Chas Everitt International comments on Budget News

Berry Everitt, MD of the Chas Everitt International property group says Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has done well to produce a Budget that is positive for property under difficult national and global economic circumstances.

“We are especially encouraged by the focus on job creation through the allocations for the improvement and expansion of education facilities at all levels, especially technical schools and workshops where young people can acquire much-needed skills, the expanded public works programme, and the proposed employment tax incentives for private sector companies. More jobs will, in time, mean that more people will be able to afford their own homes. And in the meanwhile, we are delighted at the prospect of more than 400 000 new low-income homes being built over the next three years, as this will make a major contribution to social stability and individual wealth creation.

“In the shorter term, the somewhat unexpected R7bn worth of personal tax relief will help to offset some of the current strain on household disposable incomes arising from steadily increasing transport, power and food costs.”

Another major positive, he says, is the concentration of resources on infrastructure development not only to improve SA’s productivity and competitiveness in the global arena, but to improve the living conditions of its own people. “And here I am specifically referring to the additional funds that are going to local governments to improve the provision of services and social housing to the poor.”

Overall, says Everitt, the Budget successfully addresses several other issues, especially corruption in the public sector, that have been putting a damper on consumer confidence and investment, both of which are essential ingredients of a healthy property market.

“Our major disappointment, from the property point of view, is that there was no tax relief granted to homebuyers and owners – either by lowering transfer duty or by granting a rebate on the interest paid on homeloans.”

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