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Credit and mortgage advances
Absa - South Africa
Relatively stable growth in household credit and mortgage balances

Growth in outstanding credit balances in the South African household sector was relatively stable at a level of 4,6% year-on-year (y/y) at the end of the first quarter of 2016. The value of these credit balances came to R1 495,7 billion at the end of March, which was only marginally higher compared with end-February. Year-on-year growth in secured credit balances was down at end-March, whereas growth in unsecured credit balances was somewhat higher over the same period.

Growth in the value of household secured credit balances (R1 126,6 billion and 75,3% of total household credit balances) came to 3,8% y/y at end-March, down from 4,1% y/y at end-February. Growth in household unsecured credit balances (R369,1 billion and 24,7% of total household credit balances) was recorded at 7,1% y/y at the end of March, up from 6,9% y/y at end-February.
Credit and mortgage advances

Buy-to-let has become buy-to-regret
Moneyweb - South Africa
Outlook for rental market dims.

It seemed like such a good investment idea, a no-brainer really. You bought a rental property with a small deposit, a large mortgage and got someone to rent it, paying off your mortgage bond to the bank. Ever-rising rentals ensured you would start generating some extra-cash in the near term.

Then ten, 15 or even 20 years later, when the bond was paid off, you either collected the rent sans mortgage to live on or you sold the units for a fat profit.

How things have changed
While buy-to-let (BTL) was a fringe investment for property-savvy investors for a long time, myself included, it became mainstream during the last residential property boom which lasted roughly from about 2002 to 2008, by which time the global financial crisis hit with gale force winds, coincidentally also as a result of financial shenanigans in the property financing arena in the biggest property market in the world: the US.

Curb Appeal – Does it make a difference?
Harcourts - South Africa
Creating and maintaining the external features of a property can cost a considerable amount – not just in money, but also in time. Is the investment worth it, and does it make a difference when it comes to selling your property?

I always liken the external features of a property – the garden and landscaping, and the appearance of the property from the street – as the clothing on a property.

When a property is dressed well, it will appeal. When the property isn’t well dressed, the appeal will be significantly lower. It’s much like dating (for those who can remember those days).
Curb Appeal

Sectional Title owners must stick to the rules when renovating
IHFM - South Africa
Problems often arise when an owner of a sectional title unit plans to make changes his property without following the correct procedures. An alteration to a unit, is not permitted without the prior consent of the trustees of the body corporate and the local municipality, especially if the improvement involves structural changes, an extension of a section or an alteration to the external look of the building, or any major building work, says Michael Bauer of the property management company IHFM.

If electrical work is involved then a qualified electrician must be used and a compliance certificate has to be obtained. The same is necessary if plumbing work is called for: a plumber's compliance certificate has to be issued on completion of the work depending on the province of the scheme.
Stick to the rules

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