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Property 24/10 - 86

24 November 2011

5 tips for buying a holiday property
Many South Africans will soon head off to one of the country’s holiday spots and while away may consider purchasing a second home. But how can buyers ensure their investment is a good one?

Now that the South African property market is slowly moving past the effects of the recession, it is anticipated that demand for leisure properties will slowly increase, says Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.

However, he adds that it should be remembered that the leisure property market always lags behind the property cycle by about a year to 18 months. Therefore, he says while noteworthy recovery is not expected in this sector for some time to come, there are currently great leisure investment opportunities available to buyers.

Goslett says that South Africa’s reintroduction to the global economy post 1994 elections gave the country an opportunity to showcase its investment opportunities to the world. More than ten years on, during the height of the property boom from around 2005 to 2007, luxury leisure and lifestyle properties gained popularity with both local and international buyers.
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SA tenants battle to pay rentals
Tenants renting properties priced at less than R3 000 and more than R12 000 per month are reportedly hit by inflation and the high cost of borrowing.

According to the latest Tenant Profile Network (TPN) Rental Payment Monitor Q3 2011, for the second quarter in succession, tenants paying monthly rentals of less than R3 000 fared worse versus the national average of tenants in good standing.

In the third quarter, tenants in good standing accounted for 73 percent, 57 percent paid rent on time, 16 percent paid late, 10 percent did not pay their rent.

Michelle Dickens, managing director of TPN says these tenants are affected most by inflation.

“The significant decline in this rental value bracket should be viewed as a conspicuous indicator that raises a flag for investors to consider.”
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Plans to improve Joburg billing woes
The City of Johannesburg aims to improve the accuracy of its billing system and its customer service over the next few years.

City of Johannesburg manager Trevor Fowler launched a Revenue and Billing Roadmap, which will see the city addressing its current service levels and moving to higher levels of service over a 19 month period.

The main objectives of this initiative include improving the accuracy of billing and customer data integrity, enhancement of the city’s customer engagement model, to ensure better responsiveness, the eradication of property change-of-ownership backlogs and the implementation of a standard of service charter for our customers within the first phase of three months,” he said on Tuesday.

“A 19-month time frame was realistic for the implementation of a complete customer and citizen friendly model as well as service standards.” Fowler said. 
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Property bequests - don't be ignorant
Property bequests in deceased estates quite often run into legal snags because of ignorance or a misunderstanding of the relevant legislation.

According to Lanice Steward, managing director of the Cape Peninsula estate agency, Anne Porter Knight Frank, this happens not because the people involved are dishonest, they just lack the understanding of the laws governing such properties.

Steward refers to High Court judgment that had been given countrywide exposure by the attorneys Smith Tabata Buchanan Boyes who published it in their online newsletter.

In this case the sale of a property in a deceased estate to an innocent purchaser was nullified because the executor did not consult with the beneficiaries (as is required by law).
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Patchy recovery for listed property
With investor demand being hampered by enduring economic challenges and stalled global growth, Auction Alliance is predicting a gradual and patchy recovery for the local commercial property sector over coming months, with certain segments expected to perform better than others.

The values of both residential and commercial real estate assets in SA are expected to fall by a further 10% over the next 12 months according to Auction Alliance.

The auctioneer warned investors considering ploughing their money into property to be thorough when carrying out due diligence.
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Codesa calls for land reform
Land reform in SA has not been handled properly and a change in approach is needed, said the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform.

Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Gugile Nkwinti said this approach would not include land grabs, although it would include precarious tenure for foreigners.

He told a riled up Black Management Forum annual conference on Thursday in Midrand, Gauteng that the process would not mean freehold policies being changed on purchases of private land to something less secure.

The conference had just heard from Professor Shadrack Gutto from Unisa and socio-political activist Andile Mngxitama, who both highlighted the failure so far in transferring land to the majority.
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