In the halcyon days of yore, the Pietermaritzburg deeds office would take in some 1400 lodgments per day. This is down to just over 500. I asked why? Interestingly, the answer lies not primarily with our poorer financial circumstances, but the State virtually ceasing its push on granting title to the poor. Make your own deductions.
The FNB House Price Index has slowed further to 3.5% in August, negative when inflation is considered. In fact, this is the third consecutive year of a real house price decline in South Africa.
IOL reports that about 40% of people selling property in South Africa are doing so to downscale. Only 11% sold in order to upgrade. Quite depressing isn’t it?
Economist Johann Bornman, who maintains a database of agricultural land transactions dating back to 1994, says that the latest statistics show an average drop of 32% in farm prices this year with high value agricultural land reflecting a 40% drop. Interestingly the drop by (those listed). Province was-
Eastern Cape, 28%;
and remarkably, in the Free State: 1.2%!
The bottom line is that further borrowings by farmers, leveraging off farm properties, is going to be difficult this year.
The latest property scandal is the CFO of CSOS being suspended, pending an enquiry into allegations of gross negligence, dishonesty and dereliction of duty, relating to an R80m investment in VBS Mutual Bank. Politics.
Lexis has published a list of municipalities for which it facilitates rate certificates. If you do not have a copy, ask me.