IF LIGHT POLLUTION CLEARED
The image of Cape Town is the best!
Whether it’s simply gazing up at the stars, staying up late to catch a glimpse of a pink moon or cracking out the telescope in the hopes of witnessing the big meteor shower, humans have been mesmerized by the beauty of the night sky for thousands of years.
The night sky is one of nature’s most beautiful creations but as cities expand and populations increase, so does the demand for artificial lighting such as street lights. Whilst practical and essential for day to day living, this lighting affects our view of the sky with the naked eye, and it is now impossible to see the Milky Way in large cities and metropolitan areas due to the light pollution it creates.
But what would a clear sky look like?
We compiled skyline photos taken by photographers across 27 locations and reimagined them to reveal what the skies could look like across the globe if they were free from light pollution.
Marvel at some of the most stunning skylines across the world, take a breath, and drink in the beauty of a clear night sky. Happy star-gazing!
Peddlars Deli is officially open! Come and join us for a light bite or pick up something for dinner. The new deli offers coffee, toasted sandwiches, sit down meals, takeaways, jams & preserves, sauces, ready-made meals, meats, cheeses, patè, sweet treats, gifts and much more!
Peddlars Deli is open 7 days a week (Mon -Sun) 8am – 5pm. Food delivery is available Mon – Sat 12 – 7pm. Spaanschemat River Road, next to Waldorf School, Constantia. 021 794 7747
A landmark since 1993, Peddlars has become one of the most recognised & beloved destinations in Constantia. Its casual upscale ambience permeates throughout the venue, which comprises versatile seating & dining in the restaurant, garden & bar areas.
MOVING HOMES, PREMISES OR BUSINESSES: REGULATIONS ADAPTED
Thursday, 14 May 2020
Regulations published this afternoon by virtue of Government Gazette 43320 have made the movement of persons and businesses easier than the previous regulations allowed for during Level 4.
Moving across provincial, metropolitan, and district boundaries is now allowed, once-off, no matter when the lease agreement or transfer of property took place. In addition, the window period for the move until 7 June, has been dropped. Domestic abuse victims have also been included in the new regulations.
Those who want to move must travel with the relevant documents, including a permit, lease agreements (indicating the date of expiry of the old lease or the date of commencement of the new lease); proof of purchase of residence and occupation date, including transfer documents for a new property; a domestic violence order, or proof of change or new occupation of business premises.
Government Gazette 43320
For assistance, contact us on www.stbb.co.za or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
With thanks to STBB
Over 346 tons of grapes, 12 hour days, 0 injuries, over 170 tons of Sauvignon Blanc, over 40 tons of Muscat de Frontignan grapes, over 30 tons of red varietals, a total of 27 days of harvest, too many different playlists to recall on our speaker & countless memories…
Harvest 2020 is one we will never forget. We would like to thank our 34 vineyard workers, 4 tractor drivers, 4 vineyard team leaders, 2 truck drivers, 1 foreman, 2 farm managers, 2 cellar hands, an Italian, a Swissman, a Frenchman, 2 winemakers and the rest of team for their hard work in making this an amazing vintage.
That’s a wrap for Harvest 2020! Cheers!
Source: https://www.facebook.com/KleinConstantia and Youtube
According to the latest CRRA press release on the Greenbelt pathways in Constantia during stage 4 Lockdown, the Constantia greenbelts are officially open to the public again thanks to a challenge by the CRRA regarding conflicting statements from Mayor Dan Plato and local Ward Councillor.
In a media statement on 30th April, the Mayor stated that various specific walkways/promenades were opened including ‘all other publicly accessible boardwalks or pathways’. The latter would presumably include pathways through the greenbelts.
On 1st May Cllr Liz Brunette sent out an email stating that: “Unfortunately we are not allowed to use the public parks, public open spaces, greenbelts and recreational facilities during Alert Level 4.
The National Government’s Covid-19 Regulations specify that residents may not use the City’s public parks and recreational facilities to walk, run or cycle. Please note that ‘public parks’ include public open spaces and greenbelts used by the public.”
This was obviously in conflict with the Mayor’s statement.
The CRRA wrote to Cllr Brunette and Mayco member for Transport, Ald. Felicity Purchase seeking clarity.
The City obtained legal opinion which supported the opening of the greenbelts and public walkways, lanes etc.
Read more: http://www.crra.co.za/
Here’s what property buyers need to know about the way forward after SA’s lockdown.
Questions around the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on the residential property sector have been rife – and with good reason as property is a sector that contributes significantly to the GDP. More than that, property is inextricably linked to accommodation and shelter, one of our most fundamental needs. Both buyers and sellers are concerned about whether they will be able to transact in the coming months, while buyers in particular are asking questions about the stance banks are likely to take around lending money for home loans.
It’s useful to consider the broader context, before addressing the question of home loans specifically. Even before Covid-19 and lockdown the market conditions were that of a buyer’s market in which supply outweighs demand, giving buyers both more options and more room for price negotiation. All conditions suggest that a buyer’s market is likely to remain the status quo, which helps those looking to buy. The lower interest rate – the lowest it’s been in 47 years – also goes a long way in making property investments more affordable and more attractive to potential buyers. Add the fact that the threshold on transfer duty was raised to R1 million earlier this year and that the price of property in general is likely to come down somewhat as a result of the overall strain on the economy. All of this makes the outlook rather positive for those who can afford to buy at this time.
Affordability is king
While always important, affordability is set to be an even more pertinent consideration going forward and buyers are therefore advised to keep all accounts in good standing and save as much as possible for a deposit.
At this stage, it is unknown exactly how banks will respond to home loan applications after lockdown, but there is a strong likelihood that it will be with caution and that the qualifying criteria will be more stringent.
While the economic recovery from lockdown is likely to be slow, it’s important that the banks continue lending money in a responsible manner as a means of stimulating the property sector. Whatever the economic situation, people still need accommodation, which means there will be buyers and sellers looking to finance these transactions.
Having said that, it seems unlikely that banks will grant 100% home loans as readily as in the past and, because the cost of funding loans will be more expensive, this could potentially also result in lower interest rate concessions than we have seen in recent months. Furthermore, banks may potentially re-price their future offers, as well as re-assess approvals in cases where the applicant’s circumstances have changed, such as when someone’s salary is reduced owing to business slowing down.
In the coming months, we’ll see a situation where buyers are in a very favourable position to purchase property but, with lending criteria set to be more stringent, it’s a good idea to work with a bond originator who has the experience and expertise to help ensure buyers get the best deal possible. At BetterBond, for example, consultants are expertly versed in the requirements of the various banks and what their different home loan products offer, which means we can easily tailor an individual application such that it has the very best chance of being approved and thus increasing the likelihood of obtaining the home loan.
Source: Private Property
By now, we all have some idea as to how COVID -19 has affected the South African economy, as well as the global economy. Rob Downey, a Master Agent working with Chas Everitt in the Constantia market, took an economic snapshot of the market and compared property sales over the same first-quarter period for 2019 and 2020.
While 2019 was a tough year, predictions that 2020 would start showing positive relief to what was already a quiet market, was short-lived with the advent of COVID -19 in South Africa. The country was finally placed in lockdown on the 26 March, closing the Deeds Office and halting any transfer of property for over a month.
Reviewing the Constantia market and looking at Property 24, we identify 248 residential property listings on the site. This figure excludes a handful of vacant land listings. Rob noted that this reflects a reasonably consistent number over the last 6 months.
The price range of property “FOR SALE” is reflected as follows: –
The registered sales for the period between 1 January and 31 March, shows how the impact of COVID-19 is having a dramatic influence compared to the same period last year. This weak trend is bound to continue through April and possibly through to the next three months as we are only expecting Estate Agents to be fully operational within a few weeks time and the Deeds Office also going back to work on a ‘skeleton staffing’ basis to register transfers.
We have taken figures from CMAinfo.co.za, and looking at actual property sales, (not transfers) within the Constantia market over the period of 1 January to 31 March 2019 and compared with the same period in 2020.
The Constantia team at Chas Everitt is feeling positive about the market. After the impact of the lockdown, we are now starting to field a greater number of enquiries on properties we have listed for sale. This includes buyers who had cooled off before lockdown who are feeling more confident that property prices may now be more attractive. During the lockdown period we have been in a position to take any offer on a property, protecting the Buyer and Seller with a ‘subject to viewing’ clause in the offer to purchase. Our Cape Town South franchise was able to conclude three sales on this basis during lockdown as well as two rentals.
We are of the opinion that the property market will pick up quickly once all parties are allowed more freedom of movement, and Estate Agents are allowed to resume their activities, mindful of the ongoing needs for social distancing and precautions as well as the Deeds Office been up and running. Our Rental Manager, Taryn Retief, is also receiving numerous rental enquiries from Sellers who have decided to rent rather than sell during this period. Should you need any property related advice, please contact Rob Downey on email@example.com
The Department of Basic Education has health precautions planned to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus when schools reopen.
The precautions are outlined in the department’s Covid-19 basic education sector plan which was presented to Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Basic Education and the Select Committee on Education, Technology, Arts and Culture on Wednesday morning.
While the reopening dates have not been officially announced and the country waits for Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga’s media briefing on Thursday, the plan they discussed on Wednesday morning outlined the planned health precautions.
Excerpts from the latest FNB’s Residential Property Barometer for March 2020.
- The FNB House Price Index (HPI) showed that house price appreciation slowed to 2.8% y/y in March, the lowest print since May 2011 (i.e. in close to 9 years). Importantly, the HPI is based on FNB’s mortgage approvals and mainly covers the period before South Africa went into lockdown on 27 March 2020. As such, the impact of the lockdown on volumes and prices is yet to reflect in the data.
- FNB Market Strength Index (a composite index that gauges demand and supply strength, collected from a database of property valuers) has, since the beginning of this year, revealed a slowing trend in supply, and a deeper decline in demand (and thus reversing some of the 2H19 gains made).
- This is on the back of heightened uncertainty over job security and souring sentiment due to a material deterioration in the economic outlook.
- Disaggregation of the data by price segments shows that, on balance, the higher end market remains in excess supply, while the bottom end is still in structural supply-deficit. We expect these dynamics to play a crucial role in determining house price paths this year.
- We expect mass job losses and heightened uncertainty to result in a sharp drop in transaction volumes, as buyers delay their purchasing decisions.
- Preliminary deeds data shows that market volumes have declined by an estimated 40% y/y.
- Interestingly, however, search engine data shows a rebound in web traffic to property portals in SA since lockdown (this is also a worldwide phenomenon).
- While too early to definitively draw conclusions, this could be an early indication of burgeoning bargain hunting by investor buyers and/or pent-up demand from first-time buyers looking to capitalise on potential distressed selling.
Could we expect pent-up demand post Covid-19?
- Empirical evidence suggests that pandemics tend to have a sharp but short-lived impact on property markets and that volumes tend to suffer more than prices. Market reports in developed countries, such as the US and UK, suggest that Covid-19 will have a similar impact – a short-term decline in transaction volumes (and prices) and a swift rebound.
- Among key distinctions between SA and these countries is the divergent labour market trends prior to the Covid-19 shock. Robust employment growth in these countries built a strong demand base, which resulted in stock shortages and thus a surge in house prices.
- Thus, a sudden drop in house prices could unleash pent-up demand from first-time buyers and investor buyers (buy-to-let purchases). The historically low interest rates in the developed countries (close to 0% versus 4.25% repo rate in SA) will only galvanise this demand, and thus facilitate a swift rebound in prices.
- Unfortunately, conditions are not as favourable in SA. Notwithstanding prospects for further interest rates reduction, the uninspiring employment outlook effectively limits any prospects for such pent-up demand in SA.
What lies ahead?
- We expect Covid-19 to have a sharp but short-lived impact on SA’s housing market. We expect that transaction volumes will, in the short term, take a bigger hit relative to prices. In contrast to international housing markets, however, the overall recovery in SA will likely be drawn out due to pre-existing weakness in consumer fundamentals.
- While aggressive cuts in interest rates, and possibly a reduction in house prices, will eventually support purchasing activity, in the short term this will likely be outweighed by heightened uncertainty and second-round effects on the labour market.
- In the end, the magnitude and endurance of this weakness will depend primarily on a rebound in the broader economy, sustained liquidity in the property market and material improvement in sentiment. The impact could linger for longer if liquidity dries up and lending standards tighten a tad more than we expect. We will keep a close eye on developments and revise our forecasts as more data becomes available.
Read / Download Full Report: Property barometer – Apr 2020
Siphamandla Mkhwanazi | Economist | FNB Economics |