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Lower interest rates haven't worked yet
RealEstateWeb - South Africa
Worst conditions since 2000 - latest mortgage market analysis

Year-on-year mortgage advances growth slowed down to 8,2% y/y in June from 9,4% y/y in May this year. The year-on-year (y/y) growth in the value of total mortgage advances by monetary institutions (the net outstanding balance on mortgage loans at these institutions)
tapered off further to 8,2% in June 2009, from 9,4% in May, according to data released by the South African Reserve Bank.

This was the lowest year-on-year growth in outstanding mortgage balances since July 2000, when it was 8,4%. On a month-on-month basis the growth in the outstanding balance on mortgage loans was a negligible 0,1% in June.

In the household sector, growth in the value of mortgage advances to households, largely related to residential property, declined to 6% y/y in June from 6,8% y/y in May and 24,8% y/y in June last year.

Commercial property market still bouyant
Fine&Country - South Africa
In Benjamin Roth's Depression Diary of "The Chronicles of Hard Times of the 1929 depression" he said that wise investor will disregard the day by day fluctuations of the stock market or the real estate market and base his buying and selling on these long periods of rise and fall. The conservative long term investor who follows the general rule of buying stocks when they are selling for below their intrinsic value and nobody wants them, and of selling his stock when people are biddy frantically for them at prices far above there intrinsic value ...such an investor will pretty nearly hit the bulls eye.

Although this was written some 75 years ago the words have similarity to our own time and we would do well to take cognisance of them.

The property fundamentals of the commercial property sector, while not at the unsustainable levels of recent years, have not seen the marked slowdown of the residential market. The economy remains under pressure but the Reserve Bank cutting of prime by 4.5 basis points since December could start to have an effect. Whilst this is not immediately apparent in the residential sector there are signs of an improvement in the commercial property sector where the cost of finance and its availability are very real issue.

Promising advertisements: estate agents beware the implications
Iqgwetha Training Academy - South Africa
Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA) makes finding against agency (15 July 2009)

Often enough printed advertisements seem to portray the promised land through tinted glasses, the reality fading against the conjured image. In this matter, a printed advertisement by a reputable estate agency promoted the sale of apartments in a sectional title complex. A disappointed purchaser approached the ASA and complained that there was no gym in the scheme, as was indicated in the printed advertisement.

The ASA found in the complainant's favour holding that the reasonable person would, when reading the printed advertisements, assume that there was a gym. It was no defence to offer assurance that the gym would soon be available.

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