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Home demand patterns changing
Property24.com - South Africa
The changing composition of households is fuelling demand for certain types of housing, and providing developers with clues as to what they should be planning.

The demand from single buyers, for example, is spurring demand for smaller, "lock-up-and-leave" apartments and townhouses, says ERA South Africa CEO Gerhard Kotzé.

"It seems career-minded young people are staying single for longer. At the same time they are increasingly aware of the wealth-building potential of property and becoming homeowners earlier - hence the growing demand for studios, lofts and small apartments in security complexes - and the emergence of 'student cities' in suburbs close to universities.

Encourage public views of laws
China Daily - China
The ongoing drafting of the Property Law is helping introduce transparency into China's policy-making process, experts say.

The draft of the Property Law, which has been discussed by the country's top legislature three times, has been published in full by major media to solicit public opinion after widely diverging views prompted law-makers to postpone its fourth review.

Another 11 laws have been made public in complete draft form to elicit opinion before finally being endorsed since 1949, but none attracted so much attention.
China Daily

SACP calls on banks for Mzansi mortgages
Business Report - South Africa
The SA Communist Party (SACP), which has actively lobbied for access to affordable credit and financial services for the poor, has called on the country's banks to come up with an affordable 10-year home loan.

Blade Nzimande, the general secretary of the SACP, told a Cosatu central committee meeting yesterday that there was a need for Mzansi mortgages - a housing equivalent of the Mzansi bank account.

He said the SACP demanded the development of a new model for financing low-cost housing by the banks that would offer a shorter but affordable payment period, where houses could ideally be paid up in less than 10 years.
Business Report

Halifax conveyancing move announced
The Property Forum - UK
Halifax has become the first major UK lender to move into the conveyancing market, offering borrowers a free conveyancing service.

The total market value of conveyancing in the UK is believed to be around £780 million, with the average cost of a single transaction around £560. Currently, no single market figure occupies a dominant position.

As part of a broader drive to introduce the administration of legal practices into the services that Halifax offers customers, the bank is making its conveyancing service available to customers and non-customers alike.
The Property Forum

R15 homeowners' insurance for the poor
Moneyweb - South Africa
Cre8, the research and development division of Alexander Forbes Management Services, with Kwasa Development and Housing Resource, has introduced a homeowners' insurance (iKhaya Protector) policy for government-subsidised houses from as little as R15 per month.

The idea is to make insurance affordable to the poor.

Elize Botha, director of Cre8, says about 2-m people who own houses valued at R35 000 each will benefit from this initiative. Botha says if the value of the house exceeds R35 000, the owner's premium will increase.

Land Administration to be decentralised
GhanaWeb.com - Ghana
Ms Theresa Ameley Tagoe, Deputy Minister of Lands Forestry and Mines, on Wednesday said activities and programmes under the Land Administration Project (LAP) would be decentralized to the regional and district levels to ensure speedy processing of all issues concerning land.

She said it was, therefore, important that customary land secretariats and regional land sector agencies were brought on board the general operations of the land sector programmes and projects, which included financial and procurement management.

Opening a three-day workshop on Financial Management and Procurement Procedures on Land Administration Project in Accra, Ms Tagoe said training and capacity building was one major concern and it was in line with Government's policy of making human resource development a priority area.

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