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What house will R800 000 get you?
Moneyweb asks estate agents what the "average" price for a house will get you.
Moneyweb.co.za - South Africa
If you want to pay the "average" price for a house, you're going to have to widen your search and start looking in the outlying areas.

According to ABSA, the average price of a house, in the middle segment of the market, is R811 000 but it is highly unlikely you'll find one in your favoured area of the major metropoles.

Last year's interest rate hikes, pressure on affordability and demand from emerging middle class buyers moving into the suburbs are having a sustained effect on house prices, said Barak Geffen, executive director of Sotheby's International Realty. In the greater Johannesburg area, price growth in the R500 000 to R900 000 segment has been between 18% and 25%, he added.

SA's low-cost housing mistakes provide a foundation of insight
Business Day - South Africa
Government's low-cost housing programme is both one of its most successful interventions, and one of its biggest failures.

Take a drive around any part of SA and you will see thousands upon thousands of small "RDP-type" houses dotted across the countryside, in small rural villages and midsized outlying towns. One cannot deny the effort, or the money, that has gone into delivering homes to the poorest of the poor.

Yet a portion of them stand empty. It's enough to make a government policy maker weep with frustration, because the vacancies are the result of a failure of SA's initial housing policy. It was a numbers-driven game, with housing officials chasing a target of delivering one million houses in the first five years of democracy. In the rush to meet the target, houses were built wherever there was land available. And more often than not, that land was nowhere near economic centres.
Business Day

Tenants: Check what the rent actually covers
Property SignPost - South Africa
Tenants planning to rent sectional title flats or townhouses should make sure they understand what their rent covers and how levies may affect them.

Sectional title landlords are generally responsible for the upkeep of the interior of flats or townhouses and will usually include this cost in the monthly rental. Some landlords may, however, prefer to reduce rental in return for tenants taking some responsibility for interior repairs and maintenance.

The upkeep of the exterior and common areas, such as gardens and garages, is the responsibility of the body corporate, which pays for the necessary services with funds collected from all the owners in the scheme by way of a monthly levy.

Although tenants do not usually have to pay the levy, it does not necessarily mean that levy increases will not affect them. They need to find out from their landlords whether or not increased levies will affect their rentals.
Property SignPost

Property web sites 'stealing the scene'
Business Day - South Africa
Weekend property pages in newspapers are likely to soon "play second fiddle" to property web sites because of growing popularity of the online medium, says propertyGenie.co.za, a property listing web site.

Johan Strydom, GM at propertyGenie, says the traditional property print pages are increasingly having to compete with property web site listings around the world - particularly as advertisers are backing this trend with "hard cash".

"New research from the UK's Jupiter Research consultancy shows that European internet users spend more time online than they do reading newspapers and magazines," says Strydom.

While internet usage has accompanied a rise in overall television consumption, print usage has stayed flat over the past three years, according to the survey of nearly 4500 European consumers. "European internet users spend on average four hours a week on the internet, compared with three hours a week reading newspapers and magazines."
Business Day

Jo'burg first with rich/poor units
Fin24.co.za - South Africa
Johannesburg - City of Jo'burg Property Company's (JPC) integrated housing initiative planned for Fairland, which will see rich and poor live side by side in an upmarket cluster development, should provide valuable lessons on how to take the department of housing's proposed inclusionary development policy forward.

The JPC, which manages the City of Johannesburg's (CoJ) property portfolio, and Johannesburg Social Housing Company (Joshco), last week announced that they have entered into a contract with private sector developers in what's believed to be SA's first inclusionary housing development.

The R200m project, comprising 187 two and three bedroom units, is planned for a council-owned piece of land adjacent to the new head offices of Wesbank and FNB Home Loans, off the N1, north-west of Johannesburg.

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