Property 24/10 - 27

Fancy a career in real estate?
Jaco Rademeyer is not exactly what you would expect when you think of a real estate agent.

Jaco Rademeyer is living proof that "thinking out the box", which he believes was a major contributor to his winning the award, is what differentiates him from the next agent.

But at the age of only 28 years, in a highly competitive industry, he was crowned the top achiever in real estate for 2010 at the annual Nedbank Property Professional Awards held on Saturday 4th September at Arabella Western Cape Hotel & Spa.

Rademeyer outperformed the 15 other finalists in terms of the judging criteria which, aside from sales figures, included their contribution to the real estate industry, service ethics, professionalism, community involvement, marketing and innovation, and commitment to education and leadership.

Jaco is living proof that "thinking out the box", which he believes was a major contributor to his winning the award, is what differentiates him from the next agent.

Be informed about capital gains tax
Although it has now been applied since October 2001 many South Africans, still have unfounded fears and misconceptions about the way in which capital gains tax (CGT) impacts on property transactions - and this can lead to their shunning property investments.

"The first misconception is that it applies to all residential property sales. In reality, on the owner's primary residence any capital gain (i.e. profit) up to R1,5m is excluded from tax," says Lanice Steward, MD of Anne Porter Knight Frank (APKF).

The primary residence, Steward explained, is the one in which the owner spends most of his or her time - it is not necessarily the largest home in their portfolio.

Where to find Karoo property bargains
To find bargain semi- or un-restored Karoo heritage properties one may have to delve further into the Karoo where many towns wait to be "discovered".

So says Wayne Rubidge, Pam Golding Properties' (PGP) area principal in the Karoo, who adds that stretching across four provinces the bouquet of Karoo towns which still offer homes at excellent prices are little known places such as Petrusville, Carnarvon, Kenhardt and Merweville in the Western Cape. "Here a spectrum of appealing, historic houses cover a broad price range with the most popular lower end between R250k and R380k up to the higher end around R1,2m and up to R2,5m.

Early-2010 property forecasts hold true
It certainly is interesting to see that many of the property predictions made at the beginning of 2010 have held true as the year unfolds.

So says Peter Gilmour, Chairman of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, who adds that as a case in point, the Property Trends to Watch in 2010, as detailed by the International Property Journal, predicted that in 2010 a "new normal" would become a reality for the global property market.

"Indeed, the market has not returned to 'normal' and it is unlikely that it ever will," says Gilmour.

"For example, previously, low interest rates strongly correlated with consumer confidence and spending, and an upswing in property buying activity. While federal banks across the world have slashed interest rates, and in South Africa we are enjoying the lowest interest rates in 30 years, it has certainly not resulted in a boom of activity among property buyers."

Surveys give property investment tips
Residential property surveys provide valuable pointers to soundly-based buying decisions in a volatile property market.

So says Gerhard Kotzé, CEO of the ERA South Africa property group, who adds that while the market of the moment may be somewhat confusing, the surveys highlight areas that deserve attention, particularly where they appear repeatedly in different studies by property research and support services groups.

For instance, he says, Protea Glen in Soweto occurs on two of the latest 'Top Ten suburbs' lists, (both by the Knowledge factory, the latest of which was published in July), while Westcliff in Gauteng and Steenberg Golf Estate in the Cape also appear twice, in surveys by the Knowledge Factory and the Lightstone group respectively.

Stellenbosch's top end sales rising
There has been a marked increase in the number of buyers seeking top-end properties in Stellenbosch.

So says Pam Golding Properties' (PGP) area manager for the town, Louise Varga, who says the level of interest in this segment of the market has been significantly higher this winter than it was during the same period in 2009. "Although winter is traditionally a quieter period for the Western Cape property market, PGP concluded 11 sales in the town during the months of June and July, to a total sales value of over R42m."

Varga says the town is not just about quaint Cape Dutch cottages, student residences and family homes. "Many upcountry residents might be surprised to view the superb range of top-end homes on offer, including a number of luxury properties located within secure estates. Our recent sales have included two top-end properties sold to buyers who are relocating from Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, and we would not be surprised if the level of activity in this segment continues to grow as we head into spring.

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