Weekly Property News
Friday, 04 December, 2009

Read more in To the Editor

DISTRESSED sales of commercial property are on the increase across the world, according to a new survey. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) asked for feedback from real estate executives in 25 countries. The study showed that 80% of the countries had seen an increase in distressed sales during the third quarter of this year. The biggest pick-up in distressed sales was reported in South Africa, followed by the US, Portugal and France. Real estate professionals expect the number of distressed properties coming onto the market to increase into the fourth quarter across 19 of the 25 countries surveyed. www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk

Two of South Africa's big four banks put out contradictory reports about the state of the housing market yesterday. FNB and Standard Bank released their November house price indexes, but though FNB said house prices showed slight growth last month, Standard Bank said the opposite. According to FNB, economic recovery was starting to favour homeowners as the value of houses was on a gradual increase. FNB property strategist John Loos said: "House prices are starting to inflate and it is a sign the market is getting stronger. This is good news for owners, but not for potential buyers." But Standard Bank's property book for the first 11 months of this year revealed an average monthly decline of 4.3 percent in the average house price. Standard Bank senior economist Johan Botha said the figures showed that it was a good time to buy, but with an upfront deposit. Banks at odds over prices

The editor

In This Issue
Featured Property

Wellington, Western Cape, South Africa

Celebrate the history of Wellington with the purchase of a unit in the luxuriously appointed Grand Verdeau - aptly named after the French Huguenot Hercule Verdeau who received the land from Simon van der Stel in 1699.

Grand Verdeau consists of thirty 1 & 2 Bedroom Apartments or Garden Cottages, each with their own allocated parking...

CyberProp Property Count: 04/12/2009

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Properties for Sale: 136,346
Properties to Rent: 10,786

Real Estate News International

Dubai property fiasco won't affect South Africa - Growthpoint heavyweight

But there are other worries about for commercial property owners; V&A Waterfront update

As the debt crisis at Dubai World caused panic on world markets last week, local property players' hopes were raised that they would be able to acquire a stake in the Cape Town V&A Waterfront...

Local News

Property trumps share returns

Johannesburg - Properties have been South Africa's finest investment vehicle over the past decade, defying the norm that equities generate the best long-term returns...

Banks at odds over prices

Two of South Africa's big four banks put out contradictory reports about the state of the housing market yesterday...

Rawson asks for an easing of National Credit Act

A review of credit regulations by the banks and the government's financial policymakers right now could ease the position of the many potential, but not affluent, homebuyers, says Bill Rawson, Chairman of Rawson Properties...

Wellington Student Accommodation for 2011

Celebrate the history of Wellington with the purchase of a luxuriously appointed Grand Verdeau Apartment - aptly named after the French Huguenot Hercule Verdeau who received the land from Simon van der Stel in 1699...

Affordability the key to next year's property market

Affordability is going to be vital in maintaining the early momentum of the property market recovery and in this context the longer that interest rates can be maintained at present levels, the better...

Tackle downsizing the smart way

If you're downsizing to a smaller home for financial reasons or like many people these days just trying to "downshift" to an easier lifestyle involving less home maintenance, you will probably have some hard decisions to make about what to take with you and what to leave behind...

Get set up properly to start a home business

The number of home-based businesses is rising fast in reaction to corporate retrenchments and job losses, higher fuel costs and worsening traffic congestion in major centres...

Difficulties of transferring property from a CC, a Company or a Trust still not appreciated

Although there has been a fair amount of coverage in the media on the new tax breaks regarding the transfer of property from close corporations, companies and trusts to individuals (provided this is done before the end of 2011)...

If you transfer your home to yourself from a CC, a Trust or a Company, will you qualify for the new bond?

The new SA Revenue Services ruling allowing those living in primary residences to transfer the ownership from companies, close corporations or trusts into their own name without paying transfer duty or capital gains tax (if they act before 2012) has, says Mike Greeff, CEO of Greeff Properties, been widely praised...

Home business: What about VAT?

The question of when VAT is payable on the sale of a residential property has new relevance in the current economic cycle where many people are establishing home-based businesses to make a living...

Sun Int, Cosatu working on agreement

Sun International says it is working closely with trade union Cosatu to avert industrial action at the Sun City Resort...

Flax warns that 2010 will be tough - but the Redefine Group is in a far better position than most

Those South African property watchers who are predicting significantly improved conditions in 2010 are by and large unrealistic, says Mike Flax, Executive Director of Redefine Properties...

Dealing with recalcitrant tenants

Landlords are protected against non-paying tenants - but the legal process can be time consuming...

Property bargain-hunters salivate over V&A Waterfront

Could Cape Town's most prized real estate be dumped by its Dubai owners for a song?

As Dubai's property woes deepen, speculation is growing in South African property circles that a sizeable stake in Cape Town's most prized real estate...

Continued growth for Spire Property Management

Property management specialists, Spire Property Management, continue their upward growth trend with the recent securing of two new management contracts...

News From

Leapfrog Property Group - What a tough property market has taught me - estate agency boss

The Leapfrog Property Group launched in June 2007 to much scepticism from the real estate industry. Two years on and finding themselves in the middle of a tough property market the group continues to expand and confound its critics...

Focus On

Focus on Wellington, Western Cape, South Africa

The charming little town of Wellington is situated 65km north-west of Cape Town along the main line to Kimberley and Johannesburg. It is one of the most culture-rich towns in the Western Province with many historical sites...

>> View Properties in the Western Cape
>> View Properties in Wellington

Search For Properties

1. Western Cape
2. Garden Route
3. Northern Cape
4. Eastern Cape
5. KwaZulu Natal
6. Free State
7. North West
8. Gauteng
9. Mpumalanga
10. Limpopo

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In the Area

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

  • City Bowl
  • Cape Town
  • Nelspruit
In the Area 1 - City Bowl

Cape Town City Bowl now short of residential stock

A serious shortage of residential stock is now being experienced by most estate agents in the City Bowl area, says Lynne Wylde of Anne Porter Knight Frank’s City Bowl office...

In the Area 2 - Cape Town

Cape Town Africa's greatest city

The Mayor on the city's preparations for the 2010 World Cup...

In the Area 3 - Nelspruit

Demand for commercial and industrial property in Nelspruit has remained strong in spite of the recession...

To the editor

In our CyberAgent newsletter, our newsletter to the estate agent and estate agency, we placed an article Time for agents to cut commissions and asked them their viewpoint. We place two of the answers that we've received.



I have been in the property selling industry for 20 years, and would like to comment with reference to your article.

In my 20 years' experience, I have found the property industry to be extremely challenging and fiercely competitive, and not, as you suggest in your article, easy money.

Until the recent implementation of the RPL system for training and qualifying estate agents, ease of entry into the industry meant that during every property boom thousands of new selling agents were attracted to the industry.

Consequently, the "property pie", although larger during property booms, had to be divided among the existing selling agents as well as the vast influx of newer agents attracted to the industry by the prospect of earning millions of Rands! During boom times, the "cream-on-top" for our industry is never expansive enough to sustain so many agents, and as soon as the market cools again the newer, less experienced selling agents leave the industry to return to former / enter other occupations and careers.

This exodus leaves those agents who have made lifelong careers of selling property to weather the storm - until the next upward turn in the property cycle. In a recovery phase, when "career agents" should be rewarded for surviving the tough times, they were instead exposed to dramatically increased competition as new agents join the industry - their fight for survival continues even through the "good times"!

A recent survey: "Estate Agents not wealthy - study: It is really time to put to bed the image of the high-flying estate agent earning millions of rands a year" appeared in the Cape Times last week. The findings of the survey reveal that more than half (54%) of the agents polled earn R13 000 per month or less, which means that they could buy a home costing around R400 000, whereas the average price of the properties sold by estate agents in the past year is over R1 million.

The article quotes Dr. Willie Marais, National President of the Institute of Estate Agents (IEASA): "..not even one agent in five is earning the kind of income that would enable them to buy a home costing R1m or more - despite the fact that the typical agents works full-time (an average of 42,5 hours per week).."

While it is true that there are estate agents who have indeed made millions, these represent a fraction of the agent population in this country.

Lee Siebert
Broker / Owner
RE/MAX Helderberg

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