SA direct property a good asset class
When compared with other asset classes, SA direct property was trumped by equities and listed property in 2009, but it outperformed the bond market.
These findings emerged from the SAPOA/IPD South African Property Index for 2009, which also showed that over three years, direct property outperformed all other major asset classes.
The index showed that long-term property returns are still in double-digits, with three and five year annualised total returns at 16,2% and 21% respectively. Over the full 15-year history of the index, annualised total returns now stand at 15,9%.
DIY homes through housing vouchers
The Eastern Cape housing department has introduced a new rural housing voucher system which will enable beneficiaries to claim housing subsidies to acquire building materials which they will use to build their own homes.
MEC for Human Settlements, Nombulelo Mabandla, said the voucher system is aimed at speeding up housing delivery in poor rural communities. The voucher programme will be piloted at the Umzimvubu and Intsika Yethu municipalities in April.
5 tips for buying, selling property
There are five principles that every buyer and seller should heed when a buying agreement is on the cards, says Lanice Steward, MD of Anne Knight Porter Frank (APKF).
1. It is essential to do your homework before any deal is signed
Poor households free from prop tax?
Poor households will be exempted from property tax if proposed amendments to the Municipal Property Tax Act are accepted.
Sicelo Shiceka, minister of cooperative government and traditional affairs, said at a media conference on Thursday that the Act provides too little protection for the poor. The decision to give relief to the poor can't be left to the discretion of municipalities any longer as it is often not fairly applied.
People who don't earn enough to qualify for tax will also be exempted from tax. This threshold is determined by the minister of finance in each year's budget.
Pension funds should invest in housing
In order to solve SA's growing housing problem, pension funds need to invest in the housing market.
This will only happen if the right investment environment is created, such as with high density developments, says Prof Francois Viruly, lecturer in property studies at the University of the Witwatersrand's School for Construction Economics and Management.
Pension funds invest in the residential market on a large scale in foreign countries.
He says pension funds in SA don't have exposure to the residential market due to the low density. They won't invest on a house-on-house basis.
Furnish rental property and gain
If you are having difficulty renting a house or an apartment, consider furnishing it.
This is the advice of Tony Clarke, MD of Rawson Properties, who says he can testify from personal experience that furnishing can quickly lead to the unit being let, however, it is essential to avoid the danger of overstocking the home.
"Furnishing a home should not result in it being cluttered."
Stocking a home with the necessary furniture, he says, need not be expensive.