Weekly Newsletter
Friday, 14 November, 2008
Property Search | Estate Agents | List your property

Edition 44 of 2008, Friday, 14 November 2008

Dear Reader

When all know that the Rand is the South African currency and that it replaced the South African Pound. I wonder how many of our readers can remember in which year this happened. Did you know the name comes from the word “Witwatersrand”, the ridge on which Johannesburg City of gold is built? Did you know that the Rand was worth more than the Dollar from the time of its inception until 1982? Did you know that the Eskom Electricity crisis would have an impact on the value of the Rand? Most importantly did you know that the weakening of the rand plays an important role in the property market?

What is your opinion? Do you think the depreciation of the Rand will have a negative or positive effect on the property industry?

With the Rand getting weaker and other things also beginning to happen in South Africa, it is quite possible that the property markets might get a nice boost; This according to an article that I found on Propertywire.com. I was expecting a negative effect and yet here we read about a positive effect. Why?

  • By keeping interest rates the same property might become attractive again
  • The main reason for people wanting to move to South Africa still remains and South Africa attracts more and more International visitors every year
  • Investors are starting to change their strategy collapsing their investments into bigger stakes in a lower of companies and lastly
  • High-end properties in South Africa is now more attractive to foreign investors

Don’t miss this week’s article in Real Estate news - Floccinaucinihilipilification Send us your view points to news@cyberprop.com

It was with great interest this week that I read what Berry Everitt, MD of the Chas Everitt International Property Group had to say about space for home offices that is becoming a prime consideration among senior citizens when buying property. “Statistics show that only about 10% of people retiring at age 65 have made adequate provision for their golden years and that about a third keep working to supplement their income,” says Berry. Developers take note: Seniors want office space

It is important to regularly check the condition of your property and to make sure any damage or wear and tear is repaired as soon as possible, this according to The Department of Building and Housing of New Zealand. Of importance when letting out is that you inspect the property on a regular basis. In South Africa the Homenet Property Group warns that prevention is better than cure. “By keeping up with the maintenance it is likely that you can stop most small problems from becoming big problems that can be very costly to remedy.” Regular home maintenance gives sellers the edge

The last town in the southern Drakensberg lies immediately beneath the majestic mountains of this area, their looming greatness offering a multitude of hikes and moments of breathtaking beauty. It is a little town, and busy, despite the fact that this part of the district is predominantly farming country. This town, although not well known, is pretty functional although it has grown in the last couple of decades and now includes a number of commercial ventures. Indeed a town not to be missed! Focus on Underberg, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

The editor


>> Real Estate news - Floccinaucinihilipilification

The art of estimation as being worthless’. That’s the definition I’ve been given for the title word of this article. Normally it’s a cheap bar trick to bang this word out, now it has a place. In the present global economic climate estimation is worthless and everything is, at best, estimation or guesswork. There is a severe shortage of certainty around. Alastair Constance writes...

>> Good news from the western front

In a development that bodes well for the South African real estate market, it seems that the battered home sales ship in the US is - slowly - starting to turn around.

That’s the word from Dr Willie Marais, national president of the Institute of Estate Agents (IEASA), who notes that according to the latest figures released by the authoritative National Association of Realtors (NAR), the sales of existing or pre-owned homes in the US rose by 5,5 percent in September, to their highest level in 13 months...

>> Property price statistics: who's fooling who?

Property man dissects house price figures - and finds they are not worth the paper they are written on. Here's his alternative.

Lies, lies and statistics. That seems to be what we are getting in relation to residential property prices, says Brian Black, a man with more than 20 years of property experience. Here is his down-to-earth take on the slew of monthly house price data we receive these days...

>> A rate chance

The central bank's inflation forecasts may soon come to reflect lower growth and inflation risks, and this may prompt it to change its mind enough to lower interest rates in December, which is earlier than generally expected or discounted.

This is the view of chief economist from FNB, Dr Cees Bruggemans, who points out that South Africa's economy won't remain immune...

>> National shortages fortifies retirement investment

CAPE TOWN (November 13) - The days of retirement property investment offering diminishing or no capital appreciation are over, according to retirement consultant, Russell Masters, who notes in a media release, that in recent years this form of ownership has become increasingly desirable due to national shortages.

During the past 15 years Masters has noted this investment shift while overseeing h Cape-based retirement developments such as Woodside Retirement Village, Oude Westhof Village, Peers Village and the newly-launched Schonenberg Retirement Village in Somerset West...

>> Developers take note: Seniors want office space

Space for home offices is becoming a prime consideration among senior citizens as more of them keep working after they officially retire.

“Statistics show that only about 10% of people retiring at age 65 have made adequate provision for their golden years and that about a third keep working to supplement their income,” says Berry Everitt, MD of the Chas Everitt International property group...

>> Option to buy clause offers real benefits to tenants

Tenants should seriously consider putting an option to buy clause into their rental agreements, the property experts say.

Gerhard Kotzé, CEO of the ERA South Africa property group, says the suggestion makes considerable sense when a tenant aspires to ownership of the flat, townhouse or cluster unit he is leasing, but is unable to afford it right now...

>> Empty nester syndrome less frequently encountered today

The residential market for those downscaling is not as buoyant as it was a few years ago – and there are good reasons for this, says Lanice Steward, MD of Anne Porter Knight Frank.

“As has been widely reported, some homeowners are now reluctant to sell, even if they are growing older, because they are not achieving the price they feel their home is worth...

>> Western Cape residential property has performed above the South African average

The latest ABSA Home Loans Review shows clearly that those who have been talking down the prospects for the South African residential sector are ignoring much positive data, says Mike Greeff, Chief Executive of Greeff Properties.

“Year-on-year the South African figures for the second quarters of 2007 and 2008 show that all residential home categories achieved reasonable growth rates,” said Greeff. “In the affordable category, the year-on-year price growth was 12,1%. In mid-segment housing the growth was 4,7% and in the luxury category 8,8%...

>> Regular home maintenance gives sellers the edge

The majority of South African homeowners are not among the landed gentry who can afford lots of “hired help” to see to the maintenance of their properties – and so must plan and handle these chores themselves.

“And while many consider home maintenance a necessary evil to be put off as often as possible, prevention is definitely better than cure,” says Homenet CEO Martin Schultheiss. “By keeping up with the maintenance it is likely that you can stop most small problems from becoming big problems that can be very costly to remedy...

>> To the editor

In last week’s newsletter we asked the following;

The next US President, Barack Obama has as tough job on hand. He was urged to help the US Nation’s housing finance agencies who are struggling to provide mortgages to poorer and moderate income property buyers. Will he bring a change in the US and also International property market?

In answer:

"You wait your whole life preparing for Bobby Kennedy to walk in the door. And then one day, he walks in the door."


The runaway election of Barack Obama as President of the USA could be good news for the South African economy - and South African property investors - says Mike Greeff, Chief Executive of Greeff Properties.

“Those of us who have watched this election campaign have been encouraged by a whole number of factors,” said Greeff. “Firstly, Obama appears to understand more clearly than his predecessors the causes of the USA’s economic woes and he gives the impression of having worked out the drastic reform measures needed to put matters right. That in turn means that by 2010 - if not sooner - the USA economy should be into a full-scale recovery based on far sounder save first - spend later principles.

“Secondly, Obama is very definitely more aware of Africa and of the Third World’s predicament than any previous president. This, I believe, will result in greater global awareness, particularly of poverty, AIDS and the dangers of insurrection throughout Africa and will lead to increased involvement by all First World countries in this area once the present global economic problems are behind us.

“Thirdly, Obama realises that economically China is making huge strides and that one of the battlegrounds for achieving paramouncy will be Africa - as Britain realised in the late 19th Century. The USA, I believe, will probably want to remain the dominant influence in most Third World countries, including Africa, and this, too, is likely to lead to investment and close ties with the USA, although not accompanied by military force.

“Finally, the fact that Obama is determined to pursue peace rather than war policies and to give up the USA’s role of trying to govern the whole world could result in new friendships and alliances and in greater prosperity internationally. With a great deal of skill and considerable application, it is even possible that Obama could in the long run engineer a deal with the fundamental Islamist parties, those who are determined to see the USA as an enemy of their faith and their culture. If this is achieved, we will definitely be entering into a new era, the benefits of which will be felt worldwide, not least in South Africa.”

All in all, said Greeff, although it is too early to make any definite predictions, the new USA trends likely to be implemented under the Obama regime are what the world now needs - and South African investors, including those in the property sector, could be reaping the benefits of this.

Article by: www.greeff.co.za

>> In the area...

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

  • Potchefstroom
  • Brackenfell
  • Underberg
>> In the area 1 - Potchefstroom

The heart of the beat of Potchefstroom

Driving along the N14 my thoughts naturally turn to other travellers – not that there are too many of them on this long stretch of road. It’s simply a long, reasonably straight road along little small farm communities. As the tyres hiss across the tar, I have only one thing in my sights and that is my destination. Liezl Maclean writes...

>> In the area 2 - Brackenfell

Brackenfell property market remains busy

Good property value and a central location make Brackenfell a popular choice among first-time property buyers while good schools attract family buyers.

Koti Steynberg of the RealNet Cape Gate office reports that the market has remained lively in spite of a more cautious approach among buyers as interest rakes hikes started to take effect in the market. “However,” she adds, “we have experienced a marked uptick since August...

>> In the area 3 - Underberg

Underberg smallholdings pique buyer interest

Smallholdings around the Drakensburg town of Underberg are selling well to those looking to escape the city rat race and raise their families in the country.

So says Neil Prior, principal of leading local agency Homenet Underberg, who notes that Underberg offers its residents a distinct “change of pace”, with the most popular local activities being fly fishing, mountain biking, birding, hiking, canoeing and horse riding. The area is also relatively crime-free...

>> Focus on Underberg, KwaZulu Natal

Underberg, Drakensberg: The last town in the southern Drakensberg, Underberg, lies immediately beneath the majestic mountains of this area, their looming greatness offering a multitude of hikes and moments of breathtaking beauty...

>> View Properties in Underberg
>> View Properties in KwaZulu Natal

>> Property of the week

KwaZulu Natal, Underberg

Property Type: Lodge

Deal direct with seller. Well established lodge in the Drakensberg foothills. Self-catering accommodation on a beautiful river bend with loads of guest facilities. Permission has been secured to erect a further two units. Units have fully equipped kitchens, log fires and stunning river views.

Search for property in your area

Enter City/Suburb:
>> State of the Sectional Title Nation
Prof. Graham Paddock

Sectional Title, as a form of property ownership, has been around since 1973 when the ‘first generation’ Sectional Titles Act came into effect. Since then it has become an ever-increasingly popular form of title, to the point where some statistics show that almost 50% of all home ownership is now in the form of sectional title or some other form of ‘community scheme’.

Increased security, private communities and shared maintenance obligations are just some of the factors that have lead to sectional title becoming the preferred title of choice. However, little is known about the shape and size of this industry that has grown so quickly....

>> Offering from Webmail

>> 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