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22 December 2016

Significant shifts in subdued Johannesburg rental market
Numerous economic and geographic dynamics have created a year-on-year downturn in Johannesburg’s property rental market in 2016, taking its toll on the province’s economy and precipitating notable market shifts.

The major causes of the slump in earnings derived from investment properties have been spiralling consumer inflation resulting in ever-shrinking household budgets, a gloomy national economic outlook, and the highest unemployment levels in more than a decade, exacerbated by unabated semigration to the Western Cape.

This is according to Shaun Groves, Gauteng Rental Manager for Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty, who says the most notable market adjustment has been the abrupt about-turn in consumer property preferences, with a sharp decline in demand for homes that previously enjoyed centre stage and offered the best returns.
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Is your holiday house properly insured?
You may think if you’ll be staying in your holiday home - why worry about insurance? If you’re going to be around, it should be perfectly safe. Unfortunately, this time of year can mean criminals are taking bigger risks hoping for bigger rewards, so it is better to be safe than sorry.

“Many of us end up taking our bicycles or sporting equipment with us on holiday, not to mention our favourite clothing, accessories and any presents that come along. These are all costly to replace,” says Bertus Visser, Chief Executive of Distribution at PSG Insure. “Imagine if you go out for dinner with your family one evening and come home to find your holiday house has been broken into and goods stolen, or if an accident should happen and the entire house is flooded, with lots of damages. Without sufficient insurance, it will really be a situation like the Grinch stealing Christmas.”
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South Africa's coastal hotspots for property investors
Semigration and the cost of overseas travel have boosted sales in SA’s coastal towns and cities in recent times.

“And the Chas Everitt International offices in these areas are expecting the pace of this activity to increase even more over the forthcoming holiday season as upcountry visitors take the opportunity to view what is available and do some ‘comparative shopping’,” says Charlene Barnard, franchise manager in Knysna.

“We are expecting this summer season to be even better than the last one, when we signed up a record number of deals. In our area, apartments and townhouses currently dominate sales, but at least half are now being bought for own use rather than as buy-to-let investments, and many buyers are seeking to relocate on a permanent basis.”.
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Six saving and budgeting tips for new homeowners
Buying a home is one of the most important decisions in life. However, before you can really say “I’m home”, you’ll have honour a number of responsibilities, starting with repaying your home loan instalments every month.

“If you don’t, the consequences could be severe, because if you miss one month’s instalment, you will have to pay double the following month with added interest,” says Andrew van der Hoven, Head of Home Loans at Standard Bank.

“In fact, regularly missing your instalments could even extend your bond by a number of years, meaning more time dealing with the associated financial stress than enjoying the asset you worked so hard for.”
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Up your property value: Four easy-on-the-pocket DIY projects
For the majority of people, buying property is the largest financial commitment they will ever make, and it is also a long-term one considering that homeowners will often only realise returns on their investment after five years or more.

According to Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, a home’s investment potential and the time it takes to realise a growth in value depends on several aspects such as market conditions during the period that the property was bought and sold, the home’s location, and the size and type of property. However, homeowners also have a vital part to play in ensuring that the home is well-maintained and kept in a good condition.

“Knowing that it is such a large financial investment, it would make sense for homeowners to consistently maintain and improve their home to ensure that the investment is protected and grows in value.
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