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FNB Building and Fixed Investment Update
FNB - South Africa
We expect 2010 to be another tough year for the residential building sector, and for the year as a whole expect growth in completions to be in the region of zero percent. This, however, would imply an improving level of activity as the year progresses, with the worst part of the year being the first half, including more year-on-year decline, while the 2nd half is expected to see some positive year-on-year growth off what is now a very low base.

Some recent declines in building materials costs have possibly helped to lessen the gap between replacement value and existing house prices slightly, while renewed price inflation in the existing home market is expected to narrow the gap further. This narrowing makes it easier for developers to bring "competitively-priced" stock to the market. However, one cannot expect it to be an easy ride just yet, as existing house price inflation remains low, and there is a high number of distressed sales in the existing home market, often representing
"bargains" for the home buyer.
Building and Fixed Investment Update

Banks cautious on 100% bonds
Fin24.com - South Africa
Johannesburg - The latest statistics released by ooba, South Africa's leading bond origination company, reveal that the decision by banks in August 2009 to start granting 100% bonds has significantly boosted the number of consumers applying for home loans.

According to Saul Geffen, CEO of ooba, many would-be homeowners, however, will be left disappointed, as banks remain reluctant to grant the full amounts applied for.

"While the granting of 100% home loans is a sign of confidence in the local property market, the implications of the National Credit Act mean that consumers still have to meet the strict affordability criteria in order to qualify."

South Africa's best property returns - all the stats
RealEstateWeb - South Africa

Joburg investors smile, KZN South Coast home-owners weep

Greater Johannesburg property owners are enjoying the highest property returns (8.9%), while KwaZulu-Natal South Coast owners have watched their property values fall by a painful 21% over the past year, according to latest figures published in Absa's quarterly housing review. Figures vary considerably from region to region and property type.

Of the country's seven metropolitan regions, Johannesburg was the top property performer year-on-year followed by Durban/Pinetown in KwaZulu-Natal (7.7%). East London property fell (-2.6%) in value the most out of all metropolitan areas since the first quarter of 2009.

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