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Durban rates backlog hits property sales
IolProperty - South Africa
Severe backlogs in the eThekwini municipality rates department to get rates clearance certificates have left property sales worth millions hanging in the balance. Rates clearance certificates have to be obtained from the municipality to confirm that all municipal tariffs owed on the property are paid up, to avoid buyers being saddled with historical debt.

Samantha van Rooyen, a conveyancing attorney at Morris Fuller Williams, said the firm had about 30 matters that had been affected by the delays. In at least one case, the parties had been waiting for a rates clearance certificate since June this year.

"It creates problems for the seller, buyer, attorney and the estate agent because nothing can move forward until we get that certificate."

House Price indices
Absa - South Africa
Middle-segment house price growth remains under downward pressure

Year-on-year growth in the average nominal value of middle-segment homes in the South African housing market remained on a declining trend in September 2016, with growth at its lowest level since September 2012. On a monthly basis, prices deflated in nominal terms in the past four months after some data revisions (see explanatory notes in this regard). In real terms, i.e. after adjustment for the effect of consumer price inflation, house prices continued to deflate on both a year-on-year and month-on-month basis in the first eight months of the year. These house price trends came against the background of economic developments affecting household finances and consumer confidence, which eventually impact the performance of the property market.

In September this year, nominal price growth in the middle-segment of the local housing market slowed down further to 3,2% year-on-year (y/y) from a revised 3,6% y/y in August, with real price deflation that accelerated to -2,2% y/y in August from -1,9% y/y in July.

The average nominal value of homes in each of the middle-segment categories was as follows in September 2016:

  • Small homes (80m²-140m²): R924 000
  • Medium-sized homes (141m²-220 m²): R1 292 000
  • Large homes (221m²-400m²): R2 006 000

HPI Sep 2016

Cape Town house prices: Can they keep soaring? Expert analysis
BizNews - South Africa
Stellenbosch – Inflation adjusted house prices in South Africa are still very expensive, according to property analyst Erwin Rode.

“The South African residential property market did not see the correction the US had after the financial crisis. I think, should things really go awry in SA, house prices will in real terms drop to a more sustainable level – more or less to the inflation-adjusted level of 1985 or thereabouts,” Rode said at the annual property conference hosted by Rode & Associates on the Spier Wine Estate outside Stellenbosch.

“Because house prices are still so high and the supply side still relatively strong, our models forecast house prices in real terms will come down over next few years.” He gave as an example sustained inflation of 6% and nominal prices growing at 3%.

He explained that the market follows a big property cycle – on average 15 to 20 years.

“Of course you can have cycles within cycles, but there is empirical evidence of the long cycle. So, at the moment the big question for property developers and building contractors is where and when the cycle is going to bottom,” said Rode.

Ekurhuleni property owners can now pay rates online
IolProperty - South Africa
About 900 000 Ekurhuleni residents can now pay their municipal bills online with their smartphones. This can be done using Masterpass, a global digital payment service from Mastercard which was announced last week in Budapest, Hungary, at the Mastercard Innovation Forum 2016.

This collaboration signals a world first with the South African municipality being the first to accept bill payments via this service. To pay with Masterpass, ratepayers can simply visit the City of Ekurhuleni's e-Siyakhokha website, select the account they wish to pay, and choose Masterpass as the payment option.

They will then scan the QR code displayed on screen using the Masterpass app on their smartphone and enter their ATM PIN or One Time PIN to authorise payment, and their account will be updated immediately.

The ins and outs of becoming a landlord
Jawitz - South Africa
Property is, and continues to be, a sound investment vehicle despite the current negative perceptions about the state of the country. On the face of it, buying a property to rent in addition to your primary residence, is a good route to wealth creation as you benefit from earning good returns. However, the key to investing in property is based on taking a long term view and being aware of the many challenges along the way.

“Much depends on your personal circumstances and how much you can afford,” says Ynnis Willson, Randburg branch manager at Jawitz Properties. “As an investor, you need to plan for the deposit, transfer costs, security and ongoing maintenance of the property. As a landlord you have to think about monthly rental collections, levies relating to the complex, insurance, utilities and the like. Having a property manager on board would help in dealing with everyday tenant issues or queries.”

People migrating from outlying areas into the larger cities tend to initially look for rental accommodation, allowing them to get to know the area first before committing to buy. Many properties situated along public transport routes are sought after because of their proximity to work, schools and shopping malls.
Becoming a landlord

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