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Residential boom peaking, but office boom just starting
Rode's Property News - South Africa
The housing boom may have peaked, but the good news on the property front is that office rentals are likely to double over the next few years, Erwin Rode, CEO of Rode & Associates said in his prognosis on the property market at the recent Rode Conferences.

Rode market data since 1965 indicates that houses are fully priced and industrial and office rentals are at a long-cycle low. Industrial rentals started climbing 18 months ago, and office buildings are set to follow.
Rode's Property News

Designer flats empty
Fin24.co.za - South Africa
Despite the perception that downtown, inner-city living is fast becoming a preferred choice among Jo'burg's trendy set, owners of upmarket office-to-flat conversions are apparently battling to find tenants.

Property commentators say it's one thing for developers to sell high-end CBD products off-plan to buy-to-let investors - typically priced at between R10 000 and R15 000m² - but to let these units once completed is an entirely different matter.

The general view is that a lack of infrastructure such as shopping facilities and restaurants as well as crime and grime are seeing high-income tenants staying put in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg.

Real house prices 'will drop soon'
Business.iafrica.com - South Africa
House prices will decline in real terms in 'the near future', Absa said on Thursday, following the release of the Absa House Price Index.

According to the group, real month-on-month growth of just 0.1 percent was recorded in June 2006, compared to 0.3 percent in May.

Nominal house price growth decreased to 13.5 percent year-on-year in July, from 14.2 percent in June.

This brought the average price of a house in the middle segment of the market to about R806 500 rand in July. The average nominal year-on-year growth in house prices came to 15.2 percent in the first seven months of 2006.

In real terms, year-on-year growth of 8.9 percent was recorded in June compared with a revised growth rate of 10.3 percent in May, based on the headline consumer price index. The average real year-on-year growth in house prices came to 11.2 percent in the first six months of 2006.

Here's your action plan
Sunday Times - South Africa
More interest-rate increases are expected, the rand has wobbled and "risk" is being heard a lot in investment speak - so what should the average investor be doing with his savings?

Anil Thakersee, retail marketing head of Old Mutual, said this week that investors should respond according to their own financial needs.

He did offer tips for three broad categories - retired people or income investors who need to live on savings; investors close to retirement who need to preserve capital; and young investors who need to build wealth.

For the income investor it's not bad news: "For the first time in a long time, rates are rising, which helps income investors," Thakersee said.
Sunday Times

Councillors arrested after land scam
Iol.co.za - South Africa
Three Tshwane Metro Council officials are among seven men arrested for apparently illegally selling land and low cost houses in Mamelodi East. They are in custody.

The suspects allegedly pretended to those looking for accommodation that they had permission from council to sell the land and the subsidised houses for about R15 000 each. They are alleged to have used a fraudulent letter from the metro council.

Police spokesperson Inspector Paul Ramaloko confirmed on Wednesday that the seven had been arrested in connection with the illegal deals.

Ramaloko said a fraud case has been opened against the men who operated in Extensions 6 and 22 in Mamelodi East. "The suspects received money from residents to whom they promised land and houses," said Ramaloko. He appealed to residents who had fallen victim to the scam to come forward.

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