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Process to transfer property in Gauteng starts
Sunday Times - South Africa
A process to transfer houses and flats in former "own affairs" areas has started in Gauteng, provincial housing MEC Nomvula Mokonyane announced on Sunday.

She said the regularisation and transfer of ownership process was necessary due to much accumulated debt that was not recoverable.

The process would see the department writing off large debts including interest and rates by both buyers and tenants for rent. A special subsidy of up to R28,279 would be granted, regardless of household income levels, to persons who had sale or lease agreements, provided they were personally in occupation of the houses concerned and did not own any other properties.
Sunday Times

Government confirms race grouping
Finance24 - South Africa
The government on Wednesday confirmed it was looking at classifying land owners in South Africa in terms of their race and nationality, but said this was being done purely to help it gauge the pace of land reform.

A Beeld report earlier claimed existing land legislation is to be amended to allow information on race and nationality to be shown on owners' title deeds.

Disappointing delay for landlords
Property24 - South Africa
Landlords around the country are champing at the bit as they wait for Parliament to pass an amendment to legislation that has already been more than 18 months in the making.

The draft amendment, to the Prevent of Illegal Eviction from Occupation of Land Act (known as the PIE Act) was published for public comment in 2003 and, according to the Parliamentary Monitoring Group website may "possibly" be ready to be introduced into Parliament during the first half of this year.

Vacant land outperforms housing
Rode's Property News - South Africa
A recent study by property economists and valuers Rode & Associates has found that vacant land has grown faster than house prices over the past few years and seems set to continue to do so for some time to come.

Undertaken in the Camps Bay/Bakoven area, the study revealed that the price of serviced vacant erven in this exclusive area grew at a compound rate of 70% p.a. between July 2001 and January 2004. During the same period, house prices in this residential area grew at a compound 37% p.a., whilst Rode's House Price Index for upper-priced homes in Cape Town grew by "only" 29% p.a.
Rode's Property News

Details of 19m houses online
Hexam Courant - UK
A new online service launched by the Land Registry will mean that potential buyers can get information on house prices more quickly.

The Land Register Online was officially launched on January 31, following a successful pilot scheme which allowed the Land Registry to gauge customer demand and allowed users to give their comments on the new scheme.

Land Register Online provides easy access to details of more than 19 million registered properties in England and Wales.
Hexam Courant

Luxury house market has peaked
Moneyweb - South Africa
It is by now well-known that the residential property market enjoyed its best year in twenty-three years last year. The Absa house price index climbed by 32,2% in nominal terms; the experts forecast that the pace could slow this year, with the slight softening in price growth in the fourth quarter apparently vindicating their warning.

But excluded from these numbers, which are confined to houses priced at or below R2,2-m and which vary in size from 80 square metres to 400 square metres, is the luxury market. In its latest quarterly update on the economy, Absa points out that the pricier end of the market has already peaked.

Cape Town land sale scrapped
Finance24 - South Africa
Forensic auditors have found that the controversial sale of discounted luxury beach plots to companies linked to political parties was flawed, Cape Town mayor Nomaindia Mfeketo said on Wednesday.

"It is clear from the executive summary that the process was flawed," Mfeketo told reporters.
The summary she referred was an abridged version of a report by auditors KPMG, Gobodo, and the city's own forensic division.

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