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Woman goes to court to prevent sale of home
Iol - South Africa
A Mitchell's Plain woman and her Durbanville financial consultant are taking on Saambou Bank in a dispute about the ownership of her house that has raged unresolved for the past 17 months.

Emerald van Zyl is lodging an application in the Cape High Court on Tuesday to stop the sale in execution of Magdalena Pietersen's three bedroomed home, alleging First National Bank failed to correct illegal interest calculations on her Saambou Bank bond account when it took over the Saambou book in 2001, placing it erroneously in arrears.

Pietersen lives with her son and two brothers, one of whom is disabled, in the R60 000 house.

More lending but fewer transactions
Property24.com - South Africa
Although mortgage lending by the banks is still on the rise, the actual number of transactions is declining, according to the latest research by Property24.

Reserve Bank figures show that mortgage lending increased by R93,7-billion - or 26,8 percent - in the 12 months to end May, but the number of bonded transfers registered at the Deeds Office in April and May this year was 14 down on the same two months of last year, and 8percent down on the number registered in February and March this year.

What is more, the total value of bonds for the home transfers registered in April and May was only around R0,7-billion ahead of total value in April and May of 2004, so most of the increase in lending for the year took place before that.

Milestone of one million online files is imminent for Stewart's SureClose(R) Online Transaction Management System
Biz.yahoo.com - USA
The "Road to a Million" closing files for the SureClose online transaction management system is about to reach its destination, announced Stewart Realty Solutions.

"In just three years, SureClose has helped thousands of buyers and sellers participating in nearly one million closings discover a better real estate transaction experience," said Kelly Hawkins, vice president and chief operating officer, Stewart Realty Solutions. "We wanted to recognize the Stewart office or independent agent who opens the one millionth closing file in SureClose, and that's how our 'Road to a Million' contest was born."

ANC wants summit to speed up reforms
Business Day - South Africa
The African National Congress (ANC) has called on government to accelerate its land-reform programme before the national land summit, which starts in Johannesburg on Wednesday. In its online newsletter, ANC Today, the party said that while much progress had been made in the first 11 years of democracy, it was clear that there was "still a long way to go".

The ANC called on the summit to assess the rate of progress to date and said government needed to look at what could be done to accelerate and "deepen" the process of transformation.
Business Day

American homes sell at fastest pace
Business Report - South Africa
Existing homes were sold at the fastest pace in US history last month, and the median price set a record as well. But some economists predicted housing might be nearing its peak as mortgage rates began to rise.

In June, existing homes sold at an annual rate of 7.33 million units, an increase of 2.7 percent from May, according to a report on Monday from the National Association of Realtors.
Business Report

'Review land policy'
News24.com - South Africa
Johannesburg - The 'willing-buyer, willing-seller' principle dominated the first day of a land summit on Wednesday, with deputy president Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka saying it slowed down land reform.

She said, to much applause, that the principle would have to be revisited as the state was the only buyer, and farmers often asked exorbitant prices for their land.

The government was concerned about high prices and would have to ensure that the market did not lead the land-reform process.

Land Affairs Minister Thoko Didiza also raised concerns about the concept, saying there were many sellers, but only one buyer - the state.

She said the state should be allowed to influence how the markets worked, and the concept had to be mediated by the reality of a failure of land markets.

Nedbank faces home loan probe
Finance24.com - South Africa
Nedbank and its insurer face a probe for denying home loans consumers a choice of which company to buy homeowner's cover from, the Financial Services Ombudsman said on Tuesday.

Ombudsman Charles Pillai has submitted his ruling against the bank and its insurance arm to the competition commission for further investigation. Pillai ordered Nedbank and Nedbank Group Insurance Brokers to allow consumers the right to choose the company from which they wish to purchase homeowner's insurance cover.

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