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Eastern Cape Residential Property Review - FNB
FNB - South Africa
The Eastern Cape residential property market appears to have a more comfortable existence these days, after having seemingly battled its way back from a severe slump that coincided with a severe recession. The province is more dependent on the highly-cyclical manufacturing sector than, for instance, the more services-driven economies of the Western Cape and Gauteng, and this was seemingly reflected in the severity of the slump in the province's house prices around 2008/9, because the manufacturing recession in South African was far more severe than was the case in other major economic sectors.

So, whereas the national FNB House Price Index declined by -3% in 2009, the FNB Eastern Cape House Price Index declined by -10.2% in the same year. But with something of a lag when compared to the country as a whole, the Eastern Cape residential property market has battled its way back to greater stability, and in the 1st quarter of 2011, the province's house price index was still showing some acceleration in growth. The year-on- year rate of increase in the average house price was 8.6%, which was a further increase on the 7.1% of the previous quarter, and this represents the 4th consecutive quarter of positive year-on-year growth in the index.

Our FNB Valuers panel still, however, suggests that there is some work to be done in restoring the market balance to a healthy level, rating demand as still weak relative to the way it rates supply. In effect, the results of our FNB Estate Agent Survey for the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro support this view. The agents surveyed still suggest a somewhat unrealistically priced market in the province's largest city region, with 87% of sellers still having to drop their asking price in order to sell, as at the 1st quarter of 2011 (using a 2-quarter moving average), while the average time of a home on the market was 12.1 weeks, where an average of nearer to 2 months would arguably suggest a healthy market.
Eastern Cape Residential Property Review

ABSA House Price Indices March 2011 - ABSA
ABSA - South Africa
Growth in house prices remained low in March
Price growth in the value of middle-segment homes (small, medium-sized and large houses) in the South African housing market for which Absa approved mortgage finance (see explanatory notes), remained at a relatively low level on a year-on-year (y/y) basis up to March 2011.

The slowing pace of year-on-year house price growth recorded in the first three months of the year is believed to be related to the base effect of a recovery in home values in the same period last year. Marginal monthly price growth was evident in two of the three categories of housing measured by the Absa house price indices.

Real year-on-year price declines occurred in the segments of medium-sized and large houses in the first two months of the year, while real price growth in respect of small houses edging down further in February this year. Real house price calculations are based on headline consumer price inflation, which measured 3,7% y/y in January and February this year.
ABSA House Price Indices

Purchasers cannot claim for anything spent on a home before transfer
RealEstateWeb - South Africa
Even though he takes complete ownership only after transfer.

An Appeal Court ruling (in the case Solvista Investments vs Sasol Fibres) which clarifies the message that the liability to pay all rates and taxes and "other outgoings" passes to the purchaser on the date of transfer but does not entitle him to claim for expenses paid out prior to transfer.

In this case the purchaser claimed a large sum for the costs of security, cleaning, maintenance and protection apparently spent in the period between the signing of the deed of sale and transfer.
RealEstate Web

Law Society's new home buying quality mark has CML support
Property Wire - UK
More than 700 firms have so far applied to join the UK's Law Society Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) which has now received the backing of the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

The Society is to start a consumer advertising and PR campaign in support of CQS at the end of April, after which the profession should expect to be asked by lender and consumer clients whether their firms are accredited under the CQS.

The CML hopes that the CQS will create a trusted conveyancing community that will deter fraud, recognise high quality services for home buyers and lenders, and deliver a robust assessment and monitoring procedure for the solicitors' firms that are admitted.
Property Wire

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