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Record Bond Applications and Approval Rates for Leading Originator
Ooba - South Africa
Ooba, South Africa's leading bond originator, recorded a massive growth in bond applications and a significant increase in approved bonds in the last quarter.

The company's latest statistics revealed that its bond applications for June increased by 51.3% compared to the prior year. This increase is on the back of the 47.1% year on year increase in applications recorded in May, and the 48.5% increase recorded in April.

CEO of ooba, Saul Geffen, says that ooba has recorded consistent month-on-month increases in home loan applications since the beginning of 2011.

The statistics also revealed that June was a record month for the value of approved home loans, which is the highest value ooba has recorded since June 2008, over 3 years ago.  June?s volumes are however only 25% of the approved loans recorded at the peak of the market in May 2007.

"March was a record month for ooba in approved home loans. We exceeded March's value in May, and we are now a further 12.4% up on May in June."

Consumer Protection Act affords defaulting tenants protection
Business Day - South Africa
Industry players say the roll out of the Consumer Protection Act has given defaulting tenants an opportunity to simply walk away from a property they can no longer afford

THE roll-out of the Consumer Protection Act has given defaulting tenants an opportunity to simply walk away from a property they can no longer afford, according to industry players.

The MD of TPN Credit Bureau, Michelle Dickens, said on Tuesday that while the act was a positive progression for consumer rights, it had changed the nature of traditional property rentals. Ms Dickens said the tenant now had more fundamental rights and this meant every estate agent and landlord had to ensure that all their lease agreements were compliant with the act.

The act came into effect from April, and the final regulations were only made public then, taking the industry by surprise. 

Interest rates not the defining factor in the residential property market
RealEstate Web - South Africa
Rates, although important are by no means always the determining factor.

It has come as a surprise to many property watchers that the low interest rates - the lowest in 30 years - currently available to South African borrowers have not stimulated the residential property market to a far greater degree than has, in fact, happened - but a look back at the housing market over the last 40 years shows that property tends to boom or lag in response to other factors just as much as it does to fluctuations in the interest rates: rates, although important, are by no means always the determining factor.

In early 1999 the rate was 22,0% and by the end of 2002/early 2003 it was still as high as 17%.  Nevertheless, it was at this time that the market took off. 

By the end of 2003 the rate had dropped to 11,5%, but throughout the boom period it was always at 10,5% or higher. These fairly high rates provided no really significant brake on sales.

If this year or early next year the rate was to rise by 0,5% or 1%, we would still be at the third lowest level since 1979 when the rate was 9,5% - but we would still probably see a sluggish sales market.

Rawson Auction's strategist tips coastal and holiday properties for those on the hunt for bargains
RawsonProperties - South Africa
Of all the SA residential property sectors hard hit by the 2008 – 2010 downturn, it has been the holiday, leisure and coastal communities which have seen the biggest price drops and the most unsold stock on the market, says Jason Lee, Rawson Auctions’ strategist and legal expert. 

“Right now, if we take the Cape as an example, Peninsula residential property is taking just under 100 days on average to sell – but in West Coast villages the average sale time is now 270 days – and there is a great deal of stock on the market right now.” 

The main reason for this, said Lee, is that many of the properties in these areas are second homes bought in the boom times for holiday, retirement or renting out purposes.
Rawson Properties



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