Property 24/10 - 240

Protect your bond to protect your family
Consumers often feel the pinch when buying a home, and the thought of having additional bond life cover may seem like an unnecessary expense according to Tetiwe Jawuna, Managing Director of Standard Bank Insurance Brokers, who says, however, to protect their loved ones, homeowners need to make sure their assets are safeguarded from any unforeseen circumstances, such as having to outlay cash for something unplanned, or in the event of their passing.

She says credit life insurance for your home loan will not only provide you with the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your family has a secure roof over their heads, but it will also enable you to settle the outstanding bond amount should an unforeseen event occur.

Tax write-offs for buy-to-let market
Affordable and quality residential rental units for middle income South Africans can become more accessible if investors capitalise on the tax write-offs for buy-to-let investing in Section 13sex of the Income Tax Act.

This is according to Charles Robertson, CEO of Visual International Holdings, listed on the JSE’s AltX last year, who says their aim is to alert residential property buyers to the little-known tax incentives introduced by Section 13sex.

He says ever since the South African Revenue Service (SARS) introduced its Section 13sex residential building allowance in 2008, Visual has been working on putting together a product offering that would allow an investor to take maximum advantage of the tax write-off opportunities therein.

Buy-to-let simplest investment option
One of the most common financial fallacies that keep ordinary salary-earning South Africans from building real wealth is that investing is complex. This is not surprising, given the fact that the investment world is littered with jargon and technical terms such as risk tolerance, asset allocation, securitisation, hedging, offshoring, intrinsic values, liquidity, price-earning ratios, return targets, risk premiums, bulls, bears and bubbles.

Even if ordinary investors understand the terms, the intricacies of assembling all the pieces of the puzzle into a coherent and successful investment strategy may seem overwhelmingly complex.

This is according to Dr Koos du Toit, CEO of P3 Investment Group, who says as such, ordinary South Africans can hardly be blamed for avoiding investments and following Warren Buffett’s advice to never invest in something you don’t understand. This means leaving investment decisions to asset managers and financial advisors, which adds layers of fees that decimate their returns and places their financial futures at the mercy of volatile markets.

How to avoid a bidding war, and why
When the property market is “hot” as it is at the moment, and the supply of quality homes for sale in your preferred area is dwindling, a competitive offer from another buyer can quickly result in the dream home you've just found becoming nothing more than a mirage.

This is according to Richard Gray, CEO of Harcourts Real Estate, who says that serious buyers can, if this is the case, start to panic about losing out on the perfect home.

“Of course most buyers prefer a home that is ready to move into, and many are willing to pay a premium for this advantage, which can translate into a full price offer from a competing buyer, and perhaps even one that exceeds the seller's asking price,” he says.

Property value linked to tidy community
It’s no coincidence that the neighbourhoods with the best property values are generally the best kept according to Laurie Wener, MD of Pam Golding Properties (PGP) in the Western Cape metro region, who says raising home values can be as straightforward as co-operating with your neighbours to keep the street clean, or not flouting the by-laws.

The solution to degenerating suburban environments was found in the famous ‘Broken Window Theory’, which was introduced in a 1982 study by American social scientists James Wilson and George Kelling, and later applied by New York mayor Rudy Giuliani to revive decaying inner urban areas.

Redefine acquires R4.1bn portfolio
Redefine Properties announced the acquisition of the Leaf Capital portfolio of properties for R4.1 billion, equating to an initial income yield of 8%, substantially enhancing Redefine’s office portfolio in the Western Cape.Marc Wainer, Executive Chairman of Redefine Properties, says acquiring this trophy portfolio is a strategic triumph for Redefine. It is underpinned by high-quality income streams from its large, well-located, premium grade office precinct assets.

He says the transaction includes a number of significant properties such as Black River Park and the Wembly Square Development. These assets change the face of their Western Cape portfolio, which will now include the top five percent of quality office blocks in Cape Town.

No interest rate surprises today
The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has decided to leave its repo rate unchanged at 5.75%, with prime lending remaining at 9.25%.

John Loos, FNB Home Loans Household and Property Sector Strategist, says the decision comes as no surprise, having been widely anticipated due to Consumer Price (CPI) Inflation declining swiftly back into the 3-6% SARB target range late last year, to measure 5.3% year-on-year by December. "The key contributing factor to the CPI Inflation decline recently has been a sharp drop in global oil prices filtering through into domestic petrol prices, while declining global food prices and a more stable rand of late have also contributed to more subdued local inflation."

Loos says looking ahead to the rest of 2015, the oil price drop has adjusted the inflation outlook radically, and they forecast an average CPI inflation rate of 3.5% for the year. "This, in turn, leads us to believe that the SARB will keep rates unchanged through the entire 2015."

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