Property 24/10 - 242

Cape Town spends R180m on urban renewal
As part of its Mayoral Urban Regeneration Programme (MURP), the City of Cape Town is continuing its focus on previously under-invested centres to improve the lives of its more vulnerable residents according to the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Energy, Environmental and Spatial Planning, Councillor Johan van der Merwe, who says Khayelitsha is one of nine other geographic focus areas, which the City has prioritised as strategic investment zones for development.

In the Harare area of Khayelitsha, 17 capital projects have been implemented to date to the value of approximately R100 million. Importantly, this infrastructure and facility investment, driven by the Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrade programme and its partners, which forms part of the MURP, is based on community engagement and involvement, he says.

Buy a home while interest rates are low
Although it is quite frequently said that the major lending institutions are so averse to risk that it is difficult to get a home loan, the current situation has many advantages for those potential property investors whose credit records are unimpaired according to Mike van Alphen, National Manager of the Rawson Property Group’s bond origination division, Rawson Finance, who says the first advantage is that it is now predicted with some confidence that low interest rates, with prime currently at 9.25%, are likely to be maintained until September 2015, and thereafter they are unlikely to rise by no more than 75 basis points before the end of 2016. Van Alphen says although he does not expect, as some people now do, that the low interest rate scenario will remain for years on end, the current low interest rates are going to be with us for some time, and they do make homeownership easier than it has been since 2008.

Limiting foreign ownership of land in SA
At the State of the Nations Address (SONA) last Thursday, President Jacob Zuma announced that foreigners will no longer be able to buy land in South Africa, and will only be entitled to a long-term lease. The proposed new Land Holdings Bill will prohibit foreign ownership of land, and once assented to by the President, foreign nationals will only be entitled to long-term leasing of land with a minimum of 30 years.

The Bill will also regulate the amount of land that any individual can own, the limit being 12 000 hectares, approximately equivalent to two farms. If any individual owns more than this, it is noted that the government will buy the excess land and redistribute it. The Bill will soon be sent to Cabinet for approval, after which there will be a process of public consultation followed by the necessary parliamentary procedures before it is assented to by the President.

SA industrial properties evolve in 2015
Smart operating spaces with smaller floor areas, but larger volume, will define the industrial property market in South Africa this year.

This is according to Engelbert Binedell, Growthpoint Industrial Property Divisional director, who says this will be driven by the consolidation of operations as industrial businesses remain under pressure, the immense impact of the Eskom electricity crisis on the industrial sector and continuing increasing energy prices, as well as the supply dynamics of industrial space in certain areas across South Africa.

Binedell highlights the strong correlation between the fortunes of the retail sector in South Africa and those of industrial property.

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Things to do when you inherit a property
Whether from a deceased parent or family member, inheriting a property can be an emotional and sometimes complicated matter.

This is according to Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, who says it might not always be an easy situation to deal with at first, but having the knowledge and understanding of how to go about it will make it a far easier process to handle.

He says that in terms of tax, there are no immediate implications when a property is inherited, as the tax implications would fall onto the deceased’s estate.

However, Goslett says it is important to remember that if the property is sold, the seller may be required to pay Capital Gains Tax.

Free workshop for sectional title trustees
IHFM sectional title property managers have begun their cycle of free workshops, which are run monthly, with the intention of these being to educate all trustees on the running of their schemes according to Michael Bauer, general manager of IHFM, who says the first workshop for the year is being held on Thursday, 26 February from 18h00 to 20h30. “We encourage all trustees of bodies corporate or owners in sectional title schemes who want to learn more about how they should be running their scheme to attend this workshop,” he says. The workshop will be held in the conference centre at the Institute of Estate Agents, Western Cape, Howard Studios in Sheldon Way, Pinelands.

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