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ABSA House Price Index - November 2010
ABSA - South Africa
Growth in home values slowing down further
Year-on-year growth in the value of middle-segment homes for which Absa approved mortgage finance (see explanatory notes) slowed down further in November 2010. In all three categories of housing measured by the Absa house price indices (small, medium sized and large houses), price growth was lower in both nominal and real terms in the penultimate month of the year compared with a year ago. On a monthly basis, home values continued to decline after reaching a peak around April this year, but the pace of monthly contractions appears to be slowing down.

Although the base effect of a recovery in house price growth in the second half of 2009 is impacting year-on-year price growth calculations in the second half of 2010, the downward trend in price levels over the past few months is believed to be related to economic developments in general. These include slowing economic growth since the second quarter; job losses totalling 275 000 in the first three quarters of the year; a markedly slower pace of interest rate cuts than in 2009; no improvement in consumer confidence during the course of the year; and consumers still having high levels of debt in relation to disposable income. Although interest rates are low and growth in real household disposable income and consumption improved in 2010, credit extension to the household sector, including mortgage advances, continued to record single-digit growth up to October this year.
ABSA November Property Price Index

Deeds Office working hours over the festive season
Rural Development and Land Reform - South Africa
The Department will be closed to its clients from 28 December 2010 to 31 December 2010. All staff will be permitted to leave their offices at 10:00 on 24 December 2010.
Deeds Office Working Hours

A property year in review
RealEstateWeb - South Africa
Pam Golding's Andrew Golding sums up the year.

It has certainly been an astonishing period for global housing markets. Prices have boomed, crashed and, in some markets, boomed again - all in the space of five years. The first signs of the global downturn were seen in Israel in early 2006, when prices began to slip on the back of tightening credit availability. The real catalyst for the fall, however, was the reaction of banks to the emerging sub-prime crisis in the United States. Prices there began to fall as early as summer 2006, and from that point forward, prices peaked and began an inexorable slide across the world. The whole process took two years to play out, affecting Portugal and Ireland in late 2006, moving through the UK, Latvia, New Zealand, Denmark , Hungary and ourselves during 2007and finally afflicting Croatia, The Czech Republic, Finland, France, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Singapore and China in 2008.

On average, prices fell by around 17 percent across the globe during 2007and 2008. The next logical phase of the market cycle, bearing in mind the problems gripping most developed economies at the time, would have been for prices to languish at these low levels. Instead, much to the surprise of many, they began to bounce back.

Since early 2009, global house prices have recovered, on average, by 10 percent. By mid-2010, values were only around nine percent below their 2006-2008 peak. After a decade-and-a-half of rising prices, which had seen growth of 100 percent, 200 percent, or even 300 percent in some markets, a nine percent decline doesn't actually reflect the way many people are feeling.

Land Registry propose land registration changes
MyIntroducer.com - UK
Land Registry have launched a consultation on its proposed changes to land registration legislation to take account of changes made by the Legal Services Act 2007.

The Legal Services Act 2007 makes provision for the regulation of persons and bodies who carry on certain legal activities and lists and defines what activities constitute reserved legal activities. The means of regulating the legal professions and controlling the work they can do is also contained in the act.

The Land Registry proposals would amend the definitions of 'conveyancer' and the persons entitled to make electronic applications to Land Registry to be consistent with the providers who, under the Legal Services Act, are authorised to prepare conveyancing documents and make applications for land registration purposes.

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