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Showing posts from November, 2011

Makro`s distribution centre to be expanded

Makro`s distribution centre to be expanded Investec Property on Tuesday said it had secured the development rights for Makro's distribution centre in Midrand, north of Johannesburg. The distribution centre is to undergo a massive refurbishment and development that will see the existing premises expand from approximately 16,000 square metres to 27,000 square metres. Investec Property is a division of Investec Bank (INP, INL) and one of SA's leading property operations. Makro, which operates within Massmart's (MSM) Masswarehouse division, required an expanded facility for its central distribution centre, ideally without having to relocate, as well as being able to keep the facility fully operational during the construction period. Investec Property, through its relationship and engagement with the tenant and the existing owner of the property were able to provide a creative and entrepreneurial solution to meet the client's exact needs, it said. The current distribu

Where to for property in 2012?

Where to for property in 2012? No one could claim that the South African property market has done well in 2011. Sellers are finding that their estimated prices need to be lowered; buyers are eager but struggle to buy with banks hesitant to approve home loans. The result is that the market suffers and speculation is rife as to how long this downturn will last. While the debate is relevant it is only so in the short term. This is because property really is a long term investment and seen from this perspective the current market down-turn takes on a different level of importance. One mustn't forget that for most South African households owning a home equates to a good investment and stability which in the long term is not overly affected by the international drama. Consumers being transferred or being in need of up or downgrading or all the other good reasons for buying or selling, can do so under any market conditions. For the run of the mill property owner life goes on, for the

Best-of-the-best in SA shopping centres revealed at the Spectrum Awards

Best-of-the-best in SA shopping centres revealed at the Spectrum Awards Mall of the North in Polokwane, Canal Walk Shopping Centre in Cape Town, Cape Union Mart Adventure Centre at Canal Walk and Supercare Cleaning Services at Paarl Mall have all claimed top honours at the annual South African shopping centre industry awards. The Spectrum Awards recognise excellence, innovation and service across four categories which underpin the retail centre sector in South Africa. An initiative of the South African Council of Shopping Centres (SACSC), finalists for the Spectrum Awards comprise winners of the regional Special Star Retailer and Service Provider Awards, the Footprint Marketing Awards and the Retail Design and Development Awards (RDDA). Retail plays a vital role in the SA economy and shopping centres are at the heart of this significant economic activity. Furthering excellence in retail is of wide benefit and represents vast positive outcomes for consumers, retailers, shopping cent

Liberty Properties to expand into east and west Africa

Liberty Properties to expand into east and west Africa - Property Moneyweb Follows the successful launch of a $200m mall in Lusaka. The property arm of JSE-listed Liberty Holdings (JSE:LBH) says the entity is looking to east and west Africa as possible destinations for development. Liberty Properties successfully launched a mixed use development comprising a 30 000m² upmarket mall, a 10 000m² office park and budget hotel in the Zambian capital, Lusaka, earlier this week. The Levy shopping centre is named after former Zambian president Levy Mwanawasa. Liberty Properties’ CEO Samuel Ogbu says the company hopes to launch a project in west Africa within the first half of 2012. Ogbu said after the Zambian launch: “We’re looking at west Africa , we’re looking at east Africa. We’re looking at doing another one of these projects in Zambia, possibly in the copper belt. It doesn’t’ make sense just to do one. Zambia has been identified as one of the growth areas and we are also under pressur

What your rights are with 'prescribed debt'

What your rights are with 'prescribed debt' Is a debt collector hounding you via letter, e-mail or SMS to pay a very old debt you can barely recall? If so, you need to get clued up on the term "prescribed debt". In short, according to the Prescription Act, if in the past three years you have not made any payment towards settling a debt, acknowledged owing the debt in any way - including over the phone, agreed to pay it or been summonsed in respect of it, it has prescribed, and you can raise this as a defence when asked to pay it. This excludes mortgage debt, taxes and any staterelated debt such as a television licence. But here's the thing: it is perfectly legal for a debt collector or attorney to demand payment from a debtor for a prescribed debt, and if you succumb to the pressure and pay it, you can't raise the defence of prescription afterwards. In other words, if you don't realise the debt you're being asked to pay has prescribed, and you pa

'Will the Consumer Protection Act make the voetstoots clause redundant?'

'Will the Consumer Protection Act make the voetstoots clause redundant?' With the Consumer Protection Act now making it even more essential that the seller of a home declare openly any defects of which he is aware, it has been said by some estate agents that the voetstoots clause is now becoming redundant - the repair of almost any defect in the home discovered after the transfer of the property can, it has been said, now be claimed for. Not so, says Anton du Plessis, CEO of the Cape Peninsula central southern suburb estate agency, Vineyard Estates. Quoting a recent High Court case (Banda and Another vs van der Spuy and Another), du Plessis said this reinforced the voetstoots principle that, if the seller was not aware of the defect, he cannot after the sale be held responsible for it. "In the case referred to," said du Plessis, "the van der Spuys sold their home to a Mr Banda. About one year prior to the sale, severe storms had damaged the roof and caused l

The secret to Vukile’s success

Cost management the secret to Vukile’s success Property Fund plans on growing fund more aggressively. Vukile Property Fund CEO, Laurence Rapp, says the company’s recent performance of net rental growth can largely be attributed to cost management generally and lowering the cost of funding. The company on Monday reported a 7.5% increase in its interim distribution to 54.31 cents per linked unit. It says plans are underway to grow the fund more aggressively. This will include seeking opportunities in the Western Cape. Rapp says in Namibia Vukile’s properties in Rundu and Katima Mulilo are performing exceptionally well and now constitute 7% of the JSE-listed company’s portfolio. The announced acquisition of 20 properties from Sanlam forms part of Vukile’s growth path and will add around R1.5bn or 25% to the value of its portfolio. Rapp says while it remains committed to being a diversified fund, the emphasis will be on retail. “To this end, we are exploring acquisitions of retail c

Bishopscourt mansion a bargain at R98m

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Bishopscourt mansion a bargain at R98m The price includes imported interlined silk curtaining worth R5m. JOHANNESBURG – A sprawling 3 500m² mansion in Cape Town’s exclusive Bishopscourt suburb has gone onto the market with the asking price set at a cool R98m. The price includes imported silk interlined curtaining worth R5m and some of the furniture. Estate agent Ingrid McFarlane of Seeff Properties says the current owner is a well-known South African mining magnate who wants to scale down. Asked about the likely profile of a prospective buyer, McFarlane said it was likely to be a “black diamond”, referring to South Africa’s and Africa’s growing affluent and influential black community. Interest is likely to come from the who’s who of SA’s mining or business sector, someone “who loves entertaining and enjoys a lavish lifestyle”. McFarlane says the property is akin to owning a small three acre estate in the middle of Bishopscourt. An average three to four bedroomed house usually

Gradual recovery for listed property

Gradual recovery for listed property Residential and commercial real estate to fall a further 10% 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. “Three years into the recession, the question on the status of the commercial property sector’s recovery is difficult to answer, with recovery appearing to have stalled significantly in recent months in the face of renewed economic fears”, said Rael Levitt, CEO of Auction Alliance. According to a recently released report

Kirsh is king of London’s castle

Kirsh is king of London’s castle Says £285m purchase of Natwest Tower is a great investment. Natie Kirsh, the London-based SA billionaire, today confirmed that his £285m bid for one of London’s tallest buildings, Tower 42, has been successful. Speaking to Moneyweb, Kirsh said: “It’s in the documentation phase, which means all the papers still have to be signed but we have secured it. The owners received 12 offers and whittled it down to three. They interviewed me to make sure I could finance the deal. They were nervous, having been let down in the past but after the interview they confirmed we were the guys.” Kirsh is one of SA’s richest men. His biggest asset is Jetro, a successful cash and carry chain in the US styled after Metro Cash of SA. He is the sole owner. He said he will not be selling a single share in Jetro to fund the deal but its cash flow would make it easy to pay. Asked if such a large investment in a single property was not risky at the present juncture of the U

South African billionaire buying London landmark!

South African billionaire eyes buying London landmark ! Bidding 285 million pounds for Britain's tallest building. The family office of South African billionaire Nathan Kirsh is in exclusive negotiations to buy the former NatWest headquarters, in the heart of the London, after bidding 285 million pounds for the skyscraper, the Times reported on Friday. The newspaper said, without citing a source, Kirsh's bid for Britain's tallest building is thought to have outweighed those of rival contenders by at least 10 million pounds. He beat off the London-focused Exemplar Properties and the private equity firm Doughty Hanson, according to the article. The 2.2 acre estate was put up for sale by its joint owners, BlackRock UK Property Fund and LaSalle Investment Management, with a 290 million pounds price tag. In addition to the skyscraper, which was renamed Tower 42 when NatWest Bank moved out, the site includes four other adjacent properties. Jones Lang LaSalle, the property a

Investec CM refinances Growthpoint BEE debt

Investec CM refinances Growthpoint BEE debt Provides R888.5m of funding to settle the existing banks' exposure. Johannesburg, Nov 16 (I-Net Bridge) - The AMU Trust, Growthpoint Properties Limited's largest BEE shareholder has refinanced debt raised in 2005 to fund the acquisition of 100 million Growthpoint Properties linked units as part of the company's landmark BEE transaction. Investec Capital Markets has provided R888.5 million of funding to settle the existing banks' exposure and to partially reduce Growthpoint's mezzanine debt participation from R500 million to R200 million, thereby repaying R300 million to Growthpoint. This is being provided as a 4-year capital bullet facility. The AMU Trust owns approximately 5.7% of Growthpoint Properties, worth approximately R1.8 billion, and represents the interests of Amabubesi Investments, Miganu Investment Holdings and Unipalm Investment Holdings. "Investec welcomed the opportunity to participate in the fun

Charges may await directors of failed Pinnacle Point property group

Charges may await directors of failed Pinnacle Point property group Pinnacle Point Group's directors and former directors may face prosecution following the liquidation of the leisure property group and its subsidiaries earlier this month. Cape Point Vineyards, which was part of the application for the liquidation of the group, wants an investigation into the affairs of all the directors and their subsequent prosecution if any wrongdoing is discovered. The wine estate, which owns 1 percent of Pinnacle, said there was no way the property group could be rescued as it was seriously insolvent. "There's nothing that one could have done, the group is irretrievably insolvent. We want an article 417/418 inquiry into the affairs of the directors and previous director. They should be prosecuted," Cape Point Vineyards owner Sybrand van der Spuy said. Pinnacle Point was placed in final liquidation on November 4 after six of its subsidiaries were liquidated earlier in the mo

18-month hiatus expected before property gains

18-month hiatus expected before property gains Last week's decision by the Reserve Bank to leave the interest rate unchanged at 9 percent should not give consumers an excuse to go on a spending spree, warn the experts. John Loos , property strategist at FNB Home Loans, cautioned consumers and said although the interest rate remained unchanged, it would be wise for households to make provision in their financial planning for future hikes. He said although there was no certainty around how much to make provision for, the past two hikes saw the interest rate increase by four and five percentage points respectively. "It doesn't necessarily mean not making one's desired purchases, but may mean lowering one's aspirations in terms of the home or car that one may have been considering purchasing, if there is no 'buffer'." In an earlier report, Paul Barnard, executive financial planner at Consolidated Financial Planning, warned consumers that although unc

Market 'not likely to turn for months'

Market 'not likely to turn for months' Reacting to the latest housing data, Seeff chairman Samuel Seeff says he remains upbeat - but cautions that recovery of the property market will take longer than expected. "Following the robust pre-2007 levels, there have been more than four years of slowed activity and market adjustment," he says. "As with all markets, property is cyclical, and I believe we are now near the bottom of the curve and that prices and sales volumes are likely to ebb for at least the next 18 months before any noteworthy uptick. This would however, need to be driven by an economic pick-up, under pinned by positive employment growth. "Because of significantly fewer new developments and new stock being built there is likely to be a stock shortage once the market turns." He says the number of distressed properties continues to weigh on the performance of the market, and that normal activity levels can be expected to return only once t

Political climate 'will boost property market'

Political climate 'will boost property market' There has always been a strong link between political confidence - faith in the future of the country - and home-buying confidence, says Bill Rawson, chairman of Rawson Properties. "Surveys have shown that political confidence - or the lack of it - can often be more important than traditional decision-influencing factors like interest rate levels," he says. "Right now the feedback from my colleagues and many others is that political and house-buying confidence has been significantly boosted by the far more decisive stance taken by President Zuma on maladministration, corruption and the advocating by out-of-line ANC members of policies not sanctioned by his cabinet. "The dismissal of two cabinet ministers, the suspension of the police chief, the inquiry into the arms deal and the fact that whatever the outcome, Julius Malema has had to go on trial, have all sent out a positive message that South Africa will

Joburg denies R13bn debt

Joburg denies R13bn debt The city of Johannesburg on Thursday denied it was R13 billion in debt after reports of a possible liquidity crisis. Outstanding balances related to rates and taxes amounted to about R5.3 billion by September 30 this year, city spokesman Kgamanyane Stan Maphologela said in a statement. "The cash position of the city has improved significantly in the first quarter of the current financial year. This can be attributed to improved levels in the collection of revenue." On Wednesday, the Democratic Alliance said the city was running out of money because it was not collecting enough revenue. DA caucus leader Mmusi Maimane called on the city to beef up its revenue department and set up a team to collect the outstanding R13 billion in debt. "You don't need to be a rocket scientist to know what R13 billion could do for the city." He said this was largely due to a dysfunctional revenue department that could not arrange for meters to be re

Massive new CBD for Soweto’s Jabulani

Massive new CBD for Soweto’s Jabulani JSE’s top performing share behind the integrated development. Calgro M3 - the JSE’s top-ranking share for the first ten months of 2011 - is behind massive developments in Jabulani, Soweto in an attempt to turn it into a fully-fledged central business district, such projects a property analyst believes is the future. A 300 bed hospital, a state of the art performing arts theatre and an integrated residential housing development form part of the mix to upgrade Jabulani in conjunction with the Gauteng government and other stakeholders. Calgro M3, as an unusual mass housing developer and the best performing share on the JSE (JSE:JSE) in the ten months to October, has identified Jabulani as one of the growth nodes in Soweto as it is within walking distance of the Rea Vaya rapid transport system , the train station, the Jabulani Mall and other amenities. Another part of the upliftment of the area is the demolition of the dilapidated Jabulani hoste

Vukile acquires R1.5 billion portfolio from Sanlam

Vukile acquires R1.5bn portfolio from Sanlam And the PIC will acquire 70.2m Vukile linked units from Sanlam. Johannesburg, Nov 14 (I-Net Bridge) - Property loan stock company Vukile Property Fund (VKE) is to acquire a portfolio of 20 properties, worth nearly R1.5 billion, from Sanlam Life Insurance. The acquisition is expected to be effective in June next year, once a number of conditions precedent have been fulfilled, and will be funded through a combination of debt and the issue of new linked units. It said on Monday. Vukile chief executive Laurence Rapp said the acquisition is in line with Vukile's new strategy of growing a quality portfolio of properties with strong contractual cash flows in order to achieve meaningful capital appreciation and sustainable growth in distributions. "It will enhance the quality of our current property portfolio and will strengthen our presence in the Western Cape." Rapp said Vukile has been managing this portfolio on behalf of Sa

Is it the right time to fix your home loan?

Is it the right time to fix your home loan? Here is what the big-four banks say. The demand to fix interest rates on a home loan has been subdued according to the majority of the big-four banks, but Standard Bank says it has fixed over R1bn in loans in the past five months and believes it is a great idea to fix if a client wants to ride out volatility. “We have obviously been doing a campaign where we have actually said to the people that interest rates are at the lowest level in 36 years. Yes there is a risk that interest rates will go down based on what is happening in the world economy, but there is also a risk that interest rates will go up,” Standard Bank’s director of home loans, Funeka Ntombela said. “For the customers, to the extent that they want to protect themselves, we think that it’s a great idea ... Previously if you wanted to fix the rate it would be prime plus but now it is hovering around prime to fix for about two years. If you are a customer and you are already

Sluggish economic fundamentals subdues housing market outlook

Sluggish economic fundamentals subdues housing market outlook Samuel Seef remains upbeat, but cautions that recovery of the property market will take longer than anticipated. I remain upbeat, but the recovery of the property market will take longer than anticipated given the sluggish underlying macro-economic fundamentals. Following the robust pre-2007 levels he says, there has been more than four years of slowed activity and market adjustment. As with all markets, real estate is cyclical and I believe that we are now near the bottom of the curve and that prices and sales volumes are likely to ebb along for at least the next eighteen months before any noteworthy uptick. This would however, need to be driven by an economic pick-up, underpinned by positive employment growth. There has also been significantly low levels of new developments and new stock brought to the market. This is likely to lead to a stock shortage once the market turns. The volume of distressed properties contin

Unravelling China versus Europe - Myths and Misunderstandings

Unravelling China versus Europe - Myths and Misunderstandings … provides parallel insights for SA. Commentators – along with many investors - have taken to questioning the ability of democracies to compete with authoritarian China. The case gaining credence is that Europe’s leaders are innately incapable of taking sufficient action to remedy the deep flaws of the euro experiment. But even if most of Europe is destined for a generation of meagre growth, the core problems are not inherent to Western-styled democracy or capitalism. The core problem is that managing the intersection of democracy and capitalism requires transcending cultural differences. The rapid changes and hyper competitiveness due to globalisation and advancing technologies raise the bar faster than poorly congealed multi-cultural societies such as the eurozone or SA can adjust. In difficult times pain needs to be distributed by governments between various groups such as, workers and investors. Authoritarian regim

Nominal house prices edge higher: ABSA

Nominal house prices edge higher: Absa While small houses continued its downwards trend. (I-Net Bridge) - Nominal house prices continued to improve in two size categories (medium-sized and large) in October, while small houses continued its downwards trend according to Absa Home Loans. According to Absa's calculations, the nominal value of homes in the medium-sized (building area of 141 square metres-200 square metres) increased to 404.1 index points from 386.7 a year before and large sized homes (building area of 221 square metres-400 square metres) improved to 405.2 index points from 397.3 for the comparative period a year ago. Small houses (building area of 80 square metres-140 square metres) declined from 380.8 points for October last year to 368.9 points for October this year. In real terms (after adjustment for the effect of inflation) annual price deflation continued across all three segments of housing up to September 2011, impacted by rising headline consumer price

Pinnacle Point liquidated, to be probed

Pinnacle Point liquidated, to be probed Section 417/418 inquiry to be initiated. Ailing property firm Pinnacle Point, a company in which union workers invested over R200m, has been liquidated following an order granted in favour of one of its shareholders Cape Point Vineyard. Sybrand van der Spuy, the owner of Cape Point Vineyard, told Moneyweb that Pinnacle Point had been liquidated late last week. He said the next step would be to initiate a section 417/418 inquiry, which would investigate how Pinnacle Point monies were expanded and how the company got to a financially appalling mode. “Yes Pinnacle Point has been liquidated ... A liquidator has been appointed already. I am seeing the liquidators later this week. We will be asking for a section 417/418 inquiry,” Van Der Spuy said. Van Der Spuy’s company Cape Point Vineyard owns 80m shares or just under 1% of the Pinnacle Point Group. Cape Point Vineyard won a business rescue in July, appointing Mike Lane as a practitioner. But

Concourt to rule when landlords may cancel leases

Concourt to rule when landlords may cancel leases Concourt to rule when landlords may cancel leases The Constitutional Court was due to hear argument today on whether a landlord may cancel leases and evict tenants to get higher rentals. The matter will be brought by Ntombizodwa Yvonne Maphango and 14 others against Aengus Lifestyle Properties, with the Inner City Resource Centre as a friend of the court. Aengus specialises in fashionable inner-city apartments and lofts developed in refurbished old Joburg buildings and office blocks. Its buildings include Tribeca Lofts and Fashion Lofts. The company bought Lowliebenhof in Braamfontein and terminated existing residents' leases in order to put up rentals over amounts allowed by the escalation clauses. Some of the residents objected to being evicted and took the matter to court. The Johannesburg High Court and Supreme Court of Appeal held that the landlord was allowed to do this. The 15 applicants will apply for leave to appe

Analysts challenge property pundit`s call not to buy

Analysts challenge property pundit`s call not to buy Say it is a buyers’ market. Interest rates are low, property is in abundance and distressed homes are going for a song, so if you are in the market, now is the time to buy. At least that is the view of realtor Engel & Völker and property specialists Lightstone. In fact, CEO of Engel & Völker, Craig Hutchinson says with interest rates at the lowest it has been in years and with an abundance of property to choose from, now is the perfect time to buy. “It is very important to enter the property market as soon as possible as property should form part of any balanced financial plan and the sooner you own rather than rent, the sooner you start enjoying the capital appreciation which property gives,” Hutchinson said. He maintains that property is the one asset that remains one of the best inflation beating vehicles over the long term. In October 2011 the Rode Report for the third quarter advised first time entrants to rath

House prices will sink further: Absa Home Loans - Property | Moneyweb

House prices will sink further: Absa Home Loans - Property Moneyweb On the back of rising headline consumer price inflation. (I-Net Bridge) - House prices in real terms are expected to continue to decline for the rest of the year and in 2012 on the back of rising headline consumer price inflation, which is forecast to marginally breach the 6% level by the end of the year and for part of 2012 according to Jacques du Toit, property analyst at Absa Home Loans. Du Toit said that based on house price trends up to the third quarter, and prospects for the economy and household finances, nominal price growth in the middle segment of the market was forecast to be well within single digits for the full year, projected at between 2% and 2.5%. Absa Home Loans released their fourth quarter housing review report on Thursday, outlining trends in South African house prices and other property market related indicators up the third quarter of the year. The report pointed out that SA's real ec

Property leviathan pulls millions from SA

Property leviathan pulls millions from SA Bribery is driving Redefine out of SA; CEO says he is voting with his chequebook. Marc Wainer, CEO of one of SA’s largest property listings – Redefine – has lashed out at “administrative practices” of local authorities. He has also come out strongly against bribery and corruption saying he is voting with his chequebook. Redefine has a market cap of R22bn and total assets under management of about R37bn In a chilling special report podcast with Alec Hogg on Redefine’s year end results for August 31 2011, Wainer said the giant property fund is not investing in areas where it has concerns about “administrative practices” of local authorities. This decision was not taken lightly, says Wainer: “We are really committed to job creation but we are sick and tired of being used as the milking cow for some local authorities who simply increase our rates and taxes by astronomical amounts: 15, 16, 18% and there is either no improvement in services an

More township malls on the cards

More township malls on the cards Major developers are increasingly targeting sprawling townships which are seen as the development nodes of the future for both the residential and retail sectors. Many of these developments are concentrated around transport hubs like taxi ranks which by their very nature attract tens of thousands of commuters daily. Country manager of International Housing Solutions (IHS), Rob Wesselo, says on the residential side 97% of the market is in under developed areas. Massive urbanisation has also contributed to increased demand for affordable housing. Two of IHS’s largest developments are in Soweto south west of Johannesburg. On the retail side the Pan African Shopping Centre in Alexandra north of Johannesburg is but one example of a successful mall which is in the process of expanding due to increased demand from retailers and shoppers. Entrepreneur and owner of the centre Tebogo Mogashoa of Tebfin Property, says major tenants seem less nervous about inv

Denny Crane

Denny Crane
It's not me ... yet. Denny Crane from the TV series Boston Legal. Click on picture if you're not sure who he is!