Weekly Newsletter
Friday, 27 June, 2008
Property Search | Estate Agents | List your property

Edition 24 of 2008, Friday, 27 June 2008

Dear Reader

Is it the right time to buy property? When asking this question to various property experts and also when looking for responses on the Internet the answer is clear; it is always the right time to buy property. Aside from the occasional blip, property will always increase in value above the rate of inflation. What are your thoughts on this subject?

Angola - "The level of speculation in real estate prices in Luanda is very worrying and makes the life of citizens able to pay low rent very difficult,"

United Kingdom - The UK housing market is very sentiment driven, and in many ways exhibits the same sort of behaviour as that of stock market investments moving between extremes of over valuation and undervaluation against the UK 's GDP growth trend.

"As I was growing up, my father taught me many important lessons. Today, I will share with you one of them. He always told me to start from where I was and continually improve myself. Start from somewhere he always said. This was especially with regard to buying real estate. His principle was buy a small property to begin with and continue moving up". Start small to grow investments in real estate, by Eleanor Kigen

According to other South Africans you do not have to be classified under the super rich to be property owner in Europe. "One of the best investments I've made. I have no regrets so far. The rental agent has been efficient and I don't have mortgage finance over the property, so I have had no worries about covering costs. Plus, I plan to go skiing some time soon." Buying foreign property "not a rich man's game"

Ensure your home shines on camera; This is advice from Dr Willie Marais, the Institute of Estate Agents of South Africa, IEASA. It is up to you as the owner to ensure that your home really shines on camera and to do this you really need to understand the camera’s perspective. The camera’s eye is very different from the human eye. It magnifies clutter and poor furniture arrangement. Tips for a quick sell

In times like we are experiencing right now in the property market many homeowners are now having to looking at new ways to stretch their bond obligations. If the do not look at this many stand to loose their properties. One option is to take in lodgers or to rent out sections of their homes. The warning is, be careful! This not a decision to be taken lightly. Pros and cons of lodgers

Serious home sellers should start specifically targeting investors, News from the Nationlink Property Group.

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

The editor


>> Property news - Angola plans steps to curb real-estate prices

LISBON (Reuters) - Oil-rich Angola is planning steps to bring down Luanda real-estate prices, driven to records by a lack of building materials, investor interest and soaring population growth, a government official said.

Urban and Environment deputy minister Mota Liz said housing prices in the world's most expensive city for expatriates were becoming unsustainable for ordinary citizens and that the government would build new houses to satisfy demand...

>> UK House Prices GDP Adjusted Real Trend Forecast

The UK housing bear market continues to gather momentum as the mainstream increasingly awakens to the prospects of falling house prices following house prices going negative on a year on year basis for Aprils house price data.

This analysis forms part of a series of articles that seeks to extend the current Market Oracle forecast forward for several years well beyond the current forecast for a 15% fall in nominal house prices between the August 2007 and August 2009 (as of August 2007)...

>> Buying foreign property "not a rich man's game"

You don't have to be super-rich to own your own bricks-and-mortar in Europe, South Africans are finding in France.

Ever had wistful thoughts about spending long summer evenings in your own cottage overlooking a vineyard in a Burgundian village? Or wondered about the profit potential of a trendy Parisian pad?

>> Start small to grow investments in real estate

Each time you sell your previous house, add a little money to buy a better house in a better neighbourhood.

As I was growing up, my father taught me many important lessons. Today, I will share with you one of them. He always told me to start from where I was and continually improve myself.

Start from somewhere he always said. This was especially with regard to buying real estate. His principle was buy a small property to begin with and continue moving up...

>> The time is now!

Now is the time for buyers with spare cash to invest in the buy to let market, provided they follow some tried and tested rules.

So says Mike Bester, CEO of Realty 1 International Property Group. “If you are thinking of investing in residential property, it’s probably a good idea to do it now rather than later,” says Bester. “The rental market is currently booming as a result of diminishing affordability of mortgage payments, especially in the lower income brackets, and because of the glut of stock on the market as well as the desperation of some homeowners to sell. There are bargains to be found.”

>> Tips for a quick sell

Do you want to sell your home fast in a tight market? Spruce up your kitchen and start thinking digital!

Dr Willie Marais, national president of the Institute of Estate Agents of South Africa (IEASA) says, “Many buyers are now turning to the Internet as their first source of information about homes for sale and photos and virtual tours are a must if you’re using this advertising medium. Lots of web users will not even look at listings without pictures.”

>> Pros and cons of lodgers

Rising bond costs due to higher interest rates, combined with rising food and fuel prices, are tightening the screws in many household budgets.

Many homeowners are now having to look at new ways to stretch their budgets and to meet their bond obligations in order to hang onto their properties. One option that could relieve the financial burden is to take in lodgers or rent out sections of their homes...

>> Everitt now member of elite global network

Chas Everitt International MD Berry Everitt has been recognised as an expert in international real estate.

He has been awarded the prestigious Certificate of the International Property Specialist (CIPS) designation and as a result is now a member of an elite referral network of 1600 global real estate practitioners with expertise in working with international clients as well as immigrants.

To gain the qualification, Everitt had to complete rigorous coursework devoted to learning cultural differences as well as international business practices and has also proven his achievements in concluding international real estate transactions.

The CIPS designation is awarded by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), which represents more than a million realtors in the United States and which is associated with the Institute of Estate Agents of South Africa.

The qualification not only means that Everitt is an expert in helping local clients to buy overseas property, but also that his name is on a database of certified professionals that can be searched by foreign investors looking to buy property in SA.

>> Banks are ‘standing up ‘ for borrowers

Banks have an important role to play not only in getting people into houses, but also in keeping them there, which is why they have been prepared to make some “tough calls” lately that could quite possibly lose them a substantial amount of new business.

Such calls include the controversial decision to re-introduce the deposit requirement for home loan borrowers, says Luthando Vutula, the new head of home loans at Absa, SA’s biggest mortgage lender...

>> Beware hidden defects when buying that ‘bargain’ property

Current conditions in the property market are causing some sub-standard properties to come onto the market as sellers come under pressure to discard unwise investment properties or they find themselves under cost constraints due to less disposable income.

Gerhard Kotzé, CEO of the ERA South Africa property group says that while the present market offers real opportunities for investors, buyers should be careful to avoid substandard properties...

>> Area's crime prevention measures now the determining factor in a house purchase

Capping remarks made recently by many Cape residential property marketers, Lanice Steward of Anne Porter Knight Frank has advised buyers to make certain that the area into which they hope to move does take its crime prevention seriously.

“It is regrettable,” she said, “but we have to tell people these days that if they intend to live in a middle class suburb they should check thoroughly to ensure that the area has security measures, bicycle and van patrols, armed response units and neighbourhood watch arrangements...

>> Sandton sales volumes up

THE slowdown in the national property market, partly as a result of the introduction last June of the National Credit Act , appears to have been less brutal in Johannesburg’s Sandton area in terms of sales than in most other parts of the country.

While Sandton’s average selling price dipped 8% to 12% in the first four months of the year, according to Glenn Norton, broker owner of RE/MAX Masters, unit sales have increased by the same margin, which he says is hugely underpinned by equity-supported home loans and outright cash-driven activity...

>> News from - Nationlink Property Group

Pitch to the investors, says expert

Serious home sellers should start specifically targeting investors.

That’s the advice of Roy Leigh, principal of the Nationlink office in Sandton, who says that savvy investors who have spotted the opportunities inherent in the current scenario are streaming back into the market...

>> Letters to the editor

Send in by Tim Cartwright:

Talking recently to financial journalists on the Inframax Group’s future plans, Dr Willie Els, the MD of the group, said that although a slowdown in development is now inevitable, it is not entirely unwelcome to those developers who see themselves as long-term players.

“In the last few years,” he said, “we have watched opportunist short-term developers getting away with projects that could only succeed in a boom market. Now that we are in a situation where credit is expensive and far less available, buyers are thinner on the ground. Projects have, therefore, to offer better value and will often take longer to sell – and the less competent developers will fall away.”

A slowdown in residential property development, added Inframax Director, John Weaver, will put a much-needed brake on construction costs (currently at an all-time high after rising at 20% plus per annum for three years), reduce the exorbitant price of land (recently, he said, unzoned land had been selling at the same or even higher costs of zoned land) and speed up the work of the surveyor-general, the deeds and transfer offices, all of which will help make development more viable.

The slowdown, said Els, had already led to an increase in office rentals. An associate of the group, he said, had reported that on one project it had now become possible on a R1 million unit to raise new tenant rentals by R1 000 every six months.

On retail developments, said Weaver, there could now be a swing to the system used in much of the USA which makes the tenant solely responsible (within certain design guidelines) for the entire interior fitting out of the premises. The tenant, in effect, takes over an empty shell.

“This,” said Weaver, “is particularly effective when the tenant is a major retail chain which has built up its own shopfitting teams with the necessary knowledge of the ‘specs’, the materials and the details required.”

This system, said Weaver, can reduce tenant rentals by a significant amount – and save the landlord the complicated task of trying to meet and understand complex design specifications with which he is probably not as familiar as the shopfitting specialists.

Els revealed that Inframax Developments is now turning over R250 million per annum and Inframax Investments is steadily building its property portfolio, which now has a value in excess of R150 million. This, Els says, will help iron out fluctuations on the development side.

In residential development, said Weaver, the focus at Inframax has swung from KwaZulu Natal to Gauteng where Inframax Developments is currently “going back to its roots” by becoming heavily involved in entry-level mortgage bonded housing. The company, he said, has access to much land in the areas suited to this type of project.


>> Focus on Benoni, Gauteng, South Africa

Benoni is a city on the East Rand in the South African province of Gauteng. Since 2000 it has been part of the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality.

Benoni’s inauspicious beginnings were in 1881 when then surveyor-general Johan Rissik found it difficult to assign title deeds to all unclaimed state property. He named a piece of land in the area, Government Farm Benoni (son of my sorrow), after the Hebrew name given by Rachel to her son in the biblical Book of Genesis. In September 1887, gold was discovered and the Chimes Mine was established by Cornishmen. The village became known as “Little Cornwall” for a time...

>> View Properties in Benoni
>> View Properties in Gauteng

>> Property of the week

Gauteng, Benoni, Rynfield Agric. Holdings

Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 3.5

3 Large Bedrooms all en suite, opening onto patio or balcony, all with ceiling fans. Underfloor heating in lounge and family room. Large Jacuzzi on Patio. Imported gas fireplace in lounge.

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>> BetterBond's tips to home buyers and sellers

The Importance of Curb Appeal

First impressions are critical in every area. When you put your house onto the market, a good estate agent will contact all their potential buyers that they believe may be interested in your house in order to arrange a private viewing or to advise the date of the showhouse. These potential buyers often drive past your house before the showhouse and will make a decision on whether to view based on their first impression of the outside.

So, approach your home just like that potential buyer. Drive up slowly and then park where most buyers will park their car and then study each scene. In this article, we will look at the house itself.

Create a list of everything that needs attention. Is the paint chipped or faded? If so, give it a fresh coat. If it is a little dirty, you can hire a high pressure cleaner and it won’t take long before the outside looks as good as new. If there are any visible signs of damp on the walls, rather get it repaired professionally. This can be an immediate turn-off to potential home buyers.

The roof may be one of the most important aspects of your home front. Replace any broken or missing tiles. Another area that is often overlooked is the fascia boards. If the paint is flaking, simply scrape off the loose flakes, paint on some wood primer and then use a glossy paint to finish it off. Try to avoid bold colours. I once viewed a property with turquoise fascia boards and guttering and it looked awful. Inspect the gutters and down pipes to make sure they are clean and tidy. They might be sprouting a few plants in all the debris that’s built up.

Then look at the windows – do the window frames or burglar bars need a fresh coat of paint? If the caulking around the window is breaking away in places, rather use a chisel and remove the old caulking. It is very easy to apply new caulking, allow some time for it to dry and repaint. How about the doors – could they benefit from a fresh coat of paint or varnish? Are the locks working properly? If you have brass door handles, give them a good polish. If the house’s exterior makes a bad first impression on potential buyers, they will carry that negativity inside the house with them.

Article by: Cheryl Marais – Direct Marketing Manager - Betterbond

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