Weekly Property News
14 October 2011

Dear Reader

The online petition that was started by South Africans to stop Bryce Lawrence from ever blowing a rugby game again is not going to result in a re-match that’s for sure. With 78% ball possession as well as with fifteen movements of more than five phases the Springboks should have done it but they didn’t. Not to worry, there is always next time.

Is there going to be a “next time” in the property industry? For sure! Make sure that you are prepared and don’t miss out on great opportunities.

This week we take a closer look at Standard Bank, ABSA and FNB Home Loans and what they had to say about the property market and house prices;

Headlines: House price growth has slowed to a crawl in September according to a report by Standard Bank. Standard Bank's median house price (smoothed) posted a growth rate of 0.6 percent year on year (y/y) in September, from 1.6 percent y/y in August whereas growth in real terms remained negative. The slowdown in house price growth runs parallel with the weakening SA economy. GDP growth slowed to 1.3 percent quarter on quarter (q/q) seasonally adjusted annual rate (saar) in the second quarter of 2011, from 4.5 percent q/q (saar) in the first quarter. Home prices still falling

Trends in house prices remained mixed in the South African housing market, based on the Absa house price indices for small, medium-sized and large houses, for which the bank had approved mortgage finance. House prices still mixed

John Loos, property strategist at FNB Home Loans said that estate agents estimated a decline in the percentage of sellers selling their homes in order to downscale due to financial pressure, from 25% in the previous quarter to 19%. He said that this could be the start of results from the long process of household debt-to-income reduction, and other measures aimed at rebuilding balance sheets, coming through. "It is too early to tell though, and another few data points will be required. But we do know from SARB (South African Reserve Bank) data that the decline in the household debt-to-disposable income ratio, and thus the debt-service ratio, continues." The third quarter survey, undertaken in August, points towards a slight increase in residential demand, and some mild improvement in estate agent confidence, but it's not a market with any strong direction. Households debt pressure reducing

Marketnews: Maybe it’s the scent of summer, but the mood in the property market has definitely lifted in the past month and is already starting to generate astonishing forward momentum in several areas. It’s almost seems like the more South Africans look at the financial and political turmoil elsewhere in the world, the more we gain perspective on our own problems and realise how much good we have to build on – like an economy that has held up really well compared with those of many more “developed” countries, a vigorous (if sometimes uncomfortable) democracy, abundant natural resources (including really smart and energetic people); and of course a great climate. This, I think, is the real reason that the proportion of home sellers who are motivated by plans to emigrate has fallen from 20% at the end of 2008 right down to just 4%, according to the latest FNB statistics. It also seems to be translating into a renewed sense of purpose, which is one of the most important factors we see driving the current real estate market improvements – as though South Africans of all ages and income groups, having had their downtime, have decided to “plug in” again and get going towards their goals. Berry Everitt, Chas Everitt International Property Group.

The editor

In This Issue
Featured Property

Barberton, Mpumalanga, South Africa
Bed: 6 | Bath: 4
Stunning property, for those who appreciate upmarket living! Beautifully designed home nestled in well kept landscaped garden

CyberProp Property Count: 14/10/2011

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Properties for Sale: 143,864
Properties to Rent: 10,589


Local News

Home prices still falling

House price growth has slowed to a crawl in September according to a report by Standard Bank...

House price still mixed

Trends in house prices remained mixed in the South African housing market, based on the Absa house price indices for small, medium-sized and large houses, for which the bank had approved mortgage finance...

Households debt pressure reducing

Financial pressure downscaling is on the decrease indicating a possible improvement in the management of debt-to-disposable income according to FNB's Estate Agent Survey...

Listed property finds rents growing slowly

CATALYST Fund Managers said yesterday property conditions remained "challenging" with market rental growth over the past two years "significantly" lagging escalation rates negotiated in leases...

How to survive a property slump

Despite many people around the world being affected by the property fallout that ravaged the housing markets, there are ways, according to Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, that South African property investors can not only survive but actually flourish during these difficult times...

Valid reasons for optimism

At a time when so many of South Africa’s spokespeople for the residential property marketing sector are predicting another year of price growth well below the current inflation rate and a dire shortage of new development stock, Lanice Steward, MD of the Cape estate agency Anne Porter Knight Frank, has, as usual, identified several positive and encouraging facts in the current scenario...

Global economic problems should not deter South African property investors

The ongoing media coverage given to the European and US economic problems, particularly the strong likelihood of a double dip recession in the US and an eventual default by Greece and possibly other European countries, are creating a hesitancy and holdback reaction amongst South African property investors that, says Bill Rawson, Chairman of Rawson Properties, is largely unjustified...

Latest bank figures show restraint

Although there is much evidence that the tighter economic conditions are holding back the residential property market, the fact that the level of household debt in relation to disposable income is steadily improving indicates that South Africans are showing commendable restraint in their expenditure on less frivolous items...

Seniors driving property

Downscaling due to "life stage" is emerging as a major driver in residential property supply at present according to the third quarter FNB Estate Agent Survey...

How to avoid ‘cowboy’ contractors

High transfer costs and uncertainty about being able to obtain a new home loan are prompting many homeowners to improve or alter their existing homes rather than move. And usually, that means dealing with builders and other contractors – especially in the case of busy young couples and empty-nesters who don’t have the time or inclination to tackle DIY projects...

Cape Town road tolls would be a R500m headache

Tolling Cape Town roads will cost the city up to R500 million and result in increased rates, says the City of Cape Town...

Homebuyer Must-haves

While each homebuyer will have their own criteria as to what their home must have based on their life stage and personal preference, there are a few key elements that homebuyer’s in the current market seem to agree on, says Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa...

Sole mandates logical for commercial property

Only rarely do sellers commercial properties appoint their agents on a sole mandate basis – but this is a big mistake, says Jason Lee, head of Rawson Properties new commercial property franchise division...

Property - Wendy Machanik

Former Netcare chairman Michael Sacks may soon be the owner of prime development land adjacent to Wendy Machanik Properties’ former head office in North Street, Melrose...

Tips to show off your home to buyers

Once you have made the decision to sell your home, Caron Leslie, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Property Associates which operates in the suburbs of the Cape’s Western Seaboard, says that it is important to ensure your property is ready to be showcased to potential buyers, both inside and out...

No signs of real growth in Western Cape house prices yet

The latest figures from the Western Cape Institute of Estate Agents’ PropStats division (which assimilates and analyses sales data daily from 1 500 agents) indicate that there has been no upturn in house sales in the 12 months from August 2010 to August this year...

Homeowners insurance

When signing for a new bond on a property purchase buyers should take the trouble to ‘shop around’ for their homeowners’ insurance. This was said recently by Lanice Steward, MD of Anne Porter Knight Frank. Negligence or carelessness in these matters has, she says, cost certain homeowners dearly...

Advice to levy defaulters

Although there has been ongoing publicity on the importance of all sectional title body corporate members paying their levies regularly – and on time – a surprisingly highly percentage still feel that they are entitled to put this obligation very low on their lists and to pay as and when it suits them...

Focus On

Barberton, Mpumalanga, South Africa

Gem of the Lowveld, situated in picturesque surroundings and scenic beauty in the De Kaap Valley, where some of the oldest sedimentary rock formations in the world are found. A rich historical and cultural heritage makes it an ideal tourist destination...

>> Properties in Barberton
>> Properties in Mpumalanga

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Enter City/Suburb:

In the Area

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

  • East London
  • Soweto
  • Centurion
In the area 1 - East London

Home sellers in East London should urgently make sure that their properties comply with municipal town-planning regulations and by-laws, or they may find that potential buyers cannot get bonds to purchase them...

In the area 2 - Soweto

More than 20 000 affordable housing units have already been built in Protea Glen, with another 15 000 in the construction or planning phases...

In the area 3 - Centurion

Southdowns Estate in Irene, Centurion is bucking property market trends as it launches its second and final phase. The estate has enjoyed considerable success since the launch of its first phase in 2004 and is arguably one of the few mixed-use lifestyle estate developments in South Africa which has proved viable since inception...

To the editor

To The Editor

We are owners of a small one bedroomed flat in a sectional title block. We have owned the flat for a number of years (8). Our flat is on the ground floor and 7 flats abut one another with parking bays allocated To each flat in a courtyard.

Recently, (now over a period of 8 months )a flat owned by a previous Chairman of the body corporate is now being rented out to a family member. This is where the drama begins.

The previous Chairman family member is no longer represented even on the Board of Trustees. The family member now living in the flat , is unemployed , and works on cars and uses other ,members parking bays to do so, causing offence to other parking bay owners. This auto- repair takes place all day and sometimes into the night.

The Managing Agents say they cannot do anything except complain to the owner of the flat housing the family member asking them to cease their Auto repair activities.

This has fallen on deaf ears as the activity continues. We have not had a Board meeting over 18 months and we are Chairman- less at present. Is there a legal organ one can turn to in order to stop this activity ? Our complaints are not being attended to and the values of our Apartments are decreasing as a result.

There is a trustee committee but nothing gets done , because their flats are not being affected .

How do I as an owner protect my interest as a result of this illegal activity on the part of an owners relative conducting such behaviour?

I look forward to hearing from you .

From the editor;

Click here for the contact numbers for the Rental Housing Tribunal who might be able to assist you.

There is no one website for the Rental Housing Tribunal as they operate on a provincial/municipal basis.

Get your sectional title-related questions answered free of charge by registering on the Sectional Titles Online website (www.sto.co.za). STO aims to empower the South African sectional title community through the open sharing of knowledge resources

Share your comments with us by sending it to news@cyberprop.com

Local news continue

Know your rights as a tenant

According to Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, investors need to conduct research into their tenant’s rights and what this could mean if things go wrong, before they decide to rent out a property...

MyCiTi a boon for Table View on the whole

Residents who live along the Integrated Rapid Transit (IRT) route in Table View say they have already seen positive changes in their suburbs - more people are leaving their cars at home and more cyclists are training there...

IEASA to hold green building seminar

Fulfilling a promise made earlier this year to try to keep its members informed and up to date on issues affecting the South African property sector, the Western Cape Institute of Estate Agents will on 11th November be holding a one day seminar (from 9:30am to 3pm) on green buildings and the measures that have to be taken to conform with today’s internationally recognised criteria for sustainable, environmentally friendly building management...

Top local agency to fly Aida flag

The Prospur Real Estate group, one of the best known and most successful in the Cape Flats and surrounding suburbs, has decided to take its operation to the next level and join Aida National Franchises...

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