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Four certificates now necessary when selling a home
RealEstateWeb - South Africa
You are now also required to obtain a Gas Certificate and a Plumbing/Water Certificate.

To enable the conveyancer to carry out the transfer of a home from one owner to another, traditionally Capetonian homeowners have had to get an Electrical and Beetle Certificate (for all exposed wood) prior to registering the transfer.

That situation is now much changed.  Since the passing of new municipal laws and bylaws, it is now essential, in addition to the Electrical and Beetle Certificates, to obtain a Gas Certificate (issued by an authorised gas dealer) and a Plumbing/Water Certificate (issued by a registered plumber).

Both certificates are important because a gas leak can be both expensive and dangerous and water leaks have resulted in massive wastage in recent years - and are also expensive to the homeowner who will be billed for them.

Office rentals strengthen even though vacancies refuse to drop
Rode’s Report on the South African Property Market

According to the latest Rode’s Report on the South African Property Market (2011q2), office rentals nationally strengthened by an impressive 9% in the first quarter of 2011.

This was reflected regionally with rentals in Johannesburg and Pretoria decentralized areas up by as much as 15% and 12% respectively, while Cape Town decentralized reflected more moderate growth of just 4%. The exception is Durban decentralized, where the “adventurous” addition of new supply lagged the other cities, and rentals consequently only now started declining (-2%).

Notes Erwin Rode, CEO of Rode & Associates and publisher of the report: “Strengthening office rentals could in turn benefit capitalization rates, with market-rental growth bringing with it better prospects for capital returns.

“However,” he says, “vacancy rates are still stubbornly refusing to drop, and this may well persuade property investors not to be too hasty in buying property at lower expected income yields. But all in all, the office market in South Africa is in relatively good nick, considering the state of the market in some developed countries.”

The report states that industrial property is showing signs of a recovery, with vacancy rates seemingly levelling off and rentals once again showing growth of 4% nationally.

“This,” says Rode “comes after a sharp cooling in growth and, in recent quarters, even a contraction in rentals.”

The motor city of Port Elizabeth showed the strongest growth (+6%) followed by the Cape Peninsula (+4%). Durban rentals were up by only 1%, while in the Central Witwatersrand market, rentals stayed at roughly the same level of a year ago.

On the residential rentals front, flat rentals showed mediocre growth of 2% nationally compared to a year ago. Even so, flat rentals are at least outperforming house (+1%) and townhouse rentals (-1%). 

“Current market conditions can still be seen as an opportunity. However, high vacancy rates need to show a pattern of sustained improvement before we see additional investment activity. I believe we are seeing the beginning of a turning point from a national viewpoint,” says Lukesh Govindasamy, Head of FNB Commercial Property Finance.

Cape Town declares war on problem properties
Iolproperty.co.za - South Africa
The City of Cape Town has warned the owners of 130 problem buildings from Constantia and Bishopscourt to Crawford and Mitchells Plain to either fix the buildings or forfeit them to the city.

Richard Bosman, the city's safety and security director, said land owners violating the Problem Buildings by-law had been served notice and would have four to seven weeks to fix, sell or demolish the properties. The time frame may vary, especially if the building is illegally occupied.

Bosman said the aim was to have the owners take responsibility for their properties.

"This may be done by the owner securing or renovating the property, or selling it. If the property owner cannot comply with these requirements, then the city will do the above and recover the costs of their actions by attaching the building," he said.

Rawson Auction's strategist tips coastal and holiday properties for those on the hunt for bargains
Rawson - South Africa
Of all the SA residential property sectors hard hit by the 2008 – 2010 downturn, it has been the holiday, leisure and coastal communities which have seen the biggest price drops and the most unsold stock on the market, says Jason Lee, Rawson Auctions’ strategist and legal expert.

“Right now, if we take the Cape as an example, Peninsula residential property is taking just under 100 days on average to sell – but in West Coast villages the average sale time is now 270 days – and there is a great deal of stock on the market right now.” 


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