Property 24/10 - 195

Billions to be spent on housing
The state will build 216 000 houses and connect 905 000 households to electricity over the next two years, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said in Parliament last week.

This is in addition to other housing schemes the state has embarked on, in partnership with the private sector and several public-private development institutions. Delivering his fifth Budget Speech in Parliament, Minister Gordhan said the housing budget for the 2013/14 financial year was R143 billion.

Between 1994 and 2013, government built over 2.7 million houses across the country. The National Development Plan (NDP) has now recommended that responsibility for housing should shift to municipalities in order to improve coordination of urban programmes. All metros have been directed to implement programmes to overcome dominant spatial patterns.

Removal of adverse credit information
The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) has published regulations for the removal of Adverse Credit Information, which as of April 2014 indicates that all adverse information of a consumer who has paid up their debt is removed from credit bureaus.

Dti Minister Rob Davies said it had been noted that in several cases bad credit records of consumers that have paid up their debt still remained blacklisted by credit bureaus and that proper affordability assessments to acquire debt had not been done.

Information obtained by government had shown that affordability assessment for debt had been “lazily applied”.

In some instances, consumers who had paid up their debt, were still found to be blacklisted because the process to get one’s name off the list was a costly and lengthy one involving courts. This would create an impediment for people to find jobs, among others.

Real estate industry trends workshop
South Africans will have the opportunity to share in Stefan Swanepoel's immense knowledge about trends in the real estate industry, when he addresses a series of workshops from 1 to 11 March in all the major centres in South Africa.

Swanepoel is a South African who emigrated to the United States, and has published more than 24 bestselling books and reports on property trends and management, and he featured on the best selling lists of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today,, Miami Herald, Publishers Weekly, and various other publications.

His best known work is the highly respected annual Swanepoel Property Trends, a 160 page report which is generally regarded as an important benchmark of what is happening in the industry. The 2014 report is the ninth edition of this trendsetting publication.

The report is an annual analysis of how changes impact the real estate business and affect real estate brokers, agents and home buyers.

Beware high density ST units
Moderately priced high density sectional title apartments of the kind which have proliferated throughout South Africa have proved to be an excellent investment.

This is according to Tony Clarke, Managing Director of the Rawson Property Group, who says these high density schemes have provided the ideal entry point to the home market for many people who otherwise would not have been able to afford to buy a home.

Nevertheless, he warns that there are risks and pitfalls associated with this type of purchase, which have to be examined and checked out before any Deed of Sale is signed.

He says about 20 percent of South Africa’s high density sectional title developments are experiencing financial problems. Regrettably, the units in such schemes frequently lose value or, if they do show some value growth, they do so at an unsatisfactory rate, he says.

How to deal with errant tenants
Just as tough economic times have had their impact on the housing market and those looking to own property, it has also affected many tenants and landlords within the residential rental market.

This is according to Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, who says while some landlords may have tenants who are no longer able to pay their monthly rent, tenants are still protected by the Prevention of Illegal Eviction from Unlawful Occupation of Land Act, No. 19 of 1998, also known as the PIE Act.

This Act applies to the occupation of premises which constitute a dwelling, which in other words means a residential property. The purpose of the Act is to ensure that tenants are protected from any unlawful evictions. This, however, does not mean that they can’t be evicted, it simply means that the correct procedures must be followed by the landlord or managing agent.

“It is important for any landlord or investor with a rental portfolio to familiarise themselves with the PIE Act and the various procedures it lays out for lawfully dealing with delinquent tenants.

50 green buildings certified in SA
After just six years the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA) has certified its 50th building.

Green Star SA is based on the internationally-respected Australian Green Star rating system, and has been customised for the South African context. It is a voluntary rating system designed to allow the commercial property sector to independently rate and certify buildings and developments via a common green building ‘language’.

From humble beginnings the journey of the council has seen some exceptional growth and the groundswell of green building in South Africa is exciting to witness.

The GBCSA has single handedly activated and supported the commercial property sector towards a greener future, making way for green buildings.

Green Star SA tools – the rating system for green buildings in SA
The GBCSA developed a series of Green Star SA rating tools that set the standards for green building and provides clear guidelines on what constitutes a ‘green building’.

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