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New electric fence regulation set to be implemented
iol - South Africa
Property owners are going to have to be more careful about who they contract to install electric fences so as to comply with a new regulation.

This regulation stipulates that all electric fences be certified and come with an electric fence system certificate of compliance, as reflected in Regulation 12 of the Electric Machinery Regulations of 2011.

This applies only to systems that came into existence after October 1 last year.

However, it also will apply in cases where the system is altered or added to, or where the premises changes ownership after October 1 this year. Any property transfer after that date, therefore, carries with it the obligation to provide a certificate if there is an electric fence in place.

Buying Property in a Digital World
ooba - South Africa
With a growing first-time buyer market and the average age of buyers in the mid-thirties, it's clear that property purchasing in South Africa is being driven by the younger generation. The way that property is advertised and sold is evolving in line with the needs of this younger market.

Research from ooba, South Africa's leading bond originator, has shown that the proportion of first time buyers in the property market has grown from 44.9% in April 2010 to 52.0% in April 2013. The average age of first-time buyers was 33 in April this year, and the average age of all ooba applicants was 37.

“If you think of the average 33-year-old in the property market today, they've probably had an email address for most of their adult lives, have used search engines over any other reference tool when they're looking for information, have Facebook profiles and interact with friends and brands on Twitter,” says ooba COO Rhys Dyer. “Naturally, when considering buying a house, the internet is the first place they'll look.”

This is borne out by the increase that ooba has recorded in the number of applications for bonds coming through their website, as well as the growth of online tools like the ooba bond affordability calculator, which saw 28% increase in page views over the last year compared to the prior year. ooba have recently upgraded their website in keeping with these increasing numbers and to cater to an increasingly technically savvy client base.

House price indices - April 2013
Absa - South Africa
House price growth appears to have peaked

Nominal year-on-year growth in the average value of homes in the middle segment of the South African residential property market appears to have reached an upper turning point in March 2013. This is in line with the expectation that base effects and slowing monthly price growth since mid-2012 would eventually bring about a moderation in 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).

Middle-segment nominal house price growth was slightly lower at 11,1% year-on-year (y/y) in April this year, after a revised growth rate of 11,3% y/y in March. Real price growth, i.e. after adjustment for the effect of consumer price inflation, came to 5,2% y/y in March on the back of an inflation rate of 5,9% y/y in the month.
Absa House Price Indices Apr 2013

Why letting is better than buying – for the time being
Rode - South Africa
What is best: buy or let? This is an age-old question. In the case of commercial property, the easy answer is that it depends on your company’s expected total return on capital, also known as the weighted cost of capital or required return. This is a concept similar to opportunity cost.

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