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8 March 2012

Absa House Price Indices - February 2012
Absa - South Africa
Subdued growth in house prices continues
House prices in the South African residential property market continued to show relatively low nominal growth on a year-on-year basis in February 2012, with month-on-month price trends under pressure since late last year. In real terms, i.e. after adjustment for the effect of inflation, house prices deflated further up to January this year, based on headline consumer price inflation of 6,3% year-on-year (y/y) in the month. Average nominal price levels of houses in the various categories of the middle segment of the market were as follows in February 2012, with nominal and real price changes presented in the table on the next page:

  • Small homes (80m²-141m²): R649 700
  • Medium-sized homes (141m²-220 m²): R975 000
  • Large homes (221m²-400m²): R1 530 300

The residential property market is still impacted by economic and confidence factors affecting the household sector. Many home owners and prospective home buyers have to deal with various factors impacting their finances, such as rising inflation, a relatively high debt-to-income ratio and damaged credit records. These factors affect the affordability of housing and the accessibility of mortgage finance.
House Price Indices no 51 _Feb12_

Property24 launches Innovative pay-per-sale pricing model
Property24 - South Africa
With the property market still suffering in the wake of recession, South Africa’s leading property portal, Property24.com, has launched a revolutionary new pricing model, designed to improve sales and reduce cash flow strain for estate agents.

Property24.com’s new Success Based Fee (SBF) model, developed in association with Real Estate Agencies of South Africa (REASA), is a world-first that allows estate agents to effectively market all their listed properties without any associated risk or upfront costs. This innovative new pricing plan is based on a pay-per-sale concept, and has been designed to make advertising more affordable for an industry under duress.

Using the SBF model, estate agents will now only be liable to pay a small once-off fee upon completion of a sale, and will receive unlimited listings across the Property24.com portal, as well as the SAHometraders partner network, without having to pay any monthly subscription fees.

Property24.com General Manager, JP Farinha, believes that this move away from the traditional subscription model is imperative in order to keep prices in line with what the industry can afford.
Innovative pay model

FNB Property Barometer
FNB - South Africa
HOUSEHOLD SECTOR –LESSONS TO BE LEARNED FROM THE GAUTENG TOLL ROAD EXPERIMENT
A co-ordinated urban transport and infrastructure strategy is needed. Using the fuel levy for funding transport infrastructure appears more efficient, fairer, and would likely create less negative transport and property market distortions than E-Tolling.

It remains to be seen as to whether Government will achieve its aim of implementing its E-Tolling system on Gauteng’s National Roads. However, whether or not the tolling goes ahead, the level of opposition towards the toll road system suggests that the “paying public” has limits to how much it is going to tolerate.

We may not quite have reached the limit yet, but in the seeming absence of a co-ordinated and well-publicised strategy for urban infrastructure funding, the key concern must surely be that the sharp increases in the various taxes and tariffs may not end any time soon. Municipal rates and utilities such as water are rising at rates well-above consumer price inflation, with many households in the dark as to how their home valuations have been done, Electricity tariffs continue to rise near to 25% per annum with another hike due shortly. Now it is the transport sector, and although it is only a few national roads in Gauteng being tolled at this stage, the public will be aware that other major cities will probably be next, and if successfully implemented why can’t other government entities toll their roads too?
Property Barometer_Lessons from Gauteng Toll Road Experiment_Feb 2012

JOHN KANE-BERMAN: Can the government learn from its mistakes on land reform?
Business Day - South Africa
Instead of thumb-suck targets and flawed assumptions, we need a land policy that helps established small-scale black farmers to expand. 

AS THE leader of a party that endorses singing "Shoot the Boer" when many farmers are desperate for some sign that the government takes the problem of murders of farmers seriously, President Jacob Zuma is the last person who should accuse anyone of being "careless and callous" over land issues, as he did Deputy Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Pieter Mulder. Nevertheless, even if Mulder’s recent figures on historical land ownership in the western and northwestern Cape are correct, they are beside the point.

The objections to the Land Acts of 1913 and 1936 go beyond who arrived in what part of the country first.  For a start, the a cts selfishly froze the land available to Africans at 13% of the country.
Businessday

 

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