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22 July 2010

FNB Residential Property Outlook
FNB - South Africa
SUMMARY - RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY SLOWDOWN BECKONS, WITH DOUBLE-DIP RISK SIGNIFICANT
The 2010 World Cup has come and gone. It has brought many potential long term benefits for SA, emanating from dramatically improved perceptions of the world regarding the organizational capabilities of the country. However, these are longer term matters, and the World Cup cannot be expected to do much for the short term fortunes of residential property.

The FNB Estate Agent Survey for the 2nd quarter of 2010 showed agents pointing to weaker
demand than that of the previous quarter. Of concern, too, was a sharp up-tick in the estimated average time of a property on the market, from a previous quarter's 12 weeks and 4 days to 17 weeks and 1 day. This suggests that price levels have got further out of touch with reality. The implications could be that prices begin to come under pressure, and indeed in June we have seen a slowing in the pace of acceleration in house price growth.

Primary residential demand continues to dominate even more than usual, as non-essential spending remains on the backburner in financially tough times.

Regarding the near term future, estate agents' expectations have also deteriorated in the most recent survey.

We are of the opinion that this probably signals the start of a weakening trend in the residential property market, with signs of a slowing economy, as well as due to a lack of further interest rate stimulus following the 5 percentage points' worth of rate cutting that took place from December 2008 to August 2009.
FNB Residential Property Outlook

Practical advice for renovations, alterations
RealEstateWeb - South Africa
Invest the time to personally investigate the references of your prospective builder.

There is no doubt that the building industry suffers from a reputation for unreliability, shoddy workmanship and exploitation.

But there are a few simple steps and principles that will go a long way to ensuring that your building experience is as painless as possible.

In a nutshell it all comes down to one word - preparation.

The essence of a good building project is (a) a quality product (b) delivered at a reasonable price (c) in the timeframe agreed upon. Rigorous preparation on the part of the client will exponentially improve the chances of a successful project.
RealEstateWeb

South African property news
Rode - South Africa
The driver of malls' success turns the corner
Some cause for optimism for shopping-centre landlords has been the recovery in retail sales volumes over the past few months.

In March 2010, the yearly growth in real retail sales turned the corner - from contraction to expansion - by growing by 1%; this after 13 consecutive months of contracting sales volumes.

Interestingly, a look at what has happened "behind" the growth-in-retail-sales graph reveals a few reasons for the improved performance. For one, consumer confidence has had a noticeable revival. In the first quarter of 2010, the FNB/BER Consumer Confidence Index increased to an index value of +15, up from +6 in the previous quarter. According to the compilers of the Index, the sharp improvement can be attributed to more respondents (on a net basis) expecting the economy and their own finances to improve during the next 12 months. In fact, in the reporting quarter, the economy grew at a better-than-expected rate of 4,6% (year-on-year and annualized).
Rode

Rumours rife as state sits on land report
Business Day - South Africa
Potentially controversial land reform changes have been delayed for the second time this year.

Potentially controversial land reform changes, due to be made public yesterday, were delayed when, for the second time this year, the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform missed its deadline for releasing the green paper on land reform.

A report by Fin24, based on a leaked version of the document, claimed that a restriction would be placed on the amount of land individuals and companies might own and that all state land would be leased out.

Foreigners were likely to be restricted to buying land only if they had a South African citizen as a partner.
Business Day

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