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Property Barometer - March 2013
FNB - South Africa
While year-on-year growth was still slowing in the 1st quarter of 2013, suffering from high base effects of a year ago, quarter-on-quarter house price growth just started to show early signs of improvement in the 1st quarter.

This slowing year-on-year house price growth does not yet reflect what appear to be some signs from other FNB indicators of growing residential market strength. Examining the house price data on a quarterly basis, the 1st quarter year-on-year growth rate was 3%, and this was slower than the 5.8% of the final quarter of 2012. However, the 1st quarter of 2013 did perhaps start to show early signs of price growth strengthening when examined on a quarter on quarter basis, a better way to examine short term growth momentum. From a mild decline of -0.6%, the quarter-on-quarter average house price growth rate returned to positive territory to the tune of +0.4%. This is early days, but may signal the start of some rising price growth momentum after a lull in the late stages of 2012, which was in line with a significant economic growth slump in the 2nd half of 2012.
FNB Property Barometer March 2013 House Price Index

Tenants have right to peaceful use of property
IOL - South Africa
A person's right to peaceful and undisturbed occupation and enjoyment of one's home need not be threatened because you are a tenant.

Courts have granted orders against landlords who take the law into their own hands by illegally disconnecting electricity and water supply or preventing tenant access to the dwelling.

Courts have also intervened in cases involving the government. In City of Cape Town v Strümpher (104/2011) (2012) ZASCA 54 ( March 30, 2012), deputy president of the Supreme Court of Appeal, Judge Khayelihle Kenneth Mthiyane, granted a spoliation order against the City of Cape Town.

In this case, the perpetrator was the municipality that relied on its by-laws to disconnect the water supply to an owner's property for non-payment. The judgment made it clear that a municipality had to follow specific procedures, including dispute resolution, to ensure the outcome was fair and equitable.

Consolidation of sectional title units is permitted by law
Rawson - South Africa
The growing popularity of sectional title apartments for those who want a safer, less complicated lifestyle has, says Johalna Minnaar, National Sales Manager for the Rawson Property Group, sometimes been dampened by the awkward truth that many of today’s schemes, although cleverly designed and equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, are quite small in comparison with the freestanding homes where many people grew up.

Minnaar has, however, recently pointed out that there can, in some cases, be a way around the difficulty of limited space: the Sectional Title Act (95 of 1986) makes provision for the consolidation of two or more sections and this, said Minnaar, can often be a far less expensive solution than selling the unit and upgrading to another home.

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