Property 24/10 - 102

5 April 2012

Cape Town debt counsellor in hot water
The National Consumer Tribunal (NCT) has cancelled the registration of a Cape Town debt counsellor following a court judgement.

Christopher Bornman, a Cape Town debt-counsellor’s registration was cancelled by NCT with immediate effect on 13 December 2010.

This was in response to an application brought by the National Credit Regulator (NCR).

This was done as a result of numerous complaints the NCR received from consumers.

Bornman had subsequently lodged an appeal against the decision and the said appeal was heard by the North Gauteng High Court during September 2011.

Through its Honourable Judge Ranchod, the North Gauteng High Court handed down a judgment on 28 March 2012, where Bornman’s appeal was dismissed with costs.

Knight Frank commercial division in SA
The global property company Knight Frank, recently held an African conference at Asara Hotel in Stellenbosch

Not only was this a platform to promote business between their African offices, but also to launch Knight Frank Commercial in South Africa

The Business Beyond Borders conference was held with a view to maximise growth in the property industry and liaison among Knight Frank’s (Kenya, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Uganda, Nigeria, Botswana, Tanzania and South African) representatives. 

Susan Turner, director of the newly formed Knight Frank Commercial division, says Knight Frank sees the African property market as having great potential and believes that they are well placed, with qualified and experienced property professionals, to deal with marketing, valuation and management of commercial, agricultural and residential real estate throughout Africa. 

How do I price my property to sell?

A Property24 reader asks:

I need to sell my house urgently and have called in several agents to value the property. In my opinion, three of the agents have undervalued my home and this feeling has been backed up by one of the valuations, which was much higher than the others. I am confused as to how the agents have all managed to come to different conclusions as there is a vast difference in their valuation amounts. 

I was surprised by the low value that some agents attached to the property, but was equally surprised that the one agent said that the property was worth far more than I ever thought possible.

How do I go about finding the correct value as I need to sell quickly and cannot afford to test the market, but I obviously want to get as much money as possible out of the deal?

Jaco Rademeyer, from Jaco Rademeyer Estates, responds:

This is a fairly common problem, but fortunately one that is relatively easy to solve. 

South African homes getting smaller
The South African residential property market has radically adjusted to tough economic conditions and land shortages over the past four years.

This is according to Lanice Steward, managing director of Anne Porter Knight Frank.

She explains that a great deal has been said about homes being more realistically priced as sellers are becoming aware and react to current market conditions.

Steward notes that the latest FNB Property Barometer reveals that new residential stands, which in 1970 to 1974 averaged just over 1 000 square metres, dropped by 2010 to just over 500 square metres in size, meaning they have been literally halved in size on new developments. 

SA expatriates looking to buy homes
Returning South African expatriates could be a key pillar in the recovery of the market for higher-priced homes.

According to Ronald Ennik, chief executive officer of Ennik Estates, SA expatriates particularly those who have been living in the UK could help the market recovery.

“In the wake of the euro zone debt crisis, and the employment and other uncertainty it has created, living and working abroad has lost its lustre for many expats,” says Ennik.

Ennik says this is clearly mirrored in the uptick in buy enquiries they are receiving from South Africans wishing to come back home.  

While no statistics are officially available, Homecoming Revolution, a Johannesburg-based non-profit organisation that encourages and assists expats to return, says it is receiving 120 enquiries a month from South Africans living abroad who wish to come home.

Locals rediscover downtown Jozi
Once feared as a gangster's paradise, downtown Johannesburg's restored buildings, flowing fountains and sidewalk art are attracting an unusual breed of tourist - local pedestrians.

"I was born in Johannesburg, but I had never been to the city centre," said student James van Biljon on a guided Saturday stroll with his family.

Johannesburg's city centre was once the heart of apartheid South Africa. During the 1990s, the central banking district became a no-go area as crime soared and companies fled to safer neighbourhoods.

They left behind empty buildings, sometimes occupied by squatters, falling into ruin.

But massive public and private investment, as well as an army of private security guards, have reversed the trend over the past decade. Old office buildings have been transformed into lofts, facades have been restored, once dry fountains flow again and sculptures now dot the sidewalks.

Compliance certificates explained
Sellers' criticism regarding the Cape municipal ruling that a plumbing certificate should be obtained before a transfer can take place is misplaced.

According to Lanice Steward, managing director of Anne Porter Knight Frank, the Cape Peninsula residential estate agency, there is a misconception about what the plumbing certificate covers. 

The main objective is to conserve water and ensure that only the water that needs to enter the sewerage system does so. 

It has to be appreciated that the wrongful disposal of grey, swimming pool and other waste water into the general sewerage system has in the past been responsible for the overloading and breakdown of these systems.

Why homes with beautiful gardens sell?
For many property buyers, the decision to finally purchase a home is inevitably swung by emotions, which often seal the property sale deal.

Buyers are said to walk into a home during a show house and later when the deal has been signed, they say something along the lines of “I just fell in love with the place”.

According to Mike Greeff, chief executive officer of Greeff Properties, an Affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estates, property sellers can tap into this phenomenon in a number of ways – from a cosmetic lick of paint, to more fundamental remedies necessitating blood, sweat and renovations

He notes that in the currently heavily stocked buyer’s market, the property for sale has to shout much louder than the others if it is to be noticed, and what better way to do it than investing in the garden, which ultimately sets a tone for what the home has to offer.


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