Property 24/10 - 447

The ‘changing face’ of retirement property and SA's development hot spots
South African retirement developments are experiencing a facelift, with new and modern features. Lifestyles have changed dramatically in terms of how people want to live out their golden years and this has affected how retirement villages are being designed.

As the baby boomer generation move into their retirement years, a number of trends are surfacing. These retirees are in no way typical of previous generations, so much so that they have altered the entire retirement industry model.

There are a few key trends to watch out for in 2019: people are retiring later yet moving into lifestyle villages earlier, facilities are far more holistic but still retain independence for residents, and there is a rapid development and expansion of villages nationally.

Are luxury real estate brands relevant in a subdued economy?
The concept of luxury is not a modern phenomenon, it dates back to ancient times when Greeks and Romans coveted the wondrous goods brought by the Persian East Traders and the Chinese were producing splendid silks and, more than two millennia later, it continues to wield significant influence on markets.

Yael Geffen, CEO of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s international Realty, says although this exclusive sector is now influenced by prevailing global trends and economics and the range of luxury goods and brands is exponentially broader these days, the defining principles remain the same.

“Luxury has always been associated with superior quality, exclusivity and limited availability. Nowadays there are two more key intrinsic principles: company heritage and the level of customer service, with the latter being the foundation in sectors like real estate,” says Geffen.

Landlords, beware of meter tampering
Having a prepaid meter installed in your rental property is certainly the uncomplicated option that avoids the admin of invoicing tenants and the risk of non-payment. Hassle-free options are always the better option, right?

Well, not according to Grant Rea, Residential Sales and Letting Specialist at RE/MAX Living, who warns that this option is not entirely without its risks.

In our current economic climate, consumers are facing more pressure on their disposable income, which has led to an ever-growing number of incidents of prepaid meter tampering to bypass the purchase of electricity. Surprisingly, it is easier to do than most realise. Many of the prepaid systems in place do not yet have the function of alerting the municipal entity of such tampering, which leads to costly fines to the homeowner upon the eventual discovery of this tampering,” explains Rea, who reports seeing this occur more readily and, surprisingly, from the most unassuming of clients.

How the National Credit Act works and protects you
Had it not been for the National Credit Act (NCA), South Africa would have been affected far worse by the global economic turmoil than what it is, but what exactly does the Act entail, and how does it impact on everyday consumers?

Steve van Wyk, Seeff’s MD in Centurion, says the Act mainly limits the potential for South Africans to borrow too much and prevent credit providers such as banks from engaging in irresponsible lending.

“The NCA was signed into law in 2005. In a nutshell, it establishes rights for consumers, including measures that enable them to make informed decisions. It also places a greater responsibility on credit providers to refuse credit to those who cannot afford it and regulates how credit bureaux - which hold and provide information on your creditworthiness - do business."

Van Wyk says the NCA covers the following issues:

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