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SA house prices outstrip all others
Moneyweb.co.za - South Africa
House prices in South Africa have grown more quickly than those in any other country monitored by The Economist.

Using the ABSA house price index as a measure, The Economist reports that the average SA house price has rocketed nearly 300% in the last nine years.

Next on the list, Irish house prices also boomed, reporting growth of 231%. While the trend in SA has been steepest, our house prices are actually modest in terms of dollars per square metre.

Since 1997, prices for houses have jumped 175% in Britain, 165% in Spain and 119% in Australia.

McDowell welcomes land law reform bill
RTENews - Ireland
The Minister for Justice, Michael McDowell, has described the proposed new land and conveyancing legislation as the single most comprehensive and far-reaching land law reform since the foundation of the State.

Speaking at the publication of the Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Bill 2006, Mr McDowell said the new legislation would modernise and streamline land and conveyancing laws.

The Bill is designed to repeal up to 150 pre-1922 statutes, in whole or in part, and replace them with provisions more suited to modern conditions. Some of the statutes date as far back as the 13th century.

Dealing in property online
Moneyweb.co.za - South Africa
By taking out the middleman, the Internet is rapidly changing the way homeowners buy and sell property, but is this the best route for everyone?

Justin Clarke, executive chairman of Private Property, SA's busiest property website, says people underestimate how important the web is.

He claims that Private Property receives about six million impressions a month and that currently 140 000 prospective buyers are registered on the site.

RMB puts millions towards low-cost housing
Business Report - South Africa
Rand Merchant Bank, the investment-banking unit of FirstRand, raised €73 million (R620 million) in loans to help build low-cost homes in South Africa.

RMB secured a €40-million credit line from Agence Francaise de Developement, the French development agency, and €33 million in mezzanine funding from Netherlands Development Finance Company, the lender said in an e-mail on Monday. FirstRand owns South Africa's second-biggest banking group.

The loans "will unlock the construction of 15 000 homes and give more than 1 000 low-income earners access to home loans," RMB said in the statement. The lender has approved an additional 13 projects to build 10 000 homes, and another 37 projects are planned, which will require more funding, it said.
Business Report

Higher rates 'a small blow' to vehicles and property
Business Report - South Africa
Both the new vehicle and residential property markets will be hurt by last week's 0.5 percentage point rise in interest rates.

However, Azar Jammine, a director and chief economist at Econometrix, said the immediate impact would not be enormous and the hike would have more of a psychological effect.

It should cost no more than an additional R500 a year, which equated to R40 a month, to service the debt on a vehicle that cost R100 000. It would cost about R2 500 a year or about R200 a month extra to service a R500 000 home loan, Jammine said.
Business Report

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