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10 December 2015

The road ahead for SA property in 2016
During 2015 the South African residential property market continued to see improvement with consumers still placing a high value on homeownership. This is despite the fact that consumers experienced increases in electricity tariffs and interest rate hikes.

This is according to Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, who says while there were many prospective buyers who struggled to meet deposit requirements during 2015, those with access to finance were ready to embark on their journey towards homeownership and get into market as soon as possible.

Goslett predicts that access to finance will continue to be tough for consumers in the new year.
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Stats and tips for property transfers in KZN
Unlike in Cape Town, unnecessary delays have in general not been experienced at the Deeds Office in Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal according to Elaine Becker, Conveyancing Liaison for Seeff Dolphin Coast, who says they have come to this conclusion after analysing the statistics on the last 100 sales to be registered in their office.

“However, there were isolated cases where documents submitted were incorrect or not completed, obviously delaying the process, but these were normally rectified and the documents re-lodged,” she says.

“Informing a client of the process and the time it could take is very important.”
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Workshop for agents over 60 in Cape Town
The Institute of Estate Agents, Western Cape, will be running a workshop at their training centre in Sheldon Way, Pinelands, for those who are over 60 who still need help with compiling their Portfolios of Evidence to apply for exemption from doing their NQF4 and NQF5 qualifications or their PDEs according to Annette Evans, general manager of the Institute of Estate Agents, Western Cape, who says this workshop will also focus on preparation for the 20 minute oral examination interview.

Evans says although the deadline has technically passed, any principals or agents who are over 60 and who have not completed their qualifications training or PDE, who wish to receive exemption, are advised to get their applications in to the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) urgently.
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Buying a coastal property? Look out for this
There is much debate as to whether purchasing a holiday home is a viable investment, especially when considering the costs involved in the upkeep of a property.

However, as with any property purchase the success of the investment is largely based on the research done beforehand and how the investment is viewed by the buyer according to Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, who says a holiday home purchase can be one of the best investments that a buyer can make, provided they have a long-term view on the purchase of such property.

“If handled in the correct manner and the necessary property investment principles are adhered to, purchasing a holiday home can be seen as a vehicle in which to build wealth. The investor should view the property as a way to put money aside for their retirement, rather than leaving that money in a bank account,” says Goslett.
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New insurance requirements for ST schemes
Many in the sectional title industry are questioning whether the Community Schemes Ombud Service provided for in the CSOS Act, which was signed into law in 2011 but is still awaiting proclamation, will cope with the numbers of enquiries that come in, and whether the cases will be dealt with in the turnaround times that they have promised.

This is according to Mandi Hanekom, operations manager of the sectional title finance company Propell, who says the principle of the service is sound in that it should enable residents of sectional title schemes and homeowners’ associations (HOAs) to take their disputes to one body with the sole aim of resolving these, instead of having to use an arbitrator or the courts.

The cost for this service will be borne by owners of units valued over R500 000 and is payable monthly, but will be available to everyone to use, regardless of the value of their unit.
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Top three questions to ask your rental agent
There are benefits to using a rental agent to place tenants in a buy-to-let investment, from assisting with the vetting of prospective tenants and monthly rental collections to pre- and post-occupation inspections and property management services if they are contracted to manage the maintenance of the rental property.

However, not just any rental agent will do the job well, so how can you make sure that the rental agent you are using is the right one for you and your property?

Chris Renecle, MD of Renprop, says as with any investment decision, landlords need to carefully scrutinise the rental agent and property management company they choose to appoint.
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