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Low business sentiment levels undermining prospects for industrial rental growth
Rode - South Africa
Prevailing weak and low levels of business sentiment are set to keep the demand for industrial space at bay, and the outcome of this will be continued moderate growth in market rentals for industrial space.

The corresponding graph shows the robust correlation between the growth in prime industrial rentals (nationally) and changes in business confidence (the latter ex BER). Naturally, business decision-makers can be expected to be hesitant to expand production capacity by renting more space when they are dissatisfied with prevailing business conditions. The confidence index has since 2010 been oscillating around the 45 (out of a 100) mark, but the latest reading for the fourth quarter of 2015 (at 36) shows the first signs of breaking through this rut to the downside. This is the lowest reading in almost six years. Of course, uncertain economic conditions in SA and in the rest of the world, and rising interest rates, are the probable causes of the weak confidence.

Joburg moves to protect unsuspecting property buyers
IolProperty - South Africa
The City of Joburg says it has saved homebuyers a staggering R730 million in historical debt. City revenue department spokesman Kgamanyane Maphologela said the debt had been recovered from about 25 033 properties, by ensuring it was settled with the seller.

"In an effort to ensure that the new homeowner (buyer) does not inherit the historic debt for rates and services from the previous owner (seller), the city is writing to transferring and conveyancing attorneys advising them of the legislative requirement," he said.

Maphologela said a specialised firm of attorneys had been appointed to ensure outstanding monies on properties were collected before the property was transferred.

What agents do behind the scenes
ReMax - South Africa
It is said that on average, for every hour that a real estate agent spends with the homeowner of the property they are selling, they will spend around nine hours out of eyesight working on the seller’s behalf. The reason for this is fairly simple – if they don’t sell the property, they don’t get paid.

“The majority of real estate agents work on a commission basis, meaning that they will only receive payment for their services if the property is sold. While this is a risk, it is also highly motivating and pushes them to go the extra mile to ensure that the deal is closed,” says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.

“Unlike other professionals who bill their clients for the amount of time they spend working for them, agents run the risk of coming away empty-handed – this is simply the nature of the real estate industry.”

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