Weekly Newsletter
Thursday, 09 April, 2009
Property Search | Estate Agents | List your property

Edition 14 of 2009, Thursday, 9 April 2009

Dear Reader

Great was my surprise on Sunday when I watched Carte Blanche and saw the slot on Uniondale. In last week’s Focus on we focused on Uniondale, Western Cape, South Africa. “Uniondale is better known for its ghost than for the scenic roads it has to offer the tourist.” A “spot on” for CyberProp.com!

I’m sure most of you can remember Gareth Gates song “Anyone of us” with the following chorus;

It can happen to
Anyone of us, anyone you think of
Anyone can fall
Anyone can hurt someone they love
Hearts will break
'Cause I made a stupid mistake
It can happen to
Anyone of us, say you will forgive me
Anyone can fail
Say you will believe me
I can't take my heart will break
'Cause I made a stupid mistake
A stupid mistake

These words are so true. It can in fact happen to anyone of us even in the property industry. Arjan Buikema has been in love for five years. He has yearned and lusted. And soon, perhaps in just a few months, he will finally realise his dream. The object of his affection is a plot outside Cape Town. It’s in a sought-after area and has a glorious sea view. He has done his research: the owner’s debt outweighs the value of her various properties and she’s been trying to sell this one for more than a year. Buikema, 39, a research analyst with Naspers, the South Africa-based media company, suspects her lender may seize it soon. Read more in Repossessed riches

Something else that can happen to anyone of us when looking for a rental property “When potential renters make email contact regarding the advertised properties, they are told that the property owners are out of the country (often in West Africa and Nigeria) and that a ‘rental application’ (containing much personal information) will be needed in order to complete the rental process,” This according to a statement from the District Attorney’s Office Santa Barbara. Don’t get caught by this scam.

  • Research the property
  • Check out the true owner
  • Never pay money over to an unfamiliar person or company
  • Report fraudulent online advertisements

This week’s newsletter is sure filled with information and interesting articles and will make for good reading this Easter weekend;

  • Mboweni clashes with Manuel
  • New market means new strategies
  • 1% Interest rate drop has had an effect, says Steward
  • Don't over-capitalise
  • Get your plans in early if you want to build

"I'm not looking at real estate to get as much as I can out of it. I buy properties in decline and fix them up as part of a revitalisation movement," Send your viewpoint to news@cyberprop.com

In the area. We received two articles that focused on places that I’ve never heard of. Marister (Benoni) and Rama Land (North-West of Pretoria/Tswane). Don’t miss out on these articles.

A blessed Easter weekend to all our readers!

The editor


>> Real Estate news – Repossessed riches

Melville House, Scotland’s most costly repossession, is priced at £2.5m, down from £4m

Arjan Buikema has been in love for five years. He has yearned and lusted. And soon, perhaps in just a few months, he will finally realise his dream. The object of his affection is a plot outside Cape Town. It’s in a sought-after area and has a glorious sea view. He has done his research: the owner’s debt outweighs the value of her various properties and she’s been trying to sell this one for more than a year. Buikema, 39, a research analyst with Naspers, the South Africa-based media company, suspects her lender may seize it soon...

>> Successful Entrepreneur Addresses Real Estate Investing FAQ

There has been a great worry on the real estate market and the urgency to address real estate investing faq. Mr Michael Fritz, a successful entrepreneur shares his views on the economy and the need to look at real estate investing FAQ

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA, April 04, 2009 -- Mr Michael Fritz says, "Within every problem is a new opportunity, if we are willing to look for it and not let worry cloud our minds we will be destined to achieve great success." Mr Fritz is known to have great passion for people and their desired goals in life. Real estate investing FAQ is a topic he feels strongly about and wants to address his opinion openly and with the hope that a solution is on the rise. Investing in real estate has always been seen as a great way towards future financial security and retirement planning, but as we have all recently witnessed with our current unstable economy that fact is far from true. Your estate's equity is actually loosing value, and that causes great concern to our baby boomers that need to retire, and unborn future generations who rely upon us for their own future.

So what are the real estate investing FAQ then? Well Mr Michael Fritz tells us, "there is no certain solution if you approach it directly, but if we approach it indirectly, say support of a investment plan or opportunity, that can bring hope when things start stabilising in our economy and equity values increase" Mr Fritz quotes, "patience is a virtue, and persistence is a skill, both are an unseen solution, but a solution none the less."

To listen to the interview click on the following link;


>> Mboweni clashes with Manuel

The titans fight over whether we will see another quarter of negative growth or not.

(Reuters) - South African Reserve Bank Governor Tito Mboweni said on Tuesday he "might not be surprised" to see another quarter of negative growth, which would send Africa's biggest economy into recession.

South Africa's economy shrank by 1.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008 and weak manufacturing and mining output have indicated it heading for its first recession in 17 years, although the Treasury is still optimistic this will be avoided...

>> Bigger rate cut will not save the majority

DEBT CONSOLIDATION: South Africans who were struggling to keep up with their mortgage repayments will certainly have gained some relief from the Monetary Policy Committee’s announcement of a drop in interest rates, but local experts believe that this won’t be enough to help most of SA’s ailing consumers.

Ian Wason, MD of South African bond experts Bondbusters, says that while the rate cuts expected over the next year are going to help many people, these individuals could ease monthly pressure even further if they think more about their short-term commitments and consolidate their debt into their home loans. While continued rate cuts of 100 basis points (effectively taking 1% off your home loan interest rate at a time) are going to make mortgage payments easier, Wason says it is other forms of debt that could be the crucial factors in crippling the economy.

“It is often short-term debt that keeps a hold on consumers and while many South Africans are correctly wary of moving their short term debt into the long term, during times like these, debt consolidation can be a welcome relief.

By consolidating all your short-term debt into your home loan you will benefit from the decrease in interest meaning that your monthly repayments are going to be reduced.

Article from:

>> New market means new strategies

There is no doubt that a buyers' market is in full swing - and sellers need to adapt their selling strategies accordingly.

With many homes on the market, sellers should attempt to make their properties stand out from the crowd, and one way of doing this, is to "sell the deal" instead of selling just another property.

For example, if your agent suggests dropping the selling price, you could turn things around and instead of advertising the property for less, advertise that you will pay the first few months' bond repayments for your buyer...

>> 1% Interest rate drop has had an effect, says Steward

The 1% drop in interest rates, says Lanice Steward, MD of Anne Porter Knight Frank, has already had a stimulatory effect on the housing market – but, she says, sellers should not take this as a signal to start holding out for higher prices.

"As always in a slow sales period," she said, "some sellers have strongly resisted realistic valuations based on current market prices. The danger now is that they will again see this moderate relief as a turning point in the market - which would be premature - and hold out for the unrealistic prices that have resulted in some homes not being sold for weeks on end...

>> Absa expects house prices to remain under pressure

JOHANNESBURG (April 08) - The average nominal price of middle-segment housing dropped by 0,4% year-on-year (y/y) in March 2009 to around R961 800, after declining by 0,2% y/y in February, according to the latest Absa House Prices Indices released today.

On a month-on-month basis, nominal house prices are declining since mid-2008, after peaking at R965 800 in May.

In real terms, Absa says, middle-segment house prices were down by 8,2% y/y in February, while declining by 7,6% y/y in January. “House prices are declining in real terms since August 2007...

>> Conditions now perfect for buy-to-rent investors, says Bill Rawson

Many leading figures in property marketing have recently been saying that, if you have access to bond finance or private funds, now is the time to buy residential property - but possibly none have put their message across quite so strongly as Bill Rawson, who told some of his Cape franchisees this week that they should right now be urging clients to “beg, borrow or steal” finance for residential property...

>> Don't overcapitalise

In today’s weak property market an increasing number of individuals are opting to improve their current premises rather than trying to sell and then upgrade to a more suitable property.

While investing in expanding or improving your home may indeed be a sound financial decision, the risks of overcapitalisation are much higher now than at any time in the past five years due to house price deflation, warns Rob Stefanutto, of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty...

>> New deposit guarantee scheme will facilitate home buying for those without quick access to capital

Anne Porter Knight Frank have become one of the first real estate agencies in Cape Town to offer their clients the ability to pay the initial deposits on a property without having to draw on their capital until the transfer comes about.

APKF have formed an association with Antony Solomon, an Australian attorney who married a South African girl and moved to Cape Town. Solomon has introduced a deposit guarantee scheme for property buyers which makes it far easier, cheaper and quicker for those wanting to buy any sort of property or land to find the required cash when the funds they intend to use are temporarily tied up in a house sale, shares, fixed deposits, trusts or with a third-party lender such as a relative...

>> Luxury property not immune to drop in prices

LUXURY property prices dropped due to tighter credit, rising unemployment, negative investor sentiment and falling home prices, the Alliance Group said today.

Spokesman Rael Levitt said even those with ultra-luxury homes were being forced to sell at a deep discount. "As the residential property recession grows in South Africa, jumbo mortgage loan defaults (which are defined as outstanding mortgage of over R5 million) is growing," Levitt said...

>> The SA affordable housing sector

The South African affordable housing sector (usually defined as those units priced between R200,000 and R500,000) stands right now at a juncture that could lead to a high, a middle or a low road over the next three to five years. So says Dr Willie Els, MD of Inframax Holdings and one of the few housing specialists around today with affordable housing development experience going back over 30 years.

Until quite recently, said Els, the residential property development boom (driven by strong economic growth, consumer and investor confidence, a plentiful supply of development capital and end-user finance and reasonably low interest rates) led to most South African developers moving into the mid range and upmarket housing sectors...

> Get your plans in early if you want to build

For those who own a stand and are keen to start building their own home, now might be a good time because building costs are dropping - but they need to remember that there is much red tape and paperwork to get through before they can lay the first brick.

“For those who own stands in estates and other gated developments, the job is easier because the geotechnical survey and environmental impact assessment will already have been done,” says Keith Nash, sales director for leading residential developer Sable Homes, “but they will still need to go through the process of getting their building plans drawn up and approved by the local authority...

>> Big is not always best when choosing a stand

People buying stands should not make the mistake of thinking that a large piece of land will always be more valuable than a smaller one. In fact the opposite is often true.

So says Homenet CEO Martin Schultheiss who notes: “Sometimes less is actually more, depending on where the stand is located, how accessible it is and how easy it is to build on...

>> Mauritian group buys Shelley Point hospitality facilities

In a move that shows great confidence in the Western Cape's future – and the St Helena Bay precinct in particular – as a holiday and tourist destination, the Dale Capital Partners Group has bought west coast developer Gert Joubert’s new hotel, spa and country club at Shelley Point and is going ahead immediately with extensions and new facilities.

The cost of the acquisition and the work to be undertaken this year is just on R100 million...

>> To the editor

Last week we placed the question “Is it the right time to buy commercial property?” In answer to this we placed two articles. Here is another commercial related article;

Smaller malls feel the pinch
By: Thabang Mokopanele - Weekender

Smaller community and neighbourhood shopping centres are feeling the economic pinch much more than regional shopping centres due to their tenant mix. Community shopping centres, whose sizes range between 12000m² and 30000m² , represent half of shopping centre space in SA. These are usually centres with either one or two supermarkets as anchor tenants, and convenience and fashion components.

Coronation Fund Managers property analyst Anton de Goede says national retailers tend to dominate the tenant mix in regional centres. With national retailers not yet under pressure in terms of average cost of occupancy against turnover, regional shopping malls tend to perform better from a landlord’s perspective.

In tougher economic times consumers tend to visit regional malls more than smaller community malls as the variety of tenants makes comparative shopping easier. “Consumers tend to return to more familiar brands and shops and non-branded shops tend to struggle,” De Goede says.

The latest data from the Investment Property Databank show increased vacancy rates for most retail property, with smaller centres particularly hard hit.

Community shopping centres reported an increase in the vacancy rate of 2,3 percentage points on the year. The vacancy rate of neighbourhood-sized centres, with a gross lettable area of 5 000m² - 12 000m² , was up 0,2 percentage points. Vacancies at regional centres were stable.

“At present the biggest concern from a landlord’s point of view is the increase in operational costs and gross rental levels for retailers. Gross rental levels have increased substantially over the past two years due to an increase in local rates and taxes as well as electricity tariffs,” says De Goede .

Wayne Abegglen, CEO of Cape Town’s Canal Walk, says the retail market at the centre is performing well and Canal Walk has not lost any tenants.

“We work actively with our retailers and are confident Canal Walk’s positive position will persist as a result of our strong tenant mix, dominant retail offering and location within Century City.

From: www.netassets.co.za

Send your viewpoints or comments on any of the articles, or questions you may have to news@cyberprop.com

>> News from Durr Plattekloof

How to Avoid Paying Too Much When Buying a Home

Cape Town – buying a home is a major investment no matter which way you look at it. But for many homebuyers, it’s an even more expensive process than it need to be because many fall prey to at least a few of many common and costly mistakes which trap them into either paying too much for the home they want, or losing their dream home to another buyer or, worse, buying the wrong home for their needs...

>> In the area...

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

  • Marister – Benoni
  • Rama land
  • Sedgefield
>> In the area 1 – Marister - Benoni

Situated 30km outside Johannesburg and 40km from Pretoria, the little agricultural suburb of Marister, Benoni offers the best of both worlds.

A mere 2km from the equestrian estate Dunblane and 5km from golf and wildlife estate Serengeti, the wide open spaces of Marister provides a country-feel without the seclusion from the rest of society...

>> In the area 2 – Rama land

A massive property development that will create a whole new town 22km to the north-west of Pretoria will shortly get under way on 450ha of land restored in 1998 to the Rama community that had been forcibly removed during the apartheid years.

The integrated development, dubbed Rama City, will take about 15 years to complete and will cost around R1,3bn in today’s terms. It is being undertaken by professional developer Rama Horizon Developments in partnership with the Rama Community Property Association (RCPA)...

>> In the area 3 – Sedgefield

21 years in real estate for Chas Everitt principal

Sedgefield estate agency principal Mario Ferreira is currently celebrating his 21st year in the property industry.

A property veteran and owner of the Chas Everitt International franchise in the town, Ferreira has forged himself an enviable career in Sedgefield, complete with numerous awards and a number of notable sales...

>> Focus on Benoni, Gauteng, South Africa

Benoni is a city with 654,509 inhabitants on the East Rand in the South African province of Gauteng. Since 2000 it has been part of the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality.

Benoni’s inauspicious beginnings were in 1881 when then surveyor-general Johan Rissik found it difficult to assign title deeds to all unclaimed state property. He named a piece of land in the area, Government Farm Benoni (son of my sorrow), after the Hebrew name given by Rachel to her son in the biblical Book of Genesis...

>> View Properties in Benoni
>> View Properties in Gauteng

>> Property of the week

Gauteng, Benoni, Marister

Live and work from home. This 5 acre property with a 500m2 double storey home in Marister, Benoni offers 4 bedrooms, a study, country-style kitchen, large dining room, gym, 2 spa bathrooms, 3 fireplaces, two double size lounges leading onto an entertainment area with a large sparkling pool overlooking a landscaped garden with rolling lawns...

Search for property in your area

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>> Good riddance to poor property fund managers?

Some reckon things can only get better following the purging of listed property fund's management team.

Shareholders appear to be breathing a sigh of relief following the purging of the management team of the Johannesburg-listed SA Corporate Real Estate fund. In an unusual move, Old Mutual revealed this week that that it was cutting lose the fund's managers.

This follows a period of disappointment to shareholders on the back of a growth-at-any-price type strategy. The share price has taken a hammering in recent times, but barely moved after Old Mutual made its announcement on Wednesday...

>> Offering from Webmail

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  • Manage property for sale and previously sold
  • Activate or deactivate Internet listings with immediate effect - no waiting!
  • Keep track of your On Show and On Special properties and list them on your website
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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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