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SA's best and worst property performers
Realestateweb - South Africa
As property prices generally head into negative terrain, some residential owners still have smiles on their faces - new stats.

Residential property prices are generally heading into negative terrain, with the numbers set to look worse before they get better. But some owners must still have smiles on their faces, suggests new data released this week.

Lightstone Risk Management's latest repeat sales house price index, which is based on Deeds Office data up to the end of May and other sources, shows house prices dropping much more rapidly than in previous months.

The property data provider expects the "downward trend in house price inflation to persist for some time", with SA Reserve Bank lending statistics and "sales in execution" notices indicating that "borrowers are under increasing strain" - a situation that won't be resolved until interest rates start ticking downwards.

New developments on Property Charter front
RodneyHayter.com - South Africa
The Property Sector Charter Council has submitted its application for the Property Sector Transformation Charter to be gazetted under Section 9 of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act (Act 53 of 2003) to the Department of Trade and Industry, according to a SAPOA media release.

The Charter, which was signed in March 2006, was gazetted under Section 12 of the Act in October 2007. At the time, the document was developed in alignment with the DTI's existing codes of good practice, which has subsequently evolved. "This," the media release says "has necessitated that certain aspects of the Property Charter be revised for gazetting under Section 9, which specifically addresses the codes of good practice that form the basis for every sector charter."

Slow-down in passing of non-residential building plans
Rode.co.za - South Africa
While the slow-down in building activity in the residential sector has been expected, recent statistics for non-residential property have surprisingly shown that this sector is also now beginning to weaken.

According to property economists Rode & Associates, there has in particular been a slow-down in building plans being passed for the development of office and industrial properties - the two boom sectors - whereas the stagnant retail sector still sees lots of developments in the pipeline.

Says Erwin Rode: 'At first glance, this deceleration would seem to be an anomaly when one considers how strong the fundamentals for office and industrial properties are - what with low vacancies and rising rentals, clearly the demand is still there.'

Electronic Acceptance of the Offer to Purchase
Privateproperty.co.za - South Africa
Gone are the days of the parties to a sale agreement sitting around the dining table or board room, sipping tea and completing and signing an agreement - these days communication through various electronic mediums is the order of the day.

But one has to ask whether communication and negotiation, and specifically, acceptance of an offer to purchase through such a method is valid and binding?

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