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Residential Property Indices
South Africa - Lightstone
As at the end of January 2018 the national house price inflation index was at 4.2 %. Over the past couple of months the market activity has stabilized in the 3%-8% range following a slowdown in recent months as shown by the provincial indices. This is true for most of our indices except the Western Cape which is currently growing at an unmatched 10.8%.

The inland municipalities Ekurhuleni, City of Tshwane and City of Johannesburg metros are growing stably at rates between 2% and 5% whereas the coastal municipalities are generally performing above this range. This relationship extends to all coastal and inland properties as shown by their respective indices.

Both the Low value and Mid value wealth segments continue to buck the trend by growing at more than 6% annually whilst the High and Luxury wealth segments are inflating at rates below 4%.

Let taxman help pay for home office
South Africa - RealNet
SA homeowners will be paying higher taxes of all sorts this year, from VAT and fuel levies to the new municipal property rates just announced in many cities and metros, but self-employed individuals and employees who often work from home may be able to claw some of that back from the taxman.

"These days," says Gerhard Kotze MD at RealNet Properties, "many employees prefer to work from home as much as possible to avoid the stress, risks, time and loss of productivity that comes from a daily commute to an office. And fortunately, SARS does allow for them to claim certain home office expenses and reduce their tax liability."

However, there are some conditions that must be met in order to qualify for home office deductions. Firstly, if more than 50% of your income comes from a salary, you can only qualify if your employer allows or requires you to work from home and you spend more than half your working hours in your home office.
The home office

Can we trust real estate predictions?
South Africa - Rawson
Knowing what’s on the horizon is the key to a successful investment, but accurately predicting the future in any industry is a complicated affair. According to Schalk van der Merwe, franchisee for the Rawson Properties Helderberg Group, this is particularly true in real estate – predictions are far from certain and should always be taken in context with their source.

“As real estate agents, we often get asked questions like ‘How is the market doing?’, ‘Is now a good time to buy or sell?’ and ‘I read this prediction, what do you think?’,” says van der Merwe. “Depending on the agent, the answer to those questions could be ‘Everything is great!’ or ‘We’re really struggling!’.”

That’s a fairly dramatic difference in opinion for two agents working in the same industry at the same time, and yet these discrepancies are commonplace, according to van der Merwe.

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