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Banks and the property slump
Real estate web - South Africa
Which lenders will be the hardest hit?
As South African house prices continue to slide downhill, investors will be eager to know which bank stocks are most exposed to a possible mortgage crisis.

Overzealous lending and the subsequent US house-price collapse have been blamed on the global credit crisis. South African banks have emerged from the crisis relatively unscathed. However, there are concerns that if the housing market cools then local banks will suffer - especially if predictions of a 40% house-price collapse are to be believed.

Moneyweb asked Kokkie Kooyman of SIM Global how to assess which banks might be worst affected in a house-price slump.

SAPOA urges comment on Green Building Rating System
RodneyHayter.com - South Africa
The SA Property Owners' Association has urged all players in the property industry to study and comment on the rating system to be released soon in pilot form by the newly established Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA).

Ben Kodisang, SAPOA's president, says: "It will be in the industry's long-term interest to ensure we shape the rating system through inputs across the sector. That includes architects, engineers, consultants, building contractors, as well as property owners, developers, managers, large corporate tenants, product manufacturers and distributors, and relevant government departments. "

Barnetts champions HIPs Plus
Mortgagesolutions-online - UK
Barnetts Solicitors is championing a new service which it claims could change the face of conveyancing and allow next day completions.

HIPs Plus was the brainchild of Richard Barnett, senior partner at the firm. The scheme would involve preparing all the legal information currently required in a home information pack (HIP), but have added extras such as a contract, draft transfer and all the other documents that are usually dispatched by the seller's conveyancer to the buyer's conveyancer.

House sales slump to 30 year low
Financemarkets.co.uk - UK
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) has published a report showing that during each of the months of March, April and May, the average estate agency sold 17.4 homes.

The figure represents a 32% decline on the same period of 2007 and leaves house-sellers in England and Wales struggling to achieve sales in the most hostile housing market in 30 years.

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