House prices turn the corner

The year-on-year growth in the average value of homes in some categories of the middle segment of South Africa’s residential property market appeared to have reached “an upper turning point”, Absa Home Loans property analyst Jacques du Toit said yesterday. As expected for some time, base effects and slowing monthly price growth since mid-2012 had caused year-on-year price growth to start moderating, he said. Absa’s latest house price index revealed that middle-segment house prices last month grew year on year by 11.8 percent after rising by a revised 10.9 percent in February. After adjustment for the effect of consumer price inflation, real house prices grew by 4.8 percent year on year in February based on consumer price inflation of 5.9 percent year on year in the month. The average nominal values of homes in the three middle-segment categories of the housing market last month were: small houses (between 80m2 and 140m2) at R752 600, medium houses (141m2 to 220m2) at R1 079 500 and large homes (221m2 to 400m2) at R1 609 600. – Roy Cokayne


Scam to trick clients foiled

Banking authorities warned consumers yesterday against a new scam designed to trick people into compromising their personal information. “The latest scam targets home computer users and is masqueraded as legitimate telephonic calls from reputable computer software stores,” the SA Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) said. The “stores” advised victims their systems were faulty or compromised and needed urgent remedial action, Sabric said. “The victims are then tricked during these telephone calls to divulge their personal information and to unwittingly install or accept malware on their computers,” Sabric commercial crime general manager Susan Potgieter said. This malware enabled the criminals to access personal information, and use it to steal from their accounts. – Sapa


Eqstra’s bonds raise R446m

Eqstra, the listed leasing and capital equipment group that has made an unsolicited bid for the remaining 67.2 percent of listed civil engineering company Protech Khuthele it does not already own, yesterday reported it had raised R446 million on the South African capital market. The auction was 1.41 times oversubscribed. The group said the two bonds, one at a floating rate and the other at a fixed rate, were met with demand. – Roy Cokayne