Wednesday, 27 October 2010


 Well those that know have compiled some interesting analysis on 20 housing markets across the globe.  So who is taking the risk!!!

The data not only looks at house price trends but also compares current prices to their “fair value” which is calculated by looking at the historical average ratio of house prices to rents.

Europe’s most over-valued housing market is Spain (+47.6), followed by France (+42.5%), Sweden (+41.5%) and the UK (+32%).  Germany and Switzerland are the cheapest markets on -12.9% and -6.4% respectively.

Globally, the most expensive market is Hong Kong (+58%), followed by Australia (+63%).

Interestingly the US is around “fair value” at -2.1% or so they say.

And South Africa - that's a good question.  Prices In Cape Town are ridiculously high, JHB and Pretoria and Durban all seem kind of normal...but watch this space!!!

The figures suggest that painful housing market corrections will eventually surface in many markets across the globe.

However, there is quite a bit of evidence to suggest that housing is different to other asset markets because is it more correlated with affordability (a function of real incomes and home loan rates) rather than rents.

Unfortunately this argument still suggests that painful corrections may be on the horizon.

The UK and US seem intent on printing money to “support” their housing markets which will surely cause inflation and therefore interest rates to rise which will undermine affordability.

For countries like Spain within the Euro area, printing money is not an option. If you believe the data, (which comes from asking prices rather than sale prices) house prices still have a long way to fall.

South Africa, seems hell bent on controlling interest rates, inflation and exchange control, against a wall of protest and sensibility.

In the medium term, the only options would seem to be significant nominal falls in house prices or a currency devaluation (euro crisis).

Optimists will argue that housing markets will not correct because “it is different this time” as long term interest rates are permanently lower and the dynamics of supply and demand have changed (rising population etc).

Nobody can predict the future but almost everyone who has ever argued "it is different this time" when defending an asset price bubble has turned out to be wrong.

Expect a rocky road ahead.  Look what Standard Bank has just done, staff wise!! Whose next!!!!

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Who has your interest at heart?

Whose Your MOMMY?????? The best real estate agent in the world!!!

REAL ESTATE AGENT of 2010 and ahead!!!!

Well if you are looking for a bushveld property in Limpopo region of South Africa, there is only one person to speak to and this is a testimony from all of those who own properties in Raptors View, Hoedspruit Wildlife Estate, Balule, Blyde Wildlife Estate, Canyon, Moditlo, Hoedspruit Wildlife Escapes for some super deals and anywhere in the region.

Call Miss Magic - Barbara or better still email her

Get yourself into the bush my friend! Barbara did! and so did I!

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Home Loans Interest rate WARS or WHO..S! - Pimping the ride.

So from 9/11 to 9/10 – one day that made a huge change for you and I, the South African consumer, not as dramatic but significant.

The lowest interest rate in more than 30 years and since August 1979 the same interest rate of 9.5%.

What does this mean for you, the man in the street, where is your benefit and what do you care? The question that is on most people’s minds is can I still get a home loan at -2% below prime? What about comparing interest rates before I buy, as I did before. What about my friend got a great rate from his bank, so why can’t I? Huh!

So what is in it for me? – Will I get a great rate? I think the most important thing to realize is that the prime lending rate is 9.5% - that is low and awesome and possibly near or at the bottom of its cycle.

When rates are low, you pay less for a home loan or any loan BUT you also get less interest when you save.

The definition of interest rates says it all and it’s good to know that even banks lend from each other. Interest rate is the rate at which interest is paid by a borrower for the use of money that they borrow from a lender and banks lend and borrow from and to each other using the IBOR rate or Inter-bank lending rate) – So that’s enough technical jargon for today.

When you apply for a loan, the best person to assist you in getting the VERY BEST RATE is your mortgage or bond originator. Why? You may ask.

Well simply, because they can apply for the loan, discuss your application and its chances of success and good rates with internal bank consultants, and do the online sums based on facts and add in their years of professional experience and knowledge – to give you the most accurate and up to date rate probability from ALL the lenders in one go.

This is probably the biggest, time (which IS MONEY) saver for you and secondly give you a fair and decent choice from which to choose the home loan you want.

SO, What About a Great Rate?

Firstly 9.5% is a great rate on its own. If you were investing in to a money saver type plan, would you get 9.5%, not that easily? Most of us only save a few R 100 per month at the most in any case. Speak to your bond originator re access bond management and then you will see the advantage of this rate.

So, ignore the above comment and let’s talk dirty!!

The average good rate today amongst banks varies very little. Today Standard Banks rates are not great, but FNB has better rates. Tomorrow, ABSA will beat Nedbank and Integer and SA Homeloans will offer better deals, BUT, and I mean a BIG BUT, this too shall change.

If you get a rate of 0.25% below prime – that’s great – take it. You might get 0.3% below from the next bank, but then you must check out your initial mortgage setup fee, which varies from bank to bank and also is often added into your home loan over the period of 20 years or so. Then you also have a monthly administration fee which varies and lastly a monthly insurance fee which could also be added into your home loan. Interest on insurance premiums eeeeish!!!

So, forget about great rates today. Win the war, not the battle! Remember, it is difficult to negotiate with those who do not share the same frame of reference.

Work on improving your rate after you have your home loan. It is so much easier and simpler.

There is no interest rate war at the moment, but there are certainly those that are selling you a great rate; “pimping the ride with the Interest rate who..s”


This is by no means the only list, but a few tips and pointers:

1. Equity or Loan to Value – A loan of 70% of the property value is a 70% LTV loan will assist you in getting a better rate than a 100% LTV loan – carry some of the risk yourself, the lenders love this.

2. You bank score – each bank rates you as a risk factor, good, medium, bad – do the math! Improve your bank score by being a good banker.

3. Let your mortgage originator do the work. Remember they only get paid on success!

4. Avoid falling for teaser rates! – It’s like looking at a centerfold spread in Playboy, kind of intangible!

5. Build your credit history – get a credit report today and do so annually!

6. Watch variable and fixed rates. If you are comfortable that rates will stay as they are for a while then remain variable. Else consider a fixed rate if you feel movement going up.

7. Save for a deposit.


Sorry, we are not magicians! Soothsayers or spiritualists – We can only tell the truth. Maybe, you should lend from your friend!

It is very simple. Every person is rated by a lender based on, Age, work, education, contribution, risk elements, banking practice, depth of voice resonance and ability to whistle whilst eating an apple! Forget about the rates for now. Get the deal first, do the rates later and most importantly, enjoy your home and count yourself blessed!