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Another big bank tightens credit screws
Realestate web.co.za - South Africa
If your home loan's not yet approved, you'll need a much bigger deposit to buy property - Standard Bank's tough new property finance criteria.

If your Standard Bank home loan isn't yet approved, expect to offer a much bigger deposit along with a fresh application. Tough new lending criteria kick in from Thursday 23 October.
Hot on the heels of Absa (JSE:ASA) tightening its lending criteria to residential property buyers, Standard Bank (JSE:SBK) issued a directive to various business partners saying its Loan-To-Value criteria (LTV) have been adjusted again.

Property24 and Absa dissolve their joint venture
RodneyHayter.com - South Africa
Property24 has announced the dissolution of a six-year joint venture with Absa Group Home Loans and the purchase of the 50 percent ownership position previously held by Absa in the joint venture.

According to managing executive of Absa Home Loans, Luthando Vutula, the decision to revisit the business arrangement was the result of the recent slowdown in the residential property market.

"Although it was a mutually beneficial venture, given the current economic environment, we want to focus on our core business. Despite the dissolution of the joint venture we will maintain the relationship with Property24 to deal with business originated via the site," added Vutula

Interesting trends in SA housing: Trafalgar
Sunday Times - South Africa
The Trafalgar City report 2008, launched, reveals that analysis done on private and public sector property sales over the past two years has unearthed interesting trends throughout South Africa.

It showed that highly sought-after residential areas have experienced dramatic property price hikes despite the escalating interest rates.

According to the report several suburbs have shown sales growth in three-bedroom houses and a corresponding drop in smaller home purchases.

Other areas confirmed an increase in smaller home purchases as entry-level homeowners seek cheaper options in bachelor flats and one-bedroom homes.

Underwater mortgages inundate US
Business Report - South Africa
Long before she filed for bankruptcy, Ann Neukomm was "under water" - she owed more on her mortgage than her house was worth - a situation more Americans are finding themselves in.

As the financial crisis hits main street America, about one in six US homeowners is in the same position, threatening the US economy with a new wave of foreclosures and bankruptcies.

About 12 million US homeowners owed more than their homes were worth, compared with 6.6 million at the end of last year and slightly more than 3 million at the close of 2006, Mark Zandi, the chief economist at Moody's Economy.com, said this week.
Business Report

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