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Tenants can now rent via an online auction
IolProperty - South Africa
Prospective tenants can now secure accommodation by submitting bids on their smartphones. And if they sign a lease, they will have to pay a maximum of one month's deposit, instead of the two or three months that many landlords are now demanding.

These are two of the features of HouseME, a recently launched platform that aims to challenge the traditional rental-agency approach to residential letting.

HouseME co-founder and chief executive Ben Shaw says the auction results in the rent on a property being determined by the market forces in a particular area. HouseME's research has found that landlords often don't know what the going rent in their area is, so they let out their properties for less than fair market value, he says.

"Some landlords do not realise how desirable their property is and how much people would be willing to pay to stay there," he says.

Credit and mortgage advances
Absa - South Africa
Continued declining household credit and mortgage balances growth

The first ten months of 2016 saw growth in outstanding credit balances in the South African household sector slowing down to a much subdued 1% year-on-year (y/y), with the value of these outstanding balances at R 1 478,6 billion at the end of October. The low growth in household credit balances is related to data distortions in respect of unsecured credit balances (see the explanatory note) as well as declining growth in secured credit balances.

The value of outstanding household secured credit balances (R1 136 billion and 76,8% of total household credit balances at the end of October) increased by 2,5% y/y in the 10-month period, after peaking at 4,1% y/y at the end of February this year. The downward trend in secured balances since early this year was the combined result of declining growth in household mortgage balances (see below) and instalment sales balances contracting by 0,7% y/y up to the end of October. Instalment sales balances are mainly related to the financing of vehicles, with new vehicle sales volumes declining by about 11% y/y in the period January to October.

Household unsecured credit balances (R342,6 billion and 23,2% of total household credit balances) dropped by 3,6% y/y up to the end of October. General loans and advances balances (58,7% of household unsecured credit balances and mainly consisting of personal loans and micro finance) contracted by 7% y/y in the 10-month period. The year-on-year contraction in general loans and advances balances is mainly the result of data distortions (see the explanatory note in this regard).
Credit and mortgage advances (Oct 2016)

eConveyancing starts to take shape
LegalFutures - UK
Interview with Adam Bullion, general manager of marketing & product at InfoTrack.

Why is changing technology important?

It has become clear that advances in technology, such as the advent of the internet and the smartphone have changed human behaviour. From our professional lives, where we work longer hours due to remote technology, to the behaviour in our personal lives, where we expect to have access to information instantly and be able to perform many tasks wherever we are, whenever. Consumer behaviour also has changed, and ecommerce has become king, so we no longer need to ever leave our homes to buy goods. These daily efficiencies are also expected by staff, and as a business owner it is our duty to implement the appropriate technology to meet these changing needs, particularly when, regardless of technological advances, many business processes remain stagnant.
Legal Futures

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