Tuesday, 13 December 2011

2012 What is in store for you! The True story!

It's December and every analyst and economist and financial man dreads the predictions of what is in store for your for 2012.  The stars and astrologists and gurus etc are in a quandary because they need to re-invent new strategies as we move into a super brand new age!  Watch this space!!

Some may love this opportunity to look into their crystal ball and cast their eye forward to the year ahead. However, most financial whizz kids do not want to look silly when unpredictable world events and occurrences take us off in a completely unexpected direction.  Expect the unexpected.

So,  best way to predict the future was to invent it. Predictions in calm markets are pretty useless, let alone in the kind of markets that we are seeing at the moment. Nevertheless, it is now time for all economists to prostrate ourselves and have people throw rotten fruit and the occasional curse word at them , toy toy in the crowds as we proceed to predict what the next 12 months might have in store for us.

So we base this on a huge assumption - the Eurozone does not fall apart. If it does then all bets are off and you better get used to growing your own veggies. Here goes..

Chinese Investment in SA quadruples

China is the biggest investor in Africa. All across Africa, new tracks are being laid, highways built,ports deepened, commercial contracts signed—all on an unprecedented scale, and led by China, whose appetite for commodities seems insatiable. Do China’s grand designs promise the transformation,at last, of a star-crossed continent? Or merely its exploitation?  SA backs down in all aspects for the big buck and watch them own all the land soon.  Look at Centurion in Gauteng almost completely owned by MNT developments.  Guess who?

The UK economy will not enter a double dip recession

The UK economy, as is the same in most developed nations, is struggling along at the moment with little optimism in the short term. We expect that the two toughest quarters for the economy will be Q4 this year and Q1 2012 as consumer spending slows, business investment remains weak and government spending cuts continue.   It’s year end, so maybe forgive me for coming across as overly negative, but everyone must realise that the next couple of years regardless of whether you live in Kensington, Kuruman, Kuwait City or Kenton-onSea are going to be tough. You don’t get over 10 years of excess without a significant hangover.

EU leaders will sort themselves out in 2012

A great point of debate.  The danger of implosion is high  and being an optimist (sometimes blindingly so) but I think that the great and the good of the European political system will come to their senses in 2012 and a lasting resolution to the continent’s debt problems or the start thereof. So lets dream forward - This will come from a new “fiscal compact” – a centralised government and the eventual transition to a United States of Europe. They will not do this as a result of anything other than another brush with the apocalypse. I’m not sure what the trigger will be (3 bad business confidence numbers from the Germans, France’s credit rating being cut, social unrest in Italy or the fall of another government) but something large will happen that will eventually shake the political class from this malaiseand the Greeks will still avoid taxes.

House and Homes around the World

Less people will be able to afford houses anywhere and the rich will still buy obscure investment properties.  A new term the FAMILY HOME will start, we already see signs of it.  This is where the family from Grandparents to Grandkids will start sharing commune based homes, double stories, one land one family (Large) approach and all will contribute towards it.

Banks and Mortgages

New home loan products will hit the market being structured finance packages that include all aspects of financing, short, medium and long term structures and used as savings vehicles.  A one account for all your, your children, larger family needs - just to restrict the banks risk.  Normal lending will resume from 2013 only, forget about 2012.  Repossessions will increase at least by 10 times.

The Green Effect

If you ever thought COP17 was going to do anything else but give people a great paid for holiday, stimulate the KZN economy and make all the scientist feel important forget it.  They could never and never will stop what they have started - because they do not really care. A sad day for all but the good news is that people like you and I will make huge efforts because we want to.  There is a superhero in each of us.

And for fun, just for you…

The ANC will be rocked by a strategic partnership split.

The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall will announce a royal pregnancy

Petrol Prices will rise to unprecedented heights

Sales of scooters will exceed expectations by far

A new leader emerges in SA.

I would like to wish you all the best for the festive season, and a Happy New Year and c'mon 2012!!

Monday, 12 December 2011

Dubai repossessed auctions

The Dubai Land Department has sold eight foreclosed properties at auction in the first bulk sale of repossessed homes in the emirate.
The sale may clear the way for lenders to offload millions of dirhams in repossessed property.

The homes sold between Dh740,000 (US$201,450) and Dh6 million, well above the minimum prices.

"It was good news to see the [foreclosure] process start to work like other jurisdictions," said Jody Glenn Waugh, a partner with Al Tamimi, a law firm.

Hundreds of properties are in the foreclosure process in Dubai but they have been slow to come up for auction, where sales are controlled by the Land Department. In May the department auctioned a repossessed villa in The Springs for Dh1.22m, the first and only sale of a foreclosed home under provisions of a mortgage law approved in 2008.

The sale came more than a year after the British bank Barclays won a court order to repossess the property. "Judgements have been flowing for some time now, but there have been delays getting the property to auction," Mr Waugh said.

Dubai's 2008 Mortgage Law No 14, was designed to speed up the foreclosure process, giving lenders a chance to recoup their losses on defaulted property.

Instead of going through civil court, under the new law lenders could execute a foreclosure through a simple hearing before a judge, after giving the client proper notification.

After the judge's order is issued, the property would be auctioned by the Land Department.

But the system has been slow to develop, industry executives say. In addition to the process for obtaining judgements, there were issues establishing values for property.

Some officials were concerned about flooding the market with low-priced homes at a time when prices are already 50 per cent below peak levels in some places, industry experts say.

The Land Department had previously tried to auction a handful of other properties, but they did not sell.
"Initially reserve prices were just too high and now they are far more realistic and as a result they are attracting buyers," said Richard Paul, the head of valuations for Cluttons.

International mortgages were raised for some of the properties.

The auction may prompt lenders to start more foreclosure proceedings. Banks and mortgage companies have been focusing more on renegotiating deals and using foreclosure as a last resort, industry analysts say.
"Ultimately [the auction] provides banks with more confidence that if the buyer defaults, they can go through the process," Mr Paul said.

Long-term, the auction process may also prod mortgage providers to provide more home loans in Dubai, where lenders are still wary.

"As the [foreclosure] system becomes more streamlined it will give lenders greater comfort to be more aggressive in lending," said Jean-Luc Desbois, the managing director of Home Matters Mortgage Consultants.

The Land Department staged three auctions last week with 19 properties for sale, including homes in non-freehold areas. The bulk of the eight repossessed properties sold were villas in the Al Thnnyah and Wadi Al Safa areas, plus two apartments in Dubai Marina, according to a sale brochure.
All the properties sold for more than the reserve price, with bidding brisk, said people who attended the auction. A villa in the Al Thnnyah neighbourhood listed at Dh3.5m sold for Dh5.6m.

"It was well attended," Mr Desbois said. "The place was full." But auctions are still rare in the UAE, he noted."Investors and buyers are becoming more aware of the ability to purchase property under auction," Mr Desbois said.

"It is a very new concept for the UAE."

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

The Worlds 10 best Property Investments and Homeloans

Everyone wants to know the top 10 places to buy your proeprty in and with all of these there is a one stop shop to obtain free money transfers and international mortgages.  They are easy and cheap to produce and you rarely have to reveal your methodology.

Property Journalist Graham Norwood has put together an interesting list of the "safest" global property destinations for UK newspaper, the Daily Telegraph.   The criteria used is extensibly the “lowest risk” locations but lifestyle arguments are used to justify many of the selections.

I've added my thoughts.  I'd be interested to hear your views.

1. Canada
Picked for its relatively strong mortgage market, solid legal system and stunning ski resorts.  Difficult to argue with Norwood’s selection especially as Canada has managed to avoid the worst excesses of the neighbouring US.

2. Hong Kong
Chosen due to limited supply and plenty of demand from the Chinese mainland.  

Hong Kong has experienced some of the steepest rises in property prices with values almost doubling since 2005. However, “experts” insist the boom is sustainable.  

There are now over 30,000 real estate agents working on the island, more than three times the number in the whole of the UK.  The experts predicting sustability are agents with a vested interest.  I’m not convinced.

3. Switzerland
Favourable tax treatment, a stable market and great skiing make Switzerland a great bet according to Norwood.
Buying a property is also a huge bet on the Swiss Franc which is hugely overvalued according to most measures.

4. Mauritius
Outstanding natural beauty, a strong political situation and a new scheme to encourage foreign investment make Mauritius a good tip.

5. Gibraltar
Spain without the problems is the basic message.

A strong economy in financial services, telecoms and internet gaming combined with very low taxes make Gibraltar an excellent bet.

6. South Africa
Low volatility in the property market, outstanding beauty and cheap prices are the key arguments in favour of South Africa.

7. Barbados 
Chosen for its international prestige, accessibility and a strong legal system.

8 St Lucia
Barbados with lower prices.

9. Kenya
Chosen for its “consistent growth”.  Not sure it meets the strict “low risk” criteria though.

10 The Cayman Islands
A reputation for international finance, limited supply and fantastic lifestyle make the Caymen Islands a solid choice.

It is very difficult to produce a list like this on a global scale.  All markets are local.  Buying property in established prime locations is the key to preserving capital and minimizing risk.  The key is finding clients with a lot of liquid capital and long time horizons.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

The Good News Please The Good News

Well today Dec 1, 2011 is world AIDS day and to mark this occasion it is great to know that the clinics are having great success with reducing HIV positive status for young babies born from HIV positive mothers.  How wonderful.

On this same day, we see stock markets rise on the back of European banks raising their funds and backup funding for bailouts, albeit they may need to raise this from the IMF.  But that's OK.  In fact if you want to see who owes what to whom in the Eurozone click here.

On the SA home loan and mortgage front, we have seen a very slow rise in lending, but there is some very good news.  ABSA, Standard Bank, FNB and Nedbank have all changed their lending criteria for the better.  Well done guys, so if you are risk averse and ready for the plunge get your homeloan today from these guys and make sure you sue a great mortgage originator who will not only get you the best deal but also discounts on attorney fees etc.

So great news in the money transfer arena.  Globalfundi a SA based transfer company has announced the best rates and no administration fees for moving money out of SA and they assist in all the Reserve Bank and exchange control requirements.  Save a whack when you send or receive money to and from SA.  That's great news.

In this last month of the year you may need to raise funds quickly so look at getting some cash in the pocket and then pay it off with your bonus asap.  personal loans are very popular and the bank lend fairly easily as long as your credit report and record stays clean.

For those wanting to get to the top of google use a great SEO company today, there are many.  we see savings made of up to $120,000 a year from the case studies. 

The best news of all - its Christmas time, give something to those in need and we wish everyone we know and do not know a great recharge for 2012.