Weekly Property News
21 January, 2011

Dear Reader

Interest rate unchanged! Many of us hoped for a rate cut but it was not to be. The SA Reserve Bank's (SARB's) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided to leave the repo interest rate unchanged at 5.5 percent and the prime rate at 9.0 percent. South Africa’s interest rate stays high, the second highest real interest rate in the world after Brazil.

This week’s decision by the Reserve Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) to leave the repo rate unchanged at 5,5% was widely expected, and will not have a major influence on the residential property market.” That’s the word from Berry Everitt, CEO of the Chas Everitt International property group.

“Continued slow recovery is expected for the South African property market, especially since it is influenced by a range of factors aside from the interest rate which includes the continued high household debt-to-income ratio and the ongoing challenges around buyers qualifying for finance.” Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa

Market news: Home sellers are lowering the asking prices for their houses and many others are buying properties with their heads and not their hearts, property experts say. Residential property prices fell for a second consecutive month in December, according to the latest results released by ooba - South Africa's leading bond originator. Property prices reflect gloom

The editor

In This Issue
Featured Property

Garden Route, George,
Fancourt Hotel & Country Estate

House: Bedrooms: 5 | Bathrooms: 4
Immaculate Property Set on Golf Course

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Local News

Rand strength may end

Global investors are getting edgy about emerging markets. And future attempts to curb rand strength may work better than last year, says Nedbank group chief economist Dennis Dykes...

Interest rate comment from Berry Everitt, CEO of the Chas Everitt International property group

This week’s decision by the Reserve Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) to leave the repo rate unchanged at 5,5% was widely expected, and will not have a major influence on the residential property market...

Interest rate comment from Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa

The prime interest rate is to remain at its current 9%, as announced at the today at the conclusion of the first Monetary Policy Committee meeting of 2011...

Property prices reflect gloom

Home sellers are lowering the asking prices for their houses and many others are buying properties with their heads and not their hearts, property experts say...

Property pain persists

Residential property prices fell for a second consecutive month in December 2010, according to the latest results released by bond originator ooba...

Better prospects for SA’s commercial property sector

While consensus has the South African commercial property market facing a gradual and varied recovery in 2011, specific areas of the sector are showing promise beyond the norm...

Stimulation of the property sector is the key to achieving significant economic growth

There is, says Tony Clarke, Managing Director of Rawson Properties, the real estate group which is now operating on a national footprint, a wide variety of opinions ‘out there’ on how the global economy will perform in 2011...

More loans and no discrimination, says Minister

The actions of the Human Settlements Ministry do of course have a profound effect on the whole residential property market in SA, so it is always interesting to hear what it has on the agenda...

R463m in low-cost housing grants to be moved from under-performing provinces

A total of R463-million in human settlements grant funding is to be moved from two under-performing provinces to two which have met their delivery targets and require additional funding...

Bank rejections of bond applications often illogical

Ongoing protests from leading figures in property marketing throughout South Africa about the difficulties of obtaining bond finance from the financial institutions are still, it seems, falling on deaf ears...

Unforeseen delays hold up property transfer transactions

Some 60% of property sale transactions are delayed at some point in the process and this can cause serious problems, especially where alternative accommodation or a move to another area are involved...

Timing is everything

Seasonality is a well-established phenomenon in the global property market and, although it follows a different time frame, it is also clearly evident in the local property market...

Managing agents add great value to ST schemes

Sectional title managing agents are today an increasingly important part of SA’s property infrastructure, especially where body corporate trustees are too busy or too inexperienced to manage a scheme efficiently...

Top questions for tenants to ask

Just as there are “problem” tenants, there are also “problem” landlords – and even more often, “problem” properties...

How to deal with neglect

The ongoing battle by some trustees of sectional title schemes to ensure that their buildings are well maintained and attractive can easily and rapidly be spoilt by one or two owners (members) neglecting to look after their units and allowing them to deteriorate in a way that detracts from the values of other units in the body corporate...

SA property market dashboard now available

New online facility tracking major property market indicators launched, freeing property professionals from the time-consuming task of trawling countless websites for the vital information they need...

ST buyers must check financial position of schemes

The growing success and popularity of sectional title units as an investment has led to a steady increase in the number of those who are buying property for the first time or are diverting funds from other asset classes into this investment channel...

Mogul Machanik was bonded to the hilt

Houses bought by trusts and companies owned by property mogul Wendy Machanik accumulated bonds together worth more than R73 million...

Wendy Machanik's court case postponed, takeover talks suspended

Wendy Machanik Properties, now under a curatorship imposed by the Estate Agency Affairs Board as a result of accusations concerning the misuse of Trust Funds and an EAAB initiated audit, could soon be rescued by the Rawson Property Group playing a White Knight role...

News from the Green Building Council

Green Building Council Education Courses - February 2011

Five certifications have now been awarded under the Green Star SA environmental rating system for buildings - attend the highly popular 1-day Green Star SA Accredited Professional course to learn about the South African green building rating tool and how to apply it to your projects:

22 February - Southern Sun Hotel, Newlands, Cape Town

23 February - Radisson Blu Hotel, Sandton, Johannesburg

17 March - 1on1 Conference Centre, Gateway Theatre of Shopping, Umhlanga, Durban

(Click on the course date above
for more info or to book online)

For all those working on Green Star SA registered projects or planning to register a project, dont miss the half-day Green Star SA Project Certification Workshop which will guide you and your team in compiling a successful submission:

24 February - Radisson Blu Hotel, Sandton, Johannesburg

(Click on the course date above
for more info or to book online)

Focus On

George, The Garden Route, South Africa

The capital of the Garden Route, situated on a coastal plateau at the foot of the Outeniqua mountains. A perfect base from which to explore the Garden Route's many attractions and for scenic drives...

>> Properties in George
>> Properties in the Garden Route

Search For Properties

1. Western Cape
2. Garden Route
3. Northern Cape
4. Eastern Cape
5. KwaZulu Natal
6. Free State
7. North West
8. Gauteng
9. Mpumalanga
10. Limpopo

Search for property in your area

Enter City/Suburb:

In the Area

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

  • The Garden Route

In the area 1 - The Garden Route

Gateway to Garden Route

With a scenic coastline incorporating tranquil hamlets, glistening beaches and majestic mountain ranges, the areas which span the gateway to the Garden Route offer home buyers good value for money...

To the editor

Dear Editor,

I so enjoy your column and am an avid fan of Cyberprop having tried the “other “ 2 property portals. Your latest editorial refers:

I am an independent agent in the Kloof area and have long frowned upon the collusive behaviour of the larger estate agencies who have ganged up together in a network to form a multi listing cartel.

Their common practice is to “buy” the sole mandate at a high price , market it for a week or two , give the seller feedback that “the market” feels its priced too high and perhaps we should call in our collegues to get their opinion , then multi list and ensure that the price is lowered and the seller is bound for a few months and ends up getting a lower price and paying the top commission rate.

This cartel extends to the local newspapers who will not publish any editorial that is in conflict with the “Network” cartel as this is where the bulk of their advertising revenue comes from. With the average South African moving house every 5 to 7 years and paying 6 % commission , you can imagine the long term effect of the prices of property.

In addition to the estate agencies trust accounts being checked out , the Competitions Board should really investigate the Multi/Network listing practices in the best interests of the consumer.

Ken Clarke
Kloof, KZN

From the editor:

It seems that no matter where we go, what area of business we operate there is always a cartel. For those readers that doesn’t know what a cartel, is it’s a formal organization of producers/manufacturers etc. that agrees to fix prices. I’m sure the readers would like to know what other agents have to say on Ken’s letter.

Dear Editor

I find your comments [Wendy Machanic Properties] very one sided, showing a lack of understanding of the full picture.

I also, have been told that I am operating illegally because an audit report was not received. Unfortunately the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing at the EAAB. My reputable accountant does my books for me and we have verified that the audit report was sent timeously with proof thereof.

This was all communicated to the EAAB - with no response. It has been impossible to get any results, answers, or, in fact any further comments from them at all.

Must I now stop trading due to their inefficiencies?

Yours sincerely
M Southey

From the editor:

And this just to proof the point that there is always two sides to a story! If your agency is also experiencing problems with the EAAB send them in and we will gladly place it.

Dear Editor,

I am shocked as a service provider to the industry that you are generalizing on commission.

The editor can rather investigate the conduct of Banks, people conducting auctions and property speculators. It is a lack of regulation and inability from EAAB’s side because everybody is earning commission except agents. How many agents has left the industry and how many people (read attorneys and speculators) are actively involved selling property not being regulated or held accountable.

I object strongly on the points made in the newsletter generalizing on commission arrangements and that agents are only in it for a quick sale. I invite the editor to spend a week with me and experience the other side where you as an agent are being cut out of a deal or are villainised due to perceptions. What about mandates?

I think a healthy dose of ethics is needed instead of opinions.

With Kind Regards,
Paul Rossouw

From the editor:

The intention was to point out that estate agents/agencies are all human even in the case of Wendy Machanik and that there is always a reason why people do things. We do apologies if it created the wrong impression. No matter which industry you are in everybody wants a quick sale as it is good business practice and it’s often what the consumer wants/needs.

Dear Editor

Open Letter to the MMC housing

2011 must be the year of action for effective service delivery to help people and there will be no room for cynicism, laziness, lamenting and incompetence. Less and less talk show

If the DA was in government will do the following;

  • Open waiting list not using Ziveze data waiting list
  • Informal settlement will be formalized not a dream
  • Sit and service stand
  • Housing backlog must be met as promised
  • Quality management and Maintenance for our stock
  • Our people will get free hold title deed not leasehold

Cllr Tsepo Mhlongo
DA Housing Spokesperson for the City of Joburg

From the editor:

Before I get into trouble water yet again I will rather “zip my fingers” and give no comments on Tsepo’s letter

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

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