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Board lashed for lack of action
Property24.com - South Africa
Consumer protection in the real estate industry is in serious jeopardy - not because of the explosion in the number of agents but because of a lack of action by the Estate Agency Affairs Board.

So says Bill Rawson, national president of the Institute of Estate Agents (IEASA), who notes that estate agent registration numbers have now risen to around 64 000, compared with some 42 000 at this time last year.

The EAAB is the statutory body tasked with consumer protection in the real estate sector, while IEASA is the biggest of the industry organisations representing estate agents.

Act gives sectional title owners relief
Personal Finance - South Africa
The latest amendments to the Sectional Titles Act provide improved protection for owners in sectional title flats, townhouses and complexes, but in some cases the amendments do not go far enough.

The newly amended Sectional Titles Act, which became law on July 8, has beefed up protection for owners of sectional title units in several respects. The changes to the Act affect about two million people who live in 550 000 sectional title complexes.

Among other things, the amended Act places greater responsibilities on developers of blocks of flats or townhouses to be accountable to people who buy into those developments.
Personal Finance

Corobrik to lift capacity on strong demand
Business Day - South Africa
SA's largest brick maker, Corobrik, has re-commissioned mothballed capacity to the tune of 300-million bricks a year in response to growing demand.

The company is also adding capacity to produce a further 100-million bricks a year through several projects at some of its 13 production facilities around the country, at a cost of about R150m.

Corobrik is one among several of the country's largest building material suppliers that are expanding on the back of interest-rate driven growth in the building industry.
Business Day

House prices exceed replacement costs
Rode's Property News - South Africa
Interesting implications can be derived from the fact that, according to Absa's latest house-price indices, old house prices are currently only 5% cheaper than the prices of new houses.

This is the opinion of Erwin Rode, CEO of Rode & Associates property valuers and economists.

"As a rule of thumb, house prices depreciate by 1% point per annum relative to the market value of newish houses; therefore, after 25 years a house is typically 25% cheaper than a newish house."
Rode's Property News

Leading a double life
Financial Mail - South Africa
South Africa possibly has the highest proportion in the world of people who have second and third homes. We can thank apartheid and culture for that.

Almost every black South African I know has a home in the city and a "home" in the country; often also a home in the suburbs and a "home" in the township.

In the parlance of 1960s prime minister Hendrik Verwoerd, black people were "temporary sojourners" in the city, so two homes were essential. But in the new democratic SA, home is also where the ancestors lived and died - and remain. It is sacred, and for many is unsaleable.
Financial Mail

House price growth slowest since 1999
Business Day - South Africa
House prices recorded their lowest nominal month on month growth since 1999 in August, mortgage lender Absa said today, with growth expected to slow further in the next year.

Property prices in SA have soared by over 200% since 1997, fuelled by low interest rates, but the country's largest retail bank said the boom was coming to a natural end as houses have simply become too expensive. "The market is definitely cooling off," Absa senior economist Jacques du Toit told Reuters. "The most important factor is affordability - housing has become relatively expensive."
Business Day

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