Weekly Newsletter
Friday, 25 July, 2008
Property Search | Estate Agents | List your property

Edition 28 of 2008, Friday, 25 July 2008

Dear Reader

Credit crunch and economic uncertainty have taken their toll on the global property market, with transaction volumes falling by 46 per cent in the first quarter, according to a property report; International real estate transactions dip 46%

And that is where we are going to be focusing on this week, the International Real Estate Market;

  • Property news - Heavenly havens
  • Property market feels the pinch - Namibia
  • So near, yet so far - Invest in Israel
  • Australia's example on interest rate fluctuations should be followed

Closer to home the experts is expecting the residential housing market to show a countrywide drop in sales volumes of about 35 percent. We have already seen a drop of 10 percent year-on-year (albeit not in all areas) in the average house price. In how low will it go the Rawson Property Group give their opinion. "As we have said before, now is an excellent time to buy because good property deals are available throughout South Africa."

What is CyberProp.com's viewpoint? We have seen the increase of oil prices. We have seen the long queues at filling stations the night before a price increase in fuel with the result that you cannot help to wonder if the same is applicable to the property industry. Is there also deadlines?

When buying a property there are three things to take in consideration;

  1. Are you one of the lucky ones that can pay cash?
  2. Are you on of the millions out there that have to finance the purchasing of your property through a loan? If yes you must not only take your income, expenses but also savings and amortisation in account when you do your planning
  3. Are you buying the property as an investment? If yes always keep in mind the period of the investment as the property can only fetch a high price if there is a demand for it. There is always the cycle of rising and falling of prices and we are for sure near the end of the property boom

The answer on the question, is it the best time to buy? The answer is yes, for us it is always the best time to buy as property is one of your safest investments. BUT this is only if you are sure about your finances as interest rates can still go up.

Some South Africans may be battling the current tough property market, but one Cape Town seller took a mere 10 minutes to flog a tiny Sea Point apartment. To top it all, the buyer, who snapped it up via an sms, had not even seen it. The 29m² pad, which has no kitchen or parking bay and which was previously used as “staff quarters”, was sold for a “bargain” R425 000 recently. Property moves fast in Sea Point

What are my rights as an owner? I am an owner in a sectional title complex of 9 units. These units were ex airforce units that where privatised and are now part of a Body Corporate. The units are double storey units and my unit is above and bordering the old servants quarters. The original gardener appointed by the then airforce has been occupying these quarters for the past few years to my knowledge. Unfortunately the noise caused by this gentleman is becoming a nuisance, he is also now inviting guests to live with him in these quarters This weeks letter of the week; Letters to the editor

Enjoy!
The editor


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>> Property news - Heavenly havens

The phrase "tax haven" conjures a twin image of swimming pools and tedious form filling; of meeting to discuss your financial affairs with a Hawaiian-shirted adviser under a coconut palm. But never before has the package of fiscal inducements that exotic islands offer looked so alluring to wealthy people battered by the current financial markets and looking to shore up their assets in idyllic settings.

Whether it be retirees consolidating their pensions, entrepreneurs looking to establish off-shore companies or individuals on the hunt for centres of low taxation, the market is as international as the destinations. The mobile nature of modern-day business has further liberated high-flyers from key commercial capitals...

>> Property market feels the pinch - Namibia

HOUSE sales in Namibia are slowing down and defaults on bond payments are increasing in tandem with higher interest rates and inflation.

Senior bank managers and estate agents say that at the moment there are more houses on the market than buyers, especially in the main centres of Windhoek, Walvis Bay and Oshakati.

Nedbank Namibia says this year's floods in the North also played a big role in people's ability to qualify for home loans...

>> So near, yet so far - Invest in Israel

Motti Kirschenbaum is a real-estate entrepreneur who pioneered an idea in Israel, which he called Airport City. The concept was relatively well-known in Europe, especially in the UK, but it was not very well-developed in this country. It meant developing a business park with a unique location and optimum size...

>> Australia's example on interest rate fluctuations should be followed

Australia's example on interest rate fluctuations should be followed by South Africa, says Greeff Properties MD, Graham Leslie.

The SA Reserve Bank has been subjected to a veritable blitz of advice on how the economy should be handled - but it will interest many to know that its apparent determination to fight inflation with increased interest rates runs counter to the latest policy being followed in Australia...

>> International real estate transactions dip 46%

Credit crunch and economic uncertainty have taken their toll on the global property market, with transaction volumes falling by 46 per cent in the first quarter, according to a property report.

Investment throughout Asia and other emerging markets continued to grow, as sales of major commercial properties globally totalled $154 billion (Dh565bn) in first quarter against $283bn of property that changed hands in first quarter of 2007, New York-based Real Capital Analytics said in its latest report...

>> How low will it go?

The residential housing market is facing a countrywide drop-off in sales volumes of about 35 percent while average house prices have fallen by approximately 10 percent year-on-year (albeit not in all areas). How long will this continue? Three heavyweights from the Rawson Property Group weigh in on this contentious issue...

 

>> SA's new property law shocker

If you think land grab law looks ugly, look at what new Companies law will do to your property "investments". Full details

One of the biggest selling points of commercial property investments is the steady, growing income stream that accompanies a water-tight lease. But a looming new law could change that, with property owners set to have vastly diminished rights.

The draft Companies Bill looks "scary", say senior figures in the real estate sector...

>> Hard hit property market calls for a pause in rate hikes

Questionable CPIX statistics strengthen the case for maintaining or even decreasing interest rates at the next Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in August. Such a move would ease pressure on bond repayments for hard hit homeowners.

Gerhard Kotzé, CEO of the ERA South Africa property group, says that based on the debate surrounding the CPIX stats, there is seemingly a very real possibility that bond rates are unjustifiably high...

>> South African property market deteriorates further - survey

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's property market has deteriorated further than expected on the back of higher interest rates, a survey by First National Bank (FNB) showed on Monday.

Official interest rates have gone up by 5 percentage points since June 2006, putting pressure on household finances and adding to the stress of higher inflation, which hit a 5-1/2 year high in May, and soaring fuel prices...

>> Property moves fast in Sea Point

Some South Africans may be battling the current tough property market, but one Cape Town seller took a mere 10 minutes to flog a tiny Sea Point apartment.

To top it all, the buyer, who snapped it up via an sms, had not even seen it.

The 29m² pad, which has no kitchen or parking bay and which was previously used as “staff quarters”, was sold for a “bargain” R425 000 recently...

>> My First house -John van der Ruit

In South Africa you have to sell a minimum of 5 000 copies of a book in order for it to be considered a best seller. But when your sales exceed 200 000, you become an overnight literary sensation.

With his colossal success as South Africa’s new best-selling author, you would expect John van de Ruit to have his head in the clouds. Quite the contrary, he seems to have his feet firmly on the ground – and in his first house, to boot...

>> Auctions are not always the ideal way to sell residential property

NEWS FROM ANNE PORTER KNIGHT FRANK

The increased popularity of auctions as a way of selling a home has been achieved, at least partially, by obscuring some of the facts relating to this method of home marketing, says Lanice Steward, MD of Anne Porter Knight Frank...

>> Commercial property yields on the rise

The slowdown of the commercial property market has started to take effect and yields on commercial property investments have started to rise.

This is according to Tony Bales of Bales Delaporte Dealmakers who says that it was less than 18 months ago that a fixed property could not be found to invest in, yields on commercial property were around 8% and the listed property sector was at an all-time high offering forward yields of around 7%...

>> Retirees are re-inventing family homes

Downsizing to smaller properties has long been a favourite option for retirees whose children have flown the nest, but there is a new trend emerging in the tighter market that makes it more difficult to find buyers for their family homes.

“Now, instead of bemoaning the fact that they are knocking about in a too-large home, seniors are revelling in the fact that they have space to accommodate hobbies and interests that had to be put aside while they brought up their families,” says Berry Everitt, MD of the Chas Everitt International property group...

>> News from - South Coast properties: Pat Symcox – director, Colliers International KZN

MONEYWEB: Pat Symcox is a director of Colliers International in KwaZulu-Natal. Pat, good to actually drag you away from the television set, where South Africa seem to be doing pretty well. But we want to talk about South Coast properties. The South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal for a long time has been the poor cousin of the North Coast. Is that changing?

PAT SYMCOX: Hi Alec, good evening, and to the listeners as well. Yes, certainly there's no doubt there are some major projects and major developments happening. And you're right, over the last couple of years that has been a poor cousin. I think just before the National Credit Act came into play and we started to get the financial squeeze on all of us one sensed there was a boom opportunity happening - and there are a couple of major projects that are just bubbling...

>> Letters to the editor

Denis Delmage with wife, daughter and bottle of sparkling wine. Thanks Denis for sending in your response.

This weeks letters to the editor;

Reader:
I was wondering if you could please give me some advice in regard to a problem I am currently experiencing.

I am an owner in a sectional title complex of 9 units. These units were ex airforce units that where privatised and are now part of a Body Corporate. The units are double storey units and my unit is above and bordering the old servants quarters. The original gardener appointed by the then airforce has been occupying these quarters for the past few years to my knowledge.

Unfortunately the noise caused by this gentleman is becoming a nuisance, he is also now inviting guests to live with him in these quarters.

As far as I am aware all the water and lights bills for the servants quarters are paid by the Body Corporate,so this gentlemen is receiving free accommodation. He is also employed but not by the body corporate.

I have approached the Body Corporate about the conditions of the lease agreement between him and the body corporate but have been told by one of the trustees that they are not aware of any lease agreement.

What are my rights as an owner? I have established that the servants quarters are part of the common property.

Your advice in this matter would be greatly appreciated.

Regards,
Ronald

The editor: Ronald, I have asked a management agency, Championz, for their response. Lets see what answer they send us

Championz:

Dear Reader

I would like some professional words regarding a few questions I have:

1) Please can you explain when, where, how much to charge a tenant interest (%) on late payment of rent?
2) Should this be put in writing drawn up by an attorney at the outset of the tenancy or if not can it be included during the rental term if necessary?
3) At what stage can a tenant be requested to vacate the property for continual late or non payment or rental?

Thank you,
Mike Hancock

The Editor: To purchase to sub-let is not always the answer when looking at Mike's questions.

To respond on this letter email news@cyberprop.com

>> Focus on Sea Point, Western Cape, South Africa

Sea Point is a lively suburb lying between Mouille Point, Green Point and Bantry Bay. Upper Sea Point, on the slopes of Signal Hill is characterised by expensive, private villas whereas towards the sea, luxury beachfront and self-catering apartments line the promenade. In between the two, lies Main Road, with a seedy reputation, cheaper accommodation and a vast selection of shops, bars, clubs, and restaurants. It is cosmopolitan suburb that is bustling 24 hours a day...

>> View Properties in Sea Point
>> View Properties in the Western Cape

>> Property of the week

Western Cape, Cape Town, Sea Point

10 bedrooms all en suite, breakfast area, sitting room, reception room, patio/ terrace and lovely pool. Close to all amenities: Restaurants, transport, Waterfront, shops, beaches and promenade. Selling as a business. Established for 24 years...

Search for property in your area

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>> BetterBond's tips to home buyers and sellers

Finding Your New Home

Your first decision is where you want to live – location is extremely important for many reasons, such as proximity to your work, schools and shopping centres. Then you need to decide on your requirements in terms of size, the amount of bedrooms, secure parking, garden, swimming pool, security etc. Once you’ve decided where and what you want, and how much you can afford, then it’s time to start looking. So many properties are now advertised on the Internet. With just a few clicks of the mouse, home buyers can search through hundreds of online listings and view virtual tours.

Call estate agents that work in that area, give them your requirements and let them arrange for private viewings. Drive around the area on Sundays and view the show houses. Find out how long the house has been up for sale. If it has been on the market for a while, there may be a problem with it, or it might be over-priced. Don’t settle for second best. Some agents are so keen to close a sale that they don’t necessarily have your interests at heart. The property may appear to be a great investment to them, as a ‘fixer-upper’, but you may not have the budget or the time to make the renovations needed.

Try to rate each property you view. Once you’ve seen a few houses, you’re likely not to remember specific details about any of them. Bring a digital camera and take photos of the features you like and dislike in each house. Take copious notes of unusual features, colours and design elements. Pay attention to the home’s surroundings. What is next door? Try to find out a little about the neighbours. Is there empty land bordering the house? There is normally a higher incidence of crime and insurance costs are higher. Immediately after leaving, rate each home on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest.

Then arrange to view your top choices a second time. At this point, your agent should call the listing agents to find out more about the sellers’ motivation and to double-check that an offer hasn’t come in, making sure these homes are still available to purchase. On the second viewing, take your time. You’re the potential buyer and you should be allowed to check out the property carefully. Check the boring stuff as well: the roof tiles, the guttering, the condition of cupboard doors, check for cracked walls or recently repaired cracks. Turn on the taps and flush the toilets. Try to imagine yourself living there. Think about whether your furniture will fit.

If it feels and looks right and the price is right, put in an offer to purchase. You will know when you’ve found the right home.

Article by: Cheryl Marais – Direct Marketing Manager - Betterbond

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