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Business property in EL gets boost

20 Nov 2007
The recent relaxation of residential zoning laws in parts of Bonza Bay Road in Beacon Bay, East London, is making it possible not only for businesses to operate there but also for business owners to buy, rather than rent, their premises.

And this development, part of Buffalo City Municipality's integrated development plan (IDP), is fast driving up values and demand in what was until recently a strictly residential area, says Brenda Evans, principal of Brenda Evans Estates.

Evans says prices in that stretch of road have rocketed from an average of R1,25m in January this year to up to R2,4m today as entrepreneurs pursue not only prime location but also brick-and-mortar capital growth.

Steady economic growth is also visible in other suburban locales, she says. Vincent, already firmly established as East London's major retail hub and entertainment destination, will have its status further enhanced when Hemingways Shopping Centre opens at the end of 2009. The R800m retail development, Buffalo City's first regional shopping centre, has already secured national anchor tenants such as Woolworths, Pick 'n Pay, Jet and Edgars.

New business growth in the form of light industrial between Beacon Bay and on the main road to Gonubie has virtually linked the two areas, says Antoinette Clark of Remax Border Professionals, adding that this trend is set to continue as demand shows no sign of flagging.

On the residential side, interest is high for units in the new R763m Triple Point development, a "live, work and play" estate designed to meet the need for more affordable housing in Beacon Bay. Ultimately, says Clark, a hotel, office block and shopping centre will be built to compliment the housing component, which will be further served by a new private hospital adjacent.

While the residential market in general has dipped on the back of continued interest rate increases, Evans says certain locales – and surprisingly enough not only entry and middle market areas - are more than holding their own.

One example is Malone Heights, East London's "millionaires' mile", where buyers are seemingly unconcerned about the movement of the interest rate. Here, where almost all homes have views of the Nahoon River mouth, people are paying R3m and upwards for three reception rooms, three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a swimming pool and double garage. To date, the record price achieved for the area, where properties are like "hens' teeth", is R6m, and she believes healthy upward value growth is assured.

Clark sees the dip in activity in the last couple of weeks as an inevitable part of the property cycle and one that will right itself sooner rather than later. Her buyers vary from those looking for ultimate affordability to those whose budgets qualify them to purchase in the millions. She is also experiencing demand from businessmen who are basing their families in East London and commuting to other centres.

Suburbs such as Cambridge are becoming more and more popular among first-time buyers from all race groups, and long-time favourites such as Beacon Bay, Stirling and Nahoon continue to be popular despite the average house price now being in the region of R1,3m, she says.

Among holidaymakers, the most popular spots include Chintsa, Morgan Bay, Kei Mouth, Kidds Beach and Haga Haga. "The natural beauty of this coastline has, on many occasions already, turned foreign visitors into spur-of-the-moment, multi-million rand buyers, a trend that's likely to gather impetus as events such as the 2010 Soccer World Cup approach."

For more information contact Brenda on 082 321 1571.

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