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House price growth stays at 15.4%
Business.iafrica.com - South Africa
Nominal house price growth of 15.4 percent year-on-year was recorded in February from a revised 15.4 percent in January, according to the latest ABSA House Price Index. This brings the average price of a house in the survey to R891 700 in February 2007.

However, the researchers pointed to growth potentially levelling off again later in the year. In real terms year-on-year growth of 8.9 percent was recorded in January from a revised 8.9 percent in December, while nominal growth on a month-on-month basis was reported slightly down at 1.1 percent after 1.4 percent growth in January.

Growth to 'level off' in late '07
"Month-on-month house price growth is tending downwards after moving higher between July and November last year. This, together with a currently growing possibility of higher interest rates in April, indicates that house price growth is forecast to level off again later this year," said the ABSA researchers.

The HIP bone of contention
Citywire.co.uk - UK
With just over three months until home information packs (HIPs) become mandatory for all residential property sales - 1 June - the government is being accused of foisting HIPs on home sellers without any real understanding of the effect they will have on the market, and no evidence that HIPs will speed up the conveyancing process.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) wants implementation of HIPs to be postponed until the trials, now being conducted in pilot areas around the country, are completed, and the evidence of their effectiveness in speeding up property conveyancing can be analysed. The CML also believes the government has been slow to recognise the problem of delays with local authority searches.

Long leases become option for land development
BusinessDay - South Africa
Government, parastatals and some private property landowners are increasingly electing to "dispose" of their land in terms of long leases rather than transferring full ownership to prospective buyers.
Because of the shortage of suitable zoned land for development and other business purposes in SA, some developers and users of space are being forced to enter into long leaseholds, which generally vary from 30 years to 99 years.
Although a long leasehold title is second best to actually having full title over a land or property, Frans van Hoogstraten, a director at Bowman Gilfillan Attorneys, says it is a valid form of title. But he warns that prospective lessees should be aware of the pitfalls of such an agreement.

Buyers won't budge as land ruckus escalates
The Citizen - South Africa
Members of the public who bought land in Mpumalanga illegally refused to budge from the stands they acquired from the Nsikazi tribe - even when an urgent court interdict was served on them.

The Mbombela Municipality, owner of the 96ha of land at Rocky Drift earmarked as a future cemetery, is struggling to remove the hordes of people. The urgent court interdict was obtained from the Pretoria High Court by the municipality last Thursday to prevent MJ Nkosi and P Radebe from entering the land, demarcating land, building roads and selling land to the public.

The buyers were unaware that the land did not belong to Chief Nkosi, apparently from the Nsikazi Tribal Authority.
The Citizen

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