Harcourts South Africa growth defies market decline

Apr 18, 2019 9:20:54 PM Share this:

Despite the industry experiencing a decline in year on year sales, March 2019 was Harcourts South Africa's best month since Harcourts started in South Africa in 2009. Boasting 10% growth on the same month last year. In addition, Harcourts South Africa's first quarter was up 11% on the same period in 2018.


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Topics: Richard Gray, Harcourts International, Real Estate Agents, Harcourts Growth, Harcourts Real Estate

Hermanus property market attracting a wide range of interest

Apr 11, 2019 8:00:03 PM Share this:

In the past few years, the Hermanus property landscape has certainly changed dramatically, losing the sleepy-town stigma and attracting quite a lot of interest from inland buyers and becoming a haven for semigrants. However, the local Western Cape buyers, many younger professionals that work from home, are showing a lot of interest in this region too.

The advantage for many property investors when purchasing property in Hermanus is the incredible value and return on investment opportunities homes in this region offer. The variety of property options range from small apartments to large family homes and development stands on the edge of the ocean. This opens up the region to a diverse range of buyers and creates exciting demand.

Technology has certainly played a role as we are now able to present Hermanus properties to the local, national and international market in an effective and convenient matter. What's equally exciting is that we're finding many professionals now being afforded the luxury of working from home, which opens up their location choices.

Hermanus is the perfect getaway from the city that celebrates a relaxed lifestyle all while having the option, if you desire, to drive into Cape Town in under two hours. Hermanus has an abundance of amenities, fantastic schools, a thriving local business landscape and a wonderful sense of community among the people. All this while being nestled by the majestic mountains above.

We've seen incredible value and growth in certain regions within Hermanus as well as surrounding areas like Kleinmond, Gansbaai and Betty's Bay. Our team of specialists have their fingers on the pulse of the Overberg market and we're able to assist both sellers and buyers to best achieve their desired results.

Statement by

Jana Smith
Harcourts Hermanus Principal


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Topics: Richard Gray, Investing in Property, Harcourts Real Estate, Harcourts Hermanus

Budget 2019: What it means for the property industry

Mar 5, 2019 5:54:49 PM Share this:

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni made his debut National Budget speech in Parliament yesterday. Here’s what the property experts have to say about what this means for real estate, South Africa and you.


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Topics: Economy, Budget, Estate Agent, Harcourts Real Estate, Municipal Rates

Factors that influence a property's price

Mar 4, 2019 10:15:43 PM Share this:

Correctly pricing a home is not a mathematical equation – a number of factors play a role in determining what is a fair price. Here are some of the factors that need to be taken into consideration.


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Topics: Tips for buying, Buying a home, Harcourts Real Estate

Budget speech delivers on expectations

Feb 21, 2019 7:41:03 PM Share this:

South Africa's Finance Minister Tito Mboweni delivered his maiden budget yesterday. It was expected to be a tough budget by many pundits and it certainly delivered on that sentiment. We know that in order for South Africa to achieve positive economic growth Government is going to have to be tougher on state-owned enterprises. This was a central theme for the Minster and he was very clear about the effect these SOE's have on our economy.

What was reassuring was the Minister's clear focus on rebuilding a stagnating economy.  "It is all of our duty to tend the seed and see that it grows strong, tall and fruitful. It is a budget for the future,” he explained.

The past few months consumers have experienced serious financial pressures as costs continue to rise and bleak economic trends affect the activity in most major sectors. Property was one of those markets that certainly felt the knock-on effects.

The budget, although far more balanced and focused on renewal and growth, it was disappointing that no pressures were relieved on consumers in the property market. The property market is incredibly susceptible to the message and plans in the Budget and how they are instituted.

As predicted VAT remained unchanged at 15% and there was no an increase in personal and corporate income tax. However, the Minister revealed that there would be an increase in fuel levies. Petrol: 29c per litre and Diesel: 30c per litre. In addition, it is expected that real GDP growth in 2019 will rise to 1.5% and then strengthen to 2.1% in 2021.

If we can see the Minster and the Department stand strong on its desire to clamp down on SOE lending as well as aim to reduce pressure on the consumer, the economy will undoubtedly start to gain ground and we will be able to restore both consumer and investor confidence which in turn translates into increased economic activity.


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Topics: Harcourts South Africa, Budget speech, Harcourts Real Estate

Smart Tips for Buying Success

Feb 4, 2019 8:00:00 AM Share this:

Whether you’re looking for your first home or thinking about an investment property or holiday home, the following steps will help you achieve a successful result.

Arrange your finance
Take a good look at how much you will be able to save as a deposit, or how much equity there is in your existing property/ies if you have one. This will give you a good place to start when it comes to deciding what you can afford. A good idea is to then work with a reputable mortgage broker to help you find the best home loan, and interest rate for your circumstances.

Mortgage brokers aren’t aligned with any particular financial institution so they’re really about finding you the best deal. They also don’t eat into your budget, as their commission is paid for by the financial institution you eventually choose. Harcourts can even help you find a mortgage broker in your area through our partners at Mortgage Express.

Select a reputable sales consultant
Looking for a property on your own is fine as a starting point, but when it comes time to dig deeper and really get to know your local area, it pays to work with a knowledgeable local expert and that’s where a great sales consultant comes in.

A sales consultant will be able to support and guide you through the buying process, letting you know the ins and outs associated with purchasing a new home. A local sales consultant should also be an expert on your area, and be able to let you know all about planned infrastructure upgrades, the best local schools, restaurants and where the closest public transport hub is.

But that’s not all, a trained sales consultant can help you with lots of other services that become handy after the buying process, like moving services and utility connection. So its handy to have one guiding you through the process.

Decide on what you want
Your list should include the most important aspects to you right through to the least important. This will also be a valuable guide for your sales consultant. An easy way to break it down is using a ‘must have’ and ‘like to have’ list, so you know what you are willing to compromise on.

Make the most of inspections
Don’t hurry through a property visit. Take your checklist and note down questions while you are there. After viewing a range of properties, you can easily become confused about which house had which feature, so don’t be afraid to take notes!

Manage your offer
Don’t get caught up in the emotion of finding the property you like. Carefully consider issues like fixtures, possession day, price, and consider a builder’s and pest inspection so you know exactly what you are purchasing.

Contact your solicitor
Your solicitor will make sure any unforeseen complications are highlighted through checking official records and information before the deal goes through.

Settlement and moving
Try not to move in on the same day the previous owners are moving out. You may not get access until late afternoon, which can hold up a professional moving company if you are using one and also cause more stress than you need.

Enjoy your property!
It’s been an exciting time looking for the right place, and a well-organised moving day will help everything go smoothly to start you off on the right note.


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Topics: Finance, Real Estate Agents, Buying a home, Harcourts Real Estate

Price your property to sell in the current market

Jan 23, 2019 7:19:21 PM Share this:

Whether it is a buyers or seller's market accurate valuation and pricing of your home is imperative if you aim to have a successful transaction. Realistic pricing is relevant to accurate market value and often buyers will compare your home to the properties in the area so they can gauge an insight into the true market value.

Market fluctuations and economic pressures undoubtedly influence the price of property and we've seen some homeowners having to drop expected prices due to the external economic factors affecting the market from a holistic perspective.

Therefore, If your property is over-valuated it not only wastes valuable marketing time but it can very often gain a stigma that negatively affects the perception of the home going forward. In the end, you may end up getting far less for your property than could have been initially obtained. No matter how well your property is marketed, if the price isn't right, it won't sell.

When a property is accurately valuated and the agent commences marketing of the listing this creates immediate demand. The first 6 to 12 weeks are the most important when marketing a property.

The first step is to contact an agent with an extensive target market presence. Browse digital property platforms, forums, portals as well as published newspapers and magazines to best see which agents have a true understanding and footprint in the region you wish to sell. Then, similarly, use that research time to assess where your property's value is located in the market and try and scale it correctly. Not just comparing the size and location but added features also.

Agents use many accurate tools that take an array of factors into account when valuating your home. Pair this data with expert insights into the current climate of the market and trends of buyers and sellers and an agent is able to present your property to a diverse network exposing it to the right buyers.


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Topics: Richard Gray, Harcourts South Africa, buying and selling, Property Valuation, Harcourts Real Estate

Expect more property developments in 2019

Jan 23, 2019 6:52:46 PM Share this:

During 2018 the South African property market was under immense pressure. We saw many agents having to reinvent their strategies in an attempt to to grow their businesses. Some were also forced to evolve as the man on the street consumes information differently. However, there were certain areas that performed well, developments being one. Across the major metros developments took center stage as a lot of investment and high demand seemed to defy the downward trend of the property landscape. And without a doubt, this will continue throughout 2019.

The large scale investment injections into city living is certainly very exciting and much needed. We've seen how incredible the major commercial and residential property developments in places like the inner city of Cape Town and Johannesburg are transforming the CBDs. There is a real effort to make properties available and a effort to revitalize certain areas as well as boost already booming regions.

On the other side of the spectrum we are seeing well sought-after communities growing even more. According to reports property developers' goals are to meet the demand for housing in  areas like Sandton and surrounds. Many of these properties appeal to first-time buyers,  business executives working in the greater Sandton area as well as investors seeking an asset that will show positive appreciation and rental returns.

We expect the push to develop certain areas to continue. Especially due to the appeal of these properties. Many people view them as safer because of stringent security strategies. Also, there is often a community aspect to lifestyle estates and developments - children playing in the park and getting to know your neighbours. We've seen how the inclusion of a management body and property guidelines assist properties to have a long-term investment life.

The often overlooked aspect that certain developments bring to a community is the increased economic activity. In areas like Somerset West in Cape Town, there are developments almost the size of suburbs. This attracts commercial interest to the region, increasing employment and business growth opportunities and ensuring the local economy has a chance to grow.


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Topics: Richard Gray, Harcourts South Africa, buying and selling, Harcourts Real Estate, Property Development

To repair or not to repair: interior

Jan 21, 2019 8:00:00 AM Share this:

Repairs2_resized.jpg

When it comes to preparation, Olympic athletes leave no stone unturned.

Because the competition is so intense, preparing for the Olympics becomes life and death, with endless months of training, and unyielding focus. Preparing for a game of soccer down the beach with some friends – not so much.

The same principle applies when preparing your property for sale and deciding what to repair, and what not to. Where do you draw the line? What do you fix and what do you leave? (In this article we look exclusively at the interior of your property).

Much depends on the competition. If the competition is intense, then preparation is all important.

If the market in your area is super-hot, and houses are selling at Usain Bolt speed, it shows that buyers are attracted to the area rather than the finer details.

In such a sellers’ market, it is possible only minor, essential repairs need to be made. Undertaking costlier repairs or renovations are likely to have little or no effect on the inevitability of sale or price, and represent an unnecessary cost.

The other major factor in deciding what to repair is how urgently you want to sell.

If you want to sell your house “yesterday”, then you need to remove every barrier that could potentially short-circuit a sale. For example, some buyers will pull out of a sale because of a seemingly insignificant fault, like a door knob that falls off in their hand.

If in doubt, seek advice from your Harcourts Sales Consultant.

There is a distinctive difference between repairs and renovations, with repairs being regarded as restoring something back to its original condition, while renovations are improvements or upgrades.

So what are the repairs to consider before selling a property?

Paint

  • All exposed nail holes, stains and imperfections in your wall’s paintwork should be fixed
  • Paint door trims and all areas showing wear and tear
  • Remove older wallpaper by steaming and give the wall a fresh coat of paint
  • Avoid creating bright or darker coloured features walls, because colours are an individual choice
  • Consider painting over old-style dark, wood panelling, which can create a gloomy atmosphere in a room
  • Always choose neutral or lighter colours, which make rooms appear bigger, and are acceptable to more buyers (creative buyers will add their own colour touches).

Lighting

  • Make sure all switches and lights are working properly
  • Install brighter bulbs in gloomier rooms.

Kitchen

  • Make sure all draws and doors are working properly
  • Bench top needs to be pristine, with no chips or cut marks. If you need to replace a benchtop considering installing a granite top which will generally add value
  • Absolutely no leaky taps, or leaky anything else
  • Consider replacing old plastic door handles with metallic handles.

Bathroom repairs

  • Replace or repair leaky taps
  • Clean grouting between tiles, and if missing, repair
  • Replace any chipped tiles

Curtains and window furnishings

  • Replace damaged curtains or blinds

Floors and ceilings

  • Consider removing old carpet on wooden floors and polishing the floor boards
  • Remove textured ceilings and paint with flat paint (beware of asbestos)

When considering what to repair, put yourself in the shoes of the potential buyer and work out what would cause you to have second thoughts about buying, and for peace of mind, repair whatever is a potential deal-breaker. 


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Topics: DIY, Repairs, Tips on selling your home, Harcourts Real Estate

Response to mid-term budget: "It is time for action"

Jan 14, 2019 8:00:00 AM Share this:

During yesterday's mid-term budget speech by newly appointed Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni, key factors putting a lot of strain on our economy were addressed in a more aggressive stance. However, the time for talk is over, and we need to see the results of policies and implementation plans otherwise economic stagnation will continue to remain a major concern. 


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Topics: Richard Gray, Finance, Financial Advice, Harcourts Real Estate