Property Industry FAQ Guide 

Do you want to know what the difference is between an simplex, duplex and townhouse? The our Frequently Asked Questions about different property types is just the place for you.

1. What is a simplex?

– Simplex town houses refer to a property which is in a sectional title development constructed on a single level


2. What is a distressed property?

2. What is a full title property?

– In a full title property, the buyer takes ownership of the land and everything which is built on it.

To explain more fully, a freehold or full title property is usually a free-standing house or a cluster home in a development or estate and will have its own erf number, registered at the Deeds Office.

3. What is a townhouse?

– Townhouses are generally found in complexes. Large complexes often have high security, facilities such as swimming pools, gyms, parks, and playground equipment.

Typically, a townhouse is a sectional title; i.e., a type of title where the common property (landscaped area, public corridors, building structure, etc.) is owned by a body corporate and the houses on the property are owned by the individual owners.

4. What is vacant land?

– Vacant land is land with no buildings and is not being used.

Depending on the area, it can be zoned for either residential, industrial, or commercial usage.

5. What is a small holding

A small holding is an agricultural holding smaller than a farm. A property is classified as a smallholding from one hectare in size, up to a maximum of twenty hectares.

6. What is a bank owned property?

 – Repossessed properties are bank owned properties in the first stage of distressed property sales.

These sales are usually the less risky of these sorts of transactions since the owner is on board with the sale. Home owners that are behind on payments usually volunteers to have the bank put the house on the market to recover the rest of the debt owed to them rather than attempt to catch up on the payments.

In these cases, homeowners may still reject offers they deem too low, but are usually willing to accept low-ball offers just to avoid having their property go to public auction.

7. What is affordable housing?

– The term “affordable housing” is often used by government officials and politicians but the definition remains hazy.

It is sometimes used to refer to housing that is “affordable” for very poor households but can also be used to refer to higher-earning households in the gap market.

8. What is a cluster?

A Residential Cluster Development is the grouping of residential properties on a development site in order to use the extra land as open space, recreation or agriculture.

9. What is a farm?

Farm land is a real estate niche that deals with the purchase and sale of arable land. This niche requires a real estate agent to have very particular knowledge about the land and farming industry. 

10. What is a dwelling?

– An abode or residence. A dwelling is a self-contained unit of accommodation used by one or more households as a home, such as a house, apartment, mobile home, houseboat, vehicle or other ‘substantial’ structure.

11. What is an office?

An office building, also known as an office block or business center is a form of commercial building which contains spaces mainly designed to be used for offices.

12. What does erf size mean?

– The size of an erf as registered at the Deeds Office.

13. What is a game farm?

A game farm is a farm where a variety of wild animals are kept or bred, often with facilities for visitors to observe or hunt the animals.

14. What is a guest house?

Larger than ‘bed and breakfast’ accommodation, typically offering breakfast included in room rate. Guest houses range from low-budget rooms to luxury apartments, and tend to be like small hotels in larger cities. They are rated from one to four stars on the basis of the level of cleanliness, quality of food, hospitality, and service etc.

15. What is a house?

A building for human habitation, especially one that consists of a ground floor and one or more upper storeys.

16. What is a duet?

A duet is a sectional title scheme with two units

17. What is a duplex?

A duplex house plan has two living units attached to each other, usually stacked one above the other and is also sectional title

18. What is an industrial property?

Industrial property is used for industrial purposes. It comes in all shapes and sizes and covers a huge range of business types.

Industrial properties can generally be broken down into three sizes: small, large and enormous.

Small industrial sites include single or double-storey buildings zoned for industrial use. These often have flexible interior space, usually a mix of warehouse and office space. ‘Flex’ spaces are used by small businesses such as mechanics, research laboratories and start-ups.

Large industrial properties include medium to large warehouses and factories that are designed to manufacture or store goods. They include distribution companies such as third party logistics.

On the larger end of the scale are the ‘big box’ industrial spaces. These enormous industrial spaces are used as logistics and distribution centres that hold and then distribute finished goods to stores and/or directly to customers. If you think of the type of warehouse Amazon would have, you will get the idea.

20. What is a penthouse?

– A penthouse apartment or a penthouse is an apartment or unit on the highest floor of an apartment building, or hotel. Penthouses are typically differentiated from other apartments by luxury features.

21. What is an erf number?

An erf number is the number used to describe the property purchased. When a property or erf is sold, the transaction is then recorded by the Registrar of Deeds.

22. What is a freehold?

– Freehold property can be defined as any estate which is “free from hold” of any entity besides the owner. Hence, the owner of such a property enjoys free ownership and can use the land for any purposes in accordance with the local regulations.

23. What is a sectional title?
  • Sectional title describes separate ownership of units or sections within a complex or development. When you buy into a sectional title complex, you purchase a section or sections and an undivided share of the common property.

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