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What the General Valuation roll means for Cape Town homeowners
With the City of Cape Town’s General Valuations fully under way, getting your home valued by a property professional could be the single best move that you could make. The City of Cape Town’s Valuation Office is currently preparing the General Valuation 2018 valuation roll, which will be published in February 2019 for public inspection and objection.

According to the City of Cape Town, the valuation roll assesses approximately 870 000 registered properties in Cape Town and is conducted for the purpose of billing fair rates to each property owner. The General Valuation process involves the City of Cape Town allocating a value to your home that may be higher or lower than your home’s current value.

Now is the time for SA to embrace creative housing solutions
As we’ve turned the page on 2018 and entered 2019, there are three core pervasive themes that underpinned the property market last year, all of which may have significant implications for future trends.

“The first of these is that eco-friendly living is becoming more and more commonplace, and indeed necessary, as we become more mindful of reducing our carbon footprint and adopting a more sustainable way of living,” says Carol Reynolds, Pam Golding Properties area principal for Durban Coastal.

According to a recent survey by SAPOA on office buildings in South Africa, green certified premium and A-grade offices had a vacancy rate of just 4.9%, compared to 8.3% for premium and A-grade offices without eco-friendly features, and enjoy a premium on asking rentals of 76%. (Source: SAPOA office vacancy report, July 2018). This means that eco-friendly buildings are not only in demand from a residential perspective, but also in the commercial space.

Rental agents, adopt these downturn survival strategies in 2019
As we’ve turned the page on 2018 and entered 2019, there are three core pervasive themes that underpinned the property market last year, all of which may have significant implications for future trends.

2019 will see estate agencies facing mounting pressure from property owners and tenants alike. Economists expect inflation to continue to rise for most of the year, while economic growth is likely to stay slow, meaning consumers won’t get a break from their woes for at least the next year.

PayProp CEO, Louw Liebenberg, says agents operating in this economic environment should carefully consider which strategies they adopt to better serve their businesses. The PayProp Index, a definitive look at the South African residential rental market, forecast towards the end of last year that recovery might be on the horizon in 2019 for certain provinces, based on the review of data as far back as 2012.

Rental yield vs capital growth: Which is the ‘best investment’?
It’s a conversation, or rather a debate, property investors love to have: when it comes to investment property, what matters more - rental yield or capital growth?

As with all answers to questions around good property investments, there is no ‘right’ answer, or a simple one-size-fits-all piece of advice. Michelle Cohen, principal at Leapfrog Johannesburg North East & Sandton, helps unpack the question. Cohen says investors get distracted by the rental amount they see coming in each month, but in the long run, it’s capital growth that sets a good investment apart from a great investment.

Let’s take a property of R1 million as an example. It is very possible to get R7 500 rental income each month. That’s a significant R90 000 a year, before costs like levies, rates and other expenses associated with the property,” Cohen explains.

Think twice before you use your home loan 'like an ATM'
For homeowners who are really struggling to make ends meet this month, it may seem like a very good idea to ‘borrow’ some money from your access bond to help pay the bills - or even to ‘consolidate’ all of your debts into your home loan account.

At the start of the year we always see an increase in what the banks call ‘further advances’ - which is when homeowners re-borrow all or part of the amount they have already paid off their bond in order to finance something else,” says Rudi Botha, CEO of BetterBond, national bond originator.

“However, deciding to use the home equity you have taken years to build up to clear short-term debts is really not something you should do impulsively, as it has many possible implications that could drastically affect your financial future.”

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