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Bond approval statistics on the rise
South Africa - Rawson
With VAT increases and generally soaring prices taking their toll on South African pockets, it’s no wonder most people have been buckling up for tough financial times ahead. The cost of living is certainly climbing, but as it turns out, it’s not all doom and gloom on the horizon. According to Mark Hendricks, Regional Manager for Rawson Finance, the home financing sector is actually looking up.

“For the last year or so, there’s been a definite trend towards a more relaxed approach to property finance from the banks,” says Hendricks. “They’ve been offering more favourable rates, are open to 100% bonds again, and have been considering applications from a far wider pool of candidates than ever before.”

Hendricks attributes this trend not only to positive economic influences, but also the fact that banks have settled into a comfortable middle-ground between the overly lenient pre-National Credit Act days and the overly cautious post-NCA crack-down.

City of Cape Town House Price Indices
South Africa - FNB
In short, in the 1st quarter of 2018, the City of Cape Town has seen further mild slowing in average house price growth for the 7th consecutive quarter, although the most recent 10.0% year-on-year growth rate remains strong.

When viewing the major sub-region house price indices, however, slowdown is not across the board. It still appears that the clearest signs of slowing house price growth remain at the high end, after some years of strong affordability deterioration. But the resultant search for greater affordability is arguably the reason why the slowing trend is less clear in the more affordable housing regions (relatively speaking) further away from Table Mountain.

Questions continue to be asked as to whether the drought has taken its toll on the housing market in Cape Town? We believe that it must have had some impact, via its negative impact on the Western Cape economy, as well as on sentiment within and towards the region. However, we remain of the view that the slowing price growth was “overdue” in any event, and more due to “natural” market causes in response to prior years of significant home affordability deterioration. 1st time buying levels, according to the FNB Estate Agent Surveys are very low in Cape Town relative to the rest of SA, a reflection of this poor affordability.

We have also estimated that repeat home buyer “migration” to the Western Cape from the rest of SA has slowed in 2017, a further factor in slowing Cape Town housing demand. This slowing may be in part due to poor home affordability in Cape Town as well as due to the drought making the region temporarily less appealing.

Going forward, however, should the drought conditions deteriorate further, at some point it is conceivable that they may become “recessionary” for the Western Cape economy, and at that stage it could have a very significant impact on the region’s housing market. But that’s a major risk to the region which is not easily predictable. Much depends on the 2018 Winter rainfall season in the Western Cape.
Cape Town House Price Indices May 2018

Honestly, why does conveyancing take SO long? (Four months on average)
UK - Property Eye
It was Michael Gove who famously said “I think that the people of this country have had enough of experts” but when it comes to those expressing opinions about why house buying and selling is so slow, we have to agree.

As a company deep in the muck and bullets of the residential conveyancing front-line, we’re bemused by the opinions expressed by those armchair generals viewing the battle through their rose-tinted telescopes on comfy sofas.

They come from all walks of life – government, trade bodies, consumer watchdogs and even those panel managers that make such an invaluable contribution to the process.

Buying a property is very slow with deals currently taking four months on average to go through, which is frankly ludicrous and much of the responsibility must fall on solicitors.

So why does it take solicitors SO long to do what most people think should be a straightforward process?

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