Transfer duty system annoys conveyancers
Business Report - South Africa
The legal fraternity is becoming increasingly frustrated with functionality problems in the new property transfer duty e-filing system introduced by the SA Revenue Service (Sars) in April and Sars’ inability to resolve them.
John Christie, a member of the Law Society of SA’s property law committee, said yesterday that the system did not appear to have been designed to cope with the huge variety of transactions that conveyancers had to deal with daily.
He said apart from a few procedural problems that had been addressed, attorneys had seen very little noticeable improvement in the system since the problems were brought to Sars’s attention.
Sars group executive for business systems Mark Kingon confirmed it was dealing with challenges related to the new system “but nothing insurmountable”.
Christie said the main problems were the inordinate and unacceptable delays being encountered by conveyancers in waiting for transfer duty receipts to be issued.
Developers exploiting Environment Act gap
TimesLive - South Africa
Hundreds of property developers are abusing a loophole in the National Environmental Management Act to build in environmentally sensitive areas.
Throughout South Africa, at least 500 companies and individuals started building without submitting environmental impact assessments and obtaining authorisation from a provincial department of the environment.
Developers bargain on being able to submit section 24G applications to the province after starting construction on their projects.
According to section 24G of the act, companies that "unknowingly" contravene the act can ask the province to condone an illegal development. Developers are seldom fined more than R1-million for such a contravention.
The province can then either give the development the green light or stop it in its tracks
Property as an investment option
RealEstateweb - South Africa
The biggest leverage that any successful investor possesses is knowledge. Knowing where and how to invest comes with studying the market and the current conditions. While current property market conditions favour buyers, one still needs to make an informed decision and look at all factors relating to the purchase such as the location and future appreciation potential of the property. These elements of property investment will always remain important regardless of the conditions surrounding the transaction.
Owning a property is a viable investment and has proven over time to be a major factor in the building of personal wealth. Well researched property investments have allowed many savvy buyers to live out the lifestyle of their dreams.
Some may say that obtaining the necessary knowledge or consulting with financial advisers may be costly; however, ignorance when making an investment decision will be far more costly in the long run. Lack of knowledge could mean the difference between losing thousands and being able to enjoy an abundant life of financial independence. Although, having said that, real estate investment is far more forgiving than other vehicles of wealth creation.
Land expropriation targets 'impossible', says minister
Mail and Guardian - South Africa
Acquiring 30% of arable land by 2014 is impossible, Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform Gugile Nkwinti said on Tuesday, after a meeting hailed by farmers' unions as a "refreshing" step that would go a long way to bridging the divide between farmers and the state.
"It's impossible [for the government] to acquire 30% of 82-million hectares of arable land by 2014.
"I do not understand the assumptions underlying that. Let's agree that it's not possible," Nkwinti told media in Pretoria after his meeting with commercial farmers, at which land reform was high on the agenda
This was a view previously expressed by ANC Youth League president Julius Malema.
Rate hikes would curb property recovery
Strong indications that the South African Reserve Bank might start lifting interest rates before the end of the year will have an impact on both commercial and residential property prices warns a property auction expert.
According to Statistics SA, May inflation came in at 4.6% year-on-year from 4.2% in April, and also quickened to 0.5% month-on-month from 0.3%. The main drivers of increased inflation came from increasing food and fuel prices.
“We expect consumer price index (CPI) inflation to continue on the upwards trajectory for the remainder of the year, reflective of steep price increases for food and administered prices: electricity, petrol, rates and taxes,” said Investec economist, Kgotso Radira.
“Steep wage increases also pose upside risks to the inflation outlook. We maintain our view of a 50 basis point interest rate hike in Q4”, Radira added.
Absa mortgage advances - May 2011
Absa - South Africa
Slow pace of growth in mortgage advances continues Year-on-year growth in the total value of outstanding credit balances in South Africa’s household sector remained unchanged at 6,9% in May from April this year. On a monthly basis households’ outstanding credit balances amounted to R1 131 billion in May 2011, which were 0,5% higher than in the preceding month. Household credit comprises instalment sales agreements, leasing finance, mortgage advances, overdrafts, credit card debt, and general loans and advances.
The value of outstanding mortgage balances at monetary institutions, comprising both commercial and residential mortgage loans, increased by 3,1% year-on-year (y/y) in May 2011 (3% y/y in April). Total mortgage balances were up by R5,4 billion, or 0,5%, in May from April.
Mortgage advances May 2011