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1 February 2018

‘Smart city’ development on the cards for Joburg and Cape Town
Looking for real estate investment opportunities around the world? The secret is to think “smart”. The term “smart city” is coming up more and more frequently in real estate and investment circles. Cities either claim to be, or are aspiring to be, smart.

Although there is no set definition for what this entails, cities that come close to achieving this ideal usually exhibit a strong degree of technological integration, environmentally-friendly policies and solutions, and an intelligent approach to town planning and the delivery of transport infrastructure.

“For these reasons, so-called smart cities around the world represent a compelling investment opportunity. They are the places where people want to live, work and play, and the well-thought-out approach to their expansion means that they will continue to flourish as they grow,” says George Radford, Director of Africa at IP Global.
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Smart homes top the wish list for Millennial buyers
While smart homes are by no means a new concept, this cutting-edge technology is still regarded by many as the domain of wealthier homeowners and tech junkies. And is seen as being well beyond the means and skills of the average householder.

However, this perception is changing quickly as strident advances are making smart home technology increasingly accessible and user-friendly.

The Smart Home Market Overview 2017, released last year, revealed that the global smart home market almost doubled between June 2016 and June 2017, and by the end of last year, the global market was estimated to be worth $14.7 billion. The statistics portal, Statista, is predicting a spike in this sector, with forecasts of a value in excess of $40 billion by 2020.
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How to build a good credit history
Nobody likes the C-word: Credit. But if you're aspiring to buy a property in the future, a good-looking credit record will improve your chances of bond approval.

But how do you build a good credit history?

Gerhard van der Linde from Seeff Pretoria East weighs in:
From a property perspective it is extremely important for modern-day consumers to keep a spotless credit background if they want to be able to enter lease agreements and to obtain a bond in order to purchase property.

According to the National Debt Advisors (NDA) website, your credit history helps credit providers judge your repayment behaviour and it also helps them to assess your affordability.
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Top home staging tips to attract buyers
Although it is not new to the real estate market, home staging has become an increasingly popular trend among homeowners who are selling their properties and want to create optimum buyer appeal.

According to Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, preparing the home for sale can have a positive impact on the on prospective buyers’ opinion of the property, and home staging is just one of the ways that sellers can do this.

He says every person who is selling their home wants it sold for the best possible price, within the shortest time frame. To achieve this, he says the home needs to be appealing to the highest possible number of potential buyers.

“Home staging is used by estate agents as one of their marketing tools to highlight a home’s best features. It is preparing the home for sale by using techniques that focus on improving the property’s appeal and transforming it into an attractive and welcoming space.”
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Five top tips for successfully renting out your property
Rentals are expected to continue to rise slowly in 2018 as the challenges of home affordability and tighter lending criteria tighten their grip, but it’s a double-edged sword as the Gauteng market will come under increasing pressure from declining disposable income levels and slower semigration to coastal areas.

“Landlords are not only facing stiffer competition in the marketplace, but also a growing risk of delinquency as consumers are squeezed further and further,” says Shaun Groves, Rental Specialist in Gauteng for Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty.

“It is therefore more important than ever to secure quality tenants and to do thorough credit checks, even for clients with high-income levels and unblemished credit ratings as the increasing debt-to-income ratio is putting pressure on consumers across the board.”
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