MOVING HOMES, PREMISES OR BUSINESSES: REGULATIONS ADAPTED
Thursday, 14 May 2020
Regulations published this afternoon by virtue of Government Gazette 43320 have made the movement of persons and businesses easier than the previous regulations allowed for during Level 4.
Moving across provincial, metropolitan, and district boundaries is now allowed, once-off, no matter when the lease agreement or transfer of property took place. In addition, the window period for the move until 7 June, has been dropped. Domestic abuse victims have also been included in the new regulations.
Those who want to move must travel with the relevant documents, including a permit, lease agreements (indicating the date of expiry of the old lease or the date of commencement of the new lease); proof of purchase of residence and occupation date, including transfer documents for a new property; a domestic violence order, or proof of change or new occupation of business premises.
Government Gazette 43320
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Here’s what property buyers need to know about the way forward after SA’s lockdown.
Questions around the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on the residential property sector have been rife – and with good reason as property is a sector that contributes significantly to the GDP. More than that, property is inextricably linked to accommodation and shelter, one of our most fundamental needs. Both buyers and sellers are concerned about whether they will be able to transact in the coming months, while buyers in particular are asking questions about the stance banks are likely to take around lending money for home loans.
It’s useful to consider the broader context, before addressing the question of home loans specifically. Even before Covid-19 and lockdown the market conditions were that of a buyer’s market in which supply outweighs demand, giving buyers both more options and more room for price negotiation. All conditions suggest that a buyer’s market is likely to remain the status quo, which helps those looking to buy. The lower interest rate – the lowest it’s been in 47 years – also goes a long way in making property investments more affordable and more attractive to potential buyers. Add the fact that the threshold on transfer duty was raised to R1 million earlier this year and that the price of property in general is likely to come down somewhat as a result of the overall strain on the economy. All of this makes the outlook rather positive for those who can afford to buy at this time.
Affordability is king
While always important, affordability is set to be an even more pertinent consideration going forward and buyers are therefore advised to keep all accounts in good standing and save as much as possible for a deposit.
At this stage, it is unknown exactly how banks will respond to home loan applications after lockdown, but there is a strong likelihood that it will be with caution and that the qualifying criteria will be more stringent.
While the economic recovery from lockdown is likely to be slow, it’s important that the banks continue lending money in a responsible manner as a means of stimulating the property sector. Whatever the economic situation, people still need accommodation, which means there will be buyers and sellers looking to finance these transactions.
Having said that, it seems unlikely that banks will grant 100% home loans as readily as in the past and, because the cost of funding loans will be more expensive, this could potentially also result in lower interest rate concessions than we have seen in recent months. Furthermore, banks may potentially re-price their future offers, as well as re-assess approvals in cases where the applicant’s circumstances have changed, such as when someone’s salary is reduced owing to business slowing down.
In the coming months, we’ll see a situation where buyers are in a very favourable position to purchase property but, with lending criteria set to be more stringent, it’s a good idea to work with a bond originator who has the experience and expertise to help ensure buyers get the best deal possible. At BetterBond, for example, consultants are expertly versed in the requirements of the various banks and what their different home loan products offer, which means we can easily tailor an individual application such that it has the very best chance of being approved and thus increasing the likelihood of obtaining the home loan.
Source: Private Property
The Department of Basic Education has health precautions planned to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus when schools reopen.
The precautions are outlined in the department’s Covid-19 basic education sector plan which was presented to Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Basic Education and the Select Committee on Education, Technology, Arts and Culture on Wednesday morning.
While the reopening dates have not been officially announced and the country waits for Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga’s media briefing on Thursday, the plan they discussed on Wednesday morning outlined the planned health precautions.
Excerpts from the latest FNB’s Residential Property Barometer for March 2020.
- The FNB House Price Index (HPI) showed that house price appreciation slowed to 2.8% y/y in March, the lowest print since May 2011 (i.e. in close to 9 years). Importantly, the HPI is based on FNB’s mortgage approvals and mainly covers the period before South Africa went into lockdown on 27 March 2020. As such, the impact of the lockdown on volumes and prices is yet to reflect in the data.
- FNB Market Strength Index (a composite index that gauges demand and supply strength, collected from a database of property valuers) has, since the beginning of this year, revealed a slowing trend in supply, and a deeper decline in demand (and thus reversing some of the 2H19 gains made).
- This is on the back of heightened uncertainty over job security and souring sentiment due to a material deterioration in the economic outlook.
- Disaggregation of the data by price segments shows that, on balance, the higher end market remains in excess supply, while the bottom end is still in structural supply-deficit. We expect these dynamics to play a crucial role in determining house price paths this year.
- We expect mass job losses and heightened uncertainty to result in a sharp drop in transaction volumes, as buyers delay their purchasing decisions.
- Preliminary deeds data shows that market volumes have declined by an estimated 40% y/y.
- Interestingly, however, search engine data shows a rebound in web traffic to property portals in SA since lockdown (this is also a worldwide phenomenon).
- While too early to definitively draw conclusions, this could be an early indication of burgeoning bargain hunting by investor buyers and/or pent-up demand from first-time buyers looking to capitalise on potential distressed selling.
Could we expect pent-up demand post Covid-19?
- Empirical evidence suggests that pandemics tend to have a sharp but short-lived impact on property markets and that volumes tend to suffer more than prices. Market reports in developed countries, such as the US and UK, suggest that Covid-19 will have a similar impact – a short-term decline in transaction volumes (and prices) and a swift rebound.
- Among key distinctions between SA and these countries is the divergent labour market trends prior to the Covid-19 shock. Robust employment growth in these countries built a strong demand base, which resulted in stock shortages and thus a surge in house prices.
- Thus, a sudden drop in house prices could unleash pent-up demand from first-time buyers and investor buyers (buy-to-let purchases). The historically low interest rates in the developed countries (close to 0% versus 4.25% repo rate in SA) will only galvanise this demand, and thus facilitate a swift rebound in prices.
- Unfortunately, conditions are not as favourable in SA. Notwithstanding prospects for further interest rates reduction, the uninspiring employment outlook effectively limits any prospects for such pent-up demand in SA.
What lies ahead?
- We expect Covid-19 to have a sharp but short-lived impact on SA’s housing market. We expect that transaction volumes will, in the short term, take a bigger hit relative to prices. In contrast to international housing markets, however, the overall recovery in SA will likely be drawn out due to pre-existing weakness in consumer fundamentals.
- While aggressive cuts in interest rates, and possibly a reduction in house prices, will eventually support purchasing activity, in the short term this will likely be outweighed by heightened uncertainty and second-round effects on the labour market.
- In the end, the magnitude and endurance of this weakness will depend primarily on a rebound in the broader economy, sustained liquidity in the property market and material improvement in sentiment. The impact could linger for longer if liquidity dries up and lending standards tighten a tad more than we expect. We will keep a close eye on developments and revise our forecasts as more data becomes available.
Read / Download Full Report: Property barometer – Apr 2020
Siphamandla Mkhwanazi | Economist | FNB Economics |
As we go into lockdown in South Africa (and Ireland where I am) I thought to post some thoughts.
These are trying times for us all. Many of us will go through similar cycles of fear for our own well-being, and for our family; concerns for our jobs or income, and worry about how the financial markets will affect economies and ultimately impact us.
As we should all know by now being in lockdown and adhering to it is vital to “flatten the curve”, to reduce and delay the peak of the epidemic and protect healthcare capacity. The majority of us, if we catch this virus, will get through it with slight to moderate symptoms. However, we all need to play our part by staying home to ensure that the more vulnerable in our society – the elderly, those with certain pre-existing health conditions, our healthcare workers, and the poverty-stricken – are shielded from this virus.
To be frank this will be a period of great adjustment and it will test us and our relationships. It is unlikely that South Africa will only be under lockdown for only 21 days if China, Italy, New York and Spain’s lockdowns are anything to go by. This virus will define a generation, if not a lifetime.
It’s our choice, though, how we let this define us. A chance to reflect, to take stock; to reconnect with ourselves… to rest and recuperate. This will offer us an opportunity to be more mindful; of ourselves, our choices, our bodies, our minds, our family and loved ones, our friends and neighbours and colleagues; our communities and our environment. To evaluate our ultimate impact; are we the people we always wanted to be?
Maybe our lockdown will be a chance for us to catch our breath too. Let us achieve our own clarity during this period of introspection. A time to practise our gratitude, our faith, our humanity… to confront our demons. To listen, to learn, to teach; for parents overwhelmed with children at home, let this be a teachable lesson and lead by example. Show the minds of tomorrow how to deal with adversity, with grace and fortitude.
The universe has a way of teaching us a lesson over and over again until we learn it. This time of healing can also be a time of growth. When we emerge from this on the other side, we will all be forever changed but let that change be for the better. God knows we will all make a huge investment in that change!
Andre de Villiers
Chas Everitt Cape Town South
The City of Cape Town has decided to close down beaches as people continue to visit them despite calls for social distancing.
Beaches will close starting tomorrow morning, Tuesday, March 24, to limit public contact as the country battles the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19). Swimming, surfing, kite-surfing, kayaking, recreational fishing, and any other beach or water-based activity will be prohibited. Law enforcement will patrols the beaches while lifeguards will remain stationed on the beaches to assist the officers.
The Shark Spotting Programme will also be stopping all shifts and no Shark Spotters will be on duty at any beaches.
Community service announcements from
At the end of 2018 I sold my house in Cape Town as I was moving to Ireland. Although I have been in Cape Town real estate for over 35 years, I was still shocked at what banks wanted to charge me for transferring my money overseas.
If an international exchange of funds is involved in your property transaction you should pay close attention to the exchange rates you will be charged, as well as how long the transfer is likely to take and whether there are tax implications or clearances required.
I used the services of RandTransfers who offered me cost-effective foreign exchange and I cannot recommend them enough. There are so many things to do when you are doing an international move but they saved me money and time by opening an international trading account for me which I have since used for further transfers once I had moved.
I have got to know Willem van Rensburg well and his staff. They had already helped clients of our mostly bringing money into South Africa but it was interesting to be involved in this process as a client, and I so appreciate their service.
Willem and Dawn are a pleasure to deal with and are very knowledgeable and solution orientated. Unlike “the bank” they think broadly about the best solutions and not just the easiest or the most profitable!
They have helped me and valued clients with
• Bond payments, deposits and cash transactions for property purchases.
• Rental payments, offshore account setups / policies / trusts.
• They do not charge fees on any transfer of funds into or out of your country of investment or residence.
• Tax advice / Tax clearance.
• Bank Guarantees if required and bank accounts (Both in South Africa or abroad )
• Securing preferential exchange rates with a 24 to 48 hour delivery period to or from South Africa.
I don’t often do recommendations like this, but I have offered to do it because RandTransfers service and solutions warrant it. With so many expenses involved in moving and awful exchange rates who doesn’t need to save money with their currency transactions and less admin!
If you are interested in these services please contact Willem Van Rensburg on firstname.lastname@example.org
With immediate effect, this Website will subscribe to the #PositiveFacebookPage criteria of no longer covering any negative reporting on issues.
We have unprecedented challenges ahead of us. This is NOT ABOUT SUGAR COATING community news but about playing a positive role in an unprecedented time of national crisis. This is now the calm before the storm and its time NOW to adjust our mids to what attitudes will help us all prevail till this has passed.
Let’s all embrace the need to share things responsibly and positively. Be a #PositiveFacebookPage and share humour share positive ideas and be a source for encouragement and inspiration. We will.
The CDC recommends washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing; before eating or preparing food; and after using the bathroom. Stock up every sink in the house to make hand-washing easier and more sanitary with:
- A bottle of liquid hand soap (anti-bacterial soap not needed)
- Stacks of fresh hand towels and a hamper for dirty towels, or a roll of paper towels and a wastebasket
- A container of sanitizing wipes for daily cleaning of faucets and counters
Know the Difference Between Cleaning and Disinfecting
The important thing to remember is that cleaning should come first — if a surface is dirty, germs can be hiding below the dirt and grime, making disinfecting efforts less effective.
- Cleaning removes dirt, grime and germs — this helps reduce the number of germs.
- Disinfecting actually kills germs on surfaces using chemicals, which helps reduce the risk of spreading infection when done after cleaning.
When it comes to cleaning, regular soap and water are all you need. But for the second step of disinfecting, it’s important to be sure you’re using the right product. EPA-registered disinfectants (see the current list here * USA list) approved to fight the novel coronavirus are what you want to look for. Already have rubbing alcohol or bleach in your cupboards? Either one will fight the COVID-19 virus. (A word of caution on using bleach to clean surfaces: It can discolour laminate and may damage the seal on granite and other stone countertops over time.)
- If surfaces are dirty, remember to clean with soap and water first.
- To prepare a bleach solution, mix 5 tablespoons (⅓ cup) bleach per gallon of water, or 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleaners.
- If using rubbing alcohol, choose an alcohol solution containing at least 70% alcohol.
- Check expiration dates. Do not use expired products, as they may not be effective against the COVID-19 virus.
- Follow label instructions. Clorox has issued specific recommendations for preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus, including leaving bleach solution on surfaces for five minutes.
Cleaning and sanitizing the entire house would be overwhelming — and probably excessive. Instead, focus on the surfaces that get lots of contact throughout the day. These areas include doorknobs, light switches, tables, remote controls, handles, desks, toilets and sinks. And if you have kids or housemates who play video games, include those video game controllers.
Put your belongings down in one spot, paying attention to what you carried with you throughout the day — likely suspects include your phone, keyring and sunglasses. Wash your hands for 20 seconds, then wipe personal items with an EPA-registered disinfecting wipe and leave to dry. When cleaning electronics, keep liquids away from openings, never submerge devices, and be especially gentle with touchscreens.
If you have kids at home — especially if they’re not so keen on frequent hand-washing — consider one or more of these to make the ritual more fun:
- Let your child pick out a fragrant hand soap, or put hand soap in a colourful container.
- Tape the verse of a silly song to the mirror so they can sing for the recommended 20 seconds.
- For younger children, cue up a song to sing along to on your phone.
- Be sure a sturdy stool is positioned by every sink in the house to make the soap and water accessible.
If you have a cloth laundry hamper liner, toss it in the wash when you do the laundry. Wash laundry on the warmest setting your clothes and linens can handle, and avoid shaking dirty laundry, which can spread a virus through the air. And when you’re done handling dirty clothes and towels, be sure to wash your hands.
If you or someone in your house may be sick, you’ll need to take more precautions. Check the CDC’s recommendations for household members and caregivers on its website. A few of the most important precautions include isolating the sick person in their own room and bathroom, not sharing personal household items, handling their laundry with gloves (and washing your hands afterwards) and cleaning high-touch surfaces daily.