Property 24/10 - 92

Do you own property in a violent city?
Contrary to the stereotype of darkest Africa, South Africa is not high on the list of the most dangerous places to visit, according to a report.

The Citizen Council for Public Safety and Criminal Justice an NGO in Mexico released a 2011 report entitled 50 Most Violent Cities in the World.

Click here to read the report.

It revealed that San Pedro Sula in Honduras is the most violent city in the world followed by Ciudad Juarez in Mexico, Maceió in Brazil, Acapulco in Mexico and Central District in Honduras as the top five violent cities.

Four of South Africa’s cities made it to the list and what may come as a surprise to many is that the City of Johannesburg is ranked number 50, not so violent after all.  

The Mother City, Cape Town is ranked number 34 most violent city in the world and most violent of all South African cities on the list, beating Johannesburg located in the Gauteng Province dubbed Gangsters’ Paradise (GP).

Estate agents must cover their backs
The most devastating piece of legislation to hit the property industry has seemingly caused only a few ripples in the real estate pond, but if truth be told, agents who continue to bury their heads in the sand and refuse to conform with the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) could end up being on the losing end of the deal.

This is according to Jaco Rademeyer of Jaco Rademeyer Estates who says prior to the CPA, agents were, to a large extent, shielded from most aspects of the sale after the sales agreement had been signed. In the event of disputes between the buyer and seller, agents were, for the most part, merely regarded as “interested onlookers”.

This has now changed and agents are going to have to take far more responsibility and be far more accountable than before, he says.

Rademeyer believes that the CPA is going to rock the industry and agents who have not yet sought advice on how best to deal with the changes in the law urgently need to consult with an attorney or another professional body that specialises in, what is currently, a somewhat murky piece of legislation.

Who pays tax in a partnership project?
Judgment relating to the tax deductibility of certain costs in respect of a prison constructed and operated as part of a public private partnership.

The Supreme Court of Appeal recently gave judgment in the matter of Commissioner for the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and South African Custodial Services (Pty) Ltd (SACS). 

Tim Desmond, Director - tax and commercial departments at Garlicke & Bousfield Inc explains that the prison was constructed on land in Louis Trichardt owned by the State. 

SACS would be responsible for the construction of the prison and its operation for a 25 year period. 

SACS engaged various subcontractors in order to fulfil its obligations, including with regard to the actual construction.

He says SACS contended that the materials used to construct the prison constituted its trading stock and that when built into the prison they became the property of the State. 

If this contention were accepted, the materials would be trading stock held and not disposed of by SACS. 

Do not buy land from bogus sellers
Government has appealed to South Africans to refrain from buying land from bogus sellers as they will lose their money.

 It said buyers of such land could be evicted and charged for illegally occupying the land.

The warning from Rural Development and Land Affairs comes in the wake of recent and ongoing land evasions in Walmanthsdall, north of Pretoria.

Desperate communities in the area are being sold land illegally and erecting stands on the piece of land belonging to the state.

Walmanthsdall farm is a finalised restitution claim that is in the process of being transferred to the Walmanthsdall Community Property Association (CPA) as successful restitution claimants.


Rental bill redraft to fix loopholes
The Parliamentary portfolio committee on human settlements has decided to redraft the proposed Rental Housing Amendment Bill, committee chairwoman Nomhle Dambuza said on Wednesday.

"Applying for a redraft of this amendment bill requires that another set of public hearings be held and we believe that this will give an opportunity to the parties who did not comment during the first round," Dambuza said in a statement.

She said she decided to revert the bill to the committee and not the department because of the proposed amendments.

The committee decided to redraft the amendment bill so that it covered aspects raised by the department of human settlements and addressed the loopholes and ambiguities identified in the Rental Housing Act and the Rental Housing Amendment Act.

2012: The economy and property outlook
Property experts and economists have been saying house prices will remain in single digits with all eyes on South Africa’s economic growth.

While consumers will continue to buy and sell houses this year, the economy would need to pick up before we can expect any real strength in the residential property market.

Click here to read more about what our panel of experts had to say about the property market in 2012.

This year is also reportedly going to be a good one for cash buyers as they will have more bargaining power than ever before.

FNB revealed in a report that the residential property market can expect a slowdown in 2012 with demand expected to lead towards the affordable segments.

The lower end of the property market is set to continue to perform better than the higher priced segments.

Young buyers under 30 face hurdles
In today’s property market many young buyers may be facing more hurdles than their counterparts from the older generations.

This is according to Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa who says that although interest rates are still remarkably low and market pressure over the last few years has brought property prices down, many young buyers will still struggle to get their foot into the property market door.

With a competitive job market and some young buyers having large student-loan debt, those born between 1985 and 1993 will find access to finance more difficult than other age groups that are more established in their careers and can prove the level of affordability required by financial institutions.

Goslett says there is definitely a more positive sentiment in the market and there are more buyers entering the market than previously, especially first-time buyers, due to property prices being more affordable, as well as the relaxation of lending criteria by many of the banks.

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