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Estate agents told to get green over HIPs
Mortgage solutions - UK

LMS, the conveyancing and home information pack (HIP) provider, has called for estate agents to consider the needs of the environment before ordering paper copies of HIPs.

The firm announced the provision of one free paper copy of a HIP for the seller on all new orders, but said it came with the proviso that before ordering, estate agents consider not only their customers' needs but also environmental issues.
Mortgage solutions

Semigrate or emigrate?
Business Day - South Africa
Summit TV speaks to John Loos property strategist at FNB about the deterioration of conditions in the housing market through higher interest rates and a new exodus caused by increasing levels of violence in South Africa

GUNTHER DEUTSCH: John, the property market is not exactly in a depression but things are not looking too good, are they?

JOHN LOOS: Things are not looking good. I think what concerns me more - while the interest rate cycle is fairly normal, and the debt service ratio is still at normal levels for a deteriorating cycle - I think what I've underestimated is the deterioration in sentiment that's not just related to interest rates, but related to non-interest rate factors. There's a couple - the post-Polokwane jitters after the ANC conference and the leadership change has caused jitters amongst minority groups that are a major part of the suburban housing market still, and the Eskom crisis I think did a lot of dampening of sentiment for the wrong reasons.

I think people misinterpreted it - nevertheless it did have a dampening effect. What we are seeing in some of the FNB Property Barometer numbers - although it's early days - it looks like the emigration talk that's so abundant in the suburbs may not just be talk, as there's significant selling of property to emigrate especially on the higher end of the market. I don't think that's interest rate related - it's a non interest rate factor. In other words what I'm thinking now is that this deteriorating cycle is possibly going to go a fair bit deeper than interest rates would dictate it should...
Business Day

Negative equity shadow looms over property market
RodneyHayter.com - South Africa
The ghost haunting homeowners at present is whether they are falling into the unnerving shadow of negative equity. The answer, according to an article in the latest Pam Golding Properties Intellectual Property magazine, appears to be: not yet, unless of course you have a very substantial mortgage bond.

Most homeowners with reasonable bonds are a long way from the situation where they owe more than their properties are worth. However, we do face the possibility of national house price deflation which, but for the latest interest rate increase in April, it looked possible to escape.
Rodney Hayter.com

Fixing up a rental property: tax tips
Realestateweb - South Africa

Watch out for these tax pitfalls when you fix up a rental property between tenants.

Q. I am a landlord. The current lease on a home has expired. The house has been neglected for 9 years and needs to be revamped.

I will need one month to restore the house to it' original state without any improvements, whilst not being let during this time (one month). After completion of the work I will find a new tenant and charge a current market value rental. May I deduct the cost of repairs from income for tax purposes?

Fanus Jonck, a tax expert based in Welgemoed, Cape Town, answers:

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