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15 September 2005

SA Home Loans applications set new record
Business Report - South Africa
SA Home Loans had been hit by a triple whammy over the past year, but managed to increase its new business by between 20 percent and 25 percent, Kevin Penwarden, the chief executive, said yesterday.

It had done this by developing multiple value-added products backed up by good service, Penwarden said, and as a result, SA Home Loans had received a record R2 billion worth of loan applications last month. This easily beat the previous record of R1.6 billion set in November 2004.

Penwarden noted, however, that the company had to be very careful about screening its clients, because all arrears became a matter of public record due to the fact that funds were raised through securitisation.
Business Report

Hot new role for trustees, managers
Property24.com - South Africa
Sectional title units are set to be South Africa's fastest growing type of home - and home ownership - over the next decade, and will require a new breed of financially-savvy trustees and managing agents.

Andrew Schaefer, MD of national residential property manager Trafalgar says that already a new type of trustee is emerging.

"Traditionally owners of sectional title flats and townhouses have been young families starting out and over-fifties nearing retirement. But massive urban migration, new town planning policies, and a trend towards smaller and single person households are changing that pattern of ownership".
Property24.com

Home-owners can score big
Finance24.com - South Africa
In the face of increasing competition and a slowing property market, the major mortgage lenders in SA are having to rethink a longstanding "gentlemen's agreement" to discourage bond switching and the poaching of existing home loan clients from one another.

And this is creating an opportunity for borrowers to collectively save millions of rands in home loan interest payments, says Ian Wason, CEO of independent mortgage brokerage Bond Busters.

Bond switching - or mortgage refinancing - is the practice of moving a home loan from one lender to another in order to take advantage of a better interest rate.
Finance24.com

FNB takes interest in ex-Saambou clients' claims
Business Report - South Africa
First National Bank (FNB) said on Thursday that it plans to take action on behalf of ex-Saambou customers who may have been overcharged interest on certain home loans prior to FNB's acquisition of the Saambou home loan book.

In September 2002 The Curator (now the Receiver for the Scheme Creditors of Saambou) placed notices in all the major press inviting claims from any potential creditors.

FNB said that since then it has been in constant communication with The Curator to finalise the issue before the "claim period" expired.
Business Report

New scam on bond fees
Finance24.com - South Africa
With mortgage origination becoming increasingly competitive, a major player has delivered a warning for consumers against sharp practices in the industry.

Andrea Atkinson, manager for Bond Choice Home Loans in Port Elizabeth, said consumers should be wary of operators that tried to charge them "hefty fees" for their services.

This follows a recent warning by Rudi Botha, CEO of PA BetterBond, against operators who are extracting "administration fees" of between 10% and 18% from clients' further advances on existing mortgages.
Finance24.com

Phumzile skirts land prices
News24.com - South Africa
Deputy president Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka has dodged giving a definitive answer on whether the government will pay market-related prices for land it might appropriate under its land-reform programme.

Speaking in the national council of provinces on Tuesday, she said the answer to this question was "a yes and a no".

She was responding to the Democratic Alliance's Wilhelm le Roux, who asked if she did not agree "that land owners should be paid market price; will (the deputy president) say yes or no on that please".
News24.com

Property 'frothing', but no bubble yet
Business Day - South Africa
The property sector has enjoyed tremendous gains over the past few years, but if appreciation continues at current rates, prices could rapidly enter "bubble" territory, says Investec Asset Management strategist Michael Power.

Power said yesterday, at a two-day investment workshop, that although a property meltdown was unlikely to occur in SA, the local market was "starting to froth".

The Absa house price index for August, released last week, has shown a slowdown in the rate of growth in the sector, with the index recording its lowest nominal month-on-month growth since 1999, at 0.6%.
Business Day

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