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22 May 2014

Home loans and buying property
Estate agents report that banks appear to be gaining confidence in lending, which is good news for all buyers, especially first-timers.

According to Pam Golding Properties (PGP) managing director for the Western Cape region, Laurie Wener, in the past few months, they have seen a noticeable return of mortgage-dependent buyers to the Cape’s residential property market.

She says after a long period in which PGP has seen concluded transactions mainly dominated by cash buyers, in late 2013 and early 2014 there has been a resurgence of buyers entering the market with bond finance required to secure their purchase. However, this has not diminished the number of cash buyers still active in some areas.

Wener notes that these mortgage-dependent buyers are mainly buying homes priced between R3 million and R8 million with a typical loan to value ratio of around 50 to 60 percent.
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Residential buy-to-let investments
Towards the end of 2011, Bill Rawson, Chairman of the Rawson Property Group, predicted that three factors would drive up rentals faster than at any time in the last few years and he has recently confirmed that this is exactly what has been happening.

Rawson says the three factors which they then identified remain relevant and, in fact, are even more pertinent today:

  1. Growing shortages of stock in all the more popular urban and suburban areas. 
  2. A serious lack of mortgage finance (something we have seen ever since the implementation of the National Credit Act).
  3. A return of buy-to-let investment in a slow but steady stream to the market. This has resulted in certain popular new sectional title developments being able to attract as many as 20 percent of their buyers from the buy-to-let fraternity.

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2014 Sapoa Convention in Cape Town
With the likes of Eusebius McKaiser, Dr Yuri Maltsev and Clem Sunter on the bill, the opening sessions of the 46th annual South African Property Owners’ Association (Sapoa) Convention and Property Exhibition in Cape Town in June is set to kick-off on a provocative note.

Sponsored by Liberty Properties, the event will take place from 10 to 12 June.

The opening sessions are expected to set the tone and stimulate the thoughts of the more than 1 000 local and international commercial and industrial property heavyweights attending South Africa’s premier annual property conference.

McKaiser is a noted Joburg-based broadcaster, columnist, political analyst, writer and lecturer.

As Master of Ceremonies at the convention, he will no doubt facilitate panel discussions with provocative questions of his own in line with the conference theme, titled “Making a difference”.
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IEA WC black estate agents training
Annette Evans, regional general manager for the Institute of Estate Agents, Western Cape, has announced this week that the Institute in the Western Cape is currently working on a training plan specifically geared towards estate agents in the Khayelitsha, Gugulethu and Langa area.

This is on the back of a recent Estate Agency Affairs Board announcement on the launch of a programme to fast-track the transformation of the property sector. The EAAB have launched a “One Learner - One Agency” programme, and the aim is to get 10 000 new entrants into the industry over a three year period.

“This may be somewhat ambitious,” says Evans. “However, those who have a tertiary education will be able to apply for exemption from the qualification and will only have to do the twelve month internship with the EAAB. Support from real estate agencies is crucial in ensuring that this worthy initiative succeeds, as these learners need to be taken in by agencies in order to provide the required mentorship and resulting workplace learning.”
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Franchising in the property market
Franchising has proved to be the ideal way for residential property marketing groups to expand their footprint nationally and recruit top performers.

This is according to Bill Rawson, Chairman of the Rawson Property Group, who says franchising is ideal for a market in which there is a growing trend towards self-employment. “Those writing the history of the property sector 10 or 20 years from now will, I believe, record that the first 15 years of the 21st Century saw a massive improvement in the way property was sold and, equally impressive, a big upgrade in the standard of those serving the industry.”
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Can I cancel my sole mandate?
A Property24 reader asks:

I have a sole mandate on my property which I wish to cancel as I have decided not to sell my property anymore. The agreement was signed on the 2 April 2014.

Please can you advise on how to cancel this and what the implications will be.

Jaco Rademeyer, from Jaco Rademeyer Estates, responds:

A mandate (instruction) need not be in writing, it can be given verbally. However, a sole mandate must be in writing.

A sole mandate (also called a sole agency) is a contract between an estate agent and a principal (seller) whereby the principal agrees, firstly, to appoint that specific estate agent to sell his property and, secondly, not to appoint another estate agent to sell his property until the period for which the sole mandate has been given has expired.
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Ins and outs of access bonds
An access bond is a type of home loan that allows borrowers who have paid extra money into their bond to withdraw it should they ever need it.

Kay Geldenhuys, manager of property finance processing at ooba, says access bonds are useful for homeowners in this way because they allow the homeowner to pay any surplus funds they have into their home loan account, secure in the knowledge that if they need the funds, they can withdraw them again.

This means that homeowners can benefit from paying interest on a smaller capital amount while the surplus funds are in the bond, but can access the money if they need it. For example, if you had a R1 million bond with a monthly repayment of R8 997 at an interest rate of nine percent, and you paid in an extra R500 each month, the saving in interest charges is R174 415 and the term of your bond would be shortened by two and a half years.
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