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Boom gates to stay - for now
Sunday Times - South Africa
Residents of two wealthy suburbs have won a High Court reprieve allowing them to keep the boom gates they put up - at least for a while.

A group from Morningside, Sandton, and another from Illovo joined forces to obtain an urgent Joburg High Court interdict to stop the council from pulling down their boom gates this week.
Sunday Times

Property looking for a soft landing
Eprop - South Africa
Whether or not you believe residential property has entered "bubble" territory, the latest Trafalgar Inner City Report for 2005 shows that in South Africa's inner-city areas at least, demand for accommodation is growing and keeping the market buoyant.

This week property educationists YDL held their quarterly property market update, to gauge if the market is in a bubble.

Maarten Ackerman of private client wealth management company Citadel Investment Strategists offered a fund manager's perspective at the debate. He defined a bubble as a sharp rise in the price of an asset which attracted new buyers interested in profits from trading in the asset.

Dodgy tenants' days numbered
Moneymax - South Africa
The end is in sight for the woes of thousands of owners of fixed properties who, in accordance with an Appeal Court ruling, have to follow an involved and costly procedure to get rid of tenants who do not pay.

Zou Kota, chairperson of the parliamentary portfolio committee on housing, said on Monday after the Appeal Court ruling three years ago "we realised the Act had to be revised to exclude bona fide landlords from the squatter clauses".

"I can now say to landlords to be patient for just a little bit longer." Kota's committee is meeting on Tuesday to discuss measures that will help landlords out of their misery.

Tax Time - Property owners need to declare all
Property24.com - South Africa
As people scramble to get their tax returns in, property owners need to ensure that they declare all relevant transactions and revenue, or they could face penalties.

Bruce Swain, regional director of RE/MAX Southern Africa, notes that recent changes to the Transfer Duty Act mean that conveyancers are now being required to provide all relevant details of transactions to SARS, including tax reference numbers of both buyer and seller, details of the bank involved in financing and even the original purchase date of the property, presumably to assist in Capital Gains Tax (CGT) collection.

Similarly, anyone who buys property from a non-resident is required to pay a "withholding tax" - an amount withheld from the sale price - within 14 days.

'Spot the ball and win my flat'
The Telegraph - UK
Fed up with estate agents? Emma Simon looks at alternative ways of selling your property
Five months after he put his Nottingham flat on the market, Daniel Bloy had received just one realistic offer - which subsequently fell through.

Fed up with this dismal response and reluctant to slash the asking price still further, he hit on a novel way of selling the property and still pocketing a profit.

The two-bedroom flat is now first prize in an online spot-the-ball competition, giving one lucky winner the opportunity to own a home, mortgage-free, for just £25
The Telegraph

Easy money
Moneyweb - South Africa
For R300 you can become an estate agent and handle transactions ranging from R500 000 to R7m.

Allister Long, MD of property services consultancy Powerhouse, questions the training and soundness of legal and financial knowledge that agents impart to their clients.

"Although the agent has some understanding around these areas, he is by no means a qualified lawyer or financial advisor," charges Long.

Barak Geffen, executive director of Sotheby's International Realty, charges that those out to make a quick buck have chosen the property profession which, in just three months, has seen 7 000 new agents added to its ranks.

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