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How to get the price right for a smooth sale
BetterLife - South Africa
OK so you’ve decided to move, maybe to another suburb or town, or maybe just to a bigger or smaller place in the same area. But before you can carry out your plan, you have to sell your existing home – and in order to do that, you have to put a price tag on it.

And this is the exact point at which a lot of home sellers come unstuck, because they don’t understand that potential buyers just don’t care about certain things – like how you found the perfect flooring for the kitchen or why you chose yellow tiles for the bathroom instead of beige – even if you think they should.

“The fact is that these people have no emotional attachment to your home so all they care about is that it is in the area they want to live in, that it is well-maintained and in good condition, and most of all, that it is priced right in their estimation,” says Shaun Rademeyer, CEO of BetterLife Home Loans, SA’s leading mortgage originator.
Getting the price right

Should you let short-term or long-term?
Chas Everitt - South Africa
Short-term rental demand is no longer only common in popular holiday and tourism destinations, but also increasing rapidly in business districts, student zones and the areas around airports and conference centres.

“One reason is that many more skilled people around the world now work on a contract rather than a full-time basis, and prefer to rent a flat wherever they are working for a few weeks or months instead of staying in a hotel or a guesthouse,” says Greg Harris, CEO of Chas Everitt Property Rentals.

However, property investors should weigh-up the pros and cons very carefully before they decide to go into this market, and make sure they work with a managing agent who really understands it, he says.

“Of course everyone who buys an investment property wants to make the best possible returns,” he says, “and by letting short-term at a daily, weekly or monthly rate, owners stand to make considerably more money than if they rent long-term. What is more, short-term letting makes it easier for landlords to raise the rent to cope with any increases in interest rates or sectional title levies.
Should you let short

Property speculation 'loses its allure'
IolProperty - South Africa
Speculation in South Africa's residential property market appears to have plunged to its lowest levels in more than a decade, according to property analysts Lightstone. It said at the peak of the housing boom in 2005 not only was annual residential property inflation at more than 30 percent, but 37 percent of properties that were sold at that time had been bought within the past two years.

"This indicates that many of these properties were bought with the intent of being sold in the near future at a profit," Lightstone said.

However, Lightstone said only 14 percent of the properties that were sold last year were bought within the past two years, indicating that speculation in the market had reduced significantly. Lightstone said owners were holding on to their properties longer and about half of all properties transacted last year had been bought more than eight years ago.

How long does it take to establish a real estate brand in a new area?
Rawson - South Africa
When prospective franchisees consider investing in an estate agency franchise in their area they are often deterred by the fear that it will take them years to establish themselves, to build up a client base and to become widely accepted in the territory they serve, especially if the considered brand is not recognised as being currently effective or present in that particular area.

In reality, says Wayne Albutt, Western Cape Regional Sales Manager for the Rawson Property Group, a really good franchisee can be up and running and doing far more than just recovering his overheads within six months – but on average may take as much as three years to be fully established, highly competitive and possibly the market leader.

“When a new franchisee blames a lack of sales on the fact that he is new to his district, he is, in my experience, often fudging the simple truth that he is not operating as efficiently as he should,” says Albutt.

Residential building statistics
Absa - South Africa
Residential building activity contracts from a year ago

Building activity in the South African market for new housing, as reflected by the number of building plans approved and the number of buildings completed, contracted in the first two months of 2015 compared with the corresponding period last year. These trends are based on data published by Statistics South Africa in respect of building activity related to private sector-financed housing (see explanatory notes).

The number of new housing units for which building plans were approved was down by 6,1% year-on-year (y/y), or 551 units, to 8 444 units in January and February from a year ago. This was the result of a contraction in plans approved in respect of both categories of houses, whereas plans approved in the segment of flats and townhouses increased by more than 23% y/y in January and February.

The volume of new housing units reported as constructed dropped by 1,6% y/y in the first two months of the year, driven by a contraction in the number of units built in both the segments of houses, whereas the number of flats and townhouses built was up by more than 3% y/y in January and February.
Building stats Feb 2015

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