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Residential building statistics
Absa - South Africa
Contraction in residential building activity at the start of 2017

The first month of 2017 saw building activity with regard to new private sector-financed housing in South Africa (see explanatory notes) contracting by a relatively large margin, based on data published by Statistics South Africa. Contractions occurred across all segments of new housing in both the planning and construction phases in January, except in the category of flats and townhouses for which building plans were approved.

The number of building plans approved for new housing units was down by 12,5% year-on-year (y/y), or 456, to a total of 3 180 in January 2017 from a year ago. This drop in building plans approved was mainly the result of a sharp decline of 34,9% y/y, or 858, to a combined total of 1 598 plans in the two segments of houses from 2 456 plans approved in January last year. However, the number of plans approved for new flats and townhouses saw a strong increase of 34,1% y/y, or 402, to a total of 1 582 in January. This rise in the volume of building plans approved for higher-density housing followed on an increase of 13,4% in 2016, whereas a contraction occurred in the planning phase of both the segments for houses last year compared with 2015.
Building stats Jan 2017

Residential transactions: a turnaround in sight?
Harcourts - South Africa
The property industry weathered a very difficult year in 2016. Declining sales have mauled the industry, hitting agents and homeowners alike. But there may be some good news on the horizon.

FNB’s latest Property Barometer – one of South Africa’s most reliable measures of South Africa’s property market – points out that property transfers experienced some scary declines. In 2016, there was a 9.3% decline in the volume of property transfers made through bonds. The value of such transfers fall by some 5.3% over this period.

These figures represent transfers undertaken by individuals (‘natural persons’), and are mostly accounted for by residential properties.
Residential transactions

Durban calms property owners' valuation roll fears
IolProperty - South Africa
The eThekwini Municipality has assured residents that if their properties were not reflected in the latest valuation roll, they would feature in an upcoming supplementary roll.

The city issued the statement in response to The Mercury's queries - which the paper had received from anxious readers - on Friday.

Some readers had found that their properties had been overvalued, while others could not find their properties at all.

Residents were also worried that since the building on 75 Langalibalele Dube Street - which housed eThekwini staff tasked with handling problems around the roll - had been temporarily closed due to safety concerns, they would not be able to address their concerns with the city. The three areas of concern that remained to be resolved in the building were the lifts, structural damage to pillars and the air conditioning.

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