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Share your property-buying insights and win an iPad Mini 3
Are you looking at buying property and do you think 2015 is a good year to take the big step? Even if you’ve decided to remain a ‘happy renter’ or are simply having fun browsing through houses and apartments for sale, you can still take this 5-minute Property24 survey and share your views.

So wherever you are at… planning on buying your first home, selling property and upgrading, downscaling or ‘upscaling downscaling’ to a new home – we’d love to hear your take on things!

For instance, do you believe you need to rush to get into the market before property prices climb too high and the interest rate goes up, or do you think home prices are simply too high to begin with? What's your house-hunting experience like?

Tell us, it’s important to know these things… so we can help to make your property-buying time an über positive one.

Online house hunting and real estate agents
Consumer buying patterns are constantly evolving, none more clearly evident than the manner in which people are looking to buy homes according to Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive of the Pam Golding Property (PGP) group, who says, undoubtedly, the huge advances in modern technology and internet connectivity have played a major role in this evolution. In 1995, less than 1% of the world population had internet connectivity. According to internet statistics, the one billion threshold was reached in 2005, adding another billion users by 2010 and a third in 2014, he says.

In today’s world, with over three billion internet users, currently said to represent approximately 42% of the global population, the internet revolution has reportedly seen Africa’s internet connectivity escalate by some 24% over the past year to around 26.5% of the continent’s total population of an estimated 298 million people.

Tenants beware these property rental scams
There have been various warnings issued over the years, and rental scams come in many guises and keep evolving. With this in mind, tenants need to be constantly be aware of all the things that might not “add up” when they look for a property to rent according to Gail Cawood, rental manager for Knight Frank Residential SA, who says there are numerous things that need to be remembered when looking for a rental property.

Especially when one is going through free online advertising sites, where there are often properties advertised with very little information about the physical location of the person advertising or the property itself, she says.

The most popular scams being run at the moment are:

How affordable is property in South Africa?
By historical standards, housing in South Africa remains affordable and also compares favourably to affordability in other global housing markets. However, slower growth in local household income has seen a gradual deterioration in affordability since late 2013.

This is according to Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive of the Pam Golding Property (PGP) group, who says bearing in mind that they are excluding the ‘affordable housing sector’, namely homes priced below R250 000, it is interesting that a recent SARS data released allows for the comparison of affordability in various provinces and major metros.

Coupled with this, rising congestion, in regard to population and density in general in major centres, is prompting some analysts to argue for a new, more complete, measure of housing affordability, he says.

RICS report: take action and prepare for global change
Professionals in the built environment sector must take concerted action to prepare for the unprecedented global change the sector will face up to 2030.

This emerged from a new Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) report, entitled ‘Our Changing World: Let’s be ready’. The report examines how global social and economic changes will require new skills, business models and responses to developing technologies over the next 15 years.

This is according to TC Chetty, RICS Country Manager for South Africa, who says significant shifts in demographics, levels of urbanisation and economic power will impact on how and where we live.

While the full impact of these changes is impossible to predict, RICS as a global professional body must lead the sector in being responsive and agile in how it prepares the profession to meet these changes, he says.

Why you must attend your AGM
Residents in sectional title schemes will often not realise how important it is to attend their Annual General Meeting (AGM) and will think of many reasons not to do so according to Michael Bauer, general manager of the property management company, IHFM, who says the main reasons why owners in a sectional title complex should attend their AGM, are to maintain a semblance of control over the financial situation and ensure they better their knowledge of the complex’s operations.

Owners of units in sectional title schemes need to realise that if they do not attend the AGM of their scheme, they cannot really complain if they do not agree with decisions that have been made, he says. It is also important to check that all the trustees are doing their jobs properly; one cannot assume that things are always done when they should be done.

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