About Me

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I am a qualified Attorney. I specialise in Property Law, Commercial Law, Corporate Law and Trusts.
 
Please visit our website at www.prop-law.co.za for more details.
 
I am an elected Committee Member of the Property Committee of the Association of Pretoria Attorneys and through my involvement, I like to ensure that I am constantly at the "sharp-end" of Conveyancing Practice.

I am the elected Chairman on the Gauteng Council of SAPOA. The South African Property Owners Association (SAPOA) is the biggest and most influential institution in the property industry. SAPOA members control about 90% of commercial property in SA, with a combined portfolio in excess of R150 Billion (about $22 Billion). I am also on the National Council and the National Legal Committee of SAPOA.
 
Member of the Institute of Directors South Africa.

23 May 2011

CSTM suspected of “criminal wrongdoing” - EAAB - Special investigations | Moneyweb

CSTM suspected of “criminal wrongdoing” - EAAB - Special investigations | Moneyweb

The offices of Constantia Sectional Title Management (CSTM) in Roodepoort, Johannesburg were again raided on Friday by the Estate Agency Affairs Board’s (EAAB) inspectors assisted by the police. Gareth Shepperson

20 May 2011

Sandton skyline dominates property development awards

Sandton skyline dominates property development awards

The South African Property Owners Association (SAPOA) Innovative Excellence in Property Development Awards 2011, sponsored by Nedbank Corporate Property Finance, has awarded five of the nine award-winning property developments to properties located in Sandton, proving it to be the centre of innovative property development and design in South Africa.

Office Cycle upswing in the wings?

This article is from the Newsletter that I receive from eprop.co.za

In general the amount of new development has come down or at least remained quite steady and the ratio of unlet space has remained fairly flat as shown in the first graph below. Over the past five quarters the ratio has come down quite noticeably for Durban and has broadly been flat for Cape Town, Pretoria and Johannesburg . The prognosis is that most markets are in line to experience balanced supply evidenced by lower new supply and a tapering off of vacancy rates on existing stock. This bodes well for perfomance into the medium term.

As per the second graph, the ratio of new development to total market stock shows a slight increase for Cape Town and Joburg. The highest ratio remains PE now approaching 12 percent with Pretoria at under 6 percent albeit having come down from over 12 percent 18 months previously. It is important to note that the OVS tracks committed new developments as opposed to planned/speculative schemes; that being said completed office developments in Durban was quite buoyant in 2010 and yet the ratio shown here does not reflect this. As such careful research is required to assess whether supply is taking place in other Durban nodes and if any risks exist to the take-up outlook.

If properly managed, SA's developmental challenges could well become a blessing in disguise, offering focus to delivery agents and hope to millions of people. Let's each play our part, no matter how big or small.



 

Gareth Shepperson


 

19 May 2011

Realestateweb - Generation x leads property recovery - Property talk - South Africa's fastest-growing property website

Realestateweb - Generation x leads property recovery - Property talk - South Africa's fastest-growing property website

A report by an American company, John Burns Real Estate Consulting, revealed that of the 10 000 buyers and potential buyers they surveyed in 27 metro areas throughout the US, between 85% and 89% said that they felt now was a good time to buy a home and most felt optimistic about a new home purchase.

17 May 2011

Realestateweb - Gloves off as Trafalgar takes on the city of Tshwane - Residential - South Africa's fastest-growing property website

Realestateweb - Gloves off as Trafalgar takes on the city of Tshwane - Residential - South Africa's fastest-growing property website

Trafalgar Property Management is taking its six-year long battle with the Tshwane Metropolitan Council back to court after the council failed to comply with a court order against it. Attorney Dewald de Beer says his client will apply to have the matter placed on the unopposed court roll after the city failed to meet the 15-day deadline to file an opposing affidavit. This was after the council indicated it was going to oppose an application to have the Tshwane Metro declared in contempt of court.

The application was lodged after the city apparently failed to comply with a court order. The dispute first arose in 2005 when Trafalgar discovered that around 30 body corporates under its management in Pretoria were being billed for individual owner's arrear electricity accounts. These are the accounts for which body corporates are not legally liable for under South African law. Trafalgar says the discrepancy was immediately reported to the Metro which gave the assurance it would correct the accounts. However, this was in vain. "...No action was taken and month after month Trafalgar clients continued to be billed not just for the same arrear accounts, but for additional charges accrued including final demands, final cut offs and interest." A statement says the bodies corporate involved soon accrued debts running into hundreds of thousands of rands.

To add insult to injury, the council then began disconnecting services almost on a monthly basis. This was not done to single units deemed to be in arrears, but to entire blocks and sectional title complexes.

Gareth Shepperson

16 May 2011

Outrage at CIPC, Cipro`s replacement`s website - Special investigations | Moneyweb

Outrage at CIPC, Cipro`s replacement`s website - Special investigations | Moneyweb

We have experienced the exact same issues with CIPC. It also took us 45 minutes "on hold" to get through to the call centre who basically advised that we should be patient it is being attended to. Ou e-mails to CIPC have met with zero response and appear to be an utter waste of time.

Gareth Shepperson

South Africa most transparent real estate market out of BRICS nations - South Africa | Moneyweb

South Africa most transparent real estate market out of BRICS nations - South Africa | Moneyweb

According to Jones Lang LaSalle’s Global Foresight research paper on local real estate, factors that contribute to South Africa’s high transparency ranking include robust listed vehicle governance, strong auditing and reporting standards, a highly-developed legal system, the fairness and efficiency of the regulatory framework relating to real estate taxation, planning and building codes, enforceability of contracts and title, and a strong tradition of property rights.

11 May 2011

Buffett’s folly - Soapbox | Moneyweb

Buffett’s folly - Soapbox | Moneyweb

10 May 2011

Absa House Price Index: Jacques du Toit - sectoral analyst, Absa Retail Bank - SAfm Market update | Moneyweb

Absa House Price Index: Jacques du Toit - sectoral analyst, Absa Retail Bank - SAfm Market update | Moneyweb

This is an extract of a radio interview on SAfm with Jacques du Toit a senior property analyst at ABSA Bank Home Loans.

The interview took place on release of the ABSA House Price Index for April.

Gareth Shepperson

Realestateweb - Why I sold Picvest - accounting boss - Investment insights - South Africa's fastest-growing property website

Realestateweb - Why I sold Picvest - accounting boss - Investment insights - South Africa's fastest-growing property website

PKF accountant Cobus Kritzinger has supplemented his income by selling shares and debentures in property syndication company Picvest (formerly PIC Syndications).

Kritzinger is managing director of PKF's Bloemfontein branch and also a director of PKF South Africa.

Gareth Shepperson

09 May 2011

Barclays Plc to move Africa headquarters in Dubai to Joburg - Financial | Moneyweb

Barclays Plc to move Africa headquarters in Dubai to Joburg - Financial | Moneyweb

Barclays Africa headquarters was based in South Africa until 2006 when it was moved to the Gulf Arab emirate.

The latest move follows the recent decision by Barclays and its majority-owned Absa (JSE:ASA) Group to combine their operations, the source said. Barclays bought a 56.4 percent stake in Absa in 2005.

Gareth Shepperson

WMP has over R16m short fall - Liquidator - Property | Moneyweb

WMP has over R16m short fall - Liquidator - Property | Moneyweb

A liquidator's report indicates that Wendy Machanik Properties (WMP) has a shortfall of more than R16 million, The Star reported on Monday.

The report estimates the shortfall from preliminary investigations and has been sent to estate agents who worked for the agency.

Gareth Shepperson

06 May 2011

Realestateweb - South African property market corrections - Property talk - South Africa's fastest-growing property website

Realestateweb - South African property market corrections - Property talk - South Africa's fastest-growing property website

South Africa is experiencing a property market correction. The question is whether it is or has been on the same scale as has been experienced in the USA during the last 3 years. The American dream has in some states unfortunately changed into an American nightmare.

Gareth Shepperson

05 May 2011

Realestateweb - Real estate giant Capital & Counties issues new shares - Listed - South Africa's fastest-growing property website

Realestateweb - Real estate giant Capital & Counties issues new shares - Listed - South Africa's fastest-growing property website

JSE listed Capital and Counties Properties PLC (Capco) has issued new shares worth more than R18.6m. The placing price will be determined through an accelerated bookbuild launched on May 5 2011. A third of the company's shareholders are South African.

A company statement says the proceeds will predominantly be used to fund acquisitions at Covent Garden and for ongoing repositioning of assets at its central London estate. Capco says it has identified a number of potential acquisitions of various sizes that the board believes will become available in coming months.

Capco is a non-mining rand hedge on the JSE with its asset base in and around the London city centre. It's been responsible for the revamping of the historic Covent Garden on the eastern fringes of the West End and areas of the populous Earls Court district.

Covent Garden reportedly hosted foot traffic of 45m last year alone. It has mainly been associated with the former fruit and vegetable market located in the central square which is now a popular shopping and tourist site. Capco has concentrated its efforts on rejuvenating both Covent Garden and Earls Court and has its sights set on peripheral properties for refurbishment and development.

The company's ultimate aim is to improve rental levels at Covent Garden with the board seeing ongoing repositioning of assets at its estate.

Realestateweb - Seeff tries to rescue Golf & Leisure - Listed - South Africa's fastest-growing property website

Realestateweb - Seeff tries to rescue Golf & Leisure - Listed - South Africa's fastest-growing property website

Due to the fact that I have already been consulted by one of the Fractional Companies involved in this whole disaster, I have been following and continue to follow developments closely. My Client appears to be one of the few lucky ones (at this stage) but investigations continue.

Gareth Shepperson

Africa’s growth beats global average - World Economic Forum | Moneyweb

Africa’s growth beats global average - World Economic Forum | Moneyweb

I guess the words of the Shakira FIFA World Cup song come to mind "It's time for Africa!"

The World Economic Forum’s Africa summit opened on Wednesday with the launch of the Africa Competitiveness Report, 2011. The report, the third produced so far, takes stock of Africa’s competitiveness in relation to other regional economic hubs.

Realestateweb - Financial wizardry in R3.5bn property scheme - Investment insights - South Africa's fastest-growing property website

Realestateweb - Financial wizardry in R3.5bn property scheme - Investment insights - South Africa's fastest-growing property website

A picture of financial wizardry is emerging at Picvest (formerly PIC Syndications), one of the country’s biggest property investment schemes. Despite assurances that investors’ assets are rock solid, there is no proof provided to back up these claims.

Please also see my previous Blog postings on this topic.

Gareth Shepperson

04 May 2011

Home loans advances still sluggish

The growth in home loans advances remained sluggish but the total value of outstanding credit balances in the country’s household sector increased by 7,4% year-on-year (y/y) to R1 127,8-billion according to figures released by the South African Reserve Bank yesterday.


The number of new home loans being granted will remain sluggish for the rest of this year as consumers battle to afford or qualify for finance.
Total household credit comprises instalment sales agreements, leasing finance, mortgage advances, overdrafts, credit card debt and general loans and advances.

According to Jacques du Toit, senior property analyst at Absa Home Loans, the growth in the total value of outstanding mortgage balances – both for commercial and residential bonds – dropped by 2,9% y/y.

“It was the lowest year-on-year growth on record since 1966,” says Du Toit. “On a monthly basis, total mortgage balances were down by R1,6-billion or 0,2%,” he adds.

“The mortgage balances in the corporate sector comprise about 26,5% of the total market value of R1 046-billion and showed that in this sector, mortgage finance recorded growth of just 2,9% y/y in March, a record low,” he says.

Du Toit points out that mortgage balances in the household sector – largely related to residential properties – recorded growth of 4,3% y/y, up from 4,1% in February. The value of the bonds was R4,5-billion.

“Despite the fact that interest rates are at their lowest level in 35 years, the housing market is still experiencing relatively tough conditions. These are driven by various factors that impact on the consumers’ ability to afford housing and qualify for a mortgage bond,” says Du Toit.

He says there are still high levels of debt in relation to household income and a large percentage of consumers have impaired credit records. “Rising transport costs, higher food prices also contribute to the inability of consumers to qualify for mortgage finance,” says Du Toit.

He forecast that growth in mortgage advances as a component of household credit will record single-digit growth for the coming year.

Death of the salesmen - Money Matters | Moneyweb

Death of the salesmen - Money Matters | Moneyweb

Thousands of investors have been severely affected by the recent collapse of various property syndications around South Africa. Whenever something like this happens, people always want to know how this could have happened and who is responsible.

See some of my previous posts on Picvest and Sharemax.

Gareth Shepperson

Rebosis offers black exposure in property - Property | Moneyweb

Rebosis offers black exposure in property - Property | Moneyweb

Rebosis, built up from scratch by CEO Sisa Ngebulana (pictured above), offers as unique selling points a large exposure to the rising black-middle class through strategically located retail developments.

Realestateweb - Increase in first time home buyers - Residential - South Africa's fastest-growing property website

Realestateweb - Increase in first time home buyers - Residential - South Africa's fastest-growing property website

The FNB House Price Index (HPI) for April has shown a significant increase in the number of first time buyers between the 2nd quarter of 2010 and the first quarter of 2011. According to the index, first time buyers as a percentage of total buyers rose to 22% from 17% over the past four quarters.

03 May 2011

FNB house price index grows 2,2%

The FNB house price index has recorded 2,2% growth year on year (y/y) in April from the revised 1,2% in March.

The bank said this was the second successive month of mild acceleration in y/y house price growth, triggered by the lagged result of interest rate cuts by the Reserve Bank late in 2010.

"Those rate cuts caused a mild uptick in residential demand which may have been more than just the usual summer seasonal factors," said FNB property strategist John Loos.

In real terms, however, adjusted for consumer price inflation, the y/y decline continued to the tune of -2,8% in March.

"However, the FNB valuers' market strength index suggests that our valuers have started to see further deterioration in the strength of demand versus supply during April, after some small signs of stabilisation in preceding months of 2011. This weakening in the market balance is the combined result of a further strengthening in the supply of residential stock on the market during the month, along with a weakening in demand, according to the valuers' combined opinion," he said.

"The contrast between the valuers' combined opinion and a slight acceleration in year-on-year price growth suggests that we should not expect too much from the slight rise in price growth. What is probably being reflected in the recent house price trend is the mild residential demand improvement late in 2010, which was the result of two late-2010 interest rate cuts.

"However, the last rate cut was five-and-a-half months ago in November, and it is likely that the impact is starting to wear thin," he said. - I-NetBridge

Conveyancers slam Sars' transfer duty e-filing : Property News from IOLProperty

Conveyancers slam Sars' transfer duty e-filing : Property News from IOLProperty

Criticism about the functionality of the new property transfer duty e-filing system introduced by the SA Revenue Service (Sars) last month has escalated.

The Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) on Friday added its voice to complaints that serious problems were being experienced by conveyancers with the new system.

Adrian Lackay, a spokesman for Sars, earlier last week denied there were any problems with the new system and maintained it was working normally.

I don't know who Adrian Lackay is BUT I would like to tell him that the system has several faults and that the staff at the SARS call centre are TOTALLY UNTRAINED in its use!

Why would you actually pay someone whose only ability/skill is to give you a reference number and tell you that a consultant will revert to you????

Why would these staff tel you that a consultant will contact you within 48 hours when they have no intention of doing so????

Why when a consultant eventually contacts you would a technical guy contact you, only to admit that he can only answer IT questions and actually has ABSOLUTELY NO KNOWLEDGE of Transfer Duty regulations????

Why would they then suggest that you take up the matter with the local SARS office when the office is is Cape Town and you are in Pretoria????

Why when you eventually get through to the local SARS office do they tell you that they can't take calls from the public and refer you back to the call centre ... WHICH WAS WHERE YOU STARTED????

Why would you have an e-mail help service that is incapable of even acknowledging receipt of your query????

Why would SARS give a damn???

Gareth Shepperson

What’s happening with property? - Property | Moneyweb

What’s happening with property? - Property | Moneyweb

Property funds and property stocks listed on the JSE have shown outstanding growth over the past few years. And this with substantially less volatility than the current boomer: mining and resources

Realestateweb - Affordable housing in demand - Residential - South Africa's fastest-growing property website

Realestateweb - Affordable housing in demand - Residential - South Africa's fastest-growing property website

Demand for affordable housing in South Africa far outweighs affordable housing stock, particularly for properties with values below R200 000, where potential demand is in the millions.

South Africa vs the world - The Burning Question | Moneyweb

South Africa vs the world - The Burning Question | Moneyweb

At the end of 2010, South Africa was formally inducted into the group after some intense lobbying, and the group became, officially, BRICS. This inclusion promises to give South Africa a prominent spot in world economic debates, and to put it firmly into global league tables. The question is, how does South Africa stack up against its BRICS and emerging market peers, and against the rest of the world?

29 April 2011

Ivan Who?, at $9bn, SA`s wealthiest by far - Money Meandering | Moneyweb

Ivan Who?, at $9bn, SA`s wealthiest by far - Money Meandering | Moneyweb

It’s not only to his countrymen that right now he’s Ivan Who? In Monaco or Mayfair, he is able to dine or dance without gawkers pointing. Not for much longer, though. Because 53-year old Ivan Glasenberg is hitting the front pages. He is the poster boy for the company he runs, Swiss-based Glencore which, at $60-billion, is about to become the London Stock Exchange biggest ever listing.

Very Nice ...!

28 April 2011

Realestateweb - Inside Sharemax Zambezi`s compromise - Investment insights - South Africa's fastest-growing property website

Realestateweb - Inside Sharemax Zambezi`s compromise - Investment insights - South Africa's fastest-growing property website

Realestateweb - Private, public partnerships the key to addressing the housing backlog? - Listed - South Africa's fastest-growing property website

Realestateweb - Private, public partnerships the key to addressing the housing backlog? - Listed - South Africa's fastest-growing property website