Property 24/10 - 350

Traffic and transport costs are reshaping SA's property markets
Traffic jams are a daily challenge for many residents of Johannesburg and Cape Town and the desire to avoid them is informing many current property purchasing decisions in these two metros according to Gerhard Kotzé, MD of the RealNet estate agency group, who says there are three different preferences emerging among different groups of home buyers.

The first of these, he says is the growing demand among young buyers for apartments and townhouses in areas close to their workplaces - whether these are in the city centre or decentralised commercial hubs - which should preferably also be close to shops, restaurants, as well as entertainment and sports venues.

Expropriation Bill, 'not the draconian law'
We have recently heard a lot of populist rhetoric centred on the need for more aggressive expropriation policies and "expropriation without compensation". Some of the loudest cries have come from the President, the Economic Freedom Fighters and other political stakeholders. The long and short of it is a call for the State to be allowed to seize land from property owners without compensation. Although the call is a popular mantra to spout by politicians looking for votes in a country where land ownership is both highly contentious and racially skewed, the simple truth of it is that there will be no "expropriation without compensation" for as long as section 25 of the South African Constitution, which protects the right to property, remains as is.

Until now land expropriation has been addressed in The Expropriation Act, which pre-dated the South African Constitution by two decades. It is a draconian piece of legislation which confers extensive powers on the authorities (including government departments and municipalities) to expropriate. Little protection is given to property owners.

Buying property? Five 'red flags' to look out for
Buying a new home can be overwhelming, not least because for most of us it’s as much an emotional purchase as a financial transaction according to Sandy Geffen, Executive Director of Sotheby's International Realty South Africa, who says that with so much information overload during a viewing – especially if we’ve fallen “head over heels in love” with a home – it is possible, to miss important details.

“Overlooking certain ‘red flags’ could have significant financial repercussions if not addressed before buyers sign on the dotted line,” says Geffen.

“Certain imperfections may not be perceived as ‘problems’ to all buyers, with many being happy to fix small things once they move in, but there are a number of issues that can’t and shouldn’t be ignored.”

Geffen says among the worst culprits are:

Electric fences 101: how to keep your home safe
You have to admit, the thought of having a large croc infested moat around your home is a little appealing. Even better, if that moat was electrified and couldn’t be penetrated by criminals. The next best thing? An electric fence.

Electric fences are all the rage in many South African suburbs, and it’s becoming increasingly rare to find a street that doesn’t have a home surrounded by one. But is an electric fence really worth the money? Do they keep criminals out? How do they work?

Anchor South Africa shares some tips…

New sectional title insurance guidelines explained
Each year the trustees of sectional title schemes should be re-assessing the insurance taken out for their schemes, which is usually tabled at the annual general meeting as an agenda item, as per the Sectional Title Schemes Management Act (STSMA) (Section 17 (7)(j).

This is according to Mandi Hanekom, operations manager for sectional title finance company Propell, who says insurance cover is a requirement by law, and is dealt with in great detail in the STSMA section 23, stipulating in the sub-rules what needs to be insured - including the buildings, public liability, fidelity cover, and South African Special Risks Insurance Association insurance (SASRIA). In addition, it stipulates how to deal with excesses payable.

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