Weekly Newsletter
Friday, 03 April, 2009
Property Search | Estate Agents | List your property

Edition 13 of 2009, Friday, 3 April 2009

Dear Reader

Vehicle news – Naamsa, The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers reported that vehicle sales plunged by 30.1% to 33326 units last month compared to the same months in previous years. I don’t know about you but I’m curious to see the outcome for April 2009 after the 1% interest cut we’ve seen last week. Will South Africans shop more?

Commercial property – Although it fell sharply last year it still managed to beat inflation. This according to the SA Property Owners Association/IPD property index. Is it the right time to buy commercial property? We place two articles that can help you in answering this question. Commercial real estate still beats inflation - for now and Commercial real estate: world's top returns

Residential property – According to the National Association of Realtors US pending home sales have edged up, hinting at a possible pickup of sales activity in coming months. Currently the property market is still underperforming. No good news in the South African property market as the prices of residential property continue to come down. We bring you news from three of the Banks;

  • FNB - March house prices down
  • ABSA - House prices still falling
  • Standard Bank - Falling interest rates to boost house prices

Can things get worse? Dr Johan Botha, of Standard Bank's economics division told Realestateweb that the property market would probably be in the doldrums until the end of this year. "I don't think we have reached the bottom yet. There could be bargains at the moment and going forward."

Dr Neal Bruton, of RGT Smart Market Intelligence Ltd, said he expects the interest rate to come down by another 2%, which would mean consumers would enjoy a roughly 29% cut in their debt financing costs compared to December.

Summit TV spoke to Mike Schussler from Economists.co.za about the growing evidence that without further rate cuts South Africa is going to experience a severe recession and more job losses Tricky times ahead

Last week we reported that Standard Bank is still not accepting new home loan application that has been submitted through a bond originator. This week we can report that Standard Bank said it is reconsidering their participation in the origination market. It’s still a hard time for mortgage originators as commissions are cut and the low approval of bonds continue.

What is carbon footprint? A carbon footprint is the measure of the impact that our activities have on the environment. According to Designs> if you are lucky enough (or insane enough) to be planning the construction of a new home, you are in the right place to make a huge difference to the future of the planet. Before you even start with assessing materials and construction methods, take a look at the orientation of your home. As we are in the southern hemisphere, a building norm is to have living areas facing north, north-east or north-west, with service areas such as bathrooms and kitchens facing south. It’s astounding how often builders and developers get this wrong! How changes in the home can make a difference to carbon emissions by:

Uniondale is better known for its ghost than for the scenic roads it has to offer the tourist. These roads must be the Karoo's best kept secret. Uniondale is ideally situated to form part of circular tourist routes that include destinations such as Oudtshoorn, Baviaanskloof, Port Elizabeth, Knysna and George. Read more in Focus on Uniondale, Western Cape, South Africa

The editor


>> Real Estate news – Ireland and UK had worst global commercial property returns in 08

Ireland and the UK had the worst global commercial property returns in 2008 and the current state of the US commercial market was highlighted on Tuesday, when Boston’s John Hancock Tower, New England’s tallest skyscraper, was sold at auction, at a 50% plunge in its purchase price, compared with less than 3 years ago...

>> Commercial real estate still beats inflation - for now

Returns on commercial property fell sharply last year but still managed to beat inflation, according to the SA Property Owners Association/IPD property index, which was released yesterday.

IPD South Africa managing director Stan Garrun warned, however, that the relative resilience locally was in part a reflection of this country lagging the international cycle...

>> Commercial real estate: world's top returns

South African property investors enjoyed biggest gains in 2008 - latest stats, other asset classes.

Investment in South Africa's commercial real estate market produced double-digit nominal total returns for 2008, at 13.0%, according to the SAPOA / IPD South African Property Index. However, with last year's high inflation rate of 11.5% factored in, these returns equate to inflation-adjusted ‘real returns' of just 1.3% for 2008...

>> March house prices down

As expected, according to the latest FNB house price index that was released on Wednesday, house prices are down by 7.8 percent year-on-year in March after declining by 6.2 percent year-on-year in February.

This was despite the FNB Residential Property Barometer already having shown some improvement in residential demand since late 2008 and is believed to be the result of a significant oversupply of stock still prevalent in the market...

>> House prices still falling

House prices have continued to fall, Absa said on Thursday as it released its house price index for February.

In nominal terms, middle-segment house prices dropped by 1.3 percent year-on-year in February, after declining by 0.9 percent year-on-year in January.

In real terms – or adjusted for inflation – prices were down by 8.3 percent year-on-year in January from a drop of 9.6 percent year-on-year in December last year...

>> Falling interest rates to boost house prices

House price growth, which has been on a downward spiral, is expected to improve somewhat towards the end of the year as the effect of interest rate cuts filters through the economy and the property market.

After posting the lowest annual growth rate in 12 years last year, when a decrease of 0,3% in the median house price was recorded, the first three months of this year extended the downward trend...

>> Can things get worse?

More dismal property price figures, but economists reckon your home loan bill will soon be 30% lower than in December.

More dismal property price statistics were released on Wednesday, showing values falling by as much as almost 8% year-on-year, but economists reckon they can see conditions improving before the year is up.

That's provided, of course, SA Reserve Bank Governor Tito Mboweni keeps chopping the interest rate so that we're not far off the 10,5% we were enjoying before it started ticking steadily up from June 2006...

>> Tricky times ahead

Summit TV speaks to Mike Schussler from Economists.co.za about the growing evidence that without further rate cuts South Africa is going to experience a severe recession and more job losses

Erika van der Merwe: Credit extended to the private sector lifted by just over 11% in February 2009 which is well down from the heady days of 20% plus credit growth. Is this another data set that supports additional interest rate cuts? Mike Schussler is from Economists.co.za. Mike, what data or evidence do we have that counts against further aggressive rate cuts...

>> Bargains boost auctions

'To bid or not to bid — that is the question…' Hamlet's ambivalence in the famous 'to be or not to be' soliloquy is comparable to the quandary in which those considering buying property on auction have found themselves. Not only is there conflicting opinions about when to buy residential property from national as well as international experts, but buying on auction is often misunderstood. It then becomes daunting. Without a bona fide Nostradamus to predict market movements accurately, it all remains speculative. The further 100 basis point drop announced recently is however a positive move by the Reserve Bank to ease the mortgages of many borrowers and move one step closer to a property market recovery. There is one certainty though: Sale by auction is quickly becoming the preferred way to buy all property — not just the wave of sales from distressed mortgages...

>> South Africa Developers under squeeze

Realestateweb has been contacted by property developers who have been affected by a decision of Nedbank to re-assess certain loans.

Some clients who were approved for loans to purchase townhouses have been informed that their applications will be re-assessed.

Industry insiders say it's not just Nedbank that is re-assessing loans, but also other banks, sometimes declining to grant funds right at the last possible moment.

In some cases the clients have moved into the townhouses, and are already paying occupational rent to the property developer.

Most of the cases involve loans equal in value to the purchase price.

Nedbank home loans' spokesperson Pramod Mohanlal notes that certain loans are being reassessed for the following possible reasons.

  • A concentration risk - where Nedbank has an excess number of loans tied to a particular development.
  • Where clients are suspected to have a high level of debt.
  • Where the value of the property is no longer equal to the value of the loan.

"It is in our interest to protect clients and inform them when they are over-indebted or where the loan exceeds the value of the property," says Mohanlal.

Nedbank, property developers, Pramod Mohanlal 30 March 2009 30 March 2009

Article by: www.realestateweb.co.za

>> Rentals market growing in Boland and Overberg

As many would-be home-owners struggle to obtain mortgages amid current market conditions, the demand for rental properties is growing in many regions – and the Western Cape’s Boland and Overberg regions are no exception, according to a Pam Golding Properties press release...

The busiest and most expensive area within this region is the Franschhoek/Paarl area. “Typically this area has very few lets available under R5 000 per month”, says PGP’s B&O Rentals Manager, Nic Campher. “Most are over R8 000 per month, going up to a ceiling of R35 000 per month for a top-end home in De Zalze golf estate...

>> How changes in the home can make a difference to carbon emissions

Reducing your carbon footprint

Concern over carbon emissions causing accelerated climate change is being talked about and written about in every form of medium around. Most of us are still only listening, but not truly hearing just how bad the problem is. On the other hand, some of the messages that we are fed are totally conflicting.

> Leave show day to the experts

On the face of it, the layman could be forgiven for thinking that putting a house on show is as simple as placing an advertisement or two, putting out a few “on show” signs and sweeping the driveway.

In truth, showing a home is far more involved than that and requires the expert attention of a qualified estate agent says Martin Schultheiss, CEO of the Homenet/ Harcourts group...

>> Rich real estate rewards

Luxury properties going for a bargain; high net worth individuals plan to buy property...

This week in a wrap of the property news making the headlines: the rich, we are told, are tucking in to the property sale of the century, thanks to former high-fliers falling fast.

Luxury property feast. Rich people want more property, is the story that captured many of the international headlines this week...

>> Keep your cool on coastal property

Coastal climes beckon to many upcountry holidaymakers at this time of year, and the euphoria they feel while enjoying their sun-soaked vacation can result in an impulsive property purchase.

But, says Homenet CEO Martin Schultheiss, potential buyers should think very carefully before arbitrarily deciding to move to the coast...

>> Upmarket buyers turn attention to cheaper suburbs

Residential suburbs near the industrial nodes of Silverton and Waltloo to the east of Pretoria are experiencing an influx of buyers targeting upmarket properties.

Dr Willie van der Merwe, owner of the RealNet WaterMeyer mini-franchise in the area, says many buyers are businessmen with interests in the industrial areas. “They typically buy upmarket properties and have cash reserves, which considerably speeds up transactions...

>> New Mauritius development geared to SA buyers

A new residential development on the west coast of Mauritius is specifically targeted at SA buyers who want to acquire holiday or permanent homes on the Indian Ocean island.

That’s the news from Kentish Moorghen, GM of the Chas Everitt Davyland office in the Mauritian capital of Port Louis, who says the development is already attracting strong interest even though it has yet to be officially launched...

>> To the editor

Our readers view point on last week’s rate cut

It is all very well giving an interest cut of 1% and I realize that there are lots of unemployed people at the moment due to the recession but the property market is suffering but due to the fact that the banks are not giving bonds that easily. It has made the buying of selling of property very difficult and the people to be caught in the middle are all the conveyancing secretaries who have lost their jobs, and the ones who go in to work every day hoping that today is not the day they will be retrenched. There must be hundreds of us conveyancing staff out of work because of the problems. I was retrenched at the end of August and jobs are certainly not easy to find and am now doing rentals as I was not able to obtain anything else. Wendy Clarke

The editor - Thank you Wendy. I’m sure that your response is going to be an eye opener for many of the readers. So often we think only about ourselves and forget about those “behind the scene”.

More comments;

I don’t think a cut of 1% is enough to put us on par with the rest of the world

We need another 2% cut in interest rates to make it worth while
Thank you BUT PLEASE can we have more!

Send your viewpoints or comments on any of the articles, or questions you may have to news@cyberprop.com

>> News from the Green Building Council of South Africa

Second Green Building Council Convention and Exhibition set for Oct 2009

The dates for the second Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) Convention & Exhibition have been set. Once again sponsored by Nedbank Corporate, this world-class event will be taking place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 21-23 October 2009...

>> In the area...

The areas we are going to take a closer look at this week are;

  • Potchefstroom
  • Johannesburg
  • Simon’s Town
>> In the area 1 – Potchefstroom

Student housing market in Potchefstroom shows resilience

In the midst of gloomy reports about property prices falling, a recession looming and investor anxiety growing, the student-housing sector in Potchefstroom is doing well.

“Other parts of the residential market cooled down significantly following the implementation of the National Credit Act and several interest rate hikes in 2007 and 2008, but student housing continues to be vibrant and resilient,” says Melanie Britz, a student housing specialist with Homenet Potchefstroom...

>> In the area 2 – Johannesburg

Orman purchase signals confidence in future of Jo’burg property

World-renowned personal finance guru Suze Orman is obviously no slouch when it comes to picking good investments, and one of her most recent is a home in SA - an apartment in the über-luxury The Cliffs development in Northcliff, Johannesburg.

This speaks volumes about the positive prospects for SA’s property market – especially at the upper end - as this is the only country besides the US where Orman has chosen to buy. (She also owns a townhouse in San Francisco, a condominium in Fort Lauderdale and two apartments in New York)...

>> In the area 3 – Simon’s Town

CAPE TOWN (April 02) – Pam Golding Properties area manager for the South Peninsula, Sandi Gildenhuys, says the agency is seeing the most demand for Simon’s Town in the R2 million to R2,5 million price bracket with buyers coming from Constantia, the greater Cape Town area and Gauteng.

“We have also seen a sprinkling of overseas buyers starting to enter the market these past few months. What they have in common is an appreciation for the lovely setting and the quaint village lifestyle with minimal crime, as well as the value for money on offer – on a rand per square metre basis, prices here compare extremely favourably with other seaside areas.”

Prices in Simon’s Town currently start at around R450 000 for a vacant plot, going up to R2,5 million for larger erven in prime positions. Apartments close to the beach are priced from R800 000 to R1,45 million, while a small cottage can be obtained from R1,5 million. Larger family homes are priced between R2 million and R10 million.

Article from: www.rodneyhayter.com

>> Focus on Uniondale, Garden Route, South Africa

Uniondale, a small town in the Little Karoo, South Africa, came about by the joining of two towns (Hopedale & Lyon) in 1856. It is predominantly a sheep, goat, seed and apple farming community.

Uniondale is a great place to spend a few days travelling and enjoying the Klein Karoo scenery. Being only an hour away from George and an hour and a half from Plettenberg Bay and Knysna over the breathtaking Prince Alfred Pass, Uniondale offers the ideal breakaway to Karoo living. The Prince Alfred's Pass was designed and built by Thomas Baines and still has the original hand packed stone retaining walls...

>> View Properties in Uniondale
>> View Properties in the Garden Route

>> Property of the week

Garden Route, Uniondale

Near Uniondale this resort property is stocked with 40 mammalian species. This 3 star accommodation facility comes with fully furnished lodges consisting of a 5 bedroomed lodge, 6 separate chalets, a main lodge house and all the reception facilities on can think of to continue this very successful business. There is further development potential if one wishes to extend the chalet area.

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>> IEASA aims to outlaw ‘accreditation’ by homeowners’ associations

The Institute of Estate Agents (IEASA) is taking on the practice of “accreditation” which gives selected agents exclusive property marketing rights in some security complexes and estates.

This stands to affect thousands of South African homeowners who have to date not been at liberty to choose their own agents when buying or selling units in certain developments...

>> Offering from Webmail

>> Software at its best!

Cell Phone enquiries from the public

Buyers driving past your advertising boards will be able to see an unique Internet Number allocated to the specific property. They will then SMS that number to 35476 and will receive an SMS back with all the details of the property. At the same time the agent / agency will also be informed of a potential buyer. How's that for technology working for you! The cost - mahala! Free to all CyberAgent subscribers.

Here's a diagram on the way this process will work...

  1. Agent captures the details of the property and pictures into CyberAgent
  2. Agent updates the property to the Internet
  3. The Internet server sends back a unique number for that property
  4. Agent puts up his "For Sale" board together with our SMS board
  5. Potential buyer sees the "SMS" board and SMS's the unique number to the Internet server
  6. The Internet server sends back an SMS with all the property details and a link to the website where he/she can view pictures on the propert

If you would like to know more about the above features and benefits that CyberAgent offer, visit: www.cyberagent.co.za or email: sales@cyberprop.com

For Sale Property:
Eastern Cape Freestate Gauteng Kwazulu Natal Mpumalanga North West Northern Cape Limpopo
Western Cape

To Rent Property:
Eastern Cape
Gauteng Kwazulu Natal North West Western Cape