relocation of a number of government departments from Port Elizabeth to nearby Bisho.
Bransby Hlongwane, principal of leading local agency Homenet Kings, says that what appeals to many officials is the fact that "many homes in King William's Town are relatively old and thus generously proportioned relative to price. Freehold homes with three bedrooms, lounge, dining room, kitchen and bathroom range in price from around R550 000 to R800 000, while two bedroom sectional title residences go for about R750 000 each."
First and second time buyers from East London are also making their presence felt, he says. These buyers have also picked up on the inherent value for money offered by many of the homes in the town and are relocating to cut costs without compromising on quality and space.
Co-inciding with all this new demand are infrastructure bottlenecks which have resulted in a de facto moratorium on new residential development in 'Kings' and created a shortage of homes for sale.
"And not surprisingly, this has now prompted some sellers to hike their asking prices. However, buyers aren't biting. If sellers won't negotiate, they simply move on and look for other homes."
Meanwhile, according to Hlongwane, while the local retail and industrial markets are somewhat saturated at the moment, there is a need for more office accommodation for expanding business interests in the area.
In short, he says, the outlook is positive for the King William's Town property market in general. Since its establishment in 2006, Homenet Kings has built a strong presence in the area. And the effort has not gone unnoticed, with Hlogwane recently receiving an award from mortgage originator Bond Choice for the value of home loan business generated in the past 12 months.
ISSUED BY HOMENET