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Inaugural Western Cape Property Report offers investors useful insights
Property is a key driver of investment into any region, and is often the first consideration that investors will make when deciding on their locale according to Tim Harris, CEO of Wesgro, the official tourism, trade and investment promotion agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape.

Harris was speaking at the launch in early December of the inaugural edition of the agency’s ground-breaking publication, The Western Cape Property Report 2018/19.

The event, which was held at the UCT Breakwater Lodge in Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront, was attended by the Premier of the Western Cape, Alan Winde, Minister David Maynier (Western Cape Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities), as well as mayors and prominent government officials from the various regions featured in the publication.
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Drones for real estate: What you need to know
By Lisa Ellman, partner and Matthew Clark, senior associate Hogan Lovells Washington DC
The benefits of commercial unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or drones) are substantial. Technology has moved forward rapidly, and what used to be considered toys are quickly becoming powerful commercial tools that can provide enormous benefits in terms of safety and efficiency. Today, drones are being used in almost every commercial industry. The real estate industry is leading the way, capitalising on ‘drone fever’ around the globe.

Drone technology allows realtors to take aerial photographs and videos of the property as well as nearby amenities, offering valuable information to buyers. Drones can also be operated at a fraction of the cost and in areas that would simply be inaccessible to traditional manned aircraft. In the United States, for example, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) anticipates that real estate and aerial photography will be one of the largest industries to capitalise on drone technology, accounting for 22% of total commercial drone use by 2020.

While the benefits of drones to the real estate industry are clear, individuals and companies flying drones need to understand the regulatory environment in which they are operating. While the specific details may vary by jurisdiction, below are a few key topics that realtors should consider.
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SA’s best schooling districts: Where to buy property?
Whether you have children or not, purchasing near a desirable school district is always a smart investment decision. Demand for homes within school catchment areas will always exist, which gives sellers in these areas reassurance that they will be able to sell timeously and close to full value.

“Owing to entrance requirements based on proximity, many buyers with young families choose a suburb purely based on the schooling district they want to be in and will refuse to look at any properties that lie outside of these areas. For this reason, those who are looking for properties purely based upon investment value ought to consider properties within one of the catchment areas of a reputable schooling district as the demand for these properties will always exist as long as the school maintains its reputation,” says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa./p>

To confirm this, Frikkie van Eeden, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Advantage in Rosebank, explains that despite a slowdown in the mid- to luxury-segment of the market (anything above R3 million) last year, properties near to the top schools were the ones attracting buyers.
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Six ways to assess an estate agent’s performance and ability
Home sellers should be more open and transparent with their estate agents according to Rowan Alexander, Director of the Cape Town estate agency, Alexander Swart Property, who says those who do not disclose important information on their financial position or future plans, prevent the agent from working fully in their best interest.

Conversely, Alexander says home sellers should have some way of assessing how competent the agent is and how efficiently he/she is going about the allotted task.

When given a sales mandate, what will indicate how thoroughly the agent is operating, bearing in mind that the duty is to achieve the highest possible price in the shortest possible time, with the least inconvenience to the client?
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