Property 24/10 - 500

Call for zero-transfer fees threshold to be raised to support rate cut stimulus
South Africans have seen three rate cuts in the past six months - as well as a duty-free threshold increase - but it's not enough, say the experts.

Government needs to do more to ensure the property industry is able to survive the current pressures of the Covid-19 pandemic, says CEO of bond originator BetterBond, Carl Coetzee.

The recent 1% drop in the interest rate is an historical low as the prime lending rate was last at 7.75% in 1973. It now allows for significant savings, particularly in the long term. Any measures that seek to stimulate the market and ease the financial burden on the consumer’s pocket is a step in the right direction to buoy the property market. But while the drop in the repo rate is a good start, additional strategies will need to be put in place to secure the long-term survival of the industry.

"One such measure could be to suspend the transfer duty on property valued up to a certain amount," suggest Coetzee.

'Sharp yet short distressed selling’ expected, as DTI weighs industry's essential service status
South Africa’s economy is in a stalled state due to the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown.

. As the deeds office remains closed, analysis shows the Covid-19 pandemic is expected to bring mass job losses and heightened uncertainty as buyers delay their purchasing decisions, says Siphamandla Mkhwanazi, FNB Property Economist. Added to the market outlook, Mkhwanazi, says the pandemic is expected to “have a sharp but short-lived impact on property markets, and that volumes tend to suffer more than prices”.

DTI acknowledge receipt of call for essential service status but no clarity yet
A number of businesses are champing for essential service status, as the state weighs a staggered return to business - the expected approach once the extended lockdown period is lifted at the end of April.

Financial implications for retirement communities in a time of crisis
Protecting the elderly against COVID-19 infection is a pressing concern for everyone operating senior living communities.

The greater susceptibility of seniors to the virus, as well as the many unknowns still surrounding its transmission, make prevention and proper management critical. Exactly what does this involve, and what do operators of such facilities need to know about keeping their residents safe?

A'Expensive or potentially financially burdensome'
According to Barry Kaganson, CEO of Auria Senior Living - which develops and manages senior living communities in South Africa - several operational measures are required to protect the elderly against COVID-19 infection within retirement village environments.

“Most of these measures are expensive or potentially financially burdensome. They are also largely unbudgeted expenses. COVID-19 was upon us quickly, and measures need to be implemented with haste,” says Kaganson.

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