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US stocks plunge on bond fears
Fin24.co.za - South Africa
Washington - US stocks plunged on Tuesday as rising delinquencies on home mortgages and slower retail sales alarmed investors by raising doubt about the strength of the economy.
Financial and homebuilder stocks tumbled after the US Mortgage Bankers Association said foreclosures in the US are rising on loans to top-rated borrowers.

After three days of gains, the three major US stock gauges all fell the most since the global slump two weeks ago, which was triggered in part by concerns about riskier US home mortgages.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 242.66 points, or 2%, to 12 075.96 and the broader Standard & Poor's 500 slid 28.65 points, or 2%, to 1 377.95. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite fell 51.72 points, or 2.2%, to 2 350.57.

Property value hike may see rate compensation
Iol.co.za - South Africa
While many property values have trebled in the council's recent valuation, the mayoral committee member for finance, Ian Neilson, said some owners could be paying lower rates from July.

"The cent-in-rand cost will come down significantly to compensate for the increase in valuations," he said.

The city has been inundated with more than 5 000 objections to the property valuations. A computer glitch that resulted in sectional title units being double counted forced the city to lodge a further 70 000 objections.

Neilson said ratepayers have been informed throughout the process that an increase in property valuation should not be interpreted as an automatic increase in the rates.

City's housing crisis spirals
Cape Times - South Africa
Aziz Hartley
Cape Town is a city where hundreds of thousands of people do not have proper homes and have little prospect of getting them, the Western Cape government says.

They are young, unemployed and poor, and the situation is worsening by the year, according to the province's housing plan, presented to the legislature's housing portfolio committee yesterday.

Some of the shocking points which emerged from housing applications were:
- With an annual growth rate of only 1%, the city's housing backlog was expected to reach 460 000 by 2020.
- If R1 billion was spent every year on building houses, the demand for formal housing would only be met by 2033.
Cape Times

'Outstanding issues' overshadow expropriation
Mail&Guardian - South Africa
The first farmland-expropriation exercise by the government, to be effective on March 15, was overshadowed by "outstanding issues" among claimants of the Pniel farm in the Northern Cape.

The land will now first be kept in curatorship by the state before it will be handed to the claimants, the Commission on Restitution of Land Rights said on Saturday.

Limpopo land claims commissioner Mashile Mokono told the Pniel community at a meeting that the land had been registered in the state's name on January 26 and "interim arrangements" regarding the management of the farm would be introduced.

"This land we have taken is actually land in transit, land that's on it's way to you," he said to loud applause.

Record R34m for Clifton pad
Cape Town - A British businessman forked out a hefty R34m for an exclusive Clifton apartment, the most ever paid for a flat in South Africa.

The previous record was R28m for an apartment in the same complex - the Eventide development in Victoria Road, which runs along the beach. It is the newest development in Clifton with only 30 super-luxurious apartments.

Well-known architects Dennis Fabian and Stefan Antoni designed the sectional title unit of 500m², which was sold by the Atlantic Coast office of Lew Geffen Sotheby's International Realty.

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