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Property sales drop 10% in Durban
IolProperty - South Africa
Durban estate agents report that houses are selling like hot cakes, but in the latest deeds office research the number of homes successfully transferred in the city has plummeted by more than 10% since last year. It's a muddled view, but according to preliminary data released by the national deeds office, monthly home sales transferred in various offices throughout the country averaged 22 640 for the first six months of this year, compared with the monthly average of 24 140 in 2014, a drop of 6.2%.

And the highest drop in activity level was registered in Durban, which plummeted by 10.7% for the first six months of this year compared with the same period in 2014. Property Economist Neville Berkowitz, who analysed the month-on-month deeds office data, said Cape Town had experienced a 9.5% drop and Johannesburg a drop of 6.1%.

VAT or Transfer Fees: who pays what and when?
Rawson - South Africa
We’ve all driven past those billboards showcasing a glitzy new apartment block or housing development proclaiming in big, bold letters: “No Transfer Duty”. While it may be technically true, this is one of the most commonly misunderstood – and often misrepresented – areas of property sales: when does Transfer Duty apply, and what other costs come into play when Transfer Duty is not payable?

“The basic rule of thumb,” says Tony Clarke, Managing Director of the Rawson Property Group, “is that Transfer Duty always applies unless the seller is VAT registered and the property forms part of their enterprise.” Clarke explains that this is often the case with new sectional title developments, since people seldom take on such large projects in their individual capacity. Because of that, units in new developments are often not subject to Transfer Duty, but are, instead, subject to 14% VAT.

“The confusion comes in when you start looking at who pays for what,” says Clarke, “since the transfer duty is usually paid by the buyer, but VAT must be paid to the receiver by the seller. Because South African law states that VAT must be included in the purchase price unless the sales contract explicitly says otherwise, it’s very important that the seller is aware of this when setting the price of the property. If not, they are likely to get a very nasty surprise when the Receiver of Revenue suddenly demands a 14% cut.”

Rode-REIM Real Estate Conference 2015
Rode - South Africa
Airplane South Africa is stalling and the passengers are getting edgy. No, there is no panic yet as the oxygen masks haven’t dropped from the ceiling. But property investors should be wary.

The Rode-REIM Real Estate Conference 2015 will address opportunities and challenges facing the local and international property market. So with the month of June nearing its end, now is the time to note the following events which will be taking place in August 2015:

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