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15 November 2012

3rd Quarter 2012 Segment House Review
FNB - South Africa
Concluding remarks

In the 3rd quarter of 2012, a broad slowing in year-on-year price growth was witnessed in most segments of the market according to FNB housing data. But that is probably not surprising, given that the overall FNB House Price Index has been showing slowing year-on-year growth recently. What has perhaps gone a little less noticed, however, is the elimination or reduction in certain price/affordability gaps between the comparable Full Title and Sectional Title sub-segments in recent times.

This means that the Full Title market’s affordability advantage, built up in the boom period, has probably all but come to an end. No longer is there that much of a relative advantage, from a price affordability point of view, in buying a 3 bedroom Full Title home compared to a 3 bedroom Sectional Title home for instance. Admittedly, the 2 are not exactly comparable, with full title often offering a spaciousness advantage, while sectional title perhaps offers lower operating costs. But the average price gap in this segment has virtually disappeared as a result of superior Full Title house price growth over the past few years. As for other segments classified by room number, the percentage by which the average sectional title 2 bedroom price exceeds that of 2 bedroom full title has significantly reduced (although the 2 markets aren’t exactly comparable, with 2 bedroom full title being significantly more “Affordable Housing” developments), while the 4 bedroom sectional title average values are back below average 4 bedroom full title values since late-2009.

Therefore, in the near term we would expect the various segments’ price growth rates to move increasingly nearer to each other, with relative affordability advantages having been reduced over the past few years. This is expected to be the case, too, when categorizing property by building size in square metre terms.
FNB Property Barometer Segment Price Review Q3 2012

Tribunal ponders whether touting rule contravenes Competition Act
BusinessDay - South Africa
THE Law Society of South Africa’s rules, which define touting as unprofessional, will be the subject of a hearing before the Competition Tribunal on Wednesday.

The Cape Law Society instituted disciplinary proceedings in the Western Cape High Court against Johan Venter, accusing him of touting after he obtained third-party instructions from an unqualified person and paid her for referring claimants of the Road Accident Fund to him.

Mr Venter alleged that the rule against touting is anticompetitive, and that the Western Cape High Court ordered him in February to refer the case to the tribunal for it to decide whether the rule was a contravention of the Competition Act.
Business Day

A communication shift: Be prepared rather than left behind
De Rebus - South Africa
The rise of social media platforms over the past few years has significantly changed the way people communicate with each other. And, while social media creates new opportunities for organisations such as law firms to engage with their clients, it also creates risk that must be managed. This article aims to assist attorneys and law firms in doing so. 

According to Mike Saunders, chief executiave officer of digital marketing agency DaigitLab, participating in social media is not a question of being on a platform but rather taking part in a communication shift. ‘People have changed their preference when it comes to communication. It has become imperative to be a part of and involved in this new communication style,’ he said. 

Mr Saunders said that social media has become an integral part of any marketing campaign as a tool to connect and engage with clients. Further, in the Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) guideline document ‘The management of e-mail – guidelines for South African law firms’ (www.lssa.org.za/upload/LSSA_Management_of_email_guideline_(2012).pdf, accessed on 18-10-2012), drafted by attorney Mark Heyink, it is stated:
De Rebus

September Residential Building Statistics
FNB - South Africa
Looking forward to 2013, I anticipate sideways movement in overall building activity at best, with the significant replacement cost gap keeping price competition with the existing home market tough, while the building sector may have to contend with a slower economic growth and slowing real household disposable income growth rate.

However, of significance may be a change in the composition of building activity in 2013, with flats and townhouses becoming a larger portion of total residential completions as the urban densification process proceeds, and with the relative price advantage of larger free standing full title properties having been whittled away by slightly better price growth in recent years, and by sharply rising operating costs in the form of rates and tariff hikes. “Smaller will thus be increasingly better” in the years to come.
Property Barometer September Building Stats

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