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Co-ownership of property means co-liability
Knight Frank - South Africa
When people co-own a piece of land they might think that each person owns a specific area of it, rather than a percentage of the whole. For example if they live in a cottage on it and they use the surrounding hectare it might be assumed that that section is theirs, but this is not usually how it works, says Lanice Steward of Knight Frank Residential SA.

Co-ownership is usually a share or a percentage of the total, and this means that they also have co-liability and have obligations towards the whole of the property, not just the section that they occupy. It is usually advised, said Steward, for the co-owners of a property to have a separate agreement that states the terms and conditions of their ownership.

Don't wait with your compliance certificates
Rawson - South Africa
Many property sellers leave the application of their compliance certificates till the eleventh hour. This often causes delays in the transfer of property, especially if expensive remedial work is required. In some cases it has even resulted in the buyer walking away from the deal.

"Delays in applying for compliance certificate applications is something that every estate agent should ensure does not occur," says Tony Clarke of the Rawsons Property Group. For their part, adds Clarke, buyers should appreciate that the certificates are not always 100% comprehensive and do not therefore give the home a complete ?clean bill of health?.

"My advice to sellers," he says, "is to get the certificates before they even start talking to an estate agent or at the very latest as soon as they do so. As most of the certificates are valid for two years, they are very unlikely to need updating before the sale is processed. If the rectification of any faults discovered is costly that, regrettably, cannot be helped. There is in most cases no way that these costs can be passed onto the buyer. But, if the remedial work is not carried out under time constraints, it is very often possible to get competitive quotes and to pay less for the job."
Don't Wait

The top 5 defects to look for in a property
Remax - South Africa
Although it is the appearance of a home that buyers often fall in love with, there is sometimes more to a home than meets the eye. "Purchasing a property is a large investment and rectifying severe structural defects will be a costly affair that impacts on the home's potential return on investment," says Adrian Goslett of RE/MAX of Southern Africa. According to Goslett there is some protection offered to buyers by the Consumer Protection Act (CPA), in that it is the buyer's right to be fully informed of all known defects that exist in the home they are purchasing.

However, he notes that it is still worthwhile for a buyer to have the home inspected for hard-to-detect defects, which may have been overlooked by the seller. "There is always the chance that some defects may have been unintentionally missed or are simply unknown to the seller. If this is the case, then those problems will not have been disclosed in the sale agreement and it would be in the buyer’s best interests to either inspect the home themselves or have a professional assist them - a small price to pay considering the size of the investment, he says.

Goslett provides buyers with the top five potential defects to look out for:
Top Five Defects

Revolutionary conveyancing portal to launch next Spring
Mortgage Finance Gazette - UK
A new online home conveyancing portal, which aims to simplify and speed up the house-buying process, has entered the final stages of development and is scheduled to be launched to the conveyancing profession in Spring 2015. The new online service, called Veyo, is a joint venture between The Law Society and Mastek UK, a global IT solutions specialist.

It is designed to bring together all the processes from client instruction to completion, including checks and documentation prepared and undertaken by solicitors and licensed conveyancers in the sale and purchase of residential properties.
Mortgage Finance Gazette

Residential building statistics
Absa - South Africa
Growth in the planning phase of residential building activity continues, but the construction phase contracts unabatedly

The first nine months of 2014 saw continued year-on-year growth in the planning phase of residential building activity in the South African market for new housing, as reflected by the number of building plans approved by local government authorities. However, the contraction in the construction phase of residential building activity, i.e. the volume of housing units reported as completed, continued unabatedly up to the end of the third quarter of the year. These trends in residential building activity are from data published by Statistics South Africa in respect of private sector-financed housing (see explanatory notes).

The number of new housing units for which building plans were approved, increased further in September this year, by 12,8% year-on-year (y/y) to a cumulative total of 43 350 units in the first nine months of the year. This resulted in growth of 13,4% y/y in the period January to September. The segments of smaller-sized houses (<80m²) housing and higher-density flats and townhouses, with a combined share of 70,3% of the total, remained the major contributors to the improved level of plans approved up to September.

The construction phase of new housing has contracted on a year-on-year basis for the sixth consecutive month in September, by 6,2% in volume terms. However, the third quarter of the year saw construction volumes increasing by 18,8% from the second quarter to a total of 9 569 units, with the continuous growth in the planning phase that could have played a significant role in the strong quarter-on-quarter growth.
Building stats Sep 2014

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