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Don't move, 'just renovate'

By unknown | Aug 21, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Zweli Mokgata

Zweli Mokgata

Renovate rather than buy has become the trend for cash-strapped homeowners struggling to pay mortgages at often over the prime interest rate of 15,5percent.

That more people are upgrading by fixing their existing houses instead of moving was borne out yesterday by data from Statistics SA and a new product from Absa - the country's biggest mortgage provider.

Absa yesterday launched a marketing campaign pitched at owners of low-cost housing and old township homes, encouraging them to take loans to upgrade their existing houses.

Luthando Vutula, managing executive for Absa Homeloans, said: "The current slow-down in new housing developments, as a result of escalating building costs, a shortage of land as well as a variety of other factors, has resulted in fewer new houses available for delivery.

"Extending is one of the most cost-effective ways for home owners to upgrade. Building on means they do not have to buy a new home which will require an even larger loan," Vutula said.

The scheme will be targeted at households earning up to R13000 a month.

It will provide loans of up to R400000 at prime-linked interest rates.

While Absa hopes this programme will be snatched up by those who have not had access to financing, rising consumer pressure may make even this type of spending a luxury.


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