This is the view of Trudie Broekmann, a director in Gunstons Attorneys’ commercial division.  Broekmann says that Section 14 of the new act makes it possible for any tenant who is not a juristic person (i.e. any individual or individuals acting on their own behalf, and not a close corporation, company, trust or partnership) to cancel any fixed term lease simply by giving 20 business days’ notice in writing. 

This section of the act, says Broekmann, is likely to play havoc with landlords’ financial planning and may prevent them from using long term leases as security for finance. 

Raid Granny's purse to buy property
A further decline in the South African Reserve Bank leading indicator means weakness in the mortgage market and the value of new mortgages granted.

This is according to FNB Home Loans property strategist, John Loos following the release of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) Leading Business Cycle Indicator yesterday.

On a month-on-month basis, the Leading Indicator fell by -2.1 percent representing a downward acceleration of -1.5 percent in August.

Loos says on a three month moving average basis, there was a month-on-month decline to -0.6 percent. Year-on-year (y/y), the Indicator was 1.1 percent higher than August 2010.

He explains that there is a broad correlation in the direction of the y/y change in the Leading Indicator and that of the value of new mortgage loans granted (residential and commercial, with residential being the dominant component).

How to buy property at auction
Many people think of auction property as bank repossessions or distressed sales and hope for a ‘bargain’. So what can a buyer actually buy and how does the process work?

Buyers can expect to buy all and any property on auction, says Darren Winterstein, managing director of Aucor.

He explains that bank repo properties are those that have been repossessed by banks whereas distressed property is the step prior, where the owner cannot service the bond on the property and together with the bank agrees to sell it before they default on payments.

“Buyers will find anything – literally from a R500 000 entry-level home to a multi-million rand mansion, and everything in between,” says Winterstein.

ClareMart Auction Group CEO, Jonathan Smiedt says that the auction market is not an avenue for distressed sales only but is also an excellent platform for selling private properties for private sellers, companies and consortiums.

According to Auction Alliance CEO Rael Levitt, distressed property sales are no different to any other type of property sale, but there are several issues that buyers need to be aware of. 

8 ways to attract buyers to your home
Given the sluggish property market, anyone selling their home should make sure they go the extra mile with some innovative strategies that will increase their chances of a quick and successful sale. 

With buyers spoilt for choice in the current market, sellers will have to up their game to make their home stand out from the rest, says Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa. He notes that aside from the correct pricing of a home, creativity is key to attracting potential buyers in today’s tough and competitive real estate market. 

Goslett says that while the asking price will always have a major influence on the appeal that a home holds for buyers, sellers still need to ensure that the whole picture presents an attractive offering. In light of this, he offers the following pointers: 

Agricultural land is then new honeypot
While some property sectors may be experiencing a tough time, the agricultural sector is reportedly booming thanks to the new wave of buyers.

According to Auction Alliance, driven by strong commodity prices and increasing land values, the agricultural property sector has experienced significant growth over the last decade.

When compared with other property sectors, it has performed extremely well during the economic downturn.

“There is real value within the agricultural sector at the moment as result, market activity and overall sentiment is expected to continue improving within coming months”, says Rael Levitt, chief executive officer of Auction Alliance.

Levitt says in 2010, prices for cattle and sheep farms have stabilised, tractor sales have increased by 35 percent on a month to month basis, and game and irrigation farms have continued to show impressive growth due to high commodity prices.

He says currently, there are a number of first-rate agricultural properties coming onto the auction floors.