South Africa’s beleaguered real estate industry has entered a new era with the signing of a memorandum of understanding by its two biggest self-governing bodies.
That’s the word from Jeanne Van Jaarsveldt, general manager of Harcourts SA and vice president of the Institute of Estate Agents of South Africa (IEASA), who regards the partnership between the long-established Institute and newly formed Real Estate Business Owners of South Africa (REBOSA) as a major step towards professionalising the sector.
“Collectively, the IEASA and REBOSA represent an overwhelming portion of the real estate industry,” he says. “Together, they intend to carve a new road into the country’s property landscape in the interests of the public as well as business owners and estate agents.”
Van Jaarsveldt believes that the partnership is another welcome and positive step towards professionalising the sector, following the transfer of the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) from the Department…
The number of properties sold in the Helderberg Basin in 2012 by Harcourts Platinum shot up by an astronomical 80 percent compared with 2011.
Attributing the results – all the more impressive on the back of a generally sluggish national market – to a combination of “right” pricing and growing demand for turnkey housing, he says development sales in particular had increased “significantly” for his office over the past 12 months.
“We have encouraged and worked with developers to build completed or “Turnkey” homes, which buyers only pay for and take transfer of once the property is completed,” he explained. “Not only do these homes offer excellent value for money but the banks are more comfortable with financing them than “plot-and-plan” options. Buyers are aware of this and…
If you’re not sure whether to sell your current home or stay put, draw up a “Ben Franklin” list.
That’s the advice of Richard Gray, CEO of Harcourts Real Estate SA, who says business leaders, politicians and ordinary people throughout the world rely on Ben Franklin lists to help them make difficult decisions.
“A Ben Franklin list, named for Benjamin Franklin who was one of the founding fathers of United States, facilitates the decision-making process by not only listing but also weighting the pros and cons,” he explains. “It’s therefore an excellent guide for undecided sellers who are nervous about making the wrong decision. Moving home is a major life event for most people, hence the importance of ensuring that your reasons for selling are sound. If you have any doubts, draw up a list with the pros on one side and the cons on the other. Then…
Thousands of runners are expected to participate in one of the country’s premier 32km road races this year: the newly rebranded Harcourts Alan Robb 32km.
The race is run in honour of and named after four times Comrades winner Alan Robb, the popular road race is hosted by the Germiston Callies Harriers Club.
“While other sporting events are being cancelled or losing their sponsors as a result of the economic downturn, The Harcourts real estate group has stepped up to the plate with the signing of a three year deal with our club,” said Les Black, chairman of Germiston Callies Harriers Club. “The Alan Robb is our flagship 32km road race and we are delighted that its future has been secured.”
In 1976, one could buy a basic three bedroom house in Estcourt for R14 000 and an upmarket home in the best suburb for R28 000.
According to Emanuel, who has run a successful real estate practice there for the last 37 years, one can buy a decent family-size house for under R600 000 and a quality home in the best areas for less than R1 million, value not easily matched in the bigger towns and cities.
On the back of its strongly performing agricultural and industrial sectors, Estcourt’s property market has held its own during the countrywide real estate slump, with demand consistently high in the R500 000 to R800 000 price range,…
Only one in every two buyers in South Africa is likely to realise their dreams of home ownership in 2013.
While expecting the market to be more vibrant this year than it was in 2012 as a result of the stable, record low interest rate and a tradition of home ownership that has unfailingly trumped every economic downturn, Gray says it still presents major challenges to buyers.
Among the toughest of these is obtaining bond finance. “While mortgage originator ooba reports securing seven out of 10 loans for its applicants during the first three quarters of 2012, the national decline ratio came in at 48,8 percent, according to ooba’s November 2012 statistics. In essence, this translates to one in…
Speaking after the release of FNB’s first Property Barometer for 2013, which shows that the average house price in South Africa for 2012 as a whole rose by 5% compared with 2011, Gray said home buyers needed to take a longer term view than they had since the country’s real estate boom, which peaked in 2008.
“FNB reports a slight improvement on the average house price growth of 2011 (3.3%), and is expecting property’s appeal as an asset class to continue improving as the year unravels,” says Gray. “This is indicative that the market is moving in the right direction and supportive of the traditional appeal of property as a strongly performing asset class over the long-term.”
However, he stresses that the key to making…
One of St Francis Bay’s canal-fronting mansions has just made local real estate history as the second most expensive house ever to be sold in the picturesque village.
Listed at R18,5m, it was sold to a KwaZulu-Natal businessman within 10 percent of the asking price, says selling agent and principal of Harcourts St Francis Bay, Esme Welman. During its time on the market, the property, which was featured on the Harcourts Luxury Portfolio website, received more than 2 200 hits from 27 different countries in eight languages.
Welman, while not at liberty to disclose the actual selling price, says the multi-million rand price tag befits the 1008m² “architectural masterpiece”, which boasts celebrity features such as a sliding roof over the entertainment area to enjoy night-time star viewing, indoor heated swimming pool, entertainment room and cinema complete with electric reclining seats. It also has its own mooring, automated…
Mirroring a similar trend in the USA, a growing number of young adults in South Africa are choosing real estate broking as a career rather than an occupation by default.
That’s according to Richard Gray, CEO of Harcourts Real Estate SA, after a recent survey within the group revealed that 29% of its agents were under the age of 40, and 12% were less than 30 years old.
This, he says, contrasts significantly with statistics released in September by the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB), which show that the average age of estate agents in South Africa rose from 54 to 58 years old over the period September 2011 to September 2012. This, he notes further, is against a backdrop of an overall increase in agent numbers: the total number of registered agents in the country climbed from 36 000 to 40 000 over the same time period.…
Cape Town home owners who disagree with their 2013 property valuations will need to base their objections on fact if they hope to win their cases.
That’s the word from Jenny Shaw, Professional Associated Valuer and co-principal owner of Harcourts Back Wave in Cape Town. According to Shaw, next year’s residential property rates, which will be based on the general valuation (GV) of 1 July 2012, along with details of how to lodge an objection, will appear on the City of Cape Town’s website in February 2013 so that rate payers can lodge objections in March and April, prior to final implementation.
Shaw, who has in previous years conducted valuations for objections on behalf of the City of Cape Town, says consumers need to be aware of two things: that the valuations are based on actual registered property sales in the area, and that objections need valid…