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Is there, or is there not, a township property market?
Moneyweb - South Africa
Is there, or is there not, a township property market? The answer is: of course there is! Unless you assume that the law of supply and demand has, for some mysterious reason, been suspended when it comes to housing in South Africa (and there's no good reason to think this), prices for township housing should be rising.

With a continuing housing backlog of well over 800 000 units, existing homes should command a premium. Indeed, a recent FNB study found that there were seven potential buyers for every township home on the market. This is good news for the thousands of South Africans who now have legal title to their homes. Their equity is increasing.

The problem with the township real estate market isn't that it doesn't exist. The problem is that a series of institutional constraints keep this market from operating as efficiently as it might. As researchers at the FinMark Trust have demonstrated, the township housing market remains dysfunctional. One of the key reasons why the market doesn't work as well as it could is that too few homes are transferred formally through the Deeds Registry - a great many are still transferred informally.

Prospects for house-price growth in next 12 months
Rode's Property news - South Africa
Whereas most property commentators are predicting average house-price growth in excess of 12% over the next 12-month period, CEO of Rode & Associates Erwin Rode envisages single-digit growth in the region of 7- 9%.

This forecast is, amongst other things, based on market trends and ABSA's latest house price index, showing that the April 2006 month-on-month house price growth has slowed to only 0,5% or roughly 7% annualized.

Fancy yourself as a property mogul?
Businessiafrica.com - South Africa
Property economist John Loos explains where the hot and cold spots are in the property market.
Bruce Whitfield:
Yesterday's house price growth figures got me thinking about how one can go about investing in property for a profit nowadays. Consider that if you borrow money at prime, which is 10.5 percent, and house price growth year-on-year is only 12.3 percent, then you are not making too much money after paying back the bank for your bond. John Loos is FNB's commercial banking property strategist. John, welcome to the programme, nice to have you with us.
John Loos:
Thanks Bruce.
Bruce Whitfield:
Can you still make money out of investing in residential property? Are there still any bargains to be had anywhere you think?
John Loos:
Well I think on the lower side. If one looks at the smaller-size categories according to Absa, you have actually seen accelerated house price inflation there for a couple of quarters now. Still admittedly in the lower teens but on its way upwards and that is an encouraging sign and that is probably the area to look at. The bigger size on the more expensive classes seems to be pretty dead at the moment. Residential property I think is on a go-slow at least till well into next year so it is not the best asset class at the moment.

Zoning 'delays' new properties
Fin24.co.za - South Africa
Residential property development is being increasingly hampered by lengthy delays in obtaining zoning and planning rights from local authorities, said John Rabie, CEO of one of SA's leading developers, the Rabie Group.

Rabie is currently involved in, among others, the multi-billion rand mixed-use Century City precinct in Cape Town.

Rabie says unless government puts the right legislation in place to speed up approval processes South Africa will not be able to alleviate its current housing shortage.

Ugandan gov't cracks down land title forgeries
People's Daily - China
The Ugandan government has impounded 122 fake land titles, in a bid to curb forgery of land titles in the country, an official said on Tuesday.

Dennis Obbo, a ministry of water, lands and environment official, told Xinhua that the ministry impounded 122 forged land titles and the culprits will be prosecuted.

The crackdown came after reports that there were over 8,000 fake land title deeds in circulation in Kampala alone.

Obbo said part of the ministry's role in titling is to verify owners before transactions can be effected.

"If a forged title is identified, the clients who present it are arrested and handed over to the Police Criminal Investigations Department for further investigation," said Obbo.
People's Daily

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