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30 April 2015

IEASA compiles resource file for agents
The Institute of Estate Agents of South Africa (IEASA), which operates through the management of some 80 board directors throughout the country giving their time without remuneration, has compiled a list of resources for estate agents in response to the many queries they receive on a daily basis with regards to various aspects of qualification, laws, training, legal requirements, and so forth according to Lanice Steward, IEASA national director and regional chairman of IEASA Western Cape.

“While agents need to be licenced, which is done through the Estate Agency Affairs Board Fidelity Fund Certificate, the “learning to drive” takes time, and this is where the Institute steps in,” says Steward.
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3 value-for-money Johannesburg areas
So far 2015 has been a good year for the residential property market in most urban areas, with the most common complaint among agents being the lack of stock to sell according to Bruce Swain, MD of Leapfrog Property Group, who says since January they’ve seen a 38% increase in turnover year-on-year, exceeding their expectations. A quick look at three main areas in Gauteng, namely Roodepoort, Johannesburg South and Johannesburg North-East, indicates that most of the demand is currently in the R3 million and under market, he says.

Property flying in Roodepoort
Johan van Schalkwyk, Principal of Leapfrog Roodepoort, says properties ranging from R800 000 to R1.6 million are selling quickly in this area.
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Top 10 residential estates in South Africa
Pearl Valley in Franschhoek tops the list, followed by Zimbali on the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast and Fancourt in George on the Western Cape's Garden Route.

South Africans buying property are increasingly concerned about living in a secure environment while having easy access to amenities, outdoor and sporting activities. Many estates offer more than just a safe place to live, they come with an enviable lifestyle and an attractive community living offering.

In the 2015 Estate Ratings report by New World Wealth, the top 10 residential estates have been rated for the first time. Andrew Amoils, Head of Research at New World Wealth, says the ratings criteria include value for money and resale potential; security, scenery and wildlife; quality and design of houses; space (average stand size and placing/spacing of houses); facilities (such as spa, parks, shops, schools, restaurants and bars); and activities (golf, equestrian, walking trails and fishing).
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Selling versus renting out when you move
The offer of a lucrative contract in another country or a promotion to a position in another town or city is usually cause for celebration, but can present problems if you have to move in a hurry according to Richard Gray, CEO of Harcourts Real Estate who says if you’re a homeowner, for example, you will need to decide whether to sell and be ‘free’, or whether to become a landlord and bank on having a home to come back to in a year or two that may also have appreciated in value.

He says their advice in such instances is that it is less risky to sell if you still have a large bond on the property. For one thing, the costs of operating a rental property are higher than you might expect if you have not been a landlord before, and between these and your bond repayment, there may be no profit in renting it out.
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Free Joburg workshop for sectional title trustees
Property management company, IHFM, is running a free workshop for trustees of bodies corporate and owners in sectional title schemes who want to learn more about how they should be running their scheme according to Michael Bauer, general manager of IHFM, who says the workshop will take place on Thursday, 7 May from 18h30 to 20h30 at the Swiss Club in Midrand at 31 Moerdyk Avenue, Vorna Valley.

This is part of a series of regular workshops designed by IHFM that will cover various aspects of sectional title management, he says.
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Tax deductions for homeowners
When it comes to tax deductions that a taxpayer is entitled to claim from the Receiver of Revenue, the onus is on the taxpayer to prove that a particular amount is deductible. Not only does the taxpayer have to prove that the amount is deductible, they also have to justify the claim by showing the calculation of how the amount was achieved.

This is according to Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, who says that while many homeowners qualify for tax deductions, it is not always an easy task for them to establish the amount of interest on their bond that is tax deductible.

“Even if the situation seems relatively simple, there are often complications and questions that can arise, so a homeowner needs to make sure they know what they are doing or consult a professional if they are unsure,” says Goslett.
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