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FRIDAY, JUNE 19 2015
HOMEFRONT PAGE 2
RENT-A-BIKE CONCEPT ROLLS INTO SA
MODULAR HOMES ARE A HOT TICKET
HILLBROW ON THE BUYING RADAR
SEE PARK CENTRAL ON PAGE 21 www.pamgolding.co.za/park-central
EGYPT IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS
Closing the gap Tackling the housing backlog of 2.3-million was never going to be an easy task, but a government subsidy provides new impetus to meet the demand by providing accessible and workable bridging finance to the market WORDS: DAVID A STEYNBERG :: PHOTOS: ISTOCK, SUPPLIED
hen the FinanceLinked Individual Subsidy Programme (Flisp) was announced by President Jacob Zuma in his 2012 state of the nation address, little was known about the finer details or how to go about qualifying for the subsidy. At the time, Flisp’s application was
narrow and still remained out of reach for those in the gap market — households earning from R3,501 to R15,000 a month, or 20% of SA’s population at the time. Also, the subsidy applied only to new developments where houses cost a maximum of R300,000 and it excluded those in the resale
sector. Owing to these two limitations, many people who should have benefited from the subsidy were still earning too little, as many of the new units were priced in the upper R200,000 bracket or at more than R300,000.
CONTINUED ON PAGE 6
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Friday June 19 2015
Life in the cycle lane As the cities of Johannesburg and Cape Town address the calls to become cycle-friendly, two rent-a-bike ventures are converting one rider at a time WORDS: GENEVIEVE PUTTER :: PHOTOS: SUPPLIED
eeling the wind in your hair and your heart pumping faster. Beating the traffic, saving on petrol and reducing your carbon footprint. These are just some of the incentives for cycling rather than driving. Johannesburg’s Green Cycles and Cape Town’s Up Cycles are spreading the good word as part of a larger vision to make urban cycling a way of life in the two cities. GREEN CYCLES The idea: for Noel O’Regan, launching Johannesburg’s first bike-share business was an obvious move in a city renowned for its tree-lined streets and clement weather. “There were already so many weekend cyclists on the road and I thought, ‘Why not make it a convenient and practical way to commute’? Every major city in the world has a bike-share offering but not Johannesburg,” he says. The drop-offs: the drop-off and pick-up spots are located throughout the Parks suburbs. O’Regan hopes to extend the network throughout the city. The rides: Green Cycles’ fleet comprises electric bikes so that those who find even a slight incline challenging will be encouraged to ride instead of drive. “Jozi is very hilly and the ‘assisted cycling’ of e-bikes allows anyone to cycle without pedalling — if they choose to.
Arriving at work sweat-free is a bonus,” says O’Regan. The bikes are fitted with solar panels and will be serviced by the solarrecharging stations that are being rolled out in Parkhurst’s 4th Avenue later this year as part of a project facilitated by the Parkhurst Residents and Business Owners Association. The damage: the hourly rate for renting an e-bike is R20. For a half or full day, the rates are reduced. “It works out cheaper than an Uber, for example, or a taxi, but more importantly, it’s one less car on the road and 271g/km fewer carbon emissions,” O’Regan says. The bigger picture: in March, the Johannesburg Urban Cyclists Association launched a map of existing cycle lanes as well as those that the city is planning to roll out soon. It also shows alternative safe-cycling routes. Says O’Regan: “The Johannesburg municipality has allocated R73m for safe and secure cycle lanes that, at a push, might be completed by the end of 2016.” greencycles.co.za UP CYCLES The idea: Jared Chaitowitz and Shannon Pelham started the rental-share bicycle scheme Up Cycles in 2012. “SA has excellent sportcycling infrastructure and opportunities, but urban
“It works out cheaper than an Uber, for example, or a taxi, but more importantly, it’s one less car on the road and 271g/km fewer carbon emissions”
Noel O’Regan, Green Cycles cycling, riding to get around the city, is hardly developed,” says Chaitowitz. “Aside from seeing the gap in the market, we also saw that getting more people on bikes could be a way to advocate things that are meaningful to us, such as the environment and public health.” The drop-offs: operating along the Atlantic Seaboard, in July Up Cycles will be launching a drop-off-pick-up venue along the Fan Walk to encourage cyclists to venture into the city. Says Chaitowitz: “We have three main stations where riders can drop off or pick up bikes: at the Sea Point Pavilion, the V&A Waterfront and in the CBD. Our new branch, between the Bree Street and Somerset Road cycle
paths, is going to be an urban cycling hot spot. We’ll have bicycle rentals, bike parking, a valet service, and showers for bicycle commuters to use after their ride into the city. There will also be all the things urban cyclists love: craft coffee, craft beer and healthy juices and smoothies.” The rides: the main fleet consists of single speed back-pedal bikes that are suited to leisurely rides. “Our customer base is so diverse that we realise that bicycles are a universal language. The people who ride our bikes often go on to buy their own, which makes us feel that we’ve done a good job,” says Chaitowitz. The damage: the base rate is R50 an hour but there are other options, including group rates, sunset cruise rates and free birthday rides. “We have a loyalty system through which we offer significant discounts for bulk rides in advance, and we’re working towards a membership system.” The bigger picture: since 2010 the City of Cape Town has established 450km of cycle routes and lanes across the city, extending from Table View on the Western Seaboard to Observatory and the CBD. There are also plans to link cycling lanes in Mowbray, Athlone and Woodstock, among others, to those in the CBD. upcycles.co.za
LIFESTYLE Friday June 19 2015
Crafty price fixers
At Ubuntu Kraal Brewery they peg the daily price of beer to that of gold WORDS: GENEVIEVE PUTTER :: PHOTOS: SUPPLIED
ast year February we featured the rise of the craft beer phenomenon in SA, and one of those beverages, Soweto Gold, had just been released to much acclaim on account of its being produced by the country’s first majority-black-owned brewery, Ubuntu Kraal. Situated in Orlando West, the brewery went on to open Kasi Beer Garden (Soweto’s first) in June 2014 and Soweto Gold was voted the number one craft brew by League of Beers. More recently, production capacity doubled to 50 000l a month and, notably, the prices of all Soweto Golds sold at the beer garden have been pegged to the gold price index. We grabbed a cold one and sat down for a chat with Josef Schmid, MD of Madmead Brewery Company, co-owner of Ubuntu Kraal Brewery.
GOLD BEEN SINCE ITS LAUNCH IN 2013? We achieved our 12-month targets in less than 60 days after we started our own production at the Ubuntu Kraal Brewery. Soweto Gold is available in about 50 outlets around Gauteng and on tap in Cape Town and Durban. The public’s perception is that kasi, or township, is synonymous with cheap, mass-produced goods, and it has been challenging to convince people that we produce a world-class product. A year ago we set up a state-of-the-art brewing facility, using the best raw materials and a fantastic water source, Rand Water, combined with the superior brewing skills of MadMaster brewer Ndumiso Madlala to produce Soweto Gold. The brand has been growing from strength to strength.
WHAT HAS THE MARKET RESPONSE TO SOWETO
HOW DID THE IDEA OF PEGGING THE BEER’S PRICE TO THE
GOLD INDEX COME ABOUT? Gold is entrenched in where we are and what we do. Soweto itself is a direct result of the Witwatersrand gold rush of 1886. We think beer is as important for the economy, so at the beginning of June — in the middle of the commodity crisis — we decided to pin our Soweto Gold beer price in the Kasi Beer Garden to the daily gold price index. HOW EXACTLY DOES IT WORK AND WHAT HAS BEEN THE MARKET’S RESPONSE SO FAR? At 10am we check the gold price index and divide it by 50, and that’s the beer price at Kasi Beer Garden for the day.
Gold has been trading weakly ever since we launched the promotion and we have had to shave off a little from our margins every day. The way the promotion is designed, the effect is not too drastic and it feels good to give back a little to our patrons. Not only is it one of SA’s favourite new beers, but may very well be the cheapest too. sowetogold.co.za
“The way the promotion is designed, the effect on our margins is not too drastic and it feels good to give back a little to our patrons” Josef Schmid, MD, Madmead Brewery Company
OTHER NOTEWORTHY JOBURG MARKETS n Neighbourgoods Market: Saturdays, 9am-3pm. 73 Juta Street, Braamfontein. neighbourgoodsmarket. co.za
Does what it says on the tin WORDS: MORNÉ BLUMENTHAL STANDER :: PHOTOS: SUPPLIED
A new Johannesburg market provides enough variety to get jaded shoppers out of bed PUBLISHED BY THE CREATIVE GROUP IN ASSOCIATION WITH TMG
The Creative Group CEO: Shaun Minnie firstname.lastname@example.org
Unit G4, Old Castle Brewery, 6 Beach Road, Woodstock, 7925 021 447 7130
EDITORIAL TEAM Editor: Terence Steenkamp Creative Director: Mark Peddle
t was cold. You know those chilly Johannesburg Saturday mornings that beg to be enjoyed in the comfort of your bed? But all across the city, scores of folk were out enjoying the precious sun, sipping cocktails and nibbling on street cuisine at The Tin Factory. Hidden away in a large warehouse in Kramerville, this trendy new market was humming with glee, live music and hipsters haggling for vintage finds. I warily paid the R30 cover fee, wondering whether Jozi needed another weekend market and at the same time longing for my still-warm duvet. Upon entering, I was immediately struck by the enormous wall installation by Thinkwild Arts that dominated the room. It was bright, it was colourful and it was summery. I grabbed an organic coffee, climbed the stairs to the mezzanine level and quickly assessed the voluminous space. Kids’ play
Art Director: Lucia Viglietti Editorial Consultant: Bridget McNulty Chief Copy Editor: Yaron Blecher
area, loads of yummy treats such as dim sum, gourmet soups and cheese fondues, plenty of seating and a hand-picked range of design, art and clothing stalls. Venue manager Victoria Snell exuded a dynamic optimism. “I want people to have an inspiring experience where proudly South African artisans can share their products,” she said. Looking around, I spotted some well-known brands: Rozanne & Pushkin, WoodiZ, Eleon, The Baked Bean and Wolf & Maiden. Not bad. “Markets are beautiful places to share in memories and some of life’s greatest gifts,” Snell said. A market good enough to tempt you to leave your bed? Definitely. The Tin Factory: Factory Fridays Night Market, 2pm till late and Saturdays, 9am-5pm. 20 Archimedes Street, Kramerville, Sandton. Find it on Facebook and Instagram: TheTinFactoryJHB.
n Market on Main: Sundays, 10am-3pm. 264 Fox Street, City and Suburban, Maboneng. marketonmain.co.za n Soweto Art & Craft Fair: first Saturday of the month, noon-7pm. Soweto Theatre, corner Bolani and Bolani Link roads, Jabulani, Soweto. facebook.com/ sacfmarket/ n Fourways Farmers Market: Sundays, 10am3pm. Corner William Nicol Drive and Monte Casino Boulevard, Fourways. ffmarket.co.za n The Bryanston Organic & Natural Market: Thursdays and Saturdays, 9am-3pm. 40 Culross Road, Bryanston. bryanstonorganicmarket. co.za
ADVERTISING SALES Michèle Jones Susan Erwee Ian Pepler Bradley Sparks
email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com bradley.sparks@ thecreativegroup.info
084 246 8105 (WC) 083 556 9848 (WC) 082 465 2734 (GP) 073 666 3842 (KZN)
An International Associate of Savills
ATHOLL GAUTENG R27 MILLION This generous family residence is set on 8 320 m² of garden wonderland. No detail was spared when creating this truly luxurious space, where entertainment areas are emphasised and an easy lifestyle is front of mind. Bedrooms 6 | Bathrooms 6 | Garages 4 Louis Green 082 820 3040, Lisa Daly 082 450 6594 REF# HP1217840
MIDRAND WATERFALL R10.2 MILLION This beautiful family home is located in one of Johannesburg’s most sought-after estates, with well-proportioned indoor areas and manicured outdoor spaces it easily surpasses all expectations. Bedrooms 5 | Bathrooms 5 | Garages 4 Graham Pronk 083 578 3582
DAINFERN VALLEY GAUTENG R8.3 MILLION Live the high life with impeccable outdoor and indoor entertainment options, a spacious garden and your own theatre. Styled in the tradition of a French countryside home, this residence has so much to offer. Bedrooms 4 | Bathrooms 4 | Garages 3 Brenda Gilbert 083 251 4452, Lalian Fourie 082 654 6539 REF# FW1222107
www.pamgolding.co.za | m.pamgolding.co.za
CONSTANTIA UPPER WESTERN CAPE R39.98 MILLION Discover a residence where seamless architecture blurs the lines between indoor and outdoor living. Found in a snug cul-de-sac, adjacent to tranquil vineyards, this home is a haven of calm where attention to detail is top priority. Make yourself at home in an elegant abode with a warm and inviting atmosphere. Bedrooms 4 | Bathrooms 4 | Garages 3
Angie Bloom 083 678 7876 Arie KadĂŠ 083 448 0488
CLIFTON WESTERN CAPE R10.5 MILLION plus VAT Fully furnished duplex apartment right on the beach with direct access to First Beach. Fully fitted kitchen, lounge, dining and 2 en suite bedrooms. Enclosed balcony with magnificent sea and beach views. Communal laundry, small communal gym, separate private storeroom and one rooftop parking bay completes this beach front gem. Price excludes VAT. Bedrooms 2 | Bathrooms 2 | Parking 1 REF# PR1071721
Annette Hepburn 082 658 1116
CAPRI WESTERN CAPE R3.995 MILLION A bygone era. Step into this gracious home to be transported by the timeless elegance of a fine gentlemanâ€™s residence. Generous proportions, vaulted ceilings, high quality finishes and attention to detail seldom found today. Bedrooms 3 | Bathrooms 2.5 | Parkings 5 Marie Coxford 076 421 9107, Danielle Fish 072 040 2401 REF# FH1216925
INVESTMENT Friday 19 June 2015
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
Creating awareness around Flisp BANKING ON FLISP
Nolwazi Nzama, head of affordable housing at Standard Bank, says: “According to our records, and based on the Flisp criteria of income and firsttime home buyer, Standard Bank has identified 7,219 potential Flisp beneficiaries. Of those, 1,328 have received the Flisp subsidy. “We can confirm that 669 of our customers have benefited from the Flisp subsidy programme. We believe that if the process of applying for the subsidy were streamlined/ automated and a greater awareness around the programme driven to the target audience, the numbers would improve.” Says Carel Grönum, managing executive of Absa Home Loans: “Since May 2013 to the end of the first quarter of 2015, 207 Absa customers have qualified for housing, worth R50m, through the Flisp programme.”
The evolution of SA’s housing crisis has seen a vast and at times misdirected investment into various housing projects and policies. The original RDP model saw the government providing housing in outlying areas where job opportunities were few and far between and as a result saw many people living in homes they could not afford to service, light or heat. When the Department of Housing was renamed the Department of Human Settlements a new era was ushered in. Suddenly the government’s focus was not only on meeting the housing shortage as a means to an end it but also on the human element. These efforts were laudable, but many households were left in the lurch, namely those too poor to qualify for a mortgage and those too wealthy to get free housing. But by 2013, two important amendments had been made to Flisp: the R300,000 cap was lifted and applicants could scour the second-hand
“A first-time buyer who wants to buy a home for R300,000 would need a basic salary of about R6,800 net. Assuming the bank extended a loan of up to 40% of the net earnings, the FLISP subsidy would amount to just less than R70,000 and the buyer would still need to secure a home loan of about R230,000” Samuel Seeff, chairman, Seeff
home market, where homes were a lot cheaper, sometimes priced as little as R80,000. Says Kecia Rust, executive director and founder of the Centre for Affordable Housing Finance Africa: “There are far many more resale market houses costing below R300,000 than there are newly built houses, and when the sellers of those houses get the purchase price they ask for, they can buy highervalue newly built houses. That is why the secondary or resale market is so important for the functioning of the entire property market. Our policy acknowledges this. “Of course, households with pre-existing debt will struggle to access mortgage finance for the house they aspire to own. They may have to consider downscaling to a smaller dream home while they sort out their finances.” The initial hurdles to the programme may have had an impact on the pace at which the subsidies were applied, with about 2,000 having been granted to date. Says Mike van Alphen, national manager for the Rawson Property Group’s in-house bond originator, Rawson Finance: “This means that there are probably many prospective buyers who are still living in rented accommodation when they could already be living in their own homes and laying the foundation of their future wealth.” Rawson Finance saw not a single individual apply for Flisp finance in the
Western Cape. Only a few developers who were looking for subsidies for people buying their new units applied. Private Property CEO Simon Bray says poor communication may have let the programme down: “The Flisp subsidy is of great benefit to prospective buyers in the gap market as it provides a means for many of them to get on to the property ladder,” he says. “Unfortunately, it has been poorly communicated to the market it is intended for. The government, estate agents, banks and property websites need to make a concerted effort to inform the public about the scheme.” But there are some estate agencies that are receiving a fair number of inquiries for the programme and have managed to assist buyers. Imagine Property Investments, which operates mainly out of the CBDs of Johannesburg and Pretoria, has had a few clients applying for a grant through Flisp, says group owner/director Dale Purdon. These units have mostly been flats in the Johannesburg inner city. He says that although the process is user-friendly enough, it requires more effort on the part of buyers but can provide them with a significantly reduced mortgage. Purdon says a faster process and less-stringent criteria would also go a long way. “Also, for the ‘new build development option’, the masses are encouraging the government to release further land because developments offering properties in the relevant price range have now dried up,” he says. “Aspiring home owners either need to purchase a second-hand property (which is a very viable option and in many cases is actually encouraged by us) or they need to wait around until land is gradually released by the government and further new developments are initiated.” Seeff chairman Samuel Seeff says there can be no doubt that the government’s introduction of Flisp must be seen as a step in the right direction to encourage and enable home ownership at the low end of the market. “We believe that there is a still a significant lack of knowledge around this very exciting benefit for home buyers and this is possibly why the takeup is still not as high as one would have hoped,” Seeff says. “The biggest take-up of this programme is in the larger urban areas: Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth, and predominantly in the low-income former township areas.” As local interest rate rises loom in anticipation of the US Fed Reserve raising its interest rates in September, the property industry would do well to encourage people to access this bridging finance before rates rises shut out more buyers.
Analyse it WORDS: PATRICK CAIRNS
What has happened to our gold mines?
n 1979 SA earned $35bn in revenue from gold mining. Last year, it barely reached $6bn. In 1970 this country produced 79% of the world’s gold. Now it accounts for no more than 5% of global output. In 1987 there were 65 gold mines in SA, employing 550,000 people, and the industry
Up until 2007, SA was the world’s top gold producer. By 2014 it had dropped to sixth place behind China, Australia, the US, Russia and Peru
supported another 1-million ancillary jobs. Now there are just 15 operating gold mines, with about 100,000 employees, creating fewer than 400,000 ancillary jobs. These statistics paint a rather stark picture of an industry in decline. Gold mining, which drove the development of this country’s economy for most of the 20th century, is no longer as vital as it once was. There are those who argue that this was inevitable. They say that gold mines are getting deeper, ore grades are declining and it’s not viable to get the metal out of the ground. But not everyone shares this view. Peter Major, mining specialist at Cadiz Corporate Solutions, says that in terms of dollars per ton, our mines are taking out higher-grade ore than at any other time in history apart from the boom in the 1980s. His concern, rather, is that our mines have lost their productive edge. In terms of ounces of gold per employee, we are getting as much out of the ground as we were in 1907 when we were using picks and shovels. There are many complicated reasons for this, primarily linked to the government’s desire to control the industry and labour’s need to assert its power. And gold mining has been one of the greatest areas of contest between business, the government and labour because it is such a historically fraught area. The truth is, however, that if the managers of gold mines, the government and labour carry on fighting against each other to get what they think they want, they may soon have nothing to fight over. The decline in South African gold mining has been so sharp that unless something arrests it, the entire industry could be gone within the next 10 years. And in that scenario, there will be no winners. The only solution is for business, the government and labour to accept that they are not in different boats pulling in opposite directions but rather in the same boat that is now sinking because they are too busy trying to steer it the way they want it to go instead of working together to fix the leaking bottom. Either they work together to mend what is broken, or they will all go down in one ignominious wreck.
INVESTMENT Friday 5 June 2015
Modular magic Philip Nel’s easy-to-construct-andmaintain Inizio homes are one of the hottest tickets in architecture WORDS: RIEKIE HUMAN :: PHOTOS: SUPPLIED
aving a home built from scratch is challenging, to say the least. Building contractors are notorious for being slow and not getting things right the first (or even the second) time
around, and sourcing the right fittings and materials can be more pain than pleasure. Industrial designer Philip Nel’s bespoke Inizio modular homes provide a comforting cure for these headaches. His
initial idea was to produce designer furniture but that quickly grew into a passion for modular homes. Since Nel built that first test model for himself in 2008, he’s been inundated with requests for similar modern, low-maintenance homes. Sleek designs, superb craftsmanship, top-notch finishes and short turnaround times are the hallmarks of Inizio projects. A typical home with three bedrooms, openplan living areas, a kitchen, bathroom and an outdoor deck can be completed within three months of the first plans being drawn up. “Also,” says Nel, “our homes adhere to a slew of eco-friendly principles: solar power, water-saving systems and reuse systems can all be integrated easily. The homes sit lightly on the earth, with minimal interference with the land.” Good insulation is another drawcard of Inizio homes. The second one ever built (and the first built for a client) is in the Karoo. Another is in Rosendal in the Free State. “We also fit high-performance glass in some cases, to assist with temperature control, as well as louvres that have a dual function, providing shading as well as security. In some cases the louvres are motorised for ease of use and they are quite the talking point when entertaining.” Inizio’s office block in Bloemfontein is a fine example of its commercial
constructions. It certainly impressed Lynette van der Walt, a farmer from the area who would often drive past them. When she learnt that her son’s school, Bloemfontein Academy, wanted to commission a new building, Inizio was her first port of call. She liaised with Nel on the school’s exact requirements, and the result was a custom-built school, complete with a residential section where students and a handful of young professionals reside in bachelor flats. “The process couldn’t have been easier, and we became like family,” says Van der Walt. Inizio’s singular touches, such as the beautiful cedarwood decks in the school’s hallways and outside areas are a joy to behold (and to smell), she says. The bachelor units feature clever interiordesign solutions, including freestanding wooden beds with large drawers in their bases. “One of my favourite elements is the glass facade that forms an entire wall in the main classroom,” says Van Der Walt. “Letting in plenty of sunlight and the most wonderful and peaceful views of the garden and the trees, it is both functional and beautiful.” Inizio’s involvement went beyond the design and erecting of the buildings: it also helped landscape the school’s impressive gardens. Not surprisingly, there are plans to expand the premises by adding preprimary and primary school Inizio buildings. Inizio is also busy designing factory-built units that will be used to construct luxury accommodation. This product is aimed at the export market. The company is run by a core of five hands-on managers and has an inhouse construction team. The expertise of architects, construction managers and
Sleek designs, superb craftsmanship, top-notch finishes and short turnaround times are the hallmarks of Inizio projects administrators is also brought to bear on its projects. The company takes pride in offering a one-stop service. Says Nel: “Our main driving force is to excel in modern designs that are easy to build and are made from materials that require minimal maintenance. We also believe in handling the entire process, from design stage to getting the necessary building permissions and constructing the buildings.” Because this type of structure isn’t as prevalent in SA as it is in the US and Australia, the requisite building materials aren’t readily available. “But,” says Nel, “we overcome this by developing a lot of the materials ourselves, such as our foundation system as well as the structural system, and by adapting other materials, such as exterior cladding and insulation materials, to our needs.” This solution-driven mind-set is echoed in the company’s approach to each new project. “All the homes we build are done according to the client’s specific needs. The personalisation of homes is in fact one of the areas in which we specialise. For us, design comes first and the rest of the process follows in its slipstream,” says Nel. Inizio is Italian for “beginning”, and Nel and his team are just getting started.
FOCUS ON WATERFALL VALLEY MATURE LIFESTYLE ESTATE Friday June 19, 2015
over-50s can enjoy Carefree living for Active a healthy lifestyle with all the five-star trimmings at over-50s at Waterfall Waterfall Valley Mature
Lifestyle Estate, where they can buy their dream home from as little as R3.8m
WORDS AND PHOTOS: SUPPLIED
GET IN TOUCH For more information, contact Vee Hofmeyr on 082 937 1680 or at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.century.co.za.
ust 10km north of the Sandton CBD, between Woodmead and Kyalami, lies the 24ha Waterfall Valley Mature Lifestyle Estate. Located within the impressive Waterfall development precinct, this sought-after lifestyle estate offers the over-50 resident a truly upmarket, secure, hassle-free lock-up-and-go lifestyle in a spacious, fivestar-resort-like environment. Clients will be spoilt with a myriad of facilities and the ability to buy a completed showhouse or customise and have their dream home built from only R3.8m. Waterfall Valley offers an opportunity to experience a quality lifestyle that is unparalleled in SA. It has been designed for mature clients who enjoy an active, socially varied lifestyle with an emphasis on healthy living but who wish to simplify their lives by removing the issues of the maintenance, insurance and security normally associated with private home ownership. With state-of-the-art security, a multitude of lifestyle facilities, permanent on-site nursing staff and a fully equipped care centre, residents will be fully catered for in every way in an upmarket, social environment. Says Mark Corbett, CEO of Century Property Developments: “There is a growing trend among mature buyers towards high-security estates that focus on living rather than growing old, and 90% of our buyers cite this as a major reason for
moving to Waterfall Valley rather than elsewhere.” NEW FURNISHED SHOW HOUSES AVAILABLE With more than 460 homes and apartments already sold, the final phase of just 40 houses is on show daily from 9am to 5pm. Clients have the options of either securing a stand and building their dream home, or buying a completed cluster, both of which are a great investment. AN EXCELLENT TIME TO INVEST Property at Waterfall Valley is almost sold out and, as with the earlier phases, the developer is expecting a 50% increase in property values. Since Waterfall’s launch, its clients have already seen their initial investment amount double — at least. Owing to high demand and Waterfall Valley’s unrivalled lifestyle facilities, the value of properties on the estate will continue to far outperform the industry growth norm. “It is definitely not too late to invest, as we expect values to continue to double every three years,” says Corbett. “Buying to rent is also a good investment as owners are receiving high rental returns that easily cover their expenses, all while benefiting from exceptional capital appreciation.” On completion, Waterfall will comprise secure residential estates, maturelifestyle villages, business parks, a Netcare hospital, fivestar hotels, a Reddam House
FOCUS ON WATERFALL VALLEY MATURE LIFESTYLE ESTATE Friday June 19, 2015
“There is a growing trend among mature buyers towards highsecurity estates that focus on living rather than growing old, and 90% of our buyers cite this as a major reason for moving to Waterfall Valley rather than elsewhere” Mark Corbett, CEO, Century Property Developments
private school, a Gautrain station and convenient commercial and retail elements, including southern Africa’s largest shopping centre, the Mall of Africa. CUSTOMISE YOUR DREAM HOME Waterfall Valley consists of 244 stands at an average size of 800m². Buyers may select from a variety of customisable building designs and get the opportunity to meet and brief Century Property Developments’ team of experienced architects to discuss the design of their dream home. Meticulous attention to detail has been paid to every aspect of these homes. Only the best fittings and finishes have been selected for each unit. All units feature liquid petroleum gas for cooking. Under-floor heating is standard in the living areas and in the master bedrooms and bathrooms. All units have access to the Smart Village fibreoptic connection, which is linked to the fast Seacom cable, ensuring high-quality DStv reception, speedy internet connectivity and clear sound over not just the intercom system but also the internal and external telephony services. FACILITIES One of the key elements of Waterfall Valley Mature Lifestyle Estate has to be its array of phenomenal facilities. The clubhouse, offering panoramic views of the valley,
river, natural greenbelts and chipping and putting greens, is the social core of the development. It boasts a 100seat movie theatre/auditorium, multifunction ballroom, library, multiple lounges, an elegant restaurant and ladies’ bar and a fully equipped gym with steam rooms and swimming pool. For the more active retiree, the estate offers 37km of walking paths along the scenic river. Tennis courts, bowls, croquet, a horticultural centre, arts and crafts studio, hairdresser’s salon, billiard room, cigar lounge, delicatessen, health spa and travel agency are available at Waterfall Valley’s sister retirement development, Waterfall Hills, nearby. HEALTH In addition to offering an alluring lifestyle of abundance, other important considerations also come into play at Waterfall Valley, particularly the health of its residents. To provide for this vital facet of the estate, specialist doctors and nurses are on call 24 hours a day. The nursing staff is permanently on site, offering assisted-living services to residents within their homes, or referring them to the fully equipped care centre at Waterfall Hills. Also, rapid access to specialist medical services is ensured by the development’s proximity to both the Netcare Sunninghill Hospital and the new Netcare Waterfall Hospital on Maxwell Drive.
SECURITY Designed to raise the bar for secure lifestyle estates in SA, security at Waterfall is managed at the highest level while maintaining a sense of personal freedom for residents and their guests. A combination of thermal imaging and optical cameras with built-in analytics allows security personnel to monitor movements in and around the estate. Visitor access to the estate is controlled by state-of-theart systems and well trained security personnel. The 4m-high perimeter wall is reinforced with concrete and topped with electric fencing and mounted cameras. There is a dedicated control room for monitoring all aspects of security on the estate, ensuring peace of mind for residents and their guests. Fixed panic buttons will be placed in all units in Waterfall Valley and will be linked to the central security room. All security systems have dedicated back-up generators to ensure uninterrupted surveillance. AWARD-WINNING DEVELOPMENTS Century Property Developments has a trove of accolades to its name, including being voted Best Retirement Development in the World 2009 at the prestigious CNBC International Property Awards and again in 2011 in the Global Over-50s Housing Awards. Sophistication, comfort and elegance are
what the estate’s residents have become accustomed to and have worked so hard for. Corbett says the award for best retirement development in the world is a major coup for a South African developer, not to mention SA. “This category is intended to differentiate mature lifestyle resorts from typical retirement villages and old-age homes,” he says. “The judges were particularly impressed by the focus on bespoke homes and the quality of amenities available to residents.” SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT There is a strong focus on green design within the development, the aim being to create a healthy community centred on the principles of environmental sustainability. This means living in harmony with the natural environment, considering the social, environmental and economic aspects of one’s decisions and reducing one’s carbon footprint by adopting a lifestyle that is less energy-, water- and material-intensive. In line with the green initiatives at Waterfall, Century Property Developments is striving to implement a long-term energy management strategy. The group believes that it is its moral obligation to start thinking not only smarter but greener. To achieve this, it is introducing initiatives that will ensure a minimal impact on the natural environment while creating long-term cost savings.
INVESTIGATION Friday June 19 2015
Heady in Hillbrow WORDS: DAVID A STEYNBERG :: PHOTOS: RUSSELL ROBERTS © FINANCIAL MAIL, WALDO SWIEGERS © SUNDAY TIMES, ISTOCK
Johannesburg’s infamous crime- and grime-ridden once-great Hillbrow remains on the radar of home buyers and investors alike
“While Hillbrow may be attracting new development, the perception is still very much that the area is not safe to live in and it will have some way to go to catch up to its counterparts in Braamfontein, Newtown and Maboneng” Herschel Jawitz, CEO, of Jawitz Properties
anked 2,279th out of 2,290 sectional title markets surveyed in SA, Hillbrow looks to be a losing investment bet from the outset. The 1.08km2 suburb, one of the most densely populated in the country, is home to more than 74,000 people, according to the 2011 census. But there are those who see its potential and are reaping the rewards of using the relatively cheap price of flats in the neighbourhood to build up their property portfolios. Imagine Property Investments director Dale Purdon has been active in the Hillbrow area since 2006 and says that despite the global financial crisis and the (less severe) softening of SA’s house prices, he hasn’t seen a notable drop in either demand or capital growth. “During 2007-08 the inner city remained vibrant despite the slower market,” he says, noting that high rental yields saw investors continuing to buy. “Capital appreciation did not dip like it did in the rest of the country.” The cheap prices and low capital risk are partly responsible for this. He says: “Investors were the driving force. At the higher levels, if you lose your job, servicing a high bond is more difficult. But if your bond is only R1,500 a month, it’s a much smaller problem.” At the time of writing, Private Property was listing
25 flats for sale, priced from R125,000 up to R340,000, but only five to let. While these prices are not out of reach for many investors, the banks still have to come to the party, according to Purdon. That many banks are not yet ready to provide 100% loans is keeping many buy-to-live investors out of the market, he says. About 145 sectional title sales took place between 2014 and 2015, but it is the capital growth achieved since 2007 that should wake up any prospective investor. Between 2007 and 2015, sales prices have risen about 45%, according to Lightstone data. Even if you narrow the period, the picture is one of growth: between 2007 and 2010, 31% capital growth was achieved, and between 2010 and 2015, capital growth of 20% was realised. The numbers don’t lie, but Hillbrow’s reputation isn’t the best. “While Hillbrow may be attracting new development, the perception is still very much that the area is not safe to live in and will have some way to go to catch up its counterparts in Braamfontein, Newtown and Maboneng,” says Herschel Jawitz, CEO of Jawitz Properties, which lists a scattering of properties in the node. “From a business point of view, the greater CBD area has the greatest concentration of flats in the
country, with strong demand from both buyers and tenants. “There is no doubt that the benefits seen in the pockets that have been revived will eventually spill over into the other areas as property prices increase. “Also, support from the Joburg Property Company means that the future looks bright for the area in the long term, which is good from a residential business point of view.” Jawitz notes that property prices have appreciated over time in some of the areas by as much as 8% a year, with double-digit yields in the buy-to-let market. Imagine Property Investments dominates the suburb and is marketing 148 flats. “Performance is block dependent,” Purdon says, noting that while some are exceptionally well managed, others are not. “It’s very sporadic; the inner city of Joburg is all over the place.” For those interested in entering the market, Purdon advises investors to speak to the bodies corporate and managing agents. Imagine Property can assist with accessing financials or audit documents. “The main challenge is for buyers to access finance,” Purdon says. Investors should take their cue from the banks. “If the bank is putting money into the block, you know it’s less risky.”
INVESTIGATION Friday June 19 2015
“At the higher levels, if you lose your job, servicing a bond is more difficult. But if your bond is only R1,500 a month, it’s a much smaller problem” Dale Purdon, director, Imagine Property Investments
FOCUS ON METROPOLIS ON PARK Friday June 19, 2015
Metropolis on Park The ultimate in central city living WORDS AND PHOTOS: SUPPLIED
GET IN TOUCH Apartments in Metropolis on Park are priced from R1.9m. For further details, visit www.metropolisonpark.co.za, or call 0606 720 131.
ositioned in the heart of the Sandton CBD, Metropolis on Park enjoys a prime position that few residential developments can match. This striking new development is scheduled for completion in May 2016 and is arousing strong interest in buyers. Barrow Properties, the developer of Metropolis on Park, has a keen eye for prime locations. Offering its buyers excellent property investment opportunities, Barrow Properties’ focus is on meeting the growing demand for quality property in the prime urban areas of Johannesburg. The demand for quality residential developments in the heart of the Sandton business district is higher than ever, especially since the likes of Sasol, Webber Wentzel and Discovery are scheduled to take occupation of their newly developed headquarters within the next two to three years. Metropolis on Park meets this demand perfectly. Properties located alongside central parks in capital cities worldwide are known to attract influential business people and fetch great returns on investment. Overlooking Mushroom Farm Park, Metropolis on Park will offer its residents a balance between city living and healthy outdoor recreation. It will consist of 126 units, including 120 apartments — a mix of studios and one-, two- or three-bedroom simplexes
FOCUS ON METROPOLIS ON PARK Friday June 19, 2015
— crowned by six luxury penthouses with rooftop terraces. There is a noticeable sense of space and elegance in the design of the apartments, thanks to their full-height windows, which offer panoramic views of the park. All the apartments are north-facing and, taking full advantage of their outlook, they each have glass balustrades to enhance the uninterrupted views. This contemporary building has a fibre-optic backbone, ensuring world-class online connectivity throughout. The kitchens feature integrated Miele appliances and Hansgrohe fittings, while the bathrooms feature Hansgrohe fittings and Geberit sanitaryware. Metropolis on Park offers a 17.5m-long lap pool, a fully equipped gym and a groundfloor cafe with indoor and outdoor dining facilities, a cocktail bar overlooking the park for sundowners, and a store stocked with essential home products for residents’ convenience. The building’s amenities include meeting rooms and private dining rooms with full catering services, making Metropolis on Park the ideal work-from-home location. It also has a first-class reception desk, basement storage and parking bays, outside visitors’ parking, full stand-by power and reserve water tanks. Services include professional estate management and a laundry desk for drop-off-andcollect convenience.
The property is secure, thanks to its high-tech access control. It even has a private entrance to the well maintained Mushroom Farm Park, which offers an outdoor running track, fitness gym and children’s play area. Metropolis on Park is within easy walking distance of the Sandton Gautrain station (the high-speed rail link will get you to OR Tambo International Airport — or Pretoria, for that matter — in just 12 minutes). Sandton City is also nearby, offering world-class retail and entertainment. The exclusive Metropolis on Park is the ideal address within the Sandton CBD, Africa’s richest square mile.
Metropolis on Park is within easy walking distance of the Sandton Gautrain station (the high-speed rail link will get you to OR Tambo International Airport — or Pretoria, for that matter — in just 12 minutes). Sandton City is also nearby
PROPERTY ADVICE Friday June 19 2015
Simple steps to speed up a home sale Sellers and agents will benefit from these savvy measures to make a property more appealing WORDS: LISA DEWBERRY :: PHOTOS: ISTOCK
“It’s essential that all maintenance issues be rectified before placing the property on the market, to ensure a quicker sale at the best price. Buyers notice things that the owner or agent might be unaware of because they’re too familiar with the property, such as leaking taps or broken doorknobs. Based on this, buyers may form the impression that the property is not well maintained and could have even bigger faults” Simon Bray, CEO, Private Property
PROPERTY ADVICE Friday June 19 2015
elling a home is not always easy and can become a lengthy and tiresome process, costing the seller and agent time and money. Despite strong property markets in SA’s major city centres, there are still areas where a property can sit on the market for three months or longer before being sold. There are, however, a number of simple solutions to this problem. IMPROVEMENTS HEIGHTEN INTEREST Simon Bray, CEO of Private Property, says it is essential that all maintenance issues be rectified before placing the property on the market, to ensure a quicker sale at the best price. Buyers notice things that the owner or agent might be unaware of because they’re too familiar with the property, such as leaking taps or broken doorknobs. Based on this, buyers may form the impression that the property is not well maintained and could have even bigger faults. “Ensure the condition of the house can’t be used against the seller, and remove any excuse for a buyer to negotiate down on the asking price,” says Bray. “Potential purchasers mentally reduce the price of the property every time they spot a problem that needs fixing. They want to move in without the hassle of making any repairs, and if they think it’s going to cost them money to get the property in good shape, they will stay away,” he says. Ricardo Gouveia, director at Valuetec Property Valuations, says if owners are going to invest in home improvements, they should focus on those that are likely to yield the best return. Be realistic, he advises: fitting a new kitchen will not necessarily increase the asking price if the roof is caving in. “Any improvements should be practical. Use colours and designs that appeal to the widest audience and complement the home. “It is possible to overcapitalise on the property by improving it to a point where it becomes one of the most expensive properties above average sale prices in the area. So take note of the suburb and keep the house similar to other properties in the area, to avoid renovating it out of the market, but don’t neglect its maintenance,” says Gouveia. ONLINE MARKETING Property owners and agents now use social media as a way of communicating with potential home buyers, as it is an easy, cost-effective way to generate new interest in a property. YouTube, Facebook and Twitter remain the most popular platforms. Some savvy agents have even started using Instagram.
Bray says that more than 90% of home buyers start their search online, so not listing the property on the internet deprives sellers of the opportunity to reach buyers early on. A property can be advertised through online classifieds, online auctions, pay-per-click outlets and banner adverts on relevant websites as well as through joining property investor forums. STAGING MAKES SENSE Lucy le Roux, owner of Illuminate Home Staging, says that to sell a property quickly and get a better return on investment, sellers need to present the home so that the lifestyle on offer is effectively portrayed. The home, she says, has to be “move-in ready”. Home staging includes minor renovations and styling the furniture and accessories or, in the case of empty properties, providing a full house worth of furniture and accessories. According to Le Roux, effective staging with stylish, trendy furniture, art and accessories will drive home the value of the property and show the buyer that the owner is not in a hurry to sell. Empty homes, she says, give off a cold, clinical and lifeless feeling that most
buyers find depressing. Since there is nothing for them to see at the start of the process, they become overly critical of what is present, such as the paintwork and fixtures, and they battle to imagine where their furniture would go. “Research shows that home buyers form an opinion within the first 15 seconds of entering a property and are likely to spend only five minutes viewing an unfurnished house versus up to 40 minutes in a furnished home,” says Le Roux. INCENTIVES SWEETEN THE DEAL Sellers should consider pricing and incentives that could entice buyers to view their property. In a weak market, buyers are looking for a good deal, and sellers must do their best to make them feel they are getting one. Incentives to help close the deal could include offering to pay for a year’s worth of home owners’ fees, or transferable home insurance for a one-year policy that covers appliances such as air conditioners and refrigerators. HOME-SITTERS GROUND A HOME Dominique Alexander, owner of Happy Home House and Pet Sitting, says
house-sitters are often called on by agents to help move upmarket houses that are taking long to sell. The goals are to make the seller appear less desperate and to lend an emotional aspect to the sale. House sitting involves filling vacant forsale homes with short-term tenants and their attractive furniture, thereby giving the property a well-kept, livedin feel that wins buyers. Alexander says there seems to be more interest from banks and individual home owners who are eager to set their properties apart from foreclosures and other individual listings by showing how a potential buyer could live in their homes. She says home buying is more than sales price, school district and length of commute: “Buyers want to feel that the house is right for them and see themselves living there. People want to live in neighbourhoods because there are people there. Getting a house sitter is something to consider in areas where there have been many vacancies and where you want buyers to have a sense of the neighbourhood and someone occupying the home for security. House sitters also lower the risk of break-ins and keep property values stable for everyone else living on the block.”
“Research shows that home buyers form an opinion within the first 15 seconds of entering a property and are likely to spend only five minutes viewing an unfurnished house versus up to 40 minutes in a furnished home” Lucy le Roux, owner, Illuminate Home Staging
PRICE THE PROPERTY CORRECTLY Tshegofatso Selahle, communications manager at Nedbank, says regardless of how well a buyer renovates and stages a home, the most important thing is to price it correctly. This is where the agent plays a key role in helping the seller to settle on a price by comparing the home to others in the area. “By researching the property market, buyers will get an idea of the prices in the area and will be able to recognise a good deal. It is not always imperative to be the lowest-priced home on the block, especially when improvements have been made; however, it is important that the listing price is in line with comparable homes on the market,” says Selahle. Bray says overpricing is the biggest mistake people make and the leading cause of a property remaining unsold. Buyers are good at spotting overvalued properties and will avoid them, he says. Sellers should place themselves in the buyer’s shoes when determining what a fair price might be. “The longer a property languishes on the market unsold, the more the perception grows among buyers that there is something wrong with it,” says Bray.
INTERNATIONAL Friday June 19 2015
Roads lead to New Cairo Egypt is open for business, and SA is well placed to benefit from this invitation now that the Cape-to-Cairo trade accord has been signed WORDS: DAVID A STEYNBERG :: PHOTOS: JLL MENA
CAIRO MARKET BREAKDOWN FLATS
n New Cairo: sales 23% up year on year n New Cairo: rentals down 12% year on year n 6th of October City: sales up 29% year on year n 6th of October City: rentals down 7% year on year
n New Cairo: sales up 9% year on year n New Cairo: rentals up 10% year on year n 6th of October City: sales up 15% year on year n 6th of October City: rentals flat year on year (Source: JLL)
Egypt’s economy in numbers Foreign investment in 2007-08:
Foreign investment in 2011:
$2.2bn Annual economic growth in 2007 and 2011: from
7% to 2%
International Monetary Fund’s prediction for economic growth in 2014-15:
International Monetary Fund’s prediction for economic growth in 2015-16:
4.3% Foreign direct investment in 2014-15:
$4bn Foreign direct investment in 2015-16 in this financial year:
$8bn (about R99bn) (Source: JLL)
he continent is abuzz with development and far-reaching policy changes. Just two weeks ago, leaders of three African regional economic communities — the East African Community (EAC), the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) — signed an accord to form one super-bloc. The aim of the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) is to create a common market across 26 African countries, doing away with high protectionism mechanisms such as import tariffs and restrictions on people’s movement. Egypt and SA are already continental powerhouses, with the northern state having mostly rid itself of the political and economic instability that bedevilled it after the uprisings against long-time president Hosni Mubarak. In March, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (who last week was accused of human rights abuses by Human Rights Watch) hosted business leaders from across the Arab world. He invited them to invest in the country and announced the moving of its administrative capital from Cairo to the yet-unnamed new capital to the east of the city. The meeting attracted pledges worth $12bn (about R149bn) in aid and investment from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Between New Capital and Cairo sits New Cairo, a recently developed
city designed to cater to the spillover from the overcrowded and congested capital. Jones Lang LaSalle’s (JLL) country head in Egypt, Ayman Sami, says investment is now flowing towards New Cairo because there are more development opportunities available there. “We have seen growth from 85,000 units in 2013 to 105,000 units in 2014,” Sami says, noting that this represents a 23% growth in supply, and represents both current Cairo, New Cairo and 6th of October City to the west of the capital. “In terms of rentals, we saw a year-on-year reduction in flats and more positive growth in villa rental rates, which reached up to 10%.” Rentals for flats in New Cairo range from about $1,200/m2 (about R15,000/m2), while villas average $1,600/m2 (about R20,000/m2). “In the areas that we monitor, we witnessed a higher capital growth in flats in 6th of October City and a higher capital growth for villas in New Cairo,” he says, noting dollar yields of 8% to 11%. The reason for the disparity could have a lot to do with the proposed move of the capital. New Cairo will effectively sit slap-bang between the current Cairo and the new capital, which will enjoy greater proximity to the airport and the Mediterranean and its trade routes. Egyptians view the capital’s move as a given, because of the accessibility to the airport, says Sami. New Cairo will
probably also house many governmental ministers, making the villa market increasingly appealing. “High-end developers continue to be interested in large plots of land, which can only be made available on the outskirts,” says Sami. The demographics in New Cairo, he says, are quite mixed, “but the first movers are on the middle-high to higher end of the scale, since you would need a car to commute there owing to the limited transport network set-up”. Egypt restricts the number of residential properties that foreigners are allowed to own. Natural persons are forbidden from owning agricultural land and nonresidential property. Companies may own both types of asset. The country does, however, present investors with opportunities. “We live in a country with about 90-million inhabitants and it is growing at a yearly rate of less than 2%,” says Sami. “This means we need about 450,000 housing units a year to sustain the growth. This is in addition to the supply gap that was estimated by JLL in 2010 at 1.5-million housing units. Other estimates now put it at more than 2.5-million units, but these would mostly lie within the affordable-housing segment.” For those still nervous of the market, economic stability is felt to be returning slowly. “Residential sales continues to be strong as there is genuine demand based on the strong fundamentals of the country,” says Sami.
6TH OF OCTOBER CITY
“We live in a country with about 90-million inhabitants and it is growing at a yearly rate of less than 2%” Ayman Sami, country head: Egypt, JLL
INTERNATIONAL Friday June 19 2015
The Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey released in January this year showed that Auckland’s property market was among the 10 least affordable in the world and, while it’s slightly less expensive than London, it’s more expensive than cities such as New York, Los Angeles and Perth
Property prices J in New Zealand are a concern A shortage of land is only one of the reasons property is getting more expensive in New Zealand WORDS: LEA JACOBS :: PHOTOS: ISTOCK
ohn Loos, household and property strategist at FNB, recently stated that South Africans are “obsessed” with buying their own homes. This desire follows those who choose to emigrate; however, living the home ownership dream overseas can be much more difficult. For example, property in New Zealand is notoriously expensive. Although it’s not completely unattainable, it may take some time before those who move across can afford to buy a place of their own. New Zealand homes are generally built using relatively cheap materials, so it’s not the price of the actual home so much as the cost of land that is exorbitant. The average price per square metre for a flat in urban areas is about NZ$4,800 (about R42,000). The price per square metre in the country is about NZ$3,200 (R28,000). New Zealand comprises two relatively small islands and large tracts of land are reserved for agriculture. New Zealanders themselves are aware that the price of property is a major issue and numerous articles have been written bemoaning the fact that very few of its citizens are in a position to buy a home. While most people, regardless of where they live, believe that their country’s house prices are too high, it would appear that New Zealanders have every right to be concerned. The Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey released in January this year showed that Auckland’s property market was among the 10 least affordable in the world and, while it is slightly less expensive than London’s, it is more expensive than cities such as New York, Los Angeles and Perth. What makes the situation even more dire is that salaries in New Zealand are relatively low when compared with other cities around the world. In 2014, Demographia found that Auckland’s median house price was NZ$561,700 as opposed to
the median household income of NZ$70,500. This gave the city a median multiple (house prices divided by incomes) of eight — a scary figure because anything above three is regarded as unaffordable. This figure has since risen to 8.2. The average asking price of property in Auckland rose by 3% in April this year and is now about NZ$790,000 (about R7m). As with other countries, property prices in larger, more popular areas have an impact on the national average, which rose by 1.4% on the previous month and is sitting at about NZ$522,000 (about R4.5m). The average listing price for a home in Canterbury is about NZ$463,000 (about R4m). But property prices have dropped slightly in Central Otago, where the average asking price is now about NZ$605,000 (just more than R5m), and in Wellington, where the average listing price is about NZ$455,000 (about R3.9m). Supply is another problem: one administration after another has been blamed for retarding the building process with extensive red tape, but there are other factors at play. Property developers have been accused of holding on to land and waiting for its value to rise before knuckling down and building desperately needed homes. The extent of this problem is highlighted by the government’s housing accord: it was launched in 2013 and called for the construction of 39,000 new homes, but only 350 have been built, and just 20 of those as a result of the accord. There is, of course, more to life than owning a property. The sheer beauty and safety of New Zealand continues to draw South Africans. There are many benefits to living there, including a good public health system and free education. Crime is low, and a recent report showed that it is dropping even further: in 2014 the number of incidents fell by 4.1% from 2013. New Zealand is a terrific place to live — even if you do have to pay more to own your own home.
NEWS Friday June 19 2015
AMANZIMTOTI MARKET FLAT BUT STILL ACTIVE
Tshwane: high-end value growth increases fastest
he higher end of the Tshwane residential property market has grown faster than the metro’s lower end. According to calculations by the city’s statistics department for the Pretoria area — using Absa figures and adjusting them for inflation — house prices increased
across the board, with prices of larger homes rising at a faster rate than mediumsized and small houses. “The simplest reason we could come up with for the slower increase in the lower groups was the fact that there is more competition in these groups,” said Henri Labuschagne,
statistician at the City of Tshwane. “Thus the market has to be priced more effectively to attract buyers.” Labuschagne said that there had been no in-depth study into the reasons behind this house price growth. “Furthermore, we also found that a majority of the households in Tshwane are in
the medium- and low-income groups, further corroborating the lower growth in the latter two markets,” he says. According to the city’s research, at current prices, all three segments averaged less than R300,000 in January 1996. But the average price of large homes today is R2.02m, compared with medium and small homes, which average R1.2m and R793,000 respectively. Demand, however, continues to grow in the lower and middle segments, with sectional title property proving popular, especially in the east of Pretoria. One suburb where agents report healthy demand is in Equestria. Property data company Lightstone reveals that since 2004 registration of sectional title sales have consistently outnumbered those of freehold stands in the node.
Prices between freehold and sectional title properties have also remained neck and neck, with the sectional title market growing around 10% year on year, compared with the freehold market’s flat performance over the past three years. Balwin Properties is looking to cash in on sectional title demand with its new Grove-Lane development, comprising 136 one-, twoand three-bedroom flats, ranging from 52m² to 106m². Says Balwin Properties CEO Steve Brookes: “Our sectional title developments are lifestylecentric estates that offer residents value for money. Grove-Lane residents will have access to an on-site entertainment area with swimming pool and braai facilities, providing a safe, well-equipped environment for adults and children alike.”
of the development,” says Boshoff. The development phase in the northwest section of the estate will enjoy a traversing area of a further 250ha of undeveloped land. Other amenities
include a large dam, the 18-hole Peter Matkovich golf course and the estate’s spa. “To secure a site, the buyer will be required to pay a 30% deposit directly to the attorneys,” Boshoff says. “The deposits will be held in the
attorney’s trust account on which interest will accrue for the benefit of the purchaser. The balance of the purchase price will be payable on date of registration.” The total extent of the development phase is 262ha.
New Zebula sites on offer
state living remains popular not only in SA’s major metros, but also in outlying and smaller towns. Zebula in Bela Bela, Limpopo, is a case in point. The golf estate and spa is located on 1,600ha of bushveld in the shadow of the Waterberg range. Says Loua Boshoff, broker/owner of RE/MAX Bushveld: “There were 40, 1ha full-title stands that had been on the market since about 2010. Zebula tried to sell them itself but only recently
appointed RE/MAX Bushveld to assist with the marketing and now there are only 12 stands left.” The stands are priced from R950,000 to R1.1m, depending on views, privacy, rock formations and tree coverage. Because it is a fulltitle development, no presales are required, and a number of houses have already been built. “Buyers will be able to use their own architects and builders, but they should adhere to the building regulations
Property value growth in the freehold and sectional title markets in the KwaZuluNatal South Coast town of Amanzimtoti has remained fairly flat since 2010, although the market has been active, especially among older buyers of holiday homes. This year, freehold property prices have risen from an average of R557,000 to R589,000, while prices of sectional title properties have grown from R686,000 to R699,000. Says Rawson Property Group franchisee Erine Kleyn: “We have a sizeable permanent population who either work here or commute to Durban along the N2. We also have many business people from all over the country buying holiday homes here. “The highest demand can be seen in the R700,000 to R950,000 price range, but our franchise can offer homes priced up to R4m. “The market remains fairly stable but prices are likely to start rising soon, so now is a good time to invest. We have a decent amount of stock, but it is moving, especially in areas closer to the shopping malls and beaches. “We are seeing an increasing number of buyers paying cash for holiday homes these days.” According to the property data company Lightstone, the majority (58%) of property deed holders in Amanzimtoti are aged 50-plus. This age group also makes up 49% of recent sellers. Based on recent sales, 33% of buyers were in the 50- to 64-years-old age group and 37% were pensioners.
Middelburg’s industrial strength good for home market
conomic growth in Middelburg, Mpumalanga, has opened up considerable business opportunities in the property market, including the commercial, retail and residential property sectors, according to Chris de Jager, Pam
Golding Properties agent in Middelburg. Says De Jager: “A notable factor contributing to the ongoing growth and increased demand in all three sectors — namely retail, office and residential property — is that the Middelburg town council
is rated one of the top five in the country, achieving a consistently clean audit over the past five years. “Coupled with this is a high standard of service and infrastructure, which is considered among the best available in Mpumalanga and arguably in the country.”
De Jager says a key trend perceived in the market is that people working in industries in towns around Middelburg are relocating to the area. Bell Equipment, Barloworld Equipment and Volvo Trucks have taken up space. The demand for top-quality office space has
also improved, particularly in buildings that are close to the industrial area, Vaalbank and the new Middelburg Mall. “It makes sound business sense to invest in the fast-growing and vibrant Middelburg while serviced land is still available and property prices are affordable,” De Jager says. “A new development well placed next to Middelburg Mall and ideal for office space development or retail activities offers vacant land from 2,600m2 to 10,500m2 and priced from R3.7m to R17m.” Housing demand remains brisk, says De Jager, with security estates in high demand and the rental market very active. Property data from Lightstone reveals that while the freehold market
sees almost 60% more transactions than the sectional title sector, the average prices are stronger in the latter. Since 2004, both the sectional title and freehold markets’ average value has grown by about 60%, with freehold being about 50% cheaper than sectional title on average. “The price range most in demand is from R1.5m to R3m,” says De Jager. “Sales in security estates are reflecting consistent yearon-year growth, particularly in the Clubville area in developments such as Roberts and Midlands Estates. Residential properties for less than R2m, if available, are also performing above the national average for house prices, achieving 9% to 11% growth in value.”
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FRESNAYE – R18 MILLION
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