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The hard choices for Budget 2020 and what it means for all of us
Citadel Portfolio Manager, Mike van der Westhuizen, believes a strong Budget will come down to simple action and hard choices taken now for the long-term benefit of the country.

“The main thing to look at, given that the Moody’s is watching closely, is the need to rein in the budget deficit, which is starting to spiral even more out of control,” he says.

In the 2019 Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) the Treasury projected a consolidated Budget deficit of 5.9% of GDP, averaging 6.2% of GDP over the next three years.

A low growth, low inflation environment also affects the debt-to-GDP trajectory, the sustainability of which Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has already warned about. As a proportion of South Africa’s GDP, the MTBPS notes a hike in gross debt from 56.7% in 2018-19, to 60.8% in 2020-2021 and 71.3% in 2022-23 if the status quo does not change, something the rating agencies are understandably concerned about.
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Online property auctions: Dos and don’ts for sellers and buyers
Buying and selling property via online auctions is becoming far more commonplace according to MC du Toit, CEO for BidX1 South Africa, who says that it’s a convenient, effective and transparent process.

For the uninitiated, he gives five useful tips for sellers and buyers of both residential and commercial property:

Tips for sellers
Listen to the market. BidX1 offers the seller analytics on their property which will allow him/her to see exactly what the feedback is from interested buyers. As there are limited buyers, particularly in the current market, ensure you take this into account when considering an offer.

“I always advise sellers to try to distance themselves from the emotional aspect of selling their properties. This is easier with commercial property, but in selling residential property, for example, your home, it is probably even more important. Once you have achieved a sense of impartiality and tried to view your home with objective eyes, ask yourself what you would pay for the property,” says Du Toit.
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How to keep a good credit score - and ace your home loan application
‘Januworry’ is over and hopefully your bank balance is looking a little healthier than it did a few weeks ago.

If you had a debit order bounce, possibly partly due to the length of time between that lovely early payment in happy December and that desperately needed injection by the end of the longest month of the year, you may be a bit worried about your credit score, says Paul Stevens, CEO of Just Property.

“So how about a late New Year’s resolution? Let’s get your credit profile sorted. This is especially important if you’re a tenant who wants to own your own home sometime,” says Stevens.

“Besides the ‘want’ there’s the ‘need’ for financial security and property is an excellent investment. The ‘forced saving’ of putting part of your salary into a home loan on the property you live in makes far better financial sense than paying rent to cover someone else’s bond.”

But to get a home loan, you’ll need a good credit rating, and that’s something you can start working on right now. Stevens provide the following advice:
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