How will the proposed tax increases affect households?
The ratings agencies have been circling for months, with many fearing a downgrading to junk status, and South Africa’s economic growth rate has been narrowed from 0.8% in February to 0.5%.
“It’s fair to say that South Africans are feeling the pressure of a struggling economy - something that’s set to continue into 2017 and beyond” says Bruce Swain, MD of Leapfrog Property Group.
During his medium-budget address Minister Pravin Gordhan announced that additional taxes to the tune of R43 billion will be raised over the next two years, with R13 billion being raised next year to bring the total tax increase to R28 billion in 2017/2018.
'No pet' policies are costing landlords
South Africans are known to be animal lovers, and thousands of households regard their four-legged friends as family, but across the major metros it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find pet-friendly rental properties as more landlords and bodies corporate adopt “no pet” policies.
“There are not nearly enough pet-friendly rental properties to meet the high demand as the number of landlords and bodies corporate implementing a ‘no pet’ policy rises. We’re hitting this stumbling block even with unfurnished, spacious homes with large grounds,” says Brendan Miller, Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty Atlantic Seaboard and City Bowl CEO.
“It has also become an issue in the sales market where we are seeing more and more sectional title and cluster developments imposing an outright ban on pets. This severely limits buyers’ choices, especially in the lower- to mid-markets, which on the Atlantic Seaboard means anything from around R2 million to R10 million.”
New standards for South African property valuation
Valuation is one of the key areas of practice for Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) qualified professionals. In response to the last global financial crisis, RICS developed a regulatory monitoring initiative, known as Valuer Registration (VR).
“The Valuer Registration scheme sets out an approach to raise confidence in the delivery of valuation advice and reinforce the highest professional standards in property valuation, a key component underpinning most economic activity,” says TC Chetty, country manager for RICS South Africa.
“RICS’s main objective with this initiative is to reinforce the quality and accuracy of valuations, while raising consumer confidence in the profession and, through effective regulation, minimising the risk associated with property valuations.”
How to choose the right industrial property for your portfolio
Industrial property returns are fairly uncorrelated with those from other asset classes such as bonds and equities, which helps reduce the overall volatility of a portfolio. Furthermore, the property itself represents a solid investment in that yield of the property is higher than the prime lending rate, and thus provides the investor with positive cash flow from day one.
“Investing in the right industrial property is an ideal way to diversify an investment portfolio while ensuring a relatively safe source of steady income,” says Robert Shaff of Nexus Property Group (NPG) corporate real estate services.
Buying a retirement home? Know your options
For a homeowner who has reached retirement age and is looking to purchase a retirement home, there are several aspects to consider. “Not only do they have to consider the location of the property they want to buy, but also the type of property they want to stay in, and the type of sales transaction that meets their criteria,” says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
Statistics reveal that the majority of South African investors who are in their golden years currently own some kind of property, and have sold a property to either downsize or move into a more secure environment that is close to amenities such as hospitals and frail-care facilities.
Is there a 'perfect time' for selling property?
Knowing that you’re ready to sell your home and actually listing it for sale are two different things, with the latter action often being delayed by your desire to find the “perfect” time to move. “But actually, it is unlikely that such a moment will ever arrive, because property markets are constantly shifting, so you need a different approach to decide whether selling now would be a good decision for you, your family and your finances,” says Gerhard Kotzé, the new MD of the RealNet estate agency group
Kotzé gives some of the most important factors to consider and questions to answer before you decide to sell: