Pam Golding Properties Group Newsletter
PGP logoDate: August 2012

Residential Property News

Pam Golding Properties partners with Homecoming Revolution

Helping returning diaspora with their home buying requirements for a seamless relocation

 

Transfer duty – taxing for buyers and ultimately also sellers

We take into account the costs involved in buying a home and examine the implications of these on purchasers and the market in general

 

Reduction in transfer duty positive news for home buyers, says Dr Andrew Golding

No transfer duties will be payable on property transactions below R750 000

Making the home-buying process stress-free

Good support and advice on tap for prospective home buyers

 


Property value goes way beyond the garden fence

The neighbourhood often says more than the house

View our selection of properties from throughout Southern Africa. Click on the region below.

Clarens - R2,5 million

The best of both worlds

Mountain views, a variety of trees and an abundance of bird life, make this an ideal country escape from city life. This spacious well-built home, comprises 3-bedrooms, 2-bathrooms, an open plan living area and boasts a north facing wooden deck, which makes easy entertaining for family and friends alike. An additional guest room, has its own entrance - offering potential for a B&B. The property is within easy walking distance to most amenities offered in this popular country village.



Odette Parris
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M: +27 (0) 82 485 9157

Gail Veenhuis
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M: +27 (0) 83 675 8138

Bryanston - R8,5 million

Light and bright contemporary home

Set in an indigenous garden with stunning entertainment area, which provides the back drop for this exceptional immaculate home. Striking in design and accentuated by great spaces. Inviting entrance hall leads to elegant lounge and study. Open plan, family room to gourmet eat-in kitchen, flowing with stack doors to lovely patio. Main bedroom en suite with balconies, walk-in dressing room and gym room. 3 Additional spacious bedroom with bathrooms, 3 garages, charcoal pool with wooden deck.


Elize Combrinck
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M: +27(0) 82 821 3455

Christine Verspyck
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M: +27 (0) 83 266 5840


Pretoria East - R12 million

Modern elegance

This property is part of the Pretoria Luxury Collection, the leading portfolio of luxury properties. The portfolio is managed by Retha Schutte: Regional Executive: Pretoria. This modern elegant family home offers exquisite finishes and luxurious living. With double volume spaciousness and beautiful rooms and bathrooms you will not want to leave your home. The designer kitchen with ceaserstone tops, top of the range gas stove and ovens that will make cooking for your family a pleasure! The entertainment area and braai overlooking the garden and swimming pool makes this house a sophisticated yet comfortable family home.

Retha Schutte
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M: +27 (0) 83 268 1592

Zantie Swanepoel
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M: +27 (0) 83 626 2718

Table View - R1,795 million

Two separate houses on one erf

This is perfect if you want granny living by you or if you wish to utilize the second home as a rental income investment. The single-storey house consists of 3 good-sized bedrooms, 2 bathrooms open-plan granite kitchen, dining room and lounge, opening onto an undercover patio with braai, a double garage that has a store/office room at the back. The second home is a double-storey. The ground-floor offers an open-plan kitchen and lounge, 1-bedroom with study area and a bathroom. Upstairs are the remaining 2-bedrooms and a bathroom. The large garden with beach pool separates the two buildings and offers the privacy with dual living.

Linda Middleditch
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M: +27 (0) 82 433 4412

Clifton - R45 million

Spectacular view in fabulous Eventide

Exceptional frontage, exceptional accommodation. This spectacular apartment in Clifton's latest state-of-the-art building on the beach offers high security living with direct access to the beach and sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean. Permanent concierge, three parking bays plus two storerooms located on the same level as the apartment guarantees convenience.





Annette Hepburn
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M: +27 (0) 82 658 1116

Claremont - R9,8 million

Position is everything

Designed for casual living and entertaining with great indoor/outdoor flow, feature pool and blessed with accommodation for a large family, this 20 year double storey home is now in need of some updating. Do the renovations and improvements and realise a great investment. The property is currently in the process of being sub-divided and will remain on approximately 1171m² plot.


Myrna Duveen
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M: +27 (0) 82 443 8417

Christiaan Steytler
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M: +27 (0) 82 658 0071

Somerset West - R11,9 million

Exclusive architectural delight for the discerning buyer

This beautifully renovated double volume home offers tranquillity, space and quality finishes in one of Somerset West's most prestigious suburbs. Set on 4034 square metres of land, this property is ideal for larger families or nature lovers. The impressive entrance and spacious foyer invites the outside in through a well-proportioned picture window. To the Owner, the main aim was to make the extraordinary landscaped garden and exquisite vistas part of the property through the large glazed windows set in strategic positions.

Edelweiss Hankey
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M: +27 (0) 83 252 1964

Hermanus - R7,35 million

Beautifully appointed house in exclusive area

This family home is situated on the beach and along with it’s beautiful sea views offers a pleasant family with 4-bedrooms. Ideal for the family who loves outdoor entertaining. Please call to arrange a viewing.








Rose Marie Marais
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M: +27 (0) 82 877 6160

Wellington - R4,6 million

Abundance of space and security

This spacious family home is fit for a king, built with passion and offers a high level of comfort and style. Enjoy a quality lifestyle with magnificent mountain and vineyard views on world renowned Diemersfontein Wine and Country Estate. This home is perfect for memorable entertaining with superb flow from the kitchen and living areas to an undercover entertainment patio and private pool.

Erika Odendaal
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M: +27 (0) 82 412 6964

Lynette Kannemeyer
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M: +27 (0) 82 672 1022

Port Elizabeth - R5,2 million

One of Mill Park's best-kept secrets

Built in 1920 and steeped in history, this beautiful home exudes an intrinsic charm. Features include high walls for privacy and lots of space for a fun-loving family.









Carey Anderson
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M: +27 (0) 72 299 0108

Anncarol Hyam
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M: +27 (0) 83 310 0833

Jeffreys Bay - R5,995 million

Exclusive 5 star family living

This immaculate, executive home offers 6-bedrooms, 5 bathrooms of which 3 has en-suite bathrooms. It has spacious living rooms that flows to a sun soaked undercover patio and garden. This exquisite home also features two state-of-the-art kitchens, generous dining area, study and double auto garage. An additional bonus is the full laundry plus laundry chute, separate scullery with central vacuum system. There is an outside shower and entertainment area on roof. Full separate staff accommodation with en-suite bathroom.

Daleen Butler
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M: +27 (0) 84 556 2420

Jaco Bothma
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M: +27 (0) 79 135 9470

Sedgefield - R3,39 million

Style and comfort with beautiful views in secure complex

This special, low maintenance luxury home is situated on the lake within walking distance of all amenities, with fantastic lake views, and is completely private. DOWNSTAIRS: Spacious living areas with lounge, dining room and north facing TV lounge with garden frontage, up market kitchen, laundry, scullery, 1-bedroom with bathroom and study. Double garage. UPSTAIRS: Main bedroom and en-suite bathroom with dressing room with beautiful lake views, plus 2 additional bedrooms and full bathroom. Large balcony to enjoy lovely sunsets. A stylish property well worth viewing.



Hilna van Zyl
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M: +27 (0) 82 722 4611

Cowies Hill - R5,5 million

Perfect blend of charm and sophisticated style

Built in the 1950, solid as a rock, but finished with stylish sophistication this immaculate home exudes grace and elegance. Beautifully integrated reception areas, which lends itself to lavish entertaining or peaceful relaxation at the pool. The gourmet kitchen is well designed and large enough to host loving family dinners. A large and palatial mahogany staircase with gorgeous wrought iron balustrade leads to the bedroom suites.

Juanine Lorentz
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M: +27 (0) 83 451 3070

Mohammed Valodia
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M: +27 (0) 78 674 9358

Ramsgate - R8,95 million

Magnificent sea front villa

The magnificent contemporary villa is set along a greenbelt, a mere stone's throw away from Southbroom Beach with direct access to the beach and the lagoon. It's unique position, level elevation and panoramic sea views allow for effortless flow of this villa's sleek yet stylish and open plan reception areas. The modern standard of this villa is shown through features like: full length fold-away glass panels overlooking the pool facing the sea.




Pieter van der Merwe
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M: +27 (0) 82 779 2275

Ballito - R10,95 million

Summerveld sophistication

Step into sublime country living in this exclusive equine area reserved for the well - heeled. Magnificent 6 acres of level land with views to the sea. Colonial wrap around verandah to soak up the luxurious lifestyle. Superbly appointed and decorated with a unique European flair - this is set to impress. Decadent deck with sparkling pool for summer entertaining. Perfect 2-bedroom cottage as a bonus. 16 stables and 5 paddocks to boot.

Marcelle Conradie
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M: +27 (0) 71 302 3010

Sascha Bausch
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M: +27 (0) 76 451 0879

Hoedspruit - R4 million

Become one with nature, beautiful home on the Blyde River

A magical place where you will discover a spacious home that will delight you with its design, space and settings. Nothing about this home is small, space and flow is what it is all about. 4-Bedrooms, 3 en-suite bathrooms, pool, boma and beautiful interlinking decks taking you to breath-taking views of the river and mountain. Very exclusive, 1 of only 5 possible homes on this very exclusive estate. The property is home to small game and an abundance of bird life, often hippos can be spotted in the river below. All woodwork is Rhodesian Teak. Domestic staff accommodation (3) and 4 garages. Come dream away with the soft sound of the flowing river bringing calmness and peace to your life.

Engela van Staden
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M: +27 (0) 82 565 3611

Belfast - R2,5 million

Unique double story for sale

Overlooking the golf course and in a distance some of the fly fishing dams. This house is an ideal property for a weekend or holiday break away. It consist of 4-bedrooms and 3-bathrooms with an open plan kitchen. There is an indoor and outdoor braai area. Very important is the borehole, Jo-Jo tank and pressure pump.









Cindyre Coetzee
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M: +27 (0) 83 728 0574

Hartbeespoort - R8 million

Spectacular modern home with fly in/fly out lifestyle

A superbly designed home for a grand and lavish lifestyle including your own light aircraft HANGAR. The expansive entertainment areas provide limitless hospitality opportunities. Exceptionally high standards of workmanship. Superior fixtures and finishes throughout. A true master bedroom in every sense of the word, gorgeous views of the sunrise, spacious and light, encircled by stacking doors leading into the garden with a luxurious en-suite bathroom & outside shower.




Sharen Byren
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M: +27 (0) 83 461 3999

Botswana - BWP2,5 million

Amazing house in Truinfo

This truly magnificent 7-bedroom house is situated in the Triunfo area. The property includes a lovely swimming pool, large parking area as well as a balcony leading from the bedrooms overlooking the swimming pool and garden. This is a great opportunity to own this lovely modern home.

Marion Nolan
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M: +267 (0) 721 05074

Namibia - NAD7,8 million

Prime guesthouse/family home in Vogelstrand

Walk to the sea from this superb property. Magnificent ocean views from the balconies. Class and quality prevail throughout. 7 en-suite bedrooms, 4 lounges, dining room, games room/bar room, kitchen, office/reception, study/library. Currently Municipal consent for residential guesthouse in place.

Barbara Gibson
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M: +264 (0) 816 562619

Zambia - $400,000

Isanga Bay Lodge - Mpulungu

This is an opportunity to purchase a property in a stunning location on the shores of Lake Tanganyika. On the shores of the lake, this lodge nestles on a large sandy beach with established palm trees and lush gardens. Six chalet lodge all with lake views and access to the beach area. Central restaurant and bar area.

Roy Mabingo
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M: +260 965 405009

Home Loans

Pam Golding Properties partners with Homecoming Revolution

Homecoming Revolution is delighted to announce Pam Golding Properties as their exclusive pan-African Property Partner.

Comments Angel Jones, CEO of Homecoming Revolution: “It is wonderful to partner with this prestigious brand.  We are confident that Pam Golding Properties will provide excellent advice and service to returning Africans, not to mention a vast portfolio of residential properties.  Together we look forward to a long-lasting relationship of showcasing distinctive South African and other African properties at our global events and helping thousands of returning Africans settle into their new homes”.


Dr Andrew Golding, CEO of the
Pam Golding Property group and
Angel Jones, CEO of Homecoming Revolution

Comments Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive of the Pam Golding Property group: “It is our long-held belief that Africa is going to see a significant trend of returning intellectual capital.  It’s very exciting to be playing such an important role in the social and economic prosperity of this beautiful continent. Our team is well positioned to offer home-comers the best property solutions throughout our network of offices in South Africa – and the rest of Southern Africa – as well as Mauritius, Seychelles, Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria.”

Pam Golding Properties will showcase a broad range of properties in Africa at Homecoming Revolution’s Speed Meet Africa event in London on Friday 20th and Saturday 21st March, 2015 at Olympia Conference Centre.  This unique, interactive format brings together hundreds of Africans with employers and relocation providers, with the London event being followed by similar Speed Meets in Houston, New York, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Nairobi and Lagos. These events include speed meets, high-profile employer engagement platforms, inspirational speakers, practical workshops and informative case studies.

At the London event Pam Golding Properties will be hosting presentations on ‘Buying property in Africa’. Says Dr Golding: “Increasingly, we find that international property buyers - including diaspora planning to return to their countries of origin - are looking to invest in residential property on the African continent. Their purchase decisions stem from a variety of reasons, including permanent relocation, acquiring a leisure home or home for partial use during the year, retirement or pure investment. We also find access to high quality schooling and other educational facilities is an important factor for purchasers from other countries in Africa, particularly when seeking residential property in South Africa.

“Buyers emanating from outside South Africa who do acquire property here often choose to relocate or stay for long periods at a time, and often even invest in commercial businesses, bringing foreign direct investment into the country and contributing to the economy through increased employment opportunities, improvements to properties or their own direct consumer spend. We find an increasingly broad spread of countries around the globe are represented in those international buyers who purchase property through us, with UK purchasers traditionally the most prevalent, but with buyers from the rest of the African continent, such as Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Ghana and Nigeria playing an increasing role,” says Dr Golding.

For further information contact Pam Golding Properties on 021 710 1700 or email headoffice@pamgolding.co.za.

Making the home-buying process stress-free

Good support on tap for prospective homebuyers

So you have found your dream home and have put in an offer in to buy it? But what are the processes involved in finalising what may well be the most significant transaction you are ever likely to be involved in? What are the pitfalls to watch out for in making your dream home your own?

“There is some excellent support and advice available to the prospective homebuyer, which can assist in making the home-buying process stress free. Effectively leveraging this can ensure a relatively pain-free transaction allowing purchasers to enjoy the experience of taking ownership of their new home,” assures Trish Luthuli, New Business executive at Pam Golding Properties (PGP) in Gauteng.

Luthuli points out that buying a home is a contractual transaction with a number of legal documents and processes involved. “It therefore makes a great deal of sense to find a residential property professional who can explain everything to you in understandable terms and do much of the legwork for you while ensuring that you cover all your bases,” she adds.

Luthuli says that once your offer on the property has been accepted, unless you are paying cash, you will need to obtain a bond from a bank to assist in covering the purchase price and transaction costs of the property. She is of the opinion that it is best to approach a financial institution for a pre-approved bond before you decide to put down an offer to purchase a property. This will allow you to establish in advance how much the banks are prepared to lend you and what you can afford, as well as give the seller the comfort of knowing that your offer already has the necessary financial backing.

“For lenders, the individual’s total income is not the only important factor in establishing credit-worthiness,” advises Luthuli. “Your credit history and what you can afford after paying all your monthly expenses will also be examined. Lending institutions will look at household income compared to household expenditure, which includes all current debt repayment commitments.”

As a rough guideline, your bond installment should not be more than 25 percent to 30 percent of your regular family gross income before tax and deductions. As a rule of thumb, affordability is based on 30 percent of gross monthly income and salaried employees are generally regarded as lower risk bond applicants. However, if you run your own business or earn regular overtime or sales commission, lenders have their own formulas for calculating what they consider regular income.

“Keep in mind that you will need to provide proof of earnings and credit history. Documentation required includes identification, a copy of the sale agreement and three or more months bank statements,” notes Luthuli.

“Buyers should consider consulting a bond originator such as ooba, which will apply to a financial institution for a mortgage loan on your behalf. The lending institutions will then compete to offer the best rate and overall deal to the applicant. The services of bond originators are provided free-of-charge, but they can save you thousands of rands on repayments over the period of your loan. While they may only save you a few percentage points on your interest rate, this can represent a considerable sum of money over, say, a 20-year repayment period.”

Luthuli warns those who are looking to enter the property market that banks currently do not often award 100 percent bonds. In most cases they will provide an 80% - 90% bond, and require a deposit of between 10 percent and 20 percent. So if you are purchasing a home of R1 million, you should be prepared to have at least R100 000 available to pay the deposit.

“The idea of a deposit is not to make buying a home more difficult,” explains Luthuli. “Banks want buyers to take some of the risk that is inherent in the property transaction and to show that they are committed to their purchase. The need for a deposit for that dream home highlights just how important it is to save throughout your working career.”

Retha Schutte, regional executive for Pam Golding Properties (PGP) Pretoria, advises home buyers to make sure they are aware of all the transaction costs involved in purchasing a property, as this will prevent them from being caught short of funds. Properties costing more than R600 000 are, for example, subject to transfer duty and transfer costs. These fees vary according to the price of the property and are not covered by a bond. “Your estate agent should advise you on all of the costs involved in the purchase,” she adds.

Schutte notes that a home that costs R1 million and on which the purchaser requires a bond, will attract bond registration and transfer fees of approximately R45 000 to R50 000. The bond registration fees, which are payable to the bond attorney, include an initiation fee. Transfer costs include a transfer duty. Both bond registration costs and transfer costs include FICA fees, electronic instruction fees and postage. In addition, most banks will require that you take out life insurance to cover the amount owing on the bond in the event of death.

“It is also a good idea to make sure that the previous owners have settled all of their municipal debts, as some municipalities in South Africa are reportedly attempting to claim unpaid debts from new owners. This goes against years of assuring buyers that property ownership comes free of debt, but does not change the fact that some municipalities are billing new home owners for old debt incurred by the previous owner.”

Most properties in South Africa are sold either as freehold or sectional title. Freehold means you own a piece of land and everything on it and so you are responsible for municipal rates based on the value of the land and buildings. On the other hand, townhouses and flats are usually registered under the sectional title form of ownership and this means you own only the inside of the house up to and including the ceiling. In contrast, the outside of the property , the land on which it is built, as well as boundary walls, the roof and outbuildings, are communally owned and run on behalf of all of the individual owners by a body corporate.

“Once all the conditions of the contract have been met and the deposit paid, the property is transferred into your name and the mortgage bond is registered at the Deeds Office. The conveyancing attorneys handle this part of the loan process and will contact you when the documents are ready to be signed.”

“The registration and transfer process normally takes between eight to ten weeks and the day when the transfer takes place is when you become the legal owner of the property. Most people are excited when the transfer comes through because they find owning the right kind of property is an exhilarating investment in their lifestyle and their future,” concludes Schutte.

Transfer duty - taxing for buyers and ultimately also sellers

Taxing a sale between a willing home owner and buyer is controversial in most countries in which it is levied; no less so than in South Africa, where it is termed transfer duty. Its critics argue that it is simply a tax for which there is no specific reason or rationale, other than to help fill national coffers. In reality it imposes a further burden on the already onerous list of costs involved in selling and buying property.

Looking internationally, the reform of The UK’s stamp duty land tax by Chancellor George Osborne is a windfall for potential home buyers in England and Wales, and is estimated to deliver savings to 98% of the lower and middle end of the residential property market. Its introduction immediately fanned the current housing boom.

Britons will now pay no stamp duty on the first 125 000 pounds (R2 250 000) of the purchase price, 2% beyond that threshold up to 250 000 pounds (R4.5 million), 5% up to 925 000 pounds (R16.65 million, and so on. Tax on transactions above 1.5 million pounds (R27 million) will carry a 12% tax.

Reaction to the reforms has been mixed, ranging from “just another pre-election ploy” to “about time; it’s a bad tax – archaic and punitive.” There has also been criticism that the government is targeting the rich with a so-called “mansion tax”.

Incidentally, in an ironic twist, Scots will not benefit. They will have their own graduated land tax system after April – and nowhere near as generous as Mr Osborne’s reforms.

By comparison, in South Africa there is no transfer duty on the acquisition of properties below R600 000, 3% is levied on properties above R600 000 and below R1 million, R12 000 plus 5% on the value above R1 million but not exceeding R1.5 million, while properties purchased for R1.5 million and above incur transfer duty of R37 000 plus 8% on the value above R1.5 million.

Here are some guidelines for transfer duty payable by home buyers:



Initiation and inspection fees by banks not included but normally amounts to R5 700 payable either to the bank or to the conveyancing attorney.

In 2013, transfer duty, by far the largest component of the cost burden, amounted to in excess of R8 billion. This year alone South Africa’s transfer duty receipts in May (2014) were 25.7% higher than in the corresponding month last year. Conveyancing fees run second. They also increase in line with the purchase price – for what many buyers feel must be the same amount of work.  Barbara Whittle, communications manager of the Law Society of South Africa, explains: “Risk is a factor. The money placed in trust for the transaction will be held in the attorney’s trust account. Money in trust is guaranteed by the Attorneys Fidelity Fund against theft. Also, the Attorneys’ Insurance Indemnity Fund provides insurance against negligence. This is for the protection of the client as the risk and responsibility lies with the attorney.”

Transfer duty also has some intriguing properties. It is hard to work out the incidence who actually ends up paying. Economists argue that while the money is physically paid by home buyers it is actually home sellers who end up bearing the real cost. The reason is that transfer duty depresses selling prices .The overall market price, determined by the forces of supply and demand, includes transfer duty, so the portion of the value that remains for home sellers falls each time the tax is increased.

The tax has another detrimental effect; it reduces liquidity in the housing market. People who want to buy a house need to find a chunk of cash in addition to the deposit. This not only depresses prices but reduces geographical mobility, making it more difficult for people to move (changing jobs, for example).

One can argue the economic consequences are negative. By reducing growth, productivity, jobs and incomes, this in turn impacts adversely on the growth of tax receipts generated in the rest of the economy. For this reason alone, the value of transfer duty is called into question.

US economist Arthur Laffer, who sat on President Ronald Reagan’s advisory board in the 80s, made his name by highlighting instances when cutting tax rates actually increased tax receipts by boosting economic activity. He drew up what became known as the Laffer Curve, which shows the relationship between tax rates and tax revenue collected by governments. A simplified view of Laffer’s theory is that tax revenues would be zero if tax rates were either 0% or 100% (at which latter point people would give up working altogether). Somewhere between is a tax rate which maximises total revenue.

South Africa’s Treasury is struggling to raise revenues; GDP growth is slipping; the trade deficit continues to widen. The rand is crumbling. It is, admittedly, a difficult balancing act to adjust taxes before an election (in 2015). Is one partial solution to slash levies which are counter-productively high such as transfer duty?  Could we dare expect a wave of Laffer-style tax cuts?

One thing is sure; doing away with transfer duty – or at least reducing it substantially - would certainly boost the housing market and ease the burden on home buyers.

Property value goes way beyond the garden fence

The neighbourhood often says more than the house

It’s no coincidence that the best neighbourhoods with the best property values are generally the best kept, says Laurie Wener, MD Pam Golding Properties (PGP) in the Western Cape metro region. “Raising values can be as straightforward as co-operating with your neighbours to keep the street clean, or not flouting the by-laws.”


An aerial view of Cape Town

The solution to degenerating suburban environments was found in the famous Broken Window Theory which was introduced in a 1982 study by American social scientists James Wilson and George Kelling and later applied by New York mayor Rudy Giuliani to revive decaying inner urban areas.

Wener says it’s about protecting and enhancing your investment. “Many Cape Town homeowners spend a fortune on the interiors of their homes, and when the time comes to sell, they are surprised that they can’t reach their market price. A look at the surroundings of the house, even in high-value areas, can often point to the reason why a property is unattractive to buyers.”

A residential property is an entire package. Its external appearance, state of repair and the way it looks in context with its neighbours is the first impression buyers get. A house that’s shabbier than those around it, or even one that has been carelessly renovated can put people off before they even get to the front door. “And if that’s the house next door to the one you want to buy – well it’s just as off-putting,” she says.

Adhering to municipal building regulations, removing litter and fixing what’s broken are the cornerstones of a stable neighbourhood. Even in Bishopscourt or Bantry Bay, an illegal construction, neglected pavement or shabby wall, broken windows, or a sagging gate can bring down the tone of the entire neighbourhood. Even a battered car parked at the roadside can kill a sale.

There are prime examples of how property values can soar when residents of an area start to improve the built elements and their surroundings. It’s no secret that some of today’s classiest, most sought-after suburbs in Cape Town were considered quite shabby a few decades ago. So what is it that brings an area out of the doldrums and turns Cinderella into the next best property proposition?

“It’s a sort of collective unconscious in a community and eventually it’s the first new brick in the wall that does it. Suddenly there’s a stirring, and in the beginning almost imperceptibly a new face emerges. Sometimes it’s just a tidier look as people buy the homes and instead of neglecting the streetside, they manicure the pavement, plant trees, paint the fences.”

In some suburbs it never happens, and Cape Town has a few of those.  But if you take a place like Vredehoek and neighbouring Devil’s Peak as examples, the changes can be profound. Based on a community of tiny municipal ex-servicemen’s houses built after World War II, Devil’s Peak was not your first choice when looking for a place in the city only 20 years ago.

Then the rush to urbanise created a complete metamorphosis, as the little 40sqm houses suddenly, mushroom-like, sprouted extra floors and ground floor spaces that pushed the boundaries. “Now the houses that sold for R350 000 15 years ago, are selling like hot cakes for over R3 million and more and the glossy faces of some of the showpiece streets rivals traditional upmarket areas. And the innovative architecture, mothered by necessity, has created serried facades in streetscapes that look like a town planner’s dream of heaven,” says Wener.

The same has happened in the Atlantic Seaboard neighbourhoods, like Green Point.  New walls, planting, fresh frontages, rebuilds and neighbourhood renewal projects have enabled entire streets to reach their true potential as ocean-view mountainside mini-mansions worth many millions.

Southern Suburbs areas such as Woodstock Upper, Rosebank and the South Peninsula, as well as parts of Kalk Bay and Simonstown, that may have once been considered shabby and dull, are now classified as trendy and desirable. This is reflected in the price growth of all these areas.

“And it all comes down to civic pride, respect for neighbours and a sense of responsibility to a community or the microenvironment in which people live. Neglect breeds neglect but, by the same token, sitting with the only shabby house in a street of pristine properties can be hugely motivating,” says Wener.

For further information contact Pam Golding Properties on 021 673 4200 or email laurie.wener@pamgolding.co.za.

Reduction in transfer duty positive news for home buyers, says Dr Andrew Golding

Today’s National Budget announcement by the Minister of Finance, Nhlanhla Nene, of R105 billion to be spent on housing and associated bulk infrastructure requirements, coupled with the fact that no transfer duties will be payable on property transactions below R750 000 (versus the current R600 000 threshold) is positive news for home buyers, particularly first time buyers, says Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive of the Pam Golding Property group.

“The reduction in transfer duty will provide some relief and incentive for aspirant home buyers in the lower end of the market, while the decrease in transfer duty on property transactions in the price bracket between R750 000 and R2.3 million is also welcome news. However, the increase in transfer duties on property transactions above R2.3 million is regretted, as this places a further burden on the already onerous list of costs involved in selling and buying property. Transfer duty is a tax which increases in line with the purchase price of a property, with the overall effect of impacting on the market in general as it depresses selling prices and reduces liquidity in the housing market. 

“While one may argue that those seeking to acquire a home with a price tag of R2.3 million or more can afford it; the fact is that people who want to buy a house need to find a chunk of cash in addition to the deposit. One also needs to take into account that people relocate and buy and sell property for a wide range of reasons, such as moving when changing jobs.

“While the Budget was expected to be a difficult balancing act, with no surprise that more affluent South Africans will pay more tax, the huge increase of 80.5 cents a litre in the fuel levy, together with an increase, albeit temporary, in the electricity levy from 3.5c/kWh to 5.5c/kWh is unfortunate as these serve to further increase the burden on already cash-strapped and indebted consumers. While the fuel price has decreased in recent months – a reduction which is expected to reverse to some degree as a fuel price hike is already anticipated in March (2015), this temporary relief  is now largely erased, resulting in increased transport costs for commuters across the board and creating an inflationary impact across the economy in general.

“On a positive note however, this was a solid, even-handed Budget that delivered fiscal consolidation, as promised. Ratings agencies and market participants are likely to be reassured that SA’s finances are on a sustainable path and it seems our investment grade rating is safe for now. Furthermore, the 2% GDP growth forecast underpinning the Budget estimates for 2015/16 is realistic. 

“While higher income consumers are obviously under more pressure as a result of the increased tax burden, it is encouraging to see that real attempts are being made to cut back on non-essential state expenditure. Increased investment in education as well as tax incentives for employment, skills and enterprise development is also welcome, as is the more generous tax regime announced for businesses with a turnover below R1 million. 

“Furthermore, the fact that the Minister referenced the National Development Plan is reassuring. It is hoped that government’s proposed willingness to tackle the longer-term challenges places state finances on a more sustainable footing, helping to free up the necessary resources to deliver on the NDP goals, notably government’s proposed infrastructure programme.”

For further information contact Pam Golding Properties on 021 710 1700 or email headoffice@pamgolding.co.za.

AR
Monterey, 12-14 Klaassens Road, Bishopscourt, Cape Town, 7708, South Africa