ERA sees good growth for Garden Route

The demand for holiday properties is returning, prices are surprisingly reasonable in many areas and both local investors and a trickle of overseas buyers are back in the market.

That's the positive picture painted by the ERA property group as the festive season sales period approaches.

And the Garden Route, world-renowned for its exceptional scenery, is set to feature strongly as the region's enormous variety of property options continue to appeal to buyers ranging from family holiday-home buyers and retirees to weekly commuters and jet-set investors.

ERA group spokesmen in the area say well-priced stock remains scarce in the upper price brackets (R2-million or more), and although it's in reasonable supply in the mid range (R1-million to R2-million), there's also a shortage
at the lower end.

"The property cycle has shifted in favour of buyers in recent months," Henning Swanepoel who has a network of ERA offices throughout the Garden Route including George, Glentana, Mossel Bay , Wilderness and Sedgefield .

"And more offers have been coming through in the middle and especially at the lower level. On the other hand, most owners at the upper end are under no real pressure to sell and are happy to hold out for their prices, which tends to cause a problem in terms of stock."

Meanwhile in Jeffreys Bay, where Lindy Cooper is the ERA representative, affordability is very much part of the picture as the festive sales season looms.

"Jeffreys Bay is powering ahead in terms of infrastructure development with major new shopping centres and other facilities in the pipeline. But prices are still reasonable compared with nearby Port Elizabeth, for example, with
entry levels being pitched at about R750 000 - although most buyers now are in the R1-million-and-more bracket."

One can expect to pay about R1,2-million and upwards for a good cluster unit in Jeffreys Bay, she says, but there are small sectional title units available for about R550 000.

"The market has been relatively quiet for a while but as the Christmas season approaches, the enquiries are definitely picking up and we are expecting a good sales season with buyers being derived from up-country folk and a good smattering of overseas investors," Cooper says.

"It's also interesting that a growing number of those being transferred to Port Elizabeth are actually buying in Jeffreys and choosing to commute for 40 minutes to the city. Retirees are also finding that they can still get good property value here."
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