Weekly Newsletter
Friday, 05 September, 2008
Property Search | Estate Agents | List your property

Edition 34 of 2008, Friday, 05 September 2008

Dear Reader

French Colonial homes in St. Louis, Senegal

Africa with its 53 countries is still considered to be the next hot market with enormous growth potentials with huge opportunities in the property market. Southern African countries such as Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia have a lot to offer in terms of game-related properties, according to Craig McKenzie, owner of Wildnet Africa Properties, a company focusing on wildlife real estate in the continent.

Is this what the market statistics tells us?

Annual residential property price inflation fell to 4.8% during the 2nd quarter of 2008. Prices are now falling in almost half the markets listed in the index. This according to the Knight Frank Gloval Price Index; Property news - More countries registering falls as global house price inflation continues to slow

  • Bulgaria is at the head of this list, where values have of 1999 grown at 32.3% over the past year, and have now risen by 68% over the past two years
  • Australia has experienced a downturn in house price growth over the past quarter
  • Prices continue to fall in the United States
  • According to the Index, prices in South Africa rose by 3.8% over the past year, the lowest rate since the third quarter

Samuel Seeff, chairman of real estate agency group Seeff Properties, said there was definitely a “bit more activity taking place in the market"

Jeanne van Jaarsveldt, marketing and finance director of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, provides fascinating insight into what's been happening in the residential property market this year through figures compiled by his organisation. South Africa's largest property real-estate group, in conjunction with BetterBond, on Thursday released statistics around South African residential property buying transactions and property market performance compared to the same period in 2007. This article published on Realestateweb.co.za so far received 94+ responses. Indeed this weeks article of the week; SA's property market crash: grim new stats

Knowledge is power. If you are buying into sectional title, the more you know about this type of title, the more likely you are to protect your investment. So before you buy, take the time to investigate the scheme fully and once you're a sectional title owner keep your finger on the pulse of the body corporate by attending meetings. Consider becoming a trustee, or even the chairperson so that you are able to maintain control and are not hit with any nasty surprises. Sectional title for dummies Part 1 & 2 Article By: Jennifer Paddock

When I sold my previous home I wondered why the prospective buyer was taking so many photographs and he said that you would be amazed at the amount of fixtures and fittings that are removed or changed by sellers before they move out. For sure an article by Cheryl Marais, Direct Marketing Manager: Betterbond not to be missed this week - Prevent Dishonest Sellers Removing or Changing Fixtures and Fittings

The editor


>> Property news - More countries registering falls as global house price inflation continues to slow

Key Highlights:

  • Global house price inflation continues to slow, with annual growth standing at 4.8% during Q2 2008, down from 6.1% in the previous quarter
  • Lithuania, Denmark and New Zealand have joined the group of countries where house prices are now falling quickly
  • Prices in Latvia continue to plummet, with values now 24.1% below the same time last year, the steepest drop in the index
  • For the fourth consecutive quarter Bulgaria tops the index, with growth of 32.2% over the year
  • Slovakia, Russia, the Czech Republic and Hong Kong all recorded strong annual growth of over 25%

Nick Barnes, head of international research, Knight Frank, commented...

>> SA's property market crash: grim new stats

Latest sales figures from SA's biggest residential real estate sales group depict an industry brought to its knees.

Jeanne van Jaarsveldt, marketing and finance director of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, provides fascinating insight into what's been happening in the residential property market this year through figures compiled by his organisation...

>> House Price Index inflation at 2.3%: FNB

The newly developed FNB House Price Index recorded 2.3% year-on-year price inflation in August, compared with 3.5% in July, thereby continuing its declining inflation trend, FNB said.

However, on a month-on-month basis, price deflation has already been in progress for six consecutive months since March of this year, recording -0.3% in August.

In real terms, adjusting the index for inflation using the CPI, year-on-year price deflation amounted to -8.8% in August.

>> Absa House price slows

South African nominal year-on-year (y/y) price growth in all three categories of housing - small, medium, and large houses - in the middle segment of the market slowed down further in August 2008, according to the latest Absa House Price Indices released.

The average nominal price of middle-segment housing increased by 1.7% y/y in August down from a revised growth rate of 2.6% in July...

>> Refurbishments creating new pool of quality property

The countrywide boom in property refurbishments is gathering momentum, creating a new pool of highly marketable housing stock.

CEO of ERA South Africa property group Gerhard Kotzé says drivers behind the refurbishment phenomenon are many and varied.

“Essentially however it has to do with affordability of property – or rather the lack thereof, due mostly to the credit crunch - obliging many homeowners to upgrade their existing properties to meet their housing needs rather than buy afresh...

>> Boschendal founder's estates get the green light

The Boschendal development team has learned that approval has now been granted by the relevant authorities for the important first phase of the project.

This will comprise 18 Founder’s Estates, measuring 21 to 44 hectares and priced from R20 million - most are covered in vineyards and fruit trees.

>> Not in my backyard!

A finding by the Constitutional Court in June has serious implications for the approval of building plans by local authorities. It also contains important ramifications for property owners who face adjacent developments which they feel will adversely affect the value of their properties.

In the case of Walele v City of Cape Town & Others with the City of Johannesburg as amicus curiae (an interested party), the facts are briefly as follows...

>> Chas Everitt International focus on - Secunda

Sasol extension plans set to boost Secunda rental market

Plans by Sasol to build 900 staff housing units near its Secunda plant will help alleviate the major shortage of rental stock in the area.

Historically a “dormitory” for the plant, Secunda has enjoyed a symbiotic relationship of sorts with Sasol in that the plant has always provided strong demand for rental property, says Martin van Wyk, MD of the local Chas Everitt International franchise there. This demand is driven largely by the high turnover of the many skilled staff employed on a contractual basis at Sasol...

>> Chas Everitt International focus on - Randburg

Randburg rental market flourishing

The Randburg rental market is performing strongly thanks to rising inflation and the credit crunch.

As Dave Pride, manager of Chas Everitt International franchise in Randburg, notes, the nature of the property market is that when one segment stalls, another inevitably pulls ahead, and this is being shown by the strong rental market currently manifesting around the Randburg CBD...

>> Chas Everitt International focus on - Midrand

Midrand poised to boom again

Situated between Johannesburg and Pretoria, popular Midrand is set to boom once more when the property cycle turns.

Zakes Myeza, principal of the local Chas Everitt International franchise, says the Midrand residential property market will flourish quickly once the overall market starts to recover, thanks to the area’s central locality, good infrastructure and wide variety of entertainment and attractions.

>> News from - Homenet Property Group

Landlord and agent must agree

As competition in the property market increases, more and more homeowners are opting to rent out their properties and wait for the market to improve rather than sell below their required price.

And at the same time as they are becoming landlords, many estate agencies are beefing up or starting rental divisions to cater for the demand for property administration, says Martin Schultheiss, CEO of the giant Homenet agency group...

Time to buy PUTs?

The jury may be out as to when interest rates will peak, but experts agree that when they do, it will be the best time to buy property unit trusts

Analysts had been expecting another interest rate hike during August, but most have done an about-turn and are now forecasting that they will stay unchanged. Forecasts for the first interest rate cut are also being brought forward, with some calling it as early as June next year. This has been prompted by the row brewing over the true level of inflation in South Africa: some analysts (notably Investec Asset Management) are concerned that Stats SA will introduce the new CPI weights only in 2009, thus prolonging an artificially high inflation rate...

>> Sect. title for dummies

The rise in popularity of sectional title ownership over the last two decades is a testament to the fact that sectional title ownership is fast becoming the preferred home ownership option for both resident owners and buy-to-let investors. Modern lifestyle demands the ability to enjoy the benefits of facilities such as good security, gymnasiums, communal pools and the like. However, individual ownership of these benefits proves costly both in terms of time and money due to the corresponding maintenance obligations attached to such amenities. In sectional title ownership, these benefits can be enjoyed whilst the maintenance and financing of such amenities is shared by all owners of the scheme.

>> Sect. Title for dummies 2

How do the rules of the scheme restrict the use of your unit?

Every sectional title scheme is governed by the Act but each scheme may have different management and conduct rules which are in place to regulate the way the scheme is run and the way in which the owners and occupiers behave. All owners and occupiers are bound by the scheme's rules so even if you are a buy-to-let investor you are responsible for ensuring that your tenants are aware of the rules (you are obliged to attach a copy of the scheme rules to your written lease agreement) and abide by them.

>> Focus on Barberton, Mpumalanga, South Africa

In the beautiful De Kaap Valley where Barberton is situated, some of the oldest sedimentary rock formations in the world are found. The promise of rich gold deposits lured diggers in their thousands to this valley in the 1880's. Among those who came to the valley were Graham Barber from Natal, and his cousins Fred and Henry Barber...

>> View Properties in Barberton
>> View Properties in Mpumalanga

>> Property of the week

Mpumalanga, Barberton

Two Streams is a secluded 1 ha (2.5 acre) full title site located in riverine forest at the junction of two mountain streams. The site is situated under large canopy trees, crosses both streams and is home to prolific birdlife and shy forest animals...

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>> BetterBond's tips to home buyers and sellers

Prevent Dishonest Sellers Removing or Changing Fixtures and Fittings

You’ve found your dream home and you’re ready to put in an offer to purchase. Do yourself a favour – take your camera and visit the house one more time. I learned this lesson the hard way.

When I sold my previous home I wondered why the prospective buyer was taking so many photographs and he said that you would be amazed at the amount of fixtures and fittings that are removed or changed by sellers before they move out. I felt a little offended, but then looked at it from his point of view and it made sense. Being a trusting person, I did not do the same when I bought my latest home. I am convinced that the pool equipment was replaced with older equipment and the bedroom mirrors that were affixed to the walls were all removed, leaving unsightly holes. The seller is now in Australia and I did not want to delay the sale, so I let it go. This does not have to happen to you!

Fixtures are generally those which are screwed or nailed down, glued on, or have in some other way been made a part of the fabric of the home. Fittings are those things which can easily be removed. You need to list all of the fixtures and fittings that you want to remain in the house as part of the sale.

Go from room to room and photograph any and all fixtures and fittings including shelving, light fittings and light bulbs, ceiling fans, built in cupboards, mirrors, window blinds, TV antenna, DSTV dish, smoke and security alarms, fitted floor coverings, solar systems, electric gate motor, outdoor plants and trees (other than in movable containers), burglar proofing and security gates, garden shed etc. Don’t forget the kitchen – make sure you get the make, model and serial number of the oven and stove. Then there’s the fitted spice rack and paper towel holder. If removed, it will leave you with unsightly holes in the wall.

Then make a list of all the fixtures and fittings that are to remain as part of the sale. If the seller wishes to exclude anything on the list e.g. an antique chandelier, this should be itemised in the offer to purchase. Ideally, the seller should remove any fixtures or fittings that he does not want to include in the sale before putting the house up for sale.

So, don’t worry if the buyer is a little offended at your thoroughness. This will alleviate confusion and you can avoid any arguments that might delay the sale process.

Article by: Cheryl Marais – Direct Marketing Manager - Betterbond

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