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Property News

Now's an opportune time to get onto the property ladder. Here's why

21 Jun 2018
First-time buyers with funds at their disposal are currently well-placed to gain an initial foothold on the property ladder. Particularly in the light of interest rates remaining at historic lows, banks continuing to compete for mortgage finance business, and the slightly lower growth rates currently experienced in residential property values.

tive of...

It's not all doom and gloom for SA's property market

20 Jun 2018
As South Africans reel from the news of a 2.2% GDP decline in the first quarter of 2018, property experts remain optimistic about forecasts for the remainder of the year. The property market, which has been experiencing some lethargy since early 2017, is not predicted to see any dramatic repercussions as a result of the recent economic bombshell.

Prop...

Municipal performance hurting property and finance sectors

20 Jun 2018
Delays in municipal building clearance and rates clearance certificates are impacting more than just the building industry.

Bridging finance and other lenders are experiencing added complications and delays as developers and individuals continue to be frustrated by red tape and ineffective municipal systems.

"We have heard from a number of clie...

Here's why tourism is so important to the real estate sector

19 Jun 2018
According to Gerhard Kotz MD of estate agency group RealNet, there are two main reasons why the tourism industry is so important to the real estate sector. "The first being the jobs that tourism creates directly, and the rising number of people that are thus enabled to become tenants, home buyers and property investors," he explains.

According to the ...

Is higher density in residential areas a good thing?

19 Jun 2018

As more people flock to urban areas, densification becomes a natural and unavoidable occurrence. Is it a good thing for property, or bad? Ronald Ennik, CEO of Ennik Estates shares his views on the subject.

For the past 15 years there has been a gradual, but consistent, increase in residential density in the central and fringe areas of Sandton and ...

Higher fuel prices, lower GDP and traffic will change home-buying in SA

18 Jun 2018
The combination of the fuel price hike and the sharp decline in SA's economic growth rate during the first quarter is going to increase urbanisation and intensify the demand for homes close to work, shops and schools.
Many consumers who already live in urban areas are now looking to reduce their transport costs by moving or buying a new home that is close...

What happens to a tenant when a property is sold?

15 Jun 2018
When a property is sold when it has a tenant in occupation, the questions often raised are: "What happens to the tenant if the landlord sells the property?", and what rights the tenant will have with regards to cancelling the lease or enforcing it, says Sunell Afrika, rentals manager for SAProperty.com.

In typical situations the lease has precedence o...

Private sector can help with affordable housing

15 Jun 2018
The demand for affordable housing is, in the mind of Brett Herron, the City of Cape Town's mayoral committee member for transport and urban development, "one of the biggest challenges Cape Town is facing at the moment", and within the affordable housing range, is the gap market.

There are about 352 000 people registered on the city's housing database,...

Help for property buyers in Gap market

14 Jun 2018
Buyers in the so-called gap market earn too little to qualify for home loans from commercial banks, but too much to qualify for the government's free basic housing scheme or RDP housing.

This means buyers in this market have little chance of owning their own homes - despite being permanently employed with regular incomes.

According to the Depar...

More and more SA women investing in the property market

14 Jun 2018
According to a report by FNB, women in property are catching up to men in all aspects of home ownership, including investment. Figures show single women making up an estimated 10.3% of buyers' while single male buyers top out at 7.0%. Whether through being employed in more managerial positions or owning their own businesses, South African women are making us...

Lightstone figures show properties with best price growth

13 Jun 2018
If you are considering buying a home based on current rates of price growth, your best bet would be to buy a home on the coast or one that costs less than R250 000.

The latest figures from Lightstone show the price inflation of homes in these categories are far outpacing the rest.

Lightstone's Residential Property Index also shows national hous...

Pets in sectional title schemes a thorny issue

13 Jun 2018
Trying to keep your pet in a sectional title property when there are rules imposed by homeowners' association trustees against this, is a problem often resolved only in court.

If trustees have followed due and reasonable process, and still withdrawn consent to keep a pet, the owner has to find a new home for their pet, says attorneys Heyns and Partner...

Paying attention to the wants and needs of generational buyers

12 Jun 2018
The property market is viewed differently across generations - from millennials to empty nesters. They require agents to adopt a bespoke approach to meet their requirements as each generation has specific needs and trends. "With market needs being so diverse, it is important for agents to offer good options to clients," says Mike Greeff, CEO of Greeff Christ...

What type of home affluent tenants prefer

12 Jun 2018
Although only about 7% of tenants in SA currently rent for more than R15,000 a month, this percentage is growing according to statistics. Around 2% already rent for more than R25,000 a month. Berry Everitt, CEO of the Chas Everitt International property group says that the actual number of high-end households for landlords to target is around 280,000 and ris...

What you need to know about co-ownership of property

08 Jun 2018

Co-owning a home is a good way of getting onto the property ladder, but the terms of the arrangement need to be property set out and documented beforehand.

With fewer couples nowadays getting married but choosing rather to co-habit, or friends choosing to share as they cannot afford something on their own, comes the trend of co-owning property. Co...

How the tough economy could change home buying patterns

08 Jun 2018

The combination of this week's fuel price hike and the sharp decline in SA's economic growth rate during the first quarter is going to increase urbanisation and intensify the demand for homes close to work, shops and schools.

That's the word from Rudi Botha, CEO of BetterBond, SA's biggest bond originator, who says that with agriculture and mining...

House rules for keeping pets

06 Jun 2018
It is important to know the legal requirements of pet ownership in your city before you bring a pet into your home.

"According to the Animal Protection Act of 1962, anyone who does not obey the regulations set out by the Act and its by-laws may receive a penalty of up to a fine of R4,000, and could even face imprisonment for a period of twelve months,...

Southern Suburbs apartment rental rates decline by 36%

06 Jun 2018
Cape Town's Southern Suburbs rental market has softened notably over the last few months and average rental rates have declined by up to 36%.

While many landlords have taken note of the market deterioration and have adjusted their rentals downwards so as to avoid rising vacancies, others are still unaware of the market shift.

"We are still find...

Tall walls bad for security

04 Jun 2018
One mid-morning in March 2016, two house breakers lifted Tarryn Venter's* automated gate off its rails, removed a burglar bar, climbed through a window and left a few minutes later with a laptop and cellphone.

Even though her street is fairly busy and municipal employees were at work in the public park across the road, no one saw a thing.

This ...

Slight increase in residential vacancies

04 Jun 2018
The national residential rental property vacancies increased marginally in the first quarter of the year, compared to the previous quarter, with the sub-R3 000-a-month rental category experiencing the largest increase in vacancies.

The latest residential rental quarterly vacancy survey report by the TPN credit bureau revealed that vacancies increased ...

Buying your childhood home? Don't skip the tough stuff

01 Jun 2018
As the trend towards multigenerational living gains ground, young adults are now not only moving back in with their parents but increasingly, buying the homes they grew up in from their parents', with the intention of also raising their own families there.

"This is consistent with the fact that many first-time buyers are now in their mid-30s and seein...

'Trustees vital for success'

31 May 2018
While the role of trustee in a sectional title scheme is a voluntary and unpaid position, it is one that comes with huge responsibility.

A competent board of trustees is the secret of all successful schemes, so says Chinelle Hewitt, operations manager at sectional title finance company Propell. Only people willing to act in the interest of all members...

'Laws supposed to take the risk out of rentals'

31 May 2018
Property owners providing rented accommodation in the formal housing market are losing as much as R870 million a month in non-payment of rent, with many failing to implement or comply with the country's "complex raft of laws".

It is this inability to comply with these laws that Deon Botha, chief executive of rental collection company RentMaster, belie...

3 critical questions to ask before buying a sectional title property

30 May 2018
Since 2001, sectional title properties in South Africa have, on average, consistently outperformed their full title counterparts. Add to this their significant lifestyle benefits and it's no wonder they've become such desirable investment opportunities - but not all developments are equal when it comes to value and growth potential.

Solid research is ...

Flat interest rate expected for remainder of year

28 May 2018

The decision by the Monetary Policy Committee of the SA Reserve Bank to keep the repo rate unchanged at the current level of 6,50% (base home loan rate of 10%) was largely expected by the market according to the Seeff Property Group.

The group said that given the still sluggish economy and pressure on the CPI due to rising costs and some renewed v...

Why megaprojects to deliver houses in South Africa might not work

25 May 2018
In 2014, the South African government announced a new direction in housing policy.

The aim was to phase out smaller low cost housing projects of a few hundred units and focus exclusively on megaprojects - new settlements made of multitudes of housing units combined with a host of social amenities.

Given the uneven access to housing that resulte...

African buyers are investing in South African property

24 May 2018

While the number of international buyers in residential property in South Africa remains relatively low, at somewhere in the region of three percent nationally, investors from elsewhere on the continent - including returning expats - retain their appetite for the acquisition of South African real estate for a variety of reasons.

These include coun...

SAPOA, Property Sector Charter Council to continue partnership on transformation

24 May 2018
The South African Property Owners Association (SAPOA) will continue to fund the Property Sector Charter Council (PSCC) to the tune of around R250,000 a year for an additional three-year period.

The intention of this ongoing strategic partnership is to collaborate in fostering a common goal and vision in addressing the issue of and promoting transforma...

Community retail centres tick all the boxes - here's why

23 May 2018
While some big retail centres are experiencing a reduction in rentals, turn-over and profits in these tough economic times, resulting in a subsequent loss of tenants, growing vacancies and further reductions in profits, many community retail centres have not experienced the same.

Convenience and location for shoppers

"Neighbourhood retail centr...

'Prepare for property valuation knock-on effects'

23 May 2018
As Johannesburg and Buffalo City residents deal with the aftershocks of their property valuation hikes, Cape Town residents are urged to prepare for their re-appraisals which will hit next year.

Earlier this year, Johannesburg residents voiced their outrage over property valuation increases, some of whom had seen values increase between 60 and 500%.

More high-net-worth South Africans turning to offshore property investment

22 May 2018
In order to mitigate the risk of fluctuations in domestic markets and to diversify their wealth portfolios, more and more of South Africa's high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) are looking to invest in offshore property.

"This increase is expected to be fuelled by larger allocations to foreign property, foreign cash, and foreign equities," says George R...

'Prepare for property valuation knock-on effects'

22 May 2018
As Johannesburg and Buffalo City residents deal with the aftershocks of their property valuation hikes, Cape Town residents are urged to prepare for their re-appraisals which will hit next year.

Earlier this year, Johannesburg residents voiced their outrage over property valuation increases, some of whom had seen values increase between 60 and 500%.

Court prohibits new conveyancing model

21 May 2018
A company that deals with the day to day administration of property transfers, while the conveyancer attorneys perform the legal side of transfers, lost its bid for the court to give its blessing in this regard.

"Until the model is implemented, the court cannot postulate whether bond attorneys will be willing to co-operate with a third party who is no...

Downtown living also appealing to seniors

21 May 2018
The decision whether to rent or buy is more commonly thought of as a dilemma for young professionals establishing their households, not those approaching retirement.

But whether it's a financially savvy decision or simply the only solution when they can't find a suitable place to buy, some baby boomers are choosing to rent an apartment closer to the c...

Banks more willing to lend a positive sign for home buyers and sellers

18 May 2018
Banks are showing an increased appetite to lend, according to first quarter (Q1 2018) property statistics recently released by ooba, South Africa's leading home loan originator.
"Banks are increasingly willing to lend the full value of a property without requiring a deposit," says Dyer, and this trend can already be seen in ooba's quarterly statistics.

Is the Airbnb model a true threat to the traditional rental industry?

17 May 2018
While many were at first sceptical when Airbnb first launched in 2008, sentiment quickly swayed after the company announced that it had generated R2.4bn in economic activity in South Africa in 2016, transforming it into a widely used platform for those looking to make some extra cash.
Is the Airbnb model a true threat to the traditional rental industry?

Home financing sector seems to be looking up

17 May 2018
While the general cost of living is on the rise, so are bond approval statistics, says Mark Hendricks, regional manager for Rawson Finance.
Home financing sector seems to be looking up

"For the last year or so, there's been a definite trend towards a more relaxed approach to property finance from the banks," says Hendricks. "They've been offering m...

Deadline for submissions on land expropriation without compensation extended

16 May 2018
The Joint Constitutional Review Committee has extended the deadline for written submissions on land expropriation without compensation to
The committee further resolved to conduct its public hearings from 26 June 2018 to 6 August 2018 in all provinces around the country.

Provinces with a larger rural area will have four days set aside for the hear...

Traditional vs online estate agencies - consumers will vote with their feet

16 May 2018
The establishment of a number of new, low-commission, purely online estate agencies raises the question whether there is an ongoing role and need for traditional agents.

Does the agency add value?

He says in the final analysis, it really boils down to whether the agent or agency can add value to a real estate transaction and offer a satisfactor...

Con artists phish property transactions

15 May 2018
Confidential email communication between conveyancing attorneys and property buyers is increasingly being intercepted by "sophisticated" fraudsters who monitor purchasing transactions, and then divert money paid for homes into their own bank accounts.

The rate at which this criminal activity is occurring is so high that the Attorneys Indemnity Insuran...

Lower demand for tourist accommodation

15 May 2018
Hotels, guest houses and guest farms have been the worst performing accommodation types from September 2017 to February 2018, new figures from StatsSA have revealed.

Caravan parks and camping sites are now outperforming them, recording bigger income and visitor number increases each year.

In February this year, guest houses and guest farms reco...

Banks lose veto over sectional title sales

14 May 2018
Sectional Title trustees and Home Owners' Association directors around SA are breathing a sigh of relief at a change in legislation that will make it easier for them to recover arrear levies from defaulting owners.

This change, made in terms of the Rules Board for Courts of Law Act of 1985, is set out in Rule 46A of the Uniform Rules of Court, and qui...

Who is responsible for sectional title repairs - owner or body corporate?

11 May 2018
Owners in sectional title schemes often think that the body corporate is automatically responsible to repair damage to their section if the damage is the result of some failure of the common property.

The basic maintenance and repair responsibilities are set out in the Sectional Titles Schemes Management Act "the Act" in Section 3, Functions of the bo...

Property outlook improves, but still all about the buyers

11 May 2018
Although the economy and property market is showing improvement, it is still all about the buyers as we wait for the positive sentiment to translate into a meaningful increase in sales and prices.

While sentiment is on the up and up, consumers have had to absorb the effects of VAT and other indirect tax increases, recent petrol price hikes and land re...

How technology can help tackle the housing backlog

10 May 2018

Developers using conventional building methods are struggling to keep pace with demand for new homes, but innovative new techniques could catapult the industry into the 21st century.

In recent years the property development and construction industries have been criticised for being slow to respond to the demand for a different kind of residential ...

Still a buyer's market, despite improved property outlook

10 May 2018

Although the economy and property market is showing improvement, it is still all about the buyers as we wait for the positive sentiment to translate into a meaningful increase in sales and prices, says Samuel Seeff, chairman of the Seeff Property Group.

While sentiment is on the up and up, consumers have had to absorb the effects of VAT and other ...

How to object to property valuations after deadline

08 May 2018
It often happens that property owners miss the deadline for objection to incorrect details on a property roll. If municipal staff advise you that there is nothing you can do after the fact to fix the problem, they are wrong. Here are the steps that a property owner can take to compel the municipality to investigate and correct an error on a valuation roll ou...

Fraud, an increasingly prevalent threat in real estate industry

08 May 2018
A proliferation of brazen fraudsters are increasingly using sophisticated scams to not only fleece buyers and sellers, but also property practitioners.
Fraud, an increasingly prevalent threat in real estate industryStrident technological advances and the convenience of instant access to information and electronic communication have made our lives easier i...

Why you should consider a home inspector before you buy

04 May 2018
Cape Town -You can prevent your dream home from becoming a nightmare for your wallet by opting for a house inspection before concluding a purchase, according to John Graham, CEO of building inspection company House Check.

Speaking at a recent property show held in Cape Town, Graham highlighted to potential home buyers what defects they should look out...

Property continues to be a prime target for global investors

04 May 2018

The appetite for property continues to thrive globally as equity markets may be making high net worth investors nervous. There was a staggering 56% increase in property investment in 2017, according to Knight Frank's 2018 Wealth Report.

The results of the Wealth Report Attitudes Survey highlights that in spite of stock markets reaching record high...

Home loan approvals up

30 Apr 2018
The level of financial stress in the residential property market has declined significantly and has possibly been a major factor in the improvement in home loan approval rates to their highest level since the implementation of the National Credit Act.

FNB reported last week the estimated percentage of homeowners downscaling due to financial pressure d...

A generation that does not need parking

30 Apr 2018
Could parking lots become obsolete?

It's an international trend and while South Africa lags behind, the cards are already on the table to have bays repurposed in the future.

Neil Gardner, chief executive of Gardner Property Solutions, an experienced developer instrumental in bringing micro units to South Africa, says, for instance, parking bays...

Consumers warned against use of fake NHBRC logo

26 Apr 2018
The National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC) has warned unsuspecting housing consumers against the fraudulent use of its logo in a letter allegedly sent out by Cosmopolitan Projects about guarantees on their completed homes.

"The letter, which has an NHBRC logo, distorts the benefits that consumers are entitled to - once construction of the...

Islamic banking offers alternative form of mortgage loan for everyone

24 Apr 2018
Islamic banking offers an alternative to people wanting to buy property, and anyone can use it, regardless of religion or ethnicity.

Traditionally, property finance is essentially the granting of a loan to a client so they can buy a property. This loan must be repaid with interest over the term of the loan arrangement, says Amman Muhammad, chief execu...

Tax hikes and expropriation debate dampens property market

24 Apr 2018
The indirect tax hikes announced in this year's Budget and the proposed expropriation of land without compensation have depressed confidence in the residential property market in the first quarter of this year.

Absa's latest homeowner sentiment index released yesterday revealed that confidence in the residential property market declined to 75 percent ...

7 online scams to be aware of

23 Apr 2018

The advent of the internet has seen online scams become more prevalent for many individuals in recent years. Rodel Bridging Finance gives us some tips on what to look out for.

According to The Attorneys' Insurance Indemnity Fund (AIIF), Cybercrime is defined as "Any criminal or other offence that is facilitated by or involves the use of electronic...

Should I apply for a 100% bond?

23 Apr 2018

Many buyers are rushing to enter the property market in order to take advantage of low interest rates, but don't have a deposit saved up. Should these buyers apply for a 100% bond, or wait?

The recent interest rate cut has stoked the coals in the first-time buyer's market. At least for the next two months until the next interest rate announcement,...

How long it takes to sell a house in South Africa currently

19 Apr 2018

Research from FNB has revealed that the average time homes spent on the market decreased in the first three months of this year. This is an encouraging sign that the market is starting to strengthen.

Time on market decreases

FNB takes the view that the market is in equilibrium when the average time on market is around 12 weeks. Up until the...

No need to panic over land expropriation without compensation

19 Apr 2018

Land expropriation has been the cause of much confusion and panic in the market, with many choosing to sensationalise the issue instead of looking at it objectively.

We continue seeing sensational reports on the question of land expropriation without compensation and especially those around land grabs which seem to be rearing its head in various a...

Fewer buyers, but banks grant more home loans

17 Apr 2018
There has been a 4% increase in the number of home loans granted over the past 12 months, even though the number of home loan applications has fallen off by a similar percentage.

"This increase is partly due to the fact that many home buyers are financially better prepared than they were a year ago," says Rudi Botha of BetterBond, "but also a result o...

Realistic pricing leads to faster home sales

16 Apr 2018
Property asking price realism has improved nationally in the first quarter of this year.

FNB reports that the average time homes remained on the market had shortened noticeably to 14 weeks and one day in the first quarter, from 17 weeks and two days in the previous quarter.

John Loos, a household and property sector strategist at FNB, said the ...

Emigration-related property sales 7.4% of market

16 Apr 2018
The improved political and economic sentiment in South Africa has so far failed to result in a decline in emigration-related home selling.

FNB this week said the estimated rate of emigration-related home selling was virtually unchanged at 7.4 percent in the first quarter following a prior multi-year rising trend that started in 2014 and left it "somew...

Five tips for millennial first-time landlords

13 Apr 2018
There are certain times in life when you want to settle down and others when you know it is time to move on - to a different job, a different town, or a different home that better suits your current needs.

And according to recent research, many millennial homeowners in their 30s are now reaching the stage where they are ready to sell their first home ...

Realistic pricing leads to faster home sales

13 Apr 2018
Property asking price realism has improved nationally in the first quarter of this year.

FNB reports that the average time homes remained on the market had shortened noticeably to 14 weeks and one day in the first quarter, from 17 weeks and two days in the previous quarter.

John Loos, a household and property sector strategist at FNB, said the ...

Five reasons property makes a great retirement investment

12 Apr 2018
One of the biggest challenges facing South Africans at present is how to adequately prepare for retirement in our volatile and unpredictable economy. As a result, many people are opting for more flexible investments that adapt to the ebbs and flows of the economy in order to future-proof their finances.

One of the more popular of these options is buy-...

Tenants cry foul over lease fees charged by estate agents

11 Apr 2018


The Estate Agency Affairs Board will investigate the fairness of the practice among rental agents of charging tenants lease fees, Bongani Mlangeni, the board's communications manager, says.

The charging of lease fees, also referred to as administration fees, is widespread. A total of 66% of agents surveyed by property credit bureau TPN charge ...

Home buyers benefit as banks compete for home loans

09 Apr 2018
According to Rudi Botha, CEO of BetterBond, banks are competing for new home loan business at the moment and prudent home buyers are benefitting. BetterBond statistics show that the average approved bond size in South Africa is currently 6.05% higher than it was 12 months ago, even though the average house price has only risen 2.85% in the same period.

House price growth slows despite improved sentiment

05 Apr 2018
South African national house price growth appears to be bucking recent trends indicating an improvement in national sentiment, with a sharp slowdown in the Western Cape partly blamed for it.

FNB revealed yesterday that year-on-year house price growth declined to a mere 2.6 percent in the first quarter from 5 percent in the fourth quarter of last year....

Estate agency doyenne Pam Golding has died

05 Apr 2018
Property mogul Pam Golding passed away at the age of 90 on Tuesday.

She was the founder of Pam Golding Property Group.

Golding died peacefully at her home in Wittebomen in Constantia, Cape Town, according to a statement from the Golding family.

Golding began her property empire in 1976, a time when the real estate industry was described ...

Rate cut a further boost for market sentiment

04 Apr 2018
The recent announcement of an interest rate cut of 25bps, coupled with Moody's decision to not only leave South Africa's credit rating unchanged at one notch above junk status, but to also upgrade the outlook from negative to stable, are positive factors which should provide welcome stimulus for the residential property market.

These announcements are...

Repo rate cut welcome boost for property market

03 Apr 2018
The decision by the Monetary Policy Committee of the SA Reserve Bank to cut the repo rate by 25bps from 6.75% to 6,50%, taking the base home loan rate from 10.25% to 10%, is a welcome boost for the economy and property market.

"This will provide much needed stimulation for the market and, after a very flat 2017, will hopefully be an energy boost to en...

What the rate cuts mean for property owners and buyers

03 Apr 2018
The Reserve Bank decided on Wednesday to cut its repo rate by 25 basis points to 6,5% and the prime rate and home loan "base" rate from 10,25% to 10%.

This move will translate, for existing homeowners, into a saving of R151 a month on a 20-year loan of R912 000 - the current average approved bond size, according to Rudi Botha, CEO of BetterBond.

Should you trust your real estate agent's market predictions?

29 Mar 2018
Predicting the future in any industry is a complicated affair, but this is particularly true in real estate, says Schalk van der Merwe, franchisee for the Rawson Properties Helderberg Group.

"As real estate agents, we often get asked questions like 'How is the market doing?', "Is now a good time to buy or sell?" and "I read this prediction, what do yo...

How to negotiate a fair rental increase

28 Mar 2018
Annual rental increases are an unfortunate fact of life for tenants, and a vital tool for landlords when it comes to covering expenses and protecting their investment.

Getting both parties to agree on a reasonable annual rental escalation isn't always the easiest conversation to have, but according to Jacqui Savage, National Rentals Business Developme...

When a landlord should start an eviction process

27 Mar 2018
What happens when the tenant cannot afford to pay the rent anymore but refuses to move out?

"We find that some landlords are too lenient, giving their tenants chance upon chance to rectify situations. Tenants can make many empty promises, which results in a big rental loss."

"The best is to remember that this a business transaction, leave emoti...

1% matters - how the VAT increase affects property sales

26 Mar 2018
The power of one: a phrase that has been quoted in many a cliched motivational poster, but one whose power has never quite been fully grasped - until now. The 1% VAT increase which is set to take effect as of 1 April 2018 has set the country alight with many burning questions, most of which cannot be comprehensively answered by our knowledgeable friend Googl...

Increased space, affordable rates drawing people away from city centres: report

26 Mar 2018
According to the PropertyFox second annual Virtual Realty report, people are moving further away from city centres to enjoy increased space at potentially more affordable rates. In compiling the report, the online estate agency used social media metrics to identify the most hashtagged hoods and corresponding property trends.

Tapping into the social co...

Why a rental inspection report is important for both landlords and tenants

23 Mar 2018
The best way to avoid any conflict or dispute between landlords and tenants when it comes to the move in/move out inspection is to have a thorough inspection report done when moving in, renewing or renegotiating a lease, and when moving out, says Natalie Muller, head of rentals at Jawitz Properties in the Western Cape and Gauteng.

A good inspection re...

What to do when struggling with home loan repayments

20 Mar 2018
Every buyer goes through a "honeymoon" period when their monthly mortgage bond repayment seems a small price to pay for the pleasures of homeownership.

But the romance can sour rapidly if that instalment becomes a burden. "And the problem is not going to go away by itself," says Rudi Botha, chief executive of bond originator BetterBond. "You need to a...

'Let taxman help pay for home office'

20 Mar 2018
SA homeowners will be paying higher taxes of all sorts this year, from VAT and fuel levies to the new municipal property rates just announced in many cities and metros, but self-employed individuals and employees who often work from home may be able to claw some of that back from the taxman.

"These days," says Gerhard Kotze MD at RealNet Properties, "...

'Agents must adapt to the on-demand environment'

16 Mar 2018
Estate agents and rental property managers who don't adopt technology in their businesses will be replaced.

This is the year in which the property industry will have to adapt to cater for the new "on-demand" environment.

This is the matter-of-fact view of Entregral Technologies' Adriaan Grove, who addressed the PayProp PropTech event in Cape To...

Cut your taxes when you work from home

15 Mar 2018
SA homeowners will be paying higher taxes of all sorts this year, from VAT and fuel levies to the new municipal property rates just announced in many cities and metros, but self-employed individuals and employees who often work from home may be able to claw some of that back from the taxman.

"These days," says Gerhard Kotze MD at RealNet Properties, "...

'Sell for more and buy for less'

15 Mar 2018
We are at the start of 2018, and the new spirit of confidence in the country is already being reflected in the property market, with increased sales and more people looking to move to bigger and better homes.

Even in Cape Town, experiencing a dire water crisis, the demand for property remains high.

The increase in property sales is being seen a...

Public warned against unregistered home building company

14 Mar 2018
The National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC) has warned the public not to conduct business with Modulus Civils and Construction, which is conducting its business in and around Tshwane, Gauteng.
Public warned against unregistered home building company

According to NHBRC, Modulus Civils and Construction is fraudulently carrying on the busi...

Should your first home be an investment property?

13 Mar 2018

There's a big difference between an investment property and a primary residence. As the names suggest, the one makes you money while the other gives you a roof over your head. As a rule, primary properties don't make you money, because any profit you make on a sale is generally put back into the next property you buy. An investment property, however, mak...

When your dream home turns into a real-life nightmare

13 Mar 2018
When Angile recently bought her first property, she encountered a number of pitfalls that very few property buyers are prepared for. Here is her story and how you can avoid encountering the same issues.

The estate agent put her under significant pressure to submit an offer, saying that there were many other potential buyers waiting to submit offers. A...

No need to panic about land expropriation proposals

12 Mar 2018
Government's plans to expropriate land without compensation should not deter prospective buyers from investing in residential property, legal professionals say.

Although a motion was passed in Parliament to forge ahead with these moves, the process is still only a bill and not an act of Parliament, and so will first need to pass through "the various p...

How new VAT rate affects property sales

09 Mar 2018
The announced increase in the VAT-rate to 15% is effective from 1 April 2018 and has raised a number of questions regarding the VAT-implications of transactions that are currently being concluded.

One of these questions is how the increased VAT rate affects fixed property sales that are currently in progress or being negotiated (i.e. before 1 April 20...

Do you know what your rental rights are during the water crisis?

08 Mar 2018
With Day Zero in Cape Town projected for 9 July, a number of questions have been raised about how the water crisis affects the rights of tenants and landlords. Both parties have contractual obligations to fulfil as part of their lease agreements, but what happens when these become impossible because of circumstances outside of our control?

According t...

Section 67A(4) of the VAT Act - a knight in shining armour for residential property sales deals?

08 Mar 2018
By now the whole of South Africa is aware of the increase in the VAT rate to 15%, announced during the 2018 Budget Speech. The increase in the VAT rate (the first since 1993) is effective from 1 April 2018 and has raised a number of questions regarding the VAT implications of transactions that are currently being concluded. One of these questions is how does...

Housing scheme fines - how to keep them from becoming a hot potato

06 Mar 2018
While some home owners believe the imposition of fines in community housing schemes (CHS), like sectional title complexes and estates, helps to ensure that all residents follow the rules, others argue that their body corporate or home owners' association (HOA) is overstepping its authority when it does this.

"Some will even say that imposing a fine is...

Get back-up for municipal valuation objections

06 Mar 2018
Property owners in Johannesburg, Ethekwini and many other municipal areas only have a short time in which to lodge any objections to the new municipal valuations of their properties - and to the new municipal rates based on these valuations that they will be charged from July.

And to assist, the Chas Everitt International property group is offering fr...

#RatesMustFall: 700% property value shock

02 Mar 2018
Johannesburg - A Joburg CBD building owner, Rees Mann, got the shock of his life when he opened his municipal valuation bill and found it had increased by more than 700% - from R3million to a staggering R25m.

He joins the fast-growing list of home and business owners up in arms over what they term excessive valuations that will force them off their pr...

Rental property sector hard-hit by fraudsters

02 Mar 2018
The rental property sector is being particularly hard-hit by at the moment by fraudsters determined to gain access to rental accommodation under false pretences, says Greg Harris, CEO of Chas Everitt Property Rentals.

"When the economy is slow as it is at the moment, we always experience higher demand for rental accommodation because many people put o...

Rental and housing markets could see boost from potential rate cut

01 Mar 2018
The rental market suffered from much volatility during 2017, as reflected in the PayProp Rental Index Annual Review.

According to the report, it kicked off with rental growth spiking in January with weighted year-on-year (YoY) growth peaking at 8.3% before dropping to 6.34% in July, dipping down to less than 5% in November and then experiencing a slig...

#Budget2018: Rising tax burden on shrinking base worrying for economy, property

28 Feb 2018
It was always going to be a tough budget given that finance minister Malusi Gigaba already signalled during his mini-budget late last year that there was a significant fiscal deficit that needed to be funded. And, with a sluggish, albeit improving economy, this could only come from higher taxes.

While an improved economic outlook is welcome news, risi...

'How to fight off fake tenants'

27 Feb 2018
The rental property sector is hard-hit by at the moment by fraudsters determined to gain access to rental accommodation under false pretences.

"When the economy is slow as it is at the moment, we always experience higher demand for rental accommodation because many people put off buying their own homes, while others are forced to sell their homes and ...

Seven things students should know about lease agreements

27 Feb 2018
Whether staying in a conventional apartment or in a university residence, all students should have signed a lease agreement with their landlord before moving in - any landlord that offers accommodation without a contract is suspect, and to be frank, breaking the law, and should be avoided.

"Reasons for moving could vary from the convenience of being c...

Can a lessee withhold rental if denied full occupation of leased premises?

26 Feb 2018
The Supreme Court of Appeal dealt with the question of whether or not a lessee can withhold rental if it is not given full occupation of the leased premises in the recent case of Tudor Hotel Brasserie & Bar v Hencetrade 15. The lessee, Tudor Hotel Brasserie & Bar was evicted from the leased premises by the lessor, Hencetrade 15, as a result of Tudor's failur...

What Are The Four Phases of Homeownership?

26 Feb 2018
Homeownership can be a wild but exciting ride and whether you've lived in your house for a decade or a lifetime, buckling up is the best thing you can do.

Regardless how long you've lived in your personal shelter called home, you are more than likely to move across these 4 stages of homeownership, from the very first day you get that set of new keys u...

Better year expected for residential property market

23 Feb 2018
An improvement in the residential property market was expected this year, despite the Budget being negative for the housing market, according to industry analysts.

Jacques du Toit, a property analyst at Absa Home Loans, said yesterday that the Budget would definitely impact on consumer and household finances by affecting disposable income.

He s...

Cash buyers trump those who require bonds

22 Feb 2018
Property buyers with cash on hand are snatching prime Cape Town properties from under the noses of potential bonded buyers, not giving them the chance to finalise their home loans.

In some areas, the only way bonded buyers are able to compete is by offering more than the asking prices for the homes they desire.

Most buyers in Cape Town's luxury...

What body corporate finances really mean for your investment

21 Feb 2018
Whether you own a property in a sectional title complex or are looking to invest in one, the financial standing of the body corporate is the single most important thing that can affect your investment or your buying decision. This is because the financial management of a complex will have significant impact on the property's appreciation potential as well as...

How to bounce back after overpricing your property

21 Feb 2018
While every owner wants to sell their property at the best possible price, overpricing a home can be the kiss of death for a sale.

Modern buyers are well-informed on what they can expect for their money, says David Jacobs of the Rawson Property Group. They have little patience for unrealistic prices, and are very likely to avoid overvalued properties ...

Check body corporate finances before you buy sectional title

20 Feb 2018
Whether you own a property in a sectional title complex or are looking to invest in one, the financial standing of the body corporate is the single most important thing that can affect your investment or your buying decision.

The financial management of a complex will have significant impact on the property's appreciation potential as well as levy amo...

Lower-income properties outperform rest of market

20 Feb 2018
Property prices and the types of homes people are looking for seem to mirror the country's economic and home affordability situations as upper end properties sit on the market for longer.

Homes in the middle and lower income value bands, on the other hand, are not staying on the market long, and are also achieving the highest house-price growth

Housing shortage an opportunity for high investment yields

14 Feb 2018
Investment is needed in the affordable housing sector. Historically, growth in this sector has been hampered by perceptions of high risk and, as a result, undervalued investments.
Housing shortage an opportunity for high investment yields

If investors take the time to do their due diligence, they could find South Africa's housing shortage is also a...

Managing storage in sectional title schemes

13 Feb 2018
While most homes in cluster complexes and other gated communities come with one garage or carport, residents would often like additional permanent parking or storage areas for things like trailers, bikes, boats and caravans.

"The trouble is there is usually not enough space to create an extra parking bay or storage unit for every household, and a scra...

Increased property sales due to emigration

13 Feb 2018
The gradual rising trend in emigration-related home selling, which began in the fourth quarter of 2013, is continuing, while foreign buying of South African property has been on a declining trend since last year.

FNB said home selling because of emigration increased to an estimated 7.4 percent of total selling in the fourth quarter of last year from 7...

Legal battle over property transfers and jurisdictions

12 Feb 2018
A legal battle has erupted between a company which said it had a business model which could deal with the day-to-day administrative aspects of property transfers and the legal fraternity. But, the legal fraternity says, transfers are in law reserved to conveyancers or legal practitioners.

Newly-established company Proxi Smart Services Pty Ltd turned t...

Rental markets under pressure

12 Feb 2018
The forecast for the national rental market in 2018 remains a mixed bag of good news and bad news.

Although rentals are expected to rise slowly as the challenges of home affordability and tighter lending criteria tighten their grip, it's a double-edged sword as the market also will come under increasing pressure from factors like declining disposable ...

Property firms chided over pay policy

08 Feb 2018
With the maturation of the listed South African property sector that began with just a few companies in the early 2000s, remuneration structures are now being challenged.

Last week, Arrowhead Properties and Dipula Income Fund held annual general meetings where their remuneration policies faced criticism.

Nearly a quarter of the shareholders at ...

Legal battle over property transfers and jurisdictions

08 Feb 2018
A legal battle has erupted between a company which said it had a business model which could deal with the day-to-day administrative aspects of property transfers and the legal fraternity. But, the legal fraternity says, transfers are in law reserved to conveyancers or legal practitioners.

Newly-established company Proxi Smart Services Pty Ltd turned t...

How to keep parking peace in complexes

07 Feb 2018
While most homes in cluster complexes, estates and other gated communities come with at least one garage or carport, residents would often like additional permanent parking or storage areas for things like trailers, bikes, boats and caravans.

"The trouble is that there is usually not enough space to create an extra parking bay or storage unit for ever...

Check zoning rights before buying residential property for business use

07 Feb 2018
How often do we see those adverts "perfect for home-office" or "ideal for business" on an estate agent's advertising platform and take it as a given that the said property is in fact 'ideal for business'?

But often these advertising statements are either loosely, incorrectly or deceitfully used in order to make a property more attractive to buyers.

Spooked property stocks have lost 16% this year

06 Feb 2018
Some light may be shed as to what caused renewed panic selling of real estate investment trusts (Reits) when Fortress releases its results on Friday, 2 February.
Spooked property stocks have lost 16% this year

Fortress, which has B units akin to normal shares and A units similar to preference shares listed on the JSE, was among Thursday's biggest c...

Divorce and death affect landlords and tenants alike

06 Feb 2018
Renting property is generally the best option for people not looking for long-term commitment, but complications often occur when relationships between tenants break down.

Couples who divorce or separate can cause headaches for landlords and managing agents when neither takes responsibility for the lease.

The same difficulties arise when a tena...

Resilient hopes sell-off will end now it is not a target

05 Feb 2018
Resilient CEO Des de Beer says the group and its partners are hopeful that the "hysterical" selloff of its shares will stop now that US research house Viceroy has targeted another firm in its second report on a South African company.
Resilient hopes sell-off will end now it is not a targetViceroy followed a damning report about Steinhoff International in ...

Is buy-to-let property still attractive as an asset class in the current environment?

05 Feb 2018
According to Gareth Bailey, Pam Golding Properties area principal for Durban Coastal, residential buy-to-let property undoubtedly remains an attractive asset class, even in the current economic and political climate.
Is buy-to-let property still attractive as an asset class in the current environment?In uncertain economic and political times, people are s...

Secondary home-buying expected to improve this year

02 Feb 2018
Seconday non-essential home-buying, which includes buy-to-let homes, weakened as the year progressed last year but was expected to improve this year, according to FNB.

John Loos, a household and property sector strategist at FNB, said this improvement was anticipated given FNB's expectation of stable interest rates this year, slightly improved economi...

Arrowhead runs into dissent on remuneration

02 Feb 2018
Arrowhead Properties, which has forecast that its dividend will shrink in the year to September, is facing criticism over its remuneration policy. Nearly a quarter of the shareholders at its annual general meeting on Tuesday, 30 January, voted against the diversified real estate group's remuneration policy.

As much as 22.51% voted against and 5.4% abs...

Smart homes no longer strictly the domain of the wealthy

01 Feb 2018
The perception of smart homes as the domain of wealthier home owners and tech junkies only is changing quickly as advances are making smart home technology increasingly accessible and user-friendly.
Smart homes no longer strictly the domain of the wealthy

The Smart Home Market Overview 2017 report revealed that the global smart home market almost d...

Investors choose to hold on to Resilient

31 Jan 2018
Several long-term shareholders are holding on to their interests in the Resilient group of property companies, saying that they will not act on speculation and will instead wait for the release of financial results.

There has been a selldown in the shares of Resilient, Greenbay Properties, Fortress Income Fund and Nepi Rockcastle over the past two wee...

When home means a place for everyone

30 Jan 2018
Multi-generational living is rising as growing security needs and high costs of living make "hiving" an attractive option for families.

Estate agents report a marked increase in home purchases for this purpose, with parents and children, or parents and grandparents, pooling resources to buy properties to share.

There has recently also been a ri...

Estate agents expect market improvement

30 Jan 2018
Next month's first FNB Estate Agent Survey for 2018 is expected to see a "slightly better" market picture emerge following "modest" agent expectations last year.

An improved economic growth rate, accompanied by the expectation of stable interest rates, should also be supportive of mildly stronger household sector disposable income growth, says FNB's J...

Top 10 points to include in a rental agreement

29 Jan 2018
A written lease agreement needs to protect both the tenant and the landlord and should therefore detail as much about the rental agreement as possible to leave no room for misinterpretation. Both the tenant and landlord must ensure that they are happy with the terms and conditions in the agreement, especially if it was provided by a real estate company.
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Fix your property or sell as is?

26 Jan 2018
What do you do if you want to sell your home, but it is in need of repairs?

If this is the situation, you have a tough decision to make about what makes more financial sense.

Either you will have to delay selling the home and spend the money to get the property in tip-top shape, or you can place it on the market and take the knock on the asking...

Single women buy homes more than men

25 Jan 2018
I often hear that single women are more likely than single men to buy homes on their own.

In my early twenties, anecdotal research backed this up: many women in my friend group were purchasing their own homes, or dreaming about doing so, and not waiting for a significant other to do it.

Behind couples, single women are the largest group of home...

Online photos can misrepresent vital aspects of a property

24 Jan 2018
Picture this real estate scenario like most shoppers searching for a home, you start on the web, checking listings and locations. You find a house that appears to be what you're after, and you tap into the photos for interior shots.

The house seems outstanding for the asking price. Everything appears to be in good physical condition, you're impressed ...

Landlords or tenants - who has more rights?

24 Jan 2018
A sentiment frequently expressed by many a frustrated landlord these days is that "tenants have all the rights". Similarly, tenants often feel that there is no-one fighting their corner when a landlord does not fulfil their obligations. So who is right?
Landlords or tenants - who has more rights?

"The reality is that both tenants and landlords are ...

What's on the cards for property in 2018

23 Jan 2018
2017 was a challenging year for the South African property market in general, despite small pockets of thriving activity in areas like the Western Cape. Here are the property trends and market influences that could make their impact felt in the new year.
What's on the cards for property in 2018

Demand and market activity

2017 showed a slow b...

Top market may lose some sparkle

23 Jan 2018
This year may be tougher than last for the Western Cape property market as house-price growth subsides and the province grapples with the ongoing drought.

And just like the national picture, struggles associated with affordability and the unstable economy look set to continue into 2018.

House-price growth in the Western Cape, and in Cape Town p...

Stable start to 2018 with no change in repo rate

22 Jan 2018
It was a stable start to the New Year with the Reserve Bank on Thursday, 18 January, announcing no change in the repo rate at the conclusion of its Monetary Policy Committee meeting, as forecast by various market commentators.
Stable start to 2018 with no change in repo rate

While the political transition currently under way is in itself unlikely t...

Average first-time home buying percentage stabilised in 2017 after two years of decline

22 Jan 2018
According to the FNB Estate Agent Surveys through 2017, the estimated average first-time home buyer level was 20.27% of total home buying for the year.
Average first-time home buying percentage stabilised in 2017 after two years of decline

This is at almost the same level as the 20% average for 2016, a more-or-less sideways move last year, after no...

Why sectional title schemes should have separate water billing for units

19 Jan 2018
With the Western Cape still in the midst of a severe severe drought, many households have had to adjust the way they use water. According to Mandi Hanekom, operations manager for sectional title finance company Propell, it is a little more complicated in sectional title schemes. It is not easy to implement grey water systems for multiple users and it is also...

Early cancellation of a residential lease

18 Jan 2018
In ideal rental situations, when a lease is signed the tenant will stay for the full duration of his lease without any complications and the landlord will uphold his obligations, creating a win-win situation for tenant and landlord.

What happens though when the lease is to be cancelled early, whether due to the tenant's circumstances changing or to th...

Are show days still relevant?

18 Jan 2018
With most consumers looking online for property, many real estate professionals have stopped using open show days as a marketing tool to sell a home.

Within the property industry, there is some debate among real estate professionals as to whether show days are still a worthwhile step in the property sales process. While some still see show days as an ...

Realtors warn against excessive positivity

16 Jan 2018
National house-price growth in 2018 is anticipated to be "slightly better" than 2017's average, which FNB's John Loos says was 3.7%..

Having said this though, it is only a mild expected strengthening to "perhaps nearer to 5% price growth", still translating into mild "real" house price decline.

Loos says: "By this it is meant that average house...

Early cancellation of a residential lease

16 Jan 2018
In ideal rental situations, when a lease is signed the tenant will stay for the full duration of his lease without any complications and the landlord will uphold his obligations, creating a win-win situation for tenant and landlord.

What happens though when the lease is to be cancelled early, whether due to the tenant's circumstances changing or to th...

South African property market predictions for 2018

15 Jan 2018

Wondering what the property market will be doing this year? We asked some of the country's leading experts for their views.

All in all, 2017 was a bad year for South Africa. As if credit rating downgrades, a lack of economic growth, growing reports of state capture, and soaring fuel and food prices weren't enough, we also had to contend with a pre...

Tough times see confidence levels drop to new low points

11 Jan 2018
Property building confidence in South Africa has dropped to its lowest levels in more than five years, with current business conditions in the country to blame.

According to the FNB/BER Building Confidence Index, the level fell to 31 in the fourth quarter (Q4) this year, from 35 in Q3 - the lowest confidence level since Q3 in 2012.

At the curre...

Property owners should brace for a tough 2018

11 Jan 2018
South African homeowners and prospective buyers should brace themselves for a tough 2018 that could see property rates, electricity and water tariffs, and interest rates rise.

Consumers will need to tighten their belts and save as much as they can through the political and economic turbulence. Consumers are already under pressure, but last month's sec...

What are the main issues that affect property prices in SA?

10 Jan 2018
The answer is more complex than it would seem at face value. There are various factors at play, the most important being market conditions which affect so many elements including the cost of loans.

The repurchase rate, or repo rate, is the interest rate that the South African Reserve Bank applies to the money it lends to banks. The Reserve Bank uses t...

The five-step process to securing the right tenant

10 Jan 2018
Times are indeed tough, and the rental market is no different. While landlords have the opportunity to boost their income through renting out property, it can be a tricky sea to navigate without following certain steps and taking precautions. By properly screening a tenant, a landlord has a better chance of keeping the rent coming in consistently. There are ...

Residential tenant payments improve as rental increases slow

09 Jan 2018
Residential tenant rental payments improved in the third quarter for the second consecutive quarter as average rental inflation slowed year on year for the third consecutive quarter.

The latest quarterly residential rental monitor by the TPN credit bureau showed that tenants "in good standing" with their landlords improved to 83.47 percent in the thir...

Boundary wall dispute ends up in court

09 Jan 2018
To promote good neighbourliness, disputes between neighbours should not end up in our country's courts.

This was the advice of an acting judge at the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, which he gave in a judgment where he had to resolve problems between neighbours over a boundary wall.

Judge E van der Schyff said these disputes should rather be adju...

The five-step process to securing the right tenant

08 Jan 2018
Times are indeed tough, and the rental market is no different. While landlords have the opportunity to boost their income through renting out property, it can be a tricky sea to navigate without following certain steps and taking precautions. By properly screening a tenant, a landlord has a better chance of keeping the rent coming in consistently. There are ...

Investment property owners be aware of common tax pitfalls

08 Jan 2018
Whether investing in property for long-term returns or for resale in the short term, taxpayers are often faced with the question of how their decisions affect their tax liabilities. The most common tax mistakes in property investment can be avoided by understanding three main aspects.

From a tax perspective, investment property is generally understood...

Electric fence installations subject to safety regulations

15 Dec 2017
Electric fencing is a popular security solution in South Africa which, along with alarm systems and CCTV cameras, is used as a deterrent to would-be burglars. However, by nature it is potentially dangerous.

What happens if a fault occurs and who's liable if someone gets hurt? Before you jet off on holiday this festive season it's worth checking that a...

How to sweat office space in uncertain economic times

14 Dec 2017
South Africa is facing severe economic headwinds and many companies are hesitant to move into bigger spaces even if they need them. Many offices have a low utilisation portion of their space which means they are paying for space they don't even use. Unused space is a very costly resource. But there are ways to make existing space work harder.

1.Store ...

Electric fence installations subject to safety regulations

13 Dec 2017
Electric fencing is a popular security solution in South Africa which, along with alarm systems and CCTV cameras, is used as a deterrent to would-be burglars. However, by nature it is potentially dangerous.

What happens if a fault occurs and who's liable if someone gets hurt? Before you jet off on holiday this festive season it's worth checking that a...

'Voetstoots' clause does not remove onus to disclose defects

13 Dec 2017
The "voetstoots" clause, meaning "with a shove of the foot" (that the buyer takes the property in its present condition as it is), has often been used by sellers as a disclaimer to protect themselves against any claims from the buyer if a fault is found after signing the offer to purchase."

This term, however, is not to be abused as known defects by l...

Consider a solid investment in real estate

12 Dec 2017
The recent disaster that befell the Steinhoff share price is a prime example of the risks of investing your hard-earned money in shares. Imagine the horror of waking up to discover your investment is worth less than half of what it was the day before.

While Steinhoff shares were, until last week, considered one of the best shares to invest in, they re...

If you pay more than 30% of your income to rent, you are overdoing it

12 Dec 2017
South Africa tenants are urged not to spend too much on rent every month in attempts to keep up with their peers or demand "the best".

This is according to Michael Bauer, managing director of SAProperty.com.

Bauer says although most tenants countrywide pay about 30% of their monthly income towards rent, it has been found that those who rent in ...

Building confidence worst since 2012

11 Dec 2017
Confidence in the building industry in the fourth quarter of this year deteriorated to its worst level since the third quarter of 2012.

The FNB/Bureau for Economic Research (BER) building confidence index released yesterday dropped to 31 index points on a 100-point scale from 35 in the previous quarter.

The current level of the index indicates ...

Homeowners warned about insurance implications of drought

07 Dec 2017
With a number of provinces in South Africa still facing extreme drought conditions, it is important for all homeowners to be aware of the impact of the drought on their home and therefore their insurance. There are a number of areas of the home that can be impacted by water restrictions, including water pipes, swimming pools and gardens.

This is accor...

How to become a successful property investor

06 Dec 2017
While property is a very popular and profitable investment in South Africa, without the right skills it can be a tough market to crack.
How to become a successful property investor

"It's not easy to leap into property and make a success of it without a plan," says Tony Clarke, MD of the Rawson Property Group. "Unless you have a natural instinct for...

Average house price growth to decline for third year in a row

06 Dec 2017
The average year-on-year house price growth for this year was likely to be slower than last year, despite year-on-year house price growth accelerating mildly in recent months.

John Loos, a household and property sector strategist at FNB, said yesterday that this would represent the third consecutive year of slowdown in house price growth.

"Aver...

Major shift occuring in property market towards sustainability

05 Dec 2017
Sustainability in the property sector is becoming more important than ever, says William Hughes, business sustainability consultant at Mazars, and companies operating in this market will need to undergo a paradigm shift in order to stay competitive.
"There is already a major shift in the property market towards green technology, alternative energy and gre...

Illegal estate wall collapses onto neighbouring property

05 Dec 2017
After his neighbour's wall collapsed onto his home a week ago, Ravindra Bikramchund said Kindlewood Estate management in Mount Edgecombe had ignored his complaints about the wall going up more than six months ago.

Ravindra Bikramchund of Kindlewood Estate, Mount Edgecombe, in his yard where a neighbour's wall has fallen on his house.

The busine...

Why must I pay levies to CSOS?

04 Dec 2017
Most people know of the Community Schemes Ombud Service (CSOS) and that levies must to paid to fund its operations. In this article I will address some of the issues that are causing confusion.

The CSOS Act and Regulations came into effect on 7 October 2016, and in terms of section 29(1)(b) of that Act, all community schemes must pay levies to the CSO...

Renewing right of first refusal

01 Dec 2017
Bruce Swain, CEO of Leapfrog Property Group, shares some advice in terms of rental contract renewals - with specific reference to 'right of first refusal'...
Renewing right of first refusal

The right of first refusal

Many tenants ask their landlords for first refusal, should the landlord ever decide to sell the property. "For a happy tenant ...

Top tips for selling your home this summer

29 Nov 2017
Traditionally, spring heralds the start of the "selling season" in real estate. This means more homes are on the market. Like most sellers, you will be looking for a swift sale for the optimum price. This means your home needs to stand out from its competitors and present a winning combination of correct pricing and a lot of appeal, which speaks to the emoti...

Minister threatens to cut off water to 30 municipalities

29 Nov 2017
Thirty of South Africa's municipalities that have failed to honour outstanding water bills have until early next month to start paying up.
Minister threatens to cut off water to 30 municipalities

Minister of Water and Sanitation Nomvula Mokonyane announced in Johannesburg on Monday that her department had issued notices to 30 defaulting municipalit...

Tenants' right of first refusal to buy

28 Nov 2017
Many tenants ask their landlords for first refusal, should the landlord ever decide to sell the property.

"For a happy tenant the right of first refusal is a fantastic opportunity to not only remain in the property they love, but to purchase it for themselves should the opportunity arise,|" says Bruce Swain of the Leapfrog Property Group.

The r...

Bigger bond sizes encouraging for buyers

28 Nov 2017
Good news for home buyers is that the average approved bond size has risen by almost 6% in the past 12 months, while the average home purchase price has risen only 3,3%.

That's according to the latest statistics from BetterBond, SA's biggest bond originator, which show that the average approved bond size in the year to end-October was R893 000, and th...

Rent instead of owning: Is it a better model for low-income housing?

27 Nov 2017
Government has built millions of RDP houses since 1994. Most of them are owned by the recipients. But there is a school of thought that home ownership is not always the best model for providing houses. Instead, the view goes, rent is often a more sustainable way.

Subsidised rentals are a tiny part of the government's plan to provide nearly 1.5-million...

Couple taken in by 'fake agent'

27 Nov 2017
A young Cape Town couple, ambitious to get into the property business, learnt the hard way when they realised they had been dealing with a bogus estate agent and a law firm employee who allegedly tricked them into believing he was an attorney.

The couple brings to eight the number of people Weekend Argus is aware of who have lost their money in what s...

Time almost up for timeshare industry

24 Nov 2017
Stuck with a holiday club membership that you were ambushed into signing? Mystified by the booking process? Told you cannot cancel the contract? Paid exorbitant annual levies and never seen any benefit?

Unfair practices in the timeshare industry have been in the spotlight for years, with countless complaints about consumers getting raw deals.

T...

Tourism accommodation industry posts modest revenue increase

22 Nov 2017
Total income for the tourist accommodation industry rose 1.8% in September from a year earlier, Stats SA showed on Monday.

The industry made R2.08bn in September compared with R1.927bn in September last year.

Income from accommodation - which excludes restaurant and bar sales and other income - was 3.8% higher than a year ago, as a 5.4% increas...

Illegal estate agents 'due to a lack of proper industry regulation'

17 Nov 2017
The EAAB (the Estate Agency Affairs Board) recently claimed that around 50,000 illegal estate agents could currently be operating illegally.

Jan le Roux, Chief Executive of Rebosa (the Real Estate Business Owners of South Africa) questioned these figures and wants to know what the EAAB is doing about the issue.

Le Roux says, "This is obviously ...

Industrial property leads in terms of SA property investment returns

16 Nov 2017
According to the latest MSCI's IPD South Africa Bi-annual Property Index, industrial property was the top performing sector in the country with a total return of 7.0% for the first six months of 2017. Despite tough economic conditions, this outperformance was driven mainly by a lower vacancy rate exhibited across the South African industrial property sector....

'Defects normally not the seller's problem'

15 Nov 2017
When buying a home the buyer will find that in South African law there are two categories of defects - latent and patent.

A patent defect is one that is easily discovered by any person doing a reasonably thorough inspection of the property. A latent defect is one which is not easily detected by such an inspection and may, in fact, be impossible for mo...

More flats and fewer houses being built

15 Nov 2017
South Africa's economy may be making property ownership a little harder to achieve, but statistics reveal that more than 50 000 homes were purchased from July to September.

Furthermore, 36 740 bonds were registered at the Deeds Office during this period, totalling almost R39 billion. The average bond amount was R1.1 million. This is according to Re/Ma...

Industrial property the first-half leader

14 Nov 2017
Industrial property was the top performing real estate type in the first half of 2017, as the sector continued to beat traditional leader retail, thanks to investors being able to lower the cost of managing warehouses and light manufacturing factories.

According to MSCI's IPD SA bi-annual property index, overall vacancies in the industrial sector also...

Apartment owner in court battle with illegal tenants

13 Nov 2017
The alleged hijacking of buildings in the declining area of Joburg's Windsor East is being encouraged by the courts which are supporting alleged illegal tenants.

So said a spokesperson for a property development company which owns 36 blocks of flats in the area.

Upgrading security at the building in Windsor East following the reinstatement by t...

Indluplace increase dividend by 5.6%, in line with guidance

10 Nov 2017
Indluplace the first focused residential real estate investment trust to be listed on the JSE reported on Wednesday, 8 November, that its full-year dividend rose 5.6% to 97.75c which was in line with its guidance.

Since listing in 2015 Indluplace has grown its portfolio by more than 85% to 6,859 residential units and 14,800m of associated retail space...

Five rental renovations to attract top tenants

09 Nov 2017
So the lease ended, your tenant left and now it's time to advertise your rental property again. But before you do, you may want to consider doing something more than the basic clean-and-repaint work in preparation for the next tenant.

It might be worth making some bigger home improvements now, even if there is no immediate opportunity in your local ma...

Unregistered estate agents can't charge you commission

09 Nov 2017
The Estate Agency Affairs Board has cautioned home sellers to ensure that their estate agents have Fidelity Fund Certificates allowing them to operate. If they do not, they are not entitled to earn commission on the sale.

More importantly, they are not allowed to operate as estate agents.

According to the board, about 10 years ago there were as...

SA could have as many as 50,000 illegal estate agents

07 Nov 2017
About 50,000 estate agents could be operating illegally in SA, the Estate Agency Affairs Board revealed on Thursday, 2 November.
SA could have as many as 50,000 illegal estate agentsThe board, which governs the industry, has introduced a mandatory counter-fraud measure for all registered estate agents to distinguish the genuine operators from the fakes - ...

EAAB wants to place 2000 interns

06 Nov 2017
About 2 000 black graduates will be placed with different estate agencies across the country as the industry tries to show it is serious about transformation.

Yesterday, officials from the Estate Agencies Affairs Board (EAAB) appeared before the parliamentary portfolio committee on human settlements where they were to present their turnaround strategy...

EAAB wants to place 2000 interns

03 Nov 2017
About 2 000 black graduates will be placed with different estate agencies across the country as the industry tries to show it is serious about transformation.

Yesterday, officials from the Estate Agencies Affairs Board (EAAB) appeared before the parliamentary portfolio committee on human settlements where they were to present their turnaround strategy...

'Consumer Protection Act does not apply to all property transactions'

03 Nov 2017
The wave of publicity that accompanied South Africa's widely praised Consumer Protection Act has led buyers (consumers) to believe that they are afforded a blanket protection covering every commercial transaction in which they are involved.

Rowan Alexander, Director of Alexander Swart Property, has, however, pointed out that in property dealing most t...

SA cities rank poorly on latest Schroders Global Cities Index

02 Nov 2017
South African cities leave much to be desired, that is according to the latest released Schroders Global Cities Index, which ranks over 700 cities in order of their attractiveness from a long-term real estate investment perspective. Johannesburg ranked fairly low at 212th, while Cape Town is all the way down at 414th.

Tom Walker, co-head of global rea...

Delta Property raises first-half distribution 1.02% to 46.40c

02 Nov 2017
Delta Property Fund, which leases office space mainly to the government and state-owned enterprises, on Tuesday, 31 October, reported just a 1.02% rise in distribution to 46.40c in the six months to end-August from a year ago.

Delta's R11.3bn portfolio consists of 108 properties, with a total gross lettable area of 973,431m2 and includes assets held-f...

Buying a tenanted property

01 Nov 2017
What happens if you find your ideal home, but the current owner has leased the property?
Buying a tenanted property

Generally buying a tenanted property isn't a problem - if the buyer bears in mind that old adage of "huur gaat voor koop,". Essentially common law dictates that a tenant's lease takes precedence of a change of ownership through a pro...

Five rental property buying mistakes to avoid

01 Nov 2017
Once you have done research and made up your mind about going for high rental yields instead of high capital growth properties, the next step is to master the process of picking the right investment property.

Praven Subbramoney, CEO of Private Bank Lending at FNB, says many inexperienced investors often get it wrong when choosing the first few rental ...

Seller expectations 'hindering seaboard property sales'

30 Oct 2017
Cape Town's Atlantic Seaboard and City Bowl property market recorded almost R6 billion in sales during the first nine months of this year, but seller expectations are hindering further sales, estate agents say.

Although the R5.7bn values of sales concluded from January to September is 82% higher than five years ago, Billy Rautenbach, sales director fo...

Consolidation opportunities among listed property funds 'have been lost'

30 Oct 2017
Some fund managers believe that listed real estate groups may have missed the opportunity for acquisitions and mergers in SA to create larger and more liquid funds.

Consolidation among South African-invested listed property companies has all but stopped in 2017, given weak economic growth, worries about the ANC's leadership conference and a volatile e...

How important is the stand on which a house is built?

26 Oct 2017
According to Gerhard Kotzwe MD of the RealNet estate agency group, one might assume, taking location into account, that the bigger the stand, the more the buyer would pay for it, but that is actually not always the case.

"Depending on buyer requirements and lifestyles, the 'usability' of a stand - sometimes also called a plot or an erf - frequently ou...

Sectional title versus freehold ownership

25 Oct 2017
Several reasons have contributed to the growing popularity of sectional title homes in South Africa over the last decade, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa. "These homes often offer heightened security, are more affordable and provide people with a more communal way of living. However, as popular as sectional title o...

Increase your chances of securing a rental

25 Oct 2017
As the demand for rental properties continues to outstrip the current inventory available, it has become increasingly more difficult for tenants to find the right property, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.

"The demand for rental homes is unprecedented high, while there is simply not enough properties to go a...

Outstanding credit balances in the South African household sector increased by 3,4% year-on-year

24 Oct 2017
Outstanding credit balances in the South African household sector increased by 3,4% year-on-year (y/y) to R1 520,2 billion in the period January to August 2017.


Household secured credit balances (R1 168,6 billion and 76,9 % of total credit balances) showed growth of 3,4 % y/y up to the end of August. This low year-on-year growth in secured credit...

How to deal with absconding tenants

23 Oct 2017
While many landlords may rely on the rental income on their properties during tough economic times, they may also have to deal with disappearing tenants.

"With an absconding tenant, it can be quite difficult as you have to issue a cancellation letter, terminating the lease and indicating the final date of the lease," says Natalie Muller, head of renta...

How SA's urban sprawl trend is maintaining spatial divisions, resulting in poverty traps

20 Oct 2017
According to Professor Edgar Pieterse, urban sprawl will continue to be encouraged if private- and public-sector land investment in our cities concentrates on keeping the haves away from the have-nots. He was speaking at the recently held GBCSA Green Building Convention in Cape Town.

Urban inefficiency creates "pockets of poverty"

Similar senti...

Database of 30 million+ South Africans leaked online, property group is culprit

20 Oct 2017
NEWSWATCH: After a database of more than 30 million South Africans had been leaked online, including estimated incomes' addresses, and cellphone numbers, one of the country's top real estate companies has admitted to being the unwitting source.

In addition to the aforementioned, the personal information that was published also reportedly contains name...

Equities acquires Coventry property

19 Oct 2017
Equites Property Fund, the high-end industrial property owner, has strengthened its UK portfolio with a deal worth nearly R700m. The group has bought a 19,909m cross docking distribution centre in Coventry, England, for $41m. This means Equites now owns four distribution centres in the UK worth about $104m.

The Coventry transaction was subject to the ...

Top five South African consumer trends - Euromonitor

19 Oct 2017
Global market intelligence company, Euromonitor International, has just released the latest results of the 2017 Global Consumer Trends survey.

According to a 2017 survey by the Bureau for Economic Research at Stellenbosch University, consumers have the most pessimistic economic outlook since the survey began in 1982, based on factors including politic...

Property buyers, sellers need to be extra vigilant in avoiding fraud

18 Oct 2017
With property fraud on the rise, buyers and sellers need to be ultra-vigilant, says Chris Tyson, chief executive of Tyson Properties. "In tough economic times, people turn to crime. In the property industry, it is no different," he says.
Property buyers, sellers need to be extra vigilant in avoiding fraudThere are a number of different types of property f...

Airbnb oversupply causes return to traditional letting

18 Oct 2017
Traditionally a property could be rented out for any period, but most landlords would opt for a six months lease agreement or longer with a potential tenant, also referred to as long term rentals.

"Short-stay rentals on the other hand are seen as a different kettle of fish as they relate more to the tourist industry and holiday makers," says Linda Era...

Buyers - and sellers - urged to do their homework before signing an offer

17 Oct 2017
Buyers are urged to carefully assess the properties they consider purchasing before making an offer as, despite legislation protecting them in cases where the true state of properties are hidden, they still need to "beware".

"Caveat emptor" - "let the buyer beware" - is a phrase from contract law that often applies in property transactions as buyers k...

Equites pays lavish dividend

17 Oct 2017
Equites Property Fund, which is focused on high-end logistics assets, delivered double-digit growth in dividends for the six months to August, making it one of the top-performing listed real estate groups.

The company achieved a 12.02% increase in half-year dividends to August, one of the few double-digit income providers in 2017. It was also included...

South African commercial property markets reflect impact of economic climate

16 Oct 2017
JLL's overview of South Africa's central office, industrial and retail markets reflects the impact of the current economic climate, with pockets of confidence within a largely cautious sector

Real estate consulting firm, JLL South Africa, has released its Q2 2017 research reports of the industrial markets in Johannesburg and Durban, the office markets...

Why residential estates insist on uniformity

16 Oct 2017

While homeowners may be annoyed by not having freedom of choice regarding their estate home's appearance, uniformity does protect property values.

Homes in community housing schemes such as estates and cluster home complexes are generally sold at a premium, so buyers in these schemes are often confused and annoyed to find that they don't have much...

Property remains safe haven asset for investors

13 Oct 2017
When the economy is struggling with low growth, as South Africa's currently is, there are still opportunities for investments, says Sandra Gordon, Pam Golding Properties senior research analyst, but it requires research and a basic knowledge of the underlying trends and dynamics driving the various sectors of the local residential market.

Increasingly...

Are your rental properties sufficiently wired?

13 Oct 2017
With tenants more and more concerned about technology services, it is becoming increasingly important for landlords and their agents to advertise these features if their properties have them, says Gerhard Kotze MD of the RealNet estate agency group.

"In a recent survey by Apartments.com to establish which amenities tenants consider most desirable, 61%...

'Court should demand reserve price in execution sales'

12 Oct 2017
The Ga-Rankuwa man who fell into arrears with the repayment of his bond is asking the court to order that there should be a reserve price set when a house is sold in execution.

Given Nkwane had received a home loan to the value of R380 000 from Standard Bank in 2011. He paid his bond instalments religiously for two years.

But when Nkwane and hi...

Demand for secondary homes declines

12 Oct 2017
Demand for secondary homes and investment buy-to-let residential properties is continuing to weaken, suggesting a possible deterioration in the popularity of owning investment property.

John Loos, a household and property sector strategist at FNB Home Loans, said in these tougher economic times it was perhaps to be expected that secondary home buying ...

Is it permissible to let sectional title units via Airbnb?

11 Oct 2017
The ombud for community housing schemes seems to have resolved whether it is permissible to let sectional title units via Airbnb in terms of the Sectional Title Schemes Management Act (STSMA).
Is it permissible to let sectional title units via Airbnb?

"Some people argued that Airbnb letting amounted to running a business, which you are not allowed ...

Be cautious when handing over management of an ST scheme to an executive managing agent

11 Oct 2017
In the past, if a sectional title scheme appointed a managing agent, the trustees would still have to be actively involved in the decision making and management of the scheme. The Sectional Title Schemes Management Act (STSMA), however, makes allowance for a new type of managing agent - the executive managing agent - which could almost be seen as putting the...

House price growth still slowing

10 Oct 2017
House price growth in South Africa continues to slow, and could potentially be less than 2% over the next 12 months.

This is despite a slight increase in house price growth from August to September.

According to the latest FNB House Price Index, house prices rose by 4.1% year-onyear in September 2017, which is a mild increase from the revised 3...

Lack of maintenance causes breakdown in landlord-tenant relationships

10 Oct 2017
Sunell Afrika, rentals manager for SAProperty.com, says that "one of the biggest causes of a breakdown in landlord-tenant relationships is where there is a lack of maintenance or repair".
Lack of maintenance causes breakdown in landlord-tenant relationships

Landlords have a duty to keep the unit they rent out "reasonably fit for the purpose for whi...

Repeat buyers point to real estate market resilience, says BetterBond

09 Oct 2017
According to statistics from BetterBond, the majority of current homebuyers (52%) are repeat buyers who are giving real estate a vote of confidence by re-investing the proceeds of their own sales.
Repeat buyers point to real estate market resilience, says BetterBond

So says CEO Shaun Rademeyer, who notes that the company's application approval rati...

Are your rental properties sufficiently wired?

09 Oct 2017
With tenants more and more concerned about technology services, it is becoming increasingly important for landlords and their agents to advertise these features if their properties have them, says Gerhard Kotz' MD of the RealNet estate agency group.
Image source:
Image source: www.pexels.com
"In a recent survey by Apartments.com to establish which a...

Why listed infrastructure appeals to Black Rock

06 Oct 2017
Investment house BlackRock says it is finding infrastructure businesses more attractive than many listed property groups.
Why listed infrastructure appeals to Black Rock

"We used to say we invest in real estate but now we say that we invest in real asset securities businesses. This is because we have found that listed infrastructure businesses are ...

Hope for home owners in arrears

06 Oct 2017
Home owners who default on their bond payments should not despair as they will not lose the property if they pay before the property is sold.

This was the message from a Gauteng High Court judge, who said people often threw in the towel when they received an order that they had to repay the outstanding bond, as well as an order declaring that the prop...

Properties remain on market longer

05 Oct 2017
The average time a home remained on the market before it was sold increased further by two days to 15 weeks and six days in the third quarter, indicating the market appeared to be gradually drifting away from equilibrium and price realism, according to FNB.

John Loos, a household and property sector strategist at FNB, said the bank took a subjective v...

Proposed property bill 'presents many challenges'

05 Oct 2017
The proposed Property Practitioners Bill has wide-ranging challenges which will hopefully be addressed in a second draft before it is implemented.

So said Smith Tabatha Buchanan Boyes (STBB) Cape Town director Maryna Botha at the Independent Home Property Summit and Expo in Durban on Friday.

Botha said a major problem with the bill, which repea...

'Rental tribunal not a toothless body'

04 Oct 2017
Whether you're a tenant, looking for pleasant, affordable and convenient accommodation or a landlord searching for a suitable tenant, the letting business can be risky and the only certainty is that people are unpredictable.

Many landlord, tenant issues could be avoided if tenants simply paid their dues on time and looked after properties.

But ...

A smiley face may end up being no laughing matter

03 Oct 2017
A smiley face may end up being no laughing matter
2 Oct 2017 | Save | Email | Print | PDF By: Suthentira Govender
Sending a smiley face or thumbs-up emoji could land you in legal trouble.

Seemingly innocent emoticons attached to an instant message or e-mail can lead to you being bound by unwanted contracts and held liable for damages, warns ...

Cabinet approves land, tech bills for public comment

02 Oct 2017
Cabinet has approved the Land Survey Amendment Bill and the Science and Technology Laws Amendment Bill for public comment.
Cabinet approves land, tech bills for public comment

"Cabinet approved the publication of the Land Survey Amendment Bill for public comment. The Bill amends the Land Survey Act, 1997 (Act 8 of 1997),|" said Cabinet in a stateme...

Sectional Title owners can oppose Airbnb letting

29 Sep 2017
Until recently, there were two schools of thought about whether it is permissible to let sectional title units via Airbnb in terms of the Sectional Title Schemes Management Act (STSMA), but their differences appear to be have been resolved for now by the Ombud for community housing schemes.

"Some people argued that Airbnb letting amounted to running a...

Local property companies should use tough economic times to strengthen themselves for the future

29 Sep 2017
Real estate firms are no strangers to cyclical disruption, especially the likes of which the local market is experiencing at the moment, but to prosper in the future, the industry must enhance their capabilities to manage new types of disruptions. South African property companies cannot rest on their laurels in difficult conditions.

The property secto...

Timeshare deals taken to task

28 Sep 2017
Frustrated holidaymakers, fed up with being tied to timeshare holiday contracts, have approached the National Consumer Commission in a bid to influence policy that regulates the vacation ownership industry.

Scores of timeshare contract holders complained in countrywide hearings by a consumer commission panel that they had paid large sums to be members...

A good credit profile key when applying for home loan

28 Sep 2017
When you approach a bank for finance, there are a number of factors that will be considered before your application can be approved.

Banks will generally take into account the location and market value of the property, the deposit you are willing to put down, as well as your affordability and credit score.

"However, what many first-time home bu...

Stately properties attract buyers, but come with issues

27 Sep 2017
Many buyers find it hard to resist the appeal of owning a heritage home but the issues that accompany historically significant properties are complex and often messy.

Even the mere definition of a heritage home is contentious.

"There is no legally defined term for a heritage house, although these are often bandied about," says architect and her...

Timeshare deals taken to task

27 Sep 2017
Frustrated holidaymakers, fed up with being tied to timeshare holiday contracts, have approached the National Consumer Commission in a bid to influence policy that regulates the vacation ownership industry.

Scores of timeshare contract holders complained in countrywide hearings by a consumer commission panel that they had paid large sums to be members...

Repo rate remains unchanged, property market to remain restrained

26 Sep 2017
South African Reserve Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago announced on Thursday, 21 September, that the Monetary Policy Committee has decided to keep the rates at their current levels - this coming off the Reserve Bank's last decision in July to cut the rates by 25 basis points. Currently, the repo rate is at 6.75%, with the prime lending rate at 10.25%.

C...

Rental maintenance not just landlord's responsibility

26 Sep 2017
Tenants often believe landlords are responsible for all maintenance on their rental properties, but this is not always the case.

Tenants are also responsible for some aspects, says Natalie Muller, regional head of rentals at Jawitz Properties Western Cape. She says who is responsible for what is often the confusing issue.

"Some aspects fall on ...

New online property marketplace launched

20 Sep 2017
New property platform eazi.com has launched, offering another online avenue to buy and sell property in South Africa.
New online property marketplace launched "We deconstructed the process of buying and selling a home into the various elements that make up the transaction," explains CEO Shaun Minnie, "including the role of the estate agent. We then design...

House price growth now below inflation

19 Sep 2017
The South African property market is in for some turbulent times as a struggling economy and low growth prospects put increasing pressure on owners.

As it is, house prices in South Africa are still high in real terms, with some areas in Cape Town seeing price increases of almost 30% in one year.

Speaking at the Rode-REIM real estate conference,...

Understanding the importance of the tenant screening process

19 Sep 2017
According to the most recent Tenant Profile Network (TPN) Rental Monitor report, "Since around 2014, we have witnessed a gradual deterioration in tenant payment performance nationally. The percentage of tenants 'in good standing' with their landlords reached a multi-year peak of 85.95% in the third quarter of 2014. Since then, this percentage has declined by...

Worldwide trust crisis forces real estate agents to adapt

18 Sep 2017
The 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer has revealed that people around the globe are losing faith that "the system" is working in their favour.

This worldwide trust crisis has created a general climate of cynicism and fear affecting both political institutions and commercial organisations. The real estate industry is no exception and local experts say adapt...

Trends in commercial property and the changing nature of risk

18 Sep 2017
The business and commercial property landscape is changing as a result of mass urbanisation and population growth. In fact, 64.3% of the current South African population lives in urban areas. As a result, buildings are now being constructed taller than ever before so they remain within the constraints of land use designation.

South Africa is one of th...

The lowdown on letting out your property

15 Sep 2017
Irrespective of whether the property in question is a one-bedroom studio flat, a cottage at the back of the garden or an entire estate, the same laws and procedures apply and need to be understood clearly in order to make a success of the rental market.
The lowdown on letting out your property

From security deposits and credit checks to a range of ...

What you need to know about occupational rent

15 Sep 2017
Whether you are a buyer or a seller, it is vital that you are familiar with the terms and conditions stipulated in the property sales agreement.
What you need to know about occupational rent

South African law states that those who would like to either sell or buy a property are required to reduce all contractual agreements to writing. The reason fo...

Know your rights as a neighbour

14 Sep 2017
If you have nice neighbours you are very lucky, however in reality some are not very pleasant and can make your life miserable at times.

It is worth making the time getting to know those who live next to you, as neighbours can play an important role in our lives and our community, and it's always a good thing to keep in mind that you are a neighbour t...

Judgements favour property owners over municipalities

14 Sep 2017
Property owners are riding a wave of success following a number of court victories against the country's municipalities, the most recent being last week's landmark judgement on historical debt.

Owner associations and legal experts have welcomed the court rulings, saying property owners finally have their rights established, and some are now even enshr...

House insurance row

13 Sep 2017
A national insurance firm has changed tack and apologised to a township homeowner for its initial refusal to insure his R5m house in KwaNobuhle. Despite Old Mutual underwriter iWyze saying its initial refusal was due to a valuation discrepancy, Uitenhage advocate Vuyo Jack, 56, said he was told it was because he lived in a high-risk area.
House insurance ...

More homeowners, buyers embracing 'green' features

13 Sep 2017
While the commercial sector has led the charge in terms of green building initiatives and ratings, the residential property market is now also embracing this trend.

"In addition to a desire to contribute to a healthy and sustainable natural environment, property owners are motivated by rising utility costs and scarcity of resources, as evidenced by th...

Positive economic indicators could trigger a property market turnaround

12 Sep 2017
Statistics released by Stats SA on 5 September 2017 have revealed that South Africa is officially no longer in recession. The announcement of a 2.5% annualised economic expansion during the second quarter of this year joins other positive indicators including a decrease in consumer price inflation (CPI) and a drop in the repo rate.
Positive economic indic...

When sectional title tenants cause problems

12 Sep 2017
From excessive noise, inconsiderate parking, and oil stains on paving, to satellite dishes put up in the wrong place, overcrowding at units, and barking dogs, bodies corporate have to deal with it all.

But when the occupier of a unit is a tenant, how does the body corporate deal with complaints?

Here are four key questions, along with clarifyin...

What you should know about buy-to-let

11 Sep 2017
Being a landlord can earn you a good income, but it is not for everyone. Buy-to-let property investing has enthusiastic proponents, such as Rich Dad, Poor Dad author Robert Kiyosaki, but there are also many detractors, who argue that you're better off putting your money in the stock market.

If you are serious about investing in physical property (as a...

How much rent should you pay?

08 Sep 2017
Everyone looking for an apartment to rent has a wish-list, but most prospective tenants will have to settle for the best compromise between that list and their budget.

"It's all very well to live in an upmarket building with great security in a sought-after location, and have all the space and views you wanted, but if the rent is so high that you have...

Should you rent or buy a property?

08 Sep 2017
With an investment in property being the biggest financial commitment many will ever make, it's hard to know when it's the right time to buy, or whether to rent. Two property specialists share their advice.
Should you rent or buy a property?

"When making your decision,"says Brian van Wijk who owns and actively manages multiple Just Property franchi...

Understanding the ins and outs of estate inheritance

07 Sep 2017
Taking ownership of a house is usually a joyous occasion in one's life, but sometimes this milestone comes with the death of a loved one and the inheritance of their home.

Dealing with the intricacies of such inheritances is also a trying time, especially when one is grieving.

"However, understanding your options and obligations can make the pr...

How much rent should you pay?

07 Sep 2017
Everyone looking for an apartment to rent has a wish-list, but most prospective tenants will have to settle for the best compromise between that list and their budget.

"It's all very well to live in an upmarket building with great security in a sought-after location, and have all the space and views you wanted, but if the rent is so high that you have...

Texton Property FY net property income rises 10%

06 Sep 2017
Texton Property Fund has reported a 10% rise in net property income to R440.8m in the year to end-June from a year-ago.

But the total dividend dropped 0.80% to 102.80c per share, the fund said in a statement on Monday, 4 September.

Texton, which listed on the JSE in 2011, has properties in SA and the UK, where uncertainty over Brexit has affect...

Home loan amounts increase by 4.5%

06 Sep 2017
The average approved bond size has increased by 4,5% in the past 12 months, while the average house price has increase by just 2,2%, according to the latest statistics from BetterBond.

"These figures correspond to a decline in the average percentage of purchase price being paid as a deposit in the year to end-August, from 22% to 20%," says CEO Shaun R...

Is the B&B life for me?

05 Sep 2017
For a lot of people, the idea of abandoning the rat race to open a little bed and breakfast in a picturesque part of the world sounds like an absolute dream come true. What a great way to meet new and interesting people while being paid to keep a beautiful home in a beautiful area. The realities of running a guesthouse, however, can be a little more complica...

Are millennials heading back to the 'burbs?

05 Sep 2017
According to the latest Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends report released by the National Association of Realtors, millennials are going back to the suburbs, and they are mostly buying pre-owned family homes with three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a garden.
Are millennials heading back to the 'burbs?

These findings are good news for the ma...

SA rental trends and prices revealed

04 Sep 2017
Increasingly low confidence levels and mounting affordability pressures amongst South Africans indicate increased demand for rental properties across the country.
Smuts says the Western Cape is the only province with a slight upward trend over the past four quarters. It is also, once again, the most expensive province to live in as it attracts the highest...

Housing unit the weak link in SA Corporate results

01 Sep 2017
SA Corporate Real Estate, the diversified owner of industrial, retail, commercial and residential buildings located primarily in the big metropolitan areas of SA, with a secondary node in Zambia, grew its dividends 4.4% in the six months to June.

The company declared a dividend of 22.38c a share from 21.44c a share for the corresponding period in 2016...

Agents applaud court debt decision

01 Sep 2017
Yesterday's Constitutional Court ruling that prospective property buyers were not liable for "historic" municipal debt for rates and services, was a victory for estate agents and property developers.

"This should teach municipalities to strengthen their rates and services revenue collection techniques," said Geoff Perkins, director of property develop...

Don't lose good tenants through high rental increases

31 Aug 2017
Landlords that insist on unreasonable residential rentals every year risk losing those tenants... and in the current economic climate good tenants are hard to replace.
Barbara rents a property. She's a good tenant, pays her rent on time, keeps the place pristine and doesn't cause any problems with her neighbours or the body corporate. She's lived at the s...

Court victory over historical municipal debt

31 Aug 2017
Property owners who have been forced to pay thousands of rand in historic debt on their newly acquired properties may soon be able to lodge claims to recoup their money.

The Constitutional Court has ruled that the Bill of Rights prohibits arbitrary deprivation of property, which would happen if municipal debts without historical limits were imposed on...

All that twitters is not sold

30 Aug 2017
Online real estate companies offering to sell your home for a low fixed price or a discounted commission appear to be multiplying daily - but they are actually just peddling old - and unsuccessful - concepts dressed up in new digital clothes.
Image source:

Discount and flat-fee agencies have been around for decades. We see them coming to the fore e...

How to survive the disruption of estate agencies

30 Aug 2017
The estate agency profession is facing disruption, and for agents to survive, they need to evolve. Many factors are contributing to this disruption which is already underway.

One of the looming threats to traditional estate agencies is the rise of the online property portals, which don't just showcase properties, but have a back-end support team that ...

How African property markets can move beyond the 'pioneering' phase

28 Aug 2017
Property pioneers have already taken the first steps in shaping Africa's urban landscapes, constructing landmark malls, hotels and office blocks that could be called iconic. This is just the start. Modern, fully functioning cities require a well-oiled system of residential, commercial and industrial development and civil infrastructure, with the real estate ...

Commercial property investment - the do's and don'ts

25 Aug 2017
Traditional savings vehicles may not always be the best option for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), says Jeremy Lang, regional general manager at Business Partners Limited, investing for growth may be more beneficial than sitting on a lump sum of cash.

Lang says that in the current economic environment, investing in property may be a viable option...

Interest rate cut on the cards

25 Aug 2017
South Africa's headline inflation eased to a 20 month low year-on-year in July, raising the prospect that the SA Reserve Bank (Sarb) could lower interest rates further in the coming months.

Figures released yesterday by Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) showed that inflation fell to 4.6 percent in July from 5.1 percent year-on-year in June on the back...

How to survive the disruption of estate agencies

24 Aug 2017
The estate agency profession is facing disruption, and for agents to survive, they need to evolve. Many factors are contributing to this disruption which is already underway.

One of the looming threats to traditional estate agencies is the rise of the online property portals, which don't just showcase properties, but have a back-end support team that ...

Commercial property investment - the do's and don'ts

24 Aug 2017
Traditional savings vehicles may not always be the best option for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), says Jeremy Lang, regional general manager at Business Partners Limited, investing for growth may be more beneficial than sitting on a lump sum of cash.

Lang says that in the current economic environment, investing in property may be a viable option...

Questions to ask when applying for a home loan

23 Aug 2017
Before banks and financial institutions are willing to approve a home loan, they will perform extensive research on the applicant's financial history, so it is important for prospective buyers to be prepared.

Adrian Goslett of RE/MAX Southern Africa says that before applying for finance, consumers need to assess their financial situation and know the ...

Think you're ready to invest in a rental property?

23 Aug 2017
So, you quite like the idea of owning a rental property and think you might be able to earn good rental returns. Yes, that might well be the case, but you need to take care, there are pitfalls.

Property is one of the most exciting investments for just about anyone. Often, in addition to owning a first home, buyers will aspire to own additional propert...

'Overpricing by sellers a self-defeating tactic'

22 Aug 2017
Some Cape Town property owners continue to overprice their properties, and certain agents sometimes accept the situation so as to get the mandate for themselves.

So says Clare Putsman of the Atlantic Seaboard agency, Cape Waterfront Estates.

"If you are serious about selling and not just "testing the waters" it will not pay you to overprice. In...

Over 2m households rent their properties

22 Aug 2017
Despite the economic stress being felt across the property sector, there are still pockets of excellence in the rental market.

So says Michelle Dickens, managing director of TPN, a property specialist credit bureau. Her research reveals "astoundingly high performance" in some areas.

"There are 2.1 million households in formal rental accommodati...

Conference calls for greater land ownership rights for women in Africa

21 Aug 2017
Habitat for Humanity's Solid Ground Campaign in association with the Urban CSO Cluster of the Global Land Tool Network (GLTN) of UN-Habitat hosted a conference focusing on land governance and management in Africa in Pretoria earlier this week. Influential women from across Africa shared their findings on (among other things) land policy initiatives, includin...

Residential property market promising despite recession

21 Aug 2017
The effects of the ratings downgrades are beginning to hit home, throwing the country into an economic recession. A significant contributor to the decline was the 2.3% fall in household expenditure, an indicator of just how much consumers are feeling the pinch. This could have a dampening effect on home selling and home buying for the rest of the year.

Things are looking up for first time home buyers

18 Aug 2017

Slow price growth and a recent decrease in the interest rate have seen more first-time buyers enter the market.

"The slight decrease in interest rates in July means that it is easier to qualify for home loans - and there may be further decreases later this year. At the same time, the rate of house price growth over the past 12 months is has been c...

How South Africans feel about property in 2017

18 Aug 2017

A survey by ABSA has revealed how South Africans feel about buying, selling, investing, renting and renovating property, as well as property market conditions in general.

The economy
In the first quarter of 2017, the South African economy entered a technical recession after experiencing two consecutive quarters of negative growth. This was brou...

Selling a vacant property

17 Aug 2017
Listing and selling a home can be a stressful time, especially if the homeowner no longer lives in the property.

What makes selling a vacant home so much more stressful? Well, the unfortunate reality is that a vacant property is a vulnerable target for vandals and the chance of the home being broken into increases.

"An unoccupied home is an eas...

Building wealth through multiple properties

17 Aug 2017
Many individuals who already own more than one property mistakenly overlook key principles of wealth creation that could potentially unlock their ability to grow their property portfolios.

The ability to build wealth through multiple properties should not be determined by how deep your pockets are, but rather identifying niches in the market and maxim...

Land audit still not completed

16 Aug 2017
The government has spent R33bn since 1994 buying land for land reform, Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti says. In 1994, the government set a target of handing 30% of agricultural land to black recipients by 2014. A recent report by the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy said more than 20% (18 million hectares out of 82 million he...

When is a property sales agreement valid?

16 Aug 2017
Purchasing a property is a significant financial investment and there are a number of processes to complete before the sale can go through; from getting pre-approval for a home loan to submitting an offer to the seller, to finally signing the sales agreement.

"A valid sales agreement is binding once signed and can be used to protect either the buyer's...

Why title deeds aren't the solution to South Africa's land tenure problem

15 Aug 2017
There are a few things that a prospective buyer should know before signing an offer to purchase a sectional title unit, says Mandi Hanekom, operations manager of the sectional title finance company Propell.

A sectional title scheme consists of the following:

units or sections (which are individually owned and registered in the name of the owner...

What buyers of Sectional Title units should know

15 Aug 2017
There are a few things that a prospective buyer should know before signing an offer to purchase a sectional title unit, says Mandi Hanekom, operations manager of the sectional title finance company Propell.

A sectional title scheme consists of the following:

units or sections (which are individually owned and registered in the name of the owner...

Land scarcity leading to smaller and simpler housing

14 Aug 2017
With a shortage of land for housing and an increasing need for urban densification - in the Western Cape in particular - average erven have almost halved in size over the past 40 years.

Data has shown that in Cape Town the average full title stand is currently less than half the size it used to be.

Today's homes also have fewer luxury features ...

What agents consider when setting an asking price

11 Aug 2017
Although there is a vast amount of information available to homeowners online, there is currently no site or programme outside of the real estate profession that can accurately evaluate a property. While homeowners can draw conclusions based on the information that is available, to set the right market-related value requires specific area knowledge, an under...

Average national rental exceeds R7,000 in Q2 2017

11 Aug 2017
The recently released PayProp Rental Index, which outlines trends on a quarterly basis in the residential rental market, has reported that in the past quarter, the weighted average national rental exceeded R7,000 for the first time.

PayProp's Johette Smuts says it was announced this quarter that South Africa is in a technical recession for the first t...

What agents consider when setting an asking price

10 Aug 2017
Although there is a vast amount of information available to homeowners online, there is currently no site or programme outside of the real estate profession that can accurately evaluate a property. While homeowners can draw conclusions based on the information that is available, to set the right market-related value requires specific area knowledge, an under...

When is a property sales agreement valid?

10 Aug 2017
Purchasing a property is a significant financial investment and there are a number of processes to complete before the sale can go through - from getting pre-approval for a home loan to submitting an offer to the seller, to finally signing the sales agreement.

A valid sales agreement is binding once signed and can be used to protect either the buyer's...

SA's best performing rental suburbs

08 Aug 2017
Nine out of the top 20 suburbs that offer the highest yield in the country for rental sectional title schemes were in Pretoria, according to property specialist credit bureau TPN.

Michelle Dickens, managing director of TPN, said Philip Nel Park in the west of Pretoria had an average yield of 20.1 percent over the past five years.

"With 92.3 per...

House-price growth slows

08 Aug 2017
House price data suggests that a period of economic weakness in South Africa may re-emerge after a slightly stronger performance a few months ago.

John Loos, a household and property sector analyst at First National Bank, said it also appeared increasingly likely that 2017 would be the third consecutive year of slowing average annual house-price growt...

#SmartHomes: The number one tenant amenity today is Wi-Fi

07 Aug 2017
In today's crazy technology age, we are seeing many new developments being incorporated into the home - from smart fridges, lighting, CCTV cameras to smart TVs and mirrors. In some parts of the world, we are even seeing automation being fully integrated into the home. Residents are wanting a connected home where wireless services link every aspect of their w...

Absa to ease terms to boost mortgages

04 Aug 2017
Absa is loosening the credit taps in its mortgage business, hoping to grow its share of new home loans now that Barclays is no longer dictating its credit criteria and risk appetite.

After Barclays' sale of its majority stake in the bank, Absa Home Loans was the first business unit to approach the group's credit committee to increase its credit risk, ...

Is a recession a good time to invest in rental property?

03 Aug 2017
Residential properties that achieve good rental returns remain a desirable investment option for South African portfolios in tough economic times.

This is according to Rob Stefanutto, managing director of Dogon Group Properties, who says one only has to look at Maslow's hierarchy of needs to see that in tough economic times people can do without a new...

Home loan customers under pressure

03 Aug 2017
Home loan repayment patterns of consumers on the R900 billion in outstanding debt on mortgage loans was reflecting the financial strain consumers were experiencing.

Carel Groenum, the managing executive of Absa Home Loans, said yesterday that the percentage of customers who paid more than their required monthly instalment reduced to 16 percent in July...

Auction industry upbeat as sector benefits from shifting market trends

02 Aug 2017
The auction industry has remained relatively immune to a tumultuous year of global political shifts and the resulting lacklustre economic outlook across the world. In fact, says Joff van Reenen, lead auctioneer and director of The High Street Auction Co., the industry has benefited from shifting market trends.
High Street Auction Co. lead auctioneer and d...

Amended legislation could see landlords liable for VAT on leasehold improvements affected by tenants

02 Aug 2017
The 2017 Draft Taxation Laws Amendment Bill and Draft Tax Administration Amendment Bill, clarifying the Value Added Tax (VAT) Act treatment of leasehold improvement, were recently released for comment.
Amended legislation could see landlords liable for VAT on leasehold improvements affected by tenants

"A recent proposed amendment to the VAT Act may...

Intu shares drop 4% as rental income falls

01 Aug 2017
Intu Properties' shares dropped just more than 4% in early trade on the JSE on Thursday, 27 July, after it posted a drop in first-half rental income, and forecast zero growth in the second half.
Intu shares drop 4% as rental income falls

Intu owns some of the largest malls in the UK, which is beset with political and economic uncertainty over Brexi...

'Worst house in best street' still sound advice

01 Aug 2017
The old saying "buy the worst house on the best street and not the best house on the worst street" still rings true.

In Cape Town, this golden rule that drives property demand and values can be clearly seen, particularly in the city's top-end areas.

"Regardless of your buying motive - whether you want to secure a roof over your head or invest w...

These are some of the potential disruptors to the commercial property market

31 Jul 2017
The commercial property market has undergone some great changes in the past, says Leon Breytenbach, national manager of the Rawson Property Group's commercial division, and there could be major changes in the pipeline due to constant technological advancements.
Image source:
Image source: www.pexels.com
Breytenbach discusses potential disruptors in ...

SA's property developers and buyers under pressure

31 Jul 2017
South Africa has been downgraded to junk status by two ratings agencies, meaning that an even weaker rand, higher inflation, mounting petrol and food prices as well as interest rate hikes are on the cards. In addition, it has recently been announced that the economy has slipped into a recession, which may result in tax increases, job losses and failing busin...

These are some of the potential disruptors to the commercial property market

28 Jul 2017
The commercial property market has undergone some great changes in the past, says Leon Breytenbach, national manager of the Rawson Property Group's commercial division, and there could be major changes in the pipeline due to constant technological advancements.

Breytenbach discusses potential disruptors in the real estate market in order to better und...

'Timeshare ruined my retirement'

28 Jul 2017
The Vacation Ownership Association of Southern Africa (VOASA) has promised it would respond to claims that its members were fleecing people of their hard-earned money.

VOASA spokesperson Alex Bosch said: "Our members have made it their priority to attend meetings and timeously provide all requested documentation.

"We are looking forward to our ...

Why REITS are well placed to weather SA's economic, political volatility

27 Jul 2017
According to the South African Real Estate Investment Trust Association (SA REIT), REITs are relatively well-placed to weather the expected market instability following South Africa's downgrade to junk status and the "ongoing political tomfoolery".

In spite of the uncertainty created by the current environment, REITs are forecast to post total returns...

'Fake-buying' wastes agents' time

27 Jul 2017
"A new, and strange, phenomenon of 'fake buying' has emerged in the upper end of the Johannesburg homes market over the past five years, says real estate agency principal Ronald Ennik.

"And I am aware that it is also happening in Cape Town."

"It's about 'buyers' who submit offers on (mainly) big ticket homes that they simply have no intention o...

How to become a landlord

26 Jul 2017
The increased mobility of South Africans in the current economic environment means more owners are renting out their properties.

"More homeowners are relocating within South Africa in search of work, or taking up offshore contracts," says Greg Harris, chief executive of Chas Everitt Property Rentals. "We expect this trend to accelerate as South Africa...

Timeshare inquiry told of tricks and traps

26 Jul 2017
Consumers locked into contracts "for life", unable to sell timeshare points or give them away to escape spiralling levy costs, and others who alleged exploitation by unscrupulous salesmen, presented their cases to the National Consumer Commission in Durban yesterday.

The NCC is conducting a two-day public inquiry as part of a national inquiry in a bid...

Timeshare inquiry told of tricks and traps

25 Jul 2017
Consumers locked into contracts "for life", unable to sell timeshare points or give them away to escape spiralling levy costs, and others who alleged exploitation by unscrupulous salesmen, presented their cases to the National Consumer Commission in Durban yesterday.

The NCC is conducting a two-day public inquiry as part of a national inquiry in a bid...

SA's property developers and buyers under pressure

25 Jul 2017
South Africa has been downgraded to junk status by two ratings agencies, meaning that an even weaker rand, higher inflation, mounting petrol and food prices as well as interest rate hikes are on the cards. In addition, it has recently been announced that the economy has slipped into a recession, which may result in tax increases, job losses and failing busin...

Property sector welcomes rate cut, calls for leadership to 'get its house in order'

24 Jul 2017
South African Reserve Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago, on Thursday, 20 July, announced the bank's decision to reduce the repo rate by 25 basis points, cutting the repo rate from 7% to 6.75%. The unexpected 0.25% rate cut has been welcomed by the property sector.
Property sector welcomes rate cut, calls for leadership to 'get its house in order'

Said...

Interest rate drop a relief for property owners

24 Jul 2017
On the advice of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), the Reserve Bank decided this week to lower the repo rate by 25 basis points to 6,75%, which takes the prime lending rate and the variable mortgage rate from 10,5% to 10,25%.

This decrease, announced by Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago, follows a steady decrease in the rate of inflation to 5,1% in Ju...

Sectional title misunderstandings can cause problems

21 Jul 2017
Sectional title owners are often misinformed about where their responsibilities end and those of the body corporate start.

To understand the situation facing most sectional title owners, it is necessary, says Alexander, to realize that there are three types of sectional title property ownership. These are:

1. Full ownership of a sectional tit...

The complexity of selling a sectional title property

20 Jul 2017
It's a natural assumption that selling a sectional title property will be easier than having bought it, but this is not necessarily the case.

Selling a sectional title apartment has its own unique set of complex requirements, says Sandy Geffen of Lew Geffen Sotheby's International Realty.

"Selling an apartment or townhouse is different to sell...

Why you need customer experience management

19 Jul 2017
Customer experience management (CEM) utilises user experience, customer satisfaction and value-add and will be the next 'big thing' for businesses looking to exploit multiple channels of communication that link the customer.

Bernice Houston, sales and marketing manager at CRS Technologies, says, "While CEM is a relatively new concept in South Africa's...

Innovation needed in SA shopping centres to drive tenant retention

19 Jul 2017
With big box retailers closing down and leaving vacancies in their wake, some shopping centres across South Africa are starting to feel the pinch. According to Broll Property Group, however, these vacancies provide an opportunity for landlords to revitalise and improve a centre's tenant-mix, thereby giving the centre a new lease on life.

This can resu...

Smoking and braaiing in Sectional Title schemes

18 Jul 2017
Living in close proximity to neighbours, which is what sectional title living often is, can sometimes bring situations to the fore that might seem trivial to some, but might affect some more seriously than others think.

An example of those contentious issues where there are two very opposing factions are smokers vs non-smokers and those who like to br...

How to generate income from your home

17 Jul 2017
South Africa's current economic downturn has many homeowners eyeing their mortgage repayments with some trepidation. Making ends meet, however, could quite literally be right under our feet, says Tony Clarke, MD of the Rawson Property Group.
How to generate income from your home

"The options for generating income from your home have increased drama...

Legal aspects of renting out a property should be incorporated into lease

17 Jul 2017
While many landlords use a "standard lease" when signing a rental agreement with their tenants, it should be noted that there are various legal aspects of renting out a property that might not be included in such a lease, says Michael Bauer, managing director of estate agency SAProperty.com.
Legal aspects of renting out a property should be incorporated i...

Common property infringements in sectional title schemes

14 Jul 2017
Sectional title property owners and tenants often do not know the regulations regarding uses of sections and common property.

It is up to the body corporate to ensure that any infringements are dealt with timeously, says Michael Bauer, general manager of property management company IHFM.

Regulation 30 (a) and (b), states clearly that the commo...

Sectional title schemes ruled by two sets of rules

14 Jul 2017
Sectional title schemes are governed by two main sets of rules, management rules and conduct rules, which are used in conjunction with each other.

The management rules cover the way in which the sectional title scheme is run and deals with the appointment of trustees, how to run meetings, voting at these meetings, elections, duties of the trustees, an...

Desperate timesharers speak up

13 Jul 2017
Vacation club horror stories were heard on the first day of the National Consumer Commission's inquiry into the industry, prompting panel chairperson Diane Terblanche to say she felt "saddened".

Terblanche was touched by a consumer's story of his desperation to get out of a vacation ownership contract which he only used three times in 11 years.

Occupational rent and your rights

13 Jul 2017
The payment of occupational rent is a standard clause in almost every property sales contract, and yet it is also one of the more common causes of contention between buyers and sellers.

Confusion abounds over who is responsible for what, and when these payments should come into play, and disagreements over the details can and have caused many a sale t...

'Trustees should be seen and heard'

12 Jul 2017
Good trustees are the key to the smooth running of Sectional Title schemes, but many owners in these schemes don't actually know what their trustees do, how to communicate with them or even who they are.

"It is unfortunate but many people who buy Sectional Title homes don't show much interest in the management of their schemes unless things start go w...

Common property infringements in sectional title schemes

12 Jul 2017
Sectional title property owners and tenants often do not know the regulations regarding uses of sections and common property.

It is up to the body corporate to ensure that any infringements are dealt with timeously, says Michael Bauer, general manager of property management company IHFM.

Regulation 30 (a) and (b), states clearly that the commo...

Should South Africans still be investing in property during the recession?

11 Jul 2017
Following the announcement in June that South Africa has slipped into recession, many homeowners and prospective homeowners are filled with uncertainty. Will house prices tank? Will homeowners slip into negative equity? Should buying plans be put on hold? Crispin Inglis, CEO of PropertyFox, says there is no 'one-size-fits all' answer because so much depends ...

These are the questions to ask when buying property

11 Jul 2017
When it comes to buying property, there are many questions purchasers have that come up time and time again, as well as some questions that might not come up, but should. If you're looking to get into the property market, you might consider the following questions that need to be asked and answered. Answering these will make your decision easier and ultimate...

Greater clarity needed on exclusive lease agreements in grocery retail sector

10 Jul 2017
The Grocery Retail Market Inquiry (GRMI) is a crucial step towards finding much-needed clarity on the ongoing problems with long-term exclusive lease agreement provisions between landlords and supermarkets.

The current standing of exclusive lease provisions is unclear. All those involved - landlords, supermarkets, competitors and the public - would b...

How to avoid loss of income through damages, lack of payment

10 Jul 2017
damage to a property or owe money to the landlord. This is why many landlords will not rent to tenants who do not meet all their qualifying criteria, says Michael Bauer, MD of estate agency SAProperty.com.
How to avoid loss of income through damages, lack of payment

If there is a lot of damage to the property or unpaid utility bills or rent, the la...

Renovations need permission in Sectional Title schemes

07 Jul 2017
There are often cases, particularly in older sectional title blocks, where units will need modernising or upgrading in some way or another. This will usually be addressed when a unit is sold and the buyer decides to make changes to suit his own tastes and living requirements.

What all sectional title owners must realise (and often don't) is that permi...

Property Code now binding

07 Jul 2017
Trade and industry minister, Rob Davies, said yesterday that the Amended Property Sector Code had become binding on entities and organisations operating in the property sector.

Davies approved the gazetting of the Amended Property Sector Code in terms of Section 9 of the Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment Act on June 28. The Code was gazetted for ...

Fixed-interest rates not always viable fix

05 Jul 2017
With the South African economy reeling partly from the aftershocks of a surprise cabinet reshuffle earlier this year, homeowners are "understandably concerned about the effect the devaluing rand will have on bond interest rates", says Marc Hendricks, regional manager for Rawson Finance in the Western Cape.

The prime lending rate, steady at 10.50% sinc...

'Unrealistic expectations can sour relations with agents'

05 Jul 2017
Only 16% of people selling their properties trusted their estate agents, according to a Homeowner Insights study conducted by Absa and Columinate.

A possible reason for this statistic is a lack of realistic expectations set out from the beginning of the homeowner's interaction with the estate agent, says Adrian Goslett of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.

Should property be considered an asset or expense?

04 Jul 2017
At first glance, the question seems to be simple to answer - of course, property is an asset. However, there is more to it than initially meets the eye.
Should property be considered an asset or expense? When looking at a primary residence, the home being an asset will be determined by whether the value of the property is appreciating or depreciating. The...

Amended property sector code is now legally binding

04 Jul 2017
The Amended Property Sector Code, which was gazetted for public commentary towards the end of 2015, is now legally binding to entities and organisations operating in the property sector, says Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies.

The Amended Property Sector Code is applicable to commercial activities in the residential and commercial industries of t...

Greater private sector support needed for transformation in property sector

03 Jul 2017
The latest Property Sector Market Size report by the Property Sector Charter Council shows that the sector in South Africa is estimated to be valued at R5.8tn. Within the sector, fewer than 10% of real estate investment trusts (REITs) are black originated funds.
Greater private sector support needed for transformation in property sector

According t...

Constitutional Court to review whose duty is it to disclose historical municipal debt

03 Jul 2017
The Constitutional Court is reviewing whose duty it is to disclose historical municipal debt and whether municipalities have the right of recourse on new purchasers.

Several municipalities (Tshwane, Ethekwini and Ekurhuleni) have argued in the Constitutional Court in the 'New Ventures' matter that it is lawfully permissible for a municipality to attac...

Property market in decline

30 Jun 2017
While South Africa is currently in a recession, the property market has been on the decline for a number of years, say property economists.

John Loos, FNB property economist, said FNB's May year-on-year house price index showed a growth of 4.7%. He said the single-digit growth in house prices was of concern as it was below inflation and would mean tha...

New law to regulate property practitioners

30 Jun 2017
A new proposed Property Practitioners Bill is set to replace the current Estate Agency Affairs Act.

It will include amendments to pass stricter regulations on stakeholders in the property industry and seek to ensure a more inclusive and representative sector.

Schoemanlaw associate attorney Arinda Truter said specific changes included stricter r...

Tips for investing in student accommodation

28 Jun 2017
Student apartments can be a great option for property investors, says Andrew Schaefer, MD of national property management company Trafalgar, but only if they know which apartments to choose and how to manage their tenants.

"While off-campus student accommodation is a growing sector all over the world, and proving to be a lucrative pick for many invest...

Taxing income on the sale of properties

28 Jun 2017
When does income accrue to a taxpayer from the sale of immovable properties in the course of its trade? This question was recently addressed by the Tax Court in M v the Commissioner for SARS. In 2013, the taxpayer, in the course of its trade, entered into 25 agreements for the sale of properties. Although the agreements were concluded in the taxpayer's 2013 ...

It's time to take affordable housing in SA to the next level

27 Jun 2017
There can be no arguing against the fact that the provision of affordable housing is a vital component of the social transformation and empowerment efforts of local and national governments across South Africa. But, while much admirable work is being done to put roofs over the heads of increasing numbers of South Africans, true redress in the area of human s...

Public hearings on property sector bills to be held

27 Jun 2017
Officials from the Department of Human Settlements will this week visit the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape for public hearings on the Property Practitioners Bill and the Home Loan and Mortgage Disclosure Amendment Bill.
Public hearings on property sector bills to be held

The two Bills are aimed at transforming the property and rea...

Listing photos - make sure they are good

26 Jun 2017
According to research, most buyers will start looking for property online before they go to any other source. What this means is that the first impression buyers will have of a home is its online listing photo.

Adrian Goslett of REMAX says that this shows the importance of using listings photos that highlight the home's top features to entice buyers t...

The gap widens between asking price and selling price

26 Jun 2017
The differential between the listing price and selling price of homes in the current market can be as much as 30%.

"There seems to be a large disparity between what sellers think their home is worth and what buyers in the current market are prepared to pay for homes, says Cameron Jansen of RE/MAX Central.

Buyers are aware that market conditions...

HOA space registrations should be checked carefully

23 Jun 2017
In typical Homeowners' Associations the various areas such as roads, the entrance and parks or green spaces within the development are split into categories: public open spaces or private open spaces and these various areas are often remain registered in the developer's name and are not transferred with the first transfer when the scheme is established.
<...

Listed residential funds address affordable housing backlog - bank

22 Jun 2017
Cape Town - Standard Bank believes that South Africa has an opportunity to re-invigorate its affordable residential build sector through the establishment of listed residential funds.

Listed funds attract capital based on their ability to deliver returns through rental income. Developers of residential real estate targeting the R3 500 to R7 500 per mo...

EAAB protects against unscrupulous agent behaviour

22 Jun 2017
According to a Homeowner Insights study conducted by Absa and Columinate in 2016, only 16% of people selling their properties trusted their estate agents.

Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says that a possible reason for this statistic is that there is a lack of proper expectations that are being set out from the ...

'Cut your price ' and get the jump on other sellers'

21 Jun 2017
Just about everyone knows now what happens when a home for sale is overpriced - but no-one wants to think that it could happen to them.

"However," says David Jacobs, northern regions manager for the Rawson Property Group, "the latest statistics from FNB would indicate that at least eight out of 10 home sellers are at risk - unless they are brave enoug...

Property - Asset or expense?

21 Jun 2017
Is property an asset or expense? At first glance, the question seems to be simple to answer, of course, property is an asset. However, there is more to it than initially meets the eye.

When looking at a primary residence, the home being an asset will be determined by whether the value of the property is appreciating or depreciating, says Adrian Goslet...

Demand exceeds supply in rental market

20 Jun 2017
Vacancies in the residential property market increased to 6.62 percent in the fourth quarter of last year from 6.53 percent in the previous quarter, despite demand for rental properties still exceeding supply.

However, TPN credit bureau said it was interesting that vacancies declined to 3.02 percent in the below R3 000 a month rental price band and to...

Home buying expected to take turn for worse

20 Jun 2017
South Africa's credit rating downgrade and the current economic downturn and the current economic downturn is slowly starting to impact the country's property market, with house price growth and levels of home buying expected to soon take a turn for the worse.

At present the property market is continuing to perform as normal, but financial professiona...

Property fraud on the rise

19 Jun 2017
Property fraud is on the rise and buyers and sellers should be extra vigilant

There are different types of property fraud taking place, says Chris Tyson, CEO of Tyson Properties.

A property owner wanting to sell his property may learn an imposter obtained his signature for what he thought was a bank loan, only to find out that the imposter sold...

'Recession will push property prices down'

19 Jun 2017
With the economy officially in recession, homeowners and buyers need to get serious about preventing negative equity. This is when the value of a property is less than the amount of mortgage still unpaid.

"The best way to do that is for homeowners to keep putting whatever spare cash they may have, into their home loan accounts, and for buyers to put d...

Understanding rental deposits

15 Jun 2017
One of the most common areas of conflict between letting agents and tenants is around the refund of the tenant's deposit.

A particular area of concern is the time it takes the agent or landlord to pay back the deposit, as many tenants want to use these funds for a deposit for their new rental.

"Fortunately, this conflict is easily avoided by ca...

Property buyers value lifestyle over value-growth prospects

15 Jun 2017
Location, price and security are generally the "big three" for homebuyers, and that will no doubt continue to be the case, but the definition of what makes a great location appears to be changing, says Shaun Rademeyer of BetterLife Home Loans.

"The focus used to be on potential investment returns, and buyers would scramble to buy in areas which had pr...

Commercial lease deposits - what's in the fine print?

14 Jun 2017
As with the rental of residential property, so a tenant is required to pay the landlord a deposit before taking occupation of any commercial premises. "This deposit is kept by the landlord to serve as security during the period of the lease," says Leon Breytenbach, national manager of the Rawson Property Group's commercial division. It is kept in the event t...

Understanding restrictive conditions in title deeds

14 Jun 2017
Restrictive conditions can cause major headaches if buyers have not familiarised themselves with the conditions listed in the title deed, before purchasing their new home.

What can and cannot be done to a property is determined by a number of factors: common or statutory law, town plans which designate sites for residential property, commercial and th...

Estate agencies no longer have database of 'ready buyers'

13 Jun 2017
With the advent of the Internet and the reluctance of sellers to have show days for safety reason, the residential property market has changed and estate agencies can no longer claim to have a database of 'ready buyers' that differs significantly to that of their competitors.
Estate agencies no longer have database of 'ready buyers'

Matthew Alberts...

Understanding the pros and cons of homeowners' associations

13 Jun 2017
As a homeowner in an estate or boomed-off area, a buyer may be required to join a homeowners' association (HOA), which means adhering to numerous rules and regulations stipulated by the HOA.
Understanding the pros and cons of homeowners' associationsWith security a factor that is influencing home-buying decisions in South Africa, many are choosing to purc...

Older property buyers using equity to increase purchasing power

07 Jun 2017
According to the latest statistics from BetterLife Home Loans, buyers over 50 are currently paying about twice as much for their homes on average, as buyers under 30, but only about 30% more on their monthly bond repayments.
Older property buyers using equity to increase purchasing powerThe BetterLife Home Loans statistics represent 25% of all residential...

Commercial tenant payments set to deteriorate

07 Jun 2017
The performance of commercial property tenants could deteriorate further before improving, according to credit bureau Tenant Profile Network (TPN).

Although the economy should improve mildly in the near term, there could still be a lagged negative impact on the performance of commercial tenants, because of five years of broad economic stagnation, TPN ...

Four ways to optimise the benefits of BAS 'openness'

06 Jun 2017
Facility managers and building owners are looking to obtain greater control and create greater efficiency in their buildings. In South Africa, large organisations are just beginning to realise the advantages that open building automation systems (BAS) can offer. The benefits are enormous but there are also challenges.

So, what exactly is an open BAS a...

The age of information is a real estate opportunity

06 Jun 2017
Modern times are evolving so rapidly that businesses and individuals alike are having to continuously analyse their practices and strategies to ensure they stay ahead of the game.

This is especially applicable to the real estate industry which has seen an array of local and international factors influence how everyday business is conducted.

For...

'Densification not all bad'

05 Jun 2017
Your heart may sink when you realise the grand old house next door - that once accommodated a single family - is being torn down to provide six new units in a security estate, with six times the number of people and cars coming and going.

But densification is not necessarily something to be feared, say agents.

"This is particularly true when on...

Critical new legislation for property industry

05 Jun 2017
When it comes into effect, the Property Practitioners Draft Bill will replace the Estate Agency Affairs Act of 1976.

"This bill is part of government's response to the changing market conditions, and it seeks to create an enabling environment to enhance economic activity within the real estate sector. It will also help open up market opportunities for...

Are banks red-lining certain areas due to safety concerns?

02 Jun 2017
According to Hendrik Pieterse, manager of Leapfrog Property Group Eerste River, some banks are declining home loans in certain areas where others would grant a mortgage, based on safety concerns. This practice has become known as red-lining, and Pieterse believes it is keeping the young and the poor out of the property market.

Red-lining is based on a...

The future is now for smart homes

02 Jun 2017
The rising trend that's seeing people opt for virtual offices or changing working hours to save on travel time and increase productivity has resulted in greater demand from home-seekers for additional space for a home office or an additional room which can be converted into office space. This is according to Craig Hutchison, CEO of Engel & Velkers Southern A...

'Mess could be hiding a housing gem'

01 Jun 2017
The mess and clutter which will quickly drive most potential buyers from a show home could just be hiding a real housing gem.

Despite the advice of estate agents, many homes still go on show when they are really not at their best, says Gerhard Kotze of RealNet.

"This is most likely to occur in a forced sale, where the owner has died suddenly, f...

'Don't panic if your landlord goes broke'

01 Jun 2017
Landlords as well as homeowners could find themselves in financial trouble in the next few months as a result of SA's worsening economic picture, and tenants need to know what their position would be in such circumstances.

So says Greg Harris of Chas Everitt Property Rentals, who notes: "There are three things they need to note in particular, the firs...

The future is now for smart homes

31 May 2017
The rising trend that's seeing people opt for virtual offices or changing working hours to save on travel time and increase productivity has resulted in greater demand from home-seekers for additional space for a home office or an additional room which can be converted into office space. This is according to Craig Hutchison, CEO of Engel & Velkers Southern A...

Bid to end banks' 'unfair' rejection of applications

31 May 2017
The Home Loan and Mortgage Disclosure Amendment Bill seeks to amend the Home Loan and Mortgage Disclosures Act of 2000.

The bill addresses human settlements challenges identified in the National Development Plan. This includes dysfunctional settlement patterns across the country; challenges facing towns and cities; weak spatial planning; and governanc...

Flat repo rate, lower inflation welcomed as economic challenges mount

30 May 2017
The Monetary Policy Committee of the South African Reserve Bank announced on Thursday, 25 May, that the repo rate is to remain at 7% (home loan base rate of 10.5%).

We expected this decision given that there has been no further economic upheaval since the Cabinet reshuffle and change of the finance minister at the end of March. Although the rand remai...

Levy arrears can delay property sales

30 May 2017
When selling a unit in a sectional title scheme of which the levies are in arrears, the body corporate may withhold a levy clearance certificate until the full amount is paid.

This is stipulated in section 15B(3)(a)(i)(aa) of the Sectional Titles Act 95 of 1986 ("the STA") and is the "power card" to force the person in arrears to pay his debt."

Safety while showing property

29 May 2017
Sounds of the door shuffling on its hinges echo through the house. You look around but see no one, just shadows. As panic washes over you the first thoughts that run through your head are run, get out as fast as you can. Are you safe?

Irrespective of whether you are a real estate agent, seller or potential buyer, this scenario can be very uncomfortabl...

Rental deposit rules demystified

29 May 2017
The rules for handling rental deposits are very clearly outlined in the Rental Housing Act, and yet certain misconceptions still abound amongst landlords and tenants.

Jacquie Savage, the Rawson Property Group's National Rentals Business Development Manager, sheds light on a few of the most common questions people have about deposits, during and after ...

Tough times give rise to rent dodgers

26 May 2017
More residential tenants are failing to pay their rent on time, highlighting the economic pressure on the South African consumer, say experts.

Despite this, private and listed real estate companies are buying properties to let. Experts say there is huge demand for affordable rental housing and entry-level housing for the middle class.

The TPN C...

Smaller properties consistently performs better

26 May 2017
There's good news for investors disheartened by property prices in South Africa. Smaller and more affordable properties are almost invariably the highest performers.

The latest statistics released by FNB show affordable properties in major metros are appreciating more than twice as fast as their high-end counterparts - a trend likely to continue as po...

Standard Bank House Price Index overview for April 2017

25 May 2017
Growth in the Standard Bank House Price Index keeps slowing. The median price of a house applied for and financed by Standard Bank was R923,000 in April, up 4.5% y/y and slightly slower than 4.6% y/y growth in March 2017 (revised up from 4.3% y/y). On a m/m basis, HPI contracted by 1.03% in April. With 6.1% y/y CPI inflation in March, real house price growth...

Deteriorating rental payments hurts landlords

25 May 2017
The percentage of residential tenants who paid their rental on time has deteriorated by six percentage points to 66.08 percent in the first quarter of this year from 72.52 percent in the third quarter of 2015.

The city centre of Cape Town. Timeous rental payment has declined countrywide by 6 percentage points.

The latest residential rental quar...

Gap market mortgages for buyers

24 May 2017
Public servants who are in the gap market are expected to start streaming through the doors of the new Human Settlements Development Bank in October to seek mortgages.

The gap market comprises people who earn too much to get RDP houses, but too little to qualify for mortgages at the banks.

The bank's chief executive, Samson Moraba, says the ban...

How difficult is it to get a bond after 45?

24 May 2017
South Africa's National Credit Act stipulates that you cannot be discriminated against when applying for finance on the grounds of age, (among other things), but the borrower must pass an affordability test.

This means the person's risk profile is the biggest determining factor when banks consider applications from older borrowers.

"What we are...

Property sector under pressure due to low levels of confidence

23 May 2017
Low business and consumer confidence are placing the property sector under pressure.

Construction activity is concentrated in upper-market business hubs, as the rising costs of building prompts property developers to scale down or concentrate on projects abroad.

The value of recorded building plans passed in SA was down 8.5% (down R2.19bn) in t...

Understanding the role of the Rental Housing Tribunal

23 May 2017
Established during 2001, the Rental Housing Tribunal (RHT) assists in resolving disputes that arise between landlords and tenants. Made up of members with housing management, development and rental housing experience, who have been appointed by the provincial minister of housing, the RHT is also tasked with implementing the Rental Housing Act.

The pri...

Get approval before building

19 May 2017
Property owners need to ensure that the correct procedures are followed before they start building.

Moving ahead with a building project without adhering to the necessary protocols will only make the process far more complicated and costly, says Adrian Gosleet of RE/MAX.

"Anyone who wants to undertake a construction project that does not fall u...

Property sellers must budget for advance municipal rates payments

19 May 2017
Apart from the cost of inspections and obtaining various certificates, property sellers also need to budget to pay municipal rates and taxes in advance.

This is to cover costs while their property transfer is being completed.

Normally transfer takes about three months, which is the amount most municipalities will charge up front, before issuing...

Smaller properties yield great investments

18 May 2017
Prospective investors disheartened by the price of properties in South Africa at present may be interested to learn that smaller and more affordable properties are almost invariably the highest performers. In fact, the latest statistics released by FNB show that affordable properties in major metros are appreciating more than twice as fast as their high-end ...

Key aspects and features that sell homes

18 May 2017
The appearance of a property can greatly influence the speed and the final price achieved in sale.
Key aspects and features that sell homesSandy Geffen, executive director of Sotheby's International Realty South Africa, says: "Historically we have progressed from basic caves and simple huts through ornate castles to high rise living, and nowadays it's pos...

What constitutes a breach of contract when buying a property

17 May 2017
Immovable property transfers are governed by South African legislation (the Land Alienation Act soon to be replaced by the Property Transactions Bill) to protect all the parties involved.

When a transfer of a property is to take place, it is through the Offer to Purchase (OTP) (or Sale Agreement), which has to be in writing, that all the conditions of...

How to determine an asking price for your property

17 May 2017
With a mass of information at their fingertips, buyers who are seriously looking at properties to purchase will soon become very knowledgeable about what they can get within their price range.

For this reason, it is ever more important that sellers set the correct asking price when placing their home on the market, says Adrian Goslett of RE/MAX.

Landlords need help to avoid 'iceberg of consumer debt

16 May 2017
Like most other consumers in SA, residential tenants are under considerable financial pressure at the moment, and battling to meet all their commitments.

And the longer this situation continues, the more likely it becomes that there will be an increase in rental defaults, says Greg Harris of Chas Everitt Property Rentals.

"At the moment, landlo...

Make sure your estate has a rental management policy

16 May 2017
If you are buying a property in an estate or a cluster home complex, ensure the homeowners' association has a formal policy covering the letting of homes in the development as well as the obligations of the owners who decide to become landlords.

This is to protect property values in these developments, says Gerhard Kotze of RealNet.

"Most tenan...

Property purchases: what constitutes a breach of contract

09 May 2017
When a transfer of a property is to take place, it is through the offer to purchase (OTP) (or sale agreement), which has to be in writing that all the conditions of the sale are named and made binding.
Property purchases: what constitutes a breach of contract

This is according to Nelio Mendes, marketing manager of estate agency SAProperty.com, who ...

Your property could pose a problem on your death

09 May 2017
Even with everything in place, heirs need to know that concluding an estate can be a lengthy process.

Your home is probably the biggest financial asset you will possess, but what happens to that home when you die? It largely depends on whether you made out a will or not.

"Finalising a deceased estate is a fairly complex process, one which is ma...

Should you still be investing in property?

08 May 2017
The country's economic climate and downgrade to junk status has many people concerned for their financial well-being, particularly those who hold major investments.

Prospective buyers are among those re-evaluating their positions because, although property professionals maintain "the best time to buy is when everyone else is afraid to", there are genu...

Dealing with damage at a rental property

08 May 2017
It's interesting how model rental property tenants often morph into nightmare tenants when they move out. Sadly, the combination of damage left to the property with unpaid utility bills and rent is often enough to completely wipe out any returns the owner might have hoped to make for the year.

PayProp CEO Louw Liebenberg says that most damage cases ar...

Dealing with blacklistings

05 May 2017
If a prospective homeowner has not kept up to date with their credit bureau reports, they may be in for a surprise when they apply for finance.

A large number of potential buyers are referred by their estate agents to attorneys if they have a blacklisting against their name that is preventing them from obtaining a bond, says Adrian Goslett of RE/MAX.<...

Is switching your homeloan worthwhile?

05 May 2017
During the property boom years of 2006 and 2007, switching home loans from one bank to another was a fairly common practice among homeowners in South Africa.

However, this has diminished over the years and as banks tightened their lending criteria, it was not as easy for homeowners to switch and the trend lost some traction in the years that followed ...

Tax tips for landlords

04 May 2017
Owning a rental property portfolio that provides an income is much like owning a business, and as such there are tax implications and dues that need to be paid to the South Africa Revenue Service.
Landlords are required to declare the total amount of rental income received as gross income and they will be taxed at the marginal income tax rate, applying to...

Purchasing a rented home

04 May 2017
You have been looking for the ideal property to purchase for months and finally find it, but there is a catch, there is a tenant who is currently renting the property. What now?
Purchasing a rented home

Because the lease agreement is legally binding and was in place before, it stands - regardless if the owner of the home decides to sell.

The...

Redefine frugal after buying portfolio

03 May 2017
Redefine International, the Western-European focused real estate investment trust, says it is holding on to its cash and bedding down its German shopping acquisition before plunging back into a competitive retail market.
Redefine frugal after buying portfolio

The group also adjusted its dividend policy in the six months to February, cutting its pay...

Sectional titles: role of body corporate explained

03 May 2017
In the past 10 years, the number of sectional title schemes in SA has risen exponentially, and the latest figures show that there are currently well over 700,000 sectional title homes in the country, estimated to house more than 6-million people.
Sectional titles: role of body corporate explained

What is more, property data company Lightstone puts ...

Purchasing a rented property

26 Apr 2017
You have been looking for the ideal property to purchase for months and finally find it, but there is a catch, there is a tenant who is currently renting the property. What now?

Adrian Goslett of RE/MAX says that because the lease agreement is legally binding and was in place before, it stands - regardless if the owner of the home decides to sell.
...

Property buyers eye fast internet

26 Apr 2017
Fibre-optic internet connectivity, with its lightning fast speed and reliability, is the new technological hype in the country, and is also becoming an expectation of property buyers.

Such is the demand - among business people, students, and even just families - most new property developments are being built with fibre installations.

There are ...

Selecting a commercial investment property

25 Apr 2017
Selecting a specific asset class in which to invest can be an overwhelming task for a new or first-time commercial property investor.
Selecting a commercial investment property

Breaking down the decision into its simplest components and assessing the options from an educated vantage point is the key to getting started, says Leon Breytenbach, nation...

Do you know what your property is worth?

24 Apr 2017
It's a great irony in the property business: having bought a dream home, and invested more in it than in any other asset we own, more than any asset we're ever likely to own, we don't really know our property's value.
Do you know what your property is worth?

Often, we don't realise this. After all, most of us are working off a bond, so we can give ...

How to avoid being turned down for a home loan

24 Apr 2017
When you apply for a home loan, lenders will look at many factors before deciding whether to approve your application or not - and if you don't "pass the test" for any one of these they are quite likely to turn you down.

"This is why it is so important for prospective borrowers to make sure their finances and credit records are all in order before the...

Junk status 'could boost buy-to-let sales'

19 Apr 2017
Two property markets should gain momentum in the aftermath of South Africa's downgrading to junk status: the rental market and the Western Cape property market with semigration likely to continue unabated.

While the effects of the downgrade are likely to be felt only next year, the psychological impact could see South Africans being extra cautious whe...

How to become a property investor - the fundamentals

19 Apr 2017
Neale Petersen, founder and publisher of Real Estate Investor Magazine, kicked things off at the recently launched Property Buyer Show. The

Financial freedom

Property is the way to go if you want to achieve financial freedom, said Petersen, but it's a long-term game. What makes it such a compelling sector is that everyone has to live somewhere...

What to look for when investing in property

18 Apr 2017
Sandra Gordon, head of Pam Golding Properties Research, provided advice at the inaugural Property Buyer Show on what to look for when investing in property.
You have to do your homework, she said, in order to identify the areas of the market that are performing well. You can't base your investment decisions on oversimplified data as the South African prop...

How to protect your property investment, keep it profitable

18 Apr 2017
New or first-time commercial property owners should take precaution against certain situations in order to keep their investments safe and profitable. This is according to Leon Breytenbach, national manager of the Rawson Property Group's commercial division, who advises a little advance planning to avoid or minimise such problems.

Unplanned vacancies<...

How to become a property investor - the fundamentals

12 Apr 2017
Neale Petersen, founder and publisher of Real Estate Investor Magazine, kicked things off at the recently launched Property Buyer Show. The
Petersen, who's been involved in the property game for over 25 years, discussed the required mindset to becoming a property investor. He was part of the Property Investor Theatre Programme lineup.

Financial fr...

The process of rezoning or subdividing

12 Apr 2017
Homeowners who are looking to rezone their property for business use or subdivide to sell a portion of their land may be in for a longer ride than they initially expected.
The process of rezoning or subdividing

Whether applying to rezone or subdivide a property, the application will need to follow a number of procedures before it is considered, whi...

New bill gives property buyers more protection

11 Apr 2017
A bill governing estate agents and other property practitioners has been gazetted by Parliament, and if passed, will finally give consumers an added level of protection against illegal and unscrupulous agents.

The Property Practitioners Bill, published on March 31, aims to replace the Estate Agency Affairs Act and has been welcomed by industry profess...

Property market faces 'grim' period but 'it's not all doom and gloom'

11 Apr 2017
South Africa's downgrading to junk status has sounded warning bells for the South African economy, and property owners as well as buyers are considering its implications.

Its major effect on consumers in general is that interest rates will inevitably rise, says Erwin Rode, CEO of Rode and Associates.

"And if they do not rise sufficiently, infla...

Accurate property valuation key to speedy, successful sale

29 Mar 2017
The highest appraisal is not necessarily the best appraisal; the valuation of a property is one of the key factors in determining how long it remains on the market and for a seller it's crucial that an accurate, market-related price be ascribed to a home.
House in the Hen and Chicken Estate in Cape Town's southern suburbs.
House in the Hen and Chicken ...

Commission cutting is not the answer in a market downturn

29 Mar 2017
Estate agent commission cutting on home sales, which was rampant during the 2008 economic downturn, is making a re-appearance in the current residential property market downturn.
Commission cutting is not the answer in a market downturn

It is a path that existing and potential home sellers with best-price aspirations should either walk with care, o...

What happens to a home when the owner passes away?

28 Mar 2017
The answer depends on whether the owner had a will or not says Bruce Swain, MD of Leapfrog Property Group.
What happens to a home when the owner passes away?

"Finalising the estate of a deceased relative is a fairly complex process, one which is made infinitely more costly and time consuming if said family member died intestate (without a valid wil...

What's the big deal with rental inspections?

28 Mar 2017
Incoming and outgoing inspections are required by law under the Rental Housing Act. Despite this, many people consider inspections to be a formality at most. Jacqui Savage, the Rawson Property Group's national rentals development manager, explains why this can be a very dangerous stance to take.
What's the big deal with rental inspections?

"The inc...

FNB reports mild rise in secondary home buys

22 Mar 2017
There has been a mild improvement in the buying of secondary homes, such as holiday homes, homes for use by a relative and buy-to-let homes, in line with signs of an improved economic environment.

FNB reported that the estimated percentage of secondary home buying had risen to 14.47 percent by the first quarter of this year after slumping to a low of ...

Ban on direct land-owning by foreigners

22 Mar 2017
The SA government has proposed a new law banning foreigners from directly buying agricultural land in South Africa.

Non-residents will be allowed to take long leases on the properties, or the land should be majority-owned by a black South African, according to the Regulation of Agricultural Land Holdings Bill, published in the Government Gazette on Fr...

Unpacking new property legislation

20 Mar 2017
With a few significant changes on the cards for the South African property sector in 2017, Just Property recently caught up with Cor Van Deventer of Greyvensteins to ask him for some of his insights on the Expropriation Bill and the Protection of Investment Act.
Unpacking new property legislation

The Expropriation Bill

"The Expropriation Bil...

Understanding fair wear, tear in commercial rental agreements

20 Mar 2017
Commonly used in commercial rental agreements, fair wear and tear is a phrase essential to understand in the context of a commercial lease.
Understanding fair wear, tear in commercial rental agreements

"Perhaps the most helpful thing to understand is how this term is defined and its distinction to the damage of a property," says Leon Breytenbach, n...

Lightstone predicts a buyer's market for 2017

17 Mar 2017
It's a buyer's market in 2017, according to the Lightstone house price forecast for this year.
This year Lightstone predicts slow to sluggish growth in house prices of between 0.2% and 2.3%. In 2016 it predicted a 3.5% increase in house price growth, once again its prediction came close - the year ended off on 3.4%.

Nationally house price inflation...

Demystifying the rental agreement

17 Mar 2017
The days of 10% increases when renewing the lease on your house or flat are all but extinct. In tough economic times good landlords and good tenants should find ways to negotiate creatively if they value their relationships.
Demystifying the rental agreement

Lew Geffen, chairman of Lew Geffen Sotheby's International Realty, says: "Until a few years...

Great if you're buying this year - not so much if you're selling

16 Mar 2017
The Lightstone house price forecast for 2017 is out, and it's looking great - if you're a buyer.

For sellers, the news is not that good: the forecast shows current homeowners are continuing to lose real value on their properties.

Lightstone is predicting a downward trajectory with slow to sluggish growth in house prices of between 0.2% and 2.3%...

Separate meters for water and electricity in ST schemes

16 Mar 2017
There's no doubt that the best way to manage the costs of services such as water and electricity in sectional title schemes is by having separate meters installed for each unit.

Even better would be to have prepaid meters for these services as owners only use what they pay for, says Mandi Hanekom, operations manager of sectional title finance company ...

What you need to know when you buy off-plan

14 Mar 2017
As with any large financial investment, there are potential drawbacks buyers need to be aware of when buying a property off-plan.
What you need to know when you buy off-plan

"Buying off-plan is especially attractive to first-time buyers as there's no transfer duty (VAT's included in the price) and most people struggle to save up the deposit to purc...

Figures dispel house price myth

14 Mar 2017
Don't overcommit when you buy a home, says John Loos, household and property sector strategist at FNB Home Loans.

His warning comes hot on the heels of FNB's January 2017 estimate of 12.3% of homes nationally being resold at a loss to the owner.

While this is not at alarming levels, it is indicative of a market slowing down.

"It is not s...

How tenant churn could impact profitability

13 Mar 2017
Tenants, as the main source of income for commercial buildings, are key, thus tenant retention should be a primary focus for building owners and managers.

This is according to Gregg Huntingford, CEO of Spire Property Management, who says that it is more cost-effective to keep your current tenants happy than to find new ones.

Tenant churn can si...

Changes to laws make rental contracts more complex

13 Mar 2017
Until a few years ago, lease agreements included standard annual increases and a seven-day's notice with material breach to terminate.

But this is no longer the case, says Lew Geffen, chairman of Lew Geffen Sotheby's International Realty.

Contracts have become more complex with amendments to the Rental Housing, Consumer Protection and National ...

Property indices shake-up

09 Mar 2017
The JSE is expected to introduce three new indices to replace the current South African property index (Sapy) within the next three to four months, an eagerly awaited move which industry players believe will further boost the size and stature of listed real estate as an asset class.
Property indices shake-up

The JSE embarked on a process to improve...

More properties selling below purchase price

09 Mar 2017
The percentage of properties sold below their original purchase price increased to 12 percent in January this year from 9.8 percent in August last year.

This is based on a residential-dominated sample compiled by FNB on the deed office property data registered by individuals for properties that exchanged hands for R10 million or less.

John Loos...

'Hive living' increasingly popular

08 Mar 2017
As many consumers feel the financial constraints of higher living costs, coupled with the rising property prices, more and more people have turned to hive living as means to get into the property market.

Essentially what this entails is several generations of a family purchasing a property that they can live in together, says Adrian Goslett of RE/MAX....

Direct property or unit trusts - which is best?

08 Mar 2017
A very interesting question almost every investor asks themselves is: "If I want to invest money, do I need to buy a property, keep my money in the bank to earn fixed interest rates or invest in stocks?"

This is a difficult question to answer simply. All of us have an ambition to invest our hard-earned funds as optimally as possible to ensure we maxim...

Interest rates cut expected later in year

07 Mar 2017
Old Mutual Investment expects the South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) to cut interest rates by 50 basis points in the second half of the year due to a stabilising rand and lower inflation outlook, it said yesterday.

Old Mutual Investment's senior economist, Johann Els, said the first half of the year was likely to be tough, due to the tax hikes announce...

Commercial property still important asset class for private buyers

07 Mar 2017
With 27% of global transaction volumes attributed to private buyers in 2016, commercial real estate remains an important asset class for private investors. The 2017 Knight Frank Attitudes Survey data shows that a full quarter of private client wealth is held in real estate investments (excluding their primary residence and second homes). This varies signific...

Questions to ask the conveyancing attorney

06 Mar 2017
Ownership of a property takes more than a signature on an Offer to Purchase or for that matter the payment of the purchase price.

The property needs to go through the process of transfer and needs to be registered in the new buyer's name at the Deed Registry Office, which is where the services of a conveyancing attorney are required.

The proces...

Fears over property bill implications

06 Mar 2017
Speculation was rife this week as to what the new Property Practitioners Bill 2016 will include, with many estate agencies and organisations raising concerns it could over-regulate the industry with a dire outcome.

The cabinet on Wednesday announced that the bill would be gazetted for public comment (probably in the next few weeks). It repeals the Est...

Is it possible to terminate a lease agreement without recourse?

20 Feb 2017
If tenants terminate their lease agreement before expiry, is it possible to do so without being in breach of the contract?

According to Adrian Goslett of RE/MAX the answer to the question will depend on the cancellation clause within the lease agreement.

"Unless there are grounds for cancellation of the agreement, which are stipulated in the ca...

'Costs and compliance retard property industry transformation'

20 Feb 2017
During his State of the Nation address last week President Jacob Zuma commented on the property market noting that less than 5% of the sector is managed by people of colour and Africans in particular.

Jan le Roux, Chief Executive of the Real Estate Business Owners of South Africa (REBOSA), concedes that the residential sales market is undoubtedly domi...

Reviving brownfield sites to create mixed-use communities

17 Feb 2017
The South African Property Owners Association's (SAPOA) 2016 Q4 Office Vacancy Report says that the office sector is still firmly entrenched in its recovery phase although this is becoming increasingly fragile as a result of the sectors macro drivers.
Hassan Shaikh, founder of Revolve
Hassan Shaikh, founder of Revolve
In Gauteng, Sandton has lost a ...

Look out for restrictions on your property

17 Feb 2017
Owning a property does not mean that the owner is entitled to do whatever they want to the property. Every property in South Africa that is privately owned is subject to certain control measures, which may restrict the owner from making the changes they desire.
Look out for restrictions on your property

Before purchasing a home it is in the buyer's...

Should you buy property together?

16 Feb 2017
Property is pricey and for many first time home owners the only way to get onto the property ladder is by doing it with a partner.
Should you buy property together?

If you take into account that the average monthly salary is R12,715 (according to BankservAfrica) and that reports indicate that small properties were selling for around R867,014 in 201...

Good city governance enhances home values

16 Feb 2017
It is a global real estate fact that well-managed cities that are clean, relatively crime-free, with solid infrastructure and reliable service delivery, invariably protect " and grow" home values within their municipal boundaries.
Good city governance enhances home values

Cape Town, which has for some time been the top performing large-metro reside...

Crime affects Westville property prices

14 Feb 2017
The recent surge in housebreakings and robberies in Durban's Westville is having a negative effect on property prices in the upmarket suburb.

The Westville property market has been left shaken by the recent spate of crime in the area.

According to estate agents, more homes have gone on sale in the neighbourhood in recent months. However, home o...

New mortgage lending: 2017 may be weaker than 2016

14 Feb 2017
The South Africa Reserve Bank Leading Indicator has recently started to edge higher, a reflection of some recent global economic growth improvements which can contribute, along with domestic drought alleviation, to mildly higher economic growth this year.

However, it may be some time before this translates into positive growth in new residential mortg...

What rights do squatters actually have?

13 Feb 2017
Here we examine what "squatter rights" are in the context of the South African Law of Landlord and Tenant, in relation to both commercial and residential property.
What rights do squatters actually have?


A squatter is any person or organisation that continues to occupy a property when they have no legal right do so. This could include a person ...

The ins and outs of buying a real estate franchise

13 Feb 2017
The real estate industry is rife with opportunity, and running your own property business can be an extremely attractive idea - but it's not something you can jump into without a bit of preparation.
"In order to own and operate a real estate business, you need to complete your NQF5 qualification and get a principal-level Fidelity Fund Certificate from the...

CT, Joburg feature on index of luxury investment destinations

10 Feb 2017
Cape Town and Joburg have made the top 50 international housing markets favoured by ultra-high net worth (UHNW) individuals purchasing luxury real estate, according to the Global Property Handbook's Alpha Cities Index.

Wealth-X, in collaboration with Barnes International Realty and Warburg Realty, recently released the handbook which explores the real...

Your eight-point checklist for choosing student digs

10 Feb 2017
Upon acceptance into a university far from home, one of the top items on that to-do list is finding accommodation. The universities and FET colleges simply do not have enough accommodation on campus for all their students. Therefore, the onus falls on the students and their parents to find a suitable place for them to live and study for the duration of their...

Home loan lenders taking a more prudent approach

09 Feb 2017
Home loan lenders have adopted a slightly more cautious lending approach, according to mortgage originator ooba.

Rhys Dyer, the chief executive of ooba, said yesterday that evidence of this was the 5.5 percent year-on-year increase in the average deposit as a percentage of purchase price in the fourth quarter of last year.

ooba said the average...

Tenant mix: "sweet spot" between convenience and experience

09 Feb 2017
There are many factors that contribute to the success - or otherwise - of a shopping centre, and getting the right tenant mix is up there at the top of the list.
"First impressions count," says Olive Ndebele, general manager of Menlyn Park Shopping Centre. "We want our customers to be blown away by what we're offering. We want them to find not only every...

Dealing with defects

08 Feb 2017
The Consumer Protection Act (CPA) was introduced to protect consumers engaged in commercial transactions with businesses to avoid the consumer being treated unfairly. Unless a property buyer is purchasing a home from a developer or speculator whose ordinary course of business is to sell properties, the CPA does not come into play and the buyer will not fall ...

The age of the access-bond is not over

08 Feb 2017
Two banks this week rubbished a claim made by a non-bank lender that "the age of the access bond is over". Access bonds are alive and well, and borrowing through your home loan remains one of the cheapest forms of credit.

However, the days of having unfettered access to the equity in your property have long been a thing of the past.

Before the ...

New sectional title regulations leave owners, agents confused

07 Feb 2017
The Sectional Title Schemes Management Act (STSMA), which came into operation on 7 October 2016, has left many sectional title owners and managing agents confused, according to the South African Institute of Charted Accountants (SAICA). The Act is twinned with the Community Schemes Ombud Service Act (CSOSA). SAICA says it has been inundated with queries from...

What to consider before buying a real estate franchise

07 Feb 2017
Running your own property business is not something you can jump into without a bit of preparation, says Walter Hart, the Rawson Property Group's business expansion manager. He provides advice on the most important factors to consider, and explains the benefits of joining a national brand instead of starting out completely on your own.
What to consider be...

This factor will be key to a residential property market recovery in 2017

06 Feb 2017

The residential property market in South Africa did not perform well last year and one factor had a bigger effect than others, according to the head of one of SA's leading estate agents.

Consumer confidence as a driver of long-term decision making will be the key to the recovery of the residential property market in 2017.

While rebounding s...

Are companies in business rescue protected from eviction?

06 Feb 2017
This article examines the case of Kythera Court v Le Rendez-Vous Cafe CC and Another 2016, which deals with the eviction of a close corporation undergoing business rescue proceedings in terms of s129 of the Companies Act, 71 of 2008 (the Act).
Are companies in business rescue protected from eviction?

The Respondent is Le Rendez-Vous Cafe CC, tradin...

What happens to your rental deposit?

03 Feb 2017
It is general practice for landlords to request a deposit from their tenants before they move into a property. According to Section 5 of the Rental Housing Act, No. 50 of 1999 a landlord is legally entitled to request a deposit from their tenants.

The amount that the tenant will be required to pay as a deposit is stipulated in the lease agreement, whi...

What are landlord vs. lessee rights during sale of tenanted property?

03 Feb 2017
Tenant rights and obligations are not automatically forfeited when a landlord puts their property up for sale. Selling a rental with a tenant in residence isn't always an ideal situation, but the laws and processes in place are designed to treat all parties as fairly as possible.
What are landlord vs. lessee rights during sale of tenanted property?

How the interest rate impacts the property market

02 Feb 2017

South Africans breathed a sigh of relief when the South African Reserve Bank kept the repo rate at 7% this month.

With the majority of current and prospective homeowners dependent on home loans to purchase property, any fluctuation in the interest rate has a major impact on the property market. "Stability in the interest rate will build consumer c...

When is your rent due?

02 Feb 2017
Tenants have a particular responsibility when it comes to the payment of their rent, and failure to do so can be regarded as a breach of contract. Here are the myths and truths surrounding the correct procedure of paying your rent.

This is stipulated in your lease. If you are doing an EFT, the money must reach the landlord's bank account by the appoin...

Rates decision welcomed amidst challenging economy and property market

31 Jan 2017
Today's decision by the Monetary Policy Committee of the SARB (South African Reserve Bank) to keep the interest rate at the current level of 7% (home loan base rate of 10.5%) for the fifth successive meeting is most welcome news, says Samuel Seeff, chairman of the Seeff Property Group.

With so much political and economic uncertainty and pressure on th...

First-time home buyers should act sooner rather than later

31 Jan 2017
The average home loan instalment has gone up by almost R700 a month - despite the fact that buyers are currently also paying much bigger deposits than they did a year ago.

"This represents a clear decline in affordability for first-time buyers, who we believe should make a decision as soon as possible because it is only going to become increasingly di...

The interest rate and how it impacts the market

30 Jan 2017
South African Reserve Bank governor, Lesetja Kganyago announced recently at the first Monetary Policy Committee meeting of 2017 that the repo rate will remain unchanged at 7% with the prime lending rate staying at its current figure of 10.5%. Good news for consumers as the country heads into another year of predicted slow economic growth.
The interest rat...

Growing legal shift away from voetstoets clause

27 Jan 2017
Property sellers should not rely on the "blind protection" of the voetstoets clause if they don't have approved building plans, warns Liesel Greyvenstein, one of the directors of Greyvensteins Attorneys.
Liesel Greyvenstein, director, Greyvensteins Attorneys
Liesel Greyvenstein, director, Greyvensteins Attorneys
According to Greyvenstein, there is a...

Know the risks before building Airbnb castles in the sky

27 Jan 2017
With about 7,500 Airbnb hosts in South Africa in June 2016, the fast growing industry has boosted short-term letting in the country as property owners list their apartments and homes to attract travellers and charge daily accommodation rates.
Know the risks before building Airbnb castles in the sky

"We are finding about 50% of buyer enquiries in Se...

Should equity in the bond be used for debt?

26 Jan 2017
Often car loans and credit cards accrue interest at a much higher rate than a home loan, which is why many people decide to take equity out of their home loan to pay off their other debts. Focusing on paying off debt with the highest interest rate is a very good financial strategy to implement, but is using a home loan to do it the best idea?
Should equit...

Could good things lie ahead for the local property market in 2017?

26 Jan 2017
In the past, there has always been an uptick in the real estate market in April - after prospective buyers and sellers have reviewed their finances and had a look at what is on offer.
Could good things lie ahead for the local property market in 2017?

Chas Everitt Nelson Mandela Bay principal Charlotte Vermaak believes there are good things in store...

Interest rates decision welcome news for homeowners

25 Jan 2017
Today's decision by the Monetary Policy Committee of the South African Reserve Bank to keep the interest rate at the current level of 7%, with home loan base rate of 10.5%, for the fifth successive meeting is most welcome news, says Samuel Seeff, chairman of the Seeff Property Group.
"A rate cut would have been much better, but we will take any good news ...

New build homes now 30 percent more expensive than existing ones

25 Jan 2017
Residential building growth is expected to remain weak this year, aggravating the plight of the building sector.

John Loos, a household and property sector strategist at FNB, attributed this to the percentage price gap between new and existing homes.

Loos said FNB estimated the percentage by which average full title home replacement costs excee...

Tiny houses are big elsewhere - but in SA?

24 Jan 2017
The tiny house movement was started in the US by young singles or childless couples who could afford decent housing but balked at the thought of spending up to half their incomes to service 20-year home loans.

Instead of saddling themselves with 200m2 dream homes with manicured lawns and swimming pools, they choose to downsize drastically without comp...

Why it's a good idea to simplify sectional title meetings

24 Jan 2017
While the new Sectional Title Schemes Management Act (STSMA) repealed several provisions of the Sectional Titles Act of 1986 (STA), the one does not replace the other entirely, explains Mandi Hanekom, operations manager of sectional title finance company Propell.
Why it's a good idea to simplify sectional title meetings

The STSMA primarily deals wi...

This factor will be key to a residential property market recovery in 2017

23 Jan 2017

The residential property market in South Africa did not perform well last year and one factor had a bigger effect than others, according to the head of one of SA's leading estate agents.

Consumer confidence as a driver of long-term decision making will be the key to the recovery of the residential property market in 2017.

While rebounding s...

The Baby Boomer generation is renowned for being non-conformist - and its members are once again doing things differently when it comes to deciding where to live in their later years.

23 Jan 2017
"Not only are they downsizing, which is to be expected," says Gerhard Kotz', MD of the RealNet estate agency group, "but now a large percentage are choosing to rent rather than buy, which is quite surprising since 'Boomers have typically been big advocates of home ownership."

In SA, he says, this may be happening to some extent because of the shortage...

SA property and politics: what you can expect in 2017

20 Jan 2017
Consumer confidence as a driver of long-term decision-making will be the key to the recovery of the residential property market in 2017.
"If consumers can lift their heads and start to see some light at the end of the tunnel, the pent up demand from cautious buyers that we have seen building in 2016 may release and kick start the recovery in the market to...

Property ownership: planning ahead, a smart move

20 Jan 2017
It may be counterintuitive to think about retirement when buying your first apartment or family home, but according to Bill Rawson, chairman of the Rawson Property Group, planning ahead can be a very smart move.
Property ownership: planning ahead, a smart move

"Property is a long-term commitment, but it's not necessarily a lifelong commitment," say...

A buyer's guide to keeping track of properties

19 Jan 2017
While it may sound like a reasonably easy thing to do, finding the ideal home may take a little more time and effort than most expect, especially if the potential buyer doesn't follow any specific process.

Luckily much of the stress related to finding the perfect property can be reduced with the right methods in place, according to Adrian Goslett of R...

Insurance implications of a flawed property valuation

19 Jan 2017
The property valuation system in Cape Town was recently under question when investigations revealed the value of some properties were increased, which led to increased tariffs and taxes for homeowners.

A flawed property valuation could have a severe financial impact for the homeowner and lead to big financial loss in the event of an insurance claim.

'Intrusive' Oracle plans put on hold

18 Jan 2017
Cape Town planners have been sent back to the drawing board in a five-year battle over the "intrusive" addition of four floors to a city centre building.
'Intrusive' Oracle plans put on holdJudge Ashley Binns-Ward, in a Cape Town High Court judgment on Friday, 13 January, was scathing about the decision by the council's former head of building development...

Create a good first impression without breaking the bank

18 Jan 2017
According to Richard Smith, assistant manager of Pam Golding Properties' Hyde Park office, you really don't have to break the bank to make your home more marketable.
Image source:
Image source: www.pixabay.com
Although maintaining and improving your home regularly is always wise, spending large amounts of money on upgrades does tend to lower your po...

How to pick the right development real estate specialist

16 Jan 2017
Developers are a very special breed of entrepreneurs, they take on the significant risk of bringing a product to market and delivering on their promises to purchasers. The process can take many years to bring to fruition, and the red tape that needs to be negotiated is not for the faint-hearted. The rewards can be great but so are the risks.
"When a devel...

Is it worthwhile buying a fixer-upper?

16 Jan 2017
Purchasing a fixer-upper can be an extremely beneficial financial endeavour. However, only if the buyer has taken the time to do their research and followed the right procedures to ensure they are making a sound investment decision.
Is it worthwhile buying a fixer-upper?

Irrespective of the kind of property the purchaser is interested in buying, it...

Are you financially prepared to be a homeowner in 2017?

13 Jan 2017
Since the National Credit Act came into effect, prospective homebuyers have been required to have their financial affairs in order before they apply for a bond. While banks have become slightly less stringent since the act's inception, financial institutions are likely to tighten up their lending criteria in 2017 and bond applicants will be put through their...

New financial product does away with rental deposit

13 Jan 2017
In today's economy, it isn't easy for every tenant to produce a sizeable deposit to secure a property. But often two or even three months' worth of rent is required, making many tenants fall short of consideration.

Jawitz Properties in conjunction with oobainsure (the insurance arm of the bond originator, ooba) has launched a product called Rent Prote...

It's cheaper to buy an older home than build your own

12 Jan 2017
Construction, and especially residential construction, is a major creator of employment and ultimately also of housing demand, so it is always worrying when the home-building sector goes into decline.
According to the report, Rawson says the number of plans passed for new homes showed an overall year-on-year decline of 8.4% during this period to just over...

House about a change?

12 Jan 2017
PropertyFox has predicted an evolving residential property market for South Africa in 2017. After many decades of very little movement, things are starting to shift rapidly in South Africa's residential property market, it says.
House about a change?

"We anticipate 2017 will be a time when the industry disruption which has been gathering steam this...

Developing Africa's future cities

10 Jan 2017
Cities are "smart" when infrastructure, urban assets, public services, human and social capital, mobility systems and other forces are improved and optimised under ICT. The important benefit is higher economic growth, better quality of life for citizens and a more responsible form of stewardship over natural resources. However, the creation of such futuristi...

Expect slowing property price growth in 2017, with a few exceptions

10 Jan 2017
The residential property market has had its ups and downs during 2016 as the economy stagnates, the Reserve Bank started hiking interest rates again and consumers struggle with household debt-to-income. What's in store for 2017; slowing property price growth - with a few notable exceptions - an increase in demand for smaller properties, specifically sectiona...

Banks need to engage before foreclosing

09 Jan 2017
If you are struggling to pay off the home loan on your primary residence and miss a few payments, your home-loan provider cannot foreclose on your debt and repossess your property without first attempting to reach an agreement with you on restructuring your loan so that you can keep your home.

In a recent case that went to the Supreme Court of Appeal,...

Negative aspects that influence property values

06 Jan 2017
Research reveals that it only takes a prospective buyer a few minutes to decide whether they like a home or not, which is why it is essential that the home makes an excellent first impression.
Negative aspects that influence property values

While there are certain things that sellers can do to ensure that their home is in its best possible conditio...

How schools impact value of homes

06 Jan 2017
Purchasing a property is a large financial commitment, and as such, there are several vital aspects that buyers need to consider before taking the final step towards homeownership. While price and the type of home are a few of the factors that require buyers' attention, the most crucial aspect to consider is location.
How schools impact value of homes
...

Ensure your building dreams don't turn into a construction nightmare

05 Jan 2017
Renovating, or adding extra rooms, is one of the best ways to improve the value of your home, but how do you make sure that your building dreams don't turn into a construction nightmare?
Ensure your building dreams don't turn into a construction nightmare

The importance of consulting a fully qualified and registered architectural professional canno...

Airbnb 'rentability' may be pushing up the sale prices of apartments

05 Jan 2017
The short-term letting platform, Airbnb, allows property owners to list their apartments and homes to attract travellers and charge daily accommodation rates.

In June, there were about 7 500 Airbnb hosts in South Africa, and it is fast becoming an industry on its own.

"We are finding about 50 percent of buyer enquiries in Sea Point specifically...

Understanding the bond application process

04 Jan 2017
Currently in South Africa around four out of every five people who want to purchase a property will require a financial institution to provide the necessary finance for the transaction. Essentially, what this means is that the majority of property transactions in this country are financed in one way or another.
Understanding the bond application process

South African estate agent voted world's best

04 Jan 2017

International Best Real Estate Agent, Debra Maddocks of Tyson Properties scores a hat trick in London.

Winner of three of the most sought-after titles in the property industry, the prestigious International Property Awards 2016 Best Real Estate Agent, South Africa, and Best Real Estate Agent, Africa, and, announced at a gala event at the Savoy Hot...