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Buying property in 2020: Low home loan interest rates and cheaper homes
Fourth quarter (Q4 19) statistics released by South African bond originator ooba show minimal growth of 1.8% in the Average House Price year-on-year from Q4 18 to Q4 19. The Average Purchase Price of First-time Buyers performed marginally better, up 2.5% for the same period.

Rhys Dyer, CEO of ooba, says: “Local residential property prices have experienced four tough years of flat to negative real growth. Property price growth in 2020 is expected to perform in line with 2019 levels. We anticipate nominal growth in the Average Purchase Price of between 3.5% and 4% for the year ahead, largely tracking inflation.

“Prospects for the residential property market during 2020 will be directly influenced by the ability for SA Inc. to ramp up economic growth. This year presents a key fork in the road for the economy. A ratings downgrade seems increasingly possible, exacerbated by the ongoing challenges facing almost all State-Owned Enterprises, particularly Eskom. The economy needs urgent and decisive action from policymakers to ensure much-needed stronger economic growth,” adds Dyer.
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Airbnb-ing your property? Five essential tips to consider
Airbnb has provided landlords and homeowners alike with the opportunity to make an income from connecting directly with guests looking for a comfortable location to stay in South Africa.

Travys Wilkins from independent digital brokerage, CompareGuru, says there are important home insurance considerations that hosts need to take into account before embarking on a rental agreement. “It’s an exciting prospect to make money off your primary and most likely, largest asset, but there are several things to take into account before letting your property via Airbnb.”

Wilkins highlights factors to consider:

1. If something goes missing, Airbnb isn’t liable
Airbnb provides protection to its hosts by covering up to R14 399 382 for damages to covered property. This, in the rare event of guest damages above the security deposit, or if no security deposit is in place. This essentially means that if a guest slips and falls in your house and wants to sue you, Airbnb has a mechanism in place for that. It also means if they burn the gazebo in the garden down, you're covered.
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It’s AGM season: Is your building’s replacement value updated?
For many bodies corporate, this time of year signals AGM season. As managing agents set up their annual general meeting (AGM) with trustees and other body corporate members, it is important that all the required documents and figures are ready for this important gathering.

Replacement cost determines updated insurance value
One of the agenda items that needs to be addressed at the AGM is updating the replacement cost of the building. This is the value that will determine the total insured value of the building; therefore, the insurance premium payable monthly by the body corporate.

The Sectional Titles Schemes Management Act requires that a professional and independent valuation is completed for the building every three years, and this needs to be presented at the AGM. Through this Act, the trustees are obliged to ensure that the insurance value is always up to date so that the building enjoys sustained and comprehensive insurance cover. If trustees fail in this duty, they can be held personally liable in the case where the building’s insurance is found to be insufficient at claim stage.
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