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Residential building statistics
South Africa - Absa
Growth in building plans approved, but construction phase contracted in the first seven months of 2018

Data published by Statistics South Africa with regard to private sector-financed residential building activity (see explanatory note) showed that the planning phase of new housing improved in the first seven months of 2018, whereas the construction phase contracted. These diverging trends were the result of strong growth together with a significant contraction in some categories of housing in the planning and construction phases respectively.

Building plans approved for new housing increased by 7,7% year-on-year (y/y), or a total of almost 2 600 plans, to 36 147 plans in January to July this year, with this growth driven by the segment of flats and townhouses, which showed growth of 20,7% y/y in the 7-month period

Seven things every tenant should know or do before signing a commercial lease
South Africa - Rawson
In July, the Deeds Office officially entered the digital era when the Bloemfontein office registered its first property transfer with a digitally-signed document, paving the way to a more efficient and streamlined process in an industry which is renowned for cumbersome reams of documentation. “Signing a lease, whether long or short term, need not be a daunting task,” says Leon Breytenbach, National Manager of the Rawson Property Group’s commercial division, “when a little effort beforehand will ensure a successful outcome.”

Take your time
Allow yourself the time to consider all aspects and implications of the lease. “By entering into a lease contract without fully examining it, you could overlook minor or possibly even major inclusions or omissions,” explains Breytenbach. Do not make your decision from a position of desperation; refuse to be hurried into a decision until you are satisfied that it is right for your business and that it contains all the necessary clauses.

Get the low-down on the landlord
“You will have frequent dealings with your landlord during the term of your lease, so it would be helpful to know a little more about them ” advises Breytenbach. Inasmuch as you will have to provide references to the landlord, it will pay you to contact the previous tenant to find out whether the landlord is fair and reasonable in his dealings with his tenants and whether he is willing to address any problems which may arise. Ask how the building is financed, whether the landlord’s portfolio includes other properties and if he has any partners, so as to determine the financial health of the entity to which you will pay rent. It would be counter-productive to find yourself in a situation where the landlord does not have the financial backing to properly manage the property or its financing obligations.

Communicare puts roofs over heads
South Africa - IolProperty
From the sprawling informal settlements and overcrowded backyards, it is plain to see that Cape Town has a huge housing backlog, robbing people of their dignity. Communicare, an 80-year old non-profit social enterprise, tackles this shortfall with a small contribution of dignifying rental housing. We are the largest provider of social rentals in Cape Town.

We have moved away from providing privileged access to housing for a few. Now we cater for all residents in Cape Town equally. Apart from dignified housing, our social programmes help tenants to prosper in life.

Being a social enterprise means that the surplus we generate from rental income or housing sales is ploughed back into tenant services and developing new properties. We use our own funds and bank loans to finance new developments. We receive no help from government to operate and very little to build new housing.

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