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Investing in residential property by Jacques du Toit
RodneyHayter.com - South Africa
Levels of activity and price growth in the South African residential property market have slowed down considerably over the past year on the back of sharply rising inflation, which caused interest rates to have been hiked by a cumulative 500 basis points since June 2006; the full implementation of the National Credit Act about a year ago; and the recent tightening of credit criteria by some banks.

In view of the impact of these developments on the property market, many people, including homeowners and prospective homebuyers, have become uncertain whether residential property can still be regarded as a sound investment.

An important consideration with regard to any investment is the return (a regular income and/or a capital gain after taking into account the effect of inflation).

Xingwana loses Land Bank to the treasury
Business Day - South Africa
President Thabo Mbeki yesterday transferred control of the beleaguered Land Bank from the land affairs department to the treasury, in what is seen as a last-ditch effort to revive the plundered institution and allow it to resume its crucial role in SA's economy.

The decision was announced in a terse joint statement from both departments, saying the transfer was effective immediately.

Treasury spokeswoman Thoraya Pandy declined to comment on a turnaround strategy for the bank, which has lost a reported R2bn in equity in five years amid financial scandals and top-level resignations.

"We need to look at the issues at hand and do a proper assessment ... there's a lot of work to be done and we need time," Pandy said.
Business Day

PGP's Ennik says "big picture remains healthy"
RodneyHayter.com - South Africa
"In spite of the downturn in the residential property market, the big picture remains healthy for the majority of homeowners."

This is the view of Ronald Ennik, an executive director of Pam Golding Properties and managing director of its R4-billion-sales-a-year Gauteng division.

"Much has been said recently - some of it with an overly gloomy tone - about the state and prospects of the residential property market in South Africa. Yes, it is very much a buyer's and not a seller's market. No question about that. But it is not a market that is about to collapse: there are still opportunities for buyers or sellers.

Untrained agents given the boot
RealEstateWeb - South Africa

Estate agents countrywide reach a turning point as the new education dispensation allows for more accessibility to the profession and licence to trade.

For three years now, the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) has been lobbying for 56 000 registered estate agents to be recognised as professionals in terms of the Skills Education Training Authorities (Seta).

As from July 15 2008, estate agents are now recognised professionals and the new education dispensation which replaces the old allows for easy access to the profession while it also improves the quality of professionals produced.

EAAB CEO Nomonde Mapetla said this move is a turning point in the estate agents profession.

"The new status makes us proud and we are confident we will train competent and proficient estate agents who will meet the challenges that lie ahead," said Mapetla.

She added that it also gives the profession the dignity it deserves as untrained estate agents will fall away.

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