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SA property hit by emigration
Fin24.com - South Africa
Johannesburg - A growing number of SA homeowners are dumping their properties on the market for emigration purposes, according to data released by FNB on Monday.

The FNB Residential Property Barometer for first quarter 2008 shows that 12% of all sellers included in the bank's quarterly survey plan to leave SA, up from 9% in fourth quarter 2007.
Emigration increases are more pronounced in high net worth areas where homes are typically priced above R2.5m. FNB's data shows that 18% of all sellers in this price category plan to emigrate.

In fact, emigration is the biggest single reason cited for selling in upper-end suburbs.

Officials 'took houses meant for poor'
Business Day - South Africa
More than 30000 public servants face possible prosecution for defrauding the poor out of low-cost homes.

The Special Investigations Unit is investigating 31000 government employees, including school principals and police captains, who "corruptly or fraudulently" acquired fully subsidised houses.

Xolani Xundu, spokesman for the housing department, said the housing subsidies were meant for the "poorest of the poor" - households that earned less than R3500 a month.

But Xundu said that a total of 28715 of the public servants in question earned more than the R3500 monthly household income threshold.

Check property boundaries when staking your claim
RodneyHayter.com - South Africa
Buying a stand and building a brand new home to their own specifications is a fondly-held ambition for many homebuyers, but they should take particular care to ensure that the building takes place on the stand they have actually bought.

Confusion can easily arise, says Martin Schultheiss, CEO of the Homenet estate agency group, because the beacons demarcating boundaries in new developments often get lost or misplaced due to building activity.

Online system allows landlords to monitor progress of mortgage transactions
Residential Landlord - UK
The Money Centre, the independent buy to let mortgage brokers, has improved its range of mortgage services.
After two years of using Goldsmith Williams' online conveyancing service, GW Live, The Money Centre has been asked by Goldsmith Williams to pilot its new portfolio landlord system.

Currently the GW Live system enables brokers to monitor individual mortgage transactions as they progress through the conveyancing process. However, Goldsmith Williams new buy to let system will enable landlords with larger portfolios to manage multiple properties and monitor the progress of legal work online at the same time as their broker.
Residential Landlord

Going bust
NetAssets - South Africa
The post-1998 class of new homeowners is about to discover that the home as an endless source of money for nothing is an illusion.

Economists and estate agents had been warning that one more interest rate rise would tip the market. It happened last week, and the cost of a typical home loan rose from 13,5% to 14%.

The gale-force market pressures behind the quadrupling of the Absa average house price in a decade - the most spectacular in a worldwide property boom - has long gone. "Now I fear price pressures will be downward for two or three years," says Pam Golding Properties executive director Ronald Ennik, who has lived through a quarter century of selling houses in booms and busts.

Economists have produced a slew of data to back Ennik, but the question is: how far and for how long will the SA house market reverse? The biggest issue is debt, of which South Africans have more than ever. The average SA household owes 77% of its annual income. This is well below the 110% for Americans and 125% for Britons, but it is still new territory.

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