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30 August 2012

Property Barometer - Regional Migration Trends Review
FNB - South Africa
CONCLUSION
Therefore, we believe that the country’s 2 major provincial economies, Gauteng and the Western Cape, appear to be leading the race to attract and retain skilled labour, with the Western Cape appearing significantly better off than Gauteng in attracting the more lifestyle-driven repeat buyers, but we suspect Gauteng has the advantage in attracting the more career-driven 1st time buyers (not visible in our repeat buyer stats). These 2 regions lead the others in terms of economic opportunity, the key driver of skills migration, while the Western Cape has the added advantage of a higher perceived quality of life.

While relatively good economic and perceived superior lifestyle opportunity have made it one of the most competitive in terms of attracting skills, this ability in turn has arguably led to the Western Cape experiencing longer term economic growth not far behind Gauteng in recent years, and superior to the remaining 7 provinces. This can still further enhance its ability to attract skilled migrants to the region in future. The Western Cape’s key challenge is to grow in an environmentally sound way, because its natural environment is a key part of its attractiveness with the region lacking in mineral resources.

What is also clear is that certain of the minor provinces have very significant net outward migration rates, Mpumalanga being the worst, suggesting steady skills losses in those provinces, and it is thus not surprising that their economic growth performances are generally weaker than the Big 4 provinces (Gauteng, Western Cape, KwaZuluNatal and the Eastern Cape). These smaller provinces may therefore find it increasingly difficult to grow their economies and provide jobs in future.
FNB Property Barometer - Regional Migration Trends 

How property valuations work
Iol - South Africa
What is it that makes one residential property worth more than another? Is it the number of bedrooms, size of the garden, or additional entertainment features? Or is it something else entirely?

These questions are always asked when the contentious issue of property valuations is raised, and every four years - when the new valuations are made - thousands of people lodge objections, often comparing their homes to others in their street or neighbourhood, and asking why their homes are worth more or less.

But, as Willy Govender, the director for mass appraisals at Durban valuation company eValuations, explains, the issue is complex.
iolproperty.co.za

Mortgage advances - July 2012
Absa - South Africa
Growth in the value of outstanding household mortgage balances, mainly related to residential property, was marginally lower at 2,4% y/y at the end of July 2012 from 2,6% y/y at end-June. The outstanding amount of R786 billion was unchanged in July from June. The share of outstanding household mortgage balances in total household credit balances dropped further to 63,6% at the end of July this year from 63,9% in June and from just above 70% between late 2009 and mid- 2010.

In view of economic developments, as well as the state of household finances and consumer confidence, mortgage advances growth is forecast to remain relatively low towards the end of 2012 and into 2013. However, interest rates are expected to remain low over the next 12 months, which will support the property market and keep up the affordability of mortgage finance.
Mortgage advances - July 20012

Slumping business confidence undermines building-construction activity
August 2012 Rode Review - South Africa
Despite favourably low interest rates, a turnaround in fortunes for stakeholders in the building-construction industry should not be expected any time soon.

This is so when one considers business confidence levels that are taking a knock. Slumping sentiment amongst business decision-makers — representing the autonomous component of investment — could mean firms cutting back on additions to fixed capital, even if fundamental determinants of investment (such as real interest rates) have not changed. The correlation between changes in business confidence levels and the growth in building activity — growth in addition to the stock of residential and non-residential property — is shown in the graph that follows. The current poor showing of both residential and non-residential property fundamentals is, of course, not doing much to aid sentiment.
rode.co.za

Household sector - July Household Credit Growth
FNB- South Africa
Household sector credit growth is gradually becoming more troublesome,due to very strong growth in non-mortgage household borrowing.
The July 8.09% household credit growth is now reaching a level very close to the slower wage bill growth rates, implying that it may be increasingly difficult for nominal disposable income growth to outpace household credit growth, a requirement for the debt-to-disposable income ratio to decline further.

There exists thus a real possibility that the debt-to-disposable income ratio starts to rise again in the near future, something I would deem to be undesirable at the current stage when widespread household underlying financial weakness still exists (much of the weakness “masked” only by abnormally low interest rates). Although consumer price inflation is the key focus for the SARB, from a household sector perspective I believe it is important that interest rate policy moving forward should also aim at containing household sector credit growth to lower single-digit growth rates, until such time that the debt-to-disposable income ratio is significantly lower than current levels.
Household Sector - Household Credit  August 2012

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