Weekly Newsletter
Friday, 05 May, 2006
Property Search | Estate Agents | List your property

Edition 18 of 2006, Friday, 05 May 2006

Dear Reader

This week – According to ABSA the significant cut in transfer duties on properties, announced in the Budget in February, did not lead to stronger growth in house prices during March and April, although volumes did appear to have increased over this period. The lowest house price growth in six years was recorded for April, according to the Absa House Price Index (HPI). Real Estate News – Another drop in house price growth

BUT SA's most noted property bear, Erwin Rode, believes middle- and lower-priced houses have not peaked. "The upper market is fully matured and there is not much to gain from that," he says, "though the rest of market still has growth potential." Count your blessings

Graaff Reinet, Eastern Cape, South Africa, the oldest town, it is known as the 'Athens' of the Eastern Cape, with magnificent examples of Karoo architecture, fynbos and more monuments than any other town in South Africa this is where www.places.co.za is taking us this week in Focus on

Statistics South Africa data say the Eastern Cape is well placed to benefit. Last year, shopping space in the province rose 197% compared with 2004, while industrial and warehousing space rose 162, 4%. This was the highest provincial rise. Property in Eastern Cape still safe bet, experts say

Flooring plays such an important role in your home and yet shopping for a new floor can be confusing and frustrating if you are not prepared. Sometimes just by adding something as simple as a rug it can freshen up the appearance of any room without the costs of doing a complete room. In Have Fun we will be placing a few articles over the next few weeks on flooring.

The editor

>> Real Estate News – Another drop in house price growth

The lowest house price growth in six years was recorded for April, according to the Absa House Price Index (HPI).

Nominal house price growth for April was 12,8% y/y, compared with a growth rate of 13,7% in March and 14,6% in February. Houses are still rising in value at well over the inflation rate...

>> Empire State, 75, seeks return to glory

NEW YORK — The Empire State Building has survived its own plane crash, a fire and — in the movies at least — a love- inflamed ape swatting planes from its peak.

This week, amid mixed forecasts, hard times and costly renovations, the iconic building turned 75 years old.

Since the September 11 attacks, when it regained the double-edged boast of being the tallest building in Manhattan, the Empire State Building has fought to win back tenants...

>> Count your blessings

Low by international norms, prices for SA properties still have room to rise. The world has become nervous about the global property boom, since former US Federal Reserve chairman Allan Greenspan warned a few weeks ago that asset prices were too high and a correction was due.

Last week the Financial Times devoted a full page to what it headlined "Dangers of the great housing market delusion". In it, FT chief economics commentator Martin Wolf warns that since house prices in most developed countries have risen faster than incomes for almost 10 years, "only two possibilities exist"...

>> Think twice about price

Home sellers who stipulate a hard-and-fast limit below which they will not consider any offers on their property may end up losing out.

It may be tempting, says Berry Everitt, MD of the Chas Everitt International property group, to instruct your agent to not even show you offers below your stipulated minimum, especially in view of the huge gains in property prices registered in the recent past...

>> Focus on Graaff Reinet, Eastern Cape, South Africa

Cradled in a crook of the Sundays River, to the approaching traveler, Graaff -Reinet seems like a verdant oasis in the stark surrounding landscape.

Graaff-Reinet is home to more National Monuments than any other town or city in South Africa. Round every corner a piece of our history is revealed to interested visitors...

View Properties in Eastern Cape | View Properties in Graaff Reinet

>> Property of the week

Graaff Reinet, Eastern Cape, South Africa

± 4000 Ha in Karoo. 49 Ha established land , 75-80% fenced with game fence. ±25 Camps with 2 water facilities per camp. Buildings: Main house, guest house, flat, conference facilities, 9 worker houses. Water: Ample water - 4 windmills, fountains. Fields irrigated with fountain water. Activities: Livestock, guest accommodation, well-known 4 x 4 route. Game: Kudu, Ribbuck and smaller game. Power supplied by Escom. Enquire about an additional farm adjacent to this farm.

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>> Property in Eastern Cape still safe bet, experts say

'Mild interest-rate environment and good economic growth still support the market'

Investing in property is still a good idea, especially commercial property, as the outlook for its performance remains bullish, according to First National Bank (FNB).

FNB property strategist John Loos said the mild interest-rate environment and real economic growth of 4%-5% a year expected for the rest of the decade had made property an attractive investment...

>> Have Fun – Flooring (1)

The most durable of all floorings are tile and stone-materials that, when properly installed, last the lifetime of a house. This toughness combined with the natural beauty of stone and the incredible array of tile types, colors, patterns and textures makes tile and stone the materials of choice where quality and character are most important.

Tile and stone are fundamentally different. Stone is just what it's name implies: quarried slate, limestone, flagstone, granite or marble. Tile is made from slabs of clay that are fired for hardness. A third material, stone tile, is made from real stone aggregate suspended in a polymer binder. This is a relatively affordable alternative to stone...

>> News from The Mercury

The proposed sale of Clairwood Racecourse by racing group Gold Circle is being fought by a number of senior members of the racing fraternity who say it is too important a "world-class facility" to be lost to the industry, and all for the "paltry sum of R120-million".

Industry stalwart George Rowles, the Oppenheimer family, retired businessman Chris Saunders and Nic Labuschagne are among some of the high-profile players who oppose the move.

The sale of the 85-year-old course, situated in the prime south Durban industrial heartland, is part of a broad-ranging strategy of the Gold Circle group to rationalise and consolidate its racing and training operation, which monopolises the industry in the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal...

>> Software at its best!
Cutting edge solutions for realty gurus

In today's property game, estate agents need any advantage they can get in order to secure more mandates and to work more efficiently, especially since the residential property sector has become a buyers market and prices are cooling off.

We are living and working in the 'technology age' and in order to cater to this need for competitive advantage, Johannesburg based Application Service Provider (ASP), USP Designs, created CyberAgent, an office management application that has been specifically designed for the real estate industry.

In a first for the South African property market, CyberAgent offers its clients the future of real estate business through their CyberAgent Mobile application. This technology platform provides a pioneering listing and management tool from which properties can be listed in only six minutes. The software also incorporates Internet technology, enabling estate agents to make use of the Internet and website marketing to its fullest potential at a fraction of the normal cost. CyberAgent also provides dynamic websites with customised search facilities.

Operations director Pat Jewell notes that the focus has always been to provide this comprehensive service to estate agencies, of which there are more than 12 000 throughout South Africa. However, since there are currently 64 000 registered estate agents, CyberAgent had to find a solution that can cater for the needs of the individual agents.

"Estate agents are constantly out in the field and do not actually have the time to be in the office and manage their daily tasks. But with the CyberAgent Mobile system this couldn't be simpler. We now take the "office" to the Estate agent"

Working through the means of a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) device, this innovative technology allows individual agents to administer, catalogue and publish properties online without being anywhere near the office, saving them both time and money. All CyberAgent actions are completed in real time meaning everyone has easy access to the latest information. The software is designed to be user friendly, and will run on any handheld device supporting Microsoft CE (Windows Mobile)
An added advantage is that included in CyberAgent Mobile there is a powerful Website Interface catering for those agents without handheld devices, CyberAgent Online. This can run from any laptop or desktop with Internet access
The response to this offering has been phenomenal and a recent road show held in Johannesburg and Cape Town during May this year to showcase the solution has received excellent feedback and has also sparked further interest on a National and International level

There are currently more than 600 agencies using CyberAgent on a national basis and the CyberAgent offering includes free website submissions to all major search engines, free articles in the weekly newsletter with 17 000 subscribers, free SMS facility and also free "Keep me informed" feature.

Key services that CyberAgent offers are to make canvassing easy with the use of data from SAPTG, CyberTrade and the Deeds office to do mail drops, to manage properties and print reports at the click of a button. CyberAgent also enables the estate agency to keep track of sales related commissions, VAT, outstanding payments and more. CyberAgent links with the transfer attorneys, sends and monitors transfers electronically, and more importantly, agencies are able to work offline and only go online when updating their own website that is linked to CyberAgent.

Estate agents who are interested in improving profits and productivity through technology can now catch more than a glimpse of the future, by visiting www.cyberagent.co.za. The site even provides a facility where agents can obtain the system and pay by credit card, but better still, you can try CyberAgent Mobile for yourself, by downloading the trial version and putting it to the test.

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

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