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1 October 2015

Contractors urged to stop selling housing tenders
Human Settlements Minister, Lindiwe Sisulu, has urged small contractors and developers to stop selling government housing tenders to big construction companies for quick money for short-term luxuries.

“Government wants to develop you from being Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) 1 to CIDB 4. The selling of tenders to advanced contractors does not help us in developing contractors for tomorrow. We want hard workers, not those who want short-term luxuries," said Minister Sisulu on Monday, 21 September.

Minister Sisulu and Executive Mayor of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro Municipality, Danny Jordaan, met with small and medium sized contractors and developers of the metro to present a package of support to develop them.
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More South Africans applying for 100% home loans
Statistics released by national bond originator, ooba, reflect positive growth in property prices, but at a significantly slower year-on-year growth rate according to Rhys Dyer, ooba CEO, who says the Average Purchase Price in August 2015 increased by 3.4% from R982 297 in August 2014 to R1 015 766. This low single-digit growth is a marked slowdown from the double-digit growth of 11% recorded in the second quarter of 2015.

“This slowdown in housing prices is not surprising given that consumer confidence is at its lowest level in 15 years. This reflects concerns about South Africa’s future, particularly given worse-than-expected Q2 GDP figures, poor economic growth forecasts for the remainder of 2015 and rising interest rates,” says Dyer.
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Off-grid SA home hailed at UK sustainability conference
One of South Africa’s most unique off-grid homes, a model for future sustainable living, has been hailed at a global conference in the UK where a paper on its development has been named as the best piece of research.

African Energy-Plus construction: A case study of House Rhino received the Chair’s Award at the recent [Sep 17th and 18th] Sustainable Ecological Engineering Design for Society (SEEDS) international conference at Leeds Beckett University in the UK.

The study of the unique off-grid eco-home, House Rhino at Crossways Farm Village outside Port Elizabeth, was compiled by two Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) academics and presented to delegates from around the world gathered at the prestigious UK sustainability conference.
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How is a property valued? Tips for buyers and sellers
A home is often a person’s biggest financial asset, and selling it at the right price is crucial if one is to make it work to future advantage.

The challenge lies in evaluating the property’s value correctly: undervalue it and the seller loses financially, overvalue it and it won’t sell. But how does one determine the true value of a residential property?

Steven van Rooyen, Principal of Leapfrog Property Milnerton, says a property valuation is based on a number of factors.

“A professional estate agent will be able to determine the value of your property based on its size, location and by looking at what similar homes in the area are selling for. Ultimately the property is only worth what a willing buyer will pay a willing seller.”
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How long can commercial landlord hold my deposit?
A Property24 reader asks:
How long can an agent/owner hold a deposit after I have vacated a commercial property (shop in a shopping centre), where the new tenant has moved in and has already started trading?

Henno Bothma, an Associate at Abrahams & Gross Attorneys, advises:

Commercial leases differ from Residential leases, in the sense that there are not any laws specifically regulating the relationship between the parties. In the case of Residential leases, the Rental Housing Act, 1999 [Act No.50 of 1999] is applicable. Section 5(3)(m) states that the deposit, less any deductions, must be refunded within 21 days.
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Property fixtures and fittings: what goes and what stays?
Often when disputes arise between buyers and sellers, it is regarding an item of the home that was seen as a fixture, but was removed during the home sale process according to Adrian Goslett, regional director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, who says it is for this reason that the sale agreement between the two parties, otherwise referred to as the offer to purchase, needs to be clear regarding all aspects relating to the sale of the home.

Goslett says it is not uncommon for a homeowner to have installed certain items in their home that they intend to take with them when they move. Even if the item is regarded as fixture, a seller is within their rights to take the item, provided the buyer is aware of the fact and it is in agreement.
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First-time home buyer? You could get a housing subsidy
Many first-time home buyers whose salaries fall in the lower- to middle-income category are unaware that they may qualify for the government housing subsidy, Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme (FLISP), which can be used as a deposit on their new home purchased, or to pay for the legal costs of acquiring a property according to ooba CEO, Rhys Dyer, who says in line with this, ooba has joined forces with Consumer Mortgage Management (Pty) Ltd and launched a new service to assist first-time home buyers with applying for their FLISP subsidy as soon as their home loan is approved.

This could save first-time buyers thousands of rands in interest, says Dyer.
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