Property 24/10 - 254

Central Square: Pretoria's new vibrant city centre
The multi-billion rand 315 000sqm Menlyn Maine development has revealed exciting details of the latest addition to Africa’s only green city, Central Square.

Already home to leading companies like BMW, Nedbank and SAGE VIP, Menlyn Maine’s new Central Square will now introduce a 30 000sqm boutique shopping mall, featuring a vibrant piazza, a 213 room apartment and conferencing hotel, a 14 500sqm office tower, a 4 000sqm state-of-the-art Virgin Classic Gym, and a lush public park.

This is according to Francois Roos, Director of Menlyn Maine Investments, who says Central Square is co-owned by Menlyn Maine Investment Holdings (Pty) Ltd and the Government Employees Pension Fund, represented by the Public Investment Corporation SOC Limited, who are together investing R1.8 billion in this development.

SA's property market remains 'resilient'
A steady increase in first-time homeowners continues to provide a healthy and fundamental underpinning for South Africa’s residential property market, which remains steadfastly resilient according to the latest Pam Golding Residential Property Index, says Dr Andrew Golding, CE of the Pam Golding Property group. “Despite an unexpectedly weak start to 2015 for the South African economy, largely due to the impact of nationwide load shedding, the performance of the local residential property market continues to compare favourably relative to other global markets.

Furthermore, he says the loss of momentum in local house price inflation has been limited. Prevailing low interest rates, a modest improvement in household disposable income and a marginal strengthening in the overall economy suggests average house price inflation of high single digits this year, says Dr Golding. "With inflation forecast to average just five percent in 2015, it is anticipated this will allow for a real increase in house prices.”

Tips for managing industrial property
Industrial property investors must be aware of what is required to maximise all aspects of a property’s value over a period of time before deciding to sell according to Tony Bales of Epping Property, who says that investors often make the mistake of deciding to sell their investments before realizing their true value.

“Unlike residential properties, industrial properties generally have longer term leases or established businesses in place. This places constraints on large-scale changes and initiatives to add value quickly.”

Bales explains that an industrial property’s value is directly related to its capacity to maximise future income flows, in other words, rentals.

What are the major aspects that affect the generation of future cash flows and rentals? Bales gives a few tips:

Estate agents: submit audits to avoid penalties
Following a recent release regarding the submission of estate agents’ yearly audits, agents are reminded that it is crucial to remember the dates by which their yearly audits must be submitted according to Annette Evans, regional general manager of the Institute of Estate Agents SA (IEASA), Western Cape, who says this date is within four months of an agent or agency’s financial year end.

There is nothing new about the Estate Agents Affairs Board (EAAB) requiring audits to be done of agents’ financial records, and it has to be remembered that an independent review cannot be submitted instead of an audit if the company is a private company, says Evans.

Drones: valuable tool for estate agents in future?
The invention of the cell phone changed the way people communicate, as did the revolution of the smartphone and tablet. Real estate professionals were able to access data and connect with their clients without needing to be in the office. Technology has continued to influence the real estate industry and business in general as the constant progression allows transactions to be concluded in a far more efficient manner.

With technology continually evolving and making an impact on the world, it begs the question: what’s next?

Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says that one of the latest technological advancements that could feature in the future of real estate marketing is the drone.

Is there a cut-off age for investing in property?
Planning for retirement has changed a lot over the last couple of decades according to Tony Clarke, Managing Director of the Rawson Property Group, who says shifts in the way companies typically handle pension benefits has placed the onus on the individual to lay the necessary foundations for a financially secure retirement.

“Because of this, people are branching out into alternative long-term investments, and buy-to-let property has become a popular option.”

The general benefits of a buy-to-let investment are numerous. Aside from the gearing potential, he says rental income also decreases your risk factors along with the day-to-day costs of your investment, and can become a passive income stream after your bond has been paid off.

Joburg municipal billing problems Q and A session
In an aim to empower the public, Schindlers Attorneys is hosting a COJ Open Day on Friday, 15 May 2015. At the open day, any members of the public can consult with one of their professionals about City of Johannesburg (COJ) municipal rates and billing matters, free of charge.

To give you an idea of what COJ can and can't charge you for, Schindlers Attorneys provides the following explanations:

Account holder details and property description
Check that you, as the account holder, are being billed correctly for the property in question (i.e. that you are not, for example, being billed for your neighbour’s property). If any of this information is not correct, log a query for this information to be updated.

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