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Printing woes halt Joburg building plans
IolProperty - South Africa
New building construction, renovations and, in some cases, property transfers have been on hold for the past five months because the printing machine in the City of Joburg's building control department is broken. Exacerbating the problem is that the person who approves plans is not available because she is a witness in a fraud case involving staff members of her department and is always in court.

Councillor David Potter said he was receiving constant complaints from developers and estate agents about not being able to get hard copies of building plans needed to start construction, and not being able to get plans approved. 'This is the department where plans are approved, and where copies of approved plans are supposed to be available, yet people have been unable to get them as staff claim that the printer on their floor is not in working order and hasn't been for five months.

'This has a domino effect on the property industry as transfers cannot proceed if one of the conditions is that a copy of the house plans are required.

New Credit Amnesty Act does not write off debts - but it can bring about a reinstatement of the defaulting debtor
Rawson - South Africa
Bond originators serving the South African residential property market have, in the last few weeks, had to deal with a small flood of enquiries regarding the new government Credit Amnesty Act, says Mike van Alphen, the National Manager of the Rawson Property Group’s bond origination division, Rawson Finance. The act, says van Alphen, has been misunderstood by some people: they appear to think that it exonerates them from paying any debt incurred before 1st April 2014. Such debts, they somehow assume, have miraculously been ‘written off’.

“It is extremely naive to think that any government anywhere in the world could enact such a law,” says van Alphen. “It would be the height of irresponsibility to do so.” What the act does do, says van Alphen, is to assist anyone who has a black mark (a negative report) on their credit records if this was incurred before 1st April and they have since paid off the debt in full. In these cases the new act stipulates the misdemeanour has to be expunged from all South African credit records.

Similarly, says van Alphen, anyone who has a court judgment against him dating from before 1st April on account of a debt and has since paid the amount in full must have the record of the judgment with the credit bureau cleaned up completely.

Is buying investment property with friends a good idea?
Moneyweb - South Africa
CAPE TOWN – In this advice column, Carl van der Berg from Alexander Forbes Financial Services answers a question from a reader who is thinking of investing in property with his friends.

Q: My wife and I have been given the opportunity to buy an investment home, but we don't feel that we could afford it on our own. We are thinking of asking friends of ours to join us in the venture, but I want to make sure we consider all the pros and cons. Is it possible to get a joint bond in these circumstances? What are the most important things we should agree to beforehand and do we need to put any contracts in place to protect everyone's interests? What are the major pitfalls we should avoid?

Any investment that you make will carry a certain degree of risk. So when making any investment, you should always be looking to achieve two basic objectives:

April Transfer Duty Revenue
FNB - South Africa
The transfer duty data continues to point to a strong growth environment in property, reflecting the combination of significantly improved transaction volumes growth as well as average price growth, after a weak period in 2011, with the improved average price growth causing some transfer duty bracket creep as well. However, the broadly changing shape of the transfer duty growth graph also hints at a move towards a peaking in the growth trend in recent times, after a sharp acceleration in growth back in 2012 and even early-2013.

Looking forward, a broad deterioration in recent economic data suggest that this growth should begin to form a slowing trend soon.
April Transfer Duty Revenue

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