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FNB Property Barometer – Home buying by age group
FNB - South Africa
Younger age group buying has risen in prominence post-2008 recession, as 1st time buyers make a come back, but watch the “oldies” in the tougher times as an indicator of how tough the times are.

Trends in buyer age groups can be an important indicator of the economic and interest rate environment. Typically, the younger buyers in their 20s and even many in their 30s have more flexibility, often having not yet established a family, and thus possessing more basic residential needs. They can often opt to remain in their parents’ home for longer, or alternatively stay in a rented home in tough times.
In addition, young aspirant buyers have accumulated less savings, and are thus arguably more sensitive to deposit requirements by bank,s which come and go at various points in the cycle, and are also more sensitive to house price fluctuations.
One thus tends to find a higher degree of cyclicality in 1st time or in younger age group residential buying in general, with this group staying out of the market in greater numbers than their older counterparts, while entering the market at a more rapid rate off a low base once conditions turn for the better.
FNB Property Barometer_Home buying by age group - August 2011

Land reform proposals run into heavy fire
BusinessDay - South Africa
Legislation ‘unlikely’ to pass constitutional muster if enacted

CAPE TOWN — The role of the judiciary may be infringed and the willing buyer, willing seller principle in land transactions has been effectively abandoned in the green paper on land reform.

Legislation emanating from the green paper, made public yesterday, is unlikely to pass constitutional muster if it vests powers currently held by the courts in the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform.

Even within the government reaction to the paper was swift and negative. Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Pieter Mulder warned the paper could have unintended consequences for SA’s food security.

The paper proposes two powerful institutions, the Land Management Commission and the land valuer-general. The commission will have the power to validate title deeds, seize or confiscate land and set property values. 
Business Day

Green paper on Land Reform, 2011
The resolution of the 52nd National Conference of the ANC (December 2007) on agrarian change, land reform and rural development, confirmed the ANC’s acute awareness and sensitivity to the centrality of land (the land question) as a fundamental element in the resolution of the race, gender and class contradictions in South Africa. National sovereignty is defined in terms of land. Even without it being enshrined in the country’s supreme law, the Constitution, land is a national asset. This is where the debate about agrarian change, land reform and rural development should, appropriately, begin. Without this fundamental assumption, talk of effective land reform and food sovereignty and security is superfluous! We must, and shall, fundamentally review the current land tenure system during this Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) period. This we shall do through rigorous engagement with all South Africans, so that we could emerge with a tenure system which should satisfy the aspirations of most, if not all, South Africans, irrespective of race, gender and class.

The strategy of the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform is, fittingly, ‘Agrarian Transformation’ – interpreted to denote ‘a rapid and fundamental change in the relations (systems and patterns of ownership and control) of land, livestock, cropping and community.’ The goal of the strategy is ‘social cohesion and development.’ All anti-colonial struggles are, at the core, about two things: repossession of land lost through force or deceit; and, restoring the centrality of indigenous culture.

That is why colonialists targeted land to subdue conquered populations, in order to turn them into vassals and slaves. Their next target was the people’s cultural practices, especially cross-cutting cultures, which served as a nexus holding together multi-cultural communities into single coherent societies, despite different cultures. Ubuntu or human solidarity is such a cross-cutting culture in the case of African societies. It is the over-arching way of life of the African people (consider the following two Xhosa expressions of ubuntu: (i) Nongenankomo uyawadla amasi; (ii) inkomo yenqoma, yintsengw’ibhekwa), which is integrally linked to land.
Green paper on Land Reform

FNB Property Barometer - August 2011
FNB - South Africa
Mixed signals at present, with August FNB House Price Index year-on-year growth rising, but month-on-month growth and FNB valuers’ suggesting loss in growth momentum.

The August FNB House Price numbers provides what could perhaps be described as “mixed signals”. In year-on-year terms, the FNB House Price Index growth rate continues to accelerate. This reflects, with a lag, the mild
resurgence in demand in the summer of 2010/11. On the other hand, while the seasonally-adjusted month-on-month growth rate continues to point to still positive growth, it also indicates a slowing in growth momentum. This arguably reflects some weakening demand during the winter months, not only as a result of seasonal factors but also due to no further interest rate cuts in 2011 as well as slowing economic growth (and likely household income growth too).  Simultaneously, FNB’s valuers continue to suggest a deteriorating balance between supply and demand.
On a year-on-year basis, the FNB House Price Index rose by 6.1% in August (i.e. August compared with August a year ago). This represents an increase on the revised growth rate of 4.8% for July. In real terms, adjusted for CPI inflation, the year-on-year percentage change for July was still mildly negative to the tune of -0.5%, given that CPI inflation in July was 5.3% and the revised nominal house price growth rate for that month being 4.8%. Given the further acceleration in nominal house price growth in August, it is quite possible that last month will show the first positive real year-on-year house price growth since October 2010.
FNB Property Barometer_August 2011 House Price Index


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