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12 October 2017

LSSA Co-Chairpersons Mid-Term Report
South Africa - LSSA
Mid-Term Report by the Co-Chairpersons of the Law Society of South Africa to the Annual General Meetings of the constituent members of the LSSA

When we took office at the end of April 2017 at the Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) annual general meeting in Port Elizabeth, the developments around the Legal Practice Act 28 of 2014 loomed large at the forefront of our agenda. So it has proven to be.

The pace of negotiation has been slow and agreements even slower. As such the National Forum on the Legal Profession (NF) has been obliged to request two extensions from Justice Minister Michael Masutha, in order to submit its recommendations to him. Our appearance before the parliamentary portfolio committee in September has underlined that any further request for extension will not be well received. We, as the leaders of the legal profession, need to set aside our differences and politics in order to progress the agenda of the greater good. At the LSSA our planning for an uncertain future has continued in order to anticipate the coming into operation of the Legal Practice Council (LPC), envisaged to be in August 2018 or soon thereafter.
LSSA

Court should demand reserve price in execution sales
South Africa - IolProperty
The Ga-Rankuwa man who fell into arrears with the repayment of his bond is asking the court to order that there should be a reserve price set when a house is sold in execution. Given Nkwane had received a home loan to the value of R380 000 from Standard Bank in 2011. He paid his bond instalments religiously for two years.

But when Nkwane and his wife separated in 2013, he fell into financial difficulty as he had to maintain two households. He could not pay back his bond instalment and the bank offered to assist him with restructuring his debt for six months.

However, at the end of the programme and with the sudden loss of his job, Nkwane was not in a financial position to honour his financial obligations to the bank. The bank obtained an order to repossess the house.
IolProperty

Drones - a useful tool for the commercial real estate market
South Africa - Rawson
Drones, also known as Remote Piloted Aircraft or RPAs, have become increasingly popular in recent years, both recreationally as well as commercially. They are used in many industries including the commercial real estate market. Drones have many applications, not least of which is producing marketing material to attract potential property buyers. “Commercial property owners or managers may also find that a drone will simplify their property inspections,” says Leon Breytenbach, National Manager of the Rawson Property Group’s commercial division.

Benefits to potential buyers
When purchasing undeveloped land it helps to have a good look at the terrain so as to check for features which may affect the proposed development. Drones can cover greater areas than a survey, clearly showing nearby features, hard to access places such as streams or culverts, besides giving the potential buyer an overview of the surrounding land, adjacent structures or access routes.
Rawson

Buy-to-Let and Secondary Home Buying
South Africa - FNB
The 3rd quarter Estate Agent Survey saw the 2nd consecutive quarterly decline in its estimated secondary property buying percentage. Although 2 quarters does not yet constitute a confirmed trend, we would expect to see some decline in these current times of very weak Household Sector and Consumer Confidence, times which usually lead to a greater level of financial caution.

One category of 2nd home buying that has declined quite noticeably is the percentage of buyers “buying a home for use as a primary residence by a family member”. Whereas this category reached a multi-year high of 2.32% of total home buying back in the 3rd quarter of 2015, this percentage was significantly lower through 2017 to date, recording only 0.89% in the 3rd quarter of 2017.

The estimated holiday home buying percentage, however, has surprisingly not yet shown a noticeable decline. This category of buying was estimated at 3.3% of total home buying in the 3rd quarter of 2017, exceeded only once since 2014 and that was in the 1st quarter of 2017 where it measured 3.77%. We would however expect holiday home buying to recede in the near term.
FNB Property Barometer

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