Property 24/10 - 406

Weak economy in SA impacts estate agency commissions
The mid-month fuel price data released by the Central Energy Fund suggests that South African fuel users could be facing increases of 74 cents a litre for petrol and 81 cents for diesel. Some economists are predicting that the price of fuel in June will increase to its highest level ever.

This is according to David de Waal, CEO of low Commission estate agents, Steeple, who says consumers are under pressure and “further fuel cost increases will do the man in the street no favours”.

“Our political climate has been far more stable since President Ramaphosa took over the helm, and consumer confidence is on the rise. However, continued increases in taxes to address fiscal budget shortfalls will have devastating effects on the economy.

Can’t pay your home loan? Don't get blacklisted, here's what to do
For a homeowner there are few financial stresses as serious as struggling to make your monthly bond repayments.

If you cannot work out a financial plan to keep your home, it’s best to put it on the market as soon as possible to recover the costs and settle with the mortgagor (typically the bank) before they take the necessary legal steps involved in foreclosing on a property.

Banks usually consider a property to be “distressed” when the homeowner can no longer afford the bond repayment and has consistently missed the monthly payments.

Contact a distressed property specialist when (or before) you default on a payment as they have experience in selling distressed properties and can advise you on the best way to make sure your home gets sold at the best possible price, in the shortest possible time.

Cape Town property owners: how to prepare for valuation knock-on effects
As Johannesburg and Buffalo City residents deal with the aftershocks of their property valuation hikes, Cape Town residents are urged to prepare for their reappraisals which will hit next year.

Earlier this year, Johannesburg residents voiced their outrage over property valuation increases, some of whom had seen values increase between 60% and 500%. The increases, which come into effect in July this year, will not only impact monthly rates bills, but will also influence the cost of other services such as water, refuse removal and electricity. And while Buffalo City residents dealt with slightly less shocking increases (many around 50%), this still resulted in many residents being concerned that they’re not going to meet their mortgage repayments.

Gary Palmer, CEO of Paragon Lending Solutions, says the logical knock-on effect of municipal rate increases is to raise the rentals on investment properties - if this is not possible, the owner’s net profit will decrease.

Must-knows for buying a property with a partner or friend
With fewer couples nowadays getting married but choosing rather to co-habit, or friends choosing to share as they cannot afford something on their own, comes the trend of co-owning property.

Co-ownership is a great way to get onto the property ladder, but does need careful consideration in drawing up a contract between the owners so that there is no miscommunication or misconception of how the property will be dealt with should they part or decide to sell, says Charlene Nolte-Joubert, partner at Henkes Nolte-Joubert and a founding member of the Attorney Realtor Hub.

Once a property has been found, before signing an offer to purchase, the buyers should establish what percentage each owner will hold - if it is not stipulated in an agreement between the co-owners then it is assumed that they own equal shares in the property. The shareholding in the property can, however, also be recorded in the title deeds at the Deeds Office, to ensure that the agreement is preserved.

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