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Are house prices about to plateau?
Rawson - South Africa
There are now, says Wayne Albutt, the Rawson Property Group’s Western Cape Regional Sales Manager, many signs indicating that in the metro areas a stalemate situation between sellers and buyers could become evident before the end of this year. This, if it materializes, will be based on a growing buyer reaction to increasing prices which in the metro areas have led to perceptions that the market is now definitely slanted in the seller’s favour.

“It is quite possible,” says Albutt, “that sellers will in the fairly near future have to rethink the prices at which they put their houses on the market, if they want to meet buyers’ new expectations and achieve a satisfactory turnaround time on their sales.”

In the first half of this year, says Albutt, big city properties were selling in a few days and in many cases achieving either the asking price or even prices above the asking price – a most unusual situation.

Tenants 'accept HOA rules' when signing lease
IolProperty - South Africa
When a party such as a landlord, body corporate, supervisor or a letting agent disconnects or restricts access to water and electricity, the tenant or occupier can bring an urgent court application. This common remedy, an interdict, is based on the mandament van spolie or an order of court to undo the spoliation or unlawful act.

If the magistrate or judge is satisfied that the action was unlawful, an interim order is granted. Parties are given a return date to appear in court to have the order confirmed and therefore make a final order. The respondent (eg, a landlord) can challenge the order to have it discharged.

The respondent as the party that caused the alleged unlawful act has the opportunity to present evidence that there was no unlawful action. An example is proof that the services were disconnected by the municipality because the tenant tampered with the water or electricity meter. In most instances, the court would confirm the interim order because no one is allowed to break the law and no one may resort to self-help tactics.

Credit and mortgage advances
Absa - South Africa
Household credit and mortgage balances growth remaining low

Year-on-year (y/y) growth in the value of outstanding credit balances in the South African household sector was recorded at 3,7% at the end of July 2015 and has been below the 4% level for the past twelve months.

Growth in the value of household secured credit balances (R1 094,2 billion and 75,7% of total household credit balances) was unchanged at 2,9% y/y at end-July from the end of June. Growth in instalment sales balances slowed down further to 3,8% y/y, whereas growth in mortgage balances remained stable.

Household unsecured credit balances (R351,3 billion and 24,3% of total household credit balances) recorded growth of 5,9% y/y at end-July, up from 5,5% y/y the end of June. The acceleration in growth in unsecured balances was the result of growth in general loans and advances (60,6% of household unsecured balances) rising to 5,6% y/y from 4,9% y/y at the end of June, while growth in overdraft balances (10,7% share) increased from 0,4% y/y at the end of June to 4,7% y/y at end-July.
Credit and mortgage advances

Residential Property Indices
Lightstone - South Africa
National house price inflation was recorded at 6.0% at the end of June 2015. This figure was slightly down from the previous month?'s estimate of 6.1%.

This slowing in house price inflation is in line with what we currently see in the rest of the property market. The first signs of this reduction in property inflation was first seen in 2013 when the Lightstone Luxury value band?s inflation peaked at roughly 6.9%. This value band?s year on year inflation has been decreasing by more than 1.0% per annum and is currently at 4.0%.

What is striking is that annualised monthly inflation in the luxury segment is currently 0.7%. Even though it is not expected that National yearly inflation would reach this level is does show that there are some parts of the property market are trading at a discount.

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