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Conveyancers urged to do more to educate clients about fraud risks
UK - Property Industry Eye
Conveyancers have cited a lack of awareness about fraud and more clarity on timeframes as the biggest issue clients need informing about.

A poll by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) asked members what they wished home buyers knew about the process.

The trade body suggested consumers should be asking how long the conveyancing process will take and should be informed of ways to avoid becoming a victim of fraud.

Almost half (42%) said customers need to be more aware of fraud.
Property Industry Eye

Prepare for property valuation knock-on effects
South Africa - Paragon
As Johannesburg and Buffalo City residents deal with the aftershocks of their property valuation hikes, Cape Town residents are urged to prepare for their re-appraisals which will hit next year.

Earlier this year, Johannesburg residents voiced their outrage over property valuation increases, some of whom had seen values increase between 60 and 500%.

The increases, which come into effect in July this year, will not only impact monthly rates bills, but will also influence the cost of other services such as water, refuse removal and electricity. And while Buffalo City residents dealt with slightly less shocking increases (many around 50%), this still resulted in many residents being concerned that they're not going to meet their mortgage repayments.

"The logical knock-on effect of municipal rate increases is to raise the rentals on investment properties. If this is not possible, the owner's net profit will decrease. The value of the property is also impacted in the eyes of lenders, who look closely at the net income of the property when determining the value of their security."

Residential building statistics
South Africa - Absa
Divergence in residential building activity in the first quarter of 2018

Divergent trends were evident in levels of building activity in the South African market for new housing in the first quarter of 2018. In the planning phase of new housing, as reflected by the number of building plans approved by local government institutions, double-digit year-on-year growth was recorded in the first quarter. The construction phase of new housing, i.e. the volume of housing units reported as completed, contracted relative sharply in the first quarter compared with the corresponding period last year. These trends are based on data published by Statistics South Africa in respect of building activity related to private sector-financed housing (see explanatory note).

The number of new housing units for which building plans were approved, increased by 17,1% year-on-year (y/y), or 2 245 plans, to 15 233 plans in the period January to March this year. This growth was largely the result of trends in plans approved for houses smaller than 80m², which showed growth of 33% y/y, and plans approved for flats and townhouses, which increased by 14,7% y/y in the first quarter of the year.

The number of new housing units reported as being completed was lower in each of the three categories of housing in the first three months of the year, which resulted in a combined decline of 25% y/y, or 2 547 units, to a total of 7 652 units over this period. The segments of houses smaller than 80m² and flats and townhouses showed a contraction of 37% y/y and 27,4% y/y respectively in the first quarter of the year.
Building Stats March 2018

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