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Govt, banks agree on housing
Finance24 - South Africa
The South African government and the banking sector have signed a groundbreaking Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will facilitate cooperation between the two parties in the area of housing finance, both announced on Thursday.

In a statement following the signing ceremony, Housing Minister Lindiwe Sisulu and representatives of South Africa's "big four" commercial banks and the Banking Association said the MoU was a product of months of consultations and engagements.

The MoU was in line with the commitment of the Financial Services Charter and New Comprehensive Plan on Sustainable Human Settlements to extend housing finance on a sustainable basis to low-income borrowers and to transform the way in which the sector engages with the historically disadvantaged segments of the housing market, they said.

KZN accelerates land claim settlement
AllAfrica.com - South Africa
KwaZulu-Natal Land Claims Commission has announced that a process to accelerate land claim settlements in the province is on course to wipe out backlogs on land claims.
This will be before the set deadline, with only 6000 outstanding claims in its books.

Spokesperson for the provincial land commission Zwelihle Memela said the acceleration process would begin this weekend with the Launch of the Three-Months of Land Delivery Programme.

The event, to be attended by the Chief Land Claims Commissioner Tozi Gwanya and his provincial counterpart, Thabi Shange, will be held in Oakford Priory in Verulam.

Property clinic: conquering deeds mountain
The Telegraph - UK
In the course of more than 200 years, my house has accumulated a thick pile of about 200 sheets of paper of various sizes and antiquity which are lumped together as the deeds of the property.

On reading through them, I have come across conveyances, Land Registry registers, plans of various scales, solicitors' letters, results of searches, enquiries of district councils, consents to mortgage etc, ad infinitum. The most amazing document is a copy of someone's will, whereby his daughter apparently inherited many acres of land, a tiny part of which now forms part of our garden.
The Telegraph

Can you afford a house?
Moneyweb - South Africa
House prices in South Africa rose 32% last year, much to the delight of sellers who reaped handsome profits from selling their properties.

But the bullish run of the property market has also left a bitter taste in the mouths of some: the first time homebuyers who are battling to enter the house market.

Owing to the soaring house prices - which average R600 000 - prospective homeowners have become the black sheep of the property market family, critics charge.

"A new form of discrimination is fast approaching untenable levels," charged Mandla Maleka, Eskom's chief economist in an opinion piece in Business Report.

Mortgage finance in Nigeria develops at a snail's pace
All Africa.com - Nigeria
Over the ages, man has had a basic need that almost always defies his singular ability to attain - shelter. In every geography and history, shelter is ranked as the third primary need of man, after food and clothing. The first two he can meet with a little effort. But the third needs some kind of cooperative endeavour or extra-ordinary effort, or special strategy, or a combination of all these.

In the pre-colonial Africa - and even till date in some villages - provision of housing was carried out through communitarian solidarity. But these days, mortgage system is the fashion the world over.

In this special report, DAN EDE takes a close look at the Nigerian mortgage sub-sector and the efforts made so far by the leading mortgage institutions to improve the nation's housing stock.

Read the small print
The Post - South Africa
With interest rates at an all time low, hundreds of people are now entering the property market. KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development's Project champion Navi Naidu distinguishes between the "pros and cons" in the property game - estate agents.

Consumers should remember that the buying/selling of immovable property is a complex transaction requiring special skills and knowledge. For most, the purchase or sale of immovable property is a rare experience. An estate agent can help reduce risk and avoid unnecessary stress.

You have complete freedom of choice in selecting your agent. However, it is important to choose one who is registered with the Estate Agency Affairs Board.
The Post

What's 305% between friends?
Moneyweb - South Africa
Standard Bank has confirmed that it is to hike the "administration fee" on its R500 000-plus home loan accounts by 305% from June 1.

The matter arose after a member of the Moneyweb community noticed a "footnote" at the bottom of his latest home loan statement, to the effect that "the monthly administration fee charged on your home loan account will increase to R22.80 including VAT." A line item in the account itself stated: "Administration Fee HL: R5.63".

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