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Issue # 056 October 25 2013

"What's Happening In New South Wales"

"What's Happening In Queensland"

Sydney Auction Clearance Rate Falters - Just

Properties Discounted By Up To 52%

Sydney’s weekend auction clearance rate fell below 80 per cent for the first time in two months as high listing numbers continue to test the market. Although the 79.9 per cent rate reported was just under, it nonetheless impacts on a recordbreaking sequence of 13 of the past 15 weeks with rates above 80 per cent. 21 October 2013. More.

Queensland dominates the list of the most discounted properties nationwide, taking out six of the top 10 spots, according to new research from SQM. The property at 22 White Street in Bundamba, Queensland underwent a 52 per cent discount from its original asking price of $425,000, the biggest percentage cut in the country. 23 October 2013. More.

Land Release Sells Out In South West Sydney Defence Housing Australia’s (DHA's) last release of the Heartwood residential development in south west Sydney sold out within four hours at the weekend. The last 25 land lots of the residential development at Voyager Point were priced between $371,000 and $468,000. DHA managing director Peter Howman said pent-up buyer demand was responsible for the quick sales. 23 October 2013. More.

Surge In Sales In Key Sydney Commercial Property Locations There has been a surge in sales activity in both the Sydney Central Business District and North Shore office markets according to a new analysis from international real estate firm Savills. Sales activity in Sydney’s CBD was approximately $2.6 billion, up 139% from $1.1 billion in the previous 12 months. In Sydney’s North Shore markets sales activity was up 170% from $421 million to $1.1 billion. 22 October 2013. More.

What's Happening Toowoomba?





There are highs and lows in any industry – especially property. No sooner do things go up than they come down. Take the port city of Gladstone in Queensland, for instance. Elders Real Estate’s property manager, Nikki Nation, said increasing industrial activity over the past few years had caused rentals to rise sharply - but they are now dropping back sharply. 22 October 2013. More.

Is The Spring Market Set To Boom? Despite the shenanigans in Washington, the real estate industry is buzzing with talk of a boom. Spring is here and across Australia, low interest rates and a return of confidence have sparked renewed interest in residential property. While property data company RP Data numbers show mostly modest rises in Australian home prices, the news from real estate’s inner circles is that the market is on the march. 18 October 2013. More.

Sharp Rise In Property Confidence: Survey Queensland has recorded the highest shift in sentiment of any state or territory with confidence among Queensland property professionals improving sharply, according to a recent survey. The Property Council/ANZ Property Industry Confidence Survey found sentiment in Queensland had risen 25 points to 142 on the index for the December quarter. 17 October 2013. More.

Vacancy Rates Remain Tight Vacancy rates across Australia have remained ‘historically tight’, according to data released by the Housing Industry Association (HIA). The discussion paper found vacancy rates were likely being impacted by restricted financing which had delayed home ownership for many households. This has also contributed to stronger rental price inflation, according to the HIA. 18 October 2013. More.

Beachmere, North Of Brisbane, Has Australia's Cheapest Units Units in Beachmere, 38km north of Brisbane, are cheaper than anywhere else in Australia, according to a new report on Australia's most expensive and cheapest property markets. The RP Data Spring Buyers' Guide analysed median unit values in 8700 suburbs across Australia. 16 October 2013. More.

State Of The Nation Continued… "What's Happening In Victoria"

"What's Happening In South Australia"

Market Solid But Big Tests Coming

First-Time Mortgage Stress On Rise

The Melbourne weekend auction market recorded yet another solid clearance rate at the weekend despite higher listing numbers, yet the real test comes next weekend when 1356 are scheduled. 21 October 2013. More.

The majority of first-home owners are struggling with mortgage stress, with those in South Australia the hardest hit, according to Mortgage Choice’s latest First Homeowner survey. The finding is especially worrying given speculation is mounting that the Reserve Bank of Australia’s two-year cycle of interest rate cuts is coming to end on the back of an expected doubling in the inflation rate during the September quarter. 23 October 2013. More.

Swag Of Plans Approved For Bendigo As Goldfields Town Looks Set To Transform

SA Regional Housing Market 'Beginning To Turn Around'

The Victorian regional city of Bendigo is on the move with plans approved - and others in the pipeline - for a swag of apartments and commercial premises set to transform the goldfield’s town. The Bendigo Weekly reports that the latest in a line of multimillion dollar apartment proposals - many in converted factories and warehouses – will ‘’take Bendigo CBD living to the next level’’. 23 October 2013. More.

The Housing Industry Association (HIA) says the outlook for the industry in regional South Australia is positive. It points to new data showing a 41 per cent rise in sales and it says four of the state's regions are in the top 10 least expensive markets for residential land in the nation. The HIA's chief economist, Harley Dale, says the median land price for the south-east, Murraylands, the Yorke and Lower North region, and northern SA, was $95,000 or less. 22 October 2013. More.

Units Bank Hefty Profits

Tenancy Changes Spell More Work For Property Managers

Unit owners have banked average profits of up to $830,000 in Melbourne's most lucrative suburbs for unit sales. The data questions the assumption that apartments are not as valuable as houses. The RP Data market analysis, conducted exclusively for the Herald Sun, reveals the five most profitable suburbs in Melbourne for units averaged windfalls of $718,919 over the past year. 18 October 2013. More.

The implementation of amendments to the South Australian Residential Tenancies Act in early 2014 looks set to impact complying landlords and property managers. The Real Estate Institute of South Australia (REISA) is conducting workshops for property managers on the changes, although the final legislation is yet to be passed into law. 18 October 2013. More.

Old Homes, Big Profits In Melbourne

Former Magill Training Centre Site On Glen Stuart Rd, Woodforde, Up For Sale

Homeowners have pocketed windfalls averaging $300,000plus from the sale of properties built in the 1970s and '80s around Melbourne's growth ring this year. New data shows you don't need to own a multi-million dollar home to win big on the property market. 18 October 2013. More.

The former Magill Youth Training Centre site in Woodforde in now on the market. The State Government is calling for developers to express their interest in buying the 19ha site, which is earmarked for a 250-home development . 15 October 2013. More.

Melbourne Prime Retail Continues To Outstrip Sydney

Industry Leaders Give Advice On SA's Real Estate Market

While the Melbourne retail market has outperformed Sydney in the post-GFC period, a recalibration is in the wings, according to the latest ViewPoint from CBRE. The report claims that a cyclical shift is expected to close the gap in the next year or so, with growth in NSW to outstrip that of Victoria. 17 October 2013. More.

Messenger Real Estate Writer KASIA OZOG quizzed six of Adelaide's most senior property identities on the state of the real estate market in South Australia. She asked them where they felt the market was at compared to this time last year. She also asked if they had any specific tips for would-be buyers and sellers at the moment. Here's what they had to say ... 12 October 2013. More.

State Of The Nation Continued… "What's Happening In Western Australia"

"What's Happening In The Northern Territory"

Perth Trumps Sydney With The Most Expensive Square Metre Of Land In Australia

City Prices On The Rise But The Capital Proves A Drag

Now must be about the right time to buy your first home or get back into bricks. Finance is the cheapest in 60 years and the housing market looks like it is moving up, according to a raft of indicators. However, much depends on where you buy. Perth, primed with the proceeds of a mining boom, has just pushed aside Sydney, Australia’s biggest city, as the most expensive place to buy. 22 October 2013. More.

Sydney median house prices hit a record $722,718 in the September quarter, up 4.2 per cent, but the strongest quarterly gains occurred in Darwin where prices shot up a healthy 5 per cent. Nationally, house prices jumped 2.2 per cent in the quarter, and were only slightly dragged down by poor performances in Canberra, where median house prices slumped 1.4 per cent. 24 October 2013. More.

WA Continues To Lead, But The Rest Of Australia Is Catching Up: State Of The States Report

Boomtown: Property Prospects In Darwin

Western Australia has once again outdone the other states and territories in terms of economic strength, but it may be one of its last stints on top as the mining boom comes to an end. WA is leading the way in terms of retail trade and is the second strongest economy when it comes to growth and business investment, according to CommSec’s State of the States report. 21 October 2013. More.

Darwin’s property market has become one of Australia’s most competitive but there are still investment opportunities available for savvy buyers. While average house prices are high, there are a number of suburbs with relatively affordable homes in the $400,000 to $500,000 range, according to RP Data’s Spring Buyers’ Guide. These are mostly located in Palmerston and include Moulden, Gray, Woodroffe, Bakewell, Driver and Farrar. 21 October 2013. More.

Perth's Most Tightly-Held Suburbs

Pet Friendly Properties A Rare Breed

Special Interactive: They are the suburbs that residents just don't want to leave... see what Perth's most loved areas are. Residents of Gnangara, wedged between Wangara and the GnangaraMoore River State Forrest, hold onto their properties for an average of 14.3 years, the latest RP Data figures show. 19 October 2013. More.

Perth Pips Sydney For Priciest Homes Australia’s median house prices range from the cost of a car to several million, reflecting the two-speed property market. RP Data has released its latest list of Australia's cheapest and most expensive locations. Median house prices currently range from $58,576 in Ungarie (NSW Central West) to a lofty $3.89 million in Perth's waterfront suburb of Peppermint Grove. 16 October 2013. More.

Australians are a pet loving lot, but we haven’t reconciled that with our love of property. The Animal Health Alliance reports that there are an estimated 25 million pets in Australia (2 million more paws than people), with 5 million of Australia’s 7.6 million households playing home to a critter of some kind. At 63%, Australia has one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world. 14 October 2013. More.

"What's Happening In Tasmania" CommSec Again Ranks Tasmania As Worst Performing State Tasmania is again at the bottom of the pile in CommSec's State of the States report. States and territories are ranked on eight economic indicators and Tasmania is performing the worst on all of them. Chief economist Craig James says the result is largely due to sluggish population growth. "There's been a population drain away from Tasmania to some of the other states and territories that have been out-performing rather than under-performing," he said. 22 October 2013. More.

Home Loans Continue Upward Trend Housing finance continued its general upward trend in August. The latest home loan figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed that, in trend terms, the number of owneroccupied finance commitments rose 0.6% – following increases of 1.0% in July and 1.5% in June. This was, however, the lowest monthly increase in trend terms since January. 14 October 2013. More.

Tasmanian Housing Market Strengthening The Tasmanian housing market is strengthening. The number of housing finance commitments for owner-occupation hit a 26-month high in August, which was a sixth successive month of growth. Australian Bureau of Statistics figures showed there were 790 such commitments in trend terms in August. 14 October 2013. More.

State Of The Nation Continued… "Market Update"

"What's Happening Internationally"

SMSFs And NRAS: A Dangerous Combination?

US Existing Home Sales Decline

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has issued a warning to investors about advertisements that promote using your self-managed super fund (SMSF) to invest in government schemes. The regulator has noticed advertising which encourages people to use their SMSF to buy into the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS). 23 October 2013. More.

United States sales of previously owned homes eased in September, an indication that rising interest rates during the summer helped cool the housing market. Existing-home sales fell 1.9 per cent in September from a month earlier to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.29 million, the National Association of Realtors said Monday. The prior month's pace was revised down sharply to 5.39 million from the previously estimated 5.48 million pace. Still the data shows the sales pace in July and August was the best since 2009. 22 October 2013. More.

ASIC Sounds New Warning On SMSF Spruikers The corporate regulator has issued a warning about SMSF spruikers who are encouraging consumers to invest in residential property via the National Rental Affordability Scheme. “ASIC is aware that a number of SMSF promoters include misleading statements in their ads about the grants that may be available under NRAS,” said the regulator. 22 October 2013. More.

Markets Are Hot, But Don't Be Pressured Fuelled by record-low interest rates and lack of supply, residential real estate markets are running hot, particularly in Sydney. Auction clearance rates have hit 90 per cent in Sydney and 80 per cent in Melbourne with prices in Sydney up by more than 5 per cent and up by about 3.5 per cent in Melbourne over the past three months. 16 October 2013. More.

Superannuation Fees Have Fallen For The First Time Ever It’s been over a decade since SuperRatings began publishing its annual list of Australia’s best super funds. But its latest list, released yesterday, documented something the independent ratings agency has never seen before. For the first time ever, average superannuation fees have fallen. On a $50,000 balance, the average super fund now charges $707 in fees, down from $722 last year. 22 October 2013. More.

Are Conditions Lifting For Australia's Most Expensive Property Markets? Conditions may be lifting in the premium property markets, despite a year’s worth of data indicating a lull in activity, according to RP Data research analyst, Cameron Kusher. In the company’s most recent RPData Weekly Property Pulse, Kusher says premium housing markets – comprising the most expensive 25% of capital city suburbs - have generally recorded a larger correction in values than other price segments, with the recovery rate to-date below par. 21 October 2013. More.

Grattan Institute Calls For Stamp Duty Cuts Stamp duty should be scrapped and negative gearing wound back to make housing more affordable for the general public, a new report says. But the study by the Grattan Institute has called for the introduction of a broad-based property tax as a fairer way of distributing resources. Written by the institute's cities program director Jane-Frances Kelly, the report said that despite costly policies to encourage home ownership, overall ownership rates had been stable for decades and were now even declining slightly. 20 October 2013. More.

Controversy Corner Property Secrets' Paul Giezekamp Avoids Tribunal Hearing According to information obtained by Property Observer, Property Secrets' Paul Giezekamp has been called to a Consumer, Trader & Tenancy Tribunal (CTTT) hearing by previous client Kerry Ann Stevenson. Giezekamp has been called to appear at the Penrith Tribunal office on Monday November 11 2013, along with his company P.S. Enterprises Australia Pty Ltd, trading as 'Property Secrets'. 23 October 2013. More.

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Some Parting Advice “It’s important that you seek information from impartial people. You can never invest too much time or effort into your education.”

Until Next Time… Kevin Lee

State of The Nation Issue 56 Oct 25, 2013