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Victorian solicitors ahead in the conveyancing battle
The Australian - Australia
Non-lawyer conveyancers in Victoria fear their long campaign to compete on an even footing with the state's solicitors may be about to backfire and give lawyers an unassailable cost advantage.

Instead of abolition of the monopoly enjoyed by the solicitors on property transfers, conveyancers fear a planned regulatory shake-up may be about to drive some conveyancers out of business.

Their fears are based on concerns that the Government may be on the verge of endorsing a regulatory model for conveyancers that has been designed by the Law Institute of Victoria.
The Australian

Absa warns of scattered house bubbles
Business Report - South Africa
Pretoria - "Bubble conditions" were quite conceivably being experienced by certain types of housing in certain areas of the country, which might result in the prices of those properties declining sharply when the property cycle turned, banking group Absa has warned.

Jacques du Toit, a senior economist at Absa, also stressed in a report on trends in the market that in some areas the buy-to-let market had been instrumental in driving house prices higher and that any saturation of, or a massive sell off in, this market could lead to "either stagnating or weaker prices".

However, he stressed that indicators related to the housing market, together with various supporting factors, did not suggest the South African residential property market was generally experiencing bubble conditions "yet".
Business Report

62 000 land claims settled
News24.com - South Africa
Pretoria - About 62 000 land claims had been settled by June 2005, said Land Affairs Minister Thoko Didiza on Monday. She said about 17 000 land claims still needed to be settled under the land reform programme.

The claims were either settled financially or through land restitution. Didiza was briefing reporters on the upcoming land summit to be held towards the end of the month.

The conference would consider a number of issues including the pace of land restitution and the willing-seller, willing-buyer concept.

A bigger boom waiting to happen
Property24.com - South Africa
If - or rather when - the banks and mortgage originators find the solution to financing affordable housing, it will create a massive upward ripple in the traditional market and a property boom in SA that could more than equal the magnitude of the current one.

So says Jan le Roux, chairman of PA BetterBond holding company the PA Group, who notes that the main problem to be overcome is that the generally low amounts required for home financing in this market reduces lending to borderline profitability, which is further reduced by the spending required to provide customers with a full understanding of their commitment.

The banks have, however, now committed to lending R42-billion in the low income market over the next three years and Le Roux is confident that a solution will be found to make this initiative profitable and sustainable.

Atlantic seaboard bubble experiences blow-out
NetAssets - South Africa
The top end of the residential property market in Cape Town is coming close to overheating, with fewer and fewer foreigners or buyers from Gauteng willing to acquire properties.

With sales along the Atlantic seaboard falling, Steven Delit of RE/MAX Living Atlantic says he expects the prices of residential properties in new developments to start dropping by about 25%.

Delit says that while the owner-occupier residential property market will remain buoyant, with expected price growth of 20% this year, the buy-to-let market is dangerous.

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