Big boost for affordable housing in SA
International Housing Solutions (IHS), a global private equity firm, which manages the 1.9-billion rand Southern Africa Workforce Housing Fund, has received 150-million rand investment from the Public Investment Corporation Limited (PIC) for affordable housing projects.
The SA Workforce Housing Fund was set up by IHS to invest in housing for rent and sale to low and moderate-income families to meet the growing demand for homes in South Africa. IHS partners with financial institutions, real estate developers and local governments to provide equity finance for housing projects.
The PIC joins foreign and local investors in the fund, including Citigroup Global Markets, the Development Bank of Southern Africa and the North American based Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) among others.
Importance of going green at work
Nowadays the present state of the environment has encouraged more and more people to succumb to the impact of going green by decreasing their own individual carbon footprint within their homes and neighbourhoods.
The "going green" concept has taken on a fashionable role, digressing from a farfetched notion to a more practical consideration; as it is seen as an investment in the short-term future.
But for most of us, going green at home can be seen as more of a part-time role rather than a daily task list. This is due to the reason that the majority of our waking days are spent not at home, but rather at work - in our offices. Considering this, why should going green within our workplaces be neglected?
Don't miss Decorex Joburg from 5-9 Aug
Decorex Joburg brings a "breath of fresh air" to the world of interiors and design.
Bringing you the latest on the spaces where you find yourself living, playing and working. From DIY to cutting edge kitchens and bathrooms; and so much more - Decorex has something for everyone.
Held in association with Plascon as a main sponsor and DStv as the media partner, Decorex Joburg 2010 is hailed as Southern Africa's largest and leading décor and interior design event.
Joburg CBD flat rentals surge
The Johannesburg inner city appears to be the only market in South Africa still offering buy-to-let investors a growing income stream.
That's true for bachelor flats in particular, with latest figures from property economists Rode & Associates showing that average rentals for bachelor units in the Johannesburg inner city rose a whopping 34,6% in the year to second quarter 2010.
That brought the average rental for a standard bachelor unit in the Johannesburg inner city to R2,675/month. That means it now costs more to rent a flat in Hillbrow than in Randburg. According to Rode & Associates tenants are currently paying an average R2,650/month to rent a bachelor flat in Randburg's Ferndale and Fontainebleau.
Temporary relocation: Sell or let home?
In a tight economy employees must go where the work is - but that raises question about what to do with your property when you are offered a contract in another city or country.
The options need careful consideration, says Martin Schultheiss, CEO of the Harcourts Africa property group. "The benefit of selling is that you make a clean break, while renting out your property means that you will have a home to come back to when the contract period is up - and hopefully that home will have appreciated in value in the interim."
Save, save, save for deposit!
Saving up a deposit for your first property brings great financial rewards.
The earlier you start saving, the better, but even if you missed the opportunity to start young, it is never too late, says Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
"Over the last couple of years, the banks' lending criteria have become increasingly stringent, and in particular, deposit requirements have remained high. Some banks have adopted policies of only awarding bonds at a 70% loan-to-value. That means a deposit of R300k required on the purchase of a R1m property - a steep requirement for most prospective homeowners. More recently banks have changed these policies and have become more competitive.
"However, the difficulty in obtaining a 100% bond is not the only reason why it is imperative to save up a deposit for a property purchase," says Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
Sect. title: When votes are not allowed
The right to vote is one of the normal consequences of membership of an association.
An owner of a unit in a sectional title scheme is automatically a member of the body corporate (BC) and will usually have the right to vote at all of its general meetings either personally, by proxy or through another legally recognised representative.
However, an owner's right to vote at general meetings may be limited by prescribed management rule ("PMR") 64 in certain circumstances. It provides that an owner may not vote for ordinary resolutions at general meetings if:
1. Any contributions payable by him in respect of his unit have not been paid, and/or;
2. He has persisted in breach of any of the conduct rules applicable to the scheme despite having received written warning from the trustees or the managing agent to refrain from such breach.
Interpret property info the right way
It seems like the devil is often in the detail with information about the residential property market.
Laurie Wener, MD of Pam Golding Properties (PGP) in the Western Cape, says perhaps now more than ever, consumers from all walks of life - whether aspiring or existing home owners - are avidly interested in the residential property market, and they are faced with a considerable amount of information imparted in the media, on the internet or via advertising.
"The residential property market is perennially of great interest to the public at large, and statistics and trends which are gathered from various reliable sources - mainly the Deeds Offices - are sliced and diced by a variety of commentators to project a picture of market activity," says Wener.
"But information may prove to be confusing and even misleading.
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