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'Stalking' a new trend in house buying
Rawson - South Africa
A new trend is now making itself felt in the South African residential property market: the ‘stalking’ of homes.

“The word ‘stalking’”, says Bill Rawson, Chairman of the Rawson Property Group, “is now being used to describe the practice of identifying a suitable property on a property website and then watching it closely over the next few weeks or months to see if the price comes down.”

“These stalkers, we have found,” says Rawson, “are often highly sophisticated researchers and know the market in their area well. When they find a home they like, and they believe the price is too high and will potentially drop, they watch its price on the website, hoping to see it fall to, or even below, market value. If the property’s price does fall, they then make an even lower offer in the hope that they will get the home at a bargain price.”

These shrewd investors, says Rawson, in many cases do, in fact, get a deal that is below the home’s market value because the seller may need to sell the home within a specific time period or they have just become disheartened by the lack of interest shown to their home and their judgment has been impaired.

Consumers still hungry for homes and loans
BetterBond - South Africa
According to the latest statistics released by BetterBond Homeloans, South Africa’s biggest mortgage origination group, the number of homeloan applications received by the group increased by 5,06% in the 12 months to end-October, compared with the previous 12 months, while the total value of those applications showed a 12,26% year-on-year increase.

In addition, BetterBond CEO Shaun Rademeyer says the total value of home loans formally granted through the originator showed a huge year-on-year increase of 23,85% at end-October by contrast with the 2,7% year-on-year growth in overall household mortgage balances reported by the Reserve Bank at the end of the third quarter.

“This shows,” he says, “that there has been a healthy increase in the demand for property over the past year, in spite of all the cost-of-living increases that consumers have had to contend with, and the fact that home prices have been rising (see table).

House price indices - November 2013
Absa - South Africa
Middle-segment house price growth slows down further
Year-on-year growth in the average value of homes in the middle segment of the South African housing market continued to slow down in November 2013. Base effects and slowing month-on-month price growth remain important factors contributing to the downward trend in year-on-year price growth. Economic conditions and trends in household finances and consumer confidence are also affecting the property market and playing a role in price growth. These trends in house price growth 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).

Nominal year-on-year price growth slowed down further in all three categories of housing in November from October this year. The weighted average price growth of the abovementioned three categories of housing was lower in November, with real price growth, i.e. after adjustment for the effect of inflation, below 3% year-on-year (y/y) in October.
Absa House Price Indices November 2013

EAAB warns against 'false courses'
IolProperty - South Africa
Annette Evans, regional manager for the Institute of Estate Agents, Western Cape, wishes to draw attention to a recent announcement by the Estate Agency Affairs Board regarding the Continuous Professional Development courses offered.

Various property courses are currently being presented by a number of educational bodies and are being presented as being CPD accredited, she said. What many are saying is that CPD points will be accrued in accordance with the EAAB's recommended cycle.

The EAAB have said that at present no courses or service providers, except for the EAAB themselves, have been accredited to provide these workshops or courses. Any non-accredited courses which are being presented without the necessary accreditation, ultimately means that they will not result in legitimate CPD points for the attendee and are being presented under false pretences, she said.


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