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Loophole closes for sectional title levy defaulters
South Africa - RNews
Sectional Title trustees and Home Owners’ Association directors around SA are breathing a sigh of relief at a change in legislation that will make it easier for them to recover arrear levies from defaulting owners.

This change, made in terms of the Rules Board for Courts of Law Act of 1985, is set out in Rule 46A of the Uniform Rules of Court, and quite simply provides for a court to set a reserve price when a property is to be sold in execution of a debt judgment.

Andrew Schaefer, MD of national property management company Trafalgar, explains that this will prevent the banks from being able to unilaterally veto such sales and leave bodies corporate, HOAs and local authorities with no way to give effect to any judgments they may have obtained for outstanding levies, rates and service charges.

The possibility of this happening, he says, was all too clearly illustrated in the recent Empire Gardens cases in the Gauteng High Court and the Supreme Court (Body Corporate v Sithole & another(240/2016) [2017] ZASCA 28 (27 March 2017)) in which the body corporate of Empire Gardens, having tried other ways to recover unpaid levies from an owner in the scheme, eventually had no choice but to seek a judgment for the debt, the attachment of the property and a sale in execution.

Increased lending positive for property market
South Africa - Harcourts
Statistics released by bond originator, ooba, in their latest "oobarometer" for the first quarter of 2018, reflecting banks increased willingness to lend money is fantastic news for the real estate market in South Africa.

According to ooba in the first quarter of 2018 they recorded the highest home loan approval rate in over ten years since the National Credit Act was implemented. With an increase of 4.9% compared to the first quarter of 2017.

These figures are certainly reflected in the market we're experiencing. This improved lending appetite will play a particularly important role influencing consumer confidence. After the market fluctuations and economic instability of 2017 the stabilization of 2018 thus far is reinforcing buyer interest and much needed investment activity. The current political climate continues to re-instill hope in the broader economy.
Increased lending positive

Property market’s slow start in 2018 could be misleading
South Africa - Rawson
Despite the renewal in consumer confidence and national sentiment after leadership changes in the ruling party late last year, the South African property market saw little in the way of significant recovery during the first quarter of 2018. Some fear this slow start may indicate a continuation of the downward trends experienced across much of the country since 2014, but property experts remain optimistic for a market turnaround.

“Property is very much affected by the local and global economic and political climate,” says Tony Clarke, MD of the Rawson Property Group, “but because of the nature and timeline of property transactions, there tends to be a lag between pivotal events and their effects on the market. I think a lot of people were hoping for an obvious resurgence in property market activity to match the strengthening rand and general renewal of optimism under President Ramaphosa, but, in reality, these things don’t happen overnight.”

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