OUR city is showing signs of progress in terms of much higher prices at the upper end of the market being reached nowadays than was the norm a decade or so ago. This reflects a worldwide phenomenon.
This observation was made this week by Naomi Solomons and Carol Crafford, both principals of Solomons Crafford Properties.
As co-managers of the property company for the past nine years, they confirmed that properties in Port Elizabeth had risen in value in recent years, and with that, perceptions of the city had improved.
"We are holding our own," Solomons said.
Solomons, who recently returned from a trip to Cape Town to visit family, took time out to scan the Cape Town property pages. In areas like Constantia it is commonplace for properties to reach R15-million.
While Port Elizabeth is not Cape Town, it has much to offer in terms of lifestyle, convenience and other factors.
Property buyers are starting to recognise that Nelson Mandela Bay properties still generally offer good value, in comparison with prices of similar homes in one of South Africa's bigger centres.
"There has been a slow upgrade of PE, with the upgrade of the beachfront and shopping centres," Crafford said.
Solomons agreed that there had been general progress in the city with international shops coming to PE.
Solomons and Crafford were the first estate agents in Port Elizabeth to market a house for more than R1-million in 2000; in Woodville Road, Mill Park. This was unheard of at the time.
Solomons clearly remembers the first time she wrote out a cheque for R1-million. "I didn't know how many noughts to write," Solomons said.
"I was so excited that my hand shook!" she said.
"Now we just write R2-million and over, without giving it a second thought. It's all relative. We witnessed the property values creeping up from R1-million to R2-million and up."
One of their latest properties located in the Chelsea area is being marketed at an incredible R26-million. Located on the fringes of Sardinia Bay, the property offers a palatial style home and splendid uninterrupted sea views.
"We specialise in the upmarket properties," Crafford said. "Don't think because it is a bigger sale that it is easier," she said. "Selling upmarket properties is more of a challenge. You need to be a very strong negotiator to be able to address all their concerns."
Find Solomons Crafford Properties at 43B 6th Avenue, Walmer. Contact (041)581-1744 or www.solcraf.co.za