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Weekly Newsletter
Friday, 06 March, 2009
Property Search | Estate Agents | List your property

Edition 9 of 2009, Friday, 06 March 2009

Dear Reader

But where you’re making your money is not as a property holder. You’re making your money as a debtor, having your debts wiped out. This according to an interview by Jason Hartman that I found on the Internet. Although this interview is based on the USA I found it applicable to real estate in general and not too be missed. The value of U.S. property is going to go down in real terms, so I certainly wouldn’t buy any property for cash right now Crash Proof - An Interview with Famous Doom-and-Gloomer Peter Schiff

So now we’re a few months into the “worldwide economic crisis”, and it seems as if we are settling down again. Isn’t it interesting how we as human beings adapt to changing situations so rapidly and easily? We even adapt to the fear of the situation getting worse! And we learn to live with fear as a daily part of life. The rules to the “new economy”? Add value! Has the Fat Lady Sung Yet?

Have you ever thought about what happens to the deposit you’ve paid to the transfer attorney when purchasing that new property? "Clients should remember that they have the option of requesting that the money be invested in an interest bearing account at a bank and may sign an investment instruction authorising the Attorney to do so. The interest accrued during this investment will then be paid back to the client once the investment account has been closed, or when it gets closed on transfer of the property." News from Rodney Hayter

The pressure is on the South African Reserve Bank to cut interest rates and it’s not going to ease as investors are not going to back off. Investors beg for rate cut

Win with Design> Magazine! Design>Magazine gave away R1000 to four lucky subscribers over the last four weeks. Congratulations to the winners of week 3 and 4.

Winner - Week 3

Jennie Olls from Langebaan

Winner - Week 4

Zingi Gcwabe


Property buyers in South Africa are at the mercy of estate agents who are obliged to represent the seller’s best interests. But by appointing exclusive representation for the buyer, he or she can save money and time as well as ensure that his or her best interests have also been taken in account. I found two articles related to this statement;

  • Distressed sales: Choose the right agent
  • Agents for buyers only

Ficksburg is a small town situated at the foot of the Imperani Mountain. It is located in an important agricultural region of the Free State also known as the Cherry Town of South Africa, Focus on Ficksburg, Free State, South Africa

The editor


>> Real Estate news – Crash Proof - Interview with Famous Doom-and-Gloomer Peter Schiff

Jason is joined by Peter Schiff, author of “Crash Proof” and a frequent guest on CNBC, to discuss the current global economic state.

Costa Mesa, CALIF. (March 2, 2009)— During this program, Jason is going to tell you some really exciting things that you probably haven’t thought of before and a new slant on investing, fresh new approaches to America’s best investment that will enable you to create more wealth and happiness than you ever thought possible.

Jason is a genuine self-made multimillionaire, who not only talks the talk, but walks the walk. He’s been a successful investor for 20 years and currently owns properties in 11 states and 17 cities. This program will help you follow in Jason’s footsteps on the road to financial freedom. You really can do it. And now, here’s your host, Jason Hartman, with the complete solution for real estate investors...

>> Has the Fat Lady Sung Yet?

So now we’re a few months into the “worldwide economic crisis”, and it seems as if we are settling down again. Isn’t it interesting how we as human beings adapt to changing situations so rapidly and easily? We even adapt to the fear of the situation getting worse! And we learn to live with fear as a daily part of life.

One can see the fear. The Mini car factory in Cowley (England), started working a five day week instead of a 7 day week, and laid off 850 workers. Why? Because they never sold as many cars in January as what they wanted to! I wonder if this was the right thing to do, or was it a reaction brought about by fear...

>> Investors beg for rate cut

Investors are keeping up the pressure on the SA Reserve Bank to cut interest rates fast after the week ended without any announcement that Governor Tito Mboweni's rate-setting Monetary Policy Committee will meet soon.

Mboweni said after the MPC cut the benchmark repo rate 100 basis points to 10.5 percent three weeks ago that he would consider a special meeting if the GDP data signalled a need to act before the next scheduled meeting in April.

This week's data showed the economy slowing by 1.8 percent in the last three months of 2008...

>> Affordable Housing market still offers a good bet

The huge demand for housing in South Africa in the low to moderate income level, combined with declining rates and relative political and economic stability, continues to drive investment in the affordable end of the market

And the medium term outlook for property in SA remains positive, despite global economic turmoil and its impact on emerging markets...

>> Cape residential rentals cover less than 50% of the average bond repayment - but now remains a good time to buy to rent, says Institute chairman

Many estate agencies, said Ivan Neethling, Chairman of the Western Cape Institute of Estate Agents, have been advocating the message that now is the time to buy homes or apartments for rental purposes.

“Their message,” he said, “is sound. In the medium to long term, this is a great investment because current prices are 15 to 20% down on their peaks. A good home in the upper middle price bracket, i.e. from R3 to R5 million is now likely to be selling at R750 000 to R1 million less than it did in early 2008. In the lower price bracket (i.e. R500 000 to R1 million) the discount on 2007 prices will be in the region of R150 000 to R300 000...

>> Finding a good tenant crucial to investing in Rent-to-Buy properties

Investors, says Tony Clarke, MD of Rawson Properties, are now climbing back into the buy-to-rent residential property market.

The danger in this type of investment, however, is that a non-paying tenant can wreck your returns.

“Finding a good tenant, therefore, is crucial to the whole buy-to-rent exercise,” said Clarke. “A bad tenant can not only destroy your income flow, he may well get you blacklisted with the Credit Bureau or with your bank because banks are now totally inflexible about bond repayments being right on time...

>> Patio Living

The patio is no longer a place where one has merely an array of weatherproof chairs clustered around a table. The boundaries between living rooms and the patio have blurred and there’s an emergence of lounging in luxury.

The furnishings that grace undercover patios have become softer. The fabrics used for cushions and upholstery are more expensive and dining tables with their matching occasional chairs are taking a back seat to comfy couches, corner settees with matching ottomans, coffee tables and daybeds...

>> Distressed sales: Choose the right agent

Tough economic conditions are pushing consumers with large debt loads to the wall but quick action to deal with mounting debts can save substantial sums of money and even prevent sequestration.

Homeowners who cannot service their home loans are advised to be proactive and to try to manage the process of getting out of debt rather than to stick their heads in the sand and hope that problems will resolve themselves...

>> Agents for buyers only

Property buyers in South Africa are at the mercy of estate agents who are obliged to represent the seller’s best interests. But by appointing exclusive representation for the buyer, he or she can save money and time as well as ensure that his or her best interests have also been taken in account.

Even the most learned buyers enter into sale agreements without reading or fully understanding the contents of their contracts. Some buyers believe they are signing a 'standard' offer to purchase and simply fail to amend the contract to protect their interests...

>> Advice to property sellers: understand the difference between a pre-qualified and pre-approved buyer

While it is now widely understood that the National Credit Act and the banks’ current liquidity problems have made getting a mortgage loan far more difficult, a great deal of time and effort are still being wasted by sellers and agents because they do not appreciate the difference between a pre-qualified and a pre-approved buyer.

Explaining this recently Tony Clarke, MD of Rawson Properties, said...

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>> Returning expats, retirees, World Cup and the election will all help sales, says Steward

The much-discussed return of South African expatriates from overseas countries hit by the world’s economic woes is having a beneficial effect on the Cape property market, says Lanice Steward, MD of Anne Porter Knight Frank because a high proportion of these people, she said, are heading for Cape Town.

“I am told that 200,000 bankers and financial sector staff have lost, or will lose, their jobs worldwide,” said Steward. “The good news is that those returning to SA now comprise nearly 3% of our buyers and, in our experience, are finding jobs here, often by setting up in a new business, which is good for the economy...

>> Returning SA job seekers may stimulate property market

The global credit crunch may have at least one positive fallout, by encouraging South Africans who have been living abroad to return to the country and in the process provide a degree of stimulus for the property market.

Gerhard Kotzé, CEO of the ERA South Africa property group, says anecdotal evidence suggests this is already beginning to happen - and that many South Africans have postponed their emigration plans...

> Buyers getting off the fence in Jo’burg’s south

In the suburbs that make up Johannesburg’s “New South”, homebuyers who have been sitting on the fence for months are now starting to commit to purchases in anticipation of prices turning upwards once more.

So says Colin Rodrigues, principal of leading local agency Homenet Delta, who notes that prices in the area have stabilised and are set to stay firm as property market sentiment slowly turns positive, bringing with it the potential for higher asking prices...

>> Positive spin-offs for South African property from 2010 World Soccer Cup could be felt for four years

Replying to a series of questions from Marc da Silva, a UK based journalist, Lanice Steward, MD of Anne Porter Knight Frank, said that winning the right to host the 2010 World Soccer has already had an impact on the South African property market and will continue to do so for four or more years.

“The immediate benefits for the hospitality industry at the time that the event is held will obviously be huge but the country’s entire economy is already benefiting from the R100 billion infrastructure development programme put into effect to get us ready for these games...

>> Western Seaboard market galvanising

There’s been a distinct increase recently in property buyer interest and activity on the Cape’s attractive Western Seaboard.

So says Fanie Lategan, principal of the local Chas Everitt International franchise, who notes that long time fence-sitters in particular are finally beginning to take decisive steps towards purchasing property in the area.

Catalysing this movement, he says, is the fact that asking prices are significantly lower than a year ago. A proliferation of property choice, stronger risk appetite and the appealing lifestyle offered by the area are also strong contributing factors...

>> To the editor

In answer to last weeks’s newsletter “Are we, are we not” we received the following emails;

To the editor:


I am in agreement with Mike Schussler that we are in a recession believe it or not and certainly another interest rate cut has got to be forthcoming for the property market, however the banks have to stop running scared and now bring down the deposit criteria to at least between 5% max 10%.

Chris Buyskes

To the editor:

In the midst of this so called recession God will show himself strong. Yes the facts are as you stated and all the wise men have commented on this thing and gave it a name “RECESSION” But this says the lord God almighty.

“The whole world is dumped in recession, people losing their houses, cars, businesses, jobs, furniture and all those things that man holds dear to their hearts. Businesses are closing down and people are being declared insolvent losing just about everything they own. This will cause a great deal of worry and depression. But if my people will diligently seek my will, obey my commands, and listen to my voice I (GOD) will lead them to a safe place of abundance. Yes if they will listen for my voice and follow me in obedience and seek my will for their life’s I will lead them to green pastures of abundance and to waters of refreshing of their mind, body, soul and spirit. I will not only sustain them, but they that diligently seek my face, I will bless with abundance of all good things including wealth. Yeas I will do just that so that the world will know that I am God and I am able to take care of what belongs to me.”

Please publish this good news in your next news letter, the world can surely do with some hope. And believe me, in Christ Jesus there is hope.

Hennie Cronje

Send your viewpoints or comments on any of the articles, or questions you may have to

>> News from – Rodney Hayter

Understanding how attorneys manage property deposits

With banks tightening up on lending, many more purchasers are paying for their properties with cash, or at least part of it in cash, thus making it important for buyers to understand how attorneys manage their money while in trust, advises Brett Nicholson of Shepstone & Wylie Attorneys property department.

"In most cases the sale agreement will have a clause which provides that this cash deposit, or the full purchase price, is to be paid over to the transferring Attorney on a specific date prior to the actual transfer taking place," adds Nicholson.

>> In the area...

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

  • Boksburg
  • Robertson
  • Pretoria Moot
  • Sandton
>> In the area 1 – Boksburg

Bright months for Boksburg

The past three months have been a bumper sales period for the Chas Everitt International branch in Boksburg, in contrast to the gloomy property market picture being painted elsewhere.

So says principal Leonie de Wet, who attributes the upward swing in sales to realistic house prices and lower interest rates...

>> In the area 2 – Robertson

New buyers steady Robertson market

The property market in Robertson in the Western Cape’s scenic Breede River wine valley is steering a steady course thanks to new entrants in the residential sector.

“These entrants include young people working in town, retirees from Gauteng, KZN and Cape Town, as well as overseas investors who are attracted by the quiet rural lifestyle and the quaint architecture that characterises Robertson,” says Johan Gous of the local Aida real estate office.

>> In the area 3 – Pretoria's Moot

Easy access to Pretoria’s city centre and a network of highways to the east of the city are making homebuyers look anew at the central Moot area, which encompasses suburbs such as Villieria, Rietfontein and Gezina.

And Lynda Castelyn of the local RealNet office reports that strong demand for housing is leading to densification as owners subdivide the typically large Moot properties. “Most stands are larger than 1000sqm and most of the original homes were built close to the street front, which facilitates easy subdivision,” she says...

>> In the area 4 – Sandton

Sandton market under pressure

The Sandton property market, a key indicator of conditions in the upmarket real estate sector, is taking strain.

So says Natali Giannakakis, principal of leading local agency Homenet Professionals, who notes that the area usually weathers property storms very well, but is definitely showing signs of the current slowdown.

>> Focus on Focus on Ficksburg, Free State, South Africa

Ficksburg was proclaimed a Town on the 16th June 1867 and a Magisterial District in 189, named after Boer General, General Fick.

It is is a small town situated at the foot of the 1,854m Imperani Mountain. It is located in an important agricultural region of the Free State where crops like corn and mealies (maize) are grown.

>> View Properties in Ficksburg
>> View Properties in Free State

>> Property of the week

Free State, Ficksburg

2 large houses and bachelor’s flat on a spacious stand..

Bedrooms: 6
Bathrooms: 6
Garages: 2

Search for property in your area

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>> Best to build or buy?

One of the most pertinent reasons for buying into the housing market right now, says Mike Greeff, CEO of Greeff properties, is that 'second-hand' homes (i.e. those that have already been occupied for a few years) are still some 25 percent less expensive than recently built homes of roughly the same proportions.

"Figures relating to house price increases,” said Greeff, "vary depending on which authority you consult but most would agree that the price rises were in the order of 25 percent in 2006 and 20 percent in 2007 with a levelling off taking place from the second-quarter of 2008...

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