Q&A: Future of property payments to speed up transfers, stop fraud
The transfer of property is a complex process that is vulnerable to administrative errors, delays and potential fraudulent financial activity. Conveyancing attorneys are under immense pressure to ensure properties are transferred with the minimum delay as efficiently as possible, while keeping all the parties in the process informed and happy.
The Attorneys Fidelity Fund has paid out more than R745 million over eight years to South Africans who have been defrauded during property transactions.
With an outdated Deeds Office system and cumbersome payments and settlements process, the current processes are open for errors and potential fraudulent activity – there is a need for a modernised property transfer process.
Multi-generational living the latest SA property trend
For both economic and security reasons, households made up of several generations of the same family are on the rise again in South Africa, and estate agents are reporting a marked rise in multi-generation home purchases, with parents and children or parents and grandparents pooling resources to buy a residential property that will accommodate them all.
“There has recently also been a rise in demand for homes with multiple granny flats or separate cottages to accommodate retired parents, newlyweds or working singles in the same family,” says Berry Everitt, CEO of the Chas Everitt International property group.
“At the same time, many retirees who already own large properties are now building themselves a retirement cottage on the same stand while one or more of their adult children move into the original family home.”
Your guide to buying and owning a Western Cape heritage home
Are you interested in owning a historical property but unsure about its investment value, or whether you will be able to place your own personal stamp on the property?
Pam Golding Properties delves into the intricacies of owning a heritage property.
For many, the opportunity to own a historical home holds considerable appeal and we are certainly spoilt for choice in the Western Cape, which offers an array of historical properties ranging in style from the stately Cape Dutch with thatched roofs and ornate gables to the bold Art Deco evident in many of the apartment blocks in Vredehoek and surrounds, says Richard Day, Pam Golding Properties National General manager and Cape Regional MD.
Top six tips for buying property in an estate
The popularity of estates and other gated developments has grown enormously in the past 20 years, and it is estimated that there are now about 6 500 closed golf, wildlife, wine, equestrian and lifestyle communities in South Africa, containing approximately 350 000 homes.
“And the average price of those homes is about three times the national average home price, so it is clear that buyers in these developments are happy to pay a premium for the additional security and lifestyle amenities they offer,” says Gerhard Kotzé, MD of the RealNet estate agency group, which sells homes in many of SA’s top golf and lifestyle estates.
“What is more, with the introduction of sectional title units in many of the newer estates, the demand for estate homes is definitely not limited any more to repeat buyers in the higher income brackets. In fact, buyers these days include many working singles, young marrieds with small children and active retirees - and an estimated 25% of them are first-time buyers.”
Homeowners, don’t pocket your interest rate 'savings'
The South African Reserve Bank’s decision to keep the repo rate at 6.25%, thereby ensuring that the bank’s prime lending rate will stay at 10.25%, and the likelihood of rates dropping in the near future, give wise bondholders an opportunity to consolidate their position.
Rowan Alexander, Director of Alexander Swart Property, says he and certain other property professionals predict rates will drop by 0.25% to 0.5% in the short to medium term.
His advice to bondholders is to maintain and possibly even increase the current level of their monthly repayments. Do not simply accept the fact that you will now have a little more spending money, he says, rather use it instead to shorten your bond repayment period.
Four simple steps to find out what your property is worth
If you are thinking of selling your home, then one of your biggest concerns will undoubtedly be to find out how much your property is worth. It is very important that sellers set the correct asking price when placing their home on the market as buyers who are looking at properties to purchase are educated and know what they can buy within their price range.
“The price of your home will get influenced by what is happening on the political and economic stage of the country, the area, as well as the surrounding suburbs. The condition and upkeep of your property is one of the biggest factors resulting in homeowners losing money when the opportunity for sale presents itself,” says Craig Hutchison, CEO of Engel & Völkers Southern Africa.
Many sellers have inflated beliefs that their house is worth more then what they paid for the property, especially if they have had additional costs on improvements. It is essential that sellers view their home as objectively as possible.