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15 December 2004

Govt must seize land, says NGO
News24.com - South Africa
The department of land affairs should consider using expropriation as a part of its land reform programme, says the Surplus People Project (SPP). The proposal was one of several in a pair of reports released by the non-governmental organisation in Cape Town on Thursday.

The reports said the government should look at restricting how much land an individual could own, making the right to property contingent on the productive use of the land, and following the Zimbabwe example of claiming right of first refusal when any land was sold.

The SPP said the market-based approach to land reform - which centred on the concept of willing buyer, willing seller - had proved "inappropriate" and was not advancing the interests of the landless.
News24.com

Are you credit worthy?
Times of India - India
Competition is at all time high in the housing finance industry. A customer has several options to choose his housing finance company (HFC) to apply for a loan. Similarly, the HFCs have their own criteria to choose/reject prospective customers.

An HFC has two prime concerns while providing a loan:
1. Repayment capacity or credit risk.
2. Clear title of property.
Times of India

42% Of Mortgage Industry Leaders Say They Are Likely To Outsource In Next Two Years
Primezone - USA
Forty-two percent of the respondents to a survey of mortgage industry leaders said they are likely to outsource at least some services within the next two years, according to a study released today by Ocwen Financial Corporation (NYSE:OCN).

The Ocwen-sponsored study, titled "Business Process Outsourcing: What Mortgage Industry Leaders Really Think," was conducted by an independent survey firm that asked mortgage industry leaders whether they were likely to outsource over the next two years; what they think are the motivating factors for outsourcing; and what they think are the key benefits to outsourcing. Respondents included mortgage brokers, mortgage servicers and correspondent and retail lenders.
Primezone

Remaining white Zim farms to go
The Witness - South Africa
Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF party's central committee has apparently decided to confiscate all remaining farms still owned by white farmers, reported the Zimbabwean website Zimonline on Monday. About 500 farms out of the initial 4 500 are still in white hands.

The first farm to fall prey to this decision is that of well-known cricketer Dennis Streak, father of Heath, the former cricket captain.

This decision, which is discussed in a secret report of the Zanu-PF's central committee, clashes with a statement by President Robert Mugabe and his cabinet members that the land-reform process in Zimbabwe has been completed.
The Witness

Beware unregistered estate agents
Moneyweb - South Africa
Consumers who deal with unregistered estate agents are making themselves vulnerable to unscrupulous practices.

That's the warning from Mike Bester, CEO of real estate giant Realty 1 Elk, who added that while the majority of real estate practitioners operated within the bounds of the law, buyers and sellers needed to be aware of the existence of unregistered brokers.

"These people profess to offer the same services as their registered counterparts but there are some fundamental differences, the main one being that without a valid Fidelity Fund certificate for the current year, there is no assurance that the agent is subject to the Estate Agency Affairs Board's code of conduct, rules or jurisdiction," he stated.
Moneyweb

Buying houses no longer easy
Finance24 - South Africa
Johannesburg - House prices, which are increasing by more than 30% every year according to the latest figures, are making it increasingly more difficult for people to buy homes and pay their bonds, even though interest rates remain fairly stable.

Interest rates have remained unchanged since August after falling by 6 percentage points from July last year to August this year. Jacques du Toit, senior economist at Absa, said the latest calculation of Absa's house price index showed that prices are growing at a slower rate on a monthly basis, which indicates slower growth on an annual basis in future.
Finance24

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