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8 October 2015

Anti-gazumping laws protect property buyers
Rawson - South Africa
Anyone who has been keeping an eye on international property trends over the last few years will likely have come across the term "gazumping" at one point or another.

Originating from the Yiddish word "gezumph", meaning "overcharge", the word has become slang for the practice of a property seller rejecting a previously accepted Offer to Purchase in favour of a higher bidder. Its converse is known as "gazundering" - when a buyer walks away from a purchase before transfer takes place."

While gazumping and gazundering are perfectly legal in several countries, including Australia and parts of the UK, they are strictly prohibited under South African law when it pertains to real estate.

In South Africa and according to the Alienation of Land Act, all Offers to Purchase and Agreements of Sale have to be reduced to writing and verbal agreements are not legally enforceable. Here, once a valid Offer to Purchase has been signed by all parties, neither buyer nor seller can legally back out of the deal, subject to certain suspensive conditions or by mutual consent. The reason for this, according to Wayne Albutt o Rawson's, is not only to protect both buyer and seller, but the health and stability of the property market in general.
Anti Gazumping

House Price Indices
Absa - South Africa
Continued low house price growth up to September

Year-on-year growth in the average nominal value of homes in the various categories of middle-segment housing in South Africa remained relatively low in the first nine months of 2015. Marginal month-on-month price growth of less than 0,2% was recorded in September, contributing to relatively low year-on-year price growth.

Real house price growth, i.e. after adjustment for the effect of consumer price inflation, was still under pressure up to August against the background of subdued nominal price growth and trends in consumer price inflation during the course of the year. Some real year-on-year price inflation was recorded in the small and large categories of middle-segment housing in August, with the average price of medium-sized housing declining slightly in real terms from a year ago.

The average nominal value of homes in each of the middle-segment categories was as follows in September 2015:

  • Small homes (80m²-140m²): R884 000
  • Medium-sized homes (141m²-220 m²): R1 225 000
  • Large homes (221m²-400m²): R1 955 000

House Price Indices Sep 2015 and Infographic

South Africa's Housing Conundrum
South African Institue of Race Relations - South Africa
Since 1994 the Government has provided more than 2.5 million houses and another 1.2 million serviced sites. Over this period, the housing backlog has nevertheless increased from 1.5 million to 2.1 million units, while the number of informal settlements has gone up from 300 to 2 225, an increase of 650%. At the same time, the housing subsidy has gone up from R12 500 per household to some R160 500 today, while state spending on housing and community amenities has risen from 1% to 3.7% of GDP. Yet the quality of the houses being delivered is often poor.

Many people have long been urging the State to transfer the housing subsidy directly to them, as they could build far better houses for themselves. In this article, housing expert Mary R Tomlinson seeks to explain the housing conundrum and offers some thoughts on how it might be resolved.
IRR -Liberty 2013 October 2015

Slow conveyancing equals bad PR
Trethowans - UK
Conveyancers are instructed to buy or sell a property. That is the brief, the end result. The longer they take, the less popular they will be in the eyes of their clients, but also in the eyes of fellow conveyancers, their clients, the estate agents and mortgage advisers.

You would think all conveyancers would be fast, as when we complete we get paid.

True enough, the reason for a slow legal process may be nothing to do with the efficiency of the conveyancer. They may be highly efficient, having spotted a legal defect which needs correcting before they can advise their client to proceed.

But no one will know that if the conveyancer also fails to communicate why things are going slowly.
Slow conveyancing

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