Weekly Newsletter
Friday, 22 May, 2009
Property Search | Estate Agents | List your property

Edition 20 of 2009, Friday, 22 May 2009

Dear Reader

“We keep a close watch on the UK property market because SA selling price trends tend to be in line with theirs’, with this difference, that we have traditionally been less spendthrift and less inclined to over-borrow. The “Sunday Times” optimism ties in with what we have been saying locally for some time and it is encouraging to find that they see the end of price falls as not far off.” says Mike Greeff of Greeff Properties. This week we take a closer look at the International property market and place four articles of interest to our readers;

  • Real Estate news - Dubai property market suffers as Western cash dries up - Dubai
  • Recession-ravaged employees resist relocation
  • Overseas investor interest in rural property skyrockets – New Zealand
  • Foreigners circle local market, hunting bargains – Australia

There has been an outcry over Standard Bank's home loan administration fee hike but it is not alone in jolting prices. An investigation by Realestateweb.co.za has found that the other big three have either increased or plan to hike their fees. It is not just Standard Bank

Co-ownership is the mother of all disputes. If you live or own a unit in a sectional title scheme and haven’t heard of this phrase — you will probably have experienced it in practice. Living in close proximity to other people often with different backgrounds and cultural beliefs, as well as co-owning areas of the land and building about which decisions need to be made, creates ample opportunities for tempers to rage and nostrils to flare. Bury the hatchet

KwaZulu-Natal is a province of South Africa, with an area of 86 967 sq kilometres. It is bounded by Lesotho, which is known as the mountain kingdom, Gauteng Province (west), by Swaziland and Mozambique (North), and by the Indian Ocean (East). During the past four centuries, many thousands of people from Britain and Europe have left their homes and sailed across the oceans, in order to make new homes in other countries, including South Africa. In Natal (Kwazulu Natal), the first settlement on the shores of Durban Bay was established in 1824 when two Englishmen, Lieutenants Farewell and King, obtained a grant of land from the Zulu king Shaka. This province is now also the “home” of the Comrades Marathon. The first Comrades Marathon took place on 24th May 1921, Empire Day, starting outside the City Hall in Pietermaritzburg with 34 runners. Today we see thousands of runners running this week. This weekend is Comrades weekend and we wish all our readers that will be participating “strong legs”. In Focus on, we take a closer look at Kwazulu Natal, South Africa

Enjoy!
The editor


Ünsubscribe

>> Real Estate news - Dubai property market suffers as Western cash dries up

DUBAI/LONDON May 14 (Reuters) - European investors have mothballed plans to invest in Dubai's bombed-out property in favour of more familiar and mature markets, prolonging the emirate's maiden bust until at least 2011.

Prices in the emirate's once-booming real estate sector will continue to slump over the next year, with demand for property waning as expat professionals lose their jobs, while more Dubai contractors will bid for projects elsewhere...

>> Recession-ravaged employees resist relocation

DANBURY -- Add together the housing slump and fears about job security and the result is that employees today are staying put.

Firms that specialize in relocation services are feeling the effects as corporate executives turn down transfers and companies avoid the expense of moving people around.

"We've seen a reduction in the volume of domestic relocations because clients are experiencing resistance to relocation and everyone's trying to save money in this economy," said Lina Paskeviskius, a consulting manager for Cartus, a Danbury-based relocation firm formerly known as Cendant Mobility...

>> Overseas investor interest in rural property skyrockets

Rural lifestyle properties across the country have long attracted interest from overseas investors.

Over the past year as the US property market spiralled in to turmoil, real estate agents in New Zealand noticed a marked increase in keen foreign investors seeking a Kiwi country estate...

>> Foreigners circle the local market, hunting for bargains

CASHED-UP South African property groups are poised to pour more money into Australia's crippled listed real estate sector.

South African interests have already invested more than $400 million in two trusts, joining institutions from Asia and Europe, particularly German pension funds, circling the local commercial property market.

In the past 12 months, Singapore's GIC has invested in the GPT Group, while German investors have bought office blocks in capital cities...

>> New optimism in the UK home market augers well for SA, says Mike Greeff

Those who believe, probably correctly, that the South African residential property market mirrors what is happening in the UK will be interested to learn that the UK’s mass-circulation “Sunday Times” Money supplement has run a report in which they quote three of the country’s biggest lending institutions as saying that further price falls will not be above 7% and that prices will be rising again before the end of this year...

>> Mortgage stress would increase

MORTGAGE stress – which refers to properties that are two months in arrears on bond repayments – would increase in the second quarter of the year, auctioneers the Alliance Group said on Tuesday.

The group is due to release its second quarter Distressed Asset Index at the end of June and has projected that mortgage stress will shoot up from 125000 home owners in the first quarter to close to 200000 home owners in the second quarter.

The group also projected that severe mortgage stress – four months in arrears on bond repayments – would rise sharply from 55000 home owners in the first quarter to 85000 in the second quarter...

>> Property prices are expected to stay in the doldrums

Alleged upturn in property market is just that, alleged.

Why property prices are expected to stay in the doldrums for the foreseeable future

Recent reports from estate agents and mortgage originators predicting a property upturn have been too numerous to count.

However, Ian Wason, CEO of independent mortgage broker BondBusters believes this is wishful thinking...

>> It is not just Standard Bank

All banks jolted administration fees for home loans.

There has been an outcry over Standard Bank's home loan administration fee hike but it is not alone in jolting prices. An investigation by Realestateweb.co.za has found that the other big three have either increased or plan to hike their fees...

>> Give your property a ‘green’ edge

If your home is on the market in the current climate where demand is thin and listing times are running between six and nine months, it’s crucial to make the property as saleable as possible.

Conventional wisdom is that now is not a good time to sell, but for any number of reasons, homes are still coming on to the market and indeed there is an oversupply of stock right now, says Gerhard Kotzé, CEO of the ERA South Africa property group...

>> Bury the hatchet

Co-ownership is the mother of all disputes. If you live or own a unit in a sectional title scheme and haven’t heard of this phrase — you will probably have experienced it in practice.

Living in close proximity to other people often with different backgrounds and cultural beliefs, as well as co-owning areas of the land and building about which decisions need to be made, creates ample opportunities for tempers to rage and nostrils to flare...

>> Residential building activity slows down further

Residential building statistics released indicate that the planning and construction phases of the housing market slowed down further in the first quarter of the year.

Data on residential building activity released by Statistics South Africa up to March 2009 indicate that the planning and construction phases of the housing sector slowed down further in the first quarter of the year...

>> SA's new estate agents

They young, hip and full of vibe.

Real estate has often been associated with more mature people who have been in the industry for years but this is changing.

Young people are becoming more hands-on in the property market, not only as investors but also as estate agents.

According to Clive Ashpol from the education and training department at the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB), young estate agents add significant value to the estate agency profession...

>> New deal for Aida clients finds favour

Early response to a joint initiative between two major players in the SA business field has been beyond expectation.

So says Young Carr, CEO of Aida National Franchises group, who notes that the recent co-operation between its holding company, Jigsaw, and financial services company Sanlam has found favour in the market place...

>> PICK ‘N PAY family store at Eden-On-The-Bay pff to a good start

Raymond Ackermann, Chairman of Pick ‘n Pay, has on at least two occasions said that the Pick ‘n Pay Family Store franchise concept has proved to be one of the best of any innovation introduced by the group in the last decade.

Ackermann is said to be particularly delighted with one of the latest Family Stores to come on stream...

>> Special levies in sectional title schemes

During an economic downturn that has many of us tightening our belts the last thing we welcome is an unexpected expense. As an owner in a sectional title scheme however unexpected expenses are a real possibility. We all know that we have to pay our general levy, which is the result of an owner-approved budget at each annual general meeting and is normally payable in monthly installments, but we are also liable to pay any special levies that are validly raised by the trustees from time to time. General levies are part of our budgets, but special levies generally hit us out of the blue. We explain the law applicable to these special levies so that you can be armed next time one is raised by the trustees in your scheme...

>> To the Editor

Will the property industry see new real estate tycoons or is the market “kaput”? This was last weeks’ question. In answer 70% of our readers responded that the chances of seeing now real estate tycoons emerging is very slim.

The following email was send in by Conrad de Swardt of Discovery24 Real Estate;

NO QUICK FIX FOR SA PROPERTY MARKET!

The South African property market will take a relative long time to stabilize again, so says Conrad de Swardt of Discovery24 Real Estate.

He estimates that it will take at least 3 - 5 years for the "ripple affects" of the current market conditions and constraints to work through the system.

There is unfortunately - NO QUICK FIX!

Property prices soured between 2003 and 2006 by an average of 20 - 30% per annum, that represents an increase of between 80 and 120%.

In some coastal and country areas, property prices even doubled, tripled and quadrupled, placing it way outside the reach of average salary earners.

As far back as 2004, Conrad warned and was quoted in several newspapers, that the rapid growth was unsustainable and that we were heading for disaster.

Average salary earners just could not keep up with the rapid increase in property prices, their salaries only increased by 7 -12% /per annum, during the same period.

Sustainable property price increases, before the "property boom", were estimated to be and has proven to be sustainable for many decades around 10 - 15% per annum.

During the "boom" period, we experienced "double the normal increase", therefore we are about 4 years ahead of time with our current property prices! This is the problem, nothing else.

Conrad recons that 65% of all residential property transactions, back in 2003 / 2004, were to average salary earners, many of whom were also first time homebuyers. buying plots between R60 000 and R120 000 and houses / flats between R300 000 and R600 000, more specifically in the rural country areas, with city prices being about 25% higher. Today, many of these same plots are back on the market, demanding selling prices of between R300 000 and R600 000 and the same houses / flats, between R600 000 and R1 200 000. There is now also very little difference between city and rural real estate prices. Most salary earners just cannot afford these higher asking prices, with the nett effect being that property sales has dropped dramatically, in some areas up to 70 - 80%. The bubble has definitely burst!

The road to recovery is also not made any easier with the current high interest rates and the new credit act, as it offers little to no relief to potential new home buyers.

Banks are demanding huge deposits of between 15 and 30% on new home purchases, in order to reduce their own risks, before the buyer can qualify for a bond. Ironically, this makes it basically impossible for buyers and seller to do business with each other, resulting again in no bond business to the banks and / or repossessions of property, which again leads to massive losses to the banks.

Conrad however believes that process can be reversed and that recovery can be sped up.

Firstly, what needs to happen is that sellers must lower their "asking price expectations" or their properties will sit on the market for the next 3 - 5 years, without any gains, which means they loose money anyway. This is already happening as we are seeing a lot of properties selling for 25 - 30% below asking price. Losses are sometimes considered "artificial" as the sellers paid much less for the property to start with and can afford to sell for less. Those seller that paid high to start with, will be forced to do some serious number crunching with regards to the time value of money.

Secondly, the Reserve Bank must allow a drastic and once-off interest rate cut on home loans of about 2,5%, not drips and drabs.

This will stimulate affordability immediately and help existing home owners struggling to keep up with their bond repayments.

Thirdly, banks should seriously think about reintroducing 100% bonds to qualified buyers, wishing to buy residential property up to R1m.

These buyers traditionally made up 65% - 70% of all residential property sales and bond business in the past.

The above three steps will surely stimulate the South African Real Estate Market again.

De Swardt also predict that for the next three to five years property prices will not go up.

After that, he predicts that we will be back to a 8 - 12% per annum.

Real Estate is and will always remain a medium to long-term investment.

Short term greed can leed to meduim to long-term losses.

To the editor

Please advise, is there a chance that I can get to buy a vacant land without putting down a deposit

From the editor

We asked Betterbond for their opinion and received the following email;

The bankloans on vacant land as follows:

Absa – R0-1,5% , 70%, R1,5m above – R60%
FNB - 60%
Nedbank - 70%
Standad - 60%

Regards
LAURETHE HOLMES
BETTERBOND
076 806 1006
www.betterbond.co.za

>> News from iAfrica

Property need-to-knows 1

This is part one of a two part series in which Gawie Venter discusses eight things you must know before buying or selling property...

Price growth likely, not guaranteed.
Over the past eight years I have seen properties in most areas performing phenomenally and many people have said you cannot go wrong. Being involved as an agent, though, I see many properties that cannot sell in the current market for what was paid for it a few years earlier.

>> In the area...

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

  • Hoedspruit
  • Milnerton
>> In the area 1 – Hoedspruit

Hoedspruit now on global wildlife estate radar

CENTURY 21, the world’s biggest property group, has identified the Hoedspruit area bordering the Kruger Park as one of the most promising wildlife estate development nodes in Africa.

And the giant group has opened a dedicated office in Hoedspruit, CENTURY21 Wildlife, to cater for present and anticipated demand as awareness of the area’s attractions grows worldwide...

>> In the area 2 – Milnerton

Property sets a record in Milnerton

Jawitz Properties reports that a four bedroom home has recently changed hands in Milnerton, Cape Town for a record price of R3.6 million.

The house is ideally situated on the lagoon, with mountain and sea views. As there are only 25 properties in this enclave, houses are well sought after because of its exclusivity.

However, not many houses come onto the market here and when they do, even in these market conditions, this type of house in the area is snapped up.

Interest in Milnerton has increased since the beginning of the year. People are attending show houses and there is plenty of stock. But the difficulties in getting bonds continue to slow down the market.

Venter describes the house as being in pristine condition when it came onto the market. First impressions still count and go a long way towards attracting buyers. Of course in this instance the location is exceptional, adding to its appeal.

Milnerton, Property sale, Cape Town, Francois Venter 15 May 2009 15 May 2009

Article From:
www.realestateweb.co.za

>> Focus on Kwazulu Natal, South Africa

Overview

KwaZulu-Natal is a province of South Africa, with an area of 86 967 sq kilometres.

It is bounded by Lesotho, which is known as the mountain kingdom, Gauteng Province (west), by Swaziland and Mozambique (North), and by the Indian Ocean (East).

Its capital is Pietermaritzburg. Although only sixth in size, it is the most populous of all the nine Provinces of South Africa...

>> View Properties in KwaZulu Natal

>> Property of the week

KwaZulu Natal, Hibiscus Coast, Ramsgate

Sea view villa in Ramsgate. Traditionally sophisticated yet fashionably modern, this sensational home leaves you breathless. Superbly renovated at a cost of ZAR 2 million – gym, sauna, wine cellar, bar, acoustic ceilings, expansive rooms, and Olympic pool the list is endless.

Search for property in your area

Enter City/Suburb:
>> GBCSA Convention & Exhibition 09 - Open for Bookings!!!

The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) is an independant, non-profit organisation spearheaded by leaders from all sectors of the commercial property industry. As a member of the World Green Building Council, the GBCSA aims to promote and facilitate green building practices through market-based solutions.

Following on from our highly successful inaugural event last year, this year’s Convention & Exhibition will feature....

>> 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


Ünsubscribe