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Market forces cull more agents - new stats
RealEstateWeb - South Africa

Grim market conditions continue to take toll on estate agency numbers - Estate Agency Affairs Board latest stats.

Estate agency numbers are set to shrink again this year, with the number down by at least 20% on the figure at the start of 2008. Roughly one in every four agents in business in January last year has left the industry.

According to the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB), as of January 8, 30 528 existing estate agents had applied for Fidelity Fund Certificate (FFC) renewals and almost 28 000 have been issued with their FFCs.

Estate agents are not legally entitled to commission if they operate without a fidelity fund certificate.

Oz conveyancers set for further layoffs
Propertyweek.com - Australia
The bottom has fallen out of the previously lucrative conveyancing industry, with a prediction of more retrenchments nationwide this year.

Australian Institute of Conveyancers president Pauline Barrow said a tightening of bank-lending practices, a reluctance of owners to sell and employment uncertainty by buyers had seen business fall in some instances by up to 40%. Losses varied between states.

House price growth at 12 year low
Fin24.com - South Africa
Growth in SA house prices has slowed to its lowest rate in over a decade, and 2009's growth rate won't be any better.

This is according to Absa's House Price Index for December 2008, released on Friday morning.

The middle segment (between 80m² and 400m²) of the property market recorded an average nominal annual price increase of 3.8%, the lowest growth rate recorded since 1992.
In real (non-inflationary) terms, prices of middle-segment homes dropped 6.7% over the year to end-December 2008.

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