Absa Higher density housing - May 2011
Absa - South Africa
The past few years saw a major focus on higher-density residential property developments in South Africa, especially in the major metropolitan areas. These developments, consisting mostly of flats and townhouses, were also the focus of an increasing number of property investors and speculators, which caused strong growth in the demand for and supply of these types of higher-density housing. More than 251 000 new flats and townhouses were reported to have been constructed from 1995 to 2010.
The volume of new flats and townhouses built was on a sharp downward trend in 2009 and 2010 compared with the period 2001-2008. This was mainly the result of economic developments which impacted household finances and demand and supply conditions for housing. In view of these developments, the average building area of flats and townhouses dropped to an average of around 108m² over the past three years. This was a reflection of the greater focus on the affordability of housing against the background of the economic cycle, as well as rising municipal rates, taxes and levies. However, the cost per square metre of building flats and townhouses continued to rise at a faster pace than the headline consumer price inflation rate over the past few years, which contributed to the value per unit of new flats and townhouses constructed to be on an upward trend in real terms, except for 2007 and 2008 when noticeable real price declines occurred.
Absa Higher density housing
Generation x leads property recovery
RealEstateWeb - South Africa
Generation X will lead the property market to recovery in the US and in SA.
Generation X will lead the property market to recovery in the US and in SA. A more positive sentiment has returned to the market in the US as well as in South Africa, especially among professionals who can afford to take advantage of the current market conditions.
A report by an American company, John Burns Real Estate Consulting, revealed that of the 10 000 buyers and potential buyers they surveyed in 27 metro areas throughout the US, between 85% and 89% said that they felt now was a good time to buy a home and most felt optimistic about a new home purchase.
There has been a marked increase in activity in both the local and international property markets in the first quarter of 2011; however recovery in the global market continues to be slow as countries are experiencing different rates of recovery depending on the various economic policies they have in place.
Real Estate Web
Quality mark for conveyancing: What does it mean?
Jordans - UK
When it emerges from the knock-on effects of the recession, Britain's residential conveyancing sector will most likely appear very different to the market that existed prior to the credit crunch.
This is the view of Law Society chief executive Desmond Hudson. Writing for the Mortgage Finance Gazette this month, he explained how - for the medium term at least - an increasingly cautious approach was likely to be seen.
Paired with a competitive and crowded legal services market "courtesy of the Legal Services Act", he suggested this could provide home buyers with more choice when it comes to conveyancing. But the quality of service is likely to be "unequal", Mr Hudson added.
"Overall solicitors provide an excellent service to residential conveyancing clients and their lenders. It is also clear that the profession and the Law Society must lead the way in raising existing standards in the conveyancing market for the benefit of homeowners and mortgage lenders," he said.
News focus: sole practitioners face 'perfect storm'
Law Society Gazette - UK
To paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of the death of the sole practitioner appear greatly exaggerated.
Despite their near-universal hostility to alternative business structures, delegates at last weekend's SPG conference in Harrogate were surprisingly upbeat about the 'perfect storm' they must weather.
There was much to concentrate minds: ABSs, outcomes-focused regulation, conveyancing panel purges and the emasculation of legal aid all featured on a crowded agenda.
But then you have to be resilient when you choose to run your own business, especially in a recessionary climate, and there was no shortage of stoicism on show at the elegant spa town's Majestic Hotel.
Chris Kenny, chief executive of the Legal Services Board and an evangelist for ABSs, seemed to sense the mood. 'It's not just about supermarkets,' he reassured delegates.
Law Society Gazette
Absa Higher density housing - May 2011