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SA set for farm expropriations
News24.com - South Africa
Johannesburg - The government is ready to order its first expropriation of white-owned farms, and has identified 355 properties it may seize if price talks with farmers fail, a senior land official said on Friday.

Chief Land Claims commissioner Tozi Gwanya said the government was determined to speed land reform and that expropriations - with farmers compelled to accept government payment for their land - now seemed almost inevitable.

"We have achieved a lot through negotiations, but the farmers are abusing this process by dragging it out," Gwanya said in an interview.

More people can now afford houses despite high prices
BusinessReport - South Africa
Johannesburg - Despite strong rises in house prices, more South Africans are becoming potential home owners.

According to a Standard Bank report on house affordability, at a prime rate of 10.5 percent, 13.5 million people can afford houses worth R86 330. And 1.1 million people can afford median-priced houses worth R489 874.

But in 2003, when the prime rate was 17 percent, 1.4 million were able to afford the median house price of R317 871.

The report pointed out that a larger part of the population was able to afford the lower price segments, despite the surge in house prices. This was partly due to the relatively low price growth in these segments

Help Under 30s To Buy Homes
Property24.com - South Africa
Parents, relatives and friends, said Bill Rawson, President of the Institute of Estate Agents, could be doing more to help young people in South Africa to get onto the home-owning ladder.

"All of us," he said, "are far too quick to say that young people lack responsibility and commitment. My experience is that if we help them buy an apartment or a small home they usually overnight become proud owners prepared to work on their properties far more assiduously than most of their elders."

Where the older person does not wish - or cannot afford - to actually put down a deposit for their offspring or relatives, they can, said Rawson, still make the purchase possible by standing surety.

ACC finds deeds after two years
The Post - Ireland
ACC Bank has found the title deeds to properties owned by Dublin businessman Jerry Beades, two years after losing them.

Beades, who runs a construction business in Dublin, confirmed he received news late last week that the bank had found the title deeds, shortly after he returned from meeting senior Rabobank officials in Holland.

Beades travelled to Utrecht to picket Rabobank's headquarters after its Irish subsidiary lost the deeds to properties worth €14million in May 2004.

The Dutch bank told other customers it would look into a number of disputes involving its Irish subsidiary, though ACC Bank denied reports that Rabobank had sent a team to Dublin to investigate complaints.
The Post

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