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Residential building statistics
Absa - South Africa
Steady growth in residential building activity over the past three quarters

Steady single-digit growth in building activity related to new private sector-financed housing in South Africa (see explanatory notes) was recorded in the first three quarters of 2015 compared with the corresponding period in 2014, based on data published by Statistics South Africa.

The number of new housing units for which building plans were approved increased by 6,3% year-on-year (y/y) to a total of just more than 46 000 in the nine months to September this year. This growth was largely driven by the segments for houses less than 80m² and flats and townhouses, with these two segments showing combined growth of 9% y/y, or 2 737 units, to a total of 33 184 units planned in the nine-month period from 30 447 units planned over the same period last year.

Year-on-year growth in the volume of new housing constructed was 7,7% from January up to September, with a total of almost 29 000 units built over this period. This growth was the result of an improvement of 15% y/y, or 2 679 units, in new houses built of smaller and larger than 80m², to have reached a combined total of 20 596 units compared with 17 917 house built in the corresponding nine-month period of 2014. The number of new flats and townhouses built was down by 6,8% y/y in January to September. Due to the extent of flat and townhouse developments, there is normally a significant lag between the planning phase and the completion of these housing projects. The growth of 9,1% y/y in the planning phase of these types of housing so far this year is expected to be reflected in the construction phase at a later stage.
Building stats Sep 2015

Property Information Session
Rent2buy - South Africa
Meyer de Waal of Rent2buy and My Budget Fitness is proud to work with The Institute of Estate Agents (IEASA) who will be hosting a property information session for the public and property professionals on Saturday 21 November 2015.

The event will be held at the Retreat Civic Centre from 10h00 to 13h00 and you are also encouraged to forward this invite out to your colleagues, friends and family.

Don’t miss this opportunity to hear subject matter experts speak and join us to network and meet the key role players in Real Estate.
Property Information Session

Sectional Title participation quotas explained
Trafalgar - South Africa
Every section within a sectional title scheme has a participation quota (PQ) allocated to it - and this is not just an irrelevant number on the sectional title plan.

In a residential development, where PQs are usually calculated by expressing the size of each section as a percentage of the combined sizes of all the sections, they also indicate the undivided share of the common property that is allocated to each section - and even more importantly, for most owners, are the usual means of determining the monthly levy payable by each owner to cover the scheme's common expenses.

"These expenses include insurance premiums, maintenance costs, wages and salaries, gardening, cleaning and security costs, and water and electricity consumed on the common property," says Andrew Schaefer of Trafalgar, "and the PQ system generally ensures a fair apportionment, with the owners of bigger sections that consume more of the common resources paying higher levies.
ST participation quotas explained

High property prices 'not always a good thing'
IolProperty - South Africa
Are high and forever-rising residential property prices really a good thing? Many seem to think so, but perhaps not if one considers the broader economic benefits of affordable property.

For those of us that produce the country's various house price indices, the general feeling is that the property industry, investment professionals, and indeed much of the public, see it as a good thing when a house price index shows strong growth - whatever that may mean - whereas an "air of gloom" can be felt when we enter a period of low house price inflation or even deflation.

Understandably, lending institutions, and mortgage borrowers alike, don't want to see home values decline in nominal terms, because it is that value which determines the ease at which financially pressured home owners can trade out of their properties and settle the entire debt. The nominal home value provides security.

So, the best form of downward price correction, from a systemic risk point of view, if the economic fundamentals require it, is one that happens gradually in real terms, that is, you still get nominal house price increase, but at a rate below that of general inflation in the economy or general inflation normally measured by the consumer price index.

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