Here is some great news for property buyers
From now until 7 June 2020, South Africans who took transfer of a new home prior to lockdown on 26 March or rented a new home at any time prior to 30 April will be allowed to move there from their existing homes.
They will also be allowed to engage the services of a removal company to help them to do so, provided they have obtained the necessary permit to move from their nearest police station.
This is one of two pieces of good news this week for the real estate sector, says Berry Everitt, CEO of the Chas Everitt International property group.
“The other is that certain banks have informed us that they are now able to perform physical property valuations (with all necessary safety precautions) where desktop valuations are not available or are believed to be inaccurate.”
These may be small steps, he notes, but they are at least moves in the right direction to completely re-open SA’s residential real estate industry, which usually accounts for more than 8% of South Africa’s GDP and for around 10% of all employment in home construction and the provision of home-related products and services as well as the actual sale and rental of homes. .
“And we will now at least be able to break a couple of logjams that have built-up since the start of lockdown. For example, tenants who had given notice but were then not able to move at the end of March or April will now be able to do so, enabling their new landlords to start collecting rent from them - and their old landlords to advertise and re-let their homes (after deep-cleaning and sanitizing of course).
“In addition, our legal advisers are of the opinion that rental management agents should be called upon to perform the ingoing and exit inspections of rental premises that are required in terms of the Rental Housing Act, as long as everyone on site for an inspection observes all the necessary health precautions such as wearing a mask, using hand sanitizer and maintaining social distancing.”
Meanwhile, says Everitt, those whose new homes were transferred into their names before 26 March will be able to move in now and start paying off their new bonds, instead of paying rent or perhaps occupational rent where they are living now. “This will also benefit the banks which will start getting some repayments on the home loans that were approved for these buyers.
“At the same time, the decision by some banks to physically perform the property valuations required for bond approval is positive for the whole real estate value chain, because it will ‘unstick’ a whole lot of sales concluded during lockdown that are subject to the buyer being able to obtain a home loan.
“Our agents have been using our advanced real estate technologies to assist clients and have concluded many millions of rands worth of home sales over the past few weeks, and with the attorneys working now and Deeds offices due to open shortly, the sooner we can now finalise valuations along with bonds, safety certificates and municipal clearance certificates, the sooner these deals can be translated into transfers.
“This will ensure that the cash starts to flow again in the real estate industry and that we can all start to play our proper role in rebuilding SA’s economy.”