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Budget a double-edged sword - property experts
Fin24 - South Africa
Cape Town - The R62bn allocated for housing subsidies is good news for the lower end of the property market, but transfer duty and capital gains tax increases may dampen sentiment at the higher end, property experts say.

Transfer duty on property sales above R10m is to be raised from 11% to 13%, which in essence represents a form of wealth tax. Coupled with an increase in capital gains tax, the National Budget was an inclusive budget, according to Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive of the Pam Golding Property (PGP) group.

“Although the increased transfer duty and capital gains tax is not welcome news for the property market and may to some degree dampen sentiment - mainly in the higher end of the market - generally the budget was expected to present a far more austere scenario," said Golding.

Updated Cape Town property valuations available online
IolProperty - South Africa
For the first time the value of Cape Town's rateable property has surpassed a trillion rand.

The 2015 valuations, which will officially be published today, show the total value of Cape Town property has increased from R911 billion in 2012, to R1.1 trillion at present. The city council produces a General Valuation Roll (GVR) once every three years, and adjustments are made annually until a new valuation is carried out.

The city council's latest GVR is based on the market value of properties as at August 1, 2015. Last year, 845 764 properties were valued, the majority of which - 719 691 - are residential.

The rest are commercial properties. Property owners will soon be receiving an official notice in the post or via e-mail informing them of the 2015 valuation of their property.

How to steer clear of rental property scams
Harcourts - South Africa
Searching the internet has become the norm for consumers looking for homes to rent, with classifieds websites recording huge traffic increases in this category over the past few years.

However, it seems that not a week goes by now without a media report of a potential tenant being scammed out of their deposit and even their first month’s rental by someone who actually did not own the property that was advertised as “to let”.

And this can of course be financially devastating for consumers, so the rental experts at RentalsDotCom, the rental property management arm of Harcourts Real Estate, have put together the following guidelines to help potential tenants hang on to their hard-earned cash.
How to steer clear

Margins tight now for renovate-and-resell buyers
Rawson - South Africa
Buying up run-down homes with an eye to renovating and reselling them at a profit has become very popular in recent years, but such projects are becoming more risky, as rising interest rates could put a damper on both housing demand and property price growth.

“There may be some good opportunities to acquire properties more cheaply in the coming months as more consumers encounter financial difficulties, but there is also a serious danger of over-capitalising on renovations,” says Bill Rawson, Chairman of the Rawson Property Group, “and the same goes for owners who are thinking of upgrading their own properties to make them more appealing to potential buyers.”

To over-capitalise simply means spending more money on the renovations than you can recoup on the resale of the property at a later date, and it is an especially important consideration if your plan is to “flip” the property – that is, to sell it as soon as possible after the upgrade is finished, he says.

“Consequently, the prime rule for sensible renovation is to determine, with the help of a knowledgeable local estate agent, the current top values of homes in the area and then compare these to the current value of the property you are planning to renovate.

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