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Dealing with blacklistings
South Africa - ReMax
If a prospective homeowner has not kept up to date with their credit bureau reports, they may be in for a surprise when they apply for finance. A large number of potential buyers are referred by their estate agents to attorneys if they have a blacklisting against their name that is preventing them from obtaining a bond, says Adrian Goslett of RE/MAX.

Goslett says anyone who has ever applied for credit will be listed with the various credit bureaus. Any credit provider that subscribes to a credit bureau will have access to the applicant's credit history.

The majority of companies and financial institutions assess their risk based on the information provided by the credit bureaux. If there is any negative information on the applicant's credit history, it is highly unlikely that they will be approved to receive finance. This emphasises the importance of checking one's credit reports on an annual basis.
Dealing with blacklistings

Credit and mortgage advances
South Africa - Absa
Continued low household credit and mortgage balances growth The value of outstanding credit balances in the South African household sector increased by 0,6% year-on-year (y/y) to R1 505,4 billion in the first quarter of 2017. This growth in household credit balances is the result of continued low growth in secured credit balances, whereas the component of unsecured credit balances contracted on the back of data distortions (see explanatory note).

The value of household secured credit balances (R1 152,7 billion and 76,6 % of total household credit balances) increased by 2,3% y/y up to the end of March this year (3,8% y/y at end-March last year). The continued low in growth in secured balances was the result of continued subdued growth in household mortgage balances (see below), whereas instalment sales balances (21,5% of total household secured balances), showed a marginal contraction of 0,2% y/y in the three months up to end-March.

The value of household unsecured credit balances (R352,7 billion and 23,4% of total household credit balances) contracted by 4,5% y/y in the first quarter, with this component of household credit balances contracting on a year-on-year basis since April last year as a result of data distortions. The component of general loans and advances balances (58,6% of total household unsecured credit balances and largely consisting of personal loans and micro finance) showed a contraction of 7,9% y/y at end-March, largely affected by data distortions related to African Bank (see explanatory note).
Credit and mortgage advances

The densification of Cape Town's Southern Suburbs can have significant benefits for all
South Africa - Rawson
he much discussed Cape Town City Council policy of encouraging the densification of certain Cape Peninsula suburbs and residential areas, especially those close to major roads and public transport, should not be seen as retrogressive, insensitive or necessarily harmful to existing residents’ interests, says Paul Henry, Managing Director of Rawson Developers, a firm which has capitalised very successfully on the new trend by building over 500 sectional title apartments in the Rondebosch area.

“Obviously it can initially be upsetting for locals to discover that an area which previously had only single or double story buildings will now be given one or two buildings with five or six stories,” said Henry. “Very often, however, the new building will be surrounded by well laid-out, professionally landscaped gardens and attractive communal facilities and it will offer occupants better protection and more social interaction than they were ever able to achieve in free standing homes with their own gardens. In addition, in almost every case with which we have been associated, the new development adds substantially to the value of all the other homes in the area - and this is a factor which must be appreciated.”

Are you thinking of building?
South Africa - ReMax
Unless you have the cash saved up, constructing a home is going to require getting a loan from a financial institution called a building loan. Essentially, a building loan can be used to finance the construction of a home, additions to an existing property or renovations.

According to Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, once an applicant has been approved for the finance, the loan lump sum amount is not paid to the applicant but is rather managed by the bank and paid to the contractor as required. “A loan account will be created by the bank from which they will pay the contractor as the work on the home progresses, these payments are aptly referred to as progress payments. The progress of the construction will be assessed by an assessor from the bank who will determine the amount of the loan that will be paid to the contractor,” Goslett explains. “The bank will not charge interest on the unused portion of the loan. However, interim interest will accrue on the money that has been paid out. Applicants will need to make provision to pay the interest charged, to avoid a shortfall when the final pay-out of the loan is made.”

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