Weekly Newsletter
Friday, 12 September, 2008
Property Search | Estate Agents | List your property

Edition 35 of 2008, Friday, 12 September 2008

Dear Reader

Is the world property market stabilising?

USA - "I think it is reasonable to say that we can expect moderation over the next year or so in certain aspects of the turbulence surrounding the structured products and the valuation losses on those products," the former US assistant Treasury secretary said. In the same breath he also warned that the market turbulence would not end unless the US property market shows clear signs of "bottoming" out. One cannot help to wonder what the impact of the government takeover of two of the largest companies and mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is going to be. Will it stabilise the markets? I guess we will have to wait and see.

South Africa (1) - AN ANTICIPATED improvement in the household sector’s financial situation is expected to reverse the fortunes of the ailing residential mortgage market, says FNB property economist John Loos. Economic growth might go slow for a while but the good news is that South Africa will not fall into a recession.

South Africa (2) - "I remain very positive," said Tony Clarke, MD of Rawson Properties. "We have recently publicly said that with interest rates likely to be stable from now on, the residential sector is set to bottom out. My own belief is that prices will cease to fall within the next two or three months and that by January real growth will creep back into the market. Right now, we have seen a dramatic increase in the market activity, up to 35% month to month. It is an exceptionally good time to buy for anyone looking to build a useful buy-to-rent property portfolio in the residential sector."

Do you think that with the Reserve Bank's decision to hold interest rates, the South African property market will stabilise?

to take part in our online poll.

Homeowners who are considering additions or alterations to make their home more attractive to potential buyers should focus on exterior projects at the moment. They should, says Institute of Estate Agents national president Willie Marais, spruce up outdoor entertainment areas with decks or patios, paint or recoat exterior walls and if they want to make structural changes, replace old steel windows with wooden or vinyl ones.

Focus on Oudtshoorn, Western Cape, South Africa - Oudtshoorn is the centre of the Klein Karoo and "Ostrich-feather Capital" of the world. Furthermore Oudtshoorn is also world-renowned for the Cango Caves, but there's much more to this town than just that!

The editor


>> Property news - Health of world’s big banks improving

The world’s largest financial institutions are getting healthier, with credit-related losses expected to ease over the next year, the head of an international banking group said.

"I think that by and large the health of the largest 20 to 30 global financial institutions is improving," Charles Dallara, managing director of the Institute of International Finance, told a news conference in Tokyo...

>> Household recovery good news for property

AN ANTICIPATED improvement in the household sector’s financial situation is expected to reverse the fortunes of the ailing residential mortgage market, says FNB property economist John Loos. This means that after sharp year-on-year declines since mid-2007, the value of new mortgage loans is expected to return to positive year-on-year growth towards the second half of 2009. However, Loos does caution that the initial recovery in real disposable income growth is expected to be driven in part by higher average wage inflation, and this may mean a period of net job loss and greater income inequality as employers try to contain their wage bill growth...

>> Upturn in residential sector will depend on an economic recovery - which is still a few months off, says Rawson Properties MD

The fact that the economy took a marked upward swing in the second quarter of this year (growing quarter on quarter by 4,9% after a desultory first quarter's growth of only 2,1%) should not be taken as an indication that we are now into a strong economic period, says Tony Clarke, MD of Rawson Properties...

>> Some light at the end of the tunnel
Rodney Hayter

CAPE TOWN (September 10) - The Reserve Bank’s decision to hold interest rates at its August bimonthly meeting suggests that we have reached the peak and that rates will start coming down from next year.

The move has drawn an almost audible sigh of relief from the latest Pam Golding Properties Intellectual Properties, who were quick of the mark in pronouncing it “good news for the housing market!”

>> Making money in a sluggish property market

Coaching experts give estate agents tips on how to raise their game to thrive in tougher conditions.

There are ways to maximise profits in a tough real estate economy, said Bill Gibson, sales specialist.

Speaking to estate agents at the national conference of the Institute of Estate Agents of South Africa (IEASA) in Johannesburg recently, Gibson said times like these can provide the best opportunities to gain market share...

>> The way of the future

In spite of efforts by developers to promote the sales of apartments in places like Melrose Arch in Sandton and Durban’s revitalised Point area, high-rise living in South Africa has a long way to go to attain the same popularity as it enjoys in places like London and New York.

"This type of lifestyle could become very important in the future if we look at the rising costs of land and building," says Mike Bester, CEO of Realty 1 International Property Group...

>> Exterior changes add most value

Homeowners who are considering additions or alterations to make their home more attractive to potential buyers should focus on exterior projects at the moment.

They should, says Institute of Estate Agents national president Willie Marais, spruce up outdoor entertainment areas with decks or patios, paint or recoat exterior walls and if they want to make structural changes, replace old steel windows with wooden or vinyl ones...

>> Zambian property market takes off

The Zambian property market is flourishing thanks to a booming economy, a thriving mining sector and new mortgage lending services.

That’s the word from Chandalala Kondolo, a 12-year veteran of Lusaka’s real estate market and principal of the Chas Everitt International franchise that was recently opened in that city...

>> Switched on volunteers clean beach

Employees of an electrical company have spent the past two days cleaning up Eastern Beach in East London after large sea swells and spring tides caused extensive damage to the coastline last week.

The mopping up operation started on Tuesday, while both Gonubie and Eastern Beaches remained closed to the public, after severe weather conditions and swells of up to six metres were reported along the coast causing rubbish bins and benches to fall over and plants to be uprooted...

>> The beautiful South

CEO Middle East travels to the 'rainbow nation' to find out what it has to offer.

South Africa is a nation rich in history and is correspondingly diverse. The area has been inhabited by for over 100,000 years and so houses some of the world's most ancient archaeological remains.

Since those times, bushmen and indigenous tribes have taken advantage of its natural attributes, and were joined in doing so by European and Far Eastern seafarers as the trade routes began to develop. Being a nodal point on the route from the Far East back to Europe, it was soon colonised, leading to the eventual emergence of the separatist movement as tensions rose.

>> News from - R&N Materbuilders

Cape Quarter Extension merges old and new to offer village lifestyle shopping

The Cape Quarter lifestyle centre in Cape Town’s historic De Waterkant, is set to extend further into the trendy suburb with the scheduled completion of a second phase of the development – the Cape Quarter ‘Extension’ - in September 2009.

Focus on Oudtshoorn, Garden Route, South Africa

World-renowned for the Cango Caves and as the Ostrich Capital, but there's much more to Oudtshoorn than just that!

Surrounded by natural beauty, Oudtshoorn is situated at the foot of the majestic Swartberg Mountain range. Numerous rivers, streams and falls have their origins in the Swartberg, Outeniqua and Kamanassie ranges around the town...

>> View Properties in Oudtshoorn
>> View Properties in the Garden Route

>> Property of the week

Garden Route, Oudtshoorn

Set in a luscious garden is this luxurious mansion with expansive spaces and a admirable warm atmosphere. This home offers four roomy bedrooms (three en-suite) and a fourth separate bathroom. Lovely patio overlooking sparkling pool. Full domestic quarters can be changed to granny flat.

Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 4
Garages 3:

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>> BetterBond's tips to home buyers and sellers

Homebuyer tips for final walk-throughs

When you’ve found the property you are happy with, that meets your needs and you’re ready to put in an ‘Offer to Purchase – OTP’, there are a few things you should discuss with your Agent and possibly include in the OTP. You might want to include taking over the telephone account from the Seller; if there is an existing ADSL line, you can ask to take this over as well – this is far easier, quicker and less costly than waiting for a new line to be installed. If you want the DSTV dish to be included in the sale, you must itemise this in the OTP. Then, once the sale has progressed and it is nearing the time the Seller intends moving out, I recommend you take a walk through the property.

There may be old, loose tool cabinets in the garage that the Seller does not intend taking. If you don’t want them, ensure the Seller undertakes to have them removed by the time they move out. If there are any unsightly pot plants in the garden, make sure the Seller intends removing them. Sometimes, Sellers have even stored old or broken items in boxes in the ceiling that they have forgotten about – it may simply be a case of ‘out of sight, out of mind’. You have every right to ask to check in the ceiling. Make sure these will be removed. I once moved into a house where the previous owner liked to restore old vehicles and he left an old battered car under the carport. I had to eventually threaten to hire a tow truck to take it to a scrap yard and have the cost deducted from the purchase price, before the Seller agreed to remove the vehicle.

It’s also advisable to meet with the Seller to go through how certain things work e.g. the alarm system and the details of the security company they are linked to; the pool pump - how to clean the leaf basket and weir, how to backwash etc; and the geyser – some properties have 2 geysers and you might want to use only one. You can also establish on which day of the week garbage is removed. This is also a good time to ask the Seller for a forwarding address, so that you can forward any mail for a certain agreed upon period. This will give them sufficient time to change their postal address details.

Then towards the end of the day that the Seller is moving out or the day thereafter, arrange for a final walk-through with the Seller. This will give you the opportunity to check the condition of the property, to check the items that the Seller agreed to leave have not been removed and that all items the Seller agreed to remove are gone. This is also an ideal time to go through all the keys and for the Seller to hand over the keys. However, if you are taking occupation at a later date, the Seller may want to hand the keys over to the Agent, who will then pass them onto you on the occupation date.

>> Software at its best!

Cell Phone enquiries from the public

Buyers driving past your advertising boards will be able to see an unique Internet Number allocated to the specific property. They will then SMS that number to 35476 and will receive an SMS back with all the details of the property. At the same time the agent / agency will also be informed of a potential buyer. How's that for technology working for you! The cost - mahala! Free to all CyberAgent subscribers.

Here's a diagram on the way this process will work...

  1. Agent captures the details of the property and pictures into CyberAgent
  2. Agent updates the property to the Internet
  3. The Internet server sends back a unique number for that property
  4. Agent puts up his "For Sale" board together with our SMS board
  5. Potential buyer sees the "SMS" board and SMS's the unique number to the Internet server
  6. The Internet server sends back an SMS with all the property details and a link to the website where he/she can view pictures on the propert

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

For Sale Property:
Eastern Cape Freestate Gauteng Kwazulu Natal Mpumalanga North West Northern Cape Limpopo
Western Cape

To Rent Property:
Eastern Cape
Gauteng Kwazulu Natal North West Western Cape