Weekly Newsletter
Friday, 31 July , 2009
Property Search | Estate Agents | List your property

Edition 30 of 2009, Friday, 31 July 2009

Dear Reader

The property industry often reminds me of parenthood. Should you tell harmless lies to your children? What do you tell your children when they ask you about Santa? I believe that you don’t have to dumb things down for children to convince them. It is in order for them to have a good imagination. After all is that not what is needed in today’s real estate market, a good imagination. Let’s take two of the articles placed in today’s newsletter;

The average price of a property in South Africa increased by 1.2% year-on-year in June, according to the latest property price index. Residential property prices in South Africa show year on year rise


House prices were forecast to decline by about 3.5 percent in nominal terms this year after growing by 3.7 percent in 2008, Absa analyst Jacques du Toit said in the bank's latest housing review. Your house will be worth less by Xmas

I’m sure that you will agree with me that to understand these two articles you have to have a good imagination.

Realesteweb - Estate agents have welcomed the decision by some banks to offer bonds to the emerging market and are holding out hope for further easing of banks' stringent lending policies. Mortgage volumes are roughly half of what they were this time last year, and last year's volumes were dramatically lower than the year before - which gives an indication of the dire conditions being experienced in the residential property market. According to Ivan Neethling chairman of the Institute of Estate Agents in the Western Cape, FNB and Absa's move to offer bonds to families earning salaries of below R15 000 and R11 000 respectively shows a growing confidence in the affordable market.

Jan Kleynhans, chief executive officer of FNB Home Loans, says the bank's loan to value criteria, an aspect of lending policy, have been reviewed from 85-90% to a maximum of 95% for new customers.

Standard Bank's residential mortgage lending criteria remains unchanged and is constantly being reviewed, says Lasath Punyadeera, director of Standard Bank Home Loans Product. He says Standard Bank adopted new lending criteria in November 2008 and has not changed these since. However, these loan-to-value criteria are constantly being reviewed and could be revised in the future.

Absa says it is not relaxing its lending criteria but is looking at the clients' affordability when assessing home loan applications. Absa clients are granted up to 85% loans and non-Absa clients 70%, says Luthando Vutula, Absa Home Loans managing executive. Absa customers, therefore, pay a deposit of 15% and non-Absa customers pay 30% deposit in order to secure a home loan.

Clive van Horen, managing executive for retail secured lending at Nedbank Home Loans, says: "Nedbank is conscious of the interplay between banks' willingness to lend and property prices, and so we remain open for business but with a relatively cautious stance."

The Musina tribe discovered copper and settled here. In the 20th century European prospectors rediscovered the large copper deposits and established the town of Messina. The spelling of the name was changed to Musina in 2003 to correct the colonial-era misspelling of the name of the Musina people. Musina is situated in the lovely Limpopo Valley, close to the border to Zimbabwe. Sub-tropical climate, in the midst of game and nature reserves, this is an ultimate destination for a traveller in Southern Africa. Focus on Musina, Limpopo, South Africa

The editors


>> Real Estate news – North Africa is a safe investment

The developer behind the Tunis Sports City project, which hosted its Dubai launch on Wednesday, has claimed it is safe to invest in tourism and real estate in North Africa in the current climate.

Sports Cities International (SCI) is a subsidiary of the UAE-based Bukhatir Group. The giant US $4.9 billion (AED17.9 billion) project will be constructed across 2.6 million square metres in the Lac de Tunis area in the northern suburbs of the Tunisian capital...

>> Residential property prices in South Africa show year on year rise

The residential property market in South Africa appears to be coping with the global downturn although concerns about a rising number of foreclosures are increasing.

The average price of a property in South Africa increased by 1.2% year-on-year in June, according to the latest property price index...

>> Your house will be worth less by Xmas

Nominal house price deflation is set to continue for the rest of 2009, starting to slow down towards the end of the year, Absa said on Tuesday.

House prices were forecast to decline by about 3.5 percent in nominal terms this year after growing by 3.7 percent in 2008, Absa analyst Jacques du Toit said in the bank's latest housing review.

In real terms (where the effects of inflation have been factored in) prices were set to drop by around 10.0 percent this year, taking into account projections for consumer price inflation and nominal price growth...

>> Refuel property market, please Pravin

Property tax cuts will boost housing delivery, SARS coffers.

Tax authorities, we are told, are focusing efforts on high net worth individuals, particularly those with offshore assets in an attempt to meet South African Revenue Service (SARS) 2009-2010 targets. Stats SA reveals an alarming number of job losses amid the recession, saying this week that another 302 000 have joined the ranks of the unemployed. This in turn means increased reliance on the country's 5m registered taxpayers...

>> So you want to be a property investor?

Starting now with a residential portfolio: lessons from the pros

A few years ago, property was quite simply the sexiest dinner party conversation. Everyone, from your dominee to your domestic worker, wanted a piece of buy-to-let action as residential real estate prices chugged up rapidly...

>> Quick Sell helps homeowners avoid deadly debt spiral

Homeowners in financial difficulty should of course do everything they can to hang on to their properties, but sometimes they have no alternative but to sell and start over, and that is when they really need professional help...

>> Do not sell but rather rent out your home - this might be the right tactic now - APKF MD

There are situations in which a homeowner thinking of selling should be advised not to do so – especially if he is not in urgent need of the cash, says Lanice Steward, MD of Anne Porter Knight Frank.

“With the stock market already recovering from its low point a few months back, some are thinking of selling to invest in shares.

“While it is true that those who really understand the stock market (and the real potential for each share), tend to do well no matter what the up or downturns, for the average person...

>> Property sector: home loan criteria: Dr Willie Marais – national president, Institute of Estate Agents of South Africa

Prices set to decline for rest of the year, but banks more approachable.

FELICITY DUNCAN: There is more bad news on house prices again today - Absa says prices will be declining for the rest of the year. Dr Willie Marais, the national president for the Institute of Estate Agents of SA, is on the line here. Willie, from your side, the agents' side, you interact with a lot of banks, trying to get home loan approval. What kind of feedback are you hearing about lending criteria at the banks...

>> Call for pre-paid electricity to fund Eskom costs

Hard-pressed SA homeowners are being asked yet again to dig deep into their pockets to further finance Eskom’s expansion plans.

And while nobody really questions the need for continuity of supply that these multibillion-rand plans will bring, there is a widespread feeling that the burden of funding could be more evenly spread and therefore more moderate, says Gerhard Kotzé, CEO of the ERA South Africa...

>> Angry neighbours can topple your approved building plans

The cost of parking your car in Cape Town's central business district (CBD) is almost double that of Johannesburg, according to a survey released on Wednesday.

Colliers International's second annual parking report says monthly parking in these cities costs less than it did a year ago, but Cape Town "remains the most expensive city in the country for monthly parking"...

>> How to pick a child-friendly place to live

All parents want their children to grow up in healthy, happy surrounds where they can safely visit friends and go to the park or the shops, but it has become increasingly difficult to find such an environment.

Indeed, says Martin Schultheiss, CEO of Harcourts Africa, many parents have been led to choose homes in security estates in the past few years in the belief that these are now the only places where their children can enjoy a “normal” childhood...

>> Chas Everitt Home MakeOver - A Home Makeover with a Difference!

>> Recent court decision could have implications for anyone in property dealing

Anton du Plessis, the Chairman of the Cape Peninsula area Committee of the Institute of Estate Agents, has drawn attention to a recent Supreme Court of Appeal decision that could have far reaching implications for anyone involved in property dealing with close corporations.

The case has been fully described in Fairbridge’s Law Letter, which, said du Plessis, gives an admirable summary of what in fact happened...

>> Make sure you know where your levies go

Property owners in estates and cluster complexes should ensure that they get good value for their monthly levies – by ensuring that their homeowners’ association (HOA) has a proper constitution.

So says Berry Everitt, CEO of the Chas Everitt International property group, who notes that levies collected each month are intended for the upkeep of communal property such as gardens, recreation facilities, fences and security systems, and should be managed by an HOA set up by all the owners in that particular gated community...

>> Never underestimate the value of a parking bay, says APKF MD

When members of sectional title schemes hit a rough economic patch, they are sometimes persuaded to part with their parking bays – in perpetuity – because a bay in a satisfactory Southern Suburbs scheme can fetch anything from R60 000 to R80 000...

>> Force that @#*^!

It's possible to apply for an interdict compelling a neighbour to cut the branches of a tree that encroach onto your property, a law firm said on Tuesday.

The same rights apply to airspace over a property as to that of the ground beneath it, a partner at Shepstone and Wylie Attorneys, Sifiso Msomi, said in a statement...

>> Self storage units are an increasingly popular asset class in their own right

Self storage units have in recent years proved to be one of South Africa’s most successful asset classes, says Steven Horton, a Director of S A Self-Storage Investments (“SASSI”), the company that is currently expanding the fastest in this field in South Africa.

“From the time (2004) we launched our first self-storage facility at Edgemead in Cape Town’s Northern Suburbs we have always made a certain number of the units available to investors - and they have always responded well...

>> To the editor

The City of Johannesburg is looking at ways to finance the continues provision of public transport. One way to fund this service is to higher tax on properties where the value has risen because of the their proximity to the newly created transport infrastructure. We’ve spent R27bn on Gautrain and made some property owners very, very rich, and isn’t there an issue there?” This according to the Deputy Transport Minister Jeremy Cronin. Fair or not fair? Send your viewpoint to news@cyberprop.com

To the editor:

I think its most unreasonable for once again, the have nots, have to pay for the haves. Those persons who have benefited by the increase in their property values, due to the Gautrain, those persons should have a levy raised against them. Not persons who live 1 kilometer or more away from the stations. You are opening up a can of worms again, but just like the Rates department, they will look for any excuse to increase rates, in order to feed the ‘fat cats’

This is just another ploy for more money, so where is it going to end. Next in live, because you live near a river, or a shopping centre, or bus route, you have to pay increased rates.

I say definitely No. Get the extra money you require from the MP’S who are getting fatter on the taxpayers money.

Corrie Nel
web: www.rosedeubler.co.za

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


>> In the area...

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

  • Houtbay
  • Killarney
  • Upper Claremont
>> In the area 1 – Houtbay


Further facts have recently come to the surface regarding the future of Hout Bay’s iconic Sentinel mountain. The present owners had planned to sell it off, but their auction, in the Chapman’s Peak Hotel was disrupted by protestors from the Hangberg community. Now it has been revealed that there is a 60 000m² piece of land on the Sentinel which lies between the plot to be auctioned and the Hangberg community below it. his was privately owned until recently, when Gerald Romanovsky of Greeff Properties’ new Hout Bay branch concluded the sale of this land to the Parks Board for R800 000.

>> In the area 2 – Killarney

New generation of buyers for Killarney

Killarney in Johannesburg is reinventing itself and, in the process, holding its own in the recessionary climate.

Aadil Moola, co-owner of the new Aida franchise in the suburb says Killarney has shaken off its rather staid image and is being reinvented as a trendy address for young buyers and students. Killarney borders affluent suburbs such as Houghton, Norwood and Parkhurst, and offers mostly high-rise sectional title apartments...

>> In the area 3 – Upper Claremont


Less than three months after teaming up to work together in Rawson Properties Newlands franchise, long-serving Rawson agent, Lynne Longworth (formerly in Rosebank) and Julie Millar, an experienced agent in the area, have made it into the top 20 agents in the Rawson Group which has 800 agents operating nationwide...

>> Focus on Musina, Limpopo, South Africa

This is the most northernly town in South Afica close to the main border post to Zimbabwe and the rest of Africa. The rich copper deposits in the norhtern countryside of the region ultimately led to the founding and growth of the busy town of Musina.

In prehistoric times, black miners of the Musina tribe discovered the mineral and it was rediscovered by 20th Century prospectors...

>> View Properties in Limpopo
>> View Properties in Musina

>> Property of the week

Limpopo, Musina

A dormant copper mine in Limpopo. The present owner is selling broken material for road works only. Mining license in place. 2007 May assay proves plus minus $1 Billion copper in 2 very large dumps. Full equipment list available. Leaching plant needed. Approximately 800 meters from loading station. Has power availability for extra plant if needed.

Search for property in your area

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>> Tweeting tenant sued

A Chicago real estate management company is suing a former tenant for defamation for complaining on Twitter about mold in her apartment.

Horizon Group Management filed the lawsuit against Amanda Bonnen, the former tenant, on Monday in Cook County Circuit Court and is seeking at least US$50 000 in damages.

Horizon, in its suit, said that on 12 May, Bonnen wrote a 'false and defamatory' message on the micro-blogging service.

"Who said sleeping in a moldy apartment was bad for you? Horizon realty thinks it's okay," said the 'tweet' sent from Bonnen's since-discontinued account at @abonnen.

Horizon said the statement was 'wholly false' and had 'greatly injured' its reputation as a landlord in Chicago.

The filing of the lawsuit was first reported by the Chicago Sun-Times.


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