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26 July 2007

Property still open to foreign buyers
Business Report - South Africa
Pretoria - The threat of restrictions on the foreign ownership of land receded yesterday, but the issue remains on the government's agenda.

A cabinet meeting in Pretoria received and noted the report by the panel of experts on the development of policy on regulation of foreign land ownership.

The report follows the hefty increase in property prices in recent years, which was blamed on land purchases by foreigners.

Pam Golding Property's web site is indicative of how residential property is out of the reach of ordinary South Africans in certain areas. Among its sales listings for Clifton is a beach house for R38.5 million and a four-bedroom apartment for R34 million.
Business Report

Making waves
RodneyHayter.com - South Africa
The Integrated Coastal Management Bill could become law by year-end. It will have serious consequences for beachfront property owners, according to an article in the latest edition of the Intellectual Property magazine.

Coming before parliament for enactment some time later this year is the National Environmental Management: Integrated Coastal Management Bill - the announcement of which caused a huge fuss last year when some newspapers totally misread the intentions of the bill and raised alarming headlines suggesting it would restrict foreign buying of coastal properties.

The bill, in fact, is designed to establish a system of coastal management which, in the opinion of many in the property industry - alarmed by almost unfettered coastal
development - is long overdue. Moreover, the bill seeks to establish secure equitable access to coastal public property, which access is often denied members of the public by the establishment, for example, of residential developments like golf estates along the coastline that seal off public access to the seafront.
RodneyHayter.com

Cape property market slowing fast - warning
Moneyweb.co.za - South Africa
Price decline gathering speed faster than expected in Cape, but Joburg, Tshwane cook.
Residential property owners in the Western Cape have been warned to brace themselves: the declining trend in price inflation is gathering speed in that province at a faster rate than earlier figures suggested.

The markets in Johannesburg and Tshwane metros, meanwhile, are still cooking, with both showing minor accelerations in house price inflation in recent months.

The latest Lightstone Risk Management property indices - which are based on deeds office data, among other sources - show that the Western Cape province is a major drag on national average house price inflation.

In March, it was just under 11% year-on-year - down from more than 12% in February in that province.
Moneyweb.co.za

Aput welcomes Jo'burg's property rezoning plans
Business Day - South Africa
The Association of Property Unit Trusts (Aput) has welcomed the City of Johannesburg's plan to dramatically improve its turnaround time for building and rezoning applications.

However, the council needs to apply the same logic to the full ambit of services offered to property owners, it says.

Aput, which represents the property unit trust sector on the JSE, said yesterday that the plan announced recently by the city's planning chief for urban development, Prof Philip Harrison, was a "fantastic start", but that the problems with delays did not just apply to zoning applications.

Aput spokesman Craig Hallowes said problems with opening and closing of municipal accounts could also delay the transfer of properties.
Business Day

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