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Law Commission recommendations to reform Land Registration Act could contribute to conveyancer delays
UK - Today's Conveyancer
Following our article last week on how the recent proposals on reforming the Land Registration Act of 2002 could prevent fraud, many people now fear that additional standards and protocols will create increased delays to the home buying process.

The report published last week suggested that conveyancers had a ‘duty of care’ to carry out identity checks and minimise the exploitation of fraudsters.

Following the report, there have been a number of concerns as to the viability of electronic system improvements and the pressure it places on already tight schedules for conveyancers.

Jeremy Raj, national head of residential at Irwin Mitchell, comments: “The suggestion of another set of standards for conveyancers to adhere to however, is likely to increase administration and delays in the conveyancing process and divert attention from the real objective of combating fraudsters.
Today's Conveyancer

Property Barometer - Area Value Brand House Price Indices
South Africa - FNB
In conclusion

2nd quarter data updates appear to suggest that the Luxury and Upper Income Area Value Bands are still “depressed” relative to the 3 lower segments whose average price is below R1m.

In these weak economic times, with Real GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth of a mere 0.75% in the 1st quarter of 2018, we would expect a financially constrained Household Sector to continue to search for relative affordability in greater numbers, which plays into the hands of the lower end of the market.

Not only is the stagnant economy constraining Real Disposable Income growth, but an ongoing variety of tax rate increases lift the cost of living too. These include ongoing personal tax increases, which are structured to impact more heavily on higher income groups, and a 2018 VAT increase. Municipal rates and utilities tariffs continue to increase at above CPI inflation, raising home operating costs and making especially the larger and more expensive homes significantly more costly to own and run.

And then there is the recent series of fuel levy increases, which impact more heavily on the private transportdependent higher income groups. Indeed, of late it is the higher income/expenditure groups whose CPI inflation rates are the highest.

A broad shift in a portion of demand towards more affordable areas, and smaller and more affordable homes whose running costs are lower, should thus be expected in these times of multi-year economic stagnation along with a rising cost of living.
FNB Property Barometer

Time to disrupt the real estate status quo
South Africa - Rawson
For too long, South African real estate agents have been stuck in the past, delivering the same kind of service the same kind of way that they have for the last fifty years. According to Schalk van der Merwe, franchisee for the Rawson Properties Helderberg Group, the time to disrupt this status quo is now.

“Our industry – a multi-billion-rand industry – is failing to communicate our value by sticking to old, traditional, and expensive ways of doing business,” says van der Merwe. “We can’t be surprised if newcomers start disrupting the way we do things; they’re simply taking advantage of gaps we create by failing to embrace the changing real estate landscape.”

Van der Merwe believes technology has been the main driving force behind changes to the industry, simplifying many aspects of the traditional real estate agent’s role, and giving consumers far better access to property information than ever before.

Residential Property Indices
South Africa - Lightstone
As at the end of June 2018 the national house price inflation index was at 3.9 %.

The market is currently ranging in the 2% - 5% zone following a slow down in recent months as shown by the provincial indices. This is true for most of our provinces except the Western Cape and Northern Cape; the Western Cape is currently growing at an unmatched annual rate of 10.2% and Northern Cape is on the other extreme end with a growth rate of 0.1% per annum.

The inland municipalities Ekurhuleni, City of Tshwane and City of Johannesburg metros are growing stably at rates between 2% and 5% whereas the coastal municipalities are generally performing above this range. This relationship extends to all coastal and inland properties as shown by their respective indices.

Both the Low value and Mid value wealth segments continue to buck the trend by growing at more than 6% annually whilst the High and Luxury wealth segments are inflating at rates below 4%.

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