Weekly Newsletter
Friday, 6 February, 2009
Property Search | Estate Agents | List your property

Edition 5 of 2009, Friday, 6 February

Dear Reader

THE RESERVE Bank cut its repo rate by 100 basis points to 10,5% yesterday, the biggest single adjustment in more than five years. What does this mean to home owners? If you have a bond of R500000.00 payable over 20 years it means a saving of R350.00 per month.

According to Central bank governor Tito Mboweni the repo rates should have been cut more “Interest rates should have fallen like in other countries”. He warned the South African public on National Television last night to take it easy, “It’s bad out there”.

An interview with property investment specialist, Tony Bales(right) of Bales Delaporte Commercial Property Dealmakers; What is your viewpoint on the rate cut and specifically in the area that you focus on, the commercial property sector?

We expected a 1% rate cut but although it is welcomed we need more than 1% to turn our economy around as it is far deeper rooted. I expect a further 2% cut during the course of the year but 2% might still not be enough to pick up the economy. South Africa is part of the global economy and we will only experience our turn around when the global economy is showing a turn around. This is a major concern. The current global economy is having a negative effect on South Africa’s commercial and industrial property sector. Locals will have to make good decisions in the months to come that will hold water. Lots of tenants are experiencing serious hardship and unfortunately this will continue. England announced an interest rate of 1% and until the global economy recovers South Africa will have to follow suit.

What is your viewpoint on the residential property sector?

"The residential property sector should show a quicker turn around as it is directly influenced by the individual. I believe that the interest rate cut is going to offer a relief but I don’t know if it will have an influence on residential property prices. Yes, it might stabilise it."

Berry Everitt, MD of the Chas Everitt International Property Group, says the latest rate decrease is a good "step in the right direction because it will send a positive message to both home owners and potential home buyers, especially when read together with the rate decrease that took place in December". He says that although it will take time to flow through the market it will help to restore consumer confidence in the economy, raise disposable income and slow down repossessions, which will underpin home values."

I expect the SARB to lower rates and the banks to lower interest rates to 13% by April 2009, to 12% by June 2009, to 11,5% in August 2009 and to 11% in October 2009. What’s your opinion? Let us know news@cyberprop.com

The editor


>> Real Estate news – Housing market still stable (Namibia)

NAMIBIAN estate agents and commercial banks are almost unanimous that the country’s housing market still enjoys relative stability, in spite of the global financial crisis and instability in neighbouring property markets.

While the global housing markets have been doing quite badly following the emergence of the unforeseen financial crisis in leading international financial markets, the local market here can hardly say the same...

>> Comments on rate cut

Read comments from Homenet, Realnet, Aida and ERA on the recent interest rate cut.

Homenet MD Martin Schultheiss says: "This decrease in the repo rate, which will hopefully rapidly lead to similar declines in the banks' home loan rates, will mark the beginning of a turnaround in the property market. It will help to re-instate consumer and investor confidence in property, and stimulate renewed buying activity by increasing affordability. This will, in turn, cause values to start shifting upwards again relatively soon, further proving the worth of property as in investment in which the fluctuations or cycles are not extreme...

>> Comment on interest rate prospects, by Cees Bruggemans

JOHANNESBURG (February 05) - The SARB cut interest rates by 1% today, prime falling to 14%, with more easing clearly ahead.

The SARB Governor indicated, possibly only half in jest that he had proposed a 2% rate cut today, but that the Monetary Policy Committee had restrained him, feeling 1% was enough...

>> Repay your bond above the stipulated interest rate, advises Rawson MD

With interest rates likely to drop by 2,5% over the coming year, homeowners should seriously consider “biting the bullet” and continuing to pay their bonds at the existing rate.

This was said recently by Tony Clarke, MD of Rawson Properties, who, on being asked for his advice for 2009, said that this was probably the best tip he could give any current homeowner...

>> Second Bonds can provide a solution to today's bondholders

It now looks as if the major banks will continue to keep tight purse strings on bond loans no matter how much the interest rates fall, says Lanice Steward, MD of Anne Porter Knight Frank. Whereas previously it was possible to get a 110% bond, today Absa (and other) banks are asking for a 30% deposit. With transfer and other costs, this means that a borrower looking for a R1 million bond would have to find R400 000 upfront.

“The current situation,” she said, “is not unlike that of the 1980s and I believe we can learn much from that time...

>> Best time to buy is right away

With home prices in decline, many prospective buyers are trying to decide when would be the best time to take the plunge.

The question comes into play especially for buyers who have an existing property to sell and want to scale up to a better property. Do they go ahead or wait for prices to perhaps decline further...

>> There has never been a better time to buy than now, says Also's sales manager

The recent 0,5% drop in the interest rates will almost certainly be followed by further drops giving a total reduction of 2,5 to 3% by the third quarter of next year, says Johannes Barnard, Executive Sales Manager for ASLO Holdings.

“In these circumstances,” said Barnard, “all the advice which we have given in recent weeks to buy now becomes more relevant. Although a full-scale recovery is not on the cards yet, price falls set to end and property values, in my view, will begin to appreciate from April onwards. ASLO’s message to the public, therefore, is, “do not miss the boat...

>> 2009 – Make or Break for SA Commercial Property Values

During the initial stages of the current global financial crisis, South Africans thought that they would get through this period relatively unscathed.

Unfortunately, as time ticks on and the true reality of the severity of the downturn hits home, commercial property owners in South Africa are seeing significant downward pressure on commercial property values...

>> Big ticket sales signal returning confidence

Big-ticket home sales, which have been missing from the market for months, have started to re-appear in the wake of improving seniment.

So says Lew Geffen, chairman of Sotheby’s International Realty in SA, who notes that his company has in recent weeks sold several luxury homes including a property for over R40m in Sandhurst and some on the Atlantic Seaboard...

>> Confusion still evident among sellers as to when VAT or transfer duty is payable

Speaking to senior Rawson Properties agents, Tony Clarke, MD of the Rawson Group, warned them that “out there”, among the general public, there are still widespread misunderstandings about VAT and transfer duty – and these, he said, can bedevil a sales transaction. The most commonly asked question is when does a seller pay VAT and when does he pay transfer duty?

If the seller is VAT registered and the property is defined as a “supply” to the purchaser (i.e. it will not become his primary residence) the seller has to pay VAT. Furthermore, in almost every case, unless otherwise stated, the sales price is deemed to include VAT and this is payable as soon as transfer takes place or, at the latest, in the first bi-monthly tax return...

>> To the editor

Hi All

After a fantastic 2008, we at the Green Building Council wish all our valued sponsors, members and associates well for a greener 2009!

There is no doubt this year will be a huge challenge - dire global economic forecasts, fear and uncertainty abound - yet the current climate underlines the need to do more with less and to be more efficient with the scarce resources at our disposal, and highlight the value of focusing on the sustainability of investments. Green building is the only intelligent way forward for our industry.

The GBCSA is geared up for another big year:

  • the first Green Star SA rating tool for office buildings is live and we have already received project registrations – which will be the first project to achieve Green Star SA certification?
  • plans are in motion for the development of additional tools and we are currently calling for tool sponsorship – see further info below,
  • Green Star SA Accredited Professional courses are being rolled out in the major centers countrywide – see further details below,
  • We look forward to the 2009 GBCSA Convention & Exhibition, which is scheduled for 21-23 October at the CTICC in Cape Town – the inaugural 2008 convention will be a tough act to follow but we are already compiling a fantastic program.

Mahatma Gandhi's words remind us all to "be the change you want to see in the world". This is an incredible powerful attitude for each individual but even more so if we embrace it as an industry - the property and construction industry can lead the fight against climate change and other environmental threats to our survival.

We look forward to your continued support and involvement this year as we look to grow into an effective industry voice and driver of change.

Kind regards,

>> News from – Century21 At Home

Home Decor Trends 2009

Revamp your home with the latest colour trends and decorating schemes for the New Year.

Trends include; Updated Neutrals, Hollywood Glamour, Faded Grandeur, Modern Victorian, Continental Brights, New Retro, Coastal Style and Country House...

>> In the area...

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

  • Middelburg
  • Kathu
  • Nelspruit
>> In the area 1 – Middelburg (Mpumalanga)

Record sales in Middelburg

The Chas Everitt International franchise in Middelburg has just had a bumper sales month, thanks largely to increased demand among buyers from the neighbouring Mhluzi township.

Franchise principal Susan Muller says those looking to upgrade from Mhluzi are purchasing homes priced between R400 000 and R500 000 in the Mpumalanga town. Meanwhile “black diamond” buyers are also making an appearance with many initially renting properties before purchasing for between R800 000 and R1,1m...

>> In the area 2 – Kathu

Iron ore boosts Kalahari town

Expanded iron ore mining activity near Kathu has boosted this Kalahari town’s property market.

Demand for rental property is sky-high, says Riekie Terblanche of the Aida Kalahari franchise’s local Kathu office. “Rentals have, however, come down from the exceedingly high levels of last year when the mining houses paid up to R36 000 a month to house top professionals who were involved in commissioning the new open cast mines...

>> In the area 3 – Nelspruit

Nelspruit attracts broad spectrum of buyers

An eclectic collection of buyers including transferees, wealthy retirees and investors are purchasing properties in Nelspruit, all with very different goals in mind but all keen to take advantage of what the area has to offer.

So says Carl Jacobs, principal of leading local agency Homenet Nelspruit who notes that as the growth-point for Mpumalanga, Nelspruit is increasingly attracting transferees from other towns and cities who are bringing their families with them....

>> Focus on East London, Eastern Cape, South Africa

South Africa's only river port city is situated on the Buffalo river on one of the most attractive stretches of the Eastern Cape coastline. Sweeping white beaches extend for miles - uncrowded and unspoilt.

The climate is temperate and watersports are enjoyed all year round. River mouths, lagoons and gullies provide a paradise for fishermen. Several seaside resorts are scattered along the coastline, all within a short distance from East London...

>> View Properties in East London
>> View Properties in the Eastern Cape

>> Property of the week

Gauteng, Tarlton, Beckenden

Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 2
Garages: 2

Borehole, lovely bathrooms and kitchen. Fireplace in bar!! 3,75 3.75 Hectares, A must see!!

Search for property in your area

Enter City/Suburb:
>> SA buyers streaming to Mauritius

South Africans have been clamouring for property on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius since the introduction of the Mauritian Real Estate Scheme (RES) and the current global economic upheaval is fuelling the trend.

So says Kentish Moorghen, GM of the new Chas Everitt International office on the island, who notes that the RES offers potential buyers slightly less expensive properties than those in the Integrated Resorts Scheme (IRS) portfolio, which is also open to foreigners...

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