Property 24/10 - 376

Property fraud alert: Your deposit or home could get 'hijacked'
Property fraud is on the rise, and buyers and sellers need to be ultra-vigilant.

“In tough economic times, people turn to crime. In the property industry, it is no different,” says Chris Tyson, chief executive of Tyson Properties, and an outspoken advocate of good governance within the real estate industry.

There are a number of different types of property fraud taking place. A property owner wishing to sell their property may learn that an imposter has obtained their signature for what they thought was a bank loan, only to find out later that the imposter has, in fact, sold the property to a third party.

Then there’s the problem of purchasers falsifying documents such as payslips to secure bond approvals. When this is uncovered and a bond approval retracted, the sale falls through. In such instances costs incurred by sellers, estate agents and conveyancers remain unsettled.

Love #coworking: Demand up for serviced office space in SA’s cities
Demand for coworking spaces and serviced offices has grown over the past year, and Pretoria residents are leading the way in embracing the trend.

Mari Schourie, chief executive officer of The Workspace, which is expanding its operation at The Club in Hazelwood due to increased consumer demand, says a year ago many people didn’t know about, or understand, the concept of coworking.

“Now, as we interrogate our marketing reports, we can see the demand for coworking has increased rapidly,” she says. “We have definitely noted Pretoria being ahead of the coworking trend. It seems to come more naturally to our Pretoria members. But I must add that coworking is picking up at each and every branch - you can definitely see the shift taking place.”

Gauteng’s top suburbs for first-time property buyers
Even though first-time home buying activity remains under pressure across the whole country, the most activity in this segment takes place in the Gauteng province.

This is according to a recent report from FNB, quoting figures from its FNB Estate Agent Survey, which notes that for 2017 year to date, Cape Town’s first-time buyer percentage, as a percentage of total home buying, averaged a low 8.02%, compared to Johannesburg’s 28.62% and Tshwane’s 24.3%.

“These first-time buyer estimates in the two Gauteng metros for 2017 reflect a relatively affordable and price realistic Gauteng residential market,” says the report.

Five ways you could lose your home besides not paying your bond
When times are tough and consumer budgets are under pressure we hear a lot about mortgage defaults and home repossessions, but failing to pay your home loan instalments is actually only one of several ways you can cause your home to be attached and auctioned off.

Berry Everitt, CEO of the Chas Everitt International property group, says homeowners also need to avoid these five hazards:

1. Failing to pay your taxes
When times are tough and consumer budgets are under pressure we hear a lot about mortgage defaults and home repossessions, but failing to pay your home loan instalments is actually only one of several reasons your home can be attached.

“Your local authority can go to court and get a debt judgment against you if you don’t pay your property rates, and although it is usually a last resort, SARS can also have your property attached if you don’t pay your income tax,” says Everitt.

Five tips to secure your home and save money on insurance
There are, on average, over 23 000 house robberies a month in South Africa, according to South African Police Service numbers.

With 185 756 break-ins in the eight months from April to December 2016, securing your property is a sensible investment. It could also save you money on your insurance premiums.

According to Marlies Kappers, head of marketing at DirectAxis Financial Services, most security experts agree that it’s almost impossible for the average householder to completely secure their property against determined criminals, but there are practical steps you can take to make it less vulnerable.

DirectAxis spoke to Stuart Clarkson, managing director of Fidelity ADT who shared the following advice:

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