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Opportunity 'Knocking Hard' in PE


This year will be much better than 2011 for the real estate market in Port Elizabeth, in spite the negative influences confronting it and predictions around the country of "flat" housing sales and price growth for the forseeable future...


That's the positive outlook of Kobie Potgieter, broker/owner of RE/MAX Independent Properties in PE, who notes: "We have the challenges of banks only approving around 50% of bond applications, inflation continuing to rise which translates to lower disposable income and very little economic growth nationally.

Added to this, sellers still expect unrealistic prices for their properties, while job losses remain a reality. "However, there are some brilliant opportunities out there for the taking."

What is more, she says, Port Elizabeth has some specifics in its favour. "We have the largest portion of industrial zoned land next to our new deep port harbour of Coega and feasibility studies are currently being undertaken on projects to the value of R213bn at Coega.

"Very little property development was completed between 2009 and 2011, but property demand is growing daily and since 2011 we have seen an increase in occurrences of multiple offers being signed on the same property.

"The higher demand for rental properties is also encouraging for investors, and they are coming back into the market. Port Elizabeth's manufacturing figures are looking particularly encouraging, which implies potential job creation and a further increase in housing demand."

Talking of 2011, Potgieter says it was in fact a great year for her agency, "in contrast with what the local, national and international markets were telling us, with 704 sales and a turnover of R340m to end-November. And now we are looking forward to 2012 being even better."

Potgieter was recently named by Greyvensteins Attorneys as the winner of the firm's Top Performing Agent of the Year award for 2011 and since the start of her real estate career in 2002, has gained many other accolades, including Business Woman of the Year 2008. Her agency serves the Port Elizabeth suburbs of Walmer and Lorraine and since 2003 has gone from a five-person office to a multi-million rand operation employing more than 50 individuals.

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