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29 August 2013

National Credit Act often harsh on potential lower sector home buyers
Rawson - South Africa
Although there is widespread agreement in the South African residential property sector that the promulgation of the National Credit Act was necessary and has contributed significantly to stabilizing the property market by preventing reckless lending, it also has to be accepted that, at the lower end of the market, it has resulted in wide scale disappointment and frustration for many who, by most standards, would see themselves as eligible for mortgage bonds – but whose applications have been rejected.

This comment on the current situation in the residential sector was made recently by John Weston, the Rawson Property Group’s franchisee for the Cape Town suburb of Bergvliet and its surrounding areas. Weston is one of the group’s top performers.

“Another unfortunate aspect of the legislation,” said Weston, “is that it has also made it possible for the growing band of buy-to-let investors with cash to benefit almost, one could say, at the expense of the poor.”
Rawson

Joburg billing address confusion continues
IolProperty - South Africa
Joburg property owners who have fallen victim to the City of Joburg unilaterally changing their billing addresses have been advised to go to specific walk-in centres where trained staff will assist.

However, the city still has not provided Metrowatch with answers on how the correct addresses have been changed without a request from the owner. Following an article in Metrowatch 'Wrong numbering adds to billing chaos' (July 19), The Star has been inundated with mails by residents who are experiencing similar problems.

Residents claim they have been living on the same property for years and suddenly their physical addresses have been changed.
IolProperty

Household and Consumer Weekly
FNB - South Africa
When interest rates finally do go up, South Africa can’t say that it wasn’t properly warned.
In Conclusion – Forecasts are always hazardous, but we know enough to know what to do.

In short, in a slow economic and income growth environment, slowing household credit growth should be seen as positive. There have been ample warning signs of “upside risks”” to inflation, and “downside risks” to economic and household income growth, all factors that can have an impact on household financial strength.

There have also been ample warning signs that consumer credit health is deteriorating, arguably inappropriate at a time when interest rates are at an “extreme” cyclical low point or at least close. A lot more than this we don’t need to know. I am of the opinion that it is important to make significant strides in reducing the household debt-to-disposable income ratio significantly (preferably to at least below 70% in my subjective opinion) prior to the next interest rate hiking cycle whenever that may come.

Next week, therefore, will produce 2 pieces of crucial data. Firstly, on Tuesday 27 August, GDP data will give a hint of what to expect in terms of the household disposable income growth numbers for the 2nd quarter, while Friday 30 August will see the SARB give us an indication of whether household sector credit growth showed a further slowing in July.
Household and Consumer Weekly

Seaside homes in South Africa display competitive prices
Lightstone - South Africa
One of the advantages of living at the Southern tip of Africa is being surrounded by pristine beaches which span along the 2500 km shore line of South Africa. As each year approaches its end and city dwellers prepare for the annual migration to the beach , a variety of beach names are mentioned. The description of each destination seems to differ from the other with some visitors staying in complexes that look out over the ocean while others prefer a small house at the beach, far away from everyone and everything. But do the property prices of the different beaches vary as much as their look and feel?

When comparing the price of beach front properties across South Africa, two main measures of value need to be considered namely the average price for a property and the average Rand value per square meter for each holiday destination. Distinctions can also be made between freehold properties and sectional title properties because even though the average Rand per square meter value of sectional properties is considerably higher than that of freehold properties, the average property price of free hold properties are significantly higher than that of sectional title properties located in the same area.

Comparing Provinces
In order to estimate if beach front property values differ significantly across holiday destinations, Lightstone analysed all properties within a 500 meter proximity from the beach. Of these properties, the province with the highest beach front property value of both freehold and sectional title properties is the Western Cape.
Lightstone

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