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Surviving a property slump
RealEstateweb.co.za - South Africa

Now is not the time to cut and run, says property cycle fundi.

Gone are the days that buy-to-let investments are on the wish lists of anyone old enough to secure a mortgage. Property has lost its sex appeal as residential price growth has screeched to a halt.

But that doesn't mean you should sell now. Quite the contrary. Now is a pretty bad time to sell, because genuine buyers are spoilt for choice and they are calling the shots these days. Only 20% of sellers are achieving their asking prices, according to FNB.

If you sell now, say some economists, you will not enjoy as big a profit as you could have a few months ago. Wait for the property price cycle to turn the corner before you offload, is their advice.

Pinched homeowners scramble to sell
BusinessDay.co.za - South Africa

THE number of overstretched property owners losing their homes under the hammer has risen to record levels.

The Alliance Group of auctioneers said yesterday forced home sales surged 75%. It had experienced a 300% increase in inquiries from sellers trying to offload their properties "as quickly as they can".

Alliance Group CEO Rael Levitt said the company had experienced a 300% increase in enquiries this month compared with January last year. "Coupled to that, instructions from banks in the form of insolvencies and foreclosures have increased 75% in January, compared to January last year," said Levitt.

Growth in SA mortgage advances continue to decline
RodneyHayter.com - South Africa

A growth in mortgage advances of 24,1% year-on-year was recorded in December (24,8% in November), according to data released by the South African Reserve Bank.

This brought the total amount of mortgage advances to R849,8 billion in December. On a month-on-month basis, mortgage advances growth was lower at 1,4% in September (2,0% in November).

Absa says the slowdown in year-on-year growth in mortgage advances since peaking at 30,9% in October 2006 can be ascribed to the higher interest rates since mid-2006, while the effect of the National Credit Act (NCA) on credit extension,
including mortgage advances, is also becoming more visible. In December, the year-on-year growth in credit extension to the domestic private sector slowed somewhat further to 21,5% from 22,6% in November.

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