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Showing posts from July, 2013

Property subsidy scheme for first-time buyers shows little promise

Property subsidy scheme for first-time buyers shows little promise When President Jacob Zuma announced that the Department of Human Settlement would be instituting a finance-linked individual subsidy programme for first time home buyers, there was a sudden influx of hopeful potential home buyers keen to make use of this programme. This was said recently by Daphney Klopper, the Rawson Property Group's franchisee for Table View and a co-franchisee for Parklands. "The Finance-Linked Individual Subsidy Programme (FLISP) scheme," said Klopper, "looked exceptionally promising when it was announced because it offers subsidies up to R87,000 towards the purchase of a home by a first time buyer. However, clients who approached us and their banks or bond originators for a mortgage loan making use of this scheme have not as yet seen any concrete response to their applications." The banks, said Klopper, appeared to be equally keen to implement the scheme but when ap

Big gap in housing market needs to be addressed

Big gap in housing market needs to be addressed The department of Human Settlements will keep on 'dousing fires' unless it addresses the housing market gap of people who earn too much to deserve Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) houses, but too little to qualify for mortgages. This gap refers to public servants who earn between R3 500 and R15 000 a month, including entry-level police officers, nurses and teachers. According to members of Parliament's human settlements portfolio committee, the building of houses on illegally sold state land in Lenasia pointed to a bigger problem that needed to be nipped in the bud. The department's top officials heard this yesterday when they appeared before the committee to brief MPs on progress made in Lenasia. However, officials said the department's efforts were being hampered by some Lenasia residents who continued to illegally build houses at night. They said they feared this land invasion could spread

Bid to thwart Menlyn casino plan

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Bid to thwart Menlyn casino plan A group of 22 residents' associations and interest groups who lodged a complaint with the Public Protector about the City of Tshwane's disregard for their concerns over increased development in the Menlyn area, are looking to launch an objection with the Gauteng Gambling Board on the development of a multibillion-rand casino complex in the area. The Joint Action Group (JAG), laid a complaint in August with the Public Protector over the city's approval of the Menlyn Node Spatial Development Framework of 2012 which aims to densify and develop certain areas. The group claimed the city ignored a negative traffic impact analysis and forged ahead with approving the framework and even added more areas. The group's main concern is the strain the increased development will put on existing services, traffic and the public transport system. Other concerns include the inadequate provision of community facilities such as taxi ranks, schoo

Great demand for 100% home loans, but banks resist

Great demand for 100% home loans, but banks resist Roughly 20% of all bond applicants in South Africa require 100% bonds today - but the rejection rate on this type of application is always a great deal higher than the average. Some 85% of those applying for 100% bonds tend to buy in the R500,000 to R750,000 price bracket, says Mike van Alphen, National Manager of the Rawson Property Group's bond origination division, Rawson Finance. Those hoping to buy above R750,000 are often upgrading and can put down 10 or 15% deposits as a result of the sale of their current home. 'The banks are sometimes accused of being too harsh in their assessments of 100% bond applicants. However, in my experience this is not so - they are committed to helping in this sector but they have to work to the rules and standards set by the National Credit Act and there is no getting away from this.' Despite on-going publicity in the media on this subject, says van Alphen, the vast majority of bo

Pensioner commits suicide outside Sharemax offices

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In my Blog I have posted so many Blog Posts on both Sharemax and Picvest. I have always looked at it from the point of view of an interested observer with a keen interest in the Property Industry.  I was always interested in the legal ramifications of the coniving that has gone on with these two investment schemes. When taking an analytical view of these type of activities, it is easy to forget that there is a real impact on people's lives. I was therefore stunned to see the latest news on Moneyweb about Sharemax.  One of the investors in The Villa committed suicide right in front of the Sharemax Offices, which also happens to be very close to my house. The fact that Nova Property Group is now simply trading as Sharemax with another name (and the same directors) while investors (many of whom can't afford it) is in my opinion an absolute travesty of justice. Gareth Shepperson Investor wanted directors to know the devastation they had caused. Sharemax investor Boh

Pretoria landmark gets new lease of life

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Pretoria landmark gets new lease of life The Sterland cinema and shopping mall complex in Arcadia is being redeveloped and expanded at a cost of R80 million by co-owners Atterbury Property Holdings and Genesis. The Sterland complex in Arcadia. The Sterland shopping mall and cinema complex in Arcadia is undergoing changes that will include a Planet Fitness gym and supermarket. The upgrade will result in SterKinekor and Red Eagle Spur being joined by a new Planet Fitness gym, which is scheduled to open in September. The centre will also feature a new Pick n Pay, Top CD and a range of restaurants and fast food outlets, including Steers, Fishaways and Chicken Licken. However, Atterbury Property Holdings's vision for Sterland extends beyond the mall itself, and it hopes to open a hotel and restaurants in the adjacent building, Primedia's former head office. Gerhard van der Westhuizen, the project manager at Atterbury Property Development, said despite Sterland being one o

Small property price increases outstrip other categories

Small property price increases outstrip other categories The latest records from ABSA show that in the first six months of this year small home sales prices saw an 11,3% growth, giving an average sale price of R730,000. By way of contrast, medium house prices grew at only 8.6% to an average price of R1,077,100, and large homes grew by 9,7%, to give an average price of R1,679,100. "This," said Mike van Alphen, National Manager of Rawson Finance, "shows that in real terms only small homes kept well ahead of the inflation rate. Even more significant, however, is the fact that year-on-year growth, it is now predicted by almost all analysts, will stay in the single digit bracket for the remainder of this year, if not longer." The rental patterns on South African homes, added van Alphen, show a similar trend, demand for low value homes being far higher than for those of more expensive properties. In both rentals and sales, said van Alphen, the Rawson Property Gr

Property owner's rights 'are absolute'

Property owner's rights 'are absolute' The owner's right to a property is a real right that can be enforced against the 'whole world'. It is, in a sense, an absolute right. A tenant decides to rent out the outbuilding and the garage since the lease does not stipulate that she cannot sub-let. Can the landlord, who is the owner, demand a share of the tenant's rental income? Let us take another example where the landlord/owner discovers that his tenant sells lemonade and orange juice made from the fruits taken from the trees planted by him on the property leased to the tenant. Does the landlord have a claim to the tenant's income or can he prevent the tenant from accessing the fruits? Can the owner not enforce his rights, since he has an absolute right? The owner's right also includes what is legally referred to as jus abutendi, that is, he is entitled to alter and destroy the property, which a tenant cannot do. The tenant (lessee) has undi

Neighbours 'should be cautious in agreeing to building plan departures'

Neighbours 'should be cautious in agreeing to building plan departures' I had an interesting call from Brian (name has been changed) in Pinelands, Cape Town. Brian's neighbours want to put a second story on their existing thatched roof house, which like many older Cape Town properties has been built over the building line. This house is only 2 meters from the boundary. Because the extension was a departure from the current municipal by-laws, the municipal planning had told the applicant to get the neighbours to give their written agreement to this departure. Now Brian has no wish to be anything but neighbourly and would normally be more than happy for his neighbour to extend his house. However, Brian called me to ask: What if there is a fire in the thatch and because the thatch roof structure is so close to the boundary this fire spreads to Brian's house also. If this happened would his insurance company pay, asked Brian? Good point. The National Building Regula

Lower end of market booms but few buyers qualify for bonds

Lower end of market booms but few buyers qualify for bonds Figures from the Deed Offices show increased sales in the lower section of the residential property market. Rawson's managing direction Tony Clarke says that about 40 percent of all property sales in South Africa were for properties valued below R400 000 and 80 percent of buyers were looking for homes priced below R600 000. 'This would appear to indicate that a significant number of lower income earners are now at last realising their dreams of becoming homeowners. The reality, however, is that far more are still unable to afford homes,' said Clarke. 'The problem is that the high percentage of buyers at the lower income levels don't qualify for bonds and most developers are just not capable of bringing new homes to the market at prices below R700 000. 'In the R700 000 to R1.2 million bracket there is now a flourishing development market, but, as indicated, such homes are too expensive for nearl

Lower end of market booms but few buyers qualify for bonds

Lower end of market booms but few buyers qualify for bonds Figures from the Deed Offices show increased sales in the lower section of the residential property market. Rawson's managing direction Tony Clarke says that about 40 percent of all property sales in South Africa were for properties valued below R400 000 and 80 percent of buyers were looking for homes priced below R600 000. 'This would appear to indicate that a significant number of lower income earners are now at last realising their dreams of becoming homeowners. The reality, however, is that far more are still unable to afford homes,' said Clarke. 'The problem is that the high percentage of buyers at the lower income levels don't qualify for bonds and most developers are just not capable of bringing new homes to the market at prices below R700 000. 'In the R700 000 to R1.2 million bracket there is now a flourishing development market, but, as indicated, such homes are too expensive for nearl

Disquiet over R3bn Menlyn casino plan

In a follow up to yesterday's post. Disquiet over R3bn Menlyn casino plan There is no official approval for a casino at Menlyn - at least not yet. Although Sun International has announced in newspaper adverts detailed plans for a R3 billion entertainment complex called Time Square at Menlyn Maine - including a casino bigger than the gaming area at Montecasino - a full council meeting still has to debate it. Residents of the surrounding suburbs yesterday expressed disquiet at the idea of a casino in their midst, especially because of its proximity to schools, retirement centres and places of worship. However, the biggest concern seems to be an increase in traffic such a complex would mean to the Waterkloof Glen, Constantia Park, Garsfontein and Faerie Glen areas, and the fact that residents have not been consulted. The site is at the intersection of Corobay and Aramist streets, behind the Glen High School and opposite the CTI Pretoria campus and Menlyn Corporate Park. It i

Pretoria to get massive casino

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Pretoria to get massive casino News that a casino complex - with a bigger gaming area than Montecasino - is planned at Menlyn Maine has been kept under wraps and has come as a big surprise to residents in the area. An artist's impression of the proposed scheme. Sun International announced yesterday by way of an advertisement that it was to close the Morula Sun and had applied to transfer the gaming licence to a new R3 billion entertainment complex being developed near the Menlyn shopping centre in Waterkloof Glen. But the DA councillor for the area, Professor Duncan Baker, said while he had heard rumours of a casino, one had not been approved as part of the original Menlyn Maine development. The proposed complex, which would be close to a nursery school and churches, would be called Time Square and would include a casino with 3 000 slot machines - 1 300 more than at Montecasino in Fourways - as well as gaming tables. This is if Sun International's application to transf

What happens if there's an interdict on a property for sale?

What happens if there's an interdict on a property for sale? The Institute of Estate Agents, Western Cape, is often called in to assist when buyers, sellers and estate agents experience problems and they, in turn, says Annette Evans, regional manager of the Institute, will enlist the help of specialists in that particular field to answer any questions or deal with queries. One query in particular that has come up recently, said Evans, is whether an estate agent is responsible for checking whether the seller's property has any interdicts over it. With the crash of the property market very recently the above question has become more and more relevant, says Storme Heath, a director at C & A Friedlander Attorneys who often sponsor training sessions and events held by the Institute. 'All around us we see boards affixed to the gates of properties, alerting us to an upcoming auction to be held on these properties. It seems that properties in a broad spectrum, from Salt

Sapoa's persistence helps resolve illegal land uses in Polokwane

Sapoa's persistence helps resolve illegal land uses in Polokwane The commercial and industrial property sector has won a key battle against illegal land uses in Polokwane, in Limpopo, thanks to the persistence of the South African Property Owners Association (Sapoa). Illegal land uses of concern to property owners include the erection of billboards, posting of placards and parking of trailers. After almost a year of pursuing various channels of complaint, Sapoa finally secured a meeting with the mayor of Polokwane last week to discuss the concerns. And, thanks to Sapoa's lobbying, the first steps have been taken to legally tackle these illegal uses. The city's chief planner, Fanie Muleya, confirmed that a court order had been granted to impound illegal billboards. Furthermore, the city will address all the remaining illegal activities in due course. Sapoa's role in driving the solution has been key. The association's chief executive, Neil Gopal, said

FUNDING REQUIRED FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING

I have the absolute pleasure to represent clients who are the embodyment of the South African entrepreneurial spirit. Their Property Development Company is 100% owned by previously dissadvantaged individuals, who don't necessarily have the connections with government or municipalities that could give them the easy route of securing a tender via the back door. Instead, they have built a sustainable company from the ground up.  Initially operating as a construction company taking on houses in the existing affordable housing developments of the very big companies operating in this sector, they have not only dreamed bigger but have embraced their dream and forged ahead against the odds and they are now poised on the brink of achieving their dream of becoming fully fledged property developers. How have they done it? They have secured land from land owners through options and offers to purchase with relatively long lead times for development of affordable housing.  These land par

FNB house price index increases

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 Click HERE to visit us on Facebook  FNB house price index increases The FNB house price index showed mild acceleration in its year-on-year average house price in June, from a revised 6.2 percent in May to a 6.6 percent rate in June, the financial services group said on Tuesday. "The renewed acceleration in house price growth, which resumed early in 2013 after a lull late in 2012, continued in the June version of the FNB house price index," the group said in a statement. In real terms, adjusted for consumer price inflation, as at May there was a "very slight" year-on-year increase of 0.61 percent, with consumer price inflation at 5.6 percent year-on-year in that month being slightly lower than house price inflation. The index's average price of homes transacted was R891,266. In real terms the index was 18.6 percent down on last decade's real price peak reached in November 2007. In nominal terms, prices were 15.7 percent higher. "Ho

Pretoria Public Works refurbishment to achieve green star rating

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Pretoria Public Works refurbishment to achieve green star rating The refurbishment of Pretoria's old Agrivaal building, a block away from the Union Buildings, is the first building undertaken by the National Department of Public Works to achieve a green star rating and will become one of only three green buildings in the city. An artist's impression of what the Agrivaal building is expected to look like upon completion at the end of next year. The department did not disclose how much the refurbishment of the existing building and construction of a new section is expected to cost, nor which government department would eventually occupy it. Marco Macagnano, who was involved in the design of the building and speaking on behalf of the directors of PKA International Architects and Francois van der Merwe Architects in Association, said a decision was taken to respect the form and aesthetics of the existing building with the design of the new section. This was done by designi

Explosive end looms for Munitoria

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Explosive end looms for Munitoria Twelve seconds. This is how long it will take to implode the former Pretoria municipal headquarters building, Munitoria, beginning at noon on Sunday. Part of the former municipal headquarters, Munitoria, is wrapped in a blast curtain ready for the implosion on Sunday at noon. All 120 000 tons of concrete will come down, with the 44-year-old building, a landmark in Tshwane, making way for the new Tshwane House development planned as part of the metro's programme to regenerate the inner city. Yesterday, representatives of the City of Tshwane and Draco Demolitions, who will oversee the implosion, met residents and business owners in the area to discuss the final arrangements for the longawaited implosion. Electronic explosives have been placed in about 1 000 columns in the empty building and will be set off from west to east (from Lilian Ngoyi Street to Sisulu Street). The building's dividing walls, windows and fittings have been remo

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!