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7 January 2016

Property risk revolution
Mortgage Finance Gazette - UK
A recent feature in Mortgage Finance Gazette ‘Time for innovation in property risk management’ looked at how technology and big data are expected to evolve to meet lender demand for surveys and valuations. In the article it was noted that technology has the capability to enable change, particularly through the integration of data and that there is a conveyancing angle for discussion. Indeed, there is!

Search companies are feverishly working on the challenges that exist in the conveyancing and lending market in terms of operational risk. With the advancement of agile technology and big data analytics, search companies are seizing upon the opportunities to drive through major changes and improve risk management.
Mortgage Finance Gazette

Toll roads and transport costs now an even bigger influence on home choices
Harcourts - South Africa
With SANRAL apparently trying to convert Gauteng e-toll arrears into traffic fines and the Western Cape government having recently gone to court to halt the Winelands e-toll plan, transport costs remain top of mind again for South Africa’s consumers as they go back to work this month.

With all the attention that e-tolls get, it is easy to overlook the fact that the ordinary tolls on main routes such as the N1, N3 and N4 are even more onerous for many local road users and businesses – and go up every year.

However, consumers are increasingly aware of the costs of commuting in both time and money terms, and this is already having a significant effect on home buying patterns in most major centres, which we expect to see intensify in the year ahead.
Toll roads and transport costs

Property Barometer
FNB - South Africa
A year of hard work for property and consumer-related sectors appears likely, given economic and household sector income growth mediocrity, but perhaps the good news is that there is little currently to suggest any more than very mild interest rate hiking.
It is the time when we all like to speculate heavily on the main themes that the new year is likely to hold for us, and whether or not there will be any major trend changes.

At the present time, little seems to have changed early in 2016 with regards to a somewhat mediocre economic outlook for South Africa. Global commodity prices remain depressed. On the one hand, this bodes ill for South African export growth and thus for economic growth, but on the other hand it bodes well for the consumer price index (CPI) inflation rate given that oil is one of those commodities whose prices remain under severe pressure.

At a macroeconomic level, therefore, the likelihood of any major CPI inflation “shock” at this stage appears remote in 2016. However, there are some “upward” pressures on CPI inflation which could be expected to drive it gradually higher, notably a drought-driven food price inflation rise as well as a Rand that still remains under pressure, driving import prices higher. Higher CPI inflation would eat a little more into disposable incomes. But it is expected to be a modest rise in inflation, which would allow the Reserve Bank (SARB) to continue to raise interest rates at the snails’ pace to which we have become accustomed through 2014 and 2015.
Property Barometer

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