Eastern Cape: The equilibrium between wealth and beauty.


Eastern Cape: The equilibrium between wealth and beauty.

By Jacques Erasmus

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When trying to describe the Eastern Cape, no other words better defines it than, scenic diversity. By just naming a few striking characteristics of this province, an immediate vivid picture of the area is formed, for example think of the lush green Tsitsikamma forest, the rugged Baviaanskloof Wilderness area and even the southern slopes of the Drakensberg Mountain. Combine all of this and you can clearly see why this is rapidly becoming a very popular area.

The two major cities in the Eastern Cape are Port Elizabeth and East London. These two areas alternate between sweeping sand, river mouths, rocks, and the coastlines which is a paradise for water sport enthusiasts. Among them are surfers that come to catch their dream wave and anglers from a far to reel in their king-size catches.

Port Elizabeth is set on the shores of Algoa Bay. This “friendly city” is the 5th biggest city in South Africa. Along with this, it also boasts the most sunshine of any coastal town in South Africa. This is only a few of the town’s attractions, as the city also boasts with beautiful parks, botanical gardens and nature reserves filled with bird life.

Seeing all these attractions, it is no wonder Engel &Völkers PE has become such a success in the area, according to Brett Grant, Licence Partner of Engel &Völkers PE. They recently relocated to the Moffet on Main Lifestyle centre which increased their foot traffic and motivated their agents immeasurably. The PE market caters for all, it primarily consists of first homes but also has a second home market.  Brett says that the key long-term challenge for the residential market is to overcome the high household debt-to-disposable income ratio. They also have a commercial division set up which is seen as their deal maker. “We foresee a simple supply-and-demand market taking effect with large business projects initiated in Coega and the limited supply in certain areas”, Brett concluded.

Just a few kilometers north east from PE is South Africa’s only river port city, set in the broad Buffalo River and one of the most attractive areas of the Eastern Cape. When it comes to amenities, the area does not lack behind any city in South Africa. When the sun sets in this magnificent city, there are an abundance of theaters and restaurants to explore, perfect for the nocturnal.

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“The property market is currently blooming in East London. Thus far, our highest registered sale this year was R6,4 million, meaning the market is not only focused on the lower-end of the scale at this moment. Lower end properties can be found from around R800 000 and the average for the higher end is R2,3 million,” says Carlisle Snyman, Licence Partner for Engel &Völkers East London. Carlisle also added that there is currently a healthy price increase in certain areas such as Nahoon beach, which showed a median increase of 12.8%, which totals to a staggering 170% in the last 7 years.

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When pleasures of a more sophisticated kind appeal, you’ll find plenty to entertain you in Port Elizabeth and East London. Both are ideal for family holidays, large enough to offer all the amenities of a city, yet small enough to be genuinely welcoming and friendly. They also provide convenient access to unspoiled areas of exceptional natural beauty.

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