Property 24/10 - 38

Buy a house for R199k in PTA
Demand for Pretoria properties is robust and Safrich has come up with a plan to provide homes for people earning just R7k a month.

Because of the overwhelming demand for stands in the Thorntree View affordable housing development in Soshanguve, North West of Tshwane, the Safrich group has doubled the number of stands planned for the project. There are now 835 stands available.

Nedbank's head of affordable housing, Manie Annandale claims that the bank worked closely with the developers to provide a mix of stands and properties that will suit buyers.

R21-billion Waterfall City goes ahead
Work on a R21-billion building project in Midrand comprising a shopping centre, two retirement villages, industrial and business parks, a private hospital, a five-star hotel, petrol stations, horse-riding and cycling trails and, of course houses, is about 33% complete.

Known as Waterfall City, the 640 hectare site is a mixed-use development providing retail space, industrial and business parks as well as homes ranging in price from low-income properties costing just R200 000 to luxury mansions in an equestrian estate selling for many millions.

SA the land of slums and millionaires
Like many people in South Africa, I simply don't understand this country - and I've lived here all my life and loved just about every minute of it too. I'm sitting in the Table Bay Hotel, on a bright, warm, sunny morning, staring across the still harbour waters where gulls mourn, jostle for space on the quayside and squabble with other just because they can.

Cape Town is possibly the most beautiful prostitute in the world.

I look up the mountainside where buildings argue about the view across the bay - each apartment costing millions and each one belonging to somebody right now. Each one paid for from some source that, for me, is mostly a mystery.

I'm one of a contingent of media people who have been brought to this wonderful, graceful, beautifully appointed hotel to listen to Andrew Golding, chief executive of Pam Golding Properties talk about the South African market, the prevailing economic conditions affecting property prices and the state of the international market in the wake of a widespread economic crunch that crushed international property prices two years ago.

2 700 hijacked homes in Jo'burg
Johannesburg's City Council has set up a special investigating unit comprising members of the Gauteng Hawks, officials from the National Prosecuting Authority, the South African Revenue Service and the city council are working to reclaim buildings effectively stolen from their owners.

The 2 700 hijacked properties are all in Johannesburg's inner-city region. William Pudkabekwa, head of the special investigation task team says that he is confident that the hijacking of buildings will come to an end very soon.

The city has launched Operation Ziveze that will see 120 buildings being reclaimed. Casual workers will be used to register residents living in those buildings and then technical teams will assess which of the many council by-laws are being broken.

More choice for property punters
Investors now have another opportunity to share in the spoils of the retail, office and industrial property market with new player Vividend Income Fund joining the ranks of the JSE's R125bn real estate sector this week.

Vividend is the second property listing to make its debut on the JSE over the past three months, following that of Redefine International in early September. The latter is a rand hedge play with property interests in the UK, Switzerland, Germany, the Channel Islands and Australia worth around R4,73bn.

Vividend's strategy is to invest in smaller retail, office and industrial buildings roughly valued between R30m and R100m. The fund's flagship property is Clearwater Crossing, a 10 000 sq m value centre in Strubensvalley, Johannesburg. The centre houses among others Sportsmans Warehouse, discount clothing retailer Melts and Furniture City.

Occupational interest - pay attention!
While the sale of a property should normally be a straight-forward transaction there are circumstances that may conspire to hold up the process and when this does happen then occupational interest falls due and must, most often, be paid by the buyer who may have already moved in.

In some circumstances the seller is the one who has to stay on for a bit longer (perhaps a new home is not complete or another property is still occupied) but if this is the case then the seller will be required to pay occupational interest to the buyer.

In simple terms occupational interest is like paying rent and all deed of sale agreements contain a clause that sets out what amount of money will be paid if the seller is unable to vacate the premises or if the buyer is able to take occupation of them.

Rental agreements not part of NCA
Rental agreements and utility services charges are not subject to the provisions of the National Credit Act and people cannot claim protection under this Act according to a ruling from the South Gauteng High Court.

The ruling, from Judge RS Mathopo, found that the magistrate had erred in refusing to grant a default judgment to Pareto Limited and Absa Bank against Kalnishna Sigaban trading as KS Flowers n More for outstanding rentals of utility service charges of R59 946,18.

He ordered that the judgment against Sigaban be granted and awarded costs to Pareto as well.
The case arises from the refusal by an unnamed magistrate to grant default judgment for rental and other related charges including electricity, water, sewerage charges and municipal rates. Pareto had issued summons for the outstanding money and applied for a default judgment after Sigaban had failed to enter an appearance to defend the action.

60% of bond applicants rejected
At least 60% of bond applications in the Parow region of the Western Cape are being rejected by banks even though the applicants have been through a pre-qualification process according to estate agent Alvin Suklall.

"The houses are classified as affordable homes because they fall into the R350k to R800k category but this does not help when it comes to financing the properties because the banks are declining the applications all the time," he says.

"I go to great lengths to ensure that any potential buyer is pre-qualified but even then, the scorecard system used by banks means that worthwhile employees who have a steady job are not able to get bond finance," says Suklall.

He owns a Rawsons Properties franchise in Parow - an area that includes Parow Valley, Ravensmead, Elsies River, Cravenby, Matroosfontein, Bonteheuwel and Valhalla Park.

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