PROPERTY NEWS - If they think of it at all, most people will place Jeffreys Bay as one of South Africa's best surf spots, home to the Corona J-Bay Open in July and the SA Surf Championships in October, and a place to enjoy a relaxed seaside holiday the rest of the time.
But it's much more than that, says local Chas Everitt International franchisee Brendon Lahana, who notes that the Eastern Cape town has a rising percentage of permanent residents and a growing economy.
"Winning the Kwela 'Town of the Year' title last year has really put Jeffreys Bay in the spotlight and made many more people aware of the wonderful lifestyle it has to offer," he says.
Favourite with old and young
"Retirees love it here, for example, because of the pleasant climate, the comparatively moderate home prices, the well-managed golf, tennis and bowls clubs and the excellent health and medical facilities, with a large private hospital just 15 kilometres away in Humansdorp."
At the other end of the age spectrum, he says, the town is close enough to Port Elizabeth to be a good option for young career people looking to buy their first homes - and their growing presence is reflected in an array of new local breweries, restaurants and trendy shops.
"Such buyers also tend to make maximum use of the opportunities Jeffreys Bay offers for water sports like wind surfing, kite surfing, leisure boating, fishing and open-water swimming, as well as traditional surfing. These and other outdoor activities are also drawcards for the increasing number of families semigrating to the town from big cities all over South Africa." These relocations are made easier, Lahana says, by the presence of good local schools including the Jeffreys Bay, Victory, JBay Academy, Pharos and Kings College primary schools, and the GLA, Jeffreys Bay and Nico Malan high schools.
"In addition, the shopping and banking needs of residents can generally be met locally between the original central business area and the newer Fountains Mall close to the N2."
He says the growth of the permanent population is also giving rise to new businesses and job opportunities, and that further economic growth is expected as tourism continues to expand and the first phase of a new industrial park and the new Fountains business park come on stream.
Stands in the latter are already selling well. "Ultimately, these developments will boost home sales but for now, Jeffreys Bay is still a relatively small market, with just 239 homes sold in the second half of 2018, at an average price of R885 000, according to the property data company Lightstone." Lahana notes that the majority of these (102) were in the popular Wavecrest and Noorsekloof suburbs, with the rest being split between C-Place, Ferreira Dorp, Kabeljous, Ou Dorp, Aston, Paradise Beach and the luxury Marina Martinique estate.
"The highest demand currently is for houses in the R800 000 to R1,2-million price range, as well as three-bedroom, two-bathroom units in security complexes and estates such as Lifestyle, Hancke Hohe, Brandersig, Berg en See and Opstal," he says.
"And an interesting trend at the moment is the low bond to cash ratio, with buyers last year only requesting home loans for about R63-million of the R211-million worth of property sold. This is indicative of the large number of retirees and luxury home buyers who are using the proceeds of a previous home sale to buy a local home for cash, as they intend settling here."
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