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Property's wish list for budget
Business Day - South Africa
Although no one seriously expects a property-friendly budget from Finance Minister Trevor Manuel next week, property commentators have placed further transfer duty relief for home owners on their wish lists.

But if lower transfer duty is not on the menu, an "Eskom" budget would be just as welcome.
First National Bank property strategist John Loos says his wish list includes further transfer duty relief, but he is "not very optimistic about that".

"Personal tax relief would also help the residential property market at the moment, but I don't foresee much of that coming either".
Business Day

82% of houses sold below asking price
Business Report - South Africa
Pretoria - About 82 percent of residential properties are now being sold for less than the asking price, compared with about 30 percent in the first quarter of 2005, while a home remains on the market for an average of 11 weeks before it is sold.

Jan Kleynhans, the chief executive of FNB Home Loans, said yesterday that houses in the top end of the market remained on the market for an average of 14 to 16 weeks while it took about eight weeks to sell a home at the lower end of the market.

Kleynhans said that, although activity levels in the residential property market were stable, FNB's residential property barometer revealed that the rate of change in activity levels declined by 15 percent in the fourth quarter of last year compared with a year earlier.
Business Report

Manuel's budget speech takes centre stage
SABC News - South Africa
Finance Minister Trevor Manuel will take centre stage in Parliament next week when he presents his annual budget speech.

CEO of Integer Home Loans, Simon Stockley, says Manuel should give a budget speech that reflects growth and job creation in South Africa.

He says Manuel should focus on increasing the exemption on transfer duty from R500,000 to R1 million. Stockley believes that this will help first-time and ordinary buyers to afford property.

Expect property to boom: ABSA
Fin24.co.za - South Africa
South African houses prices will be 60% more expensive in the next five years, a senior official at banking roup ABSA said on Tuesday.

"In five years' time property is expected to be about 60% more expensive than today, taking into account annual growth of 10% over this period," said Gavin Opperman, managing executive of ABSA Home Loans.

The R50,000-a-month property shocker
That's what you need to earn, as a minimum, to qualify for a very ordinary home - interview.
Realestateweb - South Africa
If you are wondering why you can't afford an ordinary home, look no further than your salary slip.

The introduction of the National Credit Act (NCA) has meant that you need to earn at least R50,000 per month and be frugal with your cash if you have any hope of qualifying for a bank loan for the average house - and that now costs R962,000, according to ABSA.

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