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Shift in SA living trends continues
Property24.com - South Africa
The marked shift in living trends among South African home buyers since the mid 90s has been indelibly etched into the land in the form of massive residential development. Depending on the locale, it can be seen as low-density, lifestyle estates that cater for the very wealthy or higher-density, secured complexes that are aimed at the middle and even entry-level sectors.

Spurred on by a list of factors that is headed up by a demand for high security, low- maintenance living and easy access to amenities, the trend away from the conventional, freestanding houses of the past continues unabated, say some of the country's real estate gurus.

SA mortgage advances rise by 30,1% in April
Rodneyhayter.com - South Africa
Mortgage advances by the monetary sector increased by 30,1% year-on-year in April 2006 (30% in March), according to data released by the South African Reserve Bank.

This, according to an Absa May 30 press release, was the highest year-on-year growth figure since 1965 and brought the total amount of mortgage advances to R571 billion. Calculated on a month-on-month basis, mortgage advances growth came to 2% in April compared with 2,4% in March.

The growth in mortgage advances of around 30% year-on-year during the past two months Absa notes is to some extent the result of the significantly lower transfer duty on property as from 1 March this year, which was announced in the Budget in February. However, the effect of this factor may be on the point of waning, as the year-on-year growth in April was on par with that of March, while the month-on-month growth was already lower in April than in the previous month.

Housing the millions - landlords the key
Moneyweb - South Africa
Small-scale landlords have provided more accommodation than the national housing subsidy scheme since 1994, finds a research team from Shisaka Development Management Services and the CSIR.

The researchers found that just under one third of all South Africans live in rental accommodation and nearly 60% of them rent from landlords with less than 100 tenants.

Currently, small-scale landlords earn just over R5bn a year - and potential for growth in the sector is huge. Matthew Nell of Shisaka says banks should be helping landlords to expand capacity.

The research was undertaken in the Johannesburg and Pretoria CBDs and two townships in the area.

CML: Year till HIPs and next month crucial
Politics.co.uk - UK
With one year to go until the introduction of compulsory home information packs, the Council of Mortgage Lenders says that the detail expected over the next month will be crucial in determining how effective the implementation will be.

HIPs are a political hot potato. Both the pro-HIP and anti-HIP lobby hold strong views. CML's members' opinions vary, but lenders collectively recognise that what the government hopes to achieve through a combination of HIPs and e-conveyancing is a set of reforms to speed up transactions and reduce wasted costs, for the benefit of consumers. The CML welcomes this overall aim - the important thing is to ensure that the implementation achieves it in practice.

Electronic home buying on the way
The Motley Fool - UK
As we all know, moving house is supposed to be one of the top three most stressful events alongside divorce and bereavement. I've been rather lucky with my two moves but there's no denying the worry throughout the lengthy process.

There's a ton of paperwork that has to change hands all the way down the chain and it only takes one part of the chain to fail to sign documentation quickly enough for everything to shudder to a halt. The potential for human error is huge with 50% of applications to the Land Registry found to be defective -- often containing incorrect information or spelling mistakes. It is also a system vulnerable to fraud, particularly impersonation.
The Motley Fool

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