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Panel axes proposed ban on sale of local land to foreigners
Business Report - South Africa
Pretoria - The controversial proposed temporary ban on the sale of property to foreigners has been scrapped by the government-appointed panel looking into the development of policy on foreign land ownership.

The temporary ban was proposed in the government's interim report last year. Instead, it has recommended that a limited moratorium of two years be placed on the sale of state land to foreigners.

The panel has, however, recommended an outright prohibition on foreign ownership in classified areas on the grounds of national interest, environmental considerations, areas of historical and cultural significance, and national security.
Business Report

House prices slowing?
Business Day - South Africa
Residential property prices are no longer going up as fast as they were before the new National Credit Act and the interest rate hikes of recent times.

LINDSAY WILLIAMS: Car sales have recovered - we've seen those numbers from Naamsa today. That's rather good news - the first bit of good news for quite a while from the South African economy. What about house prices? According to Standard Bank's Residential Property Gauge for August 2007, the median house price has declined sharply to 5.7% year-on-year in August from over 10% year-on-year in July. Is this filtering through to the commercial sector? On the line now is Francois Viruly, property economist and professor of property studies at Wits University. Francois, what do you make of that Standard Bank number yesterday?
Business Day

'Land buyers must list race'
Fin24.co.za - South Africa
Cape Town - A panel of experts has recommended that all potential property buyers disclose their race, gender and nationality, and that will include "substantial shareholders" in land-owning companies.

The panel has been investigating the foreign ownership of land. The report was presented to cabinet in July, but was not released until Monday.

The panel, under UNISA professor Shadrack Gutto, says that it is currently difficult to assess the quantity of land owned by foreigners with their best estimate being that foreigners own around 3% of land used for residential housing, agricultural holdings, farm land and sectional titles.

This will be much higher in coastal and game farming areas, they say.

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