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18 January 2018

Unpacking affordable housing: What SA needs
The overarching definition used by Future Cape Town, a platform in Africa promoting democracy in the future of cities, is housing units that are affordable to a section of society whose income is below the neighbourhood’s median or average household income.

“However,” says Future Cape Town Director, Rashiq Fataar, “affordable housing comprises various types of housing.”

The four affordable housing types found in government policy, local government developments and some of the national government frameworks around human settlements are: gap, transitional, social and inclusionary.
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Factors that will influence estate agents and consumers in 2018
Many of us closed off the year anxiously monitoring the ruling party's executive committee election. For the large part it's important for us to show an active interest in the direction our country is moving in, in the other sense we desire a Government that is transparent and has the best interests of its people at heart according to Richard Gray, Harcourts Africa Chief Executive Officer, who says the economy certainly experienced quite a number of dramatic shifts during 2017, and some markets were affected, be it positively or negatively.

“Harcourts for one experienced defiant growth, showing that many South Africans remain active in an uncertain economy,” says Gray.

What does 2018 hold?
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Additional water charges: What if you live in a sectional title scheme?
Still in the throes of the drought, many households in the Western Cape have had to adjust the way they use and save water, but this gets more complicated in sectional title property schemes.

Mandi Hanekom, Operations Manager at sectional title finance company, Propell, says it is not easy to implement greywater systems for multiple users and it’s also difficult to monitor water usage accurately if there are no separate water meters.

Discussions about a drought charge are underway, the implementation of which will mean that many households will have to adjust to paying an additional amount each month, which will be based on the value of the property being billed. This is in addition to the usual monthly water and sewerage charges.
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Selling your home: Are show days still relevant?
With most consumers looking online for property, many real estate professionals have stopped using open show days as a marketing tool to sell a home.

“Within the property industry, there is some debate among real estate professionals as to whether show days are still a worthwhile step in the property sales process,” says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.

“While some still see show days as an intricate and necessary part of marketing a home successfully, others feel that the marginal success rate coupled with the security risks are just not worthwhile.”

Both sides of the argument have their merits, as well as their challenges.
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How to start young and build a successful property portfolio
As a long-term investment, it makes sense to start building a property portfolio as early in life as possible, but with prices as high as they are in many parts of South Africa, getting that first foot in the door can be a daunting prospect.

“It’s a myth that you have to be old or rich to start a property investment portfolio,” says Bill Rawson, Chairman of the Rawson Property Group and a real estate investor in his own right. “Having capital available certainly makes things simpler, but there are plenty of ways young professionals with determination can kick off a property portfolio from a relatively early age.”

One of the more common ways to breach the affordability barrier for first-time purchasers, says Rawson, is to team up with friends or family and make a joint purchase.
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