Improvon's Property Trends Forum was an undisputed success

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The panel, which was MC’d by Chris Gibbons, included Clem Sunter, Professor Francois Viruly, Dr. Sedise Moseneke (President of SAPOA) and Ken Reynolds Nedbank’s Regional Executive for Property Finance. The panel, which was MC’d by Chris Gibbons, included Clem Sunter, Professor Francois Viruly, Dr. Sedise Moseneke (President of SAPOA) and Ken Reynolds Nedbank’s Regional Executive for Property Finance.

Leading commercial and industrial property investment company, Improvon, hosted its first ever Property Trends Forum on Wednesday, 3 October 2012 at the Sandton Sun Hotel in Gauteng.

The forum took place as a vibrant panel discussion hosted by financial journalist and broadcaster, Chris Gibbons.

World renowned scenario planner and author of ‘Mind of a Fox’, Clem Sunter gave insight into both the global and local economies and how these could potentially impact the property industry in years to come. He said that while Old World economies - such as the United Kingdom and Europe - were largely in a state of decline, New World economies – such as those of the BRICS countries - were experiencing substantial recovery. The red flag here was China which could potentially be facing an economic crisis in the future which would in all probability lead to hard times for most economies. While resource led economies such as those of India and South Africa were in a much better position than countries such as Germany or Italy, recent events occurring in South Africa were a significant dampener for foreign investors to South Africa, he warned.

Professor Francois Viruly, property economist and Head of Property Studies at the University of Cape Town provided insight into property industry developments and trends. He pointed out that South Africa experiences a major property boom every 20 years, with each boom taking the industry higher than before. Viruly pinpointed two major trends impacting the property industry: demographics and transportation. Regarding demographics, he said urbanisation would continue to take place at a rapid rate and that the South African population would continue to drive the property market. From a transportation perspective, he said that with the average South African household spending 20% of their income on transport, accessibility would become increasingly pertinent.

Viruly argued that the commercial property market would increasingly need to compete with the residential market for land. Furthermore, high density living with retail opportunities, would typify the residential market going forward.

Dr Sedise Moseneke, president of SAPOA, pinpointed three primary areas impacting the property market currently: policies, regulations and legislation which detrimentally impacted costs; planning and space; and the Property Charter. He said that municipalities have realised that if they are to meet their budgetary demands, then they need to raise rates and taxes. Development costs would therefore be impacted going forward.

Ken Reynolds, Nedbank’s regional executive for Property Finance, touched on trends impacting the banking industry’s lending policies as well as issues impacting on lending such as the Basel model which long term, he said, would increase lending costs. 

The forum culminated in the presentation of a cheque valued at R90 000 from Improvon CEO, Jorge da Costa, to Dr Sam Azasu from the University of the Witwatersrand. The donation, which was raised through the proceeds of ticket sales to the forum as well as a donation from Improvon, has been earmarked for the undergraduate degree in civil engineering scholarship programme.

“The inaugural Improvon Property Trends Forum was an undisputed success,” enthused Da Costa. “Attendants were provided with numerous useful insights from the expert panel which will assist them in their property strategies going forward. We anticipate that this will become a sought after event on the annual property industry calendar.”


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