Property 24/10 - 320

Is South African property a good investment?
Property is and continues to be a good investment in South Africa, despite the current negative perceptions about the state of the country. Herschel Jawitz, Jawitz Properties’ chief executive, says the key to investing in property is based on taking a long-term view. This means at least five years.

“In the current market, with property prices growing by 6% to 8%, location is the key to a good buying decision,” says Jawitz.

“Equally important is ensuring that you buy within your means so you are not forced to sell quickly should circumstances change - such as interest rates going up more than you anticipated.”

Can social media help you sell property?
In an ever-changing world, one can't help but feel overwhelmed when trying to keep up with latest trends and tools available to make sure you obtain the maximum exposure for your property when placing it on the market. “Social media has become a crucial communication channel for the real estate industry. More and more platforms are launched every day, and with time so limited, it has become the way in which people communicate with each other,” says Craig Hutchison, CEO of Engel & Völkers Southern Africa (E&V SA).

“Engel & Völkers have stayed close to the movements in the digital marketing trends, with systems specifically developed to target this sector. Our digital package places technology at our agent's fingertips.”

Can I cancel my offer to purchase?
The transfer of immovable property is governed and regulated by South African legislation in order to protect all parties to the transaction. Jansen Snyman, Founding Director of Snymans Incorporated Attorneys, says one of the ways the transfer of property is regulated is through the Offer to Purchase document (also referred to as a Sale Agreement). As such, it is important to understand how signing an offer to purchase affects you and what it means to be legally bound by the terms in the agreement.

An offer to purchase document is drawn up, often by an estate agent or conveyancer in consultation with a seller, in order to stipulate the details of the sale agreement.

Industrial parks revival a boon to SA economy
The revitalisation of industrial parks across the country has taken centre stage at the Department of Trade and Industry, as South Africa seeks ways to breathe new life into communities that have been left out of the mainstream economy.

SAnews on Wednesday joined a Brand SA media tour to Limpopo to visit one of the five industrial parks in that province, Seshego Industrial Park. The park is managed and owned by the Limpopo Economic Development Agency (LEDA).

The park houses about 72 factories which include manufacturing, agro-processing, services and storage enterprises, among others. The Head of Land and Property Development at LEDA, Mouric Molepo, says they hope to see manufacturers more than any other industrialist renting space in the park because it is this sector that creates the most jobs.

First-time buyer? Hidden property buying costs revealed
More than 50% of the people who bought homes in South Africa in June this year were first-time buyers, some of whom had to deal with the embarrassment of borrowing money from family or friends owing to last-minute, unbudgeted expenses according to Cor van Deventer, a director at Greyvensteins Attorneys, which is a member of the Phatshoane Henny Group of Associated Firms, specialing in all aspects of South African law, including property and conveyancing. Van Deventer says this is according to figures released by mortgage originator, ooba, which show that 52% of the applications it received in June were from first-time home buyers. These buyers generally understand and budget for transfer costs, bond registration costs and deposits.

Can technology replace estate agents?
The peak home buying years are between 25 and 45 years old, and the sheer size of the Millennial generation should mean a peak in home sales and a good time for realtors. Tom Salomone, President of the National Association of Realtors in America (NAR), says there are now even more millennials than baby boomers. Census records indicate 92 million millennials versus 77 million baby boomers in the USA.

Salomone discussed this at a recent seminar hosted by Real Estate Business Owners of South Africa (REBOSA) in Cape Town.

According to Salomone, technology is central to the Millennial generation and, as they’re the primary home buyers, their reliance on tech is dramatically influencing the way property is bought and sold.

Why do estate agents ask for FICA documents?
Whether you are looking to buy, sell, let or rent a property, you will find that your estate agent will ask you for proof of identity and proof of residential address. So, if you have been asked for these, there’s no need for concern - the South African Reserve Bank has put certain controls in place through the introduction of the Financial Intelligence Centre Act, No. 38 of 2001, better known as FICA, to effectively fight money laundering and combat the financing of terrorism.

Chas Everitt Nelson Mandela Bay’s Principal, Charlotte Vermaak, says in terms of FICA, estate agents are required to verify customers’ details by collecting supporting documents.

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