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'Partially open deeds office' during lockdown - as global markets see severe 29% drop
In its first of a series of global sentiment surveys, global property experts Savills, which has over 600 offices around the world, has assessed the initial impact of Covid-19 on transactional and occupier property markets around the world - with 67% of countries currently reporting a moderate negative impact, and 29% citing a severely negative impact.

Paul Tostevin, director in Savills World research team says, “Our survey is based on the sentiment of my research colleagues around the world who are talking to a range of clients on a daily basis. They report that disruption associated with Covid-19 is having a profound impact on global real estate - overall, 67% of countries report a moderate negative impact, while 29% cite a severely negative impact.

“In the short term we expect to see capital values and rents follow the falls seen in transaction activity and occupier demand. Covid-19 remains a near term challenge, but certain trends, such as the shift to online retail and changing working habits may be accelerated. This could have long term implications for markets as a whole.”
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Further 1% rate cut means it could be 'cheaper to buy than rent'
The decision by the Reserve Bank to cut the repo rate by a further 100 basis points to 4.25%, bringing the bond rate to 7.75%, is seen as absolutely necessary for the economy and property market - providing a significant 20% saving and boost for demand.

Tuesday's announcement made via twitter, is the second major cut in less than a month, after the Reserve Bank cut the rate by one percentage point on 14 March. The surprise rate cut comes after the Monetary Policy Committee moved its May 2020 meeting earlier to today.

This rate cut takes the interest rate to a new historic low."Together with the previous cut, this is vital for when the country comes out of the Covid-19 Lockdown and the recovery starts. The two rate cuts provide a saving of about 20% for property buyers and is a significant boost for demand," says Samuel Seeff, chairman of the Seeff Property Group.

He expects that the property market will emerge from the Lockdown with a level of pent-up demand, but still mainly in the primary residential market to around R1.5m (up to R3m in some areas).
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12J tax break, FLISP or Transactional Wallets | 3 ways to ease into real estate investment
Historically, property shows a propensity for resilient investment during tough economic times. Yet, it requires considerable liquidity - which can make it seem like an unattainable asset goal.

But what are some of the mechanisms available to either help newbies take ownership of their first home or seasoned investors make the most of compound interest and tax-free breaks?

We take a look at three possible options to consider - each with their own merit and specific set of qualification requirements.

FLISP housing subsidy
The Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme (FLISP) is a housing subsidy programme introduced by government for first-time home buyers to assist with purchasing a home.

The subsidy is paid to your bank or financial institution and will reduce your monthly loan instalments, making it more affordable to purchase a home. Households with an income between R3 501 to R22 000 may qualify for the FLISP subsidy if they meet all the criteria.
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Covid-19 crisis collaboration | 3 steps to ensure your rental agency is on track
Now more than ever, property rental agencies will have to keep delivering a high-quality, personal service with minimum personal contact – and the entire industry will have to adapt to make that possible.

R.E.M. might have been thinking about the current global situation when they sang “it’s the end of the world as we know it.” While it might feel this way, the fact of the matter is in times of crisis there is usually the opportunity to emerge stronger and better.

South Africa is currently in it's third week of lockdown, as the initial 21 days was extended until the end of April, in order to stem the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Due to the spread of the coronavirus, people all over the world are being forced to take measures to keep themselves and their loved ones safe. For many employees this means working from home, if possible, and many businesses will suffer losses or worse due to this extraordinary event.

But in this crisis, organisations have had a chance to embrace new ways of working that allow their people to work safely in almost any condition. This highlights the importance of online collaboration platforms that automate routine business processes and get the job done, wherever they’re working from.
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