Property 24/10 - 542

04 Mar 2021 12:00 am

This week on Property24.com: Rental demand 'shifts to the suburbs' with affordability top of mind; Cape Town unlikely to change - more SA name changes to be submitted; and when is the right time to start buying property?

Rental demand 'shifts to the suburbs' with affordability top of mind
The Covid Pandemic has necessitated a number of key shifts in the needs of tenants.

This is according to Seeff’s branches, noting that just like home buyers, tenants are saying that if they have to be largely confined to their homes and work from home, they prefer a house with views of the garden, mountain or ocean. While bigger apartments with space to work from home are sought after, demand remains under pressure for holiday apartments.

Demand swings from inner-city living
More and more buyers and tenants are looking for homes that offer an improved quality of life - as working and learning from home to limit the spread of the coronavirus continues. And the trend of moving outside of busy urban metros, where properties tend to be cheaper is expected to continue. Properties to rent and to buy that have features like additional workspace and fast, reliable Wi-Fi will be in demand and fetch higher prices.
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Cape Town unlikely to change | More SA name changes to be submitted
Seven town name changes, along with two airport name changes were made in the Eastern Cape this past week by Department of Arts and Culture minister Nathi Mthetwa – but Cape Town’s name is unlikely to change to //Hui !Gaeb.

Name changes are nothing new in South Africa. They have been implemented to "better reflect the heritage landscape as a whole", since the birth of SA's democracy in 1994. And the seven name changes announced by Arts and Culture minister Nathi Mthetwa for the Eastern Cape including the city of Port Elizabeth, which will now be known as Gqeberha, is said to be no different.

Mthetwa says, “There was a need for the name changes as this is part of a government programme to transform South Africa’s heritage landscape. The names of places we live in reflect the identity and cultural heritage of the people of South Africa.”
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When is the right time to start buying property?
Thanks to the Reserve Bank, interest rates are still the lowest they’ve been in 50 years, bond repayments are less than rent in many areas - but how can you be sure that homeownership is the right move for you?

“Tenants are feeling financially vulnerable,” reports Michelle Dickens, CEO of TPN Credit Bureau, adding that 75% of tenants surveyed reported a loss of income during the lockdown. A recent TPN Tenant Survey conducted at the beginning of 2021 found that nearly one in ten tenants confirmed a permanent loss of income, while 12% of tenants received no income for a limited period but are now back to earning their full salary, and 50% of tenants received only partial pay for a temporary period. Only 25% of tenants confirmed their income was unaffected during lockdown.

Gerhard Kotzé, MD of the RealNet estate agency group, notes that the Covid-19 pandemic has also largely removed two other things that have been obstacles to early homeownership in recent years: wanderlust and the need to relocate for work.

The huge increase in corporate acceptance of remote working means that a great many young people no longer have to worry that they might need to move towns to stay employed because as long as they have a good internet connection, they can do just that from their current homes.

“On the other hand, opportunities to become a ‘digital nomad’ and travel the world with your work laptop in hand have been severely curtailed by the pandemic, and with international travel set to become much more expensive, are unlikely to be as widely attainable in the future as they have been in recent years.”
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