Property 24/10 - 10

SA recovery a tale of many markets
South Africa's residential property recovery appears to be a tale of many markets, with significant variations in the house price performance in different provinces, cities and even suburbs.

Jacques du Toit, property analyst at Absa Retail Bank, says in the bank's latest quarterly housing overview that price growth has become increasingly location-driven. Du Toit notes the gap between the worst and best performing metropolitan regions has widened significantly in first quarter 2010, ranging from a high of 23,7% in Port Elizabeth/Uitenhage in the Eastern Cape to a low of 3,4% on Gauteng's East Rand.

That compares to average price growth of 9% for middle-segment housing across South Africa. On a provincial level, the Eastern Cape was the top performer in first quarter 2010 with average price growth of 20%. That was followed by the Free State (15,8%), North West (11,8%), KwaZulu-Natal (11,2%) and Mpumalanga (10%). The worst performing province was Limpopo with growth of 5,9%.

Gautrain a future boost for Centurion
The Centurion property market is set to receive huge boost in terms of demand and price growth in a year's time when the Gautrain station grinds to completion.

So says Charmaine Coetzee, office manager for Pam Golding Properties (PGP) in Centurion, who adds that people who can buy or hold on to their property in the vicinity of the station, will reap excellent rewards.

"The Centurion property market is expected to grow over the next few years as the Gautrain and the newly upgraded highways make this beautiful and safe area more accessible to people who work as far afield as Midrand and Johannesburg. In addition, the newly planned Convention Centre in the area is expected to positively influence property values," says Nic van den Berg of RE/MAX Jowic.

Clay is the way
There are a number of practical benefits for choosing clay brick as your main building material.

First off, they are widely available and a comparatively forgiving medium for fairly unskilled labour to work with. Rain will not necessarily halt the building process if you are building with clay bricks, as it rarely becomes too wet to work with - merely using a drier mortar is frequently sufficient to guarantee acceptable adhesion.
Versatility is another benefit of clay bricks - they can be used as a structural element on their own or in conjunction with reinforced concrete, as a thermal or acoustic insulator, as an aesthetically pleasing cladding or as highly practical filler between concrete and steel.

Western Cape's IEASA gets new training manager
The Western Cape branch of the Institute of Estate Agents of South Africa has appointed a new manager of its training and education division.

Before joining the property sector in Zimbabwe, Sandy Walsh had 14 years marketing, public relations and training experience. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, she was the top agent with Pam Golding Properties in Harare and in 2001 became a co-franchisee of the PGPZim franchise, of which she was the principal. Her team, it is said, were the leading agents in Harare for several years.

In 2004, Walsh relocated to the Cape and in 2006 rejoined PGP as the sales manager for Pam Golding Vacation in Properties, marketing fractional ownership. In early 2008 she was appointed PGP's training manager in the Western Cape. Here she gained valuable experience in implementing the RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) training for the FETC 59097 NQF4 Real Estate as well as full intern agent training, the professional qualification for estate agents throughout South Africa.

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