Property 24/10 - 263

More home loans approved and self-employed buyers
Property statistics for the second quarter of 2015 released by ooba, national bond originator, show strong growth in property prices and positive trends in home loan lending conditions according to Rhys Dyer, ooba CEO, who says demand for property in certain areas remains resilient, which, when coupled with shortages in supply of properties for sale in many areas, continues to drive prices higher.

The average property purchase price of R1 054 691 recorded in Q2 is up by 11% from R950 507 in Q2 of 2014. Similarly, he says the average purchase price of first-time home buyers grew by 7.8% quarter-on-quarter to R795 427.

“However, given slower economic growth, the expectation that interest rates will start rising in the second half of 2015, and with the consumer confidence index indicating a more cautious approach by consumers to spending, it is expected that we will start to see a moderation in property price growth in the second half of 2015.

Prices and home size: has the 'big' house had its day?
The traditional home buying preferences of South Africans are changing as more people opt for smaller, easier-to-maintain properties, both for financial reasons and to live life less hampered by the trappings larger homes often bring.

The relative house price inflation performances reflect an outdated composition of residential property stock, with relatively too many large homes and too few small- to medium-sized homes, according to the FNB Property Barometer 2nd Quarter House Price Growth by Size Category.

“The inappropriate size composition in residential property stock exists despite a broad trend towards building smaller-sized units with smaller average stand sizes that started as far back as the late-1970s, around the time that economic infrastructure investment plummeted and urban land scarcity started to increase noticeably,” says John Loos, household and property sector strategist at FNB Home Loans.

Redetermination of municipalities ahead of elections
Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister, Pravin Gordhan, has welcomed the release of the redetermination of the municipal boundaries by the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB).

On Friday, 3 July 2015, the board announced its preliminary decision to determine and re-determine municipal boundaries, which results in the total number of South African municipalities being reduced by 11 from 278.

MDB Chairperson Jane Thupana said, following the decision, municipalities in the Eastern Cape will be reduced by four, Limpopo by three, while Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, Free State and North West by one each.

Selling and buying property on auction in SA
An increasing number of residential properties in South Africa are now being sold by auction, and the incidence could rise significantly by year-end according to Dovi Lichtenstein, on-site residential property auctioneer and agent at Main Street Auctions, a division of The High Street Auction Company.

He says the trend has been underway for some time, but has reached critical mass these last two years. In the last three months, he says 72% of his potential clients have opted to sell their property via the auction method. “I believe up to a third of homes for sale could come under the auctioneer’s hammer by this time next year,” says Lichtenstein.

More leisure property buying, still a glut for sale
A consequence of the 2007/2008 economic recession was the marked impact on South Africa’s leisure and coastal market, which hit a slump. With the onset of the recovery of the national property market, signs of an uptake in the leisure market, particularly following the holiday season in December 2014/January 2015, have been noticed.

This is according to Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive of the Pam Golding Property group says this can be seen when looking at the latest (June 2015) Pam Golding Residential Property Index.

“As the revival in the residential property market has become more entrenched, it has precipitated the return of the holiday buyer, with many capitalising on the opportunities for sound value for money presented in the current market,” he says.

Defect found after voetstoots sale: what can I do?
A Property24 reader asks:
In 2015 I bought a property ‘voetstoots’. On accepting this offer, the seller said that, to his knowledge, the property had no known latent defects. Upon moving into the property I took measurements, and found that there were variations of 2cm to 3cm wall to wall, and from floor to ceiling.

When I raised my concerns they referred me to the voetstoots clause, saying that the variations could not have been picked up by an ordinary person, but only by a builder or an inspector. And as the seller did not know about it, he could not disclose it.

I have been living in the house for six weeks. What are my rights? And what can I do, or where can I go for help?

John Graham, Founder of HouseCheck and Principal of SAHITA, responds:

Can we cancel estate agent sole mandate?
A Property24 reader asks:
About a week ago we put our property on the market because of financial challenges. Against advice and better judgement, my wife and I were coerced into signing a sole mandate (or exclusive mandate as they called it) with an estate agent. The agent has already advertised in the newspaper and on their website.

Eight couples viewed the property on the first day, but we are now having a major re-think and are reconsidering taking the property off the market. I only realised after the agent had left, that she had not left a copy of the exclusive mandate, but has promised to email a copy. Will we be liable for any costs, if we take the property off the market?

Jaco Rademeyer, from Jaco Rademeyer Estates, responds:

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