Fresh from her triumph at the Institute of Estate Agents of South Africa’s regional awards gala, former Nedbank Property Professional winner Kobie Potgieter predicted that the Eastern Cape residential property market would defy the expected downward national trend next year.
Potgieter, principal of Remax Independent Properties in Port Elizabeth, was named the Eastern Cape’s top agent at the prestigious Night of the Stars last week where she scooped the awards for highest earnings and most units sold in 2009/10.
Her comments added to the good news for local property investors as commercial banks dropped their home lending rates to the lowest level since 1974, in line with last week’s repo rate cuts.
Despite this positive development on the economic front, First National Bank’s property strategist John Loos forecast that the national residential property market would continue its current downward trend in the wake of the global recession.
Although Potgieter admitted the recession had had a negative effect, she believed Nelson Mandela Bay would buck this trend.
“PE is not the rest of South Africa. I’m very positive about the effect of industrial sector developments on the property market,” said Potgieter, citing the R500-million investments recently announced by Volkswagen and General Motors South Africa as one example.
“Industrial development fires residential development,” she said.
“In the new year, we’ll see a lot of new sectional title and residential 2 developments opening up in the Bay. This is a good indication that the market is turning and demand is growing.”
Potgieter said the fact that her agents were receiving multiple offers on homes for the first time since 2008 also indicated an increase in market activity.
Potgieter, who owns Remax franchises in Lorraine and Walmer, will be partnering with Xhanti Ntongana in opening a third in KwaZakhele next year.
“We need to tap into the growth of this market sector,” said Potgieter. “There are a lot of black diamonds emerging in the property market.”
This month, Potgieter sold a R10-million home in Lovemore Heights to Cameroonian businessman Ahmadou Baba. Baba, who also recently bought the Kings Court and Moffett on Main retail centres, has previously expressed his confidence in the future of the Bay.
“The fact that investors are once again buying higher priced properties also shows that the market is picking up,” Potgieter said.
Potgieter, who has been in the property business for 10 years, was named the Nedbank Property Professional of 2008 – the highest accolade for estate agents in South Africa.
She attributed her achievements to high levels of professionalism and surrounding herself with well-trained agents with extensive knowledge of the property market.
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