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Property price chill will continue
Business.iafrica.com - South Africa
The downward trend in residential property price growth is continuing unabated with the rising interest rate environment expected to bring more pressure to bear on the housing market.

According to ABSA bank senior economist Jacques du Toit, the declining trend is on the back of house prices becoming relatively more expensive and less affordable. Higher interest rates are also expected to start affecting the residential market.

"Against that background, we can expect house price growth to move much lower, well into 2007. We forecast single-digit growth of about six percent for next year," he said.

Please sir, may we grant you a bond?
Moneyweb - South Africa
So you've been working for a few years now and your salary has improved, you've paid your bills regularly and the first house you bought for R350 000 is now worth R500 000. It's also likely that the bond you took out to buy the house was a 100% loan and that you are paying the equivalent of prime.

Well, Ian Watson of Bond Busters says you should use your improved financial status to re-mortgage yourself with a better loan:value ratio and with the same, or better, repayment:income ratio. "Just because you've entered into a 20 year bond agreement with a bank, it doesn't mean you can't switch to a more favourable mortgage scenario," says Watson.

Bond Busters refers to itself as an independent mortgage broker and says it was "the first institution to enter the bond switching market and has already saved local homeowners over half a billion rand".

MPs doubt 2014 land target will be met
Business Report - South Africa
MPs still have their doubts about whether the land affairs department is going to be able to reach its land redistribution target of 30 percent of land in black hands by 2014.

Reporting on how the medium-term budget policy statement affects individual departments, the joint budget committee of both houses of parliament questioned land affairs officials about the effectiveness of the willing buyer, willing seller concept in reaching the target.

In drawing up its report on the medium-term budget yesterday, the joint committee said it was not satisfied by the department's replies and had asked it to give the committee a written submission on how it planned to reach the 2014 target.
Business Report

Repossessed properties at lowest levels ever
Moneyweb.co.za - South Africa
Three of the country's big banks hold repossessed properties valued at more than R60m while Nedbank has none for sale but this could change with drastic interest rate hikes.

Currently, ABSA, Standard Bank and FNB hold nearly 700 properties in possession (PIPs).

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