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City announces date for General Valuation 2012
City of Cape Town
At Monday’s Council meeting the City of Cape Town announced the date for its next General Valuation. The date of valuation of all properties will be 1 July 2012. The general valuation roll prepared for GV2012 will be implemented on 1 July 2013.

“The City of Cape Town levies property rates based on a valuation roll. The current valuation roll has a date of property valuation of 1 July 2009. In terms of legislation, a valuation roll takes effect from the start of the financial year following completion of the public inspection period and remains valid for that financial year or for one or more subsequent financial years as the municipality may decide, but in total not for more than four financial years. The City has implemented two General Valuations since 2000. We consider it wise to conduct regular valuations as long periods between valuations results in significant overnight shifts in rates,” said the City’s Executive Deputy Mayor and Mayoral Committee Member for Finance, Alderman Ian Neilson.

Estate agencies welcome Property Charter
Moneyweb - South Africa
Concede transformation is lacking but say government and industry bodies need to get on board.

Johannesburg – Estate agent heavyweights, Seeff Property Services and Herschel Jawitz Properties have welcomed the gazetting of the Property Charter by Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies last week, saying it will go some way in promoting transformation in the sector.

Seeff national marketing manager, Ted Frazer, says because the property sector is commission-based it has been difficult for the previously disadvantaged to penetrate the market as agents. This is especially true following the global economic downturn post 2008 and the subsequent slump in the property sector.

Frazer says transformation was “growing healthily” prior to this period but many left the industry across the board for jobs offering a secure income.

Seeff says agencies have been working with the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) in exploring the granting of bursaries and training over a six-month period, for example, for prospective agents or to provide support until they become self-sustaining.

Renewed buyer confidence now clearly evident in South African residential sector, says Rawson Properties MD
Rawson - South Africa
The fact that Rawson Properties’ May month’s recorded sales were the highest in their 30 year history – and that in the first five months of this year they were 47, 8% up on the same period last year and again achieved turnover levels never before seen in the group – is a clear indication that the long-awaited upturn in the residential property market is now a reality, says Tony Clarke, Managing Director of Rawson Properties.

The banks’ relaxed credit criteria coupled with the expectation that interest rates will probably remain low at least until the first quarter of 2013 have, said Clarke, been major reasons for a clearly perceptible increase in potential property buyers’ confidence. This, he said, is now evident throughout the South African market.

In particular, said Clarke, he welcomes the fact that the banks’ income-in-relation-to-bond size criteria are no longer the sole measure by which applications are assessed – the size of the client’s equity input is also now playing a big part in their decision-making, the perception “quite rightly’’ being that an ability to put down a large deposit is an indication of the client’s financial stability.

Steady growth provides opportunities for investors
Iolproperty - South Africa
After three years of recession-induced sluggishness, the property market appears to be showing signs of recovery, aided largely by increasing confidence from the government and banks.

This is according to Dawie Verryne, chief executive of Korbitec, which specialises in software solutions and development for property professionals and consumers.

"Although the market's recovery is likely to be slow and painstaking, the consensus seems to be that the worst is now over and fears of a double dip recession have largely dissipated," he says.

"Consumers continue to be hampered by bad credit records and high debt-to-disposable income ratios, but their interest in property has not waned. The increasing prevalence of broadband internet is also driving a significant surge in online activity.

"Property- related web searches have increased significantly over the past year. According to Arthur Goldstuck of World Wide Worx, about 10 percent of the country's estimated 8.5 million internet users now spend time every month browsing property. This increase in activity is gradually starting to translate into actual sales, with the number of transactions starting to edge slowly upwards."

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