Gap housing projects: CT and Joburg
While Cape Town is plans to provide 199 housing rental units in Elsies River from next month, the Minister of Human Settlements, Tokyo Sexwale has opened the R33-million Cavendish Chambers housing project in Johannesburg's inner city, a building reclaimed from hijackers in October last year.
The Cape Town projects, Leo Mews and Avon Gardens form part of a 'gap' housing project that originally intended to sell the properties at prices starting at R237k but, because there were so few sales, the homes are now available for rent.
According to Cape Town councillor Shehaam Sims, the 'gap' houses are aimed at households earning between R3,5k and R10k a month. "In this segment of the market, demand for affordable housing outstrips supply," says Sims.
Are SA's councillors dumb and dumber?
While the ideas of some politicians and their financial advisers might be noble, they also strike me as being downright stupid. Here's the concept: you are owed a lot of money, so you reduce the amount you're owed to make it easier for your debtors to pay you.
At the same time, you urgently need every cent you can lay your hands on to maintain systems and equipment, provide certain essential services and develop your area.
What am I talking about?
The municipalities, local authorities and metropolitan councils of South Africa. Just six of them are owed almost R30-billion and if you add the debts of the smaller councils to this, the figure is probably double that.
South Africa should be a building site
The whole of South Africa can be turned into one large construction site in order to build sustainable human settlements in various localities.
This is the view of Human Settlements Minister, Tokyo Sexwale who told delegates attending the DBSA/Human Settlements conference in Midrand that the department is acquiring 6250 hectares of well-located state land to provide 600 000 new loans in the affordable housing market using the state-supported "gap fund".
"In addition 500 000 informal settlement dwellings are being upgraded," he said. Sexwale points out that the greatest challenge facing the country is economic growth, which needs to keep pace with the population growth.
Mass property auction 11/11
The High St Auction Co has will hold its launch auction on Thursday 11 of November at Summer Place in Hyde Park featuring a range of commercial, industrial and retail offerings from around the country.
Free houses - but no title deeds
Only 58% of the title deeds for houses built by the Cape Town council more than 10 years ago have been handed over the owners and now the city is trying to speed up this process.
This emerged after the council's housing directorate conducted a survey of housing projects completed at Tambo Square, Old Wallacedene, Nyanga, Mfuleni, Bloekombos, Masiphumelele, Lwandle, Nomzam and Pumlani.
Of the 12 631 plots surveyed, 7 375 transfers had been registered while 5 256 were still outstanding. According to the survey about 90% of the outstanding transfers related to three specific projects. Apparently the title deeds are still registered in the name of the city or the provincial government.
Bargains galore in Jo'burg's South
More than 230 properties, worth just R118-million, have been sold in the southern suburbs of Johannesburg so far this year and Seeff's Shawn Mackrell says the area is providing excellent value for money considering that the average sales prices is just R505 324.
He says the lowest price for a property was in La Rochelle where a home was sold for just R260 916. According to estate agent Les Wilsenagh, the southern suburbs of Johannesburg provide excellent access to all the main bus routes into the city, are close to amenities such as schools, crèches and shops are have read access to the highway network.
Inland buyers keen on Cape Town
Wealthy buyers from Gauteng and other inland parts of South Africa are apparently keen to buy businesses in the Western Cape and Heinrich Koorts, managing director of Seeff Western Cape says: "Up-country buyers are buying like crazy at the moment."
He says the organisation has a huge demand for businesses that provide a good return and are backed by solid figures. "This applies to anything from coffee shops to small manufacturing companies at prices that range from several hundred thousand to about R5-million. If the figures are there then the business will sell within a week," he claims.
Sellers - unrealistic property prices
Although there is ample evidence that house prices have fallen throughout the country, sellers of properties are doggedly sticking to their demands for prices that are between 10% and 20% more than those actually being achieved says Helen Hoekstra of Anne Porter Knight Frank (APKF).
"Sellers are completely unrealistic about the prices they are asking for their properties and they refuse to take any advice from an agent who is there to guide them," she says. "And buyers are not much better because they are taking much longer than before to commit to buying a new house."