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2008: the year of the property bear?
RealEstateweb - South Africa

Six property predictions. Add yours to the list.

Ever since residential property became a sexy asset class earlier this decade, there's been a warning from some that the good times can't last. Predictions of prices slumping have come to nought, until recently.

This week's statistics released by ABSA show that the easy gains in bricks-and-mortar have indeed been made and that price growth has tapered off to a seven-year low.
Does this spell disaster for the property market? Many believe not.

Here are some of the predictions made for the residential market this year:

e-conveyancing means faster deals
Residentiallandlord - UK
Residential landlords buying and selling property have been promised a speedier service when dealing with the Land Registry following its decision to sign up to full membership of the e-business standards body PISCES (Property Information Systems Common Exchange Standard) as part of its commitment to the adoption of e-conveyancing.

PISCES is a not-for-profit company which has been driving the take-up of e-commerce, for the benefit of the property industry and its customers.

Land Registry Director of Information Systems John Wright said: "We are delighted to sign up as members of PISCES and look forward to a productive partnership".

Cape judge changes his mind on eviction of backyard dwellers
Business Day - South Africa
The Western Cape provincial housing department is set to become embroiled in the legal process to evict more than 100 backyard dwellers from the Delft area of Cape Town, part of the national government's flagship N2 Gateway project.

Cape High Court Judge Deon van Zyl yesterday decided not to move on a ruling he made on Christmas Eve to evict the dwellers, an order against them sought by state-owned Thubelisha Homes.

The return date for the hearing was set for yesterday.

Van Zyl was expected to rule on whether the occupation by the backyard dwellers was illegal and whether they should be evicted.

His stance on the matter means that Thubelisha Homes and the provincial housing department will now have to bring a new application next Friday. It also means that the occupiers of the Delft homes will not be moved, at least for a week.

Counter negativity by promoting factual news, says Marais
Rodneyhayter.com - South Africa
With inventories up and transaction numbers down, the real estate industry is understandably jittery going into the new business year.

But, says Dr Willie Marais, national president of the Institute of Estate Agents (IEASA), agents should be focusing instead on bolstering consumers' confidence, and doing more to help them understand the underlying strength of the SA property market.

"As an industry, we should make it our business to counter all the negative reports on the property market with factual, positive news. There is still a lot of business being conducted in this market and behind every transaction is a consumer 'success story' that other consumers need to see and hear".

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