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More home buyers using the Internet
Pam Golding - South Africa
With over 7.4 million South Africans now connected to the Internet, home buyers are making increasing use of the worldwide web to research the property market and initiate actual viewing of viewing homes on site, says Dr Andrew Golding, CE of the Pam Golding Property (PGP) group.

"While the effective marketing of homes incorporates a broad spectrum of media and methods including print advertising, exhibitions and of course personal interaction through agents, the electronic media are rapidly increasing in popularity among consumers. This is particularly evident as more and more people have access to the Internet via computers and cell phones.
Pam Golding

Prime council land sold below value saga deepens
Real Estate Web - South Africa
Zunaid Moti and buyers approach NPA; City obtains interdicts to stop transactions.

The National Prosecuting Authority has been asked to enter the fray in the land sale scandal that rocked the City of Johannesburg last week. City authorities confirmed to The Star newspaper that 33 tracts of municipal land had illegally been transferred into private ownership and that urgent interdicts were being sought to reverse the transfer of these properties. Now the buyers of 25 of the properties have approached the NPA to investigate the matter, in the hope of uncovering the extent of municipal involvement in the deals.

Zamien Investments 45 bought 19 of the properties and Zambrotti Investments 31 bought six as part of a R83.7m deal financed by a group of private partners. This group included businessman Zunaid Moti, who recently became the subject of intense media scrutiny after Realestateweb and others revealed his company Abalengani owed Investec Bank more than R1bn.

Moti later had another run-in with Realestateweb after a property development deal in Sandton went sour. According to Moti, the latest land deal was financed in his private capacity and had nothing to do with Abalengani, or Investec's efforts to restructure the company's outstanding debt.
Real Estate Web

Tau-SA: BEE land plan outrageous
News24.com - South Africa
Pretoria - Expecting farmers to transfer 40% of their agricultural interest to black shareholders is "outrageous" and "totally unacceptable", agricultural union TAU-SA said on Tuesday.

TAU-SA was reacting to Agricultural Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson's announcement on Monday that the government was considering a share scheme for black farmers to replace the willing buyer, willing seller principle and reach land reform targets.

"TAU, to say the least, is absolutely appalled by this announcement," its president Ben Marais said in a statement.

Ensure your application is a safe bet with the banks
Cyberprop - South Africa
Betterbond, South Africa's largest originator, gives insight into what criteria the banks evaluate when processing a home loan application
South Africa's financial institutions have taken the brunt of the blame for not approving more mortgage finance, which many believe would go a long way to further stimulating trade within the property market. However, with South Africa's debt-to-income ratios still at a very high level, affordability remains a primary consideration that is weighed up before finance is granted.

Aside from new criteria as determined by the NCA, there have been numerous changes in the bank's weighting of credit risk since the recession, with the implementation of deposit requirements, the increase of declines and a more conservative approach to lending in general.

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