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23 June 2011

Nasty surprise as bank adjusts rates
Fin24 - South Africa
Cape Town - A Cape Town attorney’s fight with her bank has brought to light the possibility that thousands of homeowners who had the terms of their bonds altered might be paying tens of thousands of rands in extra interest on their bond repayments.

Caren Langenhoven, an attorney of Brackenfell, discovered late last year that she had been overcharged by more than R60 000 within 18 months after Standard Bank Group quietly upped the interest rate on her two home loans.

She is one of thousands of homeowners who entered into agreements with their banks to pay a reduced amount for a year after the successive increase rate hikes of 2007 and 2008 put them under pressure.

The National Credit Regulator (NCR) says about 30 000 homeowners are in debt counselling, and about 197 000 South Africans’ home loans are in arrears by more than 30 days.
Daily Mail

Online service speeds up home conveyancing process
Easier.com - UK
1st Property Lawyers are revolutionising the way we buy and sell homes using an innovative approach to conveyancing incorporating a personal service with time saving technology. Following market research into what home movers actually want and a successful test phase, they are now launching their enhanced online conveyancing service to all home movers, which significantly speeds up the process.

The unique online service allows home movers to view real-time updates on their home move online and via a mobile website. This cutting-edge technology means that the conveyancing process completes 29 days faster than the industry average, bringing speed and convenience to a historically lengthy and stressful process.

The 1st Property Lawyers approach is dedicated to making the home moving process as stress-free and transparent as possible by offering home movers complete access, visibility and control. They combine a traditional personal service with a 21st century approach and unlike other online services which simply allow clients to track the status of their transaction, 1st Property Lawyers clients can view and upload documents and make secure payments online, ensuring they are as informed as possible.
Daily Mail

Homeownership: Rent or Buy?
RealEstateweb - South Africa

What is the best course in today's market?

Estate agent principals have always emphasised the sense of self-worth and stability that owning a home gives to a family, especially one for which this is a new experience - and this is a wholly valid concept.

I have time and again seen homeownership put a family on a new footing socially, psychologically and economically. Homeownership provides a stabilising influence and serves as an anchor for which all members of the family will be prepared to make sacrifices and endure hardship.

However in today's market we are frequently asked if this is not a good time to rent.

It has to be admitted that right now there are some good reasons why perhaps certain families, young couples or individuals might consider renting rather than buying. There is, firstly, abundant rental stock on the market because hard-pressed owners are opting for dual living, i.e. moving in with their families and renting out their own property to come out financially. Developers are also making whole developments that cannot right now find buyers available on the rental market, further increasing competition in the market and ensuring that current rents are low. 
RealEstateWeb

EU pilot scheme guarantees legal certainty when buying property cross-border
Telegraph - UK
The scheme, set up by the European Land Registry Association and funded by the EU, allows for the purchasing procedure to be settled in the buyer's home country and under the protective laws of that country.

It also guarantees compensation for unknown restrictions and violation of the contract by the seller.

Currently piloted in Holland and Spain, the Cross Border Electronic Conveyancing (CROBECO) scheme means that a Dutch buyer of Spanish real estate can apply Dutch law to the contract and ask a Dutch court for compensation from the seller if he later finds out there are unknown public limitations, such as retrospective planning laws, affecting the property.

Pilots with other countries are expected later this year.

Diana Wallis MEP (Liberal Democrats, UK), who has long campaigned for an EU-wide guarantee of legal certainty when buying cross-border, said: "I feel more and more convinced about the work of the Land Registry.
Telegraph

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