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FNB June House Price Index
FNB - South Africa
While house price inflation, on a year-on-year basis, continued to rise further as at June 2010, the pace of the growth acceleration slowed noticeably. Admittedly, it is too soon to conclude that the year-on-year price growth peak has been reached, but we nevertheless do expect this to occur within the next month or two. This expectation of a pending de-celeration in house price inflation is based on the fact that there has been a lack of further interest rate stimulus after the flurry of cuts by the SARB back in 2009. This, along with recently accelerating house price inflation, has all but brought to an end any further meaningful improvements in the two abovementioned measures of affordability.

In a market where essential buying dominates, as opposed to investment, leisure and speculative buying, and the household sector remains financially stretched, we believe that affordability is crucial, and a lack of further affordability improvements should probably imply a deceleration in house price inflation in the near term.

At this stage we don't necessarily think this means the end of house price inflation, but rather a deceleration back into single-digit inflation towards 2011. This view is based on positive economic growth continuing in 2011. There are some downside risks to the projections due to the risk of a global double-dip recession, which at present is not insignificant. The present global economic environment makes it a time where caution in investment decisions is probably required.
FNB June House Price Index

FNB Household credit
FNB - South Africa
Household sector credit growth remains pedestrian at 3.8% year-on-year in May, which should not necessarily be seen as a negative. Assuming the economy continues to grow positively, it can be expected that nominal household disposable income growth could continue to outstrip household credit growth during the remainder of 2010. This is crucial in reducing the household debt-to-disposable income ratio further from its currently high level, and in so doing further reduce household debt-service risk.

The pressure on the household sector has improved (declined) and so too its credit quality, it would appear. However, we regard this as a "high risk" improvement, because it has been based largely on interest rate cuts, which have reduced the debt-service ratio significantly, as opposed to any major reduction in the debt-to-disposable income ratio. This means that the household sector remains highly vulnerable to any unexpected or unwanted surprise such as interest rate hiking.

In the coming quarters, however, further decline in the debt-to-disposable income ratio is expected to reduce the household sectors level of debt-service risk.
FNB Household Credit

City of Joburg says there are no extraordinary backlogs
RealEstateWeb - South Africa
The DA says don't pretend there is no problem with clearance certificates.

PRETORIA - The Democratic Alliance has rejected claims by the City of Johannesburg that there are no extraordinary backlogs with the issuing of clearance certificates for property transfers. Last week the City claimed that it has about 2 000 outstanding clearance certificates and that this was not unusual. The DA however believes the figure has been significantly understated.

The DA's Johannesburg spokesperson for Municipal Finance John Mendelsohn says even if the figure is only around 2 000 this is still unacceptable. "Since when does a service provider set a level of service and then tell its customers, whatever the backlog is, it's quite acceptable? Surely it is up to the customer to say 'we understand that you can't process everything instantaneously, and we do accept there will be a time delay, but give us some factual background to the backlog, why are there delays?'"

Conveyancing giant snaps up competitor
IntroducerToday - UK
Conveyancing giant Myhomemove has bought conveyancing specialist and former HIP provider Easier2Move.

The acquisition, for an undisclosed sum, creates what is thought to be the biggest provider of conveyancing services in the UK. The deal was unrelated to the recent abolition of HIPs.

Easier2move provides panel conveyancing services to the public through estate agents and mortgage brokers.

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