The East London property market appears to be shaping up for recovery, possibly sooner than many other areas of South Africa.
That was the good news spelled out by Gerhard Kotzé, CEO of the ERA South Africa property group, at the official opening of the ERA Buffalo Regatta this weekend, when he drew parallels between the regatta and the property market in the greater Buffalo City area.
"Like the regatta, the property market is off to a good start in 2009 and early indications are of considerably stepped-up interest from buyers and investors who have, it seems, just been waiting for the starting gun of lower interest rates and declines in the cost of living.
"Like the rest of the country's property market, East London has felt the pinch in recent times, but fundamentally the city has much to commend it; strategic locality, tourism appeal, and relevance as an industrial growth point, business hub and key component of the Eastern Cape economy."
He said the city had attracted considerable investment by household names in the motor industry, pharmaceutical and general manufacturing sectors and its economy remained underpinned by its role as an exporter of grains, metals, textiles, timber and various other commodities.
Also, the East London Industrial Development Zone, part of the government initiative to position South Africa in a global economy with purpose-built, focused industrial estates, had impressively progressed to fully operational status in just a few years.
"And with commercial and retail development being spurred on, the residential market has held up well in areas such as Quigney, Southernwood, Berea, Vincent, Gonubie and Nahoon.
"What is more, the limited housing stock being available due to the slowdown in new development, coupled to strong pent-up demand for property ownership, points to a robust return to growth in due course - quite possibly in advance of other areas."
Issued by ERA South Africa