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Policy on property is flawed, says Sapoa
Sunday Weekend Argus - South Africa
The South African Property Owners Association (Sapoa) is speaking out yet again in an effort to get the government to address unconstitutional clauses in the Draft Policy on Expropriation Bill.

"Sapoa supports the land reform process, but has serious concerns about the proposed amendments in the latest draft that has been circulated', says chief executive Neil Gopal.

It's much tougher for you to get a home loan
Personal Finance - South Africa

New borrowers will find it difficult to get 100-percent home loans and discounted interest rates.

A tough economic environment, with high interest rates and inflation, means you are less likely to be granted a home loan or a loan at a favourable interest rate unless you can put down a significant deposit and have a good credit record.

Banks are responding to the global credit crunch and the tougher local economic conditions by tightening up significantly on their lending criteria.

Besides granting fewer home loans of 100 percent or more of the value of your property, it is now less likely that you will qualify for a home loan at two percentage points below the prime interest rate. In addition, at least one bank is reviewing its access bond offerings.

And things are unlikely to improve soon. Goolam Ballim, Standard Bank's group economist, says given the current movements in the inflation rate and the unrelenting increases in food and oil prices, a cut in interest rates is a long way off.
Personal Finance

Making the taxman pay for property repairs
RealEstateweb - South Africa

Tax fundi gives valuable pointers on deductions for repairs and improvements.

Many people are under the impression that the cost of renovating a building is tax deductible. In certain cases it may be - but not to the extent that the renovation comprises improvements rather than repairs. Guest Columnist and Tax Partner at Cameron & Prentice, Dave Warneke explains.

Except in the case of factory buildings (section 13(1)), new commercial buildings (section 13quin) and buildings in 'urban development zones' (section 13quat), there is no section in the Income Tax Act allowing a deduction for improvements to buildings. Repairs, on the other hand, are fully deductible (in terms of section 11(d)) provided that the building in question is occupied for the purpose of the taxpayer's trade or let out, and the expenditure is squarely of the type that the courts have ruled constitute 'repairs'.

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