Thursday, 22 March 2012

Buyers return to simmering South Coast

After a quiet start to the new year, property sales activity along the South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal has recently picked up sharply, with both local and upcountry buyers streaming in to snap up seaside properties at “bargain” prices.
In Amanzimtoti, says Deidre Ronnenberg, owner of the local Aida office, the biggest driver of this activity is news of Transnet’s R100bn plan to turn Durban’s former international airport site – just 11km from ‘Toti - into a new dug-out port.
“The anticipated increase in local property values as a result of this development, plus the fact that the demand for long-term rentals here is already increasing, is attracting a far greater number of investment buyers - and many of them are paying cash.”
Another factor driving sales all along the South Coast, she says, is the fact that real-term property price growth is expected to turn positive soon.
“The latest Absa figures show, for example, that although they were coming off a low base, home prices on the South Coast rose 7,5% yoy in the last quarter of 2011. And looking at this, many retirees and holiday-home buyers as well investors now believe that the local market has passed its bottom and are keen to secure property here before the upturn gains much more momentum.
What is more, Ronnenbergh says, budget-conscious KZN buyers are increasingly choosing to live permanently on the South Coast, where prices compare very favourably to the residential areas north of Durban. “In Amanzimtoti, for example, one can still buy a spacious two-bedroom beachfront flat with a garage for around R650 000.
“The town also has excellent schools and well-developed shopping and entertainment facilities to attract families, who are able to purchase good quality freehold homes here for between R700 000 and R1,3m. Luxury homes, some of them suitable for the establishment of B&Bs, are priced at around R3m.”
Further down the South Coast, says Aida area expert Glen Tweedie, there is a high demand at present for homes in retirement villages. “This stretch of coast is of course one of SA’s most popular retirement destinations, and it is estimated that there are some 400 000 senior citizens resident between Umkomaas and Port Edward.
“At the moment we are also seeing many people buying homes here that will accommodate their parents for now, and themselves in the future when they retire.”
The area is also attractive to buy-to-let investors, he says, because both holiday and long-term rental properties are always in demand. “Foreigners like to holiday here for several months during the European winter and particularly enjoy our international-standard golf courses. The mild climate year-round also means young families and seniors can enjoy affordable holidays here in the off-season, while the peak season of course sees crowds of upcountry visitors booking out every available unit.”
Prices for two-bedroom, two-bathroom homes in established retirement villages along the lower South Coast start from around R750 000, while two-bedroom apartments and townhouses suitable for letting or as holiday homes are available from around R600 000, and R700 000 with a seaview. 

Monday, 12 March 2012

Time to buy now as prices start to rise

The Western Cape, where property prices fell 0,3% last year, is the most expensive province in which to buy residential property, and Cape Town is the city with the highest average price in every home category, even if one excludes the multimillion-rand trophy properties strung out along the Atlantic Seaboard.

On the other hand, says Aida CEO Young Carr, the latest Absa research shows that the prices of small, medium and large “middle segment” homes in the northern and western suburbs of Johannesburg, (where prices rose 5,2% last year), often exceed the Cape Town averages for the same categories.

“For example, the average price of a medium size home in Johannesburg’s northern suburbs is R1,34m, while the average price of a medium size home in Cape Town is R1,26m.”

The latest Absa Quarterly Housing Review, he notes, also reveals that there is no one province with the lowest prices in all of the small, medium and large home categories, but that Port Elizabeth is definitely the cheapest city overall.

“The average price for a small home in Port Elizabeth is currently around R514 000, for example, compared to R593 000 in the central and southern suburbs of Johannesburg, which is the next cheapest area, followed by Durban/ Pinetown, where a small home costs an average of R711 000.”

As far as medium size homes go, Carr says, Port Elizabeth, East London and the central and southern suburbs of Johannesburg offer the best prospects for budget-conscious buyers, while the Eastern Cape and the East Rand in Gauteng are currently the least expensive places to buy larger homes.

“Meanwhile, it is interesting to note that according to the Absa figures, only two of the nine provinces experienced a year-on-year decline in property prices last year, while some metros actually experienced an above-inflation (real) increase in property prices.

“And on top of that, the FNB Property Barometer figures just released show that the yoy increase in property prices nationally was 6,6% in January and 6,7% in February.

“These are strong indicators that now is the time to buy, before the upward movement of prices starts to negate the benefits of low interest rates, or indeed before interest rates start to rise once more.”

Issued by Aida National Franchises
Aida head office: 012 682 9600
Contact: Young Carr

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Aida Boksburg launches SMS campaign for CANSA funds

Aida Boksburg will not only be fielding two teams in the CANSA East Rand Community Relay For Life this month, but has also begun an SMS campaign to help raise further funds to help fight cancer.
“We are reaching out to everyone in our own business network and also in the bigger Aida franchise network countrywide to make this a resounding success,” says franchise principal Denver Ramnath.
“Like many businesses and other organisations on the East Rand, we will be supporting the Cancer Association (CANSA) by entering two teams in the Relay for Life, and we will also be fundraising during the event, which is being held on 23 and 24 March at the Boksburg City Stadium.
“However, we wanted to do more to boost CANSA – which no longer obtains any State funding - so we decided to get an SMS campaign running ahead of the event, so that even people who can’t get to the relay can participate and contribute to the fight against cancer.”
Those who would like to do this should SMS the word “CANCER” to 49040 to donate R15.
The CANSA Relay For Life overnight events are part of an international movement to unite cancer survivors and the communities that care about them. The members of the teams taking part take it in turn to walk or run around a track for 12 hours, and when not walking, can enjoy camping-out, entertainment and good food, games and community camaraderie in a festive atmosphere.

Each team pays an entrance fee and in addition, each team member is encouraged to organise a minimum individual sponsorship. The proceeds of the relays and any fundraising done on site all go to CANSA to help deliver its crucial integrated cancer-control service.
“And since the government has withdrawn all funding from CANSA it is now totally up to individual communities and companies to support the organisation in their own areas or risk having no CANSA representation or assistance in that location,” says Ramnath.