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Claimants "should take land, not payouts"
Business Report
The Land Claims Commission discourages people, especially those in rural areas, from taking financial compensation in lieu of ancestral land, advising them to rather opt for restitution.

This is according to chief land claims commissioner Tozi Gwanya, who said the commission had come to this conclusion based on practical experience on two land claims.

In St Lucia in KwaZulu-Natal, the Bangaza community took the option of financial compensation in 2000, but six months later came back to the commission to demand their ancestral land rights.

Gwanya said the same happened in Pietermaritzburg in July, where claimants who had been paid financial compensation later tried to recover their ancestral land through an illegal land occupation.

They have since been evicted.
Business Report

Boom times for estate agents
Real Estate web - South Africa
No property bear in sight for some of country's top residential estate agency groups - latest sales figures.

Economists have been cautioning that residential property price growth in 2007 is set to be disappointing compared to recent years, but some of the country's best-known real estate companies are producing figures that suggest that business is booming.

There is no property bear in sight for Seeff Properties, with chairman Samuel Seeff announcing earlier this week that August year-on-year sales growth is up by 20%. The figures for some areas are staggering: in Atlantic Seaboard and City Bowl, Cape Town, sales are up by 135% on August last year, while Free State sales are up more than 80%.

Seeff said the "market is fair and balanced". "The number of buyers in the market place at present has certainly declined, but this has not been matched by an increase in sellers, which is holding the market up much more strongly than commentators would have predicted," he said.
Real Estate Web

Debate on real estate accounts
Business Day - South Africa
With property markets booming, debate has arisen as to how property developers should report their real estate accounting.

Adrian Dadd, a technical partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, said this week that accounting standards were open to interpretation and that there was diversity in financial reporting by property developers.

The International Financial Reporting Interpretations Committee was recently seeking comment on a draft accounting standard on real estate sales.

The crucial question was how soon after a construction contract period a developer can recognise profits.
Business Day

Mortgage originators saving SA consumers R30bn annually
RodneyHayter.com - South Africa
The rise in popularity of mortgage originators in the home-buying process has now reached a level where they are collectively saving South African consumers R30bn a year in interest charges through lower home financing costs.

This comes from discounts to the prime lending rate that originators achieve by shopping around at various banks on behalf of home-buyers to secure the lowest borrowing rates possible, says the company that launched bond origination in South Africa in 1999.

There is no charge to home-buyers for originators' services.

Rhys Dyer, chief operating officer of MortgageSA, the originator that has placed over 300,000 people in their homes with over R100bn in mortgages, says that prior to the advent of origination banks offered customers home loan rates of, on average, 0,5% below prime.
Rodney Hayter.com

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