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3 August 2006

Property panic's over - Loos
MoneyWeb - South Africa
Don't panic about the looming interest rate hike. Juicy returns may be just around the corner for property owners prepared to sit through some short-term discomfort, with some recovery in the market from 2008.

That's the message from John Loos of FNB Commercial Banking, a property strategist who said this week that those concerned about mortgage advances growth should have been more worried two years ago.

"What surprises me is that there are quite a number of people who are alarmed at the pace of mortgage growth, but if they were going to be worried they should have been more concerned about it a few years ago," said Loos. "At this stage we are past the worst."
Moneyweb

HIPS 'Farce' - So what now?
Estate Agency News - UK
The National Association of Estate Agents moved quickly to defuse a call for agents to boycott Home Information Packs in the wake of the Government's shock announcement that Home Condition Reports will not be a mandatory element when the Packs come into force next June.

But Chris Hall, the immediate past president of the Association, who held office until May, then added further fuel to the heated debate as he joined the call for HIPs to be scrapped altogether rather than be introduced without what is widely considered to be their most important element.

Anti-Pack campaigners, including the Conservative opposition, were celebrating and agents and hundreds of potential Home Inspectors all over the country - along with Which?, formerly the Consumers' Association - who instantly withdrew their support for the measure - were left in disbelief when Housing Minister Yvette Cooper issued a shock announcement that HCRs would be voluntary rather than mandatory when Packs are introduced.
Estate Agency News

Residential Conveyancing in Thailand - Differences in legal and commercial issues
Property Report - Thailand
Based on correspondence received by TPR, this month's article is designed to deal with some of the issues which may well be unfamiliar to an investor in Thailand, even if he/she has grounded professional real estate transactional experience in a different jurisdiction.

In Thailand, an investor is often forced to ask whether a particular issue is a Thai convention or simply a commercial ruse designed to test the limit of an investor's willingness to commit to a deal that would perhaps be viewed in a different light (not a tropical light perhaps) in its own jurisdiction. This article examines commercial issues which frequently appear in a transaction and then provides a legal analysis of the position.
Property Report

Punting residential property in a pension
Moneyweb - South Africa
A prominent Cape Town estate agent says government should consider allowing taxpayers to hold privately-owned properties as part of their retirement fund - but some retirement industry players say this would be a bad idea.

Bill Rawson, chairman of Rawson Properties and a senior figure in the residential property industry, issued a statement highlighting benefits of giving individuals the right to hold their own property in a tax-efficient retirement fund-type vehicle.

He said: "Poor performances by pension funds highlight the need to allow private pension-related investment in property."
Moneyweb

Where the billions are
Financial Mail - South Africa
This is the year that ReMax may topple Pam Golding Properties (PGP) as SA's biggest house sales agent. They are neck and neck now, with about R15bn in annualised sales turnover.

But they are running in different directions, each with about 7% of the national house sale market worth a little over R200bn/year. They rarely compete in individual markets.

PGP has built its formidable organisation over 20 years at the top end of the market. It has relied on glossy magazine inserts, sophisticated communications and its founder, Pam Golding, who is a national society celebrity. It is strongest in Cape Town's Bishopscourt; Sandton's Sandhurst; La Lucia, north of Durban; and other wealthy suburbs. And it has moved into a bevy of niche markets, from golf estates to hotels and retail franchises.
Financial Mail

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