Agents should be aware that the opportunity for companies, close corporations and trusts to transfer property free of transfer duty to a natural person, under certain circumstances, has been extended to 31 December, 2012.
In terms of this extension, a property must be "disposed of" before this date. Disposal is deemed to have occurred when a contract has been concluded and all the conditions therein have been met. It is, however, not a requirement that the property is registered in the Deeds Office before this date.
This, says Justin Clarke, CEO of Privateproperty.co.za
, is good news for buyers who have their eye on a property that is held by a company, close corporation or trust. "When the average household is as cash-strapped as most currently are, the opportunity to save on transfer duty - which most often runs to tens of thousands of Rands - presents an opportunity to put down a larger deposit, which in turn can save many thousands over the course of the bond-term.
"Moreover, knowledge of this window of opportunity puts agents in a good position from which to close sales quickly in a period that is traditionally slow."