Harcourts South Africa growth defies market decline

Apr 18, 2019 9:24:48 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 South Africa, Harcourts International, Real Estate Agents, Harcourts Growth

Hermanus property market attracting a wide range of interest

Apr 11, 2019 8:04:34 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, Property Investment, Harcourts Real Estate, Harcourts Hermanus

Budget 2019: What it means for the property industry

Mar 5, 2019 6:16:36 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.

Adrian Goslett - Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa

"There were enough positive outcomes within the speech to instil a hopeful confidence in the years ahead. As Minister Tito Mboweni himself stated, this is a budget for the future – one in which a seed for renewal and growth has only just been planted"

“That being said, more could have been done in order to stimulate the property market. There were no mentions of any changes in transfer duty rates and capital gains tax – a drop in these figures would have translated into higher returns for property investors which could have stimulated the market and encouraged economic growth.”

All things considered, Goslett believes that the National Budget Speech sets us up for a year exactly as the Minister of Finance framed it: a resilient, drought-resistant aloe that will survive harsh external factors.


Rudi Botha - CEO of SA’s leading bond originator BetterBond

“The most exciting aspect of today’s Budget announcement for us was the clear indication from Finance Minister Tito Mboweni that the government is in favour of private property ownership – despite the ongoing concerns around a constitutional change that would more easily enable land expropriation without compensation.

"Indeed, in support of private ownership, the Budget specifically allocates R3,7bn over the next three years to assist emerging farmers who wish to purchase land – and introduces the new Help-to-Buy subsidy for first-time homebuyers, which has been allocated R950m."

"As a whole, he says, the Budget should be rated a success in that it at least addressed all the other major issues that have been weighing on the minds of both SA and foreign investors as well as local consumers, the biggest of these being Eskom’s R400bn debt and it’s deteriorating capacity to provide the power that SA needs to grow."


Richard Gray - CEO of Harcourts Africa

"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."

"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."


Berry Everitt - CEO of the Chas Everitt International property group

“Given the current state of SA’s economy, we are not surprised that there was no specific relief for property buyers in today’s Budget in the form of a Transfer Duty reduction or even an increase in the threshold. But we believe consumers will breathe a sigh of relief at the news that there will be no VAT or personal income tax increases this year, especially since they are facing another increase in the fuel levy and higher electricity costs.

“In addition, we applaud Finance Minister Tito Mboweni and Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan for coming up with a creative solution to ensure that SA taxpayers don’t have to pay off Eskom’s entire R400bn debt. As the public, we will hopefully only have to foot the bill of R23bn a year for the next three years to ensure that Eskom reconfigures itself - under tight supervision – and is then able to pay off its own debt."

"Such issues may not seem relevant to real estate, but they are very much so, in the sense that the real estate market can only thrive in a climate of growing confidence among investors, rising economic growth and increasing employment."


Gerhard Kotzé - MD of the RealNet estate agency group

“According to today’s Budget announcement, SA can look forward to a lot more high-rise housing developments in and around its major metros as part of government’s integrated strategy to prepare for the future and provide affordable accommodation for a rapidly urbanizing population.

“This is exciting news as it has the potential to bring thousands of people within easier reach of the jobs and amenities that urban centres offer, while saving on transport and making better use of existing infrastructure and services. It will also be much easier and more cost effective for government and its private sector partners to upgrade and densify existing water, power, communications and public transport networks than to lay miles of new pipelines, roads and cables."

"Even though this was a relatively sombre Budget, we would say that it is likely to prove positive for the real estate sector in the longer-term. In the interim, the good news is that lower inflation means that there is less likelihood of an interest increase next month.”


Herschel Jawitz - CEO of Jawitz Properties

"From a property point of view, there have been no changes to transfer duty or capital gains tax, however, the introduction of a pilot subsidy programme for first time buyers is very encouraging. While consumers will continue to face financial pressures as a result of the lack of tax relief, there should be no impact on an already subdued residential market."

"The real key to any meaningful improvement in the residential market will be consumer confidence. In terms of the Budget, this will be determined by the government’s ability to deliver on keeping the lights on, reducing corruption and focusing on the key components needed to create a growing economy for the benefit of all South Africans. Consumer confidence can turn quickly if the public sees positive signs of improvement. We should be encouraged by what we have heard today."


Samuel Seeff, chairman of the Seeff Property Group

Seeff views the budget as measured and in the best interest of the country right now. While disappointed that there has been no relief for the property sector or for consumers, the budget was largely as expected by the market, he says.

"What does this mean for the property market? While there are many positives, Seeff says the reality remains a fairly weak outlook for the economy with the finance minister adjusting the GDP growth outlook for the year to 1,5%. On the back of this, the property market will remain flat, characterised largely by sideways movement."

"That means that those that “need to buy or sell”, largely below R1.5 million (up to R3 million in some areas) will continue to transact in line with their needs. The favourable interest and bank lending climate means you can sell within a reasonable timeframe in this sector."

"Above this, you find the discretionary market, i.e. those who do not necessarily have to transact. They are subject to the higher transfer duty instituted in 2016 as well as Capital Gains Tax (CGT) and rather than paying over millions that add no value, are simply sitting on the fence waiting and watching how things unfold."

The subdued price growth and positive lending landscape mean that if you are looking to find a good buying opportunity, then you may well find it in this market. Although it may be riskier now, you could ultimately see greater return.


Dr Andrew Golding - chief executive of the Pam Golding Property group

"A clear thread running through the Budget Speech was a need to focus on improving education and boosting skills development and training, which is a solid foundation on which to build a stronger economy while fostering job creation, as well as a welcome move to meaningfully involve the private sector in various initiatives."

"Consumers will be relieved that personal income tax rates have not been increased. However, minor increases in tax thresholds and tax rebates for individuals will not fully offset fiscal drag, thereby keeping household finances under pressure. With various measures being implemented to revive SARS capabilities it is hoped that this will ultimately help generate more revenue than further tax increases would."

"From a housing perspective, while the land expropriation issue is yet to be finalised and clarified, funding for the upgrading of informal settlements and the Our Help to Buy subsidy, a pilot project with R950 million over three years to help first-time home buyers acquire a home are welcome news. Also noteworthy is the support for private sector investment in agriculture via support for emerging farmers."

"Overall, the Budget was more or less as expected; what we need now is to see South Africa embarking on a recovery path which will promote confidence and investment, which will have spin-offs for the economy and the housing market across all sectors."


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

Budget speech delivers on expectations

Feb 21, 2019 7:44:04 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.

Statement by
Richard Gray
Harcourts Africa Chief Executive Officer


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

WESTERN CAPE: BUY HERE: Our insider’s guide to Brackenfell

Feb 20, 2019 7:52:48 PM Share this:

Offering many property options, this large suburb close to the Winelands has a nature reserve on its doorstep

If you’re looking for value, consider the northern suburbs. Brackenfell is a short drive to the city on the N1, offers a range of property types, has good schools
close by and a number of attractions on its doorstep.

“We’ve seen steady growth in the sale price of properties in the area,” says Denis Dunn, principal at Harcourts Dunn.

“The advantage of Brackenfell is that it is a very large region with an array of property options. The average price for an apartment starts at R900000, and a townhouse ranges from R1.1 million to R1.8m. Full-title homes are priced on average from R1.7m to R2.8m, and a larger home can cost anywhere from R4.5m and higher. The rental market is booming. For any investor who wants a high-demand property, Brackenfell is a great place to start.

“The other obvious allure of the ever-growing Brackenfell region is the developments. At Harcourts Dunn we have a specialist developments team that assists clients with all their requirements. “Brackenfell has a selection of nice developments, catering for professionals, young families and investors.


The advantage of Brackenfell is that it is a large region with an array of property options. –
Denis Dunn, principal and owner Harcourts Dunn Picture: Supplied


“We’ve had a lot of interest in Burgundy Estate and the development is showing good rental returns. Some of the other developments in Brackenfell are Protea Heights, Morgenster, Kleinbron, Protea Village and Sonkring.

“The Cape Town property market was certainly under pressure during 2018. External economic factors, water shortages and overall political instability undoubtedly influenced the market.

However, the affordable and high-demand regions continued to defy the trends.” Dunn maintains that Brackenfell is one of those areas that continue to show great positive returns.


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Topics: Harcourts South Africa, buying and selling, Tips for buying, Harcourts Dunn

Price your property to sell in the current market

Jan 23, 2019 7:09:19 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

Harcourts Foundation has donated half a million Rand to South African charities this year

Dec 12, 2018 4:20:50 PM Share this:

The Harcourts Foundation, Harcourts Real Estate's charitable arm, has donated half a million rand to South African charities this year. We're really humbled by the stories of those who benefited from our fundraising. And are so proud we were able to assist.


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Topics: Harcourts Foundation, South African Charities

Interest rate hike: More pressure on South African consumer

Nov 23, 2018 6:56:41 PM Share this:

South Africans will continue to remain under pressure as the governor of the South African Reserve bank Lesetja Kganyago announced yesterday that the bank will raise the repo rate to 6.75% from 6.5%. With the repo rate at 6.75%, the prime lending rate will increase to 10.25%.


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Topics: Interest Rates

The appeal of "Off-The-Grid" living

Nov 12, 2018 2:00:37 PM Share this:

There appears to be a renewed global interest in off-the-grid lifestyle living. And with electricity and water prices continuing to escalate one doesn't have to wonder why the appeal of this life-choice is increasing.


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Topics: off-the-grid living