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31 July 2014

Cape Town seeks to deliver on housing
Since 2008 the City of Cape Town has bought land to the value of more than R378 million as part of their efforts to increase the delivery of housing opportunities.

The City sees the delivery of housing opportunities as a vital tool to enable redress, alleviate poverty and drive job creation. As such, the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape Government are currently exploring new models to increase the delivery of housing in light of the ever-increasing demand in the region.

In the current financial year, R34 million has been earmarked for land acquisition for this project, but it is becoming increasingly clear that following a business-as-usual approach will not tackle the growing housing demand.
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Property and prices in South Africa
The 2nd Quarter 2014 FNB Estate Agent Home Buying Survey showed no further improvement in the residential property market in South Africa, with estate agents far more concerned about the "lack of supply" than residential demand.

The survey indicated a quarterly decline in domestic residential property activity, with estate agents surveyed mostly from SA's major metro areas. The 2nd Quarter 2014 Residential Activity Indicator showed a decline from the previous quarter’s 6.76 to 6.33 on a scale of 1 to 10.

John Loos, Household and Property Sector Strategist at FNB Home Loans, says "this decline would appear to be slightly more than just negative seasonal factors which occur during winter, with our statistically seasonally-adjusted version of the Indicator also declining mildly from 6.47 to 6.39 over the 2 quarters". However, he says the level remains solid, firmly rooted at the upper end of the “stable” bracket, a level from 4 to 6, and not far from the “positive” bracket of 7 to 8.
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Free workshop for estate agents in CPT
The Institute of Estate Agents Western Cape are hosting another informative workshop where agents can gain CPD points for continued professional development.

Due to sponsorships from STBB, Graham Gavin and MPF Printers, it is being offered free of charge to Institute members and costs a nominal fee of R250 for visitors.

The presenter is Graham Gavin, an experienced real estate trainer and author who has been in the industry for 35 years. He will be talking to agents about generating new leads on a daily basis, realigning one’s mindset and implementing a business development system.

This is according to Annette Evans, regional general manager of the Institute, who says in addition, Nicholas Hayes of Smith Tabata Buchanan Boyes, will be speaking on the Protection of Personal Information Act and how this affects each agent, something which is topical right now.
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What if you cancel a property sale?
In tight economic times such as the present, there will always be an increase in the number of cases where a Deed of Sale is breached, which can lead to serious consequences.

This is according to Cape conveyancing attorney, Saneli Ngcobo of Gunstons Attorneys, who says typically, once the buyer and estate agent have agreed on the offer, the document on which it is made will contain a clause stipulating the day by which the bond must be granted and the initial deposit paid up.

Alternatively, if the buyer is paying cash, a date will be set on which the entire sum owed will have to be paid.
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Buying in a gated estate? Read this
Living in gated estates has become more and more popular over the years and buyers are often prepared to pay a premium for the privilege. However, there are some things that a prospective buyer needs to take into consideration in deciding whether to buy a freestanding home in a suburb, a sectional title unit in a complex or buying into a gated estate.

Karien Hunter, Founder and Director of AMC Hunter, says those buying into gated estates usually obtain full title to the land upon which the house is constructed, but there are various restrictions to such ownership, which are imposed and managed by the homeowners’ association (HOA). For example, she says plans must be approved by the HOA to ensure uniformity in architectural style before such plans are submitted to the municipality for approval, and in addition to this, there can be limitations on the vegetation that may be used in the garden such as the use of indigenous plants and trees.
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Gas compliance and safety tips
Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is a cheaper and cleaner form of energy, however, only three percent of South Africans are using this energy source. Many households tend to be nervous about it because gas that is not installed and stored properly could result in a safety hazard.

To ensure safe installation and storage, Safety Standards regulations passed in 2009 prescribe the highest levels of compliance and the need for a Certificate of Conformity for any appliance that reticulates, circulates or conveys gas. Compliance is also required for appliances modified on an owner’s property or if the appliance has had a change of user or ownership.

According to regulations, appliances, components of the installation and the distributing system need to be inspected at regular intervals not exceeding five years.
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Property owners beware spalling danger
Areas with high moisture levels, especially along South Africa’s Atlantic Seaboard and West Coast, with its relentless rainfall, sea spray and high winds, pose a threat to the structural integrity of buildings.

Water ingress can cause more than just leaking and peeling - it can lead to dangers associated with spalling.

This is according to Indawo managing director, Geoffrey Jäck, who says spalling is especially common in the Western Cape due to the high moisture in the atmosphere during the wet winter months. He says a further leading contributor to spalling is the higher salt content in the atmosphere. He says cracks in building structures can often also be attributed to corrosion of the internal steel reinforcing bars
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