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House Price Indices - July 2012
Absa - South Africa
Year-on-year growth in the average value of homes in the middle segment of the South African housing market continued to show some strain in July 2012. This is according to the Absa house price indices, which are based on applications for mortgage finance received and approved by the bank in respect of small, medium-sized and large homes (see explanatory notes).

Price levels in the large-home category remained virtually unchanged in nominal terms over the past few months, with prices in the medium-sized segment showing some signs of a gradual improvement. The small segment continued to record price deflation up to July, but the pace of deflation is slowing down since March this year. On a month-on-month basis house price growth is on a slight upward trend since April, starting to positively impact year-on- year price growth.

In real terms, i.e. after adjustment for the effect of inflation, house price deflation continued up to June, with the momentum slowing down against the background of the above mentioned trends in nominal price growth as well as a downward trend in headline consumer price inflation from 6,3% year-on-year (y/y) in January to 5,5% y/y in June.
Absa HPI July 2012

Gauteng Property Barometer - 2nd Quarter 2012
FNB - South Africa
In summary, therefore, the agents surveyed in Gauteng have pointed to a slowing in residential demand in the 2nd quarter. Some is seasonal, but also noticeable is that a higher percentage perceives a weak economy and “general pessimism” than those who perceive positive sentiment. The agents thus continue to follow a broad trend of moderating expectations, when smoothing the trend and looking past quarterly volatility.

While one quarter’s agent survey data doesn’t mean a trend, there are additional signs that the economy is slowing in response to a weaker global economic period. This has been seen in the Reserve bank’s Leading Business Cycle Indicator in recent months, as well as in Economists.co.za’s Gauteng Barometer, which has seen broadly slowing growth after an early -2012 peak. For these reasons, we expect the Gauteng house price growth to peak in the 2nd half of 2012 and taper off mildly back to lower single digit growth.
FNB Property Barometer_Gauteng Estate Agent Survey_2nd Quarter 2011

Joburg promises to sort out your account in 30 days
Iol - South Africa
Joburg residents' new billing complaints will be resolved within 30 days. This is the city's latest promise to residents who have had to put up with inflated bills, unnecessary cut-offs and a council struggling to fix the problem.

But yesterday city manager Trevor Fowler said progress had been made in resolving the billing crisis since the establishment of its Revenue Roadmap and that all but 2 600 complicated problems out of almost 200 000 logged by the end of last year had been resolved.

About 21 000 recent complaints, logged from November last year when the plan was announced, are still outstanding. The city receives an average of about 15 000 new queries a month, which will be resolved within a 30-day period, he said.

New EAAB administrator to be announced
Moneyweb - South Africa
JOHANNESBURG – Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale is set to announce a new administrator for the Estate Agency Affairs Board on Thursday after the organisation was placed under administration and the at the end of July 2012.

Sexwale made the announcement in Johannesburg on July 31 after several disgruntled board members had resigned, including its chairperson, Ina Wilken.

The resignations followed the removal of Bryan Chaplog as CEO and Nonkululeko Ndebele as company secretary earlier in the month. Both have since been reinstated.

On August 8 2012, Moneyweb reported that Chaplog was initially appointed as the EAAB’s chief financial officer even though he had several judgements against him by various financial institutions.

Oobarometer statistics reveal increased market confidence from property buyers and banks
Ooba - South Africa
The latest statistics from ooba, South Africa's leading bond originator, show continued year-on-year growth in property prices, especially for first-time buyers, with a simultaneous decline in the size of the deposit required, all of which are positive indicators for the residential property market.

The average purchase price in July 2012 was R846,863, up 3.1% from R821,579 in July 2011. The average purchase price for first-time buyers showed a year-on-year increase for the fifteenth consecutive month from R609,417 in July 2011 to R657,069 in July this year, a year-on-year increase of 7.8%. The month-on-month purchase price statistics do however indicate a trend of slowing growth in property prices, in line with slowing economic growth.

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