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Residential building statistics
Absa - South Africa
Growing planning phase of residential building activity, with the construction phase contracting for most of 2014

The planning phase of residential building activity in the South African market for new housing, as reflected by the number of building plans approved by local government authorities, showed double-digit growth in the period January to November last year, with the construction phase, i.e. the volume of housing units reported as completed, recording a noticeable contraction over this period. These trends in residential building activity are from data published by Statistics South Africa in respect of private sector-financed housing (see explanatory notes).

The average building cost of new housing constructed averaged R5 812 per square metre in the first eleven months of 2014, which came to an increase of 12,6% y/y from R5 162 per square metre in the same period last year. Building costs are affected by factors such as building material costs, labour costs, transport costs, equipment costs, land values, rezoning costs, and developer and contractor holding costs and profit margins.

Building activity with regard to additions and alterations to existing houses was weak in January to November last year, which might be a reflection of consumers experiencing financial pressure.

Residential building activity will continue to be driven by economic, household finance, consumer and building confidence factors, the affordability of new housing and changing lifestyles, which will impact the demand for and supply of new housing.
Building stats Nov 2014

What rights do you have if the landlord sells?
Remax - South Africa
What happens if property is sold while occupied by a tenant? Does the tenant have any rights and are they within their rights to breach the lease agreement in this instance?

According to Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, the law states that a landlord is within their rights to sell their property to a third party, even if the property is let out to a tenant and a lease agreement is in place. However, in terms of the legal principle huur gaan voort koop, the lease precedes the sale and therefore the tenant is entitled to retain occupation of the property for the remainder of the lease period.

"Although a tenant has the right to stay in the property for the remainder of the lease period, there could be some anxiety around the situation, especially if it means dealing with another landlord or the renewal of terms with the new owner of the property," says Goslett.
What rights do you have?

Don't ignore the 'fall of the hammer' at an auction
IolProperty - South Africa
It is important that potential sellers and buyers understand that certain terms and conditions attach to public auctions by virtue of the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act (CPA). In particular, it is important to understand the legal effect of the "fall of the hammer" at a public auction, particularly in circumstances where a bid is received after the fall of the hammer that exceeds a bid immediately prior to it.

All public auctions are required to comply with the provisions of the CPA. Section 45(3) of the CPA provides that "a sale by auction is completed when the auctioneer announces its completion by the fall of the hammer." This provision justifies the exclusion of any offer received by the auctioneer after the fall of the hammer.

In Persadh v Wyles NO and Others (2012) ZAKZDHC 46 on August 10, 2014, an immovable property was intended to be sold by way of a public auction pursuant to a court order. In terms of the court order, the auctioneer was directed to conduct the auction of the property in accordance with the usual practice of such auctioneer in conducting such auctions as set out in the auctioneer?s standard terms and conditions applicable at the date of the sale, including the placement of suitable advertisements and in compliance with the CPA.

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