Weekly Newsletter
Friday, 15 May, 2009
Property Search | Estate Agents | List your property

Edition 19 of 2009, Friday, 15 May 2009

Dear Reader

South Africans are watching the Indian Premier League (IPL) day after day. For those who did not know the IPD was started by the Board of Cricket Control in India in 2008 and it is a new format of cricket called Twenty 20. But, it’s not all about cricket. It’s also about a festive time for cricket fans and it is a multi-billion dollar affair. It has emerged as the richest cricket league because it offers US$ 12 million prize money to the winning team. The runner-ups will get US$ 6 million. Two teams who lose the semi-finals will earn US$ 3 Million each. Even the teams who lose the game will also receive attractive prize money of US$ 1 Million.

Why focus on the IPL this week? The title sponsor for the league is real estate tycoon, DLF Universal. The DLF Group was founded by Chaudhury Raghuvendra Singh. The company is currently headed by Indian billionaire Kushal Pal Singh, who inherited the company from Chaudhury. Kushal Pal Singh, according to the Forbes listing of richest billionaires in 2009, now stands as the 98th richest man in the world. Will the property industry see new real estate tycoons or is the market “kaput”? Send your view points to news@cyberprop.com

Property trend analysts are impressed that in the first week of April mortgage loans granted in the US were 77% up on the April 2008 figure. A similar, though not quite so spectacular, rise was recorded in the UK for the same period, says Tony Clarke, MD of Rawson Properties. "Does this indicate that the recovery has begun? If one accepts the old maxim that USA and the UK set the economic patterns for the world, is it possible that in SA the long-awaited revival is not far off?" he says. New data gives good reasons for optimism

The finance, real estate and business services‘ sector including banks, insurance, property sales and rentals, lawyers and architects was found to be the chief money-spinner in South Africa. Bucks bigger in SA tourism than farming

NEWS! Residents in Bertrams, Soweto and surrounding areas should expect scheduled water cuts next week, Johannesburg Water said on Thursday. On 19 May these areas will be affected: Doornfontein, New Doornfontein, Troyeville, Fairview, Jeppestown, Jeppestown South, Malvern, Reynolds View and Kensington, the company said in a statement. The water interruptions will take place from 8am to 4pm, due to infrastructure upgrades. On 20 May, Soweto residents will be without water for eight hours, between 8am to 4pm. Water tankers will rotate around the affected areas, while additional tankers will be placed at Shell and BP filling stations and at the Shoprite supermarket.

Mining in this region of Mpumalanga dates back many centuries, when unknown miners worked quartz reefs in the area for gold. Proof of these diggings can still be found in this area. The history of this small delightful village dates back to 1873 when a miner, Alex Patterson, discovered alluvial gold on the farm named Ponieskrantz. He had left the Mac-Mac area to search for a place that was less congested. Though the discovery was kept as a secret, the inevitable happened when a second prospector William Trafford also discovered gold close by. What they had found in this beautiful valley drew optimistic gold panners and prospectors from all over the country and the World (news of gold strikes of this magnitude travel fast !).by www.pilgrimsrest.org.za Focus on Pilgrims Rest, Mpumalanga, South Africa

The editor


>> Real Estate news - You know you're in trouble when...

In South Africa, landlords get nervous when the tenants in their properties send the garden service away. After all, any illegal activities could mean the confiscation of the property - not to mention having lazy, bleary-eyed tenants who might skip payments.

In the UK, though, plants grow very well indoors, thanks to central heating...

>> New data gives good reasons for optimism

Property trend analysts are impressed that in the first week of April mortgage loans granted in the US were 77% up on the April 2008 figure. A similar, though not quite so spectacular, rise was recorded in the UK for the same period, says Tony Clarke, MD of Rawson Properties.

"Does this indicate that the recovery has begun? If one accepts the old maxim that USA and the UK set the economic patterns for the world, is it possible that in SA the long-awaited revival is not far off?" he says...

>> Return to rate rise

While another rate cut of 50-basis-points should be seen at the end of this month, there may not be any more cuts after that with the prospect also emerging that interest rates may gradually move upwards again next year, said a leading economist on Thursday.

Chief economist at Econometrix, Dr Azar Jammine, says that long-term rates have already started anticipating this as the key rate is up around one percent in the past few months...

>> Defaults hit upmarket mortgages

SA’s largest auction house warned this week that the number of homeowners defaulting on mortgage repayments was spiralling with owners in upmarket areas affected particularly severely.

Alliance Group CEO Rael Levitt said that despite recent interest rate cuts thousands were still struggling to pay mortgages. The rate of default was increasing.

Owners of luxury homes in areas such as Sandton, Camps Bay, Hout Bay, Umhlanga, Waterkloof and Ballito were experiencing the greatest stress.

“We are projecting mortgage stress (two months in arrears on bond repayments) will shoot up from 125000 in the first quarter to close to 200000 homeowners in the second quarter,” he said.

“We also are projecting that severe mortgage stress (four months in arrears on bond repayments) will shoot up from 55000 homeowners in the first quarter to 85000 in the second quarter.”

Alliance Group had teamed up with Absa, FNB and Nedbank to auction repossessed houses, and was selling up to 200 houses a month for FNB Home Loans in the R500000-R750 000 price range.

Article from:

>> Bargain for a better rental deal

Tough economic conditions are putting tenants in a stronger position to approach their landlords for better rentals or perks when the time comes to renew their lease.

So says Berry Everitt, CEO of the Chas Everitt International property group, who notes that landlords don’t want to lose good tenants now, and that declining interest rates may make it possible for them to lower rents.

“But even if they won’t agree to that, it’s worth asking if your landlord is willing to maintain your rent at the current level and forego an increase...

>> A Home Makeover with a Difference!

This exciting initiative, now in it's second year involves selecting a Children’s Home and giving them a Home Makeover, transforming them into bright, new, comfortable and stimulating home environments for the children who live there.

If you are interested in participating in this rewarding project or prepared to donate materials that can be used please contact the Chas Everitt office near you or Tracey Everitt...

>> Forced sales: Manage the process

Homeowners under pressure to sell their property because of credit difficulties are advised to manage the process as far as possible.

Dr Willie Marais, national president of the Institute of Estate Agents (IEASA), says selling your home when you fall behind on mortgage repayments should be a last resort, especially if you owe more than the property is currently worth...

>> "You're hired!" Zuma tells Sexwale

Now go out and solve the housing crisis, Tokyo. Details, analysis about duo facing up to South Africa’s biggest property problem.

South Africans will have to get used to the term the Department of Human Settlements formerly known as the Department of Housing and its new Minister Tokyo Sexwale.

Sexwale was sworn into President Jacob Zuma's cabinet on Sunday and is tasked with taking a holistic approach to dealing with housing issues in South Africa...

>> Estate home up for sale

Centuries-old mansion available

A BLOEMFONTEIN businessman, who owns one of three remaining Free State mansions built in the 1870s , has put it on the market for R20-million.

Keble Estate, a 310.5-hectare property, located about 13km from the eastern Free State town of Clocolan, has attracted a flood of inquiries from potential buyers seeking to acquire it for private use, some as a getaway retreat, and others interested in converting it into a boutique hotel...

>> Millionaire estate agents

Times may be tough, but some agents are earning R1m-plus/year in commission for selling property.

Some estate agents are earning more than R1m a year in commission for selling property. Although income is down on South Africa's property boom years earlier this decade, that's pretty good going.

And we're not talking about agents who specialise only in the R10m-plus residential real estate bracket.

After all, commission of R1m is probably small change to those few agents who are still taking their clients to see properties in top-of-the-range sports cars and keeping their wives behind the steering wheels of luxury 4X4s...

>> SARS: Declare or else!

Have you been declaring the rental income received on your investment properties? Non-declaration of rentals received — after deducting the appropriate expenditure — is a contravention of the Income Tax Act.

With the constant improvements in the efficiency of tax collections by the South African Revenue Service (SARS), it is very likely that such non-declarations will be detected, says Paul Nelson, director of Johannesburg-based auditing firm Nelson Financial...

>> Joburg declares war on the building hijackers

The Joburg council is calling on all victims of building hijackers to help it smash the gangs terrorising owners and residents.

On Tuesday, the regional director of the inner city, Nathi Mthethwa, said a team of highly specialised investigators and lawyers had been appointed to deal with the problem.

The National Prosecuting Authority as well as a specialised team from the SAPS were on board the campaign...

>> Bucks bigger in SA tourism than farming

TOURISM makes more money for South Africa than agriculture or construction and provides employment for more people than mining.

These are some of the key points in the Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) report, which was presented at Tourism Indaba 2009 in Durban at the weekend.

The exhaustive report was compiled over three years by Statistics South Africa in co-operation with the department of environmental affairs and tourisms (Deat), the department of trade and industry and the department of home affairs as well as the SA Reserve Bank and the SA Revenue Service...

>> Chamber slams 'double' rates hike

The City of Cape Town's plans to increase commercial property rates by 15,8 percent - nearly double the increase in residential property rates - have been slammed by the Cape Town Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The chamber has fired off a letter of protest to the council in which it says the proposal is at odds with the city's Integrated Development Plan, which looks to business to grow the economy, create jobs and attract investment...

>> Phoenix Chairman puts reasons for confidence in new fund

There are, says Jim Shankland, Chairman of the new Global Phoenix Property Investments, good reasons for the launchers of the fund, Madison Property Fund Managers, being entitled to claim that there are few better investment opportunities in South Africa today.

Phoenix, which is now raising capital, plans to invest in eight to ten listed property companies, initially in the UK and Australia, thereafter in Europe and possibly the US. Having just printed their prospectus, they are now canvassing the market for US$200 million...

>> News from Technical Finishes


Technical Finishes, the Johannesburg and Cape Town based company that supplies the construction industry with specialised products formulated in most cases by themselves, has initiated a sales drive to widen their client base, and make more people aware of one of the basic products with which Technical Finishes first came onto the market...

>> To the Editor

Expecting high prices?

If you're holding out for high prices, think again. There's a shortage of buyers for various reasons, retrenchments are rife - 208 000 since the last quarter of 2008 - and Absa recently released figures showing that the average nominal price - which includes inflation - of small, medium and large houses has dropped the most in 23 years.

Economic reports are pointing to recession, interest rates remain high and though the local banking sector is relatively sheltered from the global financial crisis, mortgage debt is nearly 65 percent of the market value of housing. On top of this more and more homeowners are forced to sell their homes, while buyers are required to put down as much as 30 percent of the purchase price of a property.

"There can be no denying that it's a buyers market, which means that there are more sellers than buyers and an excess supply over demand, usually results in lower selling prices," says Craig Hutchison, CEO of Engel & Völkers Southern Africa. "Buyers are also a lot more cautious - they have less disposable income and are feeling the pinch of escalating fuel and food prices. They will be shopping for properties that offer them the best value now," he adds.

With our sagging economy in mind, sellers are strongly advised to use property specialists that have the expertise to ensure that their property is not over or under priced. It is important therefore to choose a property specialist who has the experience and the knowledge of what has been sold in their area and in which direction the market is moving.

Sellers should also be aware of property specialists who set unrealistic property values in their hunt for exclusive mandates. The property specialist's first duty is to the client and it's their knowledge and expertise that should impress the client enough to award an exclusive mandate. An exclusive mandate is the means of ensuring that a client receives the best possible service that a property specialist has to offer. The property specialist should be focussed on providing the seller with an in-depth Comparative Market Analysis at this stage, to accurately establish a realistic selling price.

"According to the experts there is usually a lag of nine months between a change in interest rates and change in house prices, so though the interest rates are dropping, challenges lie ahead for anyone wishing to sell property at this point in time. But, if the property is realistically priced, well presented and shows good value for money, finding the right buyer - by means of the extensive Engel & Völkers buyers database and well pitched marketing campaigns - can be done without any difficulty," says Hutchison.

If you have a strong cash flow, you're advised to sit out the dip in the market, but those who must sell are strongly advised not to expect unrealistic prices for their homes, based on the high price growth of the past and the historic cost of the house. Prices must be dropped to more realistic levels.

Sent in by:

>> News from Nationlink Plattekloof

Brand new release in sought after De Tijger, Parow

A brand new extention of the sought after De Tijger Estates in De Tijger, Parow has just been released !

Consisting of a single title plot and plan development, it offers only 14 plots (with sizes varying from 341m² to 702m²) with an approved houseplan (sizes from 177m² to 260m²). Purchasers will be able to negotiate the building of the approved dwelling with a builder of their choice and building must be completed within 12 months. Selling prices includes transfer fees, and the Purchaser will only be responsible for bond registration fees & attorney fees and vary between R520 000 and R990 000.

Only 7 plots are still available, and interested parties must not delay contacting Nationlink Plattekloof on 021 911 1043 or 082 465 7135. Detailed information is also available on www.developmentpropertiesforsale.com or www.nationlinkplattekloof.com

>> In the area...

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

  • Centurion
>> In the area 1 – Centurion

New Centurion security estate selling well

Swift sales are occurring at the recently launched Eldo Lakes Estate in Centurion.

So says Sarah Nel, manager of leading local agency Homenet/ Harcourts VWB which has the sole mandate to sell a section of the estate as well as a few of the open stands. Upon completion the estate will contain about 115 sectional title homes and 43 stands, and more than 60 units have already been sold.

>> In the area 2 – Hartebeespoort

Hard times for Hartebeespoort

The economic crisis is taking its toll on the Hartebeespoort property market, once the darling of Gauteng’s rich and famous.

So says Ben van Zijl, principal of leading local agency Homenet/ Harcourts Ades Royal who notes that property sales and prices in “Harties” have come under extreme pressure in the wake of stricter bank lending policies and the global economic meltdown.

>> Focus on Pilgrims Rest, Mpumalanga, South Africa

A living musuem - the entire town has been declared a national Monument - taking the visitors to the day of old Transvaal Gold Rush.

Pilgrim's Rest was declared a gold field in 1873, soon after digger Alec "Wheelbarrow" Patterson had found gold deposits in Pilgrim's Creek. The Valley proved to be rich in gold and by the end of the year, there where about 1500 diggers working in the area...

>> View Properties in Mpumalanga

>> Property of the week

Mpumalanga, Hazyview

OWN YOUR OWN PIECE OF AFRICA, 26HA Extra large home ideal as a lodge. Exceptional views across the valley. 2 Bedroom cottage. 7 Nguni cows. Well maintained garden. All quality fittings to add to the gentlemans residence.

Search for property in your area

Enter City/Suburb:
>> Betts Townsend - Canal Walk extension

At a time when most property developers are cutting back on retail projects, Capetonians will be encouraged to learn that Canal Walk, the Cape’s most successful retail complex, with a foot count of 21 million per annum, is right now bringing on stream a 15,514m² extension to its trading area. This has a contract value of R250 million.

The contract, which in any part of the world would very definitely qualify as “fast track”, kicked off in May 2008 and will be fully complete in July 2009...

>> 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