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First time buyers returning to property market
RealEstateWeb - South Africa
And are currently responsible for almost half of all home loan applications.

First time buyers are making a steady return to the residential property market in South Africa, according to new statistics, which show that they are currently responsible for almost half of all home loan applications.

The research by ooba - South Africa's leading bond originator - has revealed that in 2010 the proportion of first time buyers as a percentage of total applications increased to 47.61%. This is the highest total since ooba began tracking the statistics, and is a 15.96% increase on the proportion of first time buyers since these records began in July 2005.

The change in profile of home buyers would signify a positive development for the local housing market. Higher levels of activity amongst first time buyers are generally a positive indicator for the housing market, as demand increases and there are positive knock-on effects.

Land: Shot in the arm for reform as state pledges an extra R7,3bn
Business Day - South Africa
The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform has been allocated R7,3bn to tackle the pressing need of land reform after it was forced to suspend aggressive land purchases last year because of insufficient funds.

The new funds are expected to at least settle the estimated R500m the department could not pay to willing buyers of land, who had threatened court action to force Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti to pay.

Mr Nkwinti's budget is also expected to finance parts of the delayed land reform green paper, which seeks to redress the shortcomings of the land distribution programme that has left many farms unproductive in the hands of beneficiaries.
Business Day

Oversupply of lawyers to drive down costs, says Green
Law Gazette - UK
The oversupply of qualified lawyers denied entry to the profession has led to a 'burgeoning body of paralegals' that will have a profound effect on solicitors and barristers, former bar chairman Nick Green QC said last week.

At a conference on legal education in London last week, Green said the paralegal market, which is 'burgeoning at an alarming rate', is one of the biggest challenges to face the professions.

He said: 'The burgeoning body of paralegals is already affecting the structure of the profession, and will do so increasingly in the near future.'

Green said the rise in paralegals was due in part to the oversupply of qualified people, who had completed the bar and solicitor training courses, but are unable to get a pupillage or training contract.
Law Gazette

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