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FNB Quarterly Western Cape Property Review
FNB - South Africa
In conclusion
The Western Cape Estate Agent survey suggested mildly stronger housing demand in the 4th quarter, after 2 successive quarters of decline. However, we don't read too much into this yet, as seasonal factors do play a positive role in the 4th quarter. Other agent survey questions, and our own valuers' opinions, continue to point to weak demand relative to supply, and this imbalance appears to once again be taking its toll as Western Cape house price growth slowed in the latter stages of 2010. Significant financial pressure is still evident in the market, partly explaining the relatively better price growth performance of the province's lower-priced segment, with affordability being important.

Finally, a noticeable decline in the estimated percentage of foreign buyers is not believed to be due to any deterioration in foreign sentiment towards our region. Rather, property is not currently the favoured global asset class, while a huge strengthening in the rand in 2010, on the back of foreign investor interest in other local asset classes, drove up local house prices sharply in foreign currency terms. This created an affordability challenge that may well have played a role in dampening foreign interest in local property
FNB Quarterly Western Cape Property Review

Consumers need to understand rights when entering into property sale agreements
RealEstateWeb - South Africa
Entering into property sales agreements should not be taken lightly - particularly with regards to trust monies.

Before the shock of the fraud and corruption currently reported in the media concerning real estate agency powerhouse ''Wendy Machanik Properties'' and other estate agencies wears off, consumers should take this opportunity to understand their rights when handing large sums of money to estate agents and legal practitioners.

The purpose of this article is twofold: the first is to emphasise the importance of reading legal documents before signing same and the second is to advise consumers on how trust monies are held and protected by relevant legislation and what recourse they have should their money be misappropriated. For the purposes of this article we limit our discussion on legal documents to property sale agreements.

In a usufruct arrangement, who pays for the upkeep of a home?
Rawson - South Africa
The legal term usufruct is used to define a state in which an individual has the right to occupy a property even though he or she does not own it. To be legally binding a usufruct must be registered against the title deeds
Usufruct, says Rob Lawrence, national manager of the bond origination service, Rawson Finance, is most commonly used when a married person (in most cases the husband) leaves a home to his children on condition that his spouse is allowed to live there for the remainder of her life.

This can be a wise provision, says Lawrence, because it eliminates the need to transfer the property twice - first to the spouse, and then, when she dies, to the children - and it secures the latter's inheritance because the widow cannot sell the property

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