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30 April 2014

Housing supply in emerging economies
A report launched recently finds that the effective provision of affordable housing is a universal problem.

The most notable shortages of adequate housing are in the developing nations, where housing provisions have failed to keep pace with economic development.

In the advanced economies, rising income inequalities and a tendency for housing costs to rise faster than incomes have posed major difficulties for younger and poorer households in finding adequate homes.

The research, presented at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) International Summit, held in São Paulo, by RICS President Michael Newey, investigates how housing demands, needs and supply in three of the BRIC economies, Brazil, India and China have been affected by economic growth and compares the policies outlined by governments to meet the demands for housing.
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22% of golden oldies are selling homes
The FNB Property Barometer: Reasons for Selling Homes report reveals that 22 percent of sellers are downscaling with life stage and this is expected to remain the largest percentage of total sellers for the foreseeable future, due to the strong growth in the number of people reaching “retirement-age”.

John Loos, FNB household and property sector strategist, the “oldies” who sell in order to downscale due to life stage continue to be the largest single source of sales, according to the FNB Estate Agent Survey for the first quarter of 2014.

In fact, in 2013 the oldies recorded the highest percentage of sellers in 2013 at over 20 percent of total sellers.
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Initiative to transform agency sector
Human Settlements Minister Connie September has launched an initiative to speed up transformation in the estate agency sector.

The ‘One Learner – One Estate Agency’ programme, which will be administered by the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB), aims to change the landscape of the industry.

Minister September on Thursday said only about 10% of the 40 000 estate agents currently registered are black.

“It is an unfortunate reality that the sector presently remains characterised by an acute under-representation of formerly disadvantaged persons.  This patent lack of meaningful transformation, notwithstanding the consistent endeavours of the EAAB to inculcate awareness amongst sector role players of the transformation imperative, can no longer be tolerated,” she said.
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Lease agreement and liquidation process
In the event of liquidation, the liquidator inherits the lease agreement and will perform the insolvent’s obligations in terms of the agreement.

Following the insolvency of a lessee, the establishment of the community of creditors does not terminate the continuing operation of the lease, according to Jocelyn Evans, associate at Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa.

She explains that the rights and obligations of the parties to the agreement are not altered or suspended noting that the Supreme Court of Appeal recently confirmed this common law principle.

After liquidation proceedings have commenced, the liquidator inherits the lease agreement (or any other contract), steps into the shoes of the insolvent, the lease agreement continues and the liquidator is expected to perform the insolvent’s obligations in terms of the lease agreement.
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The investment landscape post-QE world
Since 2008 the investment landscape has largely been shaped by quantitative easing (QE) – the process of creating money to buy bonds, according to Marriott Asset Management.

This form of monetary policy, which is designed to stimulate economic growth, has served the secondary purpose of aiding the performance of certain financial markets.

For instance, first world bond yields declined substantially through this period. As a result of these low yields foreign money flowed into emerging markets in search of higher yields, says Marriott.

They explain that the US Federal Reserve Bank is anticipated to bring this uncommon form of monetary stimulus to an end in 2014.
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Ins and outs of property transfers
All the documents have been signed and the property has been sold – what now?

When it comes to selling a property, one vital aspect that the seller needs to consider is selecting the right attorney for the job. This is according to Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, who says choosing the right attorney with specific experience in the transferring of property can expedite the process and make sure that it happens within the shortest possible time.

He says during the transfer and registration process, it is common practice that three different conveyancers are used, namely the bond attorney, the bond cancellation attorney and lastly, the transferring attorney.

Goslett explains that each of the attorneys has a specific role that they play in the process. For example, he says the bond attorney acts on behalf of the bank or financial institution that is providing the finance to the buyer. Once the buyer has been approved for finance, the bond attorney is responsible for registering the bond in the buyer’s name, he says.
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Johannesburg pool by-laws update
The City of Johannesburg (CoJ) has published the fourth draft Safety Measures for Private Swimming Pools by-laws for public comment.

According to Hopewell Sathekge, from the real estate department at Hogan Lovells, the by-laws have been in the pipeline for a few years and the current fourth draft is the result of a lengthy public participation process, spearheaded by the CoJ’s legal department and the emergency management services.

The public participation process for the fourth draft started in January of 2014 and submission for comments closed at the end of March 2014.

Sathekge explains that the by-laws propose to introduce safety measures around or over private swimming pools to prevent accidental injury or the drowning of any person on the premises on which a swimming pool is situated.
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