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7 January 2016

Green building net zero certification by 2020
The Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA) made an ambitious commitment to introduce a Net Zero/Positive building certification scheme by 2020, and six more meaningful goals, at COP21 in Paris in early December.

A total of 25 Green Building Councils from around the world unveiled national commitments to transform the sustainability of their buildings to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and ensure that the building and construction industry plays its part in limiting global warming to 2 degrees.

Buildings currently account for around one third of global emissions. But green building is one of the most cost-effective solutions to climate change, which generates significant environmental, economic and societal benefits.
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New mall and retail prospects still plentiful in SA
Even with the sixth highest number of shopping centres of any country in the world, there are still huge opportunities for more retail centre development in South Africa.

This is the word from Gavin Tagg, Managing Director of Retail Network Services, a leading full-service retail leasing and development company. He was addressing more than 200 retail and shopping centre professionals as a guest speaker at the South African Council of Shopping Centres’ (SACSC) Gauteng Breakfast at the end of last year.

Delving into the state of South African retail, Tagg said that while there was retail saturation, and even cannibalisation, in some markets, the emerging black middle class in South Africa and growing urbanisation were driving retail demand in areas like Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga. However, he stressed the need for responsible shopping centre development and retail expansion.
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New Year's resolutions do not include paying rent on time
This time of year is synonymous with well-intended resolutions for the New Year. There is one area however, where South African behaviour declines in January, year after year.

In a recent analysis conducted by TPN Credit Bureau, statistics reveal a consistent trend. Without fail, there is a 12.5% decline in rental payment collections every January. And this is only taking into account the behaviour analytics of tenants who pay late - not those who partially pay or default on their payment entirely.

It could be argued that the public holiday on the 1st contributes to the average day that rent is paid being stretched to the 8th or 9th in January when for the remainder of the year, rent is consistently paid by the 6th or 7th.
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SA Property market ends 2015 on a strong note
Property values have continued to grow in the past 12 months, with the average home price showing a year-on-year increase of just over 5% to R971 000 at the end of November 2015 according CEO of BetterLife Home Loans, Shaun Rademeyer, who says this is reflected in their latest statistics.

“At the same time the average approved bond size has only increased by 4.6% to R804 000, which means that many buyers are now able to put down bigger deposits in order to secure their home loans,” he says. “This is especially the case in the higher price categories, where the average deposit now ranges from at least 15% to as much as 40% of the purchase price.

Our statistics show, for example, that the average deposit on homes costing R1.5 million to R2.5 million is R428 000.”
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10 Kitchen appliance trends for 2016
Kitchen trends may come and go, but one thing remains constant: the kitchen is the heart of the home according to Liam Gawne from Miele, who says whether it’s being used to prepare gourmet meals or as a gathering place for friends and family, the three Cs, colour, customisation and convenience, will define the kitchen in 2016.

Liam says appliances are a practical element that make your life easier, but today, with the introduction of technology and high design, they are also becoming key design features in any kitchen worth its salt.

Liam shares the top 10 trends influencing kitchen appliances going forward…
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5 Home selling misconceptions debunked
The procedure of selling a property can be a complicated process, even with all the advice given from well-intentioned family and friends.

Receiving advice and information from so many different sources can lead to uncertainty about certain key aspects of the sale transaction, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.

“There is a great deal of information available to consumers through a number of resources. Sometimes with all the conflicting views, it may be difficult to determine which information to take note of and which to ignore,” says Goslett.

“As a result, several misconceptions regarding the home-selling process have become commonplace in today’s property market.”
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Home renovations that make 'money sense'
Should you invest in renovations to your home in 2016 and what kind of alterations make the most financial sense? You need to avoid over-investing in a property and also know whether or not it is worthwhile to buy an older ‘fixer-upper’ home.

According to Jonathan Davies, manager of the Pam Golding Properties Hyde Park office, many homeowners and would-be residential property investors find themselves asking such questions regarding older residential properties. “The decision as to whether to invest in developing a residential property is of course entirely dependent on individual circumstances and preferences,” he says. “Building is certainly an expensive business today, and the decision as to whether to undertake extensive renovations should therefore not be taken lightly.”
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