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E-transfers a threat to funding
The Australian - Australia
There is an unannounced sting in the tail of electronic conveyancing that is likely to shake up the funding of legal aid, legal education, the functions of regulators, complaint handlers and law foundations.

It arises from the nature of e-conveyancing, which, although intended and promoted by state attorneys-general as a means of improving administrative efficiency and reducing the cost of conveyancing, will also progressively cripple the funding source of the above public operations.
This problem-in-the-making begins with lawyers' thefts of clients' money, something that still goes on from time to time, especially when the economy turns down.
The Australian

Buying 'voetstoets'? Beware!
Property24.com - South Africa
The excitement of buying your dream home can lead to some nasty shocks later down the line. After a lengthy search, we often fall in love with our perfect house and neglect to investigate what lies beneath the surface. Sellers can get away with a myriad of property defects by hiding behind the 'voetstoets' clause which is incorporated into all property sale agreements, advises Bruce Swain, Regional Director of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.

Even though the law states that estate agents are obliged to inform a buyer of any known defects, unscrupulous agents choose not to hear about faults and are therefore under no pressure to inform you, the potential buyer.

Single-survey system pushed through despite misgivings
The Herald - UK
Compulsory single surveys paid for by house sellers were pushed through by MSPs yesterday even though a voluntary trial of the scheme was deemed a failure.

The Tories opposed the idea, as did some elements of the legal profession, but the Housing (Scotland) Bill was voted through at Holyrood yesterday with this as a key provision.
Last night Stewart Brymer, partner in a law firm, professor of conveyancing at Dundee University, and member of Scottish Law Society group on the issue, said he was convinced that the system would work.

"The overall objective of delivering better information to purchasers earlier in the proceedings is good," he said.
The Herald

HIP HIP Hurray?
50connect - UK
The HIP should not be seen as another consumer or stealth tax, but as a stepping stone in the reform of the house-buying process in England and Wales which has not changed in the last 30 years. Interestingly, HIPs are already evident in other countries, for example in parts of Australia and, although not compulsory, they are a vital tool used by potential buyers to reduce the timescale between offer and exchange to no less than a week.

By nature we all become uneasy about change and focus on the negatives, especially when an issue is fuelled by the alarmist approach of the media. Undoubtedly HIPs will affect the housing market but, once this has been embraced, it could be a 'quantum leap' in improving the home-buying process.

Property boom could fund Gautrain
Business.iafrica.com - South Africa
A Cape Town professional valuer says that the Gautrain proposal would add billions of rand in extra value to neighbouring property along the Johannesburg/Tshwane route - and the land boom and local ratepayers could fund the project.

In an open letter to Finance Minister Trevor Manuel, Transport Minister Jeff Radebe, and the mayors of Johannesburg, Pretoria/Tshwane and Ekurhuleni, Peter Meakin says property developers will view the Gautrain "as the best property event that Gauteng has seen for decades". The Gautrain project is expected to be given its final consideration by the national cabinet in December.

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