Showing posts from 2013

Plett Harbour development proposal divides property owners

Plett Harbour development proposal divides property owners The row over the controversial R4 billion planned small boat harbour at Plettenberg Bay is hotting up after three-dimensional graphic renderings of the development started circulating through the region. Plettenberg Bay beachfront as it currently appears. This comes just weeks after the final scoping report for the 87 000 sqm development by Western Cape Marina Investments was released and highlighted major environmental and economic concerns. The project will stretch from the Piesang River estuary and along the town's popular central beach.

Durban wants mall developer jailed

Durban wants mall developer jailed The eThekwini Municipality wants Ravi Jagadasan, whose company was building the Tongaat mall that collapsed, killing two people, to be jailed for contempt of court. Alternatively the city is asking that Jagadasan, the son of businessman Jay Singh, pay a fine. It has also asked the Durban High Court to impose a fine on Jagadasan's company, Rectangle Property Investments. The contempt of court application was filed last week and has been set down for February.

Property price growth up, but below peak

Property price growth up, but below peak House prices, adjusted to take into account the impact of inflation, have declined cumulatively by 20.1 percent since the real house price peak at the end of 2007 but are still 29.3 percent higher than in November 2003, according to FNB. In nominal terms, house prices have grown by 14.7 percent since the end of 2007 and by 129.3 percent since November 2003. The outlook for the residential property market for next year is for a continuation of low house price growth. The latest FNB house price index revealed that nominal house prices increased by 7.2 percent year on year last month compared with the revised 7.1 percent in October.

Tshwane cracks whip on firms digging up roads

Tshwane cracks whip on firms digging up roads Electronic communication companies and service providers that have become accustomed to free-for-all digging up and laying of cables in the public road reserve in Pretoria will find the going harder in the near future. Roads are dug up in Mamelodi. Companies laying electronic cables next to roads, disrupting traffic. The City of Tshwane has approved laws and regulations, more than a decade in the making, to control and co-ordinate the increasing volume and complexity of services in the road reserve.

Joburg call centre under fire

Joburg call centre under fire Only 4 percent of calls to the City of Joburg's call centre for water and electricity problems are answered within one and two minutes.

Pretoria getting largest statue of Mandela

Pretoria getting largest statue of Mandela It is 9m tall, weighs four tons and is said to be the largest statue of Nelson Mandela. The bronze-coated artwork spent hours on the road travelling from Cape Town this week and arrived yesterday at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, where it is to be assembled and unveiled on Monday. 'This is the largest Mandela statue in the world and we believe it is the best,' said Sarah Haines of Koketso Growth, which managed the project.

'Higher incomes needed now to qualify for bonds'

'Higher incomes needed now to qualify for bonds' According to the latest statistics from BetterBond Home Loans, home buyers in SA now need to earn a gross monthly income of around R30 000 to buy an average home costing some R952 000. The BetterBond figures also show that 64 percent of buyers currently have to pay a deposit in order to secure a home loan, and that the average deposit required for a home priced at R952 000 is around R99 000 - or 10,4 percent 'This puts the average home loan required to buy such a home at R853 000, and the average monthly bond repayment at just over R7400,' says BetterBond CEO Shaun Rademeyer.'Now in the days before the National Credit Act, when the simple rule-of-thumb was that your monthly bond repayment should not exceed 30% of your gross salary, that would have meant that a gross salary of R24 700 was enough.

EAAB warns against 'false courses'

EAAB warns against 'false courses' Annette Evans, regional manager for the Institute of Estate Agents, Western Cape, wishes to draw attention to a recent announcement by the Estate Agency Affairs Board regarding the Continuous Professional Development courses offered. Various property courses are currently being presented by a number of educational bodies and are being presented as being CPD accredited, she said. What many are saying is that CPD points will be accrued in accordance with the EAAB's recommended cycle.

Historic inner Joburg suburbs set for densification

Please see the Article from the Star Newspaper below. I was priviledged to be invited to a SAPOA dinner with Mayor Parks Tau as part of the representation of the Property Industry where the Corridors of Freedom were presented. The attendees at the Dinner received information packs from the City of Joburg containing detailed information on the Corridors of Freedom.  You are welcome to contact me at if you would like more information. I have also posted on the Blog on a number of occassions that I believe that desification of South African cities is the ONLY viable way of dealing with infrastructure issues (especially transport). Gareth Shepperson Historic inner Joburg suburbs set for densification Joburg's Empire/Perth road corridor is set for major densification as it becomes the second area identified as a 'corridor of freedom' by the city. This has brought many objections from residents who claim they have not been con

Durban North property owners worried by golf course plan

Durban North property owners worried by golf course plan Worried Durban North homeowners have accused Durban Country Club trustees of using 'smoke-and-mirrors tactics' and failing to explain the full impact of a proposed housing development at the Beachwood Golf Course in the upmarket coastal suburb. Last week, homeowners from Fairways - which flanks the seaside course - met to hear what progress had been made to clear up their concerns over a multimillion-rand housing plan mooted by the Durban Country Club earlier this year.

Objections flood in over Pretoria mining plan

I doubt whether these objections will stop mining if the prospecting proves to be successful because I have not seen any objections that would outweigh the benefits of opening a new mine. Gareth Shepperson Objections flood in over Pretoria mining plan Objections have continued to pour in as preparations gained momentum for commencement of mining activities in Doornpoort, just north of the N4. The Pretoria News reported this week that the Department of Mineral Resources had awarded a fiveyear prospecting right on a property in Doornpoort, 10km north of the CBD, to Gemsbok Platinum (Pty) Ltd, a subsidiary of JSE-listed Sable Platinum (Pty) Ltd.

'Stalking' new trend in property market

CAN SOMEONE PLEASE EXPLAIN THIS TO ME??? What is Bill Rawson actually saying?  How is it that when a buyer/investor does a bit of homework and monitors property prices in a given area that it amounts to 'stalking'? Surely it is only savvy business practice to monitor the market before ploughing your hard-earned funds into an investment as large as property? Only fools rush in blindly ... don't they? Also, in my experience, Sellers don't usually thumb-suck a selling price and are almost always guided by someone with knowledge of the market (i.e. their Agent) when determining a selling price.  It is then in the Agent's own interest (as well as their client's interest) to seek the highest price possible. Economics 101 ... isn't it? I really don't understand what Bill Rawson is advocating in this article. Gareth Shepperson 'Stalking' new trend in property market A new trend is now making itself felt in the South African residential

Housing invaders take over Singh's Durban flats

Housing invaders take over Singh's Durban flats A Newlands West housing development has been invaded by hundreds of informal settlement residents taking over the 96 incomplete flats being built by Jay Singh. Hundreds of squatters invaded this Newlands West development on Tuesday.


Nelson Mandela (1918 - 2013)

R100m and more for Cape Town's trophy homes

The super-rich pay top prices on the Atlantic Seaboard. Home theatres, gyms, wraparound views, infinity pools, floating gardens and massage areas feature in some of Cape Town’s trophy homes, perched on the edge of the Atlantic Seaboard.  An apartment sold to a Nigerian buyer for R28m two months ago. The apartment measures approx 300 square metres and is located on Moses Beach, Clifton Included in this coterie of exclusive homes are those in South Africa’s wealthiest street: Nettleton Road in Clifton, where two properties are currently on the market for over R100 million each (both on Seeff’s books). The foreign seller of one of them has attached a $15 million price tag for the property, which includes a home theatre, an entertainment area, a gym, wraparound views of the 12 Apostles and the Atlantic Ocean, en suites, staff rooms and a bar. Leading agents say the strip of around twenty homes on the road are guaranteed prices upwards of R30-R50 million. A plot in the street

Platinum mines proposed for the outskirts of Pretoria

Platinum mines proposed for the outskirts of Pretoria Pretoria could see platinum mines on the outskirts of Doornpoort, about 10km north of the city. However, some city residents and other affected parties are not in favour of the project.   The area where the platinum mine is proposed.   The Department of Mineral Resources has awarded a five-year prospecting right on a 2 779.64ha piece of land just north of the N4 to Gemsbok Platinum (Pty) Ltd, a subsidiary of JSE-listed Sable Platinum (Pty) Ltd.

Umhlanga land sale to 'accelerate pace of property development in Durban'

Umhlanga land sale to 'accelerate pace of property development in Durban' In an unprecedented move, JSE-listed sugar and property giant Tongaat Hulett is to put a 42hectare section of prime land in its booming uMhlanga Ridgeside precinct up for sale in a single transaction early next year. An aerial view of the R12-billion Ridgeside precinct being developed by Tongaat Hulett in uMhlanga. The company said that the uMhlanga Ridge node had attracted more than R50 billion in investment since the start of land conversion from sugar cane to property development 17 years ago. At present 164 000m2, with an investment value of more than R3.6bn, was under construction.

Building confidence remains static

Building confidence remains static Confidence in the building industry remained at its highest level since 2008 in the fourth quarter with no change from the previous quarter. The First National Bank (FNB)/Bureau for Economic Research (BER) building confidence index released yesterday revealed that confidence in the industry remained at 48 points on a 100-point scale in the fourth quarter after rising by 7 points in the third quarter.

'Expect more building failures as South Africans flout regulations'

'Expect more building failures as South Africans flout regulations' A leading building inspector has warned that fatal building failures in South Africa like the collapse of a new Tongaat shopping mall will proliferate due to a lack of adequate policing of building standards and of building materials. John Graham, CEO of property inspection company HouseCheck says the Tongaat building collapse was likely caused by a combination of ineptitude including:

Clifton plot on the market for R70m :

Clifton plot on the market for R70m : A tract of land of around 2 500m2 is for sale in Clifton, priced at R70 million (R28 000/m2), including VAT. A view of the site (outlined with a dotted line). Land is at an absolute premium in the suburb, says Seeff's luxury market specialist, Lance Cohen. 'There is almost no land available in Clifton, Bantry Bay, Fresnaye and Camps Bay - and, certainly nothing of this size or location in Clifton,' he says.

'Banks should give better mortgage deals to long-standing clients'

'Banks should give better mortgage deals to long-standing clients' Loyal clients should be rewarded with better mortgage deals and interest rates says Bill Rawson of the Rawson Property Group.

Tongaat Mall order 'a day late'

Tongaat Mall order 'a day late' Controversial Durban businessman, Jay Singh, said he received a High Court order to stop work on the Tongaat Mall the day after its collapse. Jay Singh in his Phoenix Industrial Park office, knee-deep in plans for the Tongaat Mall. He also denied in an interview that the eThekwini Metro had sent him letters to halt construction. eThekwini officials had said they wrote to him four months before the cave-in, which killed two and injured many more.

Media out to destroy R2.1bn property group, says chairman - Moneyweb

The chairman of Nova Property Group, Connie Myburgh says it appears to him that certain sections of the press are doing their best to make things difficult for the group and its directors. Myburgh was speaking at the group’s annual general meeting, held in Pretoria on Tuesday. The Nova Property Group is the owner of most of the properties that were promoted to investors by failed property syndicator Sharemax. It has property assets worth R2.1bn. Nova acquired these properties as part of a scheme of arrangement that was sanctioned by the High Court on January 20, 2012. Myburgh took particular aim at Moneyweb and this journalist who attended the AGM by means of a proxy. He said it is this journalist’s intention to hurt the Nova Group. “We know precisely who Mr Cobbett is working with,” said Myburgh. “The people that are trying very hard, like they did in 2010, to hurt the investors, the group and the company.” Despite this alleged attack on Nova, Moneyweb can confirm that to date n

Building council to probe Singh family building projects

Building council to probe Singh family building projects The National Home Builders Registration Council has launched an investigation into allegations of shoddy workmanship by companies owned by Jay Singh's family. The council said that an independent team of qualified professionals had been sent to investigate all housing projects by Woodglaze Trading and Gralio Precast, which were both owned by Singh's ex-wife, Shireen Annamalay.

Tongaat mall developer linked to failed Durban Point project

Tongaat mall developer linked to failed Durban Point project Tongaat mall developer Jay Singh has now emerged as a major player in the failed Dolphin Whispers development at Durban's Point. The Dolphin Whispers building at Durban's Point waterfront. Details from a forensic investigation showed that R10 million was the usual limit for approval of loans of this type, but the board of the Ithala Development Finance Corporation signed a cheque for R83m for Dolphin Whispers.

Durban bids to have Tongaat mall demolished

Durban bids to have Tongaat mall demolished The eThekwini Municipality is going after Rectangle Property Investments, the company developing the Tongaat mall which collapsed, killing two, last week, and intends bringing court action to have the property demolished. The city also wants to bring an application to have the company held in contempt of court. If the company is found guilty of contempt of court, Durban businessman Jay Singh's son, Ravi Jagadasan, as the sole member of the company, could be jailed. The municipality's mayoral spokesman, Sthembiso Mshengu, said yesterday that the city was considering the demolition application but was waiting for an engineer's report on the stability of the building.

Property owners, courts take on illegal building

Property owners, courts take on illegal building Property owners, tired of waiting for council officials to act against illegal developments, are increasingly turning to the courts, seeking high court orders to stop town planning and building infringements. And judges - alarmed at what appears to an increase in defiance of the law in these matters - are taking a more robust approach. In one matter in the Durban High Court on Friday, regarding the alleged illegal use of a residential property as a restaurant, acting Judge Peter Rowan suggested that the interim interdict, stopping trade, be strengthened to include that all signs advertising the business be removed immediately.

Commercial property owners to tackle municipal rates

I found this article to be fascinating, not because there is anything earth shatteringly new that is revealed but because it coincides with a dinner I attended last night with the President of SAPOA (Mr. Estienne de Klerk, who is quoted extensively in the article) and the Mayor of the City of Joburg. It was an awesome SAPOA event and included many prominent people from the property industry and several top City of Joburg officials, including the Municipal Manager and a number of MMC's. Mayor Parks Tau spoke very eloquently and his vision for the future of the city was extremely impressive.  The Mayor mentioned that progress toward a future vision should not be undertaken at the expense of glossing over current issues. There are obviously dire backlogs in the planning department and the billing system (including Clearance Certificates) is an ongoing problem.  These issues were not specifically discussed at the function BUT there does seem to be a new spirit of co-operation bet

Comments sought on Centurion lake property proposals

Comments sought on Centurion lake property proposals Tshwane residents are being given a chance to comment on the proposed multibillion-rand development on the site of the troubled Centurion Lake. The development would be known as Symbio-City, with the tallest building in Africa, once it sees the light, subject to successful completion of land alienation and zoning processes. Project leader Roger Warren told the Pretoria News that plans for the development were with the municipality and, to his knowledge, public participation and zoning processes had started. The land is owned by the Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality.

Abandoned millionaires row property a 'problem building'

Abandoned millionaires row property a 'problem building' Cape Town city officials yesterday inspected a Clifton bungalow belonging to the son of the Equatorial Guinea president, bought for over R23 million nine years ago, and said they would be taking legal steps against the absent owner. The abandoned Clifton bungalow, bought for R23.5 million nine years ago. The bungalow, with sprawling views over Fourth Beach, was bought by Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue in 2004, for R23.5m.

Growthpoint becomes SAs biggest office property owner

Growthpoint becomes SAs biggest office property owner Growthpoint has acquired the entire property portfolio and management business of the Tiber Group for R6.6 billion in the listed property fund's single largest transaction. The Towers in Sandton are part of the property portfolio being aquired by Growthpoint. It will make Growthpoint the biggest office property owner in South Africa with a portfolio of 1.5 million square metres of office space valued at about R25bn.

Estate Agency Affairs Board queries 'search invalidity'

Estate Agency Affairs Board queries 'search invalidity' The Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) is pleading with the Constitutional Court to suspend the declaration of invalidity of the law governing its work as this would render searches dating as far back as 1997 unlawful. The board is supported in its bid by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies, to whom the EAAB reports. In June, the Western Cape High Court found that even though the EAAB had evidence that Auction Alliance had breached the Estate Agency Affairs and Financial Intelligence Centre Acts, both laws were unconstitutional and invalid because they violate the right to privacy by permitting targeted searches without a warrant.

Property developers to probe delays in Western Cape

Property developers to probe delays in Western Cape Concerned about slow development processes in the Western Cape, the South African Property Owners Association (Sapoa) has commissioned a study into the value of the private property sector in the province, and the economic costs of inefficient property development processes. Development economists UrbanEcon are assessing the size and scope of the private commercial and industrial property sector and - more importantly - laying bare the risks associated with the property development process. Preliminary numbers in the draft report, titled The Role and Impact of the Commercial Property Sector - Western Cape Province, show the private property sector contributes significantly to the Western Cape economy. It contributes 9 percent, or R23 billion, in construction and property management activities.

Rode's Report shows property price slowdown

Rode's Report shows property price slowdown After starting this year off with a bang, the annual growth in nominal house prices has tapered off in recent months, according to the latest Rode's Report on the property market. But Rode & Associates chief executive Erwin Rode said the cooling in house price growth should not come as a surprise given that key drivers of house prices were showing no vigour. Rode said the official unemployment rate rose to 26 percent in the second quarter, while growth in the disposable income of households fell to 7 percent whereas a year earlier disposable incomes were growing at an unsustainable rate of almost 13 percent.

Tshwane council bills go online

Tshwane council bills go online Property owners in Pretoria are now able to view, download and make payments for all municipal accounts electronically from anywhere using their computers and cellphones. Yesterday, the city launched the eTshwane service, a free online system that provides a full history of accounts and allows users to interact with the municipality - from lodging complains, to queries and compliments. The system allows real-time updates on payments.

Property owners to have their say on Centurion Lake

Property owners to have their say on Centurion Lake Residents of Tshwane may have a say on the latest attempt to rehabilitate Centurion Lake which has fallen from grace in recent years. A formerly popular attraction that used to draw hundreds of people to the area every day, the lake is now a dirty, stinking mess, which has seen businesses there losing clients. Now the Tshwane Municipality has initiated a public participation process.

European Investment Bank supports local low-income housing

European Investment Bank supports local low-income housing The European Investment Bank (EIB), Europe's long-term lending institution, has agreed to provide a further 250 million Euro (R2 billion) for investment in affordable and social housing in South Africa. The new programme will be managed in South Africa by four local partners - two public development finance institutions and two commercial banks - which have already identified development projects that would deliver about 23 800 new housing units. The first of the four loan agreements was signed in Joburg recently by Pim van Ballekom, European Investment Bank vice- president responsible for sub- Saharan Africa and South Africa, and representatives of Nedbank.


Since my last post with the same title, some new Articles by and about Shepperson Attorneys have appeared in the press. Please see the latest issue of the Property Review Magazine. The magazine contains a nice feature on me and, more particularly, in my capacity as a National Councillor of SAPOA. The latest issue of Asset Magazine contains an Article that I really enjoyed writing because it is more lighhearted than previous hard fact based articles that Shepperson Attorneys has published in earlier editions of Asset Magazine. Please see my Article on Pages 68 to 70. Gareth Shepperson Shepperson Attorneys Corporate, Commercial and Property Law

GARETH'S LITTLE RANT: Log a Call ... the Death of Service

The ubiquitous Call Centre is proving to be the bain of my existence. Whilst I realise that with the advent of major international corporations, it is no longer possible to have a manager sitting somewhere dealing with queries.  It is simply not possible to deal with thousand of queries from all over the country (or the world). However, whoever invented the current model of the operation of Call Centres deserves to be Hung, Drawn and Quartered as in the days of old. The phrases "Log a Call" and "Let me give you a reference number" should be banned from the English language upon punishment of death (or at the very least having your tongue cut off).  Similar phrases like "We are experiencing high call volumes" and "Your call is important to us" should be worth at least 20 lashes. Let me give a recent example:

Chinese to build 'New York of Africa' in Gauteng

My personal favourite piece of property news in a while. Some may see it as a threat to local Developers but I am of the opinion that investments such as this have far more potential benefits to SA Property Players than potential threats. Investment has a knock-on effect and the more foreign direct invest (FDI) that South Africa can secure, the better our economic growth, the more employment as a result of growth, the more disposable income for every individual/corporate ... and therefore the more that such individuals/companies can spend on PROPERTY. Am I being overly simplistic?  Why not comment? A recent economic impact study by the Bureau of Economic Research at Stellenbosch University indicated that the implementation of Modderfontein’s previously approved spatial development framework will cost about R77bn. According to the study, there is capacity to create 22 000 jobs, 65% being semi-skilled and unskilled. It estimates that while R1bn will be generated in local g

Electricity, rates and taxes remain top property costs

Electricity, rates and taxes remain top property costs Electricity, rates and taxes remained the biggest contributors to operating costs of property owners in the first half of this year, according to a report from the SA Property Owners Association (Sapoa). Electricity remained the largest cost as a proportion of total operating costs at 32 percent, despite falling by 2 percent in the first half of the year from a year earlier, followed by rates and taxes, which represented 21 percent of total costs and grew by 2.3 percent year on year. The third highest operating cost contributor was management costs at 8 percent, despite contracting by 5.9 percent over the period, according to the report compiled by International Property Databank for Sapoa. Fran├žois Viruly, a property economist and professor at UCT's School of Construction Economics and Management, said this week that operating costs had in the past few years increasingly become an issue in the property sector because t

'Consumers still hungry for homes and loans'

'Consumers still hungry for homes and loans' According to the latest statistics released by BetterBond Home Loans the number of home loan applications received by the group increased by 5,06% in the 12 months to end-October, compared with the previous 12 months, while the total value of those applications showed a 12,26% y/y increase. In addition, says BetterBond CEO Shaun Rademeyer, the total value of home loans formally granted through the originator showed a huge year-on-year increase of 23,85% at end-October - by contrast with the 2,7% y/y growth in overall household mortgage balances reported by the Reserve Bank at the end of the third quarter.

End in sight for nightmare on Pretoria roads

My very own personal pet hate! I have blogged on a couple of occasions bemoaning the fact that I have to endure the absolute chaos that has been created in the City center by the construction of the bus routes.  As part of my duties, I go to the Deeds Office several times a week and suffer the extreme frustration of the roads having been narrowed to a lane or two and all the delivery vehicles simply stopping in one of these remaining lanes to do their deliveries. When you eventually reach your destination, you find that they have taken away all the metered parking.  Crazy! Anyway, at least they will rapidly finish the project ... NOT! (Completion date is 2016 - and we know how good the public service is at meeting deadlines - think Madupi.) Gareth End in sight for nightmare on Pretoria roads Come April, the traffic nightmare along Nana Sita and Paul Kruger streets could be over as the R3.5 billion Tshwane Rapid Transit system takes to the road. An artist's impress

'Many loopholes can be found in Agreements of Sale'

'Many loopholes can be found in Agreements of Sale' Any experienced property professional can help a seller or buyer get out of 80% of Agreements of Sale says Wayne Albutt, Regional Sales Manager for the Rawson Property Group in the Western Cape. 'Most traditional Agreements of Sale will have had sections added to them or deleted from them so as to fully cover the agreement and in most cases it is these additional clauses that can be exploited and give rise to problems, making the Agreement of Sale unenforceable in terms of the Alienation of Land Act. Should one of the parties want to get out of the agreement after signing, an astute lawyer or estate agent can often find reasons for making the Agreement of Sale voidable.'

No answer on Tshwane's gated communities

No answer on Tshwane's gated communities Gated communities need to move away from only worrying about crime in their neighbourhoods, but look at broader issues that affect the city. Speaking at the annual meeting of Lynnwood Glen Estate at the weekend, Tshwane mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa said the city supported gated communities but cautioned against them only concentrating on crime. Ramokgopa said it was up to the council to decide whether to lift the city's moratorium on granting permission for communities to erect gates for access control. 'Right now, your biggest concern is crime. We hope that in future there will be other issues that you as a community can be interested in,' he said.

Durban's secret glass dome unveiled

Durban's secret glass dome unveiled For anyone born before the 1980s, John Orr's was synonymous with shopping for the whole family, and a visit to the Dr Pixley kaSeme (West) Street department store was an outing to be savoured. The newly restored glass dome at the Jetmart store. It sold everything, including the proverbial kitchen sink, and was a one-stop destination for families. Finally, however, it could not compete with the new breed of chain store and the Durban store and its counterparts elsewhere in the country were sold about 30 years ago. It was the end of an illustrious chapter in the history of Durban commerce. Today only the shells of the handsome original buildings remain. But an exciting discovery three years ago led to renewed interest in the building from architects and historians.

Rise in bank's house price index slows to 6.9%

Rise in bank's house price index slows to 6.9% : The rise in the Standard Bank house price index softened to 6.9 percent year-on-year in September from a revised 7.6 percent year-on-year figure the month before. In September, the nominal (not adjusted for inflation) index monitoring sectional title units matched the August improvement of 4.2 percent year-on-year. Momentum in the nominal index monitoring freehold properties eased to 8.7 percent year on year in September from 9.5 percent year on year in August. In spite of the softness in September, the index remains range bound between 7 percent and 8 percent. Although also range-bound between 2 percent and 3 percent, household credit growth continues to show signs of life.

FSB weighs in on controversial Sharemax opinion

Responds to Sharemax director’s comments on Fais Ombud complaints. JOHANNESBURG – The Financial Services Board (FSB) has found it necessary to comment on a circular issued by Sharemax director Dominique Haese. The circular, dated August 6, 2013, suggests to investors that if they pursue complaints against their financial advisers with the Fais Ombud, they may forfeit rights to investment returns or repayments from the Nova Group. The Nova Group has approximately 33 000 investors who acquired shares or debentures as a result of the restructure of property syndications promoted by Sharemax Investments. The restructure resulted out of a scheme of arrangement which was sanctioned by the High Court on January 20, 2012. The Nova Group is controlled by four directors, two of whom, Dominique Haese and Dirk Koekemoer, played important roles in the promotion of Sharemax investment products. On October 25 the FSB issued a media release in response to Haese’s circular. Says the FSB: “The c

Tolls 'to cause mass tenant migration' :

Tolls 'to cause mass tenant migration' The introduction of e-tolling is set to cause a major upheaval in the Gauteng property market, and especially in the rental sector. 'The toll fees are going to place an additional strain on household budgets and many people who currently use the freeways to commute long distances to work will want to relocate to avoid them,' says Jan Dave of the RealNet estate agency group. 'This is obviously going to be easier for tenants than homeowners, and the immediate result is likely to be a spike in demand for flats and other rental properties close to the decentralised office and industrial nodes, and in the CBDs of Johannesburg, Pretoria and other large centres in Gauteng.' Rental demand is also likely to strengthen, he says, in the increasingly popular areas close to public transport access points like Rea Vaya, Gautrain or Metro stations, as more people try to avoid commuting by car.

Property development slated for Pretoria's Loftus Versfeld stadium

Property development slated for Pretoria's Loftus Versfeld stadium Pretoria's Loftus Versfeld and its surroundings are set to get a massive economic and aesthetic upgrade with the construction of a R1.2 billion shopping and office precinct which is expected to be operational by the beginning of 2016. An aerial view of the site plan and road networks. The project, which will consist of shops, restaurants, an office park, a hotel, a gym and a sports museum, is expected to break ground in the middle of next year, with the construction of the entire development set to last 18 months. This futuristic and environmentally friendly project will be positioned at the corner of Park and Kirkness streets and will be bordered by Pretoria High School for Girls and Loftus Versfeld Stadium. The development which will occupy the entire tennis court and the open field parking on the north side of the stadium was presented by Abland (Pty) Ltd yesterday. Abland is a property development

Housing tribunals 'function unlawfully'

Housing tribunals 'function unlawfully' Court rules regulate the conduct of the proceedings of the courts, as for example, in the case of a tenant or landlord seeking to take a ruling or judgment on appeal. Where a party intends to appeal against the judgment of a court or to take on review an alleged irregularity, the party is entitled to a copy of the transcript, upon payment of the prescribed fees. This is usually paid to an outsourced commercial company, such as Sneller Recordings. The transcript of the mechanical or digital recording of the proceedings must be certified as correct. Rental Housing Tribunals do not have regulations as required by the Rental Housing Act 50 of 1999 as amended.

Joburg council says no to Gupta rezoning plan

Joburg council says no to Gupta rezoning plan A request by the Gupta family for their property in Saxonwold, Joburg, to be rezoned has been declined, a councillor said yesterday. Ward 117 councillor Tim Truluck said he received written notification yesterday that the city's town planning tribunal had declined the request. No reason was given. Gupta family spokesman Gary Naidoo said he would respond to questions by e-mail. Truluck said that if the Guptas wanted to reapply for rezoning, they could do so at a provincial level, or submit a new application to the City of Joburg that was more in line with municipal requirements. Residents could also look at the application. City spokesman Gabu Tugwana said: 'We believe the Guptas have knowledge of why the rezoning was declined. Rather (than us), the family are at liberty to explain the reasons why.'

Tshwane transformation to spare jacaranda trees

Tshwane transformation to spare jacaranda trees Tshwane's central business district and transport system are undergoing major changes to transform the city into a modern capital, one that will also maintain its heritage like its famed jacaranda trees. Jacaranda trees are in full bloom, lining many of the streets of Pretoria, and the beautiful purple blossoms are a huge tourist attraction. Come October and the city's jacaranda trees are in full bloom, their blossoms forming a purple carpet on pavements and lawns. Streets in the CBD like Minnaar and Johannes Ramokhoase are lined with jacaranda trees planted more than a century ago.

R800bn needed to clear housing backlog

R800bn needed to clear housing backlog South Africa needs at least R800 billion - and a 'miracle' - to clear its current housing backlog of 2.1 million houses within the next seven years. This is according to the Finance and Fiscal Commission (FFC), which released its report on 'alternative finance and policy options for effective and sustainable delivery of housing in South Africa' yesterday. It also believes the current approach to housing delivery won't be sustainable. The FFC's main responsibility is to make recommendations on the equitable division of revenue between the three spheres of government and provide advice to organs of state on financial matters. The commission's head, Bongani Khumalo, said the housing sector faced many challenges. They included the ever-increasing housing backlog and a decreasing number of low-cost houses being delivered by the government.

Affordable housing is the place to be.

Arrowhead snaffles an opportunity in residential rentals. Massive demand for quality rentals at affordable levels has motivated Arrowhead Properties (JSE:AWB) to step into the fray of residential property. The listed property company may have only published a maiden annual report but its management team comprises property experts of long standing within the industry.  They have a reputation for diversification and high yields, while aiming to provide shareholders with sustainable revenue sources to support above average quarterly distributions. Thus the acquisition of a residential property portfolio worth R406m earlier this week came as no surprise and follows Arrowhead’s JSE conversion to Real Investment Trust (REITS) in July. This also coincided with its cautionary announcement to shareholders of the acquisition, originally intended at R500m.

The pros and cons of a fixed bond rate

The pros and cons of a fixed bond rate With the prime interest rate at a low that was last seen in the market over 30 years ago, many homeowners may be contemplating fixing the rate on their bond. This is particularly appealing to homeowners who are risk averse and want a fixed amount that they can budget for each month, says Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa. 'Where a homeowner stands financially, along with their appetite for risk, will be the determining factors as to whether a homeowner chooses to fix their rate or opt for a variable or flexi rate. Homeowners who are at their budget's limit and cannot take the risk of an interest rate increase are probably more likely to opt for a fixed rate than those who have some breathing room in their budget. The security of a fixed rate ensures that the homeowner will not have to deal with any unexpected changes and additions to their monthly expenses for a fixed period of time. However, that said, there are a f

Gautrain plans many more routes

Gautrain plans many more routes Seven new Gautrain routes are set to be built over the next 25 years, and they will stretch from Soweto to Tshwane East. In other changes, Gautrain buses will be phased out, and more use made of branded taxis that will transport commuters to and from the new stations. Gautrain Management Agency chief executive Jack van der Merwe said yesterday the first new route was planned from the Sandton station to Randburg, and would run mainly underground. Construction is expected to start in the next four to five years.

Banks increasingly wary of property fraud

With regard to the first scam in the article, if you pay the deposit to a reputable Conveyancer (or a reputable Estate Agent), then the so-called "seller" will not have access to the funds until transfer in the Deeds Office, by which time the fraud should have been discovered.  The funds will also be insured.  Obviously, the more sophisticated scamster can use false ID's and other documents but the "seller" can't just take the money and run before some level of due diligence is completed. My advice is that by retaining the services of REPUTABLE Estate Agents and Conveyancers, the risk is reduced to virtually zero. Gareth Shepperson Reputable Conveyancer Banks increasingly wary of property fraud 'Banks need to perform more rigorous checks because various types of fraud have now become increasingly common in property sales,' says Bill Rawson of the Rawson Property Group. 'There have been cases where the seller in fact did not own the ho

Credit data amnesty 'will increase cost for borrowers'

Credit data amnesty 'will increase cost for borrowers' Moody's Investors Service warns that the removal of adverse credit information from public records will have a negative impact on the rating of South African residential mortgage-backed securitisation and asset-backed securitisation transactions. In a report released today, it advises that the removal 'will reduce the amount of information available to originators to assess the creditworthiness of new borrowers, and may impede responsible lending and borrowing practices, which will increase credit risk'. The report was released in response to a cabinet statement issued last month, which said the cabinet 'approved the recommendations of the select committee on trade and international relations'. The committee's guidelines sought 'to address the issue of access to credit to those South Africans that can afford credit. These are consumers who may have paid their debts in full and are in a pos

'Overpricing still holding back sales'

'Overpricing still holding back sales' Higher priced properties are still taking longer to sell - and showing bigger differentials between asking and selling prices. Denis Quayle, owner of the four Harcourts Maynard Burgoyne real estate offices in Cape Town, says many sellers at the upper end of the property market are still clinging to price expectations that are out of step with market realities. 'Consumers are hard-pressed from all sides due to rising living costs - and even the higher income groups are very value conscious at the moment. On the other hand, some sellers have a skewed idea of what their properties are worth in the current market and are slow to take advice from experienced estate agents on market-related asking prices,' he says. 'Unfortunately, their determination to achieve certain asking prices often comes at a high cost, in terms of the length of time it takes to sell a property and the holding costs that sellers have to carry during th

More commercial property tenants pay rent on time

More commercial property tenants pay rent on time The percentage of commercial property tenants in good standing has slowly improved since the end of 2010 despite an increasing proportion of tenants failing to pay their rent on time, according to TPN credit bureau. TPN warned in its latest commercial property rental monitor that there was a worrying trend of tenants migrating from the 'paid on time' category into the 'grace period' and 'paid late' categories, which were at a combined 27 percent in the second quarter. To put this trend into perspective, TPN said, late-paying tenants in the fourth quarter of 2010 bottomed out at 13 percent and remained in the 19 percent to 22 percent range until increasing to 27 percent in the first and second quarter of this year. 'This will bring increasing cash flow pressure to bear on landlords in meeting monthly operational costs,' Michelle Dickens, TPN's founder and managing director, said. Tenants in g

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!