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Residential building statistics
South Africa - Absa
Reversal evident in the diverging trends in residential building activity at segment level in the planning and construction phases

The diverging trends in building activity with regard to new private sector-financed housing in South Africa (see explanatory note) since mid-2018 showed a marked reversal at a segment level in both the planning and construction phases recently. As mentioned previously, these diverging trends could have been the result of significant lags in the reporting of completed housing to and/or approvals of plans for new housing by local government institutions.

Building plans approved for new housing were down by 15,4% year-on-year (y/y), or 5 711 plans, to 31 427 plans in January to July this year. Declines in plans approved were evident across all three segment of new housing over this period.

New housing units reported as being completed showed growth of 36,4% y/y, or 7 647 units, to a total of 28 634 units in the first seven months of the year. The flat and townhouse segment were the main driver of this growth in new housing built, showing strong growth of 90,1% y/y, or 8 056 units, over the 7-month period. The average building cost of new housing completed was as follows in the three segments in January to July this year: Houses of <80m²: R5 746, down by 0,3% y/y.
Houses of ≥80m²: R7 553, up by 2,8% y/y.
Flats and townhouses: R8 280, up by 4,6% y/y.
Building Stats July 2019

Bad hood? Sell your property before it’s too late
South Africa - Property360
When a residential area begins to show signs of degradation, property owners should consider selling, and as soon as possible. Once a neighbourhood has succumbed to neglect, values and demand for property in that area could be negatively impacted.

For owners who do not want to sell, the only possible option is to get the municipality to create a Special Rating Area, also known as a City Improvement District, says Erwin Rode of Rode and Associates.

“The extra levy payable in such a district is well worth it, given the improvement in grime and crime.” Other than this an individual owner can do “little to nothing” to stop the rot and should consider selling “as soon as possible”.

Increasing Risk and Cyber Threat in Conveyancing Sector: A look at the financial and reputational impact of poor cyber hygiene
UK - Legal Futures
Recently, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) delved into the cyber threats persistently bombarding the legal sector. The report suggested that throughout 2016/17, £11 million was lost to cyber criminals. Unfortunately, since this point the sophistication of hackers has only increased with their approaches becoming more intrusive and convincing.

Phishing attempts are overwhelming the sector, impersonation fraud through spoofed emails and copycat websites has increased exponentially and data breaches are a constant battle.

Whilst firms aim to protect their data and the sensitive information they hold on clients, it is clear that cyber hygiene protocols need to improve, clear systems need embedding and further staff training is crucial to secure a holistic cyber secure culture in most law firms.
Legal Futures

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