Property News

Devmark addresses housing shortage

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here’s an urgent need for affordable housing in Cape Town, especially in locations close to schools and universities, urban hubs, transport and amenities, says Bruwer de Jager, national sales manager, Devmark Property Group.

Working with the government, Devmark responded to this shortage by launching The Glen, an integrated housing project in Glenhaven, Bellville South, Cape Town.

Offering 63 one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments, ranging from R640,000 to R895,000, the units are designed to maximise natural light and include quality finishes such as aluminium windows, built-in cupboards and granite kitchen tops. 

The development is close to public transport, the University of the Western Cape (UWC), the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), schools and various economic centres.

According to Meyer de Waal, founder of My Bond Fitness and a director of MDW INC Attorneys, The Glen has been designed to help qualifying first-time buyers onto the property ladder with the assistance of the government’s Flisp (Financed Linked Individual Subsidy Programme) home loan subsidy.

“A Flisp subsidy amount for a qualifying buyer at The Glen ranges between R27,960 and R121,626, depending on the joint household income of the applicant, with a maximum allowable monthly income of R22,000,” says De Waal. “It’s ideal for young couples and families looking for affordable, secure, well-located and cleverly designed accommodation and an ideal investment opportunity.” Another benefit of this integrated housing project is the improvement of infrastructure to the greater Bellville area and surrounds. Before the development, only 10% of properties in Glenhaven were sectional title apartments or townhouses.

“Glenhaven also has very few properties available for rent,” says De Waal. “One can’t go wrong here; it offers everything the first-time homebuyer needs and promises to become a valuable asset over a few years.”

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Rabie launches smart new development

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abie Property Group has just launched Bow Tie, their first smart-enabled residential development built around green and smart design principles.

Situated in their multigeneration Burgundy Estate in Cape Town, Bow Tie consists of contemporary designed apartments and townhouses with open-plan living areas and surrounded by landscaped gardens. It also has private and secure parking, solar panels and high-speed fibre.

But, what sets Bow Tie apart, is the cutting-edge technological advantage all the homes are equipped with.

According to Rabie director Miguel Rodrigues, people’s lives have become very integrated with technology, and so could their homes. 

As Rabie’s first smart-enabled development, each Bow Tie home enjoys not only high-speed fibre but also its very own Google Nest Hub loaded with the latest Google Assistant. “You can add as many modules as you like, whether you want it to control your lights, regulate the interior temperature, or operate your TV,” says Rodrigues. “We’re also fitting each home with an intelligent home security system, manageable from your smartphone. Designed for modern living, the integrated app will give you peace of mind that your home is safe whether you’re there or not.”

Apartment prices start from R845,000, while a three-bedroom townhouse with a private garden is available from R1,88m (both prices include VAT).

The first phase, launched on 1 October, will consist of 48 apartments and 12 houses. Bow Tie will eventually comprise 88 apartments and 18 townhouses around a green park with a children’s play area.  

Burgundy Estate has become a sought-after multi-generational estate, with a variety of amenities such as its own convenience shopping centre, Burgundy Square. 

With the additional investment from local government and developers in the upgrade of the surrounding arterial roads, as well as the new Richmond commercial development, the entire node is progressing well.

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Repurposing a new future for property

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n the face of economic hardship and political insecurity, deciding not to sell your property when everyone else is jumping ship, is a difficult decision. Yet it’s wise to wait and consider new initiatives, says Paragon Lending Solutions CEO Gary Palmer. 

“As the effects of a stagnant economy drag on, many are trying to minimise their exposure. And while this may be good in theory, more people are trying to reduce their debt by selling homes and investment properties, sometimes at bargain prices,” he says. “This is not ideal for the client in the long run.” 

Industry findings, too, paint a bleak picture. A recent survey by Sanlam Employee Benefits found 16% of retirement fund members requested access to their savings because of reduced or lost income. 

The Experian Consumer Default Index, which measures rolling default behaviour, shows composite levels are at their highest in five years. 

The spike in first-time defaults in secured lending products was one of the major reasons for these results, with the home loans index increasing from 1.68% to 2.32% from April 2019 to April 2020, credit cards and personal loans from 6.56% to 7.47%, and 8.61% to 10.19% respectively. 

“We’re seeing some very high net-worth individuals snapping up properties,” says Palmer. “Property brokers and bankers are now laser focussed on these individuals and big deals are coming through. However, it’s often at the expense of distressed buyers who are victims of this pandemic economy.” 

He advises against selling fast. Rather adopt a new strategy, capitalise on the incredibly low interest rate and reimagine investment properties, such as turning a commercial building into a shared space offering, creating storage or student accommodation, or converting B-grade office space into affordable residential apartments. 

“If clients have a solid business plan, we’d rather see the property improved and our clients sweat their assets,” he says. 

“Worst-case scenario: if a client wants to consolidate their debt, they should talk to a financial partner to help them see the opportunity and the risk. It would be foolish to lose your asset now, only to struggle to get back into the market when rates go up.”

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