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eThekwini pays price for delay in property eviction
Iol - South Africa
When parties enter into to a lease contract, either the tenant or the landlord can give the required notice to end the lease.

When a party performs late or fails to perform on its contractual obligation, the innocent or aggrieved party is allowed to cancel for a major breach.

These would include the landlord's failure or refusal to make the dwelling available on the agreed date, or to carry out repairs that substantially affect the use and enjoyment of the dwelling.

A landlord can cancel the lease if the tenant, upon receiving written notice, fails to remedy a breach, such as non-payment of rental.

The landlord can start eviction (ejectment) proceedings through the courts should the tenant remain in occupation after the lease is cancelled.

Property Barometer - House Price Index and 2013 Outlook
FNB - South Africa

2012 was a slightly better year overall than 2011, in terms of house price performance, but weak economic conditions as we entered this year suggest that 2013 average house price growth may be slightly weaker.

In order to look forward into 2013, it is probably necessary to consider some of the economic trends through 2012 as the year progressed. Doing this leads us to the expectation that 2013 will see slower average price growth than 2012, because the 2012 economy was very much a “tale of 2 halves”. The biggest contribution to overall house price growth in 2012 was made by economic conditions late in 2011 and in the 1st half of 2012. At that stage, real economic growth momentum was relatively solid, with 3.3% quarter-on-quarter annualized real GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth being achieved in the final quarter of 2011, followed by still-solid 2.5% and 3.4% for the 1st 2 quarters of 2012 respectively. So we entered 2012 on a strong economic footing.

The same cannot be said for the manner in which we entered 2012. By the 3rd quarter of 2012, the economy had begun to show serious “cracks”, with growth slowing to 1.2% as the global economy continued to be pedestrian, and large-scale domestic strike action disrupted economic output. While the GDP data for the final quarter of 2012 is not yet available, various industry statistics suggest that the growth rate may have deteriorated even further. By October, mining output was falling by -7.7% year-on-year, following on a series of declines throughout much of last year, while the Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index had pointed to contraction in the sector for 3 consecutive months up until November, and some commentators believe that the economy may have contracted in the 4th quarter. Real retail sales growth had also started to show some signs of tapering, growing year-on-year by only 1% in October.

No wonder, therefore, that the FNBBER Consumer Confidence Index was increasingly reflecting a deteriorating household mood as 2012 progressed, declining for the final 3 quarters of 2012. Real household disposable income growth was tapering, as too was household consumption expenditure growth. Although home buying is not classified as consumption, it is that same consuming household that buys the houses, and one would expect that weaker consumer confidence would rub off to a certain extent.
FNB Property Barometer - 2012 House Prices and 2013 outlook  

Is it worth keeping a home loan open?
Personal Finance - South Africa
If your home loan is paid up or even in credit, you may still be liable for a monthly service fee.

The fee will be determined by when you entered into your home loan agreement or last amended it.

If your home loan agreement was entered into before the National Credit Act (NCA) came into effect, and no material changes have been made to your original agreement, the Usury Act maximum monthly fee of R5 (before VAT) applies. If it was after June 1, 2007, or if your original agreement was amended after the introduction of the NCA, you can be charged up to R50 (before VAT) a month.

First National Bank (FNB) client Mr BC complained to the bank that he is being charged a monthly service fee of R5.70 on a home loan account that has been in credit for the past 10 years.
Personal Finance

House Price Indices - December 2012
Absa - South Africa

House price growth accelerates up to end-2012
December 2012 saw year-on-year growth in the average value of homes in the middle segment of the South African housing market rising further. This came on the back of slowing house price growth twelve months earlier in late 2011. However, month-on-month price growth has been on a steady declining trend during the past few months, which is set to eventually impact year-on-year price growth. These trends are according to the Absa house price indices, which are based on applications for mortgage finance received and approved by the bank in respect of middle-segment small, medium-sized and large homes (see explanatory notes).

Prices of middle-segment homes increased by a nominal 0,6% in 2012, after rising by 1,7% in 2011. In real terms prices dropped by 5,4% in the first eleven months of last year, with real price deflation of 2,9% evident in the corresponding period in 2011. Nominal year-on-year price growth of 7,1% was recorded in December 2012, up from a revised 5,3% in November. Real annual house price deflation still occurred in the large-home segment up to November, with prices of small and medium-sized homes showing some real growth in the past two months.

The forecast is for the South African economy to grow by a real 2,8% in 2013, after expanding by an estimated 2,5% in 2012. The country’s economic performance will this year still be affected by global economic trends and domestic developments and conditions.

Headline consumer price inflation remained below the 6% level up to late 2012, but some upward pressure was evident as a result of rising food prices, transport costs and property running costs. However, the forecast is for inflation to remain below 6% in 2013, with the result that interest rates are expected to stay at current levels in the next twelve months.

In view of current conditions in and prospects for the economy, the household sector and the residential property market, house price growth is forecast to remain relatively low in 2013 compared with growth of a few years ago.
HPI Dec 2012


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