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FNB Q1 Property Barometer preview - Emerging middle class
FNB - South Africa
In this note, we focus on the racial composition of home buying as estimated by estate agents surveyed. Note that our Property Barometer surveys, from which some of this information is derived, is dominated by former "white suburban" estate agents in the major metros of the country, because the "suburbs" are the most highly traded markets.

The FNB 1st quarter survey of agents showed buying by the so-called "Black" population group rising to its highest percentage of total buying since this survey question was started back in the 3rd quarter of 2005, while the group classified as "white" dipped to its lowest percentage of total buying since this survey question started.

The 1st quarter 2010 survey estimate put white population group buying at 44%, while the black population group's buying was estimated at 34% of total buying, not that far behind anymore, and a significant jump from the previous quarter's 53% (White) to 28% (Black).
FNB Emerging Middle Class

Council ineptitude leads to deeds crisis
RealEstateWeb - South Africa
Property owners are being exposed to rampant tenant service arrears.

Property sellers are increasingly faced with unexpected and often exorbitant municipal service arrears when they try to transfer their properties. The law also offers little protection against municipal accounting blunders or municipalities' failure to properly collect service arrears.

In the Tshwane Metro area cases of delayed property transfers - due to disputed municipal service bills - have risen so significantly it has prompted the Democratic Alliance to submit a motion to the Council demanding answers and action. DA councillor Adriana Randall submitted the motion to the Tshwane Council's Finance Portfolio in March. The Council has indicated it will respond during its next meeting on April 29.

House-buyers clueless about real cost of purchase
Investor Today - UK
Nearly a quarter (24%) of house-buyers have worrying lack of knowledge when it comes to the additional costs that go into buying a home - beyond the deposit and mortgage - which can come as a nasty surprise if not budgeted for, according to research from unbiased.co.uk.
With house-buyers focused on how much they can borrow for a mortgage and saving for a deposit, other essential costs such as the survey, solicitor fees, and even stamp duty tax are not always sufficiently accounted for.

One in ten (9%) house-buyers estimate the extra house-buying costs won't exceed £1000 - when in reality the conveyancing fees alone could cost this much. Furthermore, a small percentage (4%) admit it never even occurred to them there were any additional costs.
Investor Today

Property solicitors will need to adapt to a rapidly changing market
Law Gazette - UK
Property has been anything but 'as safe as houses' for solicitors who deal with residential conveyancing since the onset of the credit crunch. Their colleagues in the commercial property sector have encountered equally thin pickings.

But, slowly and unevenly, both sectors of the property market are recovering, and buyers and developers are losing some of the caution that marked the recession's depths.

As if recession were not enough to deal with, residential conveyancers face the threat of competition from new rivals once alternative business structures are permitted from October 2011.
Law Gazette

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