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FNB January 2011 House Price Index
FNB - South Africa
The two successive further interest rate cuts late in 2010 appear to have done little to halt the declining trend in house price growth to date. This arguably continues to be reflective of the very significant financial pressure, accompanied by high levels of debt relative to disposable income, that the household sector still experiences.

The combined result of a lack of further expected interest rate cutting in 2011, and what looks like being weak medium term economic growth, keeps us retaining the view of a very flat residential property market, with average price growth for 2011 as a whole to be close to zero.
FNB January 2011 House Price Index

ABSA Mortgage Advances 2010
ABSA - South Africa
Low mortgage advances growth recorded in 2010
Year-on-year (y/y) growth in household credit extension, comprising instalment sales agreements, leasing finance, mortgage advances, overdrafts, credit card debt and other loans and advances, came to 6,9% at the end of 2010 after rising by 7,2% up to November last year.

This is based on domestic credit extension data released by the South African Reserve Bank The total value of outstanding mortgage balances at monetary institutions, comprising both commercial and residential mortgage loans, was down to 4% in December 2010 from 4,8% y/y in November. On a month-on-month basis outstanding mortgage balances were 0,4% lower in December compared with the preceding month.

Year-on-year growth in the outstanding balance of mortgage finance extended to the household sector came in at 4,6% at the end of 2010, after increasing by 5,8% up to November. On a monthly basis household mortgage balances were 0,7%, or R5,2 billion, lower at a level of R758,7 billion at the end of December last year compared with November.
ABSA Mortgage Advances

Are you paying the right price for your new property?
RealEstateWeb - South Africa
A whole variety of factors will affect the price of a property.

How does a homebuyer know if he is offering the right price for the property in which he is interested?

There are certain checks which can indicate whether the seller and his agent are going for a kill or pricing at market-related values.
The first should always be the prices recently achieved on similar homes in the area: a reputable agent, with links to good property statistical services, should be able to produce these on demand. If he or she cannot, this should always be seen as grounds for suspicion and a lack of professionalism.

These figures should include the floor area of the homes sold (in square metres) and sometimes of the plots as well. If the floor area is then divided by the sales price achieved (or asked, in the case of a home now being considered) the metre square price can be a useful guideline to the true value of what is now on offer. If several recent sales are analysed in this way, a reasonably accurate average figure for the area can be estimated. Nevertheless, all prices will reflect special benefits or disadvantages and should be explained and analysed in detail.

Mortgage swindles make up 25% of finance frauds
Mortgage Strategy - UK
The National Fraud Authority's annual indicator last week revealed mortgage fraud accounted for more than a quarter of all financial services scams in 2010.

This figure dropped slightly from £3.8bn in 2009 to £3.6bn last year.
To help combat mortgage rackets The Law Society last week introduced another qualification for solicitors, the Conveyancing Quality Scheme. The society says the scheme can play an important role in tackling mortgage fraud.
Mortgage Strategy

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