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Why homeowners get a seven-year itch
Business Report - South Africa
Seven years is the average length of time most people hang on to their property. Standard Bank property economist Gina Schoeman describes the trend as a seven-year itch.

She suggests this may be because people want to take their profits and move into other asset classes - for example, equities.

Of course, a lot of people, especially those who have bought a house to live in and not as an investment, move for practical reasons. And some just feel the need for a change - like a colleague who once confided that he moved every few years because it was the only way to find all the things the family had lost in its innards.
Business Report

Uproar over mixed property plan
Fin24.co.za - South Africa
Johannesburg - Key players in the residential property market on Sunday slammed the Department of Housing's new proposals for the integration of rich and poor in the same housing development as a "recipe for disaster".

The government's intervention in the SA housing market, which aims to force developers to build low-cost houses next to more expensive units in the same property development, would grind the supply side of the market to a screeching halt, property players warned.

Developers said that the proposed policy regulations were not only unachievable and ill-considered, but would also bring the residential building industry to its knees.

"It would be a catastrophe in a country where the demand for housing is so great," warned property valuator and Rode & Associate economist Erwin Rode.

No reply on R35.5m land offer
News24.com - South Africa
Bloemfontein - The Commission on Restitution of Land Rights had by Tuesday not received a reply to its offer on the first land the State has expropriated for restitution purposes. "We have received no reply yet. However the period of 60 days has not passed," Pulane Molefe, commission spokesperson, said on Tuesday.

The Pniel Farm, near Barkly West in the Northern Cape, became the first property expropriated by the state under the Restitution of Land Rights Act, Molefe said in a statement. The farm of more than 25,000ha is owned by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in South Africa.

"The farm was expropriated for the purposes of restoring the property to the claimants as restitution of their land rights in terms of section 2 of the Restitution Act," the statement read. The expropriation came into effect on January 26, 2007. As from January 26, the Church has 60 days to indicate whether or not it accepts the compensation offer of R35.5m.

House market a big player - ABSA
BusinessDay - South Africa
The country's residential property market has become much more important as a contributor to economic growth and development over the past few years, says the latest quarterly report on the residential property market by ABSA.

ABSA senior economist Jacques du Toit said that the real value of fixed property investment excluding inflation increased to R23,8bn in the third quarter of last year on a seasonally adjusted annual rate from R10,9bn in 1999.

Du Toit said on Wednesday that, in the 1980s and 1990s, the residential property sector had a much smaller effect on the economy as the sector had underperformed for a number of years.

But he said the boom in the residential property market in particular had over the past seven years contributed much to fixed investment and employment growth in the construction sector and other property related industries.

Gerhard Jooste says trustees should be paid for services
Rodneyhayter.com - South Africa
The welter of legislation, general thanklessness of the job and reluctance to serve as trustees in sectional title complexes has prompted the suggestion that the role of trustees be upgraded from voluntary to a remunerated service.

The proposal comes from Dr Gerhard Jooste, Chairman of the National Association of Managing Agents (Nama) in an interview after a regional seminar for Nama members in Durban this week.

He firmly believes that payment for trustees would enhance sectional title owner enthusiasm for the office and substantially professionalise the way in which many of the common problems in these blocks is managed. In his view, these are mainly a result of general apathy by owners in their support of body corporates.

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