Property 24/10 - 441

Focus on homeownership will do wonders for SA’s economy
A decade ago, a survey by the Reader’s Digest magazine showed that 65% of South African consumers were in favour of homeownership, and the latest statistics show that nothing much has changed since then - except the size of the population.

“The latest homeowner sentiment survey conducted by Absa shows that a comparable 67% of SA consumers are currently positive about the benefits of owning a home rather than renting one. But the population of SA has increased from 49.5 million to 56.5 million over the past 10 years, so the actual number of people in favour of homeownership is now considerably higher than it was then,” says Rudi Botha, CEO of BetterBond, national bond originator.

“Meanwhile, the most recent General Household Survey (GHS) report released by StatsSA shows that only about 53.5% of SA households actually live in their own homes (including those who live in traditional rural homes). Another 8.8% of households are partial owners, while 24.7% are tenants in formal homes and 13% live in informal structures.”

Divorce, property and transfer duty: What you need to know
There’s death and taxes. And then there’s divorce and transfer duty. It would be inaccurate to really compare the former to the latter, but one thing is for sure - both need to be handled with care, sensitivity and sound advice.

Our property advisors are often asked questions around transfer duty in the case of a divorce order awarding a spouse sole ownership of a fixed property, says Bruce Swain, CEO of Leapfrog Property Group.

“And yes, it can certainly be confusing,” he says.

According to Swain, here’s what you need to know about the transfer duty on a property in terms of a divorce order:

Tenants, this is how fake agents scam you out of your money
We’re into the first quarter of the year when many students start thinking about accommodation for the year, those changing jobs start considering new homes and many of us are scouring online property sites, looking for holiday rents.

Paul Stevens, CEO of Just Property, warns that property scammers have become quite sophisticated. “We encourage those looking for rentals to be vigilant. It is vital that you look for ways to verify the integrity of the property listing you are interested in.”

The only sure-fire way of ensuring you won’t be scammed, is to deal through a reputable property company and double check everything, says Stevens.

“Scammers are clever conmen and women - the smartest ones are extremely charming, and adept at lulling their victims into a false sense of security, even using real properties that are really up for rent to lure the unwary into making their deposits and paying that first month’s rent into the crooks’ account.”

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