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Property plan a barrier to entry - agency
Business Report - South Africa
The planned new national qualification framework (NQF) for the property industry was a huge barrier to entry and would definitely hamper transformation, Sean McCauley, the regional manager for Gauteng and surrounding areas for Rawson Properties, said yesterday.

"The theory behind it is great, but the training will cost between R15 000 and R50 000. This is just for the training component and each of the unit standards will have to be assessed at least twice by a registered assessor," he said. "The talk at the moment is that assessors will charge between R300 and R500 an assessment. The assessors will then also have to be moderated."

The new programme will replace the existing multiple-choice exam managed by the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB), the statutory consumer protection body of the property industry. A person was required to pass the exam to obtain a fidelity fund certificate that permits him or her to operate as an estate agent.
Business Report

Insurance hope for homeowners
Fin24.co.za - South Africa
Mortgage originators pose a new threat to the banks: they now plan to take them on in the highly profitable homeowners' insurance arena.

With the implementation of the National Credit Act (NCA) this month, banks will no longer be allowed to force their own insurance products on mortgage clients. The latter is compulsory for every South African who buys a home with bank credit.

From June 1 new mortgage clients have the right to shop around for the insurance policy of their choice.

And originators are wasting no time using that opportunity to create new revenue streams for themselves.

New Jo'burg taxation regime outlined
Business Day - South Africa
NEW property rates will come into effect in Johannesburg from July next year amid concern that they could mean substantial increases and promises from the city that it was "not out to nail residents".

The new Johannesburg rates system, which will cost the city council R18m to implement, is part of a national standardised rating system in terms of the new Municipal Property Rates Act.

It requires that all municipalities rate property on the combined value of land and improvements, and is the most extensive change to the taxation system of local government in decades.

In the past, city property owners were assessed only on the land value but now they will be assessed on combined value.
Business Day

Loophole for homebuyers
Fin24.co.za - South Africa
There is a loophole in the new National Credit Act through which homebuyers can side-step the stricter financial measures contained in the act.
Developers expect that homebuyers will in future use close corporations and trusts to buy property.
John Chapman, a director of the Rabie Property Group which developed Cape Town's Century City, says close corporations and trusts with more than two trustees are exempted from the act's requirements, and says he would be surprised if homebuyers don't take advantage of that.

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