Weekly Newsletter
Friday, 20 March, 2009
Property Search | Estate Agents | List your property

Edition 11 of 2009, Friday, 20 March 2009

Dear Reader

Can you still become a billionaire by investing in property? They do say that nothing is impossible. According to Forbes.com, the richest black African is 63 year old Mohammed Al Amoudi, net worth $9B who built his fortune in construction and real estate in Saudi Arabia before betting on energy. Patrice Motsepe, age 47, is a Johannesburg mining magnate, and South Africa's first black billionaire. Read more in Africa’s Self made Billionaires

All eyes are on the Reserve Bank;

  • Reserve Bank to meet every month on interest rates
  • Rates to freefall
  • Drastic interest rate drops now essential, says CEO

On a regular basis we receive letter from subscribers complaining about how difficult it is to purchase property in the current market. According to one of the estate agency groups using our software, the Leapfrog Property Group, 60% of bonds are declined. “The sales are there but it’s the banks that are not granting the bonds” This according to Haydn James National Operational Manager of Leapfrog. Tony Clarke, MD of Rawson Properties agrees with him. "It looks," said Clarke, "as if the banks are now almost too aware of possible difficulties faced by bond applicants, are too stringent in applying the National Credit Act and far too concerned about shareholders’ reactions. "They have become so risk averse that even the best clients can only get a bond at 0.5 percent below prime and many are now paying 0.5 percent to three percent above prime."

Managing Director of Greeff Properties Graham Leslie have three answers for you if your grant have been rejected and would still like to pursue the possibilities of buying a home;

  • Option one is to approach a friend or family member about getting a second bond or advancing a loan
  • Option two is to find private equity, possible again from a family member, a friend or less restrictive private financer
  • Option three is to form a syndicate of three or more buyers who become joint owners

“In all these options,” says Leslie, “you can benefit from the fact that interest rates will probably come down soon, adding an 8 to 10% capital gain to investors’ stake per annum for the next few years,” while paying off the bond month by month. If you cannot get the bond you want, investigate the other options

It’s that time of the year, Autumn. Autumn is one of the four seasons of the year. It’s also known as the transition season between summer and winter. We share 10 tips with you that you can take with you in your garden this autumn;

  1. Tidy up
  2. Dig out the debris
  3. Start composting
  4. Embrace the autumn colour
  5. Plant for the future
  6. Venture into the interior
  7. Love your lawn
  8. Cover up the garden furniture
  9. Give wildlife a hand
  10. Protect your pond

The editor


>> Real Estate news – Africa’s Self made Billionaires

According to Forbes.com, the richest black African is 63 year old Mohammed Al Amoudi, net worth $9B. Al Amoudi was born in Ethiopia and now a Saudi citizen. He built his fortune in construction and real estate in Saudi Arabia before betting on energy. Began investing in Sweden in 1974.

Al Amoudi displaced 51 year old Nigerian Aliko Dangote, net worth $2.5B, from the top slot; a position Aliko held in 2008. Dangote began career as trader at age 21 with loan from his uncle; built his Dangote Group into conglomerate with interests in sugar, flour milling, salt processing, cement manufacturing, textiles, real estate, and oil and gas...

>> Reserve Bank to meet every month on interest rates

This is more than three weeks ahead of schedule. It also plans monthly meetings.

(Reuters) - South Africa's central bank will meet next week on interest rates, more than three weeks ahead of schedule, cementing the case for an early rate cut.

The bank said in a statement on its website it had changed meeting dates for the rest of 2009, with the monetary policy committee meeting every month, except for July, without giving reasons for the change...

>> Rates to freefall

The turn in the interest rate cycle looks set to accelerate over the year ahead. Even our conservative Reserve Bank Governor Tito Mboweni is smiling…

Reserve Bank Governor Tito Mboweni’s comment that he wanted to cut the repo rate by 200 basis points but was restrained by his more conservative colleagues can be taken with a grain of salt, but it is a positive indicator that we can expect further interest rate cuts down the line, probably as soon as the next meeting of the Bank’s monetary policy committee (MPC) meeting in April...

>> Drastic interest rate drops now essential, says CEO

At a time when virtually every country in the developed world has reduced its interest rates by ±80%, South Africa is still adopting a conservative, reactionary attitude to rate cuts - and is paying a high price in stagnation for doing so.

This is the view of Mike Greeff, CEO of Greeff Properties...

>> SA economic update: The global recession will dictate local performance in 2009

The South African economy ran out of steam in 2008. Real GDP grew by an anaemic 0,2% in the third quarter, after an erratic performance in the first half of the year, which was largely distorted by the impact of severe disruptions to power supply in the first quarter. The economy was dragged down by further declines in retail activity as well as sharp drops in mining and manufacturing production.

Retailers were hurt by fading household demand. Households have been taking strain for some time, with household finances starting to deteriorate in late 2007, as surging inflation eroded disposable income growth while the combination of higher interest rates and heavy debt burden pushed debt service costs sharply higher, placing further pressure on households’ cash flow...

>> Another recommendation to buy now

The first half of this year will be a good time to buy residential property, says Tony Clarke, Managing Director of Rawson Properties.

Repeating this message for the third time in as many weeks, Clarke said,

"While it is true that none of us can tell when the market will bottom out, there is also a danger that those who wait too long will miss the boat and find themselves buying on a rising market. Right now, in my opinion, the buying opportunities are excellent and although small drops are still possible, these do not alter the basic message."

>> Cure for housing woes?

The banks’ reluctance to approve mortgage loans, says Tony Clarke, MD of Rawson Properties, is still the major reason for the severe slowdown experienced in SA housing sales.

"It looks," said Clarke, "as if the banks are now almost too aware of possible difficulties faced by bond applicants, are too stringent in applying the National Credit Act and far too concerned about shareholders’ reactions.

"They have become so risk averse that even the best clients can only get a bond at 0.5 percent below prime and many are now paying 0.5 percent to three percent above prime...

>> Now would be a good time to get into property marketing

The opportunities are still there, says Bill Rawson

The difficult conditions experienced in real estate marketing this year have, says Bill Rawson, Chairman of Rawson Properties, exposed those estate agents who have not been giving real service – “and there has been a fair number of them”. It has also, he said, resulted in large numbers giving up property as a career...

>> Banks re-committing to lower cost housing says WC IEA chairman

Ivan Neethling, Chairman of the Western Cape branch of the Institute of Estate Agents and the Chief Executive of the estate agency Startprop, which is particularly strong in certain previously disadvantaged Cape Town areas, says that he and his colleagues have been much encouraged by assurances from certain banks, particularly Nedbank, that they are now keen to get back into the bond market in a bigger way albeit on a 90% loan-to-equity ratio.

From certain Standard Bank comments, added Neethling, it is now clear that the liquidity problems which previously were thought to be holding up bond approvals have not been the chief drivers of credit tightening...

>> If you cannot get the bond you want, investigate the other options

In the less affluent parts of the Cape as many as 80% of home loan applications are now being turned down by the banks and even in the primarily upmarket areas served by his company, only one in two applications is successful, says Mike Greeff, CEO of Greeff Properties.

Managing Director, Graham Leslie outlines three options open to those who, having been rejected, would still like to pursue the possibilities of buying a home - especially now that prices are “real value” levels and unlikely ever to be repeated after this year...

>> Making a statement with carpets

Design>in Living - Carpeting that says it all

Be yourself and bring out your individuality when you choose your next carpets.

It’s just about impossible to get away with completing an interior without having at least an occasional rug or carpet somewhere in the home. Even if you opt to go all-out and carpet every centimeter of flooring, rugs will still have a way of creeping in, adding the visual lift that can make the difference between a dull interior and one filled with excitement and vibe...

>> Landlords, absconding tenants, lawyers: a chilling tale Investment

Landlords, absconding tenants, lawyers: a chilling tale Chris LouwProperty investor shows how easy it is for grasping lawyers to take landlords, tenants for a nasty ride – at the same time.

Property investment in South Africa can be a risky business. The law favours tenants, not the landlords. Unfortunately this helps the lawyer more than the landlord, says senior journalist Chris Louw, wryly.

When my partner and I bought a smallholding on the bank of the Crocodile River outside the town of Brits, North West, the idea was that we would let the five dwellings until we could interest a developer in exploring the possibilities of a security estate. The world wide economic crisis has sunk that dream, at least for the foreseeable future...

> Individual owners must take charge of own rates

WITH the Municipal Property Rates Act having become fully operational from July last year, all sectional title units in SA will be independently rated by local municipalities. Rates will no longer be the responsibility of the body corporate; instead, each individual owner in a complex needs to pay rates directly to the municipality.

Sifiso Msomi of Shepstone & Wylie’s property department warns owners that local authorities are now much more likely to take action against defaulting non-payers as they now have the names and addresses of all sectional title owners.

>> FNB Building Confidence drops further in 1st Quarter

JOHANNESBURG (March19) - The FNB Building Confidence Index measures the business confidence of all the major role players and suppliers involved in the building industry such as architects, quantity surveyors, contractors, sub-contractors, wholesale and retail merchants, and manufacturers of building materials.

The index is compiled quarterly from the building, manufacturing, retail and wholesale opinion surveys undertaken by the Bureau for Economic Research (BER) at Stellenbosch University. The BER business survey in the building industry was conducted between February 2 and March 2, 2009...

>> Harvesting brown gold in your garden

Compost making is part of the autumn harvest, writes Alice Spenser-Higgs

Autumn arrived in Joburg on Thursday morning last week. There was a chilly edge to the air and a sneaky wind scattered the first of the autumn leaves, prompting me to think about compost.

Autumn is traditionally harvest month and that includes the beginning of a three-month harvest of fallen leaves that can go straight onto the compost heap...

>> Plan ahead for household emergencies

Compiling an emergency plan is probably the furthest thing from your mind if you’re currently moving house and have a hundred-and-one details to take care of.

But, says Homenet CEO Martin Scultheiss, formulating a strategy to deal with emergencies of various kinds should be at the top of your “to do” list...

>> To the editor

To the editor:

Home for intellectually disabled restored by R+N Master Builders as part of 60th anniversary

Homestead given a new lease on life by Cape Town’s R+N Master Builders

R+N Master Builders as part of their 60th year celebrations decided to add a new dimension to their social responsibility spend, by taking on this challenging project.

“Our home is much prettier,” say the residents of the Includid home for the intellectually disabled, who have reason to rejoice since R+N Master Builders completely renovated their dilapidated home as a community project.

The Includid house, situated on Highgate Street in Maitland, was terribly run down and according to R+N Master Builders director, Brian Rabinowitz, “We were confronted with a threadbare environment of dangerous wiring, inadequate ablutions, peeling walls, doors falling off their hinges, missing ceilings and no external paving.”

“Rotarian, Dr Tony Davidson, on behalf of The Highgate Trust, which owns the house, approached us for assistance in restoring this home back into a sanctuary for the residents. Originally semi-detached, the building was previously converted into one but had since fallen into disrepair due to a lack of funds.”

Dr Tony Davidson, of the Sea Point Rotary Club, who has been involved with Includid for over ten years, says that the R+N team has turned what was a liability into an asset.

“I initially approached R+N to give us a few recommendations as to what we could do to improve the home and what the most effective way would be to do that. After assessing the situation, Brian wanted to do more and R+N took on the full R250 000 renovation at their cost, partnering with their preferred subcontractors who discounted their services.”

In addition to the house being completely repainted it also received major electrical rewiring as well as extensive bathroom & kitchen renovation and overall restoration throughout including new external paving and grassed area.

Susan Grime, the General Manager of Includid says that the assistance they received from R+N Master Builders had inestimable value: “We cannot say thank you enough to the team from R+N. The residents enjoyed the experience of having their house renovated and they are now extremely proud of the glorious home they can call their own.

Send your viewpoints or comments on any of the articles, or questions you may have to news@cyberprop.com

>> News from – Peerutin Architects


How are the big architectural firms in Cape Town faring in the current property sector slowdown?

David Peerutin, a senior partner of Peerutin Architects, says that the level of enquiries remains almost as high as previously but developers are now more cautious and inclined to take a hard look at project costs.

>> In the area...

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

  • Clarens
  • Richards Bay
>> In the area 1 – Clarens

CLARENS in the Eastern Free State highlands, bounded by beautiful sandstone mountain ranges, offers a haven for fly fishing and undoubtedly promotes the idyllic country lifestyle. This scenic spot draws tourists time and time again, prompting some to take up holiday homes while others even opt for permanent residency.

For those aspiring to a sedate country existence, enveloped in natural surroundings and a rewarding outdoor lifestyle, the prospect of the new Nazarene Estate, just 15km from Clarens, makes for an appealing residential development...

>> In the area 2 – Richards Bay

The major new city campus for the University of Zululand — with phase one ready for occupation from January 2010 — is set to provide a boost for the residential property market in Richards Bay, says Phil Hammill, area principal for Pam Golding Properties.

To be located in the Richards Bay CBD, the first phase catering for the faculties of business and management will enrol from 1000 to 1400 fulltime and part-time students — a large number of which will be adult learners currently employed across various sectors of the economy and who wish to further their education...

>> Focus on White River, Mpumalanga, South Africa

The farming tradition of the community that settled here after the Anglo-Boer War has remained virtually unchanged to this day. Lord Milner, administrator of the defeated Transvaal, demarcated land on the 'Emansimhlope' - a tributary of the Crocodile River whose name translates from the Swazi as 'White Waters' - to demobilised Boer and British Anglo-Boer War soldiers...

>> View Properties in White River
>> View Properties in Mpumalanga

>> Property of the week

Mpumalanga, White River

Beautiful woodwork and built-ins throughout this unique, double storey home. Antique inlaid tiles on oxide floors, throughout...

Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 3
Garages: 3

Search for property in your area

Enter City/Suburb:
>> New short course presented in Johannesburg on Sectional Title property development

From the 30th of March to the 1st of April 2009 the University of Cape Town together with Prof. Paddock, a specialist sectional title attorney, and Clint Riddin, a specialist sectional title accountant and auditor, will for the first time in Johannesburg present a 3-day course on the development of sectional title property...

>> Offering from Webmail

>> Software at its best!

The Property Manager provides you with a very extensive and detailed list of criteria which you can capture for your property listings and gives you the control to decide how you would want these properties to be displayed on the Internet

  • Manage property for sale and previously sold
  • Activate or deactivate Internet listings with immediate effect - no waiting!
  • Keep track of your On Show and On Special properties and list them on your website
  • Print and email multiple reports
  • Unlimited number of pictures
  • Keep a history database

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