Cape Town - Cape Town homeowners could be in for a nasty
surprise when results of the city’s 2012 General Valuation Roll are released in
Revised rates will be published on the City of Cape Town’s
website this month, based on an assessment of 800 000 properties within city
boundaries that took place on July 1 last year.
Valuations, which are based on actual property transactions
that have taken place in the three years since the city’s last rates hike in
2009, were conducted using a mass appraisal method. This method assigns
weighted values to various property attributes such as size, outbuildings and
City officials have assured ratepayers that their
comparative market analysis system is accurate, having been significantly
refined since the first city-wide valuation in 2000. However, homeowners will
have the opportunity to contest the revised valuations should they disagree
with the city’s findings.
Rates payers will have until the end of April to lodge their
objections, but according to Property24 general manager JP Farinha this is not
a process that should be entered into without sufficient grounds.
"The city’s mass appraisal method is becoming progressively
more accurate, and as a result, objections to revised property values are
unlikely to be considered if based purely on comparisons to other houses in the
area," says Farinha.
"While the system is by no means foolproof, homeowners
looking to have their claims heard will need to substantiate them with factual
data, based on professional appraisals from industry experts."
The city’s valuations are conducted by professional valuers,
statistical analysts and data collectors, and are informed by a number of
diverse factors. Over and above more traditional elements such as location and
number of bedrooms, assessments take into account everything from subdivisions
and renovations to additional construction or demolition.
Vacant land is also double rated to encourage building, and
properties seen to be income generating tend to be ascribed higher, commercial
As a result, Farinha believes it's imperative that those
looking to lodge a claim do their homework.
“In order to substantiate a claim, homeowners will need to
have a comprehensive understanding of the various grounds used to assess the
value of their home,” says Farinha.
“Qualified estate agents are well placed to provide an
accurate assessment of a property’s market value, as they use similar methods
to those employed by the city and can thus interrogate the various evaluated
Homeowners looking to perform their own research to support
their claim can also make use of Property24’s property values service, which
uses sophisticated statistical information to provide accurate and immediate
“Property24’s property values service allows rates payers to
undertake a complete assessment of their property’s value from the comfort of
their own home,” explains Farinha.
“Valuations on the site incorporate information from the
Deeds Office, and take into account price trends and recent sales in order to
ensure accuracy. Armed with this type of information, homeowners have a far
greater chance of success when lodging their claim.”
The City of Cape Town has advised ratepayers that they will
need to continue to pay their required rates until their objection has been
resolved. New rates will come into effect from July 2013.