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20 April 2006

Selling with tenants
iafrica.com
Many investors attracted to the residential property market by the combination of low mortgage rates and soaring values over the past few years are now starting to think about reselling their investment properties.

And they should be aware, says Dr Piet Botha, chairman of the Nationlink estate agency group, that tenanted homes can be much more difficult to sell than an owner-occupied house or flat.

"This is true even in a market where demand is still strong and property prices are still expected to show steady growth.
iafrica.com

Moves to lower the first rung will benefit first-time buyers
firstrung.co.uk - UK
First-time buyers are set to benefit from a government-backed scheme designed to help them get onto the first rung of the property ladder, according to the Northern Ireland Co-Ownership Housing Association.

Several value-for-money initiatives aimed at cutting the costs of home ownership for buyers were launched through the Co-Ownership scheme.

These included reductions in up-front fees for conveyancing and valuation as well as monthly payments.

Alan Crowe, chief executive of Northern Ireland Co-Ownership: "With property prices continuing to rise across Northern Ireland and in Great Britain, affordability for firsttime buyers remains a problem."
firstrung.co.uk

Spotting bargains among the clutter
Chas Everitt Propertysignpost - South Africa
Most homes for sale are scrupulously scrubbed and tidied to show the property off to its best advantage - but it may just pay to have a closer look at properties that at first glance appear to be grubby and cluttered.

Prospective buyers often turn on their heel when shown a property that is not in show-house condition but those who can spot substance over style may just find a real bargain.

In a forced sale, such as in cases where the owner has died or has been suddenly transferred to another town, there usually has not been time for anyone to prepare the property for sale, and clutter may disguise good underlying value.
Chas Everitt

SA urged to tread warily on land reform
Mail and Guardian - South Africa
South Africa was urged on Wednesday to tread carefully on land reform in a report released by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

"Land reform is a massive, complicated process and not everything can be done simultaneously," said the 185-page report by the Paris-based club of market economies.

"The identification of realistic objectives and careful sequencing of activities are conditions for success," it added.

Black ownership of land has increased from 13% at the end of apartheid in 1994 to 16%, but falls well short of targets set by President Thabo Mbeki's government.
Mail and Guardian

Now for the real skills
Financial Mail - South Africa
Those who become developers overnight, "like my hairdresser", are about to be shaken out of the market, says Admakers CEO Duan Coetzee.

"Now they have to learn how to be proper businessmen," he says.

The frenzied buying of the past five years, when sales staff merely took orders, has not been normal. Those days are over, and in the market now emerging, you have to go out and find the sales. This point seems to be backed by the attempted launching of a developers' association last week (see "Foul weather friends").

Coetzee, whose company dominates the marketing communications of major property projects in SA, is scathing about many developers and what they produce. Most of them have entered the market only since property started recovering in 1999.
Financial Mail

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