Property 24/10 - 472

Property industry reaction: No interest rate change but ‘excellent’ time to buy
The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave the repo rate at 6.5%, with home loan interest rate at 10%, has been seen as "disappointing" when South Africa’s economy is in dire need of more stimulus. But for buyers, banks are lending and the market at its low ebb presents attractive property investment opportunities.

Here’s what some of SA’s estate agency groups have to say…

Repo decision disappointing as stimulus desperately needed, says Seeff
The decision to keep the repo rate unchanged is “disappointing”, says Samuel Seeff, chairman of the Seeff Property Group, who again calls for bold action to stimulate the economy and property market.

“We have only had one 25bps rate cut this year (in July) and it is simply not enough,” he says. “There is ample support for a further rate cut. The second quarter GDP growth of 3.1% was better than expected and inflation, despite slightly up to 4.3% in August, remains fairly benign and well within the bank’s target range of 3%-6%. The broader macro-environment has also seen the US Fed cut the interest rate. This follows the bold move by the European Central Bank to reduce its rate to minus 0.5% as part of a package of monetary policy stimulation.”

Yes, your sectional title scheme’s rules can be changed
If the owners in a specific sectional title scheme want to make new ‘house rules’ for their scheme, it’s very important that they follow the proper procedure.

Here’s what some of SA’s estate agency groups have to say…

This is according to Berry Everitt, CEO of the Chas Everitt International property group, who says that there are two standard sets of rules that apply to all sectional title (ST) schemes - the Prescribed Management Rules and the Prescribed Conduct Rules that are contained in annexures to the Sectional Title Schemes Management Act (STSMA).

The former regulate the management of the scheme and its finances by the body corporate, its elected trustees and any managing agent they appoint, while the latter regulate the behaviour of owners and tenants and are intended to promote harmonious living, says Everitt.

How to avoid scams when renting or buying property
The real estate industry has benefited greatly from technological advances on the one side, but on the other side it has also made it easier for scammers to prey on unsuspecting buyers, sellers, landlords, tenants and agents.

Steve van Wyk, MD of Seeff Centurion, lists the below precautions with regards to sales and rentals to minimise the risks of falling victim to real estate fraud in either category.

Van Wyk says the below red flags should not be ignored when it comes to rentals:
- When a landlord or agent asks for a non-refundable deposit to secure the property even before you as the tenant have viewed it or before the agent/landlord have met you.
- When they keep cancelling show days. Consider whether there is even a property to show.
- When the rental rate seems too good to be true.

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