Property 24/10 - 231

IEASA Western Cape holds its 2014 AGM
The Institute of Estate Agents, Western Cape, held its 77th Annual General Meeting on 18 September, and while there were no major changes to the board members, Lanice Steward was elected as Chairman, and Charles Haigh as Vice-Chair at October’s newly convened board meeting.

Bill Rawson, Pam Golding and Anne Porter are members of the Estate Agents Holding Company (EAHC) and attended the IEASA AGM. The EAHC was honoured for its longstanding service to the industry. This is according to Annette Evans, regional general manager, who says the AGM was very well attended this year, with many more attending than usual.

Ivan Neethling, stepping down after seven years as chairman of the board, was thanked for his tireless contribution to IEASA during some of the toughest times on record.

Govt builds partnerships for housing
Human Settlements Minister, Lindiwe Sisulu, says her department will work even harder to maintain solid relationships with the building industry in order to put roofs over the heads of millions of South Africans.

Speaking on the first day of the National Human Settlements Indaba and Exhibition in Johannesburg recently, the Minister said through partnerships with the private sector, NGOs and other stakeholders, they have been able to take meaningful steps towards realising the goal of delivering 1.5 million housing opportunities by 2019.

“We are here to recommit ourselves and mobilise even greater participation; not because it makes business sense to do so but because we are driven by our patriotic responsibility and because we are all aware that the restoration of the dignity of our people begins with shelter,” said the Minister.

PGP Residential Property Index launch
This month sees the launch of the ‘Pam Golding Residential Property Index’, the first national quantitative analysis of house price inflation, which also includes a comprehensive appraisal of the residential property market in South Africa and its many complexities.

Highlighting market movements and property value trends on a regular monthly basis, this is an accurate guide providing invaluable insights for anyone seeking information, whether potential purchasers or investors, existing property owners, property professionals or members of the media.

“We believe this fills the need for an in-depth and unbiased analysis of national market information derived from some of the country’s most reputable and professional information sources,” says Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive of the Pam Golding Property group.

Investing in commercial property
Those contemplating commercial property investment must, if they plan to use bank or other borrowed finance, sort out the arrangement of the loan before they set about looking for a commercial property and making offers.

This is according to Rawson Property Group’s commercial franchise division who says this is lesson that potential investors must take note of.

All too often, says Tony Clarke, Managing Director of the Rawson Property Group, a perfectly good offer will fall through because the buyer has not had sufficient time to raise the required capital. The banks, he says, will in almost every case insist on a great deal of documentation and backup data being provided, and they may well then take their time before making a decision on the loan. This can result, and in some cases has resulted in the seller accepting another offer and a good prospect falling away.

Resolving sectional title disputes
The recent appointment of a Community Schemes Ombudsman is good news for the increasing number of homeowners in sectional title complexes and other community housing developments, as it means they should soon have access to a “user friendly” dispute resolution service.

“The new ombudsman, Mr Themba Mthethwa, has been appointed in terms of the Community Schemes Ombudsman Service Act passed in 2011,” says Andrew Schaefer, MD of national property management company Trafalgar, “and we are delighted at the news as it indicates that full implementation of this legislation is on the way at last.”

The main intention of the Act, he says, was to establish the Community Schemes Ombudsman Service (CSOS) that would, among other functions, provide the owners, tenants, trustees, directors and managing agents of all sectional title schemes, homeowners’ associations (HOAs), retirement villages and share block companies with a way to resolve disputes in a cost-effective and timely manner, instead of having to resort to the courts.

Investing in buy-to-let property
In asset management terms, the term 'risk' is often used to describe the volatility of returns or, in simpler terms, the uncertainty and fluctuation of the investment returns. As such, a portfolio that offers smooth, predictable returns is less risky than one with highly fluctuating, uncertain returns.

Most South African investors prefer investments that offer stable, smooth and predictable returns - in other words, low risk investments. This is because they are investing their life's savings for retirement and simply have no capacity for losses, and therefore, little appetite for risk.

Unfortunately, in the world of traditional investments, low risk equates to low returns, and while these low returns may be stable and predictable, they expose investors to a potentially greater risk: that they will not be able to achieve their financial goals.

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