Property 24/10 - 373

Interest rate decision disappointing for SA's property market
The decision to retain the repo rate is very disappointing for the economy and property market.

So says Samuel Seeff, chairman of the Seeff Property Group, who notes that at a time of poor business confidence and weak economic growth marred by political instability, a further rate cut would have been an important boost for consumers and the market.

This follows the decision by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the South African Reserve Bank to retain the repo rate at 6.75% (home loan base rate at 10.25%).

Why buyers and owners are shelling out for green features
While commercial properties have led the charge in terms of ‘green’ building initiatives and ratings, the residential property market is now following suit according to Gareth Bailey, Pam Golding Properties' area principal for Durban Coastal. “What is the motivation for building or repurposing green homes, and how do the costs and benefits stack up for single residential properties along our KwaZulu-Natal coastline?”

“In addition to a desire to contribute to a healthy and sustainable natural environment, property owners are motivated by rising utility costs and scarcity of resources as evidenced by the current water shortage in the Western Cape and electricity cuts in recent years. This has resulted in homeowners seeking increased independence with respect to the supply of these utilities,” says Bailey.

Bigger bills for CPT tenants as more landlords install water meters
Individual water meters for sectional title units is a growing trend in the Western Cape according to Grant Rea, Residential Rental Specialist from RE/MAX Living, who works primarily in the Cape Town CBD and surrounds. “As a Residential Rental Specialist in the city, I have noted that a number of sectional title schemes are going the route of installing individual water meters on each unit within a block of flats. Given the current situation with the drought and water shortages in Cape Town, most blocks will most likely follow suit.”

“This new trend is certainly a positive step towards alleviating and curbing excessive water usage by tenants who historically did not have to pay for the water they use. Previously, it has fallen on the owner of the property to pay for the water used in the unit.”

Tenant tips to ensure you snatch up your ideal rental home
The requirements for renting a residential property have become more and more onerous on prospective tenants as landlords are increasingly circumspect as to who they let their property out to.

Chris Renecle, MD of Renprop, believes that this is due to economic circumstances in recent years, which have resulted in many tenants defaulting, part-paying or paying their rent late, which has had a negative effect on landlords, and therefore prompted them to take measures to protect their investment.

He points to TPN’s Residential Rental Monitor 2017 Q1 report, which shows that mounting financial pressure on households is reflected in the fact that close on 7% of tenants didn’t pay their rent, while nearly 11% paid only part of the monthly rental obligation, and a further 17% paid their rent late.

Home offices fast becoming a must-have for SA buyers
Telework has come of age in South Africa, and with many thousands of employees now regularly and routinely working remotely, the home office is rapidly moving up the “must-have” list for prospective home buyers of all ages.

“One tends to think of Millennials as being the work-at-home generation - or actually the work-on-the-move generation - but actually the nature of work has changed for everyone, and these days we find that seniors, middle-aged executives and first-time buyers are all looking for homes with a clearly defined office space where they can work several days a week instead of going to their commercial offices,” says Gerhard Kotzé, MD of the RealNet estate agency group.

“In many cases, in fact, they would rather have a study set up for work with the necessary phone and computer connections than a separate dining room or a spare bedroom. And then there is an increasing number of buyers who run home-based businesses, for whom an outbuilding is now more likely to become their ‘headquarters’ than to be converted into a flat.”

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