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Residential property gauge
Standard Bank - South Africa

Correction but not comparable to US subprime crisis

The Standard Bank median house price fell to R530,000 in April from R550,000 in March. The April median house price of R530,000 translates into a growth rate of negative 8.6% y/y when compared to the median house price recorded in April 2007. The fivemonth moving average growth rate declined to 2.8% y/y in April. However, recent point estimates for house price growth should not be taken at face value and should be interpreted with caution as they are subject to certain distortions.
Residential property guage

Revolt against Victorian e-system
Trading markets.com - Australia
It appears that the Victorian Government wants to control the structure of electronic conveyancing (ECV). Victoria wants to see a network of state-based ECV systems based on its own software. Victoria appears not to be in favour of a single, national "seamless" ECV system. Lawyers and bankers confronted Victorian officials at a meeting on 18 April 2008 in Sydney. They warned that the Victorian model is not acceptable to them.

Beware: Tax nasty linked to emigrating sellers
Realestateweb.co.za- South Africa
Estate agents, conveyancers: if seller plans to emigrate, Sars could make you pay their tax bill.

Section 35A of the Income Tax Act provides that a person (the purchaser, the estate agent or the conveyancer) must withhold a so-called "advance tax" from the sale amount that is due to a non-resident seller. This is only applicable if the sale price is more than R2 million. If an estate agent or conveyancer knows or should reasonably have known that the seller is a non-resident and fails to comply with s 35A(11), then the 'failing' estate agent or conveyancer is jointly and severally liable for the payment of the amount that the purchaser is required to withhold (s 35A(12)).

The question is: "How do you know if the seller is a non-resident?" If the seller speaks Afrikaans and has a South African ID document, does he then not qualify as resident? He could still have his green South African ID, and if he has been working the last few years in the UK, be deemed to be a non-resident!

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