Private sector investment is set to lead the property transformation in Soweto

Private sector investment is set to lead the property transformation in Soweto

Launching at the end of June 2022, Orlando Towers Estates is not only primely located near the renowned Orlando Towers, but also boasts top-tier lifestyle facilities including; biometric access, a football pitch, kids’ play areas, braai pods, clubhouse facility, fibre network, resident parking bays and gas utilities.

The project is part of an investment drive aimed at converting the area surrounding the Orlando Dam and the Orlando Towers into a sought-after growth node. It will produce over 2800 quality 2 and 3-bedrooms apartments in four secure estates over the next five years, priced from just R670,575 for a 2-bedroom apartment.

The estate is located less than 4km from Maponya Mall, 2km from Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, the University of Johannesburg, and with Bara Mall right across the street from the development.

“The mission of this development is to empower the community with property assets that will appreciate in value due to the prime location,” says Derek Steyn and Louis Barnard, leading the development team. “Furthermore, it will serve as a stimulus for the local community and represents a major investment into middle-income bonded housing for the area. We are committed to supporting SMME’s from the local business community, in particular, the youth- and women-owned businesses when it comes to material sourcing and general labour.”

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“This is the spirit behind the vision for Orlando Towers Estates, to build quality affordable lifestyle apartments for the average South African. Through this development, we will be empowering buyers with long-term wealth creation and with a saleable asset.”

Raubex is leading the construction of this prime development and has over 30 years of experience as one of South Africa’s leading infrastructure development and construction materials supply groups.

“There is no doubt that a well-priced, well-located property investment, coupled with key amenities in the heart of a community like Soweto, will be in high demand”, says Tim Akinnusi, CEO of MortgageMarket.co.za, the exclusive home loan origination partner for the Orlando Towers Estates.

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All South African Banks have committed to providing home loans with up to 100% loan-to-value (LTV) for first-time home buyers. The government subsidy programme (FLISP) will also be available to assist buyers with additional funding. To reserve an apartment, potential homeowners are encouraged to visit www.orlandotowers.org

“As President Cyril Ramaphosa has said, property development will play a huge role in South Africa’s economic recovery. As the country moves towards a post-Covid-19 era, property and construction will be a key driver to uplifting the South African economy and building communities by providing affordable, modern and good quality housing.” adds Norman Ntabane, the Executive Director at Raubex.

Orlando Towers Estates supports this mission by being close to economic hubs and providing parking for residents to afford the flexibility of using private and public transport. Studies have shown that seven out of ten residents in Soweto use public transport to get to and from work; with taxis taking close to a quarter of consumers’ net spending on public transport. Therefore, proximity to consumers’ workplace(s) is a major pull factor for first-time home buyers.

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Upgrading your kitchen and bathroom on a tight budget

Upgrading your kitchen and bathroom on a tight budget

It is no wonder that kitchens and bathrooms sell homes when you consider that these tend to be some of the most expensive rooms to update. For those who do not have a generous budget to undertake an expensive remodel, there are a few inexpensive ways to make the kitchen and bathroom more appealing…

RE/MAX of Southern Africa shares three tips on how to upgrade kitchens and bathrooms without breaking the bank:

  1. Upgrade the handles & faucets

One quick and easy way to make a room feel more modern or to add character is to upgrade the cabinet handles. A variety of loose handles of all shapes, colours, and styles can be found at local hardware stores and can cost less than R15 each. Although these tend to be a little pricier to replace, a rusty or outdated tap can also make the whole room feel like it needs an upgrade.

“You could get away with spending around R1,000 – R3,000 to replace the faucet, which can create a whole new look and feel to the room.”

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  1. Paint the walls and / or cupboards

Replacing kitchen cupboards or the bathroom cabinet can be costly. For a more affordable solution, purchase a high-grip primer and a high-quality paint designed for cabinets. A fresh coat of paint on the walls can also work wonders at updating the space – just make sure that the paint is moisture resistant.

“Depending on the size of the room and how much you have to paint, you could spend around R1,000 or more on paint and related supplies.”

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  1. Upgrade the lighting

An outdated light fitting and inadequate lighting can make the room feel dark and dated. Replacing the light fixture is a simple and affordable way to brighten up the space. LED light strips underneath the overhead kitchen cupboards is also an easy way to modernise the room.

“For a quirky and affordable fitting, try shopping around at thrift stores or outdoor markets.”

Those who do decide to undertake a more expensive upgrade are advised to involve a real estate professional for some free advice. “Speak to a real estate professional to help you decide what features buyers are looking for in your area. An agent can also provide a guideline of recent selling prices in the area to help you avoid overcapitalising on the remodel.

As local experts, they might also be able to advise you on reputable local contractors that you can use to help you upgrade these spaces,” concludes Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.

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Empowering the next generation of property professionals

Empowering the next generation of property professionals

The Attacq Foundation, a corporate social investment initiative focused on sustainable education and training, powered by Attacq Limited, recently held its much-anticipated Attacq Foundation bursary session for students studying property-related and engineering courses at its partner institutions. The students’ studies are facilitated and managed collectively by the SAPOA bursary fund, South African Institute of Black Property Practitioners (SAIBPP), The Atterbury trust, Women’s Property Network Bursary Fund (WPN) and the University of Pretoria.

Two events themed “Recruitment and Support during Youth Month” were held in Johannesburg and Cape Town respectively and brought together the bursary students studying in these cities to network and engage with each other, and with leaders in the property industry, who shared inspiring words and as well as insights from their years in the sector.

Attacq Social Executive, Janine Palm says, “It is so fitting that we are hosting our bursary sessions during Youth Month. Higher education in South Africa is sadly inaccessible for many young people and I am proud of the work of the Attacq Foundation which, along with our partners, is empowering the next generation of property professionals”.

Founded in 2015, Attacq Foundation supports disadvantaged students pursuing real estate and construction-related courses by providing financial support through established and proven programmes. Ensuring the youth is educated, equipped with necessary skills, and well-prepared for employment is the primary focus area of the foundation.

Since its inception, the foundation has initiated and supported a number of initiatives that address the challenges facing primary and secondary level education in South Africa such as their Keep Our Girls In School #Endperiodpoverty campaign and Rise Against Hunger school meal initiative.

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“Building our nation is about uplifting and giving back to the community in ways that create a sustainable difference. The link between education and empowerment cannot be overstated. I am excited to watch the journey of the bursary recipients we support as they grow into confident and competent industry players.”

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Opportunities emerging in the commercial sector post lockdown

Opportunities emerging in the commercial sector post lockdown

As per the latest Global Commercial Property Monitor (GCPM), sentiment improved in the final quarter of last year among professionals working in the global commercial real estate sector, returning to positive territory for the first time since the onset of the pandemic (-28 in Q1 2020 to +01 in Q4 2021).

Optimistic about the opportunities in South Africa’s commercial property market is Franz Gmeiner, Chief Executive Officer at Orion Real Estate. “Given the country’s tough economic conditions, compared to high-risk stocks and shares, commercial property remains a more reliable form of investment with capital growth over time, especially with certain sectors such as industrial and offices. The key is to stay focused on the long-term future and be versatile.”

Trends that will affect the domestic property market in 2022.

• Partial return to the office as the pandemic tapers.

• Exponential rise in online retail trade.

• Repurposing commercial properties to meet rising warehousing and residential demand.

• Concerns about environmentally sensitive properties

Office far from dead 

As firms adopt a hybrid approach to remote working and adjusted lockdown regulations boost a return to the office, the commercial office space is far from being a relic of a bygone era. Many companies are repurposing their spaces or have added new amenities to accommodate the new workplace norms.

“It has become apparent that the commercial office has a role to play for team meetings and other collaborative endeavours. The market is telling us that while many folks will still work from home, an office space is also helpful for colleagues to interact and enhance teamwork, innovation as well as productivity”.

However, offices will now be smaller, with social distancing in place. “Hot desk type services and systems that allow workers to book a desk for a day will also play an increasingly vital role in commercial properties of the future.”

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Repurposing buildings 

Another trend that will impact the commercial and industrial property sector in 2022, which had already gained momentum in recent years, is the repurposing of commercial property into warehousing space and last mile distribution centres to meet the burgeoning online shopping market.

A functionally obsolete building can easily be repurposed into a productive, profitable space. However, there is a desperate need for the government to intervene in some areas which are facing a climate of disintegrating infrastructure that is not conducive to business.

Focus on sustainability

South Africa’s commercial and industrial property sector is on the path to rapidly increasing its green building credentials. Local property firms have noted an uptick in demand for commercial and industrial properties that are more environmentally sustainable.

In April 2021 MSCI South Africa Green Annual Property Index results reinforced the association between quality and green-certified buildings, as reflected by a higher capital value per square metre, more resilient capital growth and a higher net operating income per square metre compared to the non-certified office buildings.

“There is definitely a business case for leasing and buying properties with environmentally sensitive features. The research has repeatedly shown that firms that are proactive regarding environmental sustainability tend to achieve higher financial returns. There is also, for example, the day-to-day financial saving on the cost of energy, due to the use of more cost effective renewable energy.”

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Operative infrastructure

A concern is our country’s infrastructure, “Currently we are seeing in KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, North West and the Free State in particular that poor performing municipalities and provincial governments are not keeping up with road maintenance and water service delivery requirements. This has a negative impact on businesses in the region, which then seek greener pastures in other provinces and shut-up shop, resulting in job losses.

Municipalities need to find ways to work with businesses to ensure that infrastructure is adequately maintained not only to attract new business and property development, but to retain existing commercial and industrial enterprises.”

Commercial property and development only works if good infrastructure supports it. “As a crucial component that connects businesses to their markets and employees to their work, adequate infrastructure is a key contributor to economic growth.”

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Gauteng rental market grows, but still the most affordable metro

Gauteng rental market grows, but still the most affordable metro

Pretoria East – R65,000 per month to rent this spectacular home in the Mooikloof Equestrian Estate.

Gauteng is home to the largest rental market in the country and according to TPN the rental market now stands at about 48% of all households.

While it is the largest rental market by far and the economic powerhouse, it is still cheaper to rent a home here compared to the Cape and about the same as the Durban area according to the Seeff Property Group.

The average rental for Gauteng is now around R8,379 compared to the Western Cape at R9,399 and KZN at R8,381 based on PayProp data.

The Seeff Group says that while year-on-year rental growth appears to be back in positive territory. While rental rates generally remain under pressure in Gauteng, top end tenants have paid up to R55,000 per month for a house in Dainfern Valley Estate and R92,700 per month for a luxury penthouse in Park Central in Rosebank; both leases concluded by Seeff Sandton.

Some highlights of the state of the Gauteng rental market include:

Pretoria East now a high-demand rental area for its apartments, townhouses and estates

According to PG van der Linde, rentals manager for Seeff Pretoria East, the area includes a choice of suburbs which cater to various price points, from affordable apartments to luxury estates and suburbs which attract business and government executives as well as ambassadorial staff.

For students and young professionals, areas such as Lynnwood and Menlo Park are popular due to the close proximity to schools and University of Pretoria. The area is cosmopolitan with restaurants and eateries and there are many new upmarket developments.

Rates start at around R13,000 for sectional title and upwards of R30,000 for full title in the estates and boom access control areas.

Equestria offers great affordability with sectional title units renting out at between R7,000 to R9,000 per month on average.

Woodhill Golf Estate and other estates average at around R30,000 to R80,000 per month at the top-end. Lifestyle and security are important considerations for tenants. Top-end estates are in demand with embassies and businesses for their staff.

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Centurion popular for its easy access to Pretoria, Midrand and Johannesburg

Tiaan Pretorius, manager for Seeff Centurion says the area has an active rental market and rents have remained stable.

Top attractions for the rental market include great schools and amenities and a high volume of security complexes and estates.

Rates for apartments range from about R7,000 to R10,000 per month while houses in security estates rent for around R15,000 to R20,000 on average per month.

Sandton, Fourways and Midrand remain prime areas for access to the Sandton and Midrand CBDs

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Rochelle Holland, rentals manager for Seeff Sandton says rental rates have remained fairly stable. While top-end rentals can range to about R195,000 per month for a spectacular high-end estate in Sandhurst, there are many affordable areas for young professionals and families alike.

The highest demand is in the R7,000 to R12,000 per month range. Apartments in areas such as Rosebank and Dunkeld West which offer modern living are priced at around R27,000 to R28,000 per month.

Affordability is a key characteristic of Midrand. Apartments start from just R6,000 and houses upwards of R8,000 although top-end homes can go to as much as R25,000 to R40,000 per month.

Randburg offers solid middle-class affordability close to Sandton and business nodes

John O’Reilly, rental expert for Seeff Randburg says Randburg is a vast area characterised by affordability combined with a great location with easy access to Sandton and many business nodes, top schools and amenities.

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Rental rates remain affordable at around R6,200 to R11,500 on average with family houses ranging to about R16,000 to R18,000 per month.

In great family areas such as Ferndale which borders the Sandton area, you can find apartments from R5,500 to R11,200 per month. Randpark Ridge also offers great value with apartments from around R6,000 to R11,000 and houses from R15,000 to R16,000 per month.

Johannesburg South offers some of the most affordable rentals

While the more affordable rental market experienced significant challenges, Claire Store from Seeff Southcrest says areas such as Southcrest, Verwoerdpark and Alberton are doing well as they offer some of the best value.

These areas are safe and well-maintained and offer proximity to schools which is great for young families. Rates range from around R7,000 to R10,500 on average per month, but can go to R12,500-for a top property.

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