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10 March 2016

House Price Indices
Absa - South Africa
Steady middle-segment house price growth in early 2016

Nominal year-on-year growth in the average value of middle-segment homes in the South African residential property market remained steady around the 6% level in the first two months of 2016. Somewhat slower price growth occurred in two of the middle-segment categories of housing in February, with an uptick in growth in the third category. In real terms, i.e. after adjustment for the effect of inflation, some price deflation was recorded in January. These trends in home values are according to the Absa house price indices, which are based on applications for mortgage finance received and approved by the bank in respect of middle-segment small, medium-sized and large homes (see explanatory notes).

The two middle-segment categories of medium-sized and large homes saw marginally lower price growth on a nominal year-on-year basis in February. The small category, however, registered a jump in price growth, but growth remained below that of the other two segments. Real price deflation accelerated in the small and medium-sized categories up to January, with real price growth slowing down in the large segment. The latest trends in real house price growth came against the background of rising headline consumer price inflation, which increased from 4,8% year-on-year (y/y) in November last year to 5,2% y/y in December and 6,2% y/y in January.

The average nominal value of homes in each of the middle-segment categories was as follows in February 2016:

  • Small homes (80m²-140m²): R892 000
  • Medium-sized homes (141m²-220 m²): R1 259 000
  • Large homes (221m²-400m²): R1 978 000

HPI Feb 2016

How to leave property in your will
IolProperty - South Africa
Wills must be very carefully worded to avoid misunderstandings and misinterpretation, particularly when leaving fixed property behind.

The executor of the estate, heirs to the estate and the Master of the High Court of South Africa (who must confirm the validity of the will) often have conflicting views about a will's provisions. In these instances, they look to the executor for a decisive interpretation of any contentious clauses.

Based on this interpretation, the assets in the estate are transferred to the heirs.

Although heirs may formally object to the executor's interpretation, such challenges draw out and can complicate the settlement of the estate.
IolProperty

Theft during open house not covered by most insurers
MUA Insurance Acceptances - South Africa
Recent CCTV footage captured a theft which took place at a property while the house was on show to potential buyers.

This footage highlights the importance for homeowners in the process of selling their house to ensure that their belongings are properly insured against theft which may occur during an open house day according to Christelle Colman, CEO of MUA Insurance Acceptances, who says that it is vital that any homeowner who plans to have their house made open to members of the public on a show day to inform their insurance provider or broker about the arrangement.

"While a show day is usually one of the key processes of selling one's property, there are various insurance risks associated with a show day."
Theft during open house not covered

Buying in an unstable economy
Harcourts - South Africa
Planning to buy a home usually takes a long term strategy, with many buyers having to either save for a deposit, assess affordability or scout for the perfect property to call home. Then when the time finally comes and the country’s economy seems to be unstable - interest rates are higher, banks are implementing stricter lending criteria, doomsayers are warning against long term investments, buyers could be caught in a funnel of information and be left confused and unnecessarily wary.

The local property market has shown relative resistance to economic instability and buyers continue identifying opportunities. The first thing buyers need to know is that if you can afford to buy, you’ve done your research, located a reputable agent, then this is the best time. High value property opportunities tend to become more available in times of economic uncertainty.

Ooba, South Africa’s leading bond originator, reported that in January of this year, 54% of applications received were that of first time buyers and with a home loan approval rate of 73% during that month, property remains attractive. Which proves that buyers are still interested despite market fluctuations.
Buying in an unstable economy

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