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UPDATE | More deeds offices close due to Covid-19, serious Cape backlog - What you need to know
Chief Deeds Registrar Carlize Knoesen says Cape Town and Johannesburg – the only two offices out of the 11 countrywide where municipalities are digitised – have been worst hit by the lockdown.

The Johannesburg and Pretoria deeds offices will be opening on Wednesday, 17 June, following closure on Friday night, 12 June "after conveyancers who were in the building tested positive", Knoesen has confirmed. Decontamination was expedited to try and have the offices open on Monday, 15 June - but this has been extended until Wednesday. The Cape Town and Vryburg Deeds offices have since opened on Monday.

The Cape Town Deeds office has had to close twice, since being allowed to re-open under Lockdown Level 3 Restrictions at the beginning of May. The result is a batch of 14 000 backlogged deeds and a reduced staff compliment that needs to look at alternatives to ensure the registering of properties gets back on track.
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'Approval of bonds for first-time buyers at its highest for three years'
Covid-19 lockdown may have slowed the property market but early indications suggest recovery is likely. Here's why.

Initial predictions regarding the future of the residential property market as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown have painted a sombre picture: significant drops in house prices, more supply than demand, and people unable to afford their home loans.

However, it was not possible to put these predictions to the test until recently, when South Africa moved to Alert Level 3 of lockdown regulations.

“What this means,” says Carl Coetzee, the CEO of BetterBond, “is that the first deals in a long time can be concluded. People who have viewed a property online can now view it in person and, if they are keen on it, submit an offer to purchase.”
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Long-term impact of home loan payment holidays explained
South Africa is currently under lockdown Alert Level Three - and as the deeds office deals with its backlog, the property industry overall is faced with pent-up demand after some 64 days of restrictions.

The year 2020 was hardly 90 days old when South Africa began to experience the massive impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on all fronts.

Suddenly, by the beginning of March, it had become apparent that the country's banks would need to provide significant debt relief measures to individuals and businesses to help absorb the unforeseen and unprecedented adverse economic impact of the pandemic in response to the financial burden brought about by the sudden lockdown restrictions and regulations.

Major South African banks offered their clients access to a 90-day payment holiday between April and June to help cope with the Lockdown burden.
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How do you change partners in a joint home loan?
As Covid-19 takes its toll on the South African economy and many find themselves either facing retrenchment or out of work, the ramifications on co-partnership or joint home loans have been brought to the fore.

One reader says she wants to buy a house of her own but needs to first get out of a joint bond – yet the other partner cannot afford to buy her out. Another has had a bond for six years, with her sister who is about to get married. She wants to know how registering a new partner would affect the bond term. And counter to this, another reader wants to know what happens when joint bond changes need to happen due to a divorce.

Denoon Sampson Ndlovu Inc answers:
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