By late-2020, activity in the residential property market in Nelson Mandela Bay metropole had rebounded to around pre-Covid levels.
According to data analytics firm Lightstone, strong house price inflation of 8% for January to February 2021 sees the city retain its place as the top-performing metro housing market in South Africa.
This even surpasses Gauteng East’s solid house price growth rate of 5.7% over the same period.
“Since December 2019 NMB has outperformed relative to other metro housing markets,” said Sandra Gordon, Pam Golding Properties senior research analyst.
“House prices in NMB rose by an average of 6.29% last year (2020), which is almost double the increase in eThekwini (at 3.26%) – the second strongest growth rate recorded last year, with robust growth in NMB house prices continuing into the new year.”
“Notwithstanding the lockdown – including the initial hard lockdown – for the 12-month period from March 2020 to the end of February 2021, we’ve had our best financial year to date both in terms of sales turnover and volumes, namely units sold,” said Justin Kreusch, Pam Golding Properties area principal in Gqeberha.
“This is despite the fact that due to the Covid-19 regulations we couldn’t trade during the latter part of March, April and May 2020,” he said.
While residential property in NMB remains predominantly freehold, comprising 73.5% of total units, the composition of the housing stock is experiencing a shift towards sectional title property and, to a lesser extent, estate homes, which comprise approximately 5.6% of the total.
“Over the past 12 months we’ve also seen an influx into the area of younger buyers, including young families and professionals, contributing to the fact that the majority of recent buyers were middle-aged or young adults,” said Kreusch.
“Areas which are most sought after among homebuyers include Summerstrand, Walmer and Mill Park.
“On the other side of Cape Road, Mount Croix and Glendinningvale also remain popular as they offer similar convenience in terms of location, but in a more affordable price range.”
Kreusch said all these areas are sought after due to their easy access to good schools and work precincts and, in the case of Summerstrand, proximity to the beachfront.
For more accessibly priced areas it’s more about great value while not being too far from schools and shops.
“Currently, the market is experiencing a shortage of stock to meet the demand. This, coupled with the prevailing low interest rates, has created the perfect sellers’ market where buyers are competing for properties, which in turn has driven prices up.
“Positively, the city is seeing several key developments in Gqeberha, with the R500 million Boardwalk Mall extension having commenced, which should double the amount of retail space, and a further investment of some R200 million planned for a new hotel.
“In the old harbour, the decommissioning and moving of fuel tanks and manganese terminals to the Port of Ngqurha will make way for the much-anticipated Waterfront development.
“In addition, we note general improvements with roads being resurfaced and marked again, potholes filled and the backlog on the cutting and maintenance of municipal parks being attended to,” said Kreusch.