Property 24/10 - 519

Fed-up with WFH chaos | '86% of working South Africans ready to return to an office'
Many South Africans are either juggling working-from-home (WFH) life, along with home schooling and everything else that goes with the Covid-19 Pandemic. But many are just not finding that sweet spot of balance.

Many people simply haven’t got a home set-up conducive to productivity. During lockdown, the need for childcare has played a major role, with public schools being shut. South Africa also has high data costs, and many people are not adequately connected. Then there’s load shedding affecting different staff at different times – large meetings become difficult to coordinate.

'Unable to unplug from work as boundaries blur'
A recent survey by Giant Leap, one of South Africa’ largest workplace consultancies, revealed that 86% of people wanted to go back to working in an office. While remote work was initially very popular, many people slowly realised that there was a lack of work life balance. People also reported feelings of isolation and difficulties in carrying team tasks, with many missing their co-workers. This correlates with Weforum’s finding that the second biggest struggle for remote workers is loneliness. Issue number one is unplugging after work as boundaries blur and clients keep emailing well past the 5’ o'clock mark.

'Owner occupants' driving residential development value as 'spec buyers' burn
The current property market is displaying interesting new trends - and while there has been no significant increase in new stock volumes, under-resourced spec buyers are finding it far more difficult to operate.

First-time home buyers are taking advantage of the cheaper finance to acquire more expensive properties, with such buyers accounting for almost 53% of home loans during the second quarter, according to ooba.

Andrew Golding, chief executive of the Pam Golding Property group says South Africa’s young population, with nearly two-thirds of citizens currently below the average age of a first-time buyer (34 years), provides the market with a solid underpinning, as conditions now make it cheaper to buy than rent.

"What we have seen is that the residential property market has come out of the gates very strongly after the restart of real estate activities at the beginning of June and during July 2020, with most of this activity driven by realistic pricing expectations and motivated sellers."

Under offer | The 72-hour clause explained
Seeing an Under Offer notification on your dream property can be crushing. This means the potential property buyer isn't quite meeting all of the required buying conditions. Here's what you need to know about the 72-hour clause, and whether it's worth still putting in an offer.

Ultimately, the 72-hour clause is designed to speed up the sale of a house and can be quite useful to the seller.

Property expert Jaco Rademeyer explains as follows:
When a purchaser makes an offer to purchase immovable property and the offer is accepted and signed by the seller, it is a legal contract binding both parties. There are however instances where an offer to purchase may be cancelled after signature, thus making room for further offers from alternate purchasers.

More often than not, an agreement of sale is subject to what is known as suspensive conditions. A suspensive condition suspends the contractual obligations flowing from a contract until the occurrence of an uncertain future event.

How interest rates work | And how likely are they to go up in the near future?
Are you afraid to take a risk on the silver-lining rate cuts by investing property, for fear there might be a sudden increases on the horizon? Read on...

Anyone keeping an eye on South Africa’s financial situation will be well aware of the recent spate of interest rate cuts implemented by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB). These have taken the prime lending rate from 9.75% in January to an eyebrow-raising low of 7% as of late July. Substantial drops like these are so rare as to be nearly unprecedented in our country and offer extraordinary opportunities for investors, particularly in sectors like property.

A Reuters poll of economists, ahead of the most recent cut in July, suggests the rate may be "left at 3.5% for the remaining September and November meetings this year", with SARB possibly "raising the repo rate to 3.75% next year".

Similarly, Trading Economics expects the rate to remain unchanged this month but forecasts a possible 0.25% cut when the SARB meets in November. SA's domestic economy is forecast to "shrink by 7.3% for 2020, compared to a previous estimate of a 7% contraction to then grow by 3.7% in 2021 and 2.8% in 2022".

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