Offshore gas find to boost Garden Route property markets

While it is still early days, the exciting news around the Total gas find off the coast of Mossel Bay is set to be a major boost for the Garden Route property markets according to Seeff’s licensees.

Stephen Larkin, an expert in Southern Africa oil and gas exploration and CEO of Africa New Energies has said that the discovery, which could hold 1-billion barrels of gas-condensate, will bring at least R1-trillion to the SA economy over the next 20 years. He said further that Southern Africa had become the hottest destination for hydrocarbon exploration in the world and the economic benefits of this catalytic find could be significant.

For the Garden Route, this would bring huge opportunity and skills programs to assist with upliftment which will job opportunities that will require housing and infrastructure to assist with the demand, says Pieter Jordaan, principal of Seeff George.

Early bird investors will reap the benefits of an already fast-growing area. The pre-planning stage is more important than anything else, he says. This will include infrastructure, sewerage plants, land for housing and commercial activities, schools, hospitals and most of all water availability.

Already, he adds, George is seen as an excellent alternative to Cape Town for semigrating buyers for a number of reasons including value for money, security and the laid-back lifestyle. While a smaller economic centre, it is bustling and offers all the mod-cons that you can expect from a city including excellent schools and a regional shopping mall.

George offers a diverse and well developed property market that caters for every buyer demographic and price range, he says further. Older sectional title property can for example still be found from around R650,00 and houses from around R900,000, but there are plenty of modern developments and estates where you can find stunning family and golf estate houses, generally in the R2m-R6m range to about R8m for a sea view property.

George also has a busy rental market with tenants needing accommodation across a broad spectrum, from apartments and townhouses to luxury homes in estates where landlords can achieve rental returns of up to R20,000-R30,000/month. There is no doubt that the gas project will further boost this market, he says.

Kaaiman Schutte, principal for the Mossel Bay area says that Seeff has already seen year-on-year sales growth of 20% with January 2019, the best sales month in four years. The Total gas condensate find is indeed good news for the local economy and for real estate, he says.

The potential boost to Petro SA and the local economy will stimulate an even bigger demand for rental housing and also attract more buyers to the property market.

It is a great time to invest here while prices are still very affordable. You can for example still find sectional title property from R850,000 and houses from R1.5m with luxury houses still available in the R2.5m-R5.5m range.

Seeff is also busy with two new developments, both gated communities to provide more than 300 units in the R900,000 to R1.4 million price range. The growing demand in this range should prompt local residents who are renting to become buyers by investing in their own residential properties. They are also ideal for the buy-to-rent market, concludes Mr Schutte.