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27 October 2016

Owners and banks differ on property valuations
Paragon - South Africa
There is often a serious disconnect between what a property owner thinks their property is worth and how it will be valued by lenders. Understanding the difference can save time and frustration when looking to raise capital against properties.

Gary Palmer, CEO of independent lender, Paragon Lending Solutions examines the growing valuation disconnect.

The current economic climate is exacerbating the skewed perception of property valuations. The uncertainty around interest rates, a zero growth rate and consumer pressures are taking their toll. These pressures are also shifting the supply in the property market, as skittish investors look for ways to become more liquid and move their money offshore.
Owners and banks differ

Residential building stats
Absa - South Africa
Continued slowdown in residential building activity

Levels of building activity in the South African market for new housing continued to slow down up to August 2016 in both the planning and construction phases compared with a year ago. The months of July and August in particular saw significant contractions in activity levels on a year-on-year basis, which contributed the trends of the 8-month period. These developments are based on data published by Statistics South Africa in respect of building activity related to private sector-financed housing (see explanatory notes).

In January to August this year the number of new housing units for which building plans were approved contracted by 10,6% year-on-year (y/y), or 4 366 units, to 36 733 units. August saw a contraction of 23,8% y/y after a drop of 37,2% y/y in July. The bulk of these contractions occurred mainly in the two segments of houses, which showed a combined decline of 17,8% y/y, or 4 868 units, to a total of 22 542 units in the 8-month period up to August. The segment of flats and townhouses, however, recorded relatively low positive growth of 3,7% y/y over this period.

The volume of new housing units completed increased by only 1,3% y/y in the period January to August this year. The segment for houses smaller than 80m² showed a contraction of almost 9% y/y, whereas the segment for flats and townhouses recorded growth of 15,6% y/y over this period. With the planning phase of new housing contracting at an accelerating pace as the year progresses, the construction phase has also showed diminishing year-on-year growth in the 8-month period up to August. As a result, the slowing growth with regard to housing construction activity will most likely continue over the short to medium term.
Building stats Aug 2016

Should consumers trust conveyancing “dabblers”?
Today's Conveyancer - UK
CAs property transactions levels grew particularly in Q2 of this year, so did the number of occasional conveyancers or firms which merely ‘dabble’ in conveyancing.

Despite the small proportion of transactions these firms take on, their active participation in the sector has led to their increasing dominance in the UK conveyancing sector. Further, a combination of both the pre-Brexit outcome and stamp duty reform resulting in a transactions surge, meant their strength in the market could only increase. With demand high, purchaser and seller focus may shift from prioritisation of a specialised firm, and instead simply for one able to conduct the transaction.
Today's Conveyancer

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