Proposed Property Practitioners Bill will have far-reaching effects
South Africa - C&A Friedlander
Gazetted in March 2017 for comment, the long-awaited Property Practitioners Bill is intended to repeal the Estate Agency Affairs Act 112 of 1976 and transform the entire property market.
If passed into law in its present form, it will have far-reaching effects in the real estate industry, but will also provide for improved consumer protection.
As we know, the purpose of the bill is to provide for the regulation of property practitioners (estate agents). However, in terms of Section 1 of the new bill, this definition has been expanded to include anyone -
- who provides or markets bridging finance
- who is a bond broker / mortgage originator
- who lets or hires property or manages / negotiates the transaction
- who collects or receives any monies payable in respect of a lease or a property
- who assesses property to determine defects as part of the conclusion of an agreement to sell / purchase or hire or let property
- who sells or markets, promotes or advertises properties including time share / development
- who manages a property on behalf of another for payment
- who is employed by a property practitioner
CMA cites lack of pricing transparency in interim Legal services market study
UK - Today's Conveyancer
The Competition and Markets Authority says that a lack of upfront pricing information is stopping consumers from comparing legal services.
Publishing their interim report as part of a study looking at the supply of legal services, the CMA say just 17% of legal services providers publish prices online with just 22% of individual consumers 22% being able to compare providers.
Senior Director for the legal services market study, Rachel Merelie, said: “Consumers in this market are often not equipped with the right information before they make important purchasing decisions – which often come at critical points in their lives.
“Whether it’s buying a property, resolving disputes or getting expert advice on financial and employment matters, individual and small business consumers deserve to get good value when they seek the legal advice and representation they need.
Residential building statistics
South Africa - Absa
Marginal improvement in residential building activity up to July
Building activity in the South African market for new private sector-financed housing (see explanatory notes) showed some marginal improvement on a year-on-year basis in both the planning and construction phases in the first seven months of 2017, based on data released by Statistics South Africa.
The number of building plans approved for new housing increased by 1,8% year-on-year (y/y), or 594 plans, to a total of 32 857 plans over the 7-month period up to July this year. Plans approved for new houses smaller than 80m² increased by 11,2% y/y since January, but the number of plans approved for houses equal to or larger than 80m² dropped by 7,3% y/y, whereas the flat and townhouse segment showed negligible growth of only 0,8% y/y since the start of the year.
In the construction phase the number of new housing units reported as being completed showed little growth of only 1,2% y/y, or just 261 units, in January to July this year. The segment for houses of 80m² and larger showed a contraction of almost 19% y/y, or 1 305 units, to 5 667 units over this period. Both the segments for houses less than 80m² and flats and townhouses recorded growth of around 10% y/y in the seven months up to July.
Building stats July 2017