Property 24/10 - 276

Affordability and good security in Gauteng's ST homes
Sectional title properties are more popular than ever in the Gauteng suburbs, and indeed around South Africa, with the demand for these types of homes continuing unabated despite the inflationary pressures currently being felt by many households.

The latest Pam Golding Residential Property Index, which provides an in-depth analysis of property trends in South Africa, reveals that nationally in 2000 just 10.9% of residential building plans passed were for sectional title properties. In 2015 this figure was 38%.

This is according to Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive of Pam Golding Properties group, who says this trend has also been evident in Gauteng areas. For example, sectional title properties make up close on 30% of all units sold by the PGP Hyde Park office.

Entering the property market is more affordable now
The average home purchase price among first-time buyers has climbed steadily over the past two years from R612 000 to R652 000, and yet, it has become more affordable to enter the property market according to Shaun Rademeyer, CEO of BetterLife Home Loans, who says for one, the average percentage of the purchase price required by the banks as a deposit on first-time purchases has shrunk from 8.4% to 6.8%.

He says this translates to a cash saving of around R9 000. “Secondly, the transfer duty threshold was raised earlier this year from R600 000 to R750 000, which translates into further savings for most first-time buyers of up to R4 500. And thirdly, wages have generally risen faster than house prices over the past two years, so monthly home loan instalments as a percentage of income have grown smaller.”

The pros and cons of installing a thatch roof
Thatched roofs have endured for thousands of years. Offering a durable roofing option, they not only add character to a charming cottage, but to a modern home as well.

There are pros and cons to having a thatched roof, and it helps to know what to expect if you are considering adding a thatched roof on your house.

There's no denying that a thatched roof adds appeal to any home. Because thatch is a sustainable material (although more expensive than a tiled roof), it’s becoming a more popular roofing option for new cottages and modern and contemporary styled homes.

Landlords beware - homeowner evicted from own property
In a bizarre twist of events, a homeowner has been evicted from her own property according to managing director of TPN, Michelle Dickens, who says an immediate order of eviction was handed down in the Springs Magistrate’s Court on 28 August in favour of the tenant who had occupied the property during the previous year.

Dickens says landlords faced with non-paying tenants are sometimes deeply frustrated and feel further financial pressure due to the accumulating expenses of the property. The law is very clear, however: a landlord must follow due process through the courts to secure an eviction order.

“Understandably, landlords are frustrated due to the average three month process and the R20 000 cost of an eviction order, but our tried-and-tested advice remains: there is a shortage of rental stock and one can deduce, then, that there is an oversupply of tenants, but not an oversupply of quality tenants,” she says.

Tips for saving water in sectional title schemes
The current heatwave, increased water tariffs, “water shedding” and looming water restrictions are all reminders of the scarcity of this resource in South Africa and the need to use it wisely.

“And this applies to the residents of sectional title complexes just as much as to the owners of freehold homes,” says Andrew Schaefer, MD of Trafalgar, national property management company.

“Water tariffs have risen by between 8% and 14% a year since 2008 and, since most units in sectional title buildings do not have individual water meters, such increases are passed on to all owners, usually according to the participation quota (PQ) of their unit.”

Buying a home? Make sure it's an investment
Throughout the course of our lives, there are three important lifestyle decisions which nearly all of us are likely to face, and all three have huge financial implications. These are the car you choose to drive, the school you send your children to and, possibly the biggest decision, the house you choose to live in according to Barry O'Mahony, founder of Veritas Wealth, who says property is everyone’s favourite asset class, particularly in South Africa.

“First of all, it's a brick and mortar investment that we live in, making it more tangible than nearly all other investments. This gives us the legitimate feeling that we are getting something for our money,” he says.

“Property also has the potential to be a terrific investment, which we have seen over the past 20 years with South Africans having made more money off property investments than any other.”

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