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5 December 2013

Credit and mortgage advances
Absa - South Africa
Low growth in household credit and mortgage balances continues

Growth in South African private sector credit balances, comprising the corporate and household sector, remained relatively low up to the end of October 2013. Year-on-year (y/y) growth in aggregate private sector credit balances was virtually unchanged at 7,6% by end- October compared with 7,5% y/y by end-September. Whereas year-on-year growth in household credit balances tapered of further, growth in corporate balances was somewhat higher.

The value of outstanding credit balances in the household sector, which include instalment sales, leasing finance, mortgage loans, overdrafts, credit card debt, and general loans and advances (mainly personal loans and micro finance), recorded growth of 7,2% y/y at end- October, down from 7,5% y/y at the end of the preceding month. The continued downward trend in household credit balances since peaking in November last year is largely the result of a slowdown in growth in the component of unsecured credit balances over this period.
Credit and mortgage advances Oct 2013

November House Price Index
FNB - South Africa
So, in short, residential stock constraints and weak building numbers in recent months have made us ponder the possibility that price growth in 2014 could be considerably higher.

However, weak economic growth numbers in the 3rd quarter, ongoing poor consumer confidence levels, and some residential property-related stats suggesting a growth peak forming (notable peaking growth in the Valuers Market Strength Index, our 3rd quarter FNB Estate Agent Survey Activity Rating growth rate, and transfer duty revenue growth), have made us decide against expecting too much.

Rather, we go for an expectation now of average house price growth of 6.5% for 2014, a very similar growth rate to what looks likely to be the outcome for 2013. Thinking longer ahead to 2015, we expect a mildly slowing price growth rate, which is driven by the FNB forecast of interest rates starting to rise mildly early in that year.
FNB November House Price Index 2013

Renting property from the state
IolProperty - South Africa
What are the rights of a tenant living in a dwelling owned by the government - whether national, provincial or local? Is there a difference between a private landlord and the government in respect of a residential tenancy?

Rights do not exist without responsibilities, so the question may be rephrased as: 'What rights does the government have regarding a tenant?' The laws and legal principles that regulate the relationship between a tenant and a private landlord also govern the relationship between a tenant and the state as the landlord.

The Rental Housing Act, the Consumer Protection Act, the common law and other relevant legislation come into operation once a lease agreement is concluded.

The Rental Housing Act, 50 of 1999, refers to the government's responsibility to create mechanisms to promote the provision of rental housing and to promote access to adequate housing.
Iol Property

Sound data provides the foundation for success in today's residential property market
Rawson - South Africa
While it remains true that many of the small independent estate agencies provide a service that automatically puts them in the front line of all estate agencies in South Africa, it is also a fact that the cost of the on-going training of today’s estate agents and the IT systems which are now an essential support base for their careers are working in favour of the bigger national agencies – and often cause the smaller teams to join them.

This trend, recently expounded and explained to certain of the Rawson Property Group’s agents by the Chairman of the group, Bill Rawson, has, he said, become far more noticeable this year than ever before.

“Especially important today,” he said, “is the provision to the client of relevant data. Buyers, in most cases, will do their research on the estate agency’s website and/or on a third party website, such as Property24. They will no longer just take the agent’s word but will rather be looking for facts such as the prices of other similar homes recently sold in the area, the price growth of these homes in recent years, the efficiency of local public transport, the academic standards achieved by the local schools, the reliability of the area’s medical services, the availability of sports and social clubs, libraries, churches, synagogues and mosques and, by no means least, the area’s crime statistics.”
Rawson

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