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Bracing for a property market slump
Real Estate web - South Africa
Estate agents and property owners brace for tough times, as Tito Mboweni punishes consumers.

The residential property party is officially over. Estate agents and owners are bracing themselves for tough times following the latest interest rate increase, announced on Thursday.
Many economists were not expecting SA Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni to push the interest rate up again. But he did, after the two-day Monetary Policy Committee meeting.
Reasons for the seventh half-a-percent increase include that inflation is still too high for Mboweni's liking. The SA Reserve Bank uses interest rates as a mechanism to force people to spend less money on goods and services, as more income goes into repaying debt.

The National Credit Act (NCA), fully implemented from June, has already acted as an additional brake on spending, with consumers finding it tougher these days to obtain credit.
Real Estate Web

Higher rate puts pain back into property
Sunday Times - South Africa
The seventh interest rate increase since June last year will hit the residential property market hard as borrowers will have less disposable income, analysts warned this week.

Reserve Bank Governor Tito Mboweni announced a 50 basis point increase in the repo rate to 10.5%. Banks responded by raising their prime interest rates to 14%.

Gavin Opperman, managing executive of Absa Home Loans, said the rising interest rates have negatively influenced the affordability of housing.

He said the 350 basis point increase in interest rates since June last year has caused the average monthly repayment on a home loan to rise by 24.6%.
Sunday Times

Home builders council and Sapoa bridge their differences
Business Report - South Africa
The SA Property Owners Association (Sapoa) and the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC) have settled their differences over the council's new draft code of conduct for home builders.

The aim of the code is to protect house buyers.

The draft code included provisions that home building contracts could only be concluded after the buyer had 30 calendar days to view the contract. It restricted clauses in contracts, in effect taking away consumers' common law or statutory rights, and restricted deposits to no more than 10 percent of the price of a fixed-cost building contract.
Business Report

Surprise ANC objections to land ownership study
Business Day - South Africa
Cabinet-backed plans to limit foreign ownership of land ran into unexpected opposition in Parliament yesterday, when African National Congress (ANC) MPs criticised aspects of a report drawn up by a team led by Prof Shadrack Gutto.

Their concerns echoed criticisms by the Democratic Alliance (DA), with one ANC MP warning against reintroducing race as a criterion for land ownership.

The report of Gutto's expert panel, appointed in 2004, was approved by the cabinet in July and has since been published for public comment. It controversially recommended that the race and gender of those purchasing land be recorded on title deeds.
Business Day

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