More bonds being granted
Mortgage bonds worth R26,3-billion were granted in the third quarter of this year up by a significant 48% compared with the same period last year and by 11,5% on the second quarter of this year.
Personal loans and other forms of credit also increased sharply, growing by 40% to R75,1-billion up from the R53,6-billion for the third quarter last year.
These figures - published in the Consumer Credit Market Report are based on data from lenders and accounts for about 90% of all credit advanced to individuals in the country.
KZN has many dodgy tenants
KwaZulu-Natal has the highest percentage of dodgy tenants with 16% of them in arrears with their rental repayments according to figures published in TPN rental payment profile.
The report shows the number of tenants in the did-not-pay category in KZN is 60% above the national average. In the Western Cape about six percent of tenants did not pay while in the Eastern Cape the figures rise to seven percent.
The payment record in Gauteng is also not squeaky-clean with 12% of tenants falling into the did-not-pay group.
Comparatively good payment performances were recorded on properties in the R3k to R7k bracket and the R7k to R12k sector as well.
Buy-to-let interest growing?
The levels of investment in the buy-to-rent market have declined steadily since 2008 according to data published in the Rode Report for the third quarter of this year. However, rental prices for apartments are gradually increasing resulting in positive year-on-year rental inflation.
The percentage of tenants who are in good standing with their landlords has increased from 71% in the first quarter of 2009 to 82% in the third quarter of this year.
The buy-to-let market comprises just 7% of the total home-buying market, and is at its lowest point in years which is virtually in line with the market for holiday homes.
Recently Pam Golding Properties (PGP) launched a new range of apartments at Amalfi - a luxurious beachfront development in Mouille Point - and in just two weeks, 25 apartments were sold.
Umhlanga development from R895k
Whether it is because the silly festive season is upon us or whether it's just that people have an eye for bargains no-one knows but 33 units in the first two phases of a development in Ilala Ridge, KwaZulu-Natal have already been sold.
Santana, a block of 24 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments is being built at the Bahia Club along with another block, Salvador that comprises nine two-and three-bedroom apartments with sea views.
The apartments are priced at between R895k and almost R2-million and range in size from 50 to 131 sqm, including balconies and undercover parking.
Fury over demands for information
Angry Durban ratepayers are threatening to take the eThekwini council to court over its insistence that all registered account holders must provide it with personal details including identity numbers and their next-of-kin.
It has threatened to disconnect the services of consumers who do not complete the council's Revenue Information Assessment form.
The council says it needs this information in order to improve its services and communicate more effectively with consumers. However, some cynical Durban residents believe that the personal information will be sold to commercial firms.
Chairman of the Isipingo Ratepayers' Association, Dharmanand Nowbuth says that unless this information is required by law then the council has no right to demand it or to threatened to suspend the services of those people who don't comply.
Joburg city billing a shambles
Johannesburg residents are struggling to come to terms with the fact that the city's billing system - implemented at a cost of R580-million last year - is a complete shambles.
The chaos has resulted in the city being unable to deliver basic services - such as refuse removal, maintenance of the electricity infrastructure or supplying clean water - to many areas within the metropolitan precincts.
A quarterly infrastructure and services reports has blamed the city's poor financial performance and its inability to pay its bills or collected outstanding rates and services bills on Project Phakama (Upliftment).
The report assessed the performances of City Power, Joburg Water and Pikitup between June and October this year. A sub-committee set up by Amos Masondo's office has instructed officials to resolve the performance issues before the end of the year.
Bond pressure as employment levels fall
A sharp drop in employment levels could increase the pressure on homeowners who are struggling to meet their mortgage repayments after the number of permanent employees in the manufacturing and financial services sector fell by 2,74%.
Many of the permanent employees have high levels of debt mainly for credit cards, vehicle instalments and bonds.
A report by Adcorp Holdings shows that while the number of permanent employees fell, there was an increase in the number of temporary workers and agency workers.
There are currently just under a million agency workers employed in South Africa according to the National Association of Bargaining Councils (NABC).
Worcester an affordable alternative?
Although about an hour's drive away from Cape Town, Worcester property is affordable with entry-level homes costing in the region of R600k according to Pam Golding Properties' Surina du Toit.
Set on over 1140sqm, this neat three-bedroomed home in Worcester is on the market for R1.79m. "The larger family homes cost anything from R900k upwards with historic homes or modern properties selling for up to R2,8-million," she says.
For instance the company is selling a large home set on a golf course with 180 degree mountain views, four bedrooms and three bathrooms for R2,9-million. It also has a three-bedroom, two bathroom home with mountain views, and an established garden for R1,8-million.
More bonds being granted