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Banks make it harder to dip into access bond
IolProperty - South Africa
If your home loan is an access bond and you have been withdrawing repaid capital - up to the amount of the initial loan - it may come as news to you that you might no longer be allowed to do this.

To access repaid capital, you may now have to apply for it (a re-advance), and your application will be subject to an assessment to determine whether or not you can afford the new repayments. This means that, unless you apply for a re-advance, your bank will allow you to access only what you have paid over and above your required monthly instalments.

The banks refer to anything in excess of these repayments as 'prepaid' funds.

Allowing you to access 'prepaid' funds is risk-free, but giving you unfettered access to 'repaid' funds might not be safe for you or your bank, which needs to comply with the National Credit Act. Before a credit provider can grant you access to credit, it must conduct an affordability assessment, to make sure you can afford the credit.

Public interest: key to conserving urban heritage
Moneyweb - South Africa
Taking a broader view on heritage resources.
Gone are the days when museums and monuments were the most common representation of cultural and historic significance, say architects and teaching academics.

Heritage belongs to all the people. As a result, increased public participation through interaction between local authorities, private landowners as taxpayers, and residents’ associations across all levels of property development, is necessary.

It’s been fourteen years since the implementation of the new National Heritage Resources Act of 1999. Up to 1969, the focus on heritage value of properties all but reflected the diverse cultural environment of the country.

Professor Steve Townsend from the University of Cape Town’s Faculty of Architecture says: “The replacement of the old Act has enabled a new approach toward growing the value of cultural heritage in the built environment on a much broader scale than before.” He says the new Act constitutes a multi-disciplinary function of the authorities concerned. It provides a tool with which heritage of all the people, across their cultural lands, urban landscapes and townscapes within the natural environment, can be considered.

Residential building statistics - July 2013
Absa - South Africa
Residential building activity slows down, while building confidence improves to its highest level in 5 years
Levels of residential building activity in the South African market were on a downward trend in the three months from May up to July 2013, after being on a rising trend in the first four months of the year. On a year-on-year basis, July saw a contraction in building activity with regard to new housing, based on the number of units for which building plans were approved and the number of units reported as completed. However, on a cumulative basis, residential building activity still showed some growth in the first seven months of the year in terms of volumes as well as building area. The category for flats and townhouses remained a major contributor to growth in overall residential building activity up to July.

Despite some subdued growth in residential building activity in recent months, the level of confidence across the entire pipeline in the building industry, i.e. architects, quantity surveyors, main contractors, sub-contractors, producers of building materials and retailers of building materials, improved further in the third quarter of 2013 to its highest level in five years. This is according to the composite building confidence index compiled by the Bureau for Economic Research at the University of Stellenbosch.

After peaking at 5 091 units in April this year, the number of new housing units for which building plans were approved dropped by 6,8% year-on-year (y/y) to a level of 3 726 units in July. This came to a number of 207 units less for which plans were approved in June, mainly as a result of a drop of more than 56,3% y/y in plans approved for flats and townhouses in July.
Building stats Jul 2013

Loerie Award winners, Property24 and FoxP2
Property24.com - South Africa
The 35th Annual Loerie Awards, which took place on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd September at the CTICC, recognised the best in creative talent within the advertising arena. In 2011 FoxP2 helped Property24 surpass all competitors to become SA’s leading property portal with the “Find Your Perfect Home” TV campaign.

This year, the two teamed up again and created the “House hunting in the 80s” campaign which has been recognised with two Loerie Awards in the categories of TV & Cinema Commercials and Integrated Campaigns. Property24 CEO, JP Farinha, says they tasked FoxP2 with creating a campaign which would build on the previous campaign’s success while highlighting the convenient online and mobile technology that Property24.com offers house hunters.
Property24 Loerie Awards

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