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Is this the best time to buy a house?
South Africa - Financial Mail
Record-low interest rates, coupled with scores of distressed sellers likely to dump properties on the market in the coming months, will create a cheap entry point for would-be homebuyers

With interest rates at 47-year lows and house prices expected to drop this year for the first time in a decade, it could be a smart move to buy a residential property after the lockdown.

Industry players say though the Covid-19 pandemic will no doubt cause increased financial stress for many, the flipside is that the SA housing market now offers more favourable buying conditions than it has in years.

House price growth has slowed to its lowest level in nearly a decade — to 2.8% in March, from a peak of 8.2% in 2014, according to FNB. In addition, it’s easier to qualify for a mortgage as banks more aggressively vie for a share of SA’s R1.5-trillion (according to SA Reserve Bank mortgage advance figures) home loan pie.
Financial Mail

HMLR temporarily amends rules around ID and signing Deeds
UK - Todays Conveyancer
HM Land Registry (HMLR) have temporarily amended their rules regarding ID verification and the signing of deeds from today to help reduce the barriers caused by social distancing restrictions. Deeds can now be signed using the ‘Mercury signing approach’ from today. For land registration purposes, a signed signature page using ink and witnessed in person rather than via a video link, can be emailed to conveyancers. The digital copy can then be attached to the ‘final agreed copy of the document and the copy of the signed signature page.’

The number of authorised parties able to verify a person’s identity is to be expanded from today and can be undertaken via video call.

In addition to conveyancers and chartered legal executives, the following people who work or have worked in the following professions can now verify identification:
Todays Conveyancer

How the economy will collapse if real estate services cannot operate
South Africa - Property360
After hearing confirmation that the real estate industry will not be reclassified to operate under level 4 of lockdown restrictions, the real estate industry has joined forces to implore government to reconsider.

It explained that this decision affects not only the thousands that are employed within this sector, but also has a far reaching impact on the economy as a whole.

“Real Estate is unquestionably a multiplier and enabling industry. During the 2007/08 financial crash in the United States, it was real estate that lead the economy out of the recession and back to economic health and prosperity. We believe that this sector can assist South Africa in doing so again,” explains Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, Adrian Goslett

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