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25 January 2007

Developer pays R140m for 3ha in Sandton CBD
Business Day - South Africa
In one of the most expensive land sales yet recorded in Johannesburg, a developer acquired about 2,83ha of land in the Sandton central business district for more than R140 million. The sale, which was brokered by Firzt Realty Company, also included the individual purchase of 50 sectional title residential units situated on the land.

Denese Zaslansky, CEO of Firzt Realty Company, said yesterday she did not want to disclose the name of the developer or the site's locality until the developer formally launched the planned new development on the site. Zaslansky said the developer planned a mixed-use development including retail, office and residential components.
Business Day

Ex-EAAB officer in R1m fraud charge
Business Report - South Africa
The Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB), the statutory consumer protection body of the property industry, was allegedly defrauded of R1 million by former vice-chairman Valencia Nontobeko Mazibuko.

This was revealed when Mazibuko reappeared in the Johannesburg specialised commercial crime court yesterday on a charge of fraud. Mazibuko said she intended to plead not guilty. She was granted bail of R10 000 and the case was postponed to next month.

Mazibuko works and lives in East London but she told the court she had been unemployed during the past nine months.

At the time of her appointment to the EAAB, Mazibuko was an estate agent for Continental Homes and a member of the Eastern Cape Consumer Tribunal, a body that is involved in the protection of consumers against unfair business practices.
Business Report

No bricks, mortar could see property prices fly in 2008
Moneyweb.co.za - South Africa
Building material and construction companies' failure during a recession period to grow or improve skills could contribute to a recovery in house prices next year due to the shortage in properties.

This is the view of various property experts.

Elsie Snyman, CEO of Industry Insight says: "The residential boom is largely to blame for the building materials and skills shortage - there were huge contracts for new units and strong demand for renovations", she added.

Snyman said that this increased demand caught the market by surprise and forced the industry to play 'catch up'.

Johan Snyman, director of Medium-Term Forecasting Associates, agrees. He says that activity in the building and construction industry peaked in 1984 and this was followed by a recession until about 2000.
Moneyweb.co.za

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