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17 October 2013

Property Barometer - 1st time buying
FNB - South Africa
The pace of growth in new household establishment appears to be slowing, perhaps unsurprisingly given a slower pace of employment growth these days

Trends in 1st time buying can thus be strongly reflective of the combination of interest rate levels, economic and employment trends.

The FNB Estate Agent Survey still points to relatively high levels of 1st time buying relative to total home buying. Expressed as a percentage of total buying, our sample of agents estimated that 20% of total buyers were 1st time buyers in the 3rd quarter of 2013, still well up on the 12% cyclical low point reached at a stage of 2007. However, it is also down from the previous quarter’s 24%, and although quarter to quarter moves can be volatile, the smoothed trendline appears to have shown a peak around 2011, and more recently seems to have started moving gradually lower.

A decline in this percentage of 1st time buyers would not be out of place. Economic growth has broadly tapered since 2010, translating into slowed employment growth too. Non-Agriculture Employment growth peaked in early-2011 at 2.5% year-on-year, and has since slowed to a snail’s pace of 0.08% year-on-year by the 2nd quarter of 2013. In addition, the big interest rate cutting stimulus should be wearing thin, with unchanged rates for over a year now.
Property Barometer 1st Time Buyers Oct 2013

Fixed-term property lease should protect all parties
IolProperty - South Africa
A fixed-term lease agreement between a tenant and landlord provides security to both parties, assuming that both are in position to honour all the terms and conditions contained in the agreement.

Let us take a five-year lease, which would give the tenant security of tenure and assure rental income for the landlord for the duration of the lease.

If the landlord prematurely terminated the lease without any legal basis, the tenant could sue. The landlord would have the right to sue as well if the tenant, without legal cause, decided to vacate the premises (dwelling or commercial property).

Should the lease contain a clause that stated that any variation or changes to the original agreement were binding upon the parties only if it was reduced to writing and signed by both parties, no verbal agreement would be of any legal effect.
IolProperty

Legal Practice Bill latest
LSSA - South Africa
The Justice Portfolio Committee in Parliament will be debating various options in Draft 5 of the Legal Practice Bill over the next weeks. This draft contains various permutations for clauses where there has not, as yet, been agreement between the committee members. The parliamentarians are caucusing with their constituencies on the flagged issues, which include the power of the Minister to dissolve the Legal Practice Council should it become 'dysfunctional', the composition of the Council, fee structures, and separate chambers for attorneys and advocates.

Once the Portfolio Committee has completed its input, the Bill will have to undergo a second-reading debate in the National Assembly, and from there serve before the National Council of Provinces.
Draft 5 of the Legal Practice Bill

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