Aida opens in Port Elizabeth
SA’s best-known property group Aida has affirmed its confidence in the Nelson Mandela metropole property market by opening a new office in Port Elizabeth.

“The local property market is showing signs of firming in preparation for an upswing,” says Tobie Ferns, owner of the new franchise, “and we want to be well established when the market turns in the course of next year."

Ferns, who recently took early retirement as Nedbank’s regional general manager of business banking in the Free State and Northern Cape, has wide experience in the valuation and financing of business enterprises and commercial property and plans to bring this expertise to bear on the local property market.

The office plans to initially concentrate on the residential market, including rentals, but will branch into commercial and industrial property, business sales, agricultural land and eco-developments next year.

Ferns reports that sales in the PE residential market are already showing an upward trend, notably in the R600 000 to R1m price range and says he views this as a harbinger of stronger growth in 2010, possibly as early as the second quarter of the year.

“Affordability is the big driver in the market at the moment and lower interest rates and slightly better access to financing have given new impetus to demand among buyers across the whole consumer spectrum,” he says.

The residential market in the Friendly City offers a wide range of properties with prices for starter units beginning at around R300 000. Top properties are priced at up to R15m.

Ferns says the agency will differentiate itself in the local market by offering a seamless one-stop service.

“Aida, the oldest property franchising group in the country, is a trusted brand name and offers superior support to its franchisees and agents. On top of that, we plan to work closely with all stakeholders in the transaction chain in order to facilitate a quick and professional service to buyers and sellers in Port Elizabeth, as well as surrounding towns such as Uitenhage, Despatch and Port Alfred."

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