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WHAT IT MEANS WHAT IT MEANS If anything illustrates how the global financial crisis is hitting SA, it's the drastic tightening of lending rules in the trillion-rand mortgage market. Despite the rational arguments given for this by banks , the fear of a global banking catastrophe hovers over them. This will almost certainly trigger the biggest bust in 50 years. Unlike their global peers, SA banks have money, but they will be financing less of your home or office investment. If the biggest lenders, Absa and Standard Bank, decide to grant the average size home loan, it will be a maximum of 85% but more likely 70% - unless you are a favoured customer. Together, they control about 65% of the mortgage market. Smaller lenders Nedbank and First National Bank (FNB) say they are offering "up to" 90%. But don't count on it.Banks started creeping down the lending risk curve in mid-2007 when the Na...

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