04 Jul 2012
The Mossel Bay property market is starting to take off with new projects stimulating demand for homes and accommodation in the area.
Rawson Properties newly established Mossel Bay franchisees Isidore Langenhoven, Andre Piguet and Ursula Otto say they are convinced that the Mossel Bay property market will experience steady growth over the next five years.
This view they say was supported recently by Finance Week, which says Mossel Bay has much to offer and should now be considered one of the jewels in the Western Cape’s crown. It has also been declared by the journal as ‘the best town in South Africa’ to do business in.
Discussing Mossel Bay’s future recently, the new Rawson franchisees say the town’s inhabitants and its local government are excited by the fact that three major projects in their area are set to attract considerable capital and many people to Mossel Bay.
This, in turn, they say, will make local property once again attractive to investors and boost the town’s reputation as a good place to do business and to live an enjoyable life.
The first project is the Petro SA’s offshore drilling operation, for which the company has now been given the go-ahead and on which work has started.
Secondly, the upgrading of The Point precinct, the focus of Mossel Bay’s tourism which is set to become a Provincial Heritage Site with the focus over the next five years on achieving ‘World Heritage Site’ status. The vision for this includes a public square, carriageways, new parking areas, a museum and plans for most of these have already been passed by the Municipality.
The third project is the initiation of a waterfront that has been discussed for years, but in which Mossel Bay locals had largely lost faith. Building on concepts that have proved so successful at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town, the Municipality here will be transforming the harbour area into a tourist and retail mecca.
At a recent Business Chamber function, the Rawson team had the opportunity to confer with Minister Alan Winde, Western Cape MEC for Tourism, Economic Development and Finance.
They were pleased to hear that Mossel Bay is slowly becoming a priority to Provincial Government and all efforts to see growth in the area now have priority status with the minister.
His message, says Andre Piguet, was that people needed to bring tourism and business together to move forward and reach for new goals.
Surprisingly, says Ursula Otto, the franchise Principal, very few people, including most in Mossel Bay, have taken the trouble, as we have, to familiarise themselves with the details of these projects and their likely impact.
However, a handful of shrewd investors are already buying up property suitable for renting, with the knowledge that demand for such properties will increase, she says.
Otto says from September onwards they predict that there will be a steady rise in demand for residential accommodation and a stabilisation and eventual upswing in property values.
Initially, says the Rawson team, the strongest demand is likely to be for freestanding homes and apartments, especially those in the R900 000 to R1.2 million bracket, but also more generally in the R700 000 to R2.5 million category.
More expensive homes in the area will also in time be needed, they predict.
Although, the call for these is currently limited, but they have already achieved two sales of above R1.5 million.
Piguet says the Rawson team, having researched the new market thoroughly, has identified three main market segments. Tthe largest will be catering for Petro SA’s mainly artisan staff. Piguet estimates that this will grow at 7% per annum and will peak at 5 000 prospective customers.
This market, he says, is particularly attractive to investors as it is geared to lower income bracket homes, that, although sometimes currently overpriced, are still eminently affordable.
Many of these do require some renovation, but once upgraded are capable of producing good rentals, he says.
The second market segment identified by the Rawson team is for local and incoming professionals, most of whom, they say, will be from the younger generation.
“We estimate that this market will grow by 4% per annum from now onwards. This segment will eventually be responsible for buying or renting 4 500 properties, once all three of the major projects are under way,” says Otto.
The third segment will be the conventional Mossel Bay real estate market, catering mostly for locals and retirees.
Piguet says they predict a 5% annual growth rate from this September onwards. Again the primary demand will be for units under R1 million, he says.
The new franchisees bring a wealth of property experience to Mossel Bay.
Langenhoven has had 15 years in Oudtshoorn construction, sales and rentals. Piguet ran his family’s construction company in Johannesburg, which is still fully operational with his brother at the helm, and Otto is a qualified attorney with extensive property deals and conveyance experience.
The message that they would like to get out to the general public, says Otto, is that big things are now happening in the Mossel Bay property market and that those who contact real estate agents in this region now stand a good chance of getting onto a wagon that is beginning to move forwards in an exciting way.
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