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Showing posts from 2012

Rise in new wealth bodes well for residential property

Rise in new wealth bodes well for residential property Recent reports of current annual growth of 31% in the ranks of the wealthy in South Africa (compared with 19% in 2010) is good news for prime residential property says Gauteng luxury homes marketer Ronald Ennik. "Firstly, it will create a welcome new layer of buyers of luxury homes. Secondly, the sustainability of the top end of the market will be reinforced as more and more of the new wealthy buy into it. "Thirdly, it will compensate for the (hopefully temporary) withdrawal of foreign investors who, in spite of the attractions of the weaker Rand, seem to be adopting a wait-and-see strategy based on recent negative socio-economic and political developments in South Africa," says the CEO of Christie's-affiliated Ennik Estates. •Meanwhile, in the recently published global Wealth Report 2012, Renato Grandmont, chief investment officer for Citi Wealth Management and Citi Private Bank in Latin America, picks

Middle segment property values rise 5% on Absa index

Middle segment property values rise 5% on Absa index Middle segment property values increased by 5 percent year on year last month following a revised 3.3 percent year-on-year rise in October, according to the latest Absa house price index released yesterday. However, Absa said average house prices in the first 11 months of this year were unchanged compared with the corresponding period last year. In addition, Absa said although the year-on-year growth in the average value of homes in the middle segment of the housing market increased further last month, month-on-month house price growth continued to be on a downward trend. This trend commenced at the middle of this year and was expected to affect year-on-year house price growth "in the near future", said Jacques du Toit, a property analyst at Absa Home Loans. Du Toit said real price deflation was still evident in the middle house segment up to October but the downtrend was being arrested, with the smalland medium-s

Super rich flock to Sandton, Cape Town central

Super rich flock to Sandton, Cape Town central : Where do South Africa's wealthiest people live? A report from London-based consultancy Wealth Insight sheds some light on their geographical distribution. With 36 multimillionaires, Sandhurst accounts for the largest proportion of Johannesburg's ultra high net worth individuals (UHNWIs). Bryanston accounts for the second-largest percentage, "although it is a significantly larger suburb than the likes of Sandhurst, Hyde Park and Westcliff ", the report notes. "The area known as Sandton, which includes Sandhurst, Sandown, Morningside, Hyde Park, Melrose, Atholl and a number of other suburbs, is home to over half of Johannesburg's UHNWIs." The report also notes that a number of South African companies moved their head offices to Sandton, following a rise in crime in Johannesburg's city centre between 1990 and 2000. "Most notably, the JSE moved to Sandton in September 2000 from the central bus

Diepkloof Square community shopping centre opens in Soweto

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Diepkloof Square community shopping centre opens in Soweto Soweto entered a new era of convenient, quality retail when Diepkloof Square community shopping centre opened, fully let, on November 29. Diepkloof Square in Soweto opened last month. The 16 108 m2 community centre is anchored by Pick n Pay in a 3 112 m2 store and features 50 shops, including a new 1 720m2 Food Lover's Market. "Diepkloof Square is a really exciting project," says Food Lover's Market group property and business development manager Graeme Liebenberg. "Diepkloof holds a special place in the heart of many South Africans. "It was one of the earliest communities in Soweto and many influential South Africans live, have lived or passed through this suburb." In the epicentre of affluent Soweto, Diepkloof Square is positioned in an exciting setting in a growing community in Diepkloof Extension 3 near the N1, with excellent visibility and access from the main arterial road

How to build a credit history for your home-loan

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How to build a credit history for your home-loan Contact us for advice and assistance. (www.prop-law.co.za) In today's real estate market it is imperative for consumers to establish an excellent credit record and maintain it. By establishing a credit history, consumers ensure their best possible chance of bond approval, says Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa. "Having a favourable credit record is essential for consumers who aspire to own property. While lending criteria is not as stringent as it was when the National Credit Act (NCA) was initially introduced, the requirements in the current market are still strict and it is likely to remain that way for some time," he says. "Just as important as a positive credit score is an established credit history that shows that the consumer can conduct their credit responsibilities in a favourable manner. A consumer's credit history will have an impact on whether or not the loan is granted and if

New N1 interchange proposed for Tshwane

New N1 interchange proposed for Tshwane Plans are under way to tackle problems related to traffic congestion in the Ashlea Garden/Garsfontein area. Tshwane Metro Council will construct a new interchange as part of the plans for the area. This will result in the closure of Matroosberg and Dely roads, between Garsfontein and Matroosberg roads, Ashlea Gardens, to make way for the Garsfontein/N1 interchange. Garsfontein Road will be upgraded to a four-lane road between the Garsfontein/N1 interchange and Selati Road. The construction of the Garsfontein/N1 interchange is aimed at improving accessibility to and from the N1. According to the municipality, traffic volumes are expected to grow significantly on roads such as Garsfontein, Dely, Brooklyn and Selati, "which would have a significant impact on the residential environment between these gateways". Executive mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa said council would ensure that the residential character of those areas was prote

Tshwane claims progress in turning Pretoria CBD around

Tshwane claims progress in turning Pretoria CBD around Tshwane Metro Council has recorded several successes under its "I can" project aimed at ridding the city of crime and grime and ensuring that by-laws are adhered to. These include the recovery of 37 municipal rubbish bins; the issuing of 27 notices for contravening the by-law on health and solid waste; the closure of a tavern on the corner of Sophie de Bruyn (Schubart) and Boom streets and the arrest of 83 illegal immigrants. Deputy city manager, service delivery co-ordination and transformation management, Ronnie Boshielo stated in a report that "I Can", was aimed at among others, the removal of illegal posters, the removal of illegal structures on council-owned road reserves, addressing trade, illegal transport activities. The project is also aimed at fixing broken street lights and traffic signals, damaged street signals and potholes, and cleaning the urban environment by concentrating on roads and

Work on Pretoria's Paul Kruger Street to start in June

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Work on Pretoria's Paul Kruger Street to start in June Work is expected to start next year on the beautification of one of the main routes in Pretoria's inner city, Paul Kruger Street. Member of the mayoral committee for economic development and planning, Subesh Pillay, said yesterday work would start around June next year. Paul Kruger Street is expected to be closed to certain types of traffic, with the route reserved for the proposed Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project. Line 1A of the BRT project is expected to run from the Rainbow Junction (Pretoria North) to Nana Sita Street (Skinner) along Paul Kruger Street. Stations will be situated on Paul Kruger Street, south of Church Square; on Paul Kruger, between Struben and Johannes Ramokhoase (Proes) streets; and on Paul Kruger, north of Boom Street and at Mansfield Road in Eloffsdal. A report submitted to the city council said the BRT would be located on a transit mall on Paul Kruger Street. The mall would have 6m-wid

When the state expropriates private property

When the state expropriates private property Governments or their agencies have the power to take away privately-owned land or property - usually for public use. Most governments compensate the deprived owner for the expropriated property. In some countries, like the US, an owner's permission to expropriate property is not needed, although the owner is "justly compensated". The South African constitution requires the government to pay the owner the market value, or what is "just and equitable" in a particular situation. Does a tenant have any claim for compensation if the owner's property is expropriated? Take the case of an owner who agrees to his property being expropriated in return for payment. He is allowed to continue occupying the property as a tenant, but later discovers that the municipality has changed the purpose for which the property would be used. Does he have a claim against the municipality for "misleading" him, or can

Joburg set to pay high fee to rebuild its tarnished image!

Joburg set to pay high fee to rebuild its tarnished image ! How much is fixing Joburg's reputation worth? R145 000? R10 million? Five times that? The City of Joburg is fed up with its bad reputation and is looking for a professional reputation management company to help clean up its image, and has received some expensive offers. "Being the biggest municipality in South Africa, the city enjoys a lot of media attention. Therefore, a good reputation is key," the city document outlining the problem said. "Group Communication and Tourism has therefore identified a need to obtain the services of a well-established reputation management company for the purpose of assisting the city manage and enhance its image and reputation." Joburg has been strongly criticised by its residents over recent years for its shambolic billing system. The city is prepared to pay for a good reputation fix. "This contract exceeds R10 million," states one section of the

What are a property's fixtures and fittings and what aren't?

What are a property's fixtures and fittings and what aren't? It is not uncommon for disputes to arise between a buyer and a seller regarding what is classified as a fixture and fitting and what isn't. "In many cases there are certain items that a seller has installed and would like to remove from the property and take with them when they move," says Goslett of RE/MAX Southern Africa. "Sellers often ask whether they are allowed to do this and the simple answer is yes, provided that both parties are in agreement. Alternatively, if the agreement of sale excludes any specific item, the seller is entitled to remove it." He points out that the general rule when it comes to fixtures and fitting is that the when the purchaser buys a property, they receive the land, the permanent physical improvements such as any buildings erected on the land, along with all items that are permanently attached to the improvements or buildings that are erected on the land.

Fais Ombud orders Sharemax broker to repay R800 000

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Please view our website at: www.prop-law.co.za Fais Ombud orders Sharemax broker to repay R800 000 The Ombud’s finding will worry brokers who sold shares in Zambezi and The Villa. Financial advice ombudsman Noluntu Bam delivered her first negative finding against a Sharemax broker last week. Her determination may spark fear among those who sold shares in the property syndication company’s two biggest projects, Zambezi and The Villa. It may also encourage other investors to lay complaints against their brokers. Sharemax is one of the country’s two largest sellers of property syndication schemes. Investors, many of them elderly, have placed about R4.5bn in its numerous schemes. The Villa and Zambezi together account for R2.5bn of investors’ funds. They are also two of the most troubled schemes. On Wednesday Bam ordered financial adviser Deeb Risk to repay his client, 72-year-old retiree Elise Barnes, R800 000 she had invested in Zambezi. Barnes actually invest

'Don't give up on bond application too soon'

www.prop-law.co.za 'Don't give up on bond application too soon' Although the ongoing publicity on the National Credit Act and the continued tightening up of the banks' criteria for issuing bonds is to be welcomed in general, it has had the unfortunate effect of deterring many potential home owners from trying to realise their dreams. This is according to Mike van Alphen, national manager for the Rawson Property Group's bond origination division, Rawson Finance. "Although Rawson Finance has had a 20 percent increase in the number of bond applications and a 15 percent increase in the rise of approvals this year, we know that many people who could actually qualify for a bond have given up," he says. "Very often such people have been deterred by a refusal at one bank, but bond originators may be able to help. Bond originators will be able to establish what size bonds they qualify for and, with the help of the credit bureaus, find out what obsta

Machanik admits guilt, regrets actions

www.prop-law.co.za Machanik admits guilt, regrets actions Former estate agent Wendy Machanik deeply regrets the actions that led to her conviction on 90 counts of theft, she wrote in a newspaper opinion piece yesterday. "I'd like to hereby state clearly and unambiguously that, yes, I am guilty of unlawfully accessing my company's trust fund to the value of R17 million, but not in the manner or for the reasons portrayed," Machanik wrote in the Sunday Times. Machanik was fined R1.5 million by the Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crimes Court last month under a plea agreement in terms of which she admitting to 90 counts of theft totalling R27m, and two of failing to keep proper records of her company's trust fund. She wrote yesterday that her business, Wendy Machanik Properties, was hit by the economic downturn in 2007 and that she borrowed from the trust in an attempt to save her employees' jobs. "Looking back now, I know what I should have do

Tshwane to probe illegal land sales

My question is: What about all the squatters who have set up camp at the side of the roads in suburbs like Faerie Glen?  Just take a drive out Atterbury, Garsfontein and Hans Strydom Streets and you would think that Tshwane Camping Grounds have opened along these roads. Gareth www.prop-law.co.za Tshwane to probe illegal land sales The Tshwane Metro Council has warned that land invasions will not be tolerated in its area of jurisdiction and drastic action will be taken against those who illegally sell and invade land. "We will not hesitate to take drastic action against those involved in land invasion or the illegal sale of land," said Joshua Ngonyama, the member of the mayoral committee responsible for housing. This comes after a group of residents were allegedly sold stands in Soshanguve Extension 6, near Rosslyn. The residents built shacks on the land earlier this week and the Red Ants were called in to dismantle them. Some of the residents said they ha

Landlords can't take the law into their own hands

www.prop-law.co.za Landlords can't take the law into their own hands When a tenant does not pay the rent, some landlords resort to unlawfully disconnecting the water and electricity supply to the tenant. What if the contract states that failure to make payment gives the landlord the right to shut off the water and electricity? Would the landlord's action be justified? Would a consumer then have recourse to a legal remedy, such as an urgent interdict (spoliation), to have the services restored? A closer look reveals that it is the by-laws that allow for the disconnection of basic services in the event of non-payment. The Strand Magistrate's Court granted a spoliation order to property owner Marcel Mouzakis Strümpher compelling the City of Cape Town to reconnect the water supply to his Strand property. The water supply was disconnected on August 17, 2007, when Strümpher failed to pay accumulated arrears of R182 000. An urgent court application was successful and

Body corporate ordered to restore property owner's access right

Body corporate ordered to restore property owner's access right The Fisher v Body Corporate of Misty Bay (2012 94) SA 215 (NGP) decision highlights the consequences a body corporate should consider before summarily denying an occupier the right of access to a complex. According to the body corporate of the Misty Bay Complex (the respondent), an owner of one of the units (the applicant) had fallen into arrears in respect of his rates and levies. Due to the applicant's failure to make the necessary payments, the respondent made the hasty decision to suspend his access tag. This suspension resulted in the applicant being unable to enter and exit the complex as and when he pleased. Reacting to this decision, t he applicant brought an urgent application in the North Gauteng High Court for "the restoration of the applicant's possession and access to the house". In defence of its actions, the respondent's legal representatives submitted two arguments. The f

Property market remains subdued

Property market remains subdued The local property market remained subdued during the first three quarters of 2012, Absa said on Thursday. "The planning phase of new housing continued to contract up to September, while the construction phase showed some marginal growth over the nine-month period compared with a year ago," said Absa property analyst Jacques du Toit. Residential building activity was likely to remain subdued in 2013, he said. FNB said the figures continued to show a settled picture. The size of completed residential buildings were similar to the late 1990s, before the economic boom, said FNB property strategist John Loos. Growth in square metres for completed residential buildings, on a three-month moving average, reached 2.37 percent in September. This was slightly down from the second quarter's seven percent. The residential replacement cost gap had also flattened. This reflected the percentage difference between a home's existing va

The cost of sectional and full title properties are converging

The cost of sectional and full title properties are converging House prices between different segments of the market had seen a general narrowing in the gaps in the third quarter of 2012, according to FNB housing data released on Wednesday. "The average price growth rate of full title homes, at 6.7 percent year-on-year, no longer far exceeds the 4 percent growth for sectional title homes, as was the case a few quarters ago," John Loos, property strategist at FNB said. Sectional title refers to separate ownership of units or sections within a complex or development. Full title segment is where the consumer buys the ownership rights of the property and the land on which it is built. It was expected that the various segments' price growth rates will move increasingly closer to each other in the near term, with relative affordability advantages having been reduced over the past few years. At stages during the pre-2008 house price boom, the average price of a thr

Victory on rates for Joburg business property owners

Victory on rates for Joburg business property owners I am very proud of my friends at SAPOA for pursuing this all the way and ultimately succeeding.  Well done Adv. Portia Matsane, SAPOA Staff and their legal team. We have been discussing this for many months at the meetings of the SAPOA National Legal Committee and I am very pleased that it all turned out well in the end. Gareth

'The clock is ticking' for tax-friendly property transfers

'The clock is ticking' for tax-friendly property transfers The government has created a valuable  and unique opening for persons owning property in Companies, Close Corporations or Trusts to take advantage of a window of opportunity to secure MASSIVE Capital Gains Tax (CGT) savings. I am surprised that it has not been seized upon by many more property owners and why more Estate Agents have not actively and enthusiastically marketed this to their clients. Now the window is about to close, so please contact me urgently at gareth@propertylaw.onmicrosoft.com if you still want to take advantage of this CGT opportunity. Gareth Shepperson SHEPPERSON ATTORNEYS

Sars toughens up on property transfers - Property

Sars toughens up on property transfers Transfers will be delayed unless all parties have their taxes in order. From this month (October 2012), a new system introduced by the SA Revenue Service (Sars) means that the transfer of any property will be subject to delay unless all the parties involved - including the estate agency - have their tax affairs in order. A new transfer duty e-filing system is being introduced that requires the transferring attorney to fill in not only the tax numbers of the property buyer and seller, but also that of any estate agency involved - and to provide proof that those tax numbers are valid. Clearly, Sars wants to ensure that the tax returns and payments of everyone involved in a property sale are up to date. The tax authority has for some time now been checking to see that property sellers have paid any and all tax amounts owing before it will issue the transfer duty receipts required for transfers to be finalised. It also has the power to in

Rules of renting when government owns the property

Rules of renting when government owns the property What are the rights of a tenant living in a dwelling owned by either the national, provincial and local governments, or by social housing institutions? Is there a difference between a private landlord, the government or social housing institutions in respect of a residential tenancy? Social housing institutions receive subsidies from the government to provide rental housing, with tenants as beneficiaries of subsidised rentals. Rights do not exist without responsibilities, so the question may be re-phrased as: "What rights does the government or social housing institutions have regarding a tenant?" Section 26 of the constitution stipulates that every citizen has the right of access to adequate housing and the government must take reasonable legislative and other measures to make this right a reality - as long as it has the resources to do so. The Rental Housing Act, 50 of 1999, refers to the government's resp

Property transfers: who gets the interest?

Hi Readers This is extremely interesting to me because it highlights the need for parties to property transactions to engage the use of industry experts with proven track records when selecting a conveyancing attorney. I simply can't fathom why this should be an issue and yet less than a week before this my father referred me to a similar article in a magazine. If the attorney truly acts on behalf of his/her clients and has their best interests at heart, the SURELY he/she should ensure that the client (buyer and seller) exit the transaction with the best financial result possible.  This appears to me to be so self-evident that I fail to understand how attorneys can possibly act differently. (At Shepperson Attorneys, we continually seek the best Section 78(2A) products for our clients and ensure that as soon as possible after being instructed our Clients are presented with the necessary Mandate for us to invest in such an investment on their behalf as soon as the funds arriv

Lack of loans lead to lower property prices and rising rents

Lack of loans lead to lower property prices and rising rents In the past few years there have been dramatic changes in global property trends, and SA has not been unaffected. In relatively stable and sought after areas such as the Durban suburbs of Durban North and La Lucia, the property market has plummeted to a low then gradually recovered to a stable but slow pace, according to Carol Reynolds, Pam Golding Properties' area principal for these suburbs. "The US housing crisis is finally coming to an end, as economists note a small but positive rise in house prices and general, renewed buyer confidence. South Africa's residential market has been through some troughs, but on the whole, we have managed to buffer ourselves somewhat from much of the travesty on the global front." Reynolds says sentiment is a key driver in market activity and the outlook this year has been more positive than that last year. However, conservatism is the "new normal" and buy

Number of home loans fall to all-time low!

Number of home loans fall to all-time low The number of mortgage bonds issued fell to an all-time low of about 9 000 a month in the third quarter from a peak of more than 50 000 a month in 2007, according to property analysts Lightstone. Tony Clarke, the managing director of the Rawson Property Group, said yesterday that while this might look discouraging, those in the property market took heart from other data that showed the loan to value ratio was improving steadily for all the major banks except Investec, which was coming off a very high base. Clarke said this data showed banks were willing to approve bigger loans and the average value of bonds approved had risen steadily, from about R400 000 in 2004 to about R800 000 this year. The value of second bonds had also increased, to an average of R350 000 from about R300 000 last year, he said. Clarke said the government would be encouraged by the 16 percent year-on-year increase in the number of bonds issued in the affordable ca

Q & A Section (Offer and Acceptance)

This is a new section that I am introducing to my Blog.  We, the staff at Shepperson Attorneys, will answer various readers'questions relating to South African Property Law.  Please e-mail your questions to gareth@propertylaw.onmicrosoft.com (Please note that the Blog Disclaimer applies and contact us directly if you require a detailed legal opinion.) Question: We are in a process of buying a property and as the application for the loan is now with the banks, we have been told that there are two offers to the property. How do I go about finding out whether there is a written and thus legitimate second offer? If there is no second offer, what is the remedy to correct this situation? Answer: Naturally it is expected of people to be honest, fair and trustworthy in dealings with each other. These principles that form the foundation of good business are referred to as business ethics. However this is not always the case. Until communication of the acceptance of the offer

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!