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House prices drop
Fin24.co.za - South Africa
SA average house prices fell for the first time in eight years, pushing the March y/y inflation to a negative 5.2%, new data showed on Tuesday.

The negative growth recorded for the month follows three straight months of flat growth and pushed the average house price to R550 000 from R570 000 last month, the Standard Bank Residential Property gauge showed.

The five-month moving average growth rate slowed to 0.2% y/y in March from 3.25% y/y in February, mirroring waning consumer demand amid a higher interest rate environment.

Opposition to expropriation bill mounts
Business Day - South Africa
Pressure continues to mount on the government's new draft expropriation law, with a top Johannesburg businessman and a constitutional rights watchdog joining organised agriculture in condemning it as being in violation of the constitution's property clause.

Before its introduction to Parliament's public works committee last week by Public Works MinisterThoko Didiza, the Expropriation Amendment Bill had been sharply criticised by organised agriculture as being a violation of the constitution. The bill seeks to allow for expropriation in the public interest rather than the public purpose and, if approved, would also constrain the courts in their ability to rule on fair compensation.
Business Day

ABSA forecasts mortgage advances growth to dip below 20%
RodneyHayter.com - South Africa
South African mortgage advances by monetary institutions recorded a year-on-year growth of 23,1 percent in February, according to data released today by the South African Reserve Bank. The growth was 1,4 percent lower than the 24,5 percent recorded in January.

The total amount of mortgage advances in February was R871,5 billion.

Commenting on the data, ABSA notes that with residential mortgages having the biggest share in total mortgage advances, the further slowdown in the growth in mortgage credit is largely a reflection of a housing market still cooling off.

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