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Title deed delays fail goals of upliftment
Business Report - South Africa
South Africa is losing the opportunity to raise billions of rands as collateral on governmentprovided housing to nearly 1.5 million households since 1994.

Urban Landmark, an NGO dedicated to making urban land markets work for the poor, said delays in township proclamation were the major factor undermining the transfer of title deeds to beneficiaries of housing subsidies.

The Human Settlements Ministry has reported that out of the almost 3 million houses - generically called "RDP houses" - or serviced sites - provided by the government in the years since 1994, only 1.44 million were formally registered on the deeds registry.

This means that 1.5 million housing subsidy beneficiaries have not received the deeds to their properties.
Business Report

FNB Property Barometer - 1st Time Buying
FNB - South Africa

Although growth in total residential transactions volumes slowed in 2011, following a surge in 2010, the FNB Estate Agent Survey points to 2011 having been a significantly better year for 1st time buyers.
This group became far less significant in the home buying market around recession time, dropping to an estimated 15% of total home buyers by 2008, according to the sample of agents surveyed at the time.
Since then, however, the past 3 years have seen consecutive increases in the 1st time buying percentage, with a very significant jump from 17% in 2010 to 23% in 2011.  This is the highest 1st time buying percentage since 2005.   However, one should bear in mind that overall home buying volumes are far lower compared with 2005/6, so this percentage still represents a far lower overall number of 1st time buyers compared to then.
Absa House Price Indices - December 2011
Absa - South Africa
2011 saw low nominal house price growth, with prices
deflating in real terms
Relatively low nominal year-on-year house price growth was recorded in 2011, while in real terms, prices dropped last year compared with 2010. On a monthly basis price growth slowed down or was in negative territory towards the end of the year. These trends are based on the Absa house price indices for small, medium-sized and large homes in the middle-segment of the South African housing market for which the bank received and approved applications for mortgage finance (see explanatory notes).
Last year saw nominal growth in middle-segment home values of 2,2%, down from 7,3% in 2010. Interest rate cuts to the amount of 450 basis points in 2009 provided stimulus to the housing market, contributing to prices rising by more than 7% in 2010. However, interest rates were cut by only another 150 basis points in 2010, and remained unchanged in 2011.  This, together with rising inflation, relatively high levels of debt, damaged credit records and tight labour market conditions, weighed on consumers and confidence levels during last year, impacting the demand for housing and mortgage finance, as well as house price growth.

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