Guide to investing in lucrative student accommodation
The recent protests at universities and colleges across South Africa have caused many to question the wisdom of investing in student accommodation, but it still remains a highly-attractive option - provided you buy the right kind of property in the right location, according to Bill Rawson, chairman of the Rawson Property Group, who says the disruption of studies and exams is obviously a worry for investors as well as students and parents.
In recent times, he says some students prefer staying at home and studying online or by correspondence, and some - those who can afford it - opt to attend private institutions here or overseas where they will not be affected by protest actions.
Commission cutting 'not the answer' in a property market downturn
Estate agent commission cutting on home sales, which was rampant during the 2008 economic downturn, is making a reappearance in the current residential property market downturn. It is a path that existing and potential home sellers with best-price aspirations should either walk with care, or opt for a safer route.
Commission cuts offered by real estate agents in South Africa’s current declining, or flat-lining, residential property climate (excluding booming Cape Town, of course) is not a new phenomenon. But it does fall short of best practice.
And the outcome for home sellers is inevitably what it was at the peak of the financial crisis about 10 years ago: sales below best achievable prices.
Cape Town property market showing impressive growth
The latest property barometer of Cape Town's house price indices by FNB reveals how significantly the Western Cape has outperformed the rest of South Africa when it comes to the strength of its housing market and average house price growth, largely due to Cape Town's high demand and overall house price growth.
This is according to Grant Smee, Managing Director of Only Realty, who says what is most interesting about this barometer is that it indicates the strongest house price growth and top performance being near Table Mountain.
Smee says FNB used the Deeds Office data to construct a new set of house price indices for key sub-regions within the City of Cape Town Metro. This data then showcased that in the 4th quarter of 2016, the City of Cape Town’s estimated average house price growth rate remained in double-digit territory to the tune of 13.2% year-on-year.
Flat repo rate 'vital' for property recovery
The decision by the Monetary Policy Committee of the SARB (South African Reserve Bank) to keep the interest rate at the current level of 7% (home loan base rate of 10.5%) is a vital boost for stability.
This is the view of Samuel Seeff, chairman of the Seeff Property Group, who says economic and political stability is vital to get the economy and property market back on the road to recovery. “Although it remains under pressure, we have seen some positive sentiment come through from the latest FNB Property Barometer, pointing to a marginal improvement and possibly a slightly better year ahead for the market.”
Inflation has also dipped from 6.6% in January to 6.3% in February, he notes, and at the same time, the rand has strengthened and is in a much better position compared to last year - despite the instability around this week’s recall of Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan from an overseas investor roadshow.
Visit the Cape Town Property Buyer Show from 8 - 9 April
Looking to buy or invest in Western Cape property?
“Then make sure you will be attending the Property Buyer Show at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) where an innovative exhibition layout is designed to walk buyers through the property buying process,” says Benhard Wiese, Principal Agent of Cape Coastal Home (CCH).
“It is literally a one-stop shop, which will simplify the process.”
Wiese says the expo offers a finance zone, property zone, first-time buyer seminar theatre and a property investor theatre.
Inherited property can cost you, here's what to do
Handling an inherited property can be an extremely difficult experience for real estate professionals, as well as for their clients.
Richard Gray, Harcourts Africa Chief Executive Officer, says it often touches deep emotions, but has enormous implications for long-term financial security - and so having a clear plan of action for when it arises is an excellent idea.
“One of the most common issues that we face is around information and documentation. The first step is to have it appraised to understand what it may fetch on the market,” says Gray.