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18 February 2016

Old-new house price gap narrows
IolProperty - South Africa
It was 21.3 percent, or R411 700, cheaper to have bought an existing house in the fourth quarter of last year than to have had a new home built, according to the latest Absa quarterly housing review. The price difference between a new and existing house is continuing to narrow.

It was at 21.8 percent in the third quarter of last year, 26.2 percent in the second quarter and 30.9 percent in the first quarter. It was at 36 percent in mid-2013 and has consistently narrowed every quarter since.

A narrowing in the price gap between new and existing homes is likely to eventually stimulate residential building activity.

Jacques du Toit, a property analyst at Absa, said the average nominal price of a new house declined by 1.9 percent year on year to R1 782 300 in the fourth quarter of last year after declining by 2.4 percent year on year in the third quarter.
IolProperty

Property Barometer - January CPI Inflation
FNB - South Africa
CONCLUSIONS AND OUTLOOK

The January CPI inflation rate showed a more noticeable jump compared to prior months’ accelerations. Suddenly, therefore, the rate finds itself above the SARB’s upper target limit of 6%. This reflects the sharp weakening in the Rand late in 2015, along with a drought-induced food price inflation surge.

This continues to lead us to believe that the SARB will continue to raise interest rate gradually, by another percentage point in total, to where Prime Rate reached 11.25% early in 2017.

Rising inflation is thus expected to have a dampening impact on housing demand in the near term, due in part to its impact on interest rate hiking, but also due to the expectation that higher consumer inflation will lead to still-slower real household disposable income growth
CPI Inflation

Diversifying your property portfolio
Harcourts - South Africa
Given the volatility of the economy there is much to be said for the benefit of investing in property. The property market is usually more stable, has lower risks, and gives the investor the benefit of capital growth as well as a rental return. In addition to this, in many cases the investor can make use of finance to acquire the asset, whilst benefitting from the return on the entire asset.

If property is your investment choice, then what sort of property should you invest in? And how do you mitigate potential risks?

They key is to diversify. There are a few key elements to consider when it comes to property diversification.
Diversifying

Conveyancers - 'no room for complacency'
Law Gazette - UK
e conveyancing market consolidated at its fastest rate in three years in 2015, according to latest sector research.

Search Acumen’s conveyancing market tracker published today shows that the number of active firms registering transactions fell from 5,871 in 2014 to 5,357. The 9% drop was three times the rate of decline recorded in 2013 and 2014.

The number of firms operating in the market was almost a third lower than the 7,779 firms recording transactions in 2005.

Direct enquiries and personal referrals were the most common source of business growth last year, with seven in 10 firms reporting a rise in business as a result. Nearly three-quarters of conveyancers said staff recruitment and training were the biggest challenges they would have to meet to achieve further growth this year.
Law Gazette

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