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23 May 2019

Uptick in SA's property market - green shoots at last?
There are signs of increased activity in the property market which may signal a possible upturn following the elections according to Gary Palmer, CEO of Paragon Lending Solutions, who says the first quarter of 2019 was very tough and people took some real losses after a relatively stagnant 2018.

“Property owners have stopped waiting for the market to improve before they sell,” he says. “That’s excellent news for brokers and buyers, particularly in Johannesburg which is less sentiment-driven than the Cape Town market. We have now reached a point where prices are realistic given the current state of our economy, and buyers are taking interest.”

Aucor Property MD, Greg Want, says the auction house has “definitely seen an increase in sales activity,” and that “both buyers and sellers are more decisive and motivated to transact”. He says both the volume and the value of transactions increased by over 30% in the first quarter of 2019 compared to the same period last year.
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How tech-enabled estate agents enhance the customer experience
The saying ‘data is the new oil’ has been cropping up with increasing frequency as industries explore the many applications of this 21st Century commodity. While the real estate industry may be a step or two behind the curve when it comes to leveraging the power of data to enhance their services, a few forward-thinking businesses have been championing the movement.

“The discussion around technology within the real estate industry to date has been largely centred around disruption and replacing traditional estate agents with virtual services,” says Schalk van der Merwe, franchisee of the Rawson Properties Helderberg Group. “Naturally, this has ruffled quite a few feathers in the industry, but the unfortunate side effect is that a lot of real estate professionals have been so caught up in the drama that they’ve totally missed the opportunities that data and technology bring.”

According to Van der Merwe, the fact that technology is able to streamline much of the transactional side of real estate is actually a "big win" for traditional estate agents.
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Tips for buying auction property online
Over the past several years South Africans have become comfortable with and accustomed to making purchases online. Which is why online auction property transactions make perfect sense.

So says MC du Toit, CEO, Property Sales for BidX1 South Africa: “Now acquiring property for sale on auction via an online platform is rapidly becoming a convenient and secure way of transacting. It’s a whole lot easier and quicker than physically attending an auction at a specified location, plus it’s secure, and provides an opportunity to acquire a property at a value-for-money, market-related price.

In many instances there is no buyer’s commission, or there is a reduced commission from that which buyers are used to seeing at normal auction sales, he says. However, bidders are advised to check the details of the property to make sure what the commission and deposit structure is.
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Here’s what SA law says about rental deposit refunds
When it comes to the management of rental properties, there is one thing that often causes disputes, and that is how a tenant’s deposit has been handled, what is due to be refunded at the end of the lease period, and what constitutes a failure to refund the said deposit.

Landlords and rental agents acting on behalf of the landlord should remember that they need to refer to the Rental Housing Act, and should stick to the provisions therein, says Sunell Afrika, rentals manager at property company, SAProperty.com.

According to Afrika, this section of the RHA states:.
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