While Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba has defended numerous controversial property valuations, a property expert says the average increase in the 2018 General Valuation Roll is “abnormal”.
But frustrated ratepayers, some of whom were shocked to discover an up to 80% increase in the purported value of their properties, have to prove it has been miscalculated or face paying up to double their normal rates.
Michelle Dickens, managing director at TPN Credit Bureau, a property leasing company, said the sudden spike did not correspond with market trends.
“I don’t think it’s normal. If you look at FNB’s statistics nationally, you’re looking at a 20% decline in real value. We have not seen many price increases, so to have a 30% increase is not normal.”
Dickens advised homeowners to use the website windeed.com to have their property valued on a per-property basis, or contact TPN, which uses a per-suburb based calculation.
Thousands of properties will be subject to new rates from July 1. Market values were determined as at July 1, 2017.
The average increase across the 879 000 properties was 30% over the past five years.
Mashaba denied that the new valuations were done to create more revenue for the city, which the ANC claims is in a dire financial state.
He listed three typical reasons for the hikes – market changes, substantial improvements and the possibility that a property was undervalued in the previous valuation roll.
“Johannesburg … is a major economic hub on the continent and offers the many who flock here the potential for a better life. The knock-on effect is that, in a space of high demand and limited supply, prices are likely to increase over a five-year period.”
“It’s madness,” said Dickens. “I am sitting with some properties bought in the same areas at the same time. One has gone down in value by R100 000 and in the same suburb another has gone up by R200 000. That’s about a 50% decline in the one and a 60% incline in the other.”