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unnamed (7)You sell your house/apartment/office/factory/plot of land. You instruct your conveyancer to pass transfer to the buyer, and start dreaming of what you will do with the proceeds.
But then your lawyer says “Hang on, you didn’t give me the property’s original title deed and I need it before I can pass transfer – where is it?”

Panic! 

You can’t find it. The bank doesn’t have it (bondholders normally insist on keeping the title deeds of properties bonded to them as a security measure, at least until the loan is repaid in full and the bond cancelled). You didn’t leave it with your lawyer for safekeeping (perhaps you should have). You search high and low both at home and in the office, to no avail. Your spouse has a vague memory that you may have left it with Uncle Festus to lock away in his vault; but Uncle F died 10 years ago and his house and all his worldly goods are long gone. Or perhaps it was stored in your holiday home and went up in smoke (literally) in that bush fire in ’93? Panic!

Relax. There is – for a short while longer anyway – a quick and cost-effective remedy. Have your lawyer apply for a certified copy of the Title Deed. All you need to do is attest to an affidavit, say that a “diligent search” has failed to locate the title deed, and confirm that it isn’t pledged or held as security by anyone.

All being well, a few weeks and a reasonable legal fee later, the Deeds Office issues a certified copy of the title deed and the transfer proceeds.

Act now, before it all changes

What has thrown the cat amongst the pigeons is a recent change to the applicable Regulations which will, from 25 February, require that –

  1. Your affidavit now has to be “attested by a notary public”. A Notary Public is a specialised attorney who “notarises” documents in a formal recording and certification process that carries more weight than would attach to a normal affidavit signed before a Commissioner of Oaths. That translates into extra cost and delay.
  2. Your application must now be advertised in the Government Gazette, and for 2 weeks after publication must lie open for inspection by the public at the Deeds Registry. Again, that’s more cost. And a lot more delay.

Owners, buyers and agents: Your urgent action plan

In a property transfer, time really is of the essence. The last thing any of the parties wants is delay, or extra cost. So here’s what you should do right now –

  • If you own property, and whether or not you have thoughts of selling in the near future, this is a great time to confirm that you know where your original title deed is. If you can’t find it, ask your lawyer for help.
  • If you are buying property, forward this to the seller or estate agent with a request that they confirm possession of the title deed or act to replace it immediately.
  • If you are an agent, do the same – forward this to everyone with a property on your books (you’re doing them a favour as well as yourself).

And a note for bondholders 

The new Regulations apply equally to lost mortgage bonds, notarial bonds, registered leases, holders of real rights etc, so what is said above applies equally to you.

These new requirements kick in on 25 February, so your window of opportunity here is a narrow one.

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2539“A friend and I are considering buying a house together as an investment property. I’m quite keen but she is a bit worried about how it will work and if it’s a good idea. Can you give some guidance on what the pros and cons might be of jointly owning the property?”

Buying property, whether for personal use or investment or business purposes, remains a stressful exercise. Often, as probably in your case, a person feels they wish to share some of the responsibility and financial exposure with another person and then partner up to jointly buy a property, essentially co-owning the property in question.

In such a case you and your friend will have to apply for a home loan together (and jointly have to meet the necessary credit application requirements, etc.), the property will be registered in both your names and you can own the property in either equal undivided shares or according to a determined percentage.

There are pros to co-owning a property. You can share expenses, deal jointly with upkeep and maintenance issues, help manage tenants and rental issues and divide the responsibility for mortgage repayments.

On the downside, it must be understood that you are a co-owner. That means that issues may arise if you and your friend are no longer friends; you may want to sell, but your partner not; you don’t want to spend money to renovate, but your partner does; you want to kick out your tenant but your partner wants to keep him, and so forth. Most of these issues can be dealt with in a properly drafted co-ownership agreement, but it must be appreciated that you don’t have the same freedom over your property as with sole ownership.

In such a co-ownership agreement, one should typically provide for what share each party owns in the property, financial contributions to the loan repayment, maintenance and upkeep costs of the property, the distribution of any profit, management of the bank account, arrangements regarding the renting or selling of the property, pre-emptive rights to buy the property etc. The agreement should also deal with the situation if a co-owner passes away and who will inherit or have the option to buy the co-owners share.

Clearly co-ownership has pros, but also cons, many of which can be quite onerous if not properly engaged with beforehand and addressed in a clear agreement between the co-owners. Our advice is to seek the assistance of a property specialist and discuss the option of co-ownership as well as other potential structures for investing in a property portfolio before making any final decisions.

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Banks tightened standards on commercial real estate loans during the third quarter but left lending practices for commercial and industrial loans virtually unchanged overall.

This is according to a survey of loan officers released on Monday by the U.S Federal Reserve.
For U.S. households, some banks reported easing lending standards on mortgages eligible for purchase by government-sponsored enterprises and some other types of mortgages.
However, consumer loans remained much like the previous quarter.

On Commercial Real Estate, “significant net fractions of banks reported tightening standards for construction and land development loans and loans secured by multifamily residential properties,” the survey said.

The Fed survey covered the third quarter of 2016, and included the responses of 69 domestic banks and 21 U.S. branches and agencies of foreign banks.

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Murray & Roberts and Southern Palace Group today announced the purchase of the Murray & Roberts Southern African Infrastructure & Building (“I&B”) businesses, by a consortium led by the Southern Palace Group of Companies (Proprietary) Limited (“Southern Palace”).

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The fully-funded purchase consideration is R314 million.

Henry Laas, Murray & Roberts Group Chief Executive, comments: “This transaction supports Murray & Robert’s long-term strategy and creates the first major black-owned infrastructure business in South Africa. We are pleased to announce Southern Palace as the new shareholder for the I&B businesses and believe that the transaction is in the best interests of both Murray & Roberts and the I&B businesses.”

I&B is a leading infrastructure and building business, comprising eight divisions: (i) Murray & Roberts Buildings (Gauteng), (ii) Murray & Roberts Western Cape (iii) Murray & Roberts Infrastructure, (iv) Murray & Roberts Botswana, (v) Murray & Roberts Plant, (vi) Murray & Roberts Developments, (vii) Concor Opencast Mining (viii) Dynamic Concrete Solutions (Proprietary) Limited (Namibia) and (ix) the Murray & Roberts share in the Medupi Civils Joint Venture. Lucas Tseki, Southern Palace Chief Executive Officer, comments: We are delighted to have concluded this transaction which sees us acquiring a strong Southern African asset with vast capabilities and a proud heritage of 114 years. We intend to build upon this impressive track record to the benefit of all of our key stakeholders. “

Southern Palace is a wholly black-owned and managed South African, diversified industrial holding company with interests in numerous well-established businesses. Southern Palace has an established track record of successful investment transactions in the Southern African market.

“This acquisition is a key step in Southern Palace’s strategy of going beyond investment holding into operations. We look forward to partnering with the management team, with whom we intend establishing a long and profitable partnership”, adds Tseki.

This transaction excludes Murray & Roberts’ investment in the Bombela Concession Company, Bombela Civil Joint Venture and Bombela Operating Company, as well as the buildings business in the Middle East, where current projects are expected to be completed by December 2017 and no new projects are being pursued.

“This transaction is about Murray & Roberts exiting a specific market sector. Murray & Roberts remains committed to South Africa and the rest of Africa and will continue to support private and public sector clients in its chosen market sectors. It’s the Group’s vision, by 2025, to be a leading multinational group, which applies its project lifecycle capabilities to optimise client’s fixed capital investment in the global natural resources markets. This transaction allows the Group to focus its business on the oil & gas, metals & minerals, and power & water market sectors, which present long-term sustainable growth potential to the Group”, concludes Laas.

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articles-cape_town_south_africa_504099543PRETORIA – South Africa recession fears fade as manufacturing and mining sectors output rebounded, with the gross domestic product (GDP) data for the second quarter of 2016 showing growth of 3.3%.

This follows a dismal first quarter, where the economy declined by 1.2%. This marks the fastest pace of growth for South Africa since 2014, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) said in a report released on Tuesday.

The largest positive contributor to growth in GDP in the second quarter was manufacturing, which increased by 8.1% and contributed 1.0 percentage point to GDP growth.

“We hope that these signs of growth are an early indication that the manufacturing sector, which is essentially still fragile, can move towards stabilising and strengthening. We, however, always need to be cognisant of external factors which impact on local and global demand and, therefore, manufacturing output,” industry body Manufacturing Circle executive director Philippa Rodseth said.

Mining and Quarrying recovered in the second quarter, increasing by 11.8% and contributing 0.8 of a percentage point to GDP growth.

Finance, Real Estate and Business Services increased by 2.9% and contributed 0,6 of a percentage point to GDP growth.

Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) Deputy Director-General Joe de Beer said in nominal terms, the GDP growth is estimated at R1 068 billion for the second quarter of 2016, which is R25 billion more than the first quarter of 2016.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan told a South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry meeting on Tuesday that he was “a little optimistic” about economic growth in the second quarter following a 1.2% decline in the first quarter.

Economists, however, warn that while the improvement is welcome, headwinds remain for the sector because commodity prices and demand have yet to fully recover.

Conditions for manufacturers remained tough, particularly given the prospect of a strike in the sector, First National Bank senior industry analyst Jason Muscat said.

He expected manufacturing data for the rest of 2016 to “be choppy, even in the absence of strikes”.

Nedbank economist Busisiwe Radebe agreed, saying that although the better-than-expected production data in May were encouraging, conditions were expected to remain subdued in 2016.

Manufacturing production, like mining, was likely to continue being adversely affected by low commodity prices that were unlikely to “reverse convincingly” in the next few months, Radebe said. Considerable global excess capacity and rising domestic production costs would also affect production negatively.

Although manufacturing output is expected to remain under pressure in coming months, a key leading indicator of activity in the sector suggests that production increased again in June. The Barclays purchasing managers’ index rose to 53.7 index points in June from 51.9 in May. An above-50 reading signifies improvement in manufacturing activity.

The manufacturing and mining sectors have been in decline for the past few years and have been the sectors to lose the most jobs.

“The manufacturing sector remains fragile, and in this environment, we hope to see as many jobs retained in the short term as possible,” Rodseth said.

The rand strengthened against the major currencies – firming 1.15% against the dollar to R14.21. It was also 1.0% firmer against both the euro and British pound, at R15.86 and R18.91 respectively.

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This months emailer pays homage to the Epping of old and takes a look at the great warehousing that is currently available.

Give us a call if you want to book a property consultation!

A bit of History – Epping is an industrial area of Cape Town that is situated centrally on the N7 south of the N1, 15km’s east of Cape Town and north of the N2. Epping Industria was first developed in the late 1940s. Industrial development was initially slow and in the early 1950s the circular Gunners Circle was used as a race track for cars. When industrial development picked up in the late 1950s the racing was stopped. The completion of the Athlone Power Station close by assisted in the proliferation of industrial businesses into the area in the mid 1960s

Epping Industria is the largest and most centrally situated industrial area in greater Cape Town.ts proximity to the major roadways and the availability of most forms of public transport make it an extremely sought after location for business.

 

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Using light steel frames to construct buildings is not only faster than conventional building methods, but also contains less embodied carbon – which is the amount of energy used in the entire manufacturing chain of a particular product, says light steel frame association the Southern African Light Steel Frame Building Association (Sasfa). Building methods using light-steel-frame building (LSFB) have until recently not been widely accepted by the architectural industry, as it was deemed unsuitable for complex and creative design. Print Send to Friend 1 0 However, Sasfa claims that, in the recent past in South Africa, not only has this “exciting building method” become increasingly accepted in the mainstream architectural and construction industries, it has also been shown that an architect can design almost any building or structure and have it executed with LSFB. The most recent example is the expansion at the well-known Vrede en Lust farm, in Boland, in the Western Cape, which used light steel frames as part of the venue’s function and wedding accommodation structures. This was built in a typical Cape Dutch style so that it would blend in with the existing buildings on the farm – some dating back to the early 1700s.

The owners decided that it should be a five-star facility, an energy efficient building with enhanced acoustic insulation between rooms, top-class finishes and, most importantly, had to be built within six months as a turnkey project. LSFB contractor The Silverline Group was contracted for the structural engineering, the detail shop drawings, and the total construction project including civil works and finishes. The project began on May 4 last year and the first wedding ceremony was successfully held at the venue on November 7. Sasfa director John Barnard says that the speed of construction possible with LSFB allows the facility to be in use quicker than is possible with other building methods, thereby producing income long before it would otherwise have been possible with conventional building methods. It is not only the speed of construction that saves money in the long term, he says, adding that by using LSFB material, wastage can be reduced significantly, transport costs slashed by up to 80% and the carbon footprint significantly reduced. Barnard states that LSFB is significantly more energy efficient than more traditional construction methods, both with regard to embodied energy of the materials and components, as well as operational energy relating to heating and cooling of the building over its design life. At Vrede en Lust, aluminium-zinc coated, high-strength steel sheet was used for the light steel structure and was roll-formed on a Framecad roll-forming machine. The roof trusses were designed by Silverline Group using software solutions and roof trusses company Mitek’s UltraSpan software. All windows were specified to be single-glazed aluminium frames – owing to the high R-values of the insulated walls, double-glazing was not required. To achieve the Cape Dutch design, a special cobbling plaster, designed by architectural company Malherbe Rust Architects, was used. The building was finished internally with full skim plaster on 15 mm high-impact cement company Lafarge’s gypsum boards with 102 mm Cavitybatt insulation supplied by insulation solutions company Isover. Silverline Group CEO Charl van Zyl says that, with fully skimmed ceilings in all bedrooms, down lighters were the perfect fit for the luxury room designs. Acoustic ceilings were fitted in the kitchen, front entrance and boardroom and restaurant. All bathroom walls were clad with fibre cement board and waterproofed, fully skimmed and painted. He adds that this was one of the most enjoyable and fulfilling projects that his team has undertaken. “We enjoyed working with owners Dana Buys and Ettienne Buys and to implement the Cape Dutch design, we were lucky enough to work with top professionals in the design and construction arenas. It is most pleasing to see that the advantages of LSFB is applicable to all buildings whatever their shape and design and I believe that this building puts to rest any doubt that LSFB will soon become the building method of choice for developers and architects alike,” concludes Van Zyl.

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