Despite the property downturn, the Chas Everitt International team in Cape St Francis is expanding, having added two new members in recent weeks.
The first of these is new agent Denise Pearson, a former computer operations specialist originally from Johannesburg, who has lived and worked in Cape St Francis for the past four years and is now handling the agency's rental portfolio and co-ordinating the related services provided to landlords.
The demand for both holiday and permanent rentals is strong, she notes, with holiday units being let for up to R2500 a day.
The second new team member is seasoned agent Cassie Lotter who, having been a dairy farmer for 30 years, plays to his strengths and specialises in selling agricultural properties. He says he joined Chas Everitt to broaden his exposure and now intends to raise Chas Everitt's share of this sector of the local market above the 60% achieved last year.
"And over the past few weeks, there has been a definite increase in enquiries for farms. Many buyers are looking for 'lifestyle' properties where they can build several homes to house two to three families and grow vegetable gardens. Farms measuring approximately 50ha are currently the most popular but game farms measuring between 800 and 1000ha are also favoured."
Lotter says however that most potential buyers are looking for properties priced at around R2,5m and that these are unfortunately "few and far between", so that sales are less frequent than demand would indicate.
Meanwhile, franchise owner John Cooper says that in Cape St Francis, demand for property in the R600 000 to R1,5m bracket is also relatively strong, while luxury homes priced at R4m are not budging. Buyers from Gauteng and Pretoria and expats from the UK are the most prominent at present and many are buying with cash, he adds.
ISSUED BY CHAS EVERITT