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Low-doc mortgages worth $8bn
The Australian - Australia
Traditional lenders are missing out on more than $8billion a year in mortgage business flowing to the non-conforming mortgage sector, a study claims. According to a Datamonitor report, non-conforming lending grew from nothing five years ago to $8.4 billion at the end of 2003, accounting for 4.2per cent of the total home lending market.

Datamonitor expects this to grow to $20.4 billion - 9 per cent of the total market - by 2008.
Non-conforming mortgages cater for applicants, such as self-employed or contract workers, who do not fit traditional lending criteria. Divorcees and former bankrupts are other key markets.
The Australian

Goodbye feudalism, hello feuds
The Sunday Times - Scotland
Centuries of feudalism in Scotland came to an end this morning. But as land reformers hail the end of an unfair anachronism, legal experts warn that new legislation will become a "nimby's charter", resulting in a flood of costly disputes between neighbours. The sweeping reforms will give thousands of householders unprecedented powers to veto minor home improvements by their neighbours.
The Sunday Times

Boom gates allowed in Jhb - but with restrictions
The Star - South Africa
Johannesburg's booms are virtually pointless - guards can't stop anybody, search their cars, can't question them or ask for personal details.

Amid the celebrations and furore surrounding the announcement of which areas have been given permission to close off roads, Johannesburg residents have been warned that there are stringent regulations which have to be adhered to once permission has been granted.

The policy is now being enforced by the City of Johannesburg in terms of the Gauteng Rationalisation of Local Government Affairs Act.
The Star

Demand outstrips supply in housing market
Business Day - South Africa
The supply of new residential buildings, including townhouses, flats and houses, has not kept up with burgeoning demand, according to SA's biggest retail bank. Absa bank senior economist Jacques du Toit said yesterday that factors such as shortages of building materials, constraints in skilled labour in the construction industry and increasing scarcity of suitable and properly serviced land for residential development were contributing to this trend.

Du Toit said these developments would have a negative effect on supply and delivery times in housing, which would eventually be reflected in higher building costs as well as and property prices.
Business Day

Government to redistribute more land to meet target
Business Report - South Africa
The government intended to redistribute 1.87 million hectares of land a year in order to meet its 2014 target, the department of land affairs said here yesterday.

This is five times more than the current transfer rate of 350 000ha a year. Delivering an address on behalf of Gilingwe Mayende, the director-general, at an annual media function, deputy director-general Nozizwe Makgalemele said that 22 million hectares of agricultural land had to be transferred by 2014 in order to meet the presidential directive that 30 percent of commercial agricultural land be held by historically disadvantaged groups.
Business Report

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