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E-conveyancing given the flick from COAG
The Australian - Australia
THE Council of Australian Governments showed yesterday that the establishment of a national electronic conveyancing system is not a priority.
COAG had been due to make a series of vital but politically fraught decisions about the future of e-conveyancing.

Ostensibly, those decisions were dumped from yesterday's meeting in order to make room for debate about the financial meltdown.

They were, however, the sorts of matters that should have been close to finalisation well before the meeting in Perth.

Yet after the meeting, the federal Government was very vague about when these matters would now be dealt with.
The Australian

Absa reports lowest house price growth in 15 years
RodneyHayter.com - South Africa
In September 2008 nominal year-on-year house price growth in the middle segment of the market dropped to its lowest level in more than 15 years, according to the latest Absa House Price Indices released today.

Nominal price growth was lower in all three categories of housing (small, medium-sized and large houses). In real terms (i.e. after adjustment for inflation) house prices were in September at levels last seen in January 2006.

Factors such as surging inflation, higher interest rates and slowing real household disposable income growth and the impact of the National Credit Act are weighing on household finances and have caused the residential property market to slow down sharply in recent times.

The average nominal price of middle-segment housing, according to Absa, was up by 1,5% year-on-year (y/y) in September 2008, down from a revised growth rate of 2,1% in August. The September growth rate was the lowest since February 1993, and brought the average nominal price of a house in this segment of the market to about R966 600.

Property conveyancing and legal process - Part 1
hip-consultant.co.ik - Uk
What is "conveyancing"? - Simply, it is the legal process of transferring ownership of land and property.
Instructing a lawyer
Once you have decided on a property, made an offer and had that offer accepted it's time to instruct a lawyer. This can be either a solicitor or a licensed conveyancer. You should try not to pay over the odds for conveyancing work. When obtaining a quote you should be given a fixed fee but ask for a list of any additional fees charged for different aspects of the transaction.
Some firms might charge an extra fee for completing the SDLT1 form for example, even though this will not need to be done in every case. These additional fees can really push up the final bill. An average bill for professional fees only (i.e not including addtional search fees, land registry fees etc) would probably be around £300-£400 at the moment.

New ideas needed on housing and finance - Coovadia
Business Day - South Africa
Innovative schemes required for low-income groups, but financiers should not give loans to risky clients, says Banking Association MD
Property Reporter

Innovative schemes are needed to help low-income earners buy their own house, while banks should continue providing finance only to those who can afford it, say experts who were in SA last week to attend an international forum.

The delegates agree the housing crisis in Africa and SA requires a holistic approach and solutions such as encouraging people to consider renting accommodation rather than borrowing to buy property.
Business Report

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