Property 24/10 - 60

Property in demand, despite prices
Johannesburg - The demand for property in SA belies reports of a "soft" market from First National Bank (FNB) and Absa (ASA), according to Jawitz Properties.

Absa reported that house prices encountered relatively sharper declines on a year-on-year basis in April, while FNB said the April increase in house prices may not be sustainable in the short term.

Jawitz Properties CEO Herschel Jawitz said: "Demand is measured by show-day attendance, enquiries, buyer appointments and website activity, all of which are still showing better numbers than property price performance would suggest. It's not as if the phone is not ringing."

Buying property in the right location!
It is often only once people have moved into their homes that they realise that they may have chosen the wrong location.

Before you start shopping for a new home, take some time to sit down and write out a list of everything that is important to you.

This is according to Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, who says that in all the excitement of finding and moving into a new house, homeowners often disregard one of the most important parts of any property deal.

While it is commonly heard that location is everything in business, the same can be said for a home, says Goslett, and families should assess their needs and find a home that caters for those requirements. "While people with young families often move closer to good schools, very often little attention is paid to the other amenities in the area."

Billing crisis - is the worst over?
The Johannesburg billing crisis will soon be over claims the City of Joburg's revenue spokesman Kgamanyane Maphologela who says that technical glitches in the computer system have been resolved so that residents will all start to benefit from a better service from the city.

The City of Joburg claims that more than 80% of its residents who had received incorrect bills for rates and services have had problems resolved.
The council says that it received more than 65 000 complaints' relating to its billing system but Maphologela says that 80% of those affected by the billing problems have been contacted by the council and their problems rectified or resolved.

Apparently there are still 13 162 queries that have to be sorted out.

Malema and land reform
So ANC Youth League President, Julius Malema, is up to some idiotic tricks all over again and any moment soon you can expect a torrent of abuse from his followers or those who take him really seriously enough to listen to him.

His latest rant - to the National Press Club in Pretoria - is that the 'willing buyer, willing seller' concept in land sales is nonsense and must be discontinued as a means for land reform.

Instead he wants to do what Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe has done: send in some thugs and just grab the land anyway.

Admittedly he didn't say that the ANC would start occupying farms: instead he called on the ANC government to start expropriating land without paying any compensation - which amounts to the same thing.

CT's tough line on home business
The Cape Town Council is attempting to close down home businesses that are being run from suburbs without the necessary zoning approval.

Nine people who operate home-based businesses in Schaapkraal were issued with notices to cease their businesses as these contravened the city's bylaws.

The businesses included a carpentry shop, boat repairers and a scrap metal dealership.

The business owners have turned to the Western Cape High Court asking it to overturn the notices from the council and allow them to continue running their business from the suburb.

According to attorney Igshaan Higgins - who is representing the nine people - the businesses had been issued with the notices in January and February last year after the council did an impromptu inspection of the suburb.

Consumers should caution big purchases
Consumers should not commit to huge home and car loans to take advantage of low interest rates, as these are expected to start rising at the end of 2011, Gavin Opperman, chief executive of Absa Retail Bank, said on Thursday.

"Consumers should bank the savings that they have realised on their vehicle and mortgage finance instalments since the reductions of interest rates began in 2008 and reached their lowest levels in more than 30 years," Opperman said in a statement.

He was responding to the SA Reserve Bank's announcement that the repo rate would remain unchanged at 5.5 percent. The prime rate would stay at nine percent.

"Even though the SA Reserve Bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided to leave interest rates unchanged at their second meeting for 2011 which ended today, consumers should not be tempted into lavish spending as levels of indebtedness remain high."

Bling your walls with foil wallpaper
Foil wallpapers are possibly the most varied, dramatic and exciting range of wallcoverings you can buy, but are also one of the most difficult to hang successfully. They are made from thin metallic foil, in a range of plain colours or patterns screen-printed onto the surface.

- Plain metallic: A large number of metallic wallpapers are produced in one plain colour that has a dull sheen or a bright reflective surface. The most popular colours are gold, silver and copper.

- Repeat patterns: These are similar patterns to those found on traditional wallpapers, but the design is screen-printed onto the foil so that it will not sear or soften when wetted.

- Texture finishes: The surface of the foil is often textured with pigmented dyes to give effects similar to marble. These give the material a very dramatic appearance, which looks good on almost any surface, but the unique nature of the design means that the pattern never repeats itself and so cannot be matched.


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