Weekly Newsletter
Friday, 16 May, 2008
Property Search | Estate Agents | List your property

Edition 18 of 2008, Friday, 16 May 2008

Dear Reader

“What can I rent it for?” “What are the rentals?” If I had one Rand for every time I’ve heard these two questions, I’d be a rich man. Two brilliant articles from iAfrica;

  • Rental property can provide a worthwhile active or passive income to investors; Charge more rent
  • Advice on getting potential tenants to pay higher than average rent; Getting tenants to pay more than average

What the "giants" had to say this week about the property market;

FNB - What would it take to get us back to around 6,5% debt-service ratio, similar to the low of late-2003? The implications of household debt - by John Loos

Standard Bank - The residential property market is expected to suffer a relatively mild cyclical downturn rather than a full-blown recession. Standard Bank downplays house slump

And then Tony Clarke MD of Rawson Properties made a strong statement condemning some of the negative and misleading media reports recently published throughout South Africa. "Too many people's thinking," said Clarke, "has been skewed by the exceptional conditions that we enjoyed from 2002 to 2007. It has to be accepted that property is a long-term investment and is subject to cycles". Tony Clarke takes up the cudgels on SA home prices - many reports misleading he

One would think that the new NCA (National Credit Act) and the higher interest rates may have forced property owners to "lay low" for the interim period but according to reports it has not. It might have investors thinking twice about buying investment properties and new home owners looking for those bargains but it hasn't stopped homeowners from upgrading existing homes. Tips to make your home more appealing to potential buyers by Betterbond

Focus on The Garden Route, Western Cape, South Africa; the most beautiful region in the Cape. This region includes the most beautiful stretches of coastline with beaches and bays and mountains with colourful wild flowers. It has become the home of many foreigners, artists and soul finders.

The Garden route has long since been one of SA’s quality tourist and holiday destinations. More recently, though, it appears to be increasing in popularity as a “semi-gration” destination according to an FNB special survey, as quality of life in the larger metros deteriorates. Many of these “semi-grators” commute long distance to the larger cities. However, rapid growth in the economy of this region suggests that an increasing number of skilled people may be attracted to the region by its own economic opportunities. All of this is great for residential property in the area, and we see the Garden Route as one of SA’s top performing property regions in the years to come. Garden Route - the future in semi-gration?

Don't forget to visit our CyberProp Blog for more property news and views.

Enjoy!
The editor


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>> Real Estate News - How to invest in Zimbabwe

Want to buy property or shares in Zimbabwe? Just bring along a bag of fertiliser or some cooking oil.

Maybe it's not quite that easy. But liberalisation of the economy has started and, as a country on its knees desperate for food and "strategic" goods, Zimbabwe has introduced a barter system in return for assets...

>> Charge more rent

“What can I rent it for?” “What are the rentals?” If I had one Rand for every time I’ve heard these two questions, I’d be a rich man.

The answer to both is: It doesn’t matter! One and two bedroom flat rentals in my area are about R2500 to R3500 per month. My flats rent for R4000 and R4500 per month and my vacancy rate is less than three percent. Yes, my flats are nice, but not that much nicer. So what is it that makes the higher rent worth it? Two things: The fellow tenants and the landlord.

>> Getting tenants to pay more than average

Estate agents and property managers can help you determine rentals. They have a fairly accurate idea of what other landlords are charging. However, these figures don’t have to dictate what you charge. Charge what your property’s worth and that includes the value of renting from you instead of someone else.

Sell yourself to the tenant. Explain why they’re better off renting from you...

>> The implications of household debt - by John Loos

JOHANNESBURG (May 13) - Given a far higher household debt-to-disposable income ratio in South Africa these days compared with the 1990s, it would take the SA Reserve Bank (SARB) far less effort, in terms of raising interest rates, to inflict the same financial pain on the household sector as it did in the late 1990s.

While the economic environment is admittedly different in many ways from 1998, it is possible that a prime rate of 18% today would have a similar effect to the 25,5% prime rate peak of 1998. Should the SARB stop hiking rates very soon, perhaps at prime of 15,5%, the debt-service ratio (a good indicator of
trends in household sector financial pressure and thus of housing market performance to come) could peak at fairly “normal levels” by historic standards...

>> Standard Bank downplays house slump

Johannesburg - The residential property market is expected to suffer a relatively mild cyclical downturn rather than a full-blown recession, according to Standard Bank.

The bank made this prediction this week despite its own property gauge disclosing that the median house price fell to R530 000 last month from R550 000 in March. At this pace, prices would fall nearly 44 percent in 12 months.

The decline since April last year translated into a negative annual growth rate of 8.6 percent, Standard Bank said. The five-month moving average growth rate worsened to minus 2.8 percent year on year...

>> Tony Clarke takes up the cudgels on SA home prices - many reports misleading he says

Another chief executive in the real estate sector, Tony Clarke, MD of Rawson Properties, has come out with a strong statement condemning some of the “decidedly negative” media reports published recently throughout South Africa on the current conditions in the residential property sector.

“Too many people’s thinking,” said Clarke, “has been skewed by the exceptional conditions that we enjoyed from 2002 to 2007. It has to be accepted that property is a long-term investment and is subject to cycles. Now that the market has swung in the buyers’ favour, some homeowners have been talking as if we are facing a collapse in house prices – but nothing could be further from the truth.”

>> Chas Everitt International opens in Zambia

The Chas Everitt International property group is making its first foray into Africa this month (subs: May 2008) with the opening of an office in the Zambian capital of Lusaka.

The franchise rights to this operation have been awarded to Chandalala Kondolo, who has gained extensive experience in the Zambian market over the past 12 years as the principal of his own agency and as a consultant to international and Zambian organisations in the residential, commercial and agricultural property sectors...

>> Current USA and SA property conditions not comparable

Any suggestion that the South African property market could follow the USA property market in its recent downward plunge is way off the mark, says Anthony Smook, Chief Executive of the new, but fast growing, bond origination company, A Mortgage Loan, which is headquartered in Paarl.

In the USA, said Smook, a lack of investment and banking regulations and high pressure selling by bond salesmen resulted in some 10% of the total population overextending themselves on their housing purchases...

>> News from - Chas Everitt International

Marketing South African real estate internationally remains a committed focus of Chas Everitt International, but the leading national property group has now brought the world of international property investment to South Africans.

The launch of this venture has proved to be well timed due to the convergence of a number of factors, chief amongst these being...

>> Garden Route - the future in semi-gration?

The Garden route has long since been one of SA’s quality tourist and holiday destinations. More recently, though, it appears to be increasing in popularity as a “semi-gration” destination according to an FNB special survey, as quality of life in the larger metros deteriorates. Many of these “semi-grators” commute long distance to the larger cities. However, rapid growth in the economy of this region suggests that an increasing number of skilled people may be attracted to the region by its own economic opportunities. All of this is great for residential property in the area, and we see the Garden Route as one of SA’s top performing property regions in the years to come...

>> Letters to the editor

Green Building Council of South Africa Breakfast Presentation

The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA), will be hosting a breakfast presentation on Tuesday 20th May 2008, at The Cape Town Hotel School in Granger Bay.

The presentation, titled “Workplace - A Case Study of a 6-Star Green Building” will be given by Anika Spears, the Environmental Manager of Buildcorp Australia - the developers of the Workplace.

Spears will be sharing her experience as a project team member, on this, the first building in Sydney to achieve a 6-Star Green Star rating – the highest level of green accreditation. This building will become the headquarters of Google Australia amongst others. The presentation will give insight into how the team went beyond standard design to construct a world-leading green building.

The GBCSA is currently customising the Australian Green Star rating tool for use by the South African property industry and the first Green Star SA tool (Commercial Office) will be launched in pilot form in July 2008. This presentation provides an interesting insight into what goes into a building to achieve a 6-Star rating and is recommended for anyone currently interested in the application of Green Star in future projects.

Unfortunately, due to the speaker’s availability the event will only be held in Cape Town, however the GBCSA assures all interested parties that similar events will be held in major centres in future!

About the Speaker

Anika Spears, from Sydney Australia, studied and practised as an architect before making the change into project management and sustainable development. In 2004 she joined Lend Lease, a global property group, as a project manager and was involved in Australia’s two first interior 5 star Green Star projects. Anika joined Buildcorp Group in 2006 as their new Environment Manager.

About Workplace6

As a world leading project, this six storey commercial building includes black water recycling, chilled beam air-conditioning technology and a harbour heat exchange system. The building features natural light penetration across all internal work spaces via an atrium. Being powered with 25% GreenPower, the building has premium amenities for tenants such as showers and change rooms with lockers, secure car spaces and 120 bicycle racks.

For further information please contact the GBCSA at Tel: 021 659 5990 alternatively mail info@gbcsa.org.za.

 

>> Focus on The Garden Route, Western Cape, South Africa

Where ever you are, you've most probably heard about the Garden Route, and rightly so, for this is one of the most magnificent, awe-inspiring stretches of land in South Africa, if not the world, with majestic mountains, breathtaking views, a natural garden of rich, colourful vistas, with valleys and lakes, rivers and forests, a paradise for bird-lovers and nature lovers, an eco-destination like few others in the world, with miles upon miles of beautiful, white sandy beaches and a zillion things to do and explore...

>> View Properties in the Garden Route

>> Property of the week

Garden Route, Plettenberg Bay, Beachy Head

Bedrooms: 6
Bathrooms: 5
Garages: 2

An immaculate home with truly magnificent sea, mountain and lagoon views. This 6 bedroom, 5 bathroom home offers ample living and entertainment facilities...

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>> BetterBond's tips to home buyers and sellers

Tips to make your home more appealing to potential buyers

Potential buyers look around a property to see how they can use the space to suit their own needs. When looking at each room, they also look for faults, for reasons why they might put in a lower offer than the asking price. Most buyers respond well to a clean, clutter-free home in good repair and homes that are in tip-top shape for showings, normally garner higher offers than homes that aren’t ready for showings. In this article, we’ll examine the entrance, lounge and dining room areas.

Let’s start with your entrance. Try to create as much light as possible, add a plant or flowers and possibly a mirror to reflect the light. Paint the walls in a warm neutral colour, so the house feels cosy. If you have a large entrance hall, you might want to add a rug to break the space up. If you have brass door handles or a brass knocker, make sure they are clean and polished. First impressions count.

If you have painted the lounge in neutral colours, make sure the furniture, ornaments, or loose rug adds a splash of colour – this is the accent colour of the room – if the furniture is pale and neutral too, your room will look bland and washed out. Load your couches and chairs with vibrant cushions that complement your accent colour. If the lounge is small, don’t use a centre coffee table, rather use smaller side tables – this will give the impression of more space. Make sure all the lights work, don’t have any bare bulbs. You could also have some lamps in the lounge to create a lovely ambience. Turn them on during the showhouse. Lastly, clear out any clutter in your lounge by removing some of your smaller ornaments or personal family photos.

A dining room should be a dining room, not an office, not a playroom, not a catch all spot. It should allow the buyer to feel as if they have found the perfect place to sit down to dinner. Place a nice centerpiece and set the table. If you have a dresser or sideboard in the dining room, make sure you only have a few select ornaments.

Next week, we’LL look at tips that will make your kitchen, bathroom and bedrooms look more appealing to potential buyers.

Article by: Cheryl Marais – Direct Marketing Manager - Betterbond

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