Property 24/10 - 266

Areas of vibrant growth in SA's property market
Ongoing trends of urbanisation, migration between provinces and the growing appeal of smaller, more centrally-located homes indicate that pockets of strength which are achieving vibrant growth will remain in certain sectors of the country’s residential property market according to Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive of the Pam Golding Property group, commenting in the latest Pam Golding Residential Property Index.

Dr Golding says even as regional house price growth appears to be slowing off the back of continued weak economic data, growth in house prices in many of the major metro regions continues to increase at a brisk pace.

“Given that these metro areas are the drivers of growth in provincial economies, a steady influx of people seeking economic opportunities means there is a steady demand for housing,” he says.

Impact of the Internet on real estate brand marketing
Thanks to the internet, the world is getting smaller every day. Our thoughts and views are no longer restricted by geography or the size of our immediate community of family and friends, and our voices are being heard further afield than ever before according to Debbie Reabow, brand and communications manager for the Rawson Property Group, who says as a result, advertisers and marketers are facing some new challenges, not just to be heard above the competition, but to win the public support and approval of an increasingly outspoken consumer.

Reabow says at no point in history has the consumer held as much power as they do today. They have a world of information at their fingertips and they’re making good use of it, doing their own research and comparisons rather than taking brand messages at face value.

Lease agreements in SA's mall industry
Options on retail lease agreements that give shopping centre tenants certain future rights, often with punitive effects for the shopping mall owner, have come under the spotlight as SA’s retail centre industry matures and evolves to meet modern shopping trends according to Marius Muller, CEO of Pareto Limited, who says renewal options on lease agreements give the tenant rights to occupy the same premises, often on the same terms and conditions, at a negotiated rental, for a further period after their initial lease expires.

Muller says landlords are guilty of signing these agreements, often as sweeteners to secure leases with retailers when new malls are developed.

Becoming a landlord is not for the fainthearted
He says owning a rental property and becoming a landlord is not for everyone according to Chris van der Merwe, Broker/Manager of RE/MAX Coastal, whose offices service the Knysna, Sedgefield and Wilderness areas.

He says while there are many positive aspects, including the opportunity to be able to build wealth through letting out property, there are several considerations that potential landlords need to take into account before they decide to rent out their property or build up a portfolio of rental properties.

“Essentially, becoming a landlord is like starting a business, in that the homeowner needs to have a plan in place and a clear understanding of what they hope to achieve,” he says.

How to green your home without breaking the bank
As far as buzzwords go, ‘green’ has been having a pretty good run, with the world becoming more aware of climate change and the impact we’re having on our planet according to Tony Clarke, managing director for the Rawson Property Group, who says as with many trends, however, there are plenty of suppliers jumping on the bandwagon in the hopes of making a quick buck rather than an actual difference.

This can make it tricky for homeowners to differentiate between which green solutions are worth putting in place on their properties, and which ones are simply more expensive than they’re worth.

What is the best way to calculate ST levies?
There is an ongoing debate in the sectional title industry concerning whether levy contributions should be worked out upfront, i.e. a set cost, or whether it should be the participation quota (PQ) method, which is according to the floor space of the unit inhabited.

This is according to Michael Bauer, general manager of IHFM, the property management company, who says many ask whether the PQ factor is actually fair, or whether levies should be charged per service or per owner.

He says there are certain items in a building that could be charged per unit, but costs such as insurance, for instance, have to be on a value of the unit. If you had to insure a one bedroom, one bathroom unit, it will cost a lot less than the three bedroom two bathroom penthouse in the same building, says Bauer.

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