The dos and don'ts of last-minute holiday renting
At this time of year a surprising number of people who had been planning to stay home for the festive season will suddenly decide to go away, and frantically start scouring online and classified advertisements for last-minute holiday rental deals.
This is according to Greg Harris, CEO of Chas Everitt Property Rentals, who says unless you want to risk extreme disappointment, you really do need to slow down, avoid being pressured into a decision and be very careful who you do business with and what you sign up for.
“Crooks and con-artists thrive on desperation and hasty decisions and they use all sorts of bait to tempt you into parting with your money and getting nothing in return,” he says.
Smart pricing will drive property sales in 2017
A key theme for the South African residential property market in 2017 will be "smart pricing".
“We have seen the market contract in 2016, demand has dipped in line with the slower economy, more property listings are coming through, and buyers now have more to choose from,” says Samuel Seeff, chairman of the Seeff Property Group.
“As the market pendulum shifts towards buyers, the challenge will be on for serious sellers to realise they are now competing with other properties and will need to set their asking price expectations at the right level.”
Seeff says the right price is that which will attract buyers and offers, and there is a difference between the municipal value and the market value.
Why student flats are such a good investment
A 2015 survey conducted by The Times of nine South African universities found that for the 140 000 residence applications last year, there were only 68 419 available spaces.
A survey by the Department of Education of the 50 public technical and vocational education and training colleges in the country, also conducted last year, revealed that for the 710 000 students in these institutions there were only 10 120 residence beds available, or only one bed per 70 students.
“When one considers these staggering numbers, together with the fact that there are over 1 million students registered at private and public universities in SA, the opportunities for property investors in this sector seem endless,” says Elmarie van Huyssteen, principal of Chas Everitt International in the university town.
Re/Max starts annual toy and book collection charity drive
This month marks the start of the annual RE/MAX Foundation National Toy and Book collection, once again securing its place as a firm fixture on the brand’s calendar.
Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa and director of the RE/MAX Foundation, says every year countless numbers of children go without gifts over the festive season, while so many of us take what we have for granted.
“As the year comes to an end, it is a great time to reflect, be grateful and give back to those in need. Through the Toy and Book campaign, the RE/MAX Foundation aims to uplift the less fortunate children within the community who may otherwise not receive anything this Christmas,” says Goslett.
How to negotiate a reasonable rental escalation
Unfortunately, as with most things in life, rent goes up each year - but does this mean that tenants have no choice but to expect whatever percentage the landlord decides on?
“As a letting agent with much of my portfolio coming up for renewal over the summer months, it is always interesting dealing with the expectations of both tenants and landlords and helping them meet in the middle,” says Grant Rea, Rental Specialist at RE/MAX Living.
“In Cape Town, where rentals are at a premium, the escalation of rent at the anniversary of the lease can seriously impact the tenant’s budget for the next year. This is compounded further by the lack of available long-term rentals during the season.”