News

BUYERS BEGIN TO MAKE THEIR MOVE

Sydney's spring property selling season showed the first signs of coming to life last weekend with government policy initiatives and data released last week pointing to this trend continuing.The weekend's auction clearance rate rose to 60.7 per cent, much higher than the previous weekend's 51.8 p... more >>>

TREASURY BOSS WANTS TO ABOLISH REAL ESTATE STAMP DUTY

The Treasury boss, Martin Parkinson, has backed a move to wind back or abolish real estate stamp duties saying they make it hard for workers to move west and north to take advantage of the mining boom.Asked at an Australian Industry Group forum which taxes were the biggest drag on productivity, h... more >>>

SYDNEY PRICES SURGE FURTHER AHEAD

This spring, Sydney has one sizeable boast: its median house price is now streets ahead of Melbourne's. The latest Australian Property Monitors data has the July quarter median house price at $639,484 - 16 per cent and approaching $100,000 more expensive than the southern capital's $551,006.Sydne... more >>>

ECONOMIST TIPS RATE CUT

A revision to underlying CPI by the Australian Bureau of Statistics could encourage the Reserve Bank to reduce its tightening bias to a more neutral stance, one chief economist has claimed.After reviewing the methodology for the overall CPI in 2010, the ABS found an increased number of expenditur... more >>>

SPIKE IN INTEREST FROM FIRST HOME BUYERS

Data from Loan Market Group has confirmed first home buyers in New South Wales are acting quickly to gain pre-approvals in an effort to secure finance before the stamp duty concession runs out at the end of the year.Loan Market chief operating officer Dean Rushton said in the past three weeks, 60... more >>>

AUSSIES STILL BUILDING LARGEST HOMES IN THE WORLD

Australia is still building the largest homes in the world, according to new data commissioned from the Australian Bureau of Statistics by CommSec.The average floor area of new homes - both houses and apartments - stood at 214.1 square metres in the nine months to March 2011, while the average fl... more >>>

BUYING A HOUSE? GET A DISCOUNT

BANKS are offering discounts up to 1 per cent off their standard variable mortgage rates to stimulate the home loan market ahead of the crucial spring selling campaign.With loan growth across the market having dropped back to just 6 per cent over the 12 months to June 30 from an annual average of... more >>>

FIXED-RATE MORTGAGE DISCOUNTS FAIL TO SWAY MANY BORROWERS

Demand for fixed-rate mortgages increased only marginally in August despite lenders making big cuts to these products.Fixed-rate mortgages accounted for 14.1% of all successful loan applications submitted by Mortgage Choice brokers on behalf of borrowers over the month - up from 13.3% in July.Ear... more >>>

OFFSHORE INVESTORS FLOCK TO LOCAL PROPERTY

Offshore investors are flocking to park their money in Australian property, despite recent volatility on domestic markets, Sydney property developer Lend Lease says.Chief executive Steve McCann says negativity in Australia is a ‘‘little bit exaggerated’’, given the strengt... more >>>

SYDNEY STILL THE LEADER OF THE PACK

Based on the May RP Data-Rismark Home Value Indices results, over the past year Sydney has been the only capital city in Australia to record an improvement in home values. Across the combined house and unit market, values are up 1 per cent; a far cry from the 12.9 per cent gain recorded over the ... more >>>

PRICE RISE ANOTHER SIGN SYDNEY MARKET IS STIRRING

The Sydney median house price has risen for the second consecutive quarter. Data from Australian Property Monitors reveals the Sydney median house price has risen for the second consecutive quarter.It jumped 1.1 per cent from the $639,770 recorded for the February quarter to $646,662 for the May ... more >>>

SIGNS OF LIFE AS SYDNEY AUCTION RESULTS START TO BLOOM

More positive signs emerged over the weekend for the Sydney housing market. Auction clearance rates rose to the highest levels for the year and are now consistently tracking the results recorded for the same time last year.The number of properties being offered for auction still remains below the... more >>>

FIXED-RATE MORTGAGES LEVEL WITH VARIABLE

In a historically rare event, three-year fixed interest rates are about the same as variable rates, which is good news for embattled budget-conscious first-home buyers. Many prospective buyers have been holding back because they fear monthly mortgage repayments will rise when household expenses a... more >>>

RBA: RATE HIKE 'NECESSARY' AT SOME POINT

The central bank has again signalled that interest rates will increase "at some point" but says it will wait for more news on the state of the international economy and on Australia's domestic demand.The minutes of the Reserve Bank of Australia's (RBA) latest board meeting, show the ban... more >>>

HOME LOAN EXIT FEES LIKELY TO GO

A last-minute attempt to overturn a ban on home loan exit fees looks set to fail, with a key senator expected to support Treasurer Wayne Swan's bid to lift bank competition.Independent senator Nick Xenophon and the Coalition are seeking to allow smaller lenders to continue charging exit fees thro... more >>>

HOUSE PRICE CRASH UNLIKELY

Australian house prices are unlikely to fall dramatically over the next two years, according to a new study, with steady residential property prices forecast through 2011, and prices in some capital cities even tipped to show moderate growth.According to a report by BIS Shrapnel, Residential Prop... more >>>

HOW TO LAND A PROPERTY DEAL

So you want to buy a house....With any purchase, you like to feel you are getting value for money. That's never more important than when buying a house, because it could well be the biggest financial commitment you make.Whether you are looking for an investment property or a home to live in, ther... more >>>

HOUSING BODY CALLS FOR STEADY RATES

The Housing Industry Association is calling on the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) to keep rates on hold until unemployment declines sharply, a top official has told Reuters. Australia's central bank warned earlier today a further rise in interest rates will be needed at some point in order to ke... more >>>

NEW HOME SALES RISE FOR 3rd MONTH

The number of new homes sold across Australia has increased for the third consecutive month, pushed up by solid gains in detached house sales in March. The latest Housing Industry Association (HIA) New Home Sales Report shows the number of new homes sold increased by a seasonally adjusted 4.3 per... more >>>

5 THINGS HOME BUYERS DO THAT TURN SELLERS OFF (by Property Expert - T.N. Neilson)

On today’s market, every savvy seller wants to know what turns buyers off, so they can get their homes sold as quickly as possible, for as much as possible. But buyers, take note - there is a minefield of seller turn-offs you can trigger that hold the potential to keep you from getting the ... more >>>

A SLIGHT HICCUP, BUT HOUSE PRICES STILL ON THE UP

The latest Australian Property Monitors data shows that the Sydney median house price fell marginally by 0.4 per cent over the March quarter. However, Sydney house prices rose by 2 per cent in the year ending in March and have recorded growth consistently for the past two years.Although Sydney me... more >>>

STAYING AHEAD OF THE REFINANCING GAME

More borrowers are restructuring loans but shifting lenders can be a costly move.  Most of us are undaunted by the prospect of refinancing our debt obligations these days. According to research by Fujitsu Consulting, many mortgaged property owners in Australia now apply for an internal ... more >>>

BOOST FOR NSW HOUSING

New South Wales buyers and renters are set to benefit from the new state government’s plan to boost housing supply.Last week, NSW premier Barry O’Farrell said the government had joined hands with Landcom to release 10,000 new housing blocks across the state within the next four years.... more >>>

TURNING A HOME INTO AN INVESTMENT PROPERTY

In this increasingly mobile world we live in, more and more Australians are becoming property investors by changing their home or principal place of residence to an income-producing investment property.  A variety of circumstances will dictate when a home becomes an investment property - the... more >>>

AUSSIE DOLLAR BURSTS THROUGH $US1.05

The Australian dollar has pushed its way through the 105-US-cent mark, matching the predictions of some economic commentators that just a few months ago seemed fanciful.The currency reached a peak of 105.09 US cents shortly before midnight eastern standard time, before edging back slightly to tra... more >>>

RESERVE BANK INTEREST RATE ANNOUNCEMENT

Mortgage holders were given a boost this week when the Reserve Bank decided to keep interest rates on hold.While the move is hardly a surprise, it will still be welcome news for people paying off a mortgage."There's always that element of doubt about whether rates will go up or not, so it's ... more >>>

COUPLES PUT PROPERTY BEFORE BABIES

Couples are delaying plans to start a family in order to get their foot on the property ladder.According to a new poll, one in three people are pushing back their family plans as the cost of entering the property market rises."The long term trend has seen prices for houses rising, however th... more >>>

BUY TO 'RENT OUT' FOR A DREAM RESULT

House prices are high but have you considered buying to let rather than buying to live? Are you, your children or your grandchildren despairing at being priced out of the property market? With more figures out last week showing housing affordability in Melbourne and Sydney is at record lows, you'... more >>>

HOUSING MARKET HEALTHY: ANZ

ANZ has reassured global investors about the health of Australia's property market, with a senior executive telling a Hong Kong-based conference the fundamentals are sound. Property prices and consumer debt levels are expected to come under fresh scrutiny this morning as the Reserve Bank releases... more >>>

THE BIG QUESTION: SUPER OR MORTGAGE ?

The strategy: To decide what's better - saving more in super or paying off the mortgage. Do I need to know that? How do I find out? As part of its new financial literacy initiative, the government has launched a website - moneysmart .gov.au - to help answer this and lots of other financial questi... more >>>

BUILDING BOOST FORECAST AS FIRST HOME BUYERS RETURN

A return of first home buyers to the property market is expected to lift residential building activity next financial year, says BIS Shrapnel.The research firm expects new housing starts to rebound by 6 per cent nationally in 2011-12, propelled by stable interest rates, rising rents from housing ... more >>>

FORGET ABOUT 100% MORTGAGES

First-time home buyers are searching mortgage websites for ‘‘no deposit’’ home loans in vain. They don’t exist.Research by mortgage broker Loan Market shows that internet searches containing ‘‘no deposit loans’’ have increased 28 per cent sinc... more >>>

AUSSIE STREET RANKS NINTH IN WORLD'S MOST EXPENSIVE ADDRESSES

A Sydney street is one of the world's most expensive addresses, according to a list that includes London's Kensington Place Gardens and New York's Fifth Avenue. Wolseley Road in Point Piper, Sydney, came ninth on the list, which was topped by Severn Road in Hong Kong, reported the Financial News.... more >>>

RETIREES DRIVING UNIT BOOM

Baby Boomers will continue to be the main drivers of Sydney's residential market over the next five years with their take-up of medium- and high-density living. The generation of ageing, downsizing owner-occupiers - rather than younger renters - is expected to occupy an increasingly larger propor... more >>>

FIXED RATE LOANS LOSE THEIR APPEAL : BROKER

Home buyers appear to be throwing caution to the wind against the backdrop of a steady interest rate outlook at the Reserve Bank and heated competition in the mortgage market. Home loan broker Mortgage Choice says that with a wider range of variable rate mortgages now available, new buyers are tu... more >>>

BANKS PUSH BACK RATE EXPECTATIONS: SECOND HALF OF THE YEAR

Three of the four big banks expect the RBA will leave interest rates unchanged until the second half of this year. If Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens’ post-board meeting statement last Tuesday appeared bland, it was probably to convey to borrowers that they shouldn’t be worried ab... more >>>

BIG BANKS UNEASY ABOUT MORTGAGE EXIT FEE BAN

Australia's big four banks may not be as comfortable with a proposed ban on mortgage exit fees as they are letting on, a Treasury official says. Under the federal government's proposed reforms to improve banking competition, exit fees on new standard variable home loans would be banned from July ... more >>>

YOUNG HOME BUYERS SAVING HARD

More than one third of young homebuyers are putting aside at least 20 per cent of their pay packet, according to research released this week by Bankwest. The latest Bankwest/Mortgage and Finance Association (MFAA) Home Finance Index shows that most of these first time buyers appear slightly more ... more >>>

HOME LOANS CONTINUE UPWARD TREND

A solid rise in home loans this last quarter provides further indication that the property market remains resilient.December was the fourth consecutive month to show an increase in the value of loan commitments for dwellings. The value of home loans rose 2.5% in December.Mortgage broker Mortgage ... more >>>

NEW FIGURES SHOW GROWTH IN AUSTRALIAN PROPERTY

This year the Australian property market is experiencing strong growth as mortgage loans have increased for six straight months now.According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, November saw a 2.5 percent increase in home loans and December reported a 2.1 percent increase. Most analysts predi... more >>>

NSW RENT HIKE PROOF OF HOUSING UNDERSUPPLY

A surge in residential rents in NSW is an inevitable consequence of a massive housing undersupply, property development industry group the Urban Taskforce claims.Rent figures released this week by the NSW Government reveal that rents for three bedroom Sydney homes jumped by 10 per cent in 2010 - ... more >>>

FIRST HOME BUYERS TO MAKE A COMEBACK

First-home buyers numbers may be on the rise again this year with a range of motivators in the market. The end of the financial top-up to the first home owner's grant took many first-timers out of the Sydney apartment market last year.The increased federal government incentive - to offset the con... more >>>

RBA KEEPS INTEREST RATES ON HOLD

Home owners have been spared another rise in mortgage repayments, with the reserve Bank opting to keep interest rates on hold.At its first meeting for 2011 this week, the RBA kept the official cash rate at 4.75 per cent. Rates rose by a quarter of a percentage point four times last year, with the... more >>>

2011 - THE YEAR OF PAYING MORE RENT

Capital city rents are set to rise by 7 per cent this year and rose faster than inflation in 2010, putting additional strain on household budgets, new figures show. RP Data said rents in capital cities rose 4.2 per cent in the year to December, above the 2.7 per cent official inflation rate over ... more >>>

FIRST HOME BUYERS FILTER BACK INTO MARKET

First home buyers are edging back into the market, with new data revealing the highest number of first home purchases since March 2010.According to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the percentage share of first home buyers out of all homes financed in November crept up by 0.20 perce... more >>>

INVESTORS TO SEE MORE VALUE IN PROPERTY

Sydney investors could enjoy strong returns in 2011, according to SQM Research.Figures released this week by the property research house show Sydney could enjoy robust rental growth of between five and 7 per cent heading into 2011.Melbourne investors on the other hand, are not expected to enjoy t... more >>>

TEN TIPS TO RENOVATING WISELY

Renovating can be a mine-field and costs can vary widely so chose carefully between using a builder or an architect to run the show. 1. Look closely at council’s guidelines to see what you are allowed to do. For example, you may be able to add an upper bedroom in a terrace if you don’... more >>>

CGT BENEFITS A WINNER FOR HOMEOWNERS

Capital gains tax benefits even apply to the family home when it's rented out. The capital gains tax exemption for a person’s home is extremely valuable, and as I have learnt, very generous.In a recent article I placed too conservative an interpretation on section 118-145 of the Tax Act tha... more >>>

HOLIDAY HOMES : BLISS OR BURDEN?

A getaway shack by the sea sounds good but sometimes the numbers don't stack up. It's that time of year again when Australians flock to the coast for much needed rest and recreation.Seduced by the lifestyle, many will dream of buying a holiday home in their special magical spot - a place they can... more >>>

EXIT FEES MIGHT KILL BENEFITS OF BETTER DEAL

The exit fees lenders put on their fixed-rate home loans are rarely considered a cash grab by the ombudsman. Moves among the big banks to scrap exit fees on variable home loans have been welcomed but, in the meantime, an increasing number of borrowers are turning to fixed rate loans that have a h... more >>>

HEMMES CLAN BUYS $12.6M MANSION

The high-profile Hemmes hotelier clan has added another property to its portfolio with a $12.6 million purchase. Bettina Hemmes, the low-profile interior designer daughter of the family, bought Kianga, a five-bedroom Federation house in Vaucluse at auction yesterday.The purchase could trigger a s... more >>>

INVESTORS EYE UP PROPERTY MARKET

Almost one third of investors will look to increase their investment portfolio in the next 12 months, a new survey has found.But while more than 30 percent of investors are looking to add to their portfolio, InvestSMART's annual Funds Flow Survey found that investor appetite for risk has decrease... more >>>

MORTGAGE HUNTERS SWAMP INTEREST RATE COMPARISON WEBSITES

Financial comparison sites say they've noticed a significant jump in traffic to their sites in the last month. The increase has been attributed to the big four banks rising their interest rates by almost double that of the RBA.One financial comparison site said it had noticed an 80 per cent jump ... more >>>

SYDNEY HOUSE PRICES TRUMP LONDON AND NEW YORK

Sydney continues to outpace global capitals such as London and New York when it comes to median house prices. Recent figures show that the median price of a two- to three-bedroom house in Sydney is $651,000 compared with $462,000 in London and $460,000 in New York. "High house prices are dir... more >>>

BIG FOUR BANKS CAUGHT OUT OVER COSTS

The big four banks have fattened their margins while complaining about being squeezed, new figures reveal. As Parliament prepares to debate legislation forcing banks to lift rates by no more than the Reserve Bank, figures from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority indicate the average ra... more >>>

REFINANCE OR STAY PUT ?

The strategy: To work out whether it's worth refinancing my home loan. I'd love to do it but aren't all the banks as bad as one another? It's a fair question but even standard variable rates vary by more than 1 per cent between lenders.While rates are still in a state of flux following this month... more >>>

HOW TO BEAT THE FEES

Though changing mortgage lenders may be getting easier, there is a negative to a quick exit. If extortionate exit fees have had you trapped in an expensive mortgage, you are hostage no more.Two massive advances within hours just recently should see these fall dramatically, freeing you to reap the... more >>>

HOUSING BUBBLE A 'MYTH' : WESTPAC

Australia's housing market is not in the grip of a bubble, although an acute shortage in housing is continuing to support prices, which are set to rise further over the medium term, a report by Westpac Economics has found. The report, Australian housing: the bubble myth, follows concerns raised b... more >>>

AUSTRALIA LEADS WORLD IN PROPERTY PRICE GROWTH

Australia's property price growth is the fifth best in the world, according to a new report.The latest Knight Frank Global House Price Index found house prices rose by 18.4 per cent in Australia throughout the year to June 2010.Singapore enjoyed the best property price growth - with prices surgin... more >>>

HOUSE RENTAL PRICES SET TO RISE

Renting is expected to become even more expensive, due to a boost in population and a shortfall of new homes being built. For people caught up in the rental cycle, the process of securing a property at a reasonable price is likely to become trickier over the next year, a series of recent rental s... more >>>

WHAT SWITCHING BANKS COULD COST

So, if you want to protest after the Commonwealth Bank jacked up its variable mortgage rate by jumping ship, what will it cost? While mortgage exit fees vary around the country, borrowers should expect to pay at least $1000 if they tried to move their variable mortgage to a lender with a better i... more >>>

NO HOUSING BUBBLE : RP DATA

Constant rumours that Australia is in the midst of a housing bubble have been silenced by RP Data.Speaking to Real Estate Business yesterday, RP Data's research analyst Cameron Kusher said there was no data to suggest Australia is in a housing bubble."We enjoyed some pretty strong property p... more >>>

FEWER RENTAL HOMES AVAILABLE IN CITIES

Landlords and Investors may be rubbing their hands together, but for Tenants, it's an entirely different story. A chronic shortage of available rental homes is now a permanent fact of life in NSW's major metropolitan areas, the Real Estate Institute of NSW (REINSW) says.Residential vacancy ... more >>>

ANZ : NO RUSH TO RAISE RATES

ANZ is in no hurry to raise interest rates, chief executive Mike Smith says. Mr Smith reiterated his previous comments on interest rates, saying that when the cost of bank’s fund increased, then banks must pass this on to borrowers.‘‘At some stage, something will have to give,&r... more >>>

AUSTRALIANS KEEN TO INVEST IN PROPERTY

More than half of Australia's renters are struggling to get into the property market, new research has found.According to the Bankwest/Mortgage and Finance Association Home Finance (MFAA) Home Finance Index, just 19 per cent of renters are happy to keep renting in a bid to maintain their lifestyl... more >>>

RESERVE BANK UNDER ORDERS FOR ANOTHER RATE RISE

The Reserve Bank is preparing to lift interest rates, declaring in its latest board minutes ''rates will need to rise'' and that it cannot ''wait indefinitely''. The unusually hard language follows an October board meeting that was ''finely balanced'' with three of its nine members absent, includ... more >>>

LISTINGS SURGE IS GREAT FOR 'SPRING' BUYERS

Sale volumes and total values are up on this time last year, driven by a surge in auction listings. Last Saturday, 533 properties were listed for auction, compared with 343 for the same Saturday last year. This trend is expected to continue during the next two months as vendors aim to take advant... more >>>

HOUSE PRICES SET TO RISE

Australian house prices are expected to climb as much as 20 per cent over the next three years, underpinned by strong economic growth and an ongoing shortage of supply. The QBE LMI Australian housing outlook report, prepared by BIS Shrapnel, says median house prices in Perth, Sydney and Adelaide ... more >>>

AUSTRALIA'S BIGGEST GROWTH CENTRE

The Sydney residential market is still showing positive drivers. Population growth into New South Wales is once again the highest of any state or territory: more residents are deciding to stay in New South Wales rather than leave for other states and overseas migrants continue to choose Sydney as... more >>>

INTEREST RATES STAY STEADY

Borrowers get a reprieve with interest rates remaining unchanged for a fifth month.The Reserve Bank has granted Australia's borrowers a reprieve, leaving interest rates unchanged for the fifth month running amid signs of quickening economic growth and subdued inflation.Three of the big four banks... more >>>

AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR HITS 27 YEAR RECORD

The Australian dollar has hit its highest point in 27 years against the US dollar, after an impressive jump in domestic employment revived speculation that rate hikes may be in the offing.The Australian dollar rose as far as 99.13 US cents, up one per cent on the day, after taking out resistance ... more >>>

SYDNEY JOINS 'TOP 4' WORLD CITIES FOR FOREIGN INVESTORS

Sydney ranked as the fourth-most popular investment destination for global investors, after London, Paris and New York.A survey by the property consultant CBRE found that in the past 18 months Sydney attracted 4 per cent of all cross-regional transactions. Global property deals for the period was... more >>>

AUSTRALIA'S ECONOMY : ENVY OF THE DEVELOPED WORLD

Not only did we escape the global downturn with hardly a scratch, but we’re in a very strong position to withstand any more external economic shocks.We have interest rates back up to average levels and government debt at much lower levels than any of our overseas counterparts.This means tha... more >>>

90% OF POTENTIAL FIRST HOME BUYERS PAY RENT

Almost nine out of 10 prospective first home buyers are paying rent to a landlord or family member while also trying to save for a deposit, new research has found.According to RAMS First Home Buyers’ Pulse Check survey, one in five prospective buyers are also allocating more than 20 per cen... more >>>

FIGURES CONFIRM NSW IS IN GREAT SHAPE

Job figures released at the end of last week confirmed what recent gross domestic product, retail sales and consumer sentiment figures have been suggesting for some time. That is, the local economy is robust and performing strongly. The unemployment rate for NSW hit a two-year low of 5 per cent, ... more >>>

PROPERTY INVESTOR NUMBERS SURGE

Investors are finally filling the gap created by first home buyers.According to RP Data’s national research director Tim Lawless, while owner occupiers still well and truly dominate the market, investors have become a much larger proportion of buyers compared to this time last year."Ba... more >>>

AUCTION TIPS TO HELP YOU SECURE THAT PERFECT 'DREAM PROPERTY'

Use a bidding style that works for you to avoid auction angst. Tension fills the air. Your heart beats a little faster. It's auction time.While it may all come down to who has the deepest pockets on the day, sometimes how you play the game will influence just how high the other bidders are prepar... more >>>

HOME BUILDING GROWS MODESTLY

Builders started work on nearly 45,000 new homes across the country in the three months to the end of June, the biggest quarterly number of dwellings in more than six years, new data shows.But growth in dwelling commencements was a more modest, seasonally adjusted 0.8 per cent in the qua... more >>>

FIRST HOME BUYERS TOLD TO ACT NOW

Now is a good time for first home buyers to jump on the property ladder, according to Mortgage Choice.In recent weeks many lenders have eased their lending criteria, which will serve to help first home buyers that do not have a huge house deposit.Adelaide Bank has reintroduced lending up to... more >>>

HOMEBUYER ENQUIRIES ON THE RISE

Interest rate stability and a more relaxed approach to lending by banks are encouraging first-time buyers back into the housing market, having dropped to the lowest level in four years.But one economist says the Reserve Bank would need to hold fire on raising rates for a few months more if ... more >>>

HOUSE PRICES RECORD SOLID GROWTH

Median house prices grew significantly over the June quarter, a new report has found.According to Mortgage Choice's Real Estate Market Facts report, the median house price climbed 3.2 per cent to $533,243 last quarter.Mortgage Choice Senior corporate affairs manager Kristy Sheppard said the... more >>>

NEW HOMES ON THE REBOUND

A forecast 16 per cent rise in new dwellings in NSW this year will lead national new home construction after buyer activity was dampened by the end of first home buyer grants.First home buyer numbers fell 50 per cent earlier this year following the scrapping of grants in 2009.And an increas... more >>>

RATES ON HOLD TILL 2011 : NAB

Interest rates will remain on hold for the rest of the year, NAB chief economist Alan Oster has said.According to NAB's latest global and Australian forecasts, the RBA is expected to keep the official cash rate on hold at 4.5 per cent until 2011, when rates will ultimately rise and peak at ... more >>>

HOME BUYERS CASH IN ON RELAXED LOAN TERMS

Homebuyers have been returning to the market, lured by a steady interest rate outlook and cooling house price growth, with demand for mortgage loans picking up. Signs are emerging the big banks are letting home owners borrow more. Mortgage brokers report that some lenders are relaxing lending sta... more >>>

MORTGAGE SALES JUMP 11% IN AUGUST

Mortgage sales jumped 11 per cent in August as homebuyer confidence strengthened and mortgage delinquencies stabilised. Home sales across the nation reached 6,269 during August, 10.9 per cent higher than in July, as first home buyers continued to return to the market, according to Australian Fina... more >>>

SYDNEY BOASTS WORLD-CLASS PRICE TAGS

Wolseley Road, Point Piper, ranks as the world's 10th priciest residential street, says the latest Dow Jones Financial News index.Europe property prices are in turmoil, and the priciest street was in Hong Kong. Australia's representative held its ground, and might edge higher after the recent $52... more >>>

OFF THE PLAN.... DEVIL IS ALWAYS IN THE DETAIL

Unwary buyers risk finding out, to their peril, that off-the-plan sales contracts can be a minefield of problems. It's common for an OTP sales document to run to more than 100 pages, most of which is written in dense industry and legal jargon.Complicating matters, there is no industry-standard te... more >>>

RBA HOLDS FIRE

The Reserve Bank has left interest rates on hold, giving borrowers another month to breathe easy over mortgage repayment costs. The central bank kept rates at 4.5 per cent for the fourth consecutive month today.The decision follows official figures that show economic growth has not forced an incr... more >>>

SALES SURVIVE ELECTION WOES

The August residential auction market finished on a strong showing with a 68 per cent weekend success rate, despite the uncertainty of the recent election. An overall 66 per cent clearance rate this month, with only a handful of auctions to go, will rank as the best monthly result since April.It ... more >>>

MORTGAGEE AUCTIONS MAY SOUND APPEALING BUT YOU MAY NOT BAG A BARGAIN

Buying a house at a mortgagee auction can seem like a way of getting something at a discount to normal market price, but experts say houses sold after repossession don't necessarily come at a bargain price.Adrian Jones, immediate past president of the Real Estate Institute, says mortgagee auction... more >>>

HOGAN TO SELL U.S. HOME

In the midst of Paul Hogan’s Australian tax turmoil, the actor and his wife, Linda Kozlowski, have reportedly listed their Californian house for $US 6.5 million. Hogan, who started his career as a painter on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, first made a name for himself in the 1970’s delive... more >>>

PROPERTY -V- SHARES

The choice over whether to invest in shares or in property can be argued either way - and there are profits in both. Forget Julia, Kevin and Tony - the face-off that really matters is how shares and property stack up against each other. Who doesn't want to know which is the better investmen... more >>>

DO THE CHECKS BEFORE THE CHEQUES

Before making an offer on a property, buyers need to make sure they cover all their bases. Few financial decisions are as big or emotional as buying property, yet it is possible to spend less time looking at a potential house than a dishwasher that might go in it.Often the half-hour prope... more >>>

RBA'S BENIGN RATES OUTLOOK

The minutes of the latest monetary policy meeting of the Reserve Bank provide no reason to be concerned about an imminent interest rate rise.The minutes of the RBA board's August 3 meeting, released today, are essentially an expanded version of the brief announcement made on the day of ... more >>>

RENTS LEAP AS RACE TO FIND HOMES INTENSIFIES

Rents for two- and three-bedroom homes in Sydney's inner suburbs have leapt in recent months, a clear sign the dampening effect of the global financial crisis has ended.NSW Housing's rent and sales report reveals rents of two-bedroom homes in inner suburbs including Ashfield, Botany Bay... more >>>

NAB HOLDS LOAN RATES

National Australia Bank has effectively ruled out a near-term increase in its mortgage rates, pressuring its rivals also to hold steady, even as the cost of funding their loans erodes profits.Handing down a 22 per cent rise in third-quarter cash earnings to $1.1 billion, NAB chief executive Camer... more >>>

YOUR OWN PRIVATE ISLAND FOR A BARGAIN $500,000

They used to be the exclusive playgrounds of the rich and famous - and still are.But owning a private island on Tasmania's rugged east coast may be within reach for the price equivalent of a holiday house in Kiama.The idyllic Picnic Island - nestled in the shadow of Freycinet National Par... more >>>

ONE YEAR ADDS $100,000+ TO HOUSE

The extraordinary growth in house prices in Australia's capital cities over the past year has resulted in the value of an average home in Sydney rising above $104,000. House price figures for eight capital cities released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics yesterday show year-on-year growth f... more >>>

STAMP DOWN THE COST OF BUYING

Nobody in their right mind wants to pay more in taxes than they absolutely must. One of the biggest benefits for buying off-the-plan is the substantially lower stamp duty costs compared with existing properties.An owner-occupier who buys an already built unit for $400,000 will pay about $... more >>>

NEGATIVE GEARING HERE TO STAY

The federal government and the federal opposition party have ruled out the prospect of abolishing negative gearing.At a debate held at the National Press Club in Canberra yesterday, both parties said they would not consider abolishing the investment strategy.Real Estate Institute of Austr... more >>>

FAVOURITE DESTINATION OF SYDNEY...

Most of us know this already, but from as early as 1850, Manly has well been considered Australia’s favourite seaside resort; on the water’s edge, a destination for all seasons and all ages, an attraction famous for its breathtaking natural beauty, scenic walkways alongside harbou... more >>>

HOUSING MARKET ENJOYS SOLID GROWTH

According to Australian Property Monitor's Quarterly Housing Report, Australia recorded solid house price growth over the June quarter as investor activity mitigated the fall in demand from owner occupiers and FHBs.Nationally, annual house price growth remained strong - sitting above 15 per cent.... more >>>

STRONG INVESTOR RETURNS KEEPING MARKET BUOYANT

Investors have been returning to the market in droves since March last year.Nationally the value of loans for investment has risen 17.6 per cent in the past 12 months and is 37 per cent higher than the lows of January last year.This has meant that activity in the property market has not fallen as... more >>>

WEST KICKS BACK

The Sydney median house price jumped from $611,000 to $625,000 in the June quarter - a rise over the three months of 2.3 per cent, or 13 per cent for the year.Yet the quarterly price growth was mainly in our most affordable areas; prices in the exclusive city and east dropped 3.8 per cent, accord... more >>>

AUSTRALIAN HOUSE PRICES LIFT 2.4% IN JUNE QTR

Capital city house prices rose by 2.4 per cent over the June quarter, according to Australian Property Monitors, taking the annual rise to 15.6 per cent.Unit prices also recorded a 2.4 per cent increase for the three months to June 20, although the annual rise was lower at 12.2 per cent.Of the ci... more >>>

REIA PRESIDENT SLAMS C.G.T. CLAIM

Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) president David Airey has hit back at media comments regarding the payment of Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on family homes, saying the government has no plans to impose such a tax.Yesterday, The Australian Financial Review reported that the family home should ... more >>>

TIME TO BUY 'HOTS UP' AS INTEREST RATES, ECONOMIES COOL

As a property investor the question that is always front of mind is: what is going to happen to interest rates?The Reserve Bank's decision to leave them on hold is a clear sign it believes the earlier increases have had the desired effect and cooled the property market.The Reserve is in a bind, w... more >>>

ASIC EYES HOUSING MARKET SUPERVISION

Australian Securities and Investments Commission chief economist Alex Erskine says the regulation of the housing market is the "next logical step'' in the responsibilities of the corporate watchdog, and that the market should operate on similar principles to the stock exchange, according to ... more >>>

BOOMING CITY NEEDS ANOTHER HEART, PLANNERS TOLD

''Big Sydney'' will be viable only if all levels of government commit to creating a twin city in the west with Parramatta as its CBD, a conference on population heard yesterday.An expanding business district, major new public art gallery, radial light rail network and upgraded sporting facilities... more >>>

SHARED HOUSING HITS LUXURY MARKET

Dual-key apartments make luxury living a little more affordable.As inner-city housing becomes increasingly unaffordable, a property developer has proposed building hundreds of ''dual-key'' apartments designed to accommodate separate households.Stanley Quek, managing director of Frasers Pr... more >>>

INVESTORS DOMINATE NEW BUSINESS

Investors continue to form the backbone of new business activity in the property market, a recent report has found.According to a Quarterly Economic & Property Report, investors now account for 36.8 per cent of all financial housing commitments in Australia - the largest amount since ... more >>>

POSITION HAS HIGH PRIORITY

Price and size shouldn’t be your only considerations when buying an apartment. The position of a unit within a development can also have a huge impact on your quality of life, especially when it comes to privacy, noise, views and access to natural light.Despite what sales brochures may say,... more >>>

CLOSE THE DEAL BEFORE IT'S HAMMER TIME

Avoid the stress and make your move before the auction. When the auctioneer's singsong voice is soaring higher, all eyes are on you and the agent is whispering sweet sales tactics in your ear, the stress levels of the coolest house-hunter can rise.Auctions are often despised by buyers so ... more >>>

INTEREST RATES INCONSEQUENTIAL TO BORROWERS

Australians are gearing up to take on more debt, despite one in two households indicating that another rate hike would negatively impact their finances.According to the latest Dun & Bradstreet Consumer Credit Expectations Survey, 20 per cent of households expect their debt levels to i... more >>>

MORTGAGE EXIT FEES LOWER

New law aims to put clamp on mortgage exit fees and has the teeth to back it up. Two-and-a-half years after Treasurer Wayne Swan promised to make it easier to switch home loans, it is about to become cheaper - but not for those who already have a mortgage.Mr Swan's much-vaunted ''bank-switc... more >>>

HOMEBUILDING RECOVERY TO STALL : HIA

Renters and would-be buyers will find little relief in coming years as the house shortage persists. The recovery in the residential construction industry needed to relieve Australia's 200,000 house shortage will most likely stall next year as rising interest rates and a slump in demand ta... more >>>

IN SEARCH OF CAPITAL IDEAS.... ?

How best to add value to an ugly duckling is an issue faced by many buyers interested in appreciation.Real estate abounds with adages. A perennial is "buying the worst house in the best street".But it's extremely difficult to do because everyone has the same idea.The concept is essentially ... more >>>

HOME PRICES CHIPPING AWAY AT FAIRNESS: RATINGS EXECUTIVE

S&P credit ratings expert confirms the strength of the housing sector but questions the benefit of high home prices for society A managing director of a credit ratings agency responsible for scoring the quality of Australia's mortgage debt has questioned the social impact of the natio... more >>>

RENOVATIONS THAT CAN ADD VALUE TO YOUR HOME

With property prices skyrocketing in the past year, many home owners may be thinking about using their equity to renovate.ABS data shows Sydney property prices increased 20 per cent, yet the Housing Industry Association says investments in renovations dropped."In 2008 and 2009, the total ... more >>>

WE ARE NOT IN A HOUSING BUBBLE : RESIDEX

Despite widespread speculation that Australia is in the midst of a housing bubble, Residex chief executive officer John Edwards has said this is not the case. According to Mr Edwards, the Australian housing market is starting to slow in an "orderly fashion", indicating that the &quo... more >>>

EURO INVESTORS EYE LOCAL PROPERTY MARKET

European investors are lining up to plough money into Australian mortgage securities as the strength of the local housing market attracts international attention.Non-bank lender FirstMac said European fund managers want the federal government to consider supporting euro-dominated investment in... more >>>

SHORTAGE TO PUSH PRICES UP 12PC, SAYS JPMORGAN

JPMorgan says government policy is distorting measurements of the Australian housing market in a way that is not fully understood.In a report, the bank tips house prices to rise 12 per cent this calendar year, driven by a shortfall in production of dwellings estimated at 180,000 dwellings that em... more >>>

COMFORTABLE CITY LIVING NEEDS BIG BUCKS

To live in Sydney and be comfortable you need an annual salary of about $100,000 and an inner city or beachside home close to work, the city's residents believe. A survey of the opinions of 304 Sydneysiders shows living near the harbour or CBD is a top priority, even though affordability ... more >>>

PROPERTY AND 'THE BUDGET'

The state government is planning to use its early return to surplus to boost the ailing home building market. The headline announcement of the budget was stamp duty cuts totalling $140 million, including the country’s first zero per cent tax, for off-the-plan purchases worth up to $600,000.... more >>>

FAST-TRACK DA's TO BE EXPANDED

MORE people renovating or building new homes will be able to get development application approval in only 10 days, with the government planning to extend its controversial complying development provisions to another 200,000 eligible properties in Sydney over the next 12 months.The Department of P... more >>>

MORTGAGE : LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP

Although times aren't tough now, further increases in debt like huge mortgages, will make households extremely vulnerable to future bumps in the economic road.Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens is urging Australians to reduce household debt and increase savings, while the economy remains strong ... more >>>

SENIOR'S STAMP DUTY CUT WILL HELP FEW

Many seniors are unlikely to move, as new housing developments will remove them from friends and local services. Many also prefer larger homes to accommodate visiting friends and family.THE generous seniors stamp duty exemption announced in the state budget is so narrowly targeted that only a fra... more >>>

LANDLORDS GAIN IN RENT OVERHAUL

Landlords will be able to exert greater control over who moves into shared households under proposed changes to residential tenancy laws. Key provisions of the legislation, tabled in State Parliament yesterday, will also make it easier to change leases in cases of domestic violence, as well as... more >>>

THINKING OF SELLING ?.... HERE ARE SOME HANDY TIPS

When you are selling your home, there are a number of things that you can do to help increase the value of your home. The first impression your home makes on a prospective buyer is the most important in securing a good sale. As a homeowner, this can make a difference of thousands when it comes to... more >>>

MAGIC MILLIONS.... HOW PRICES HAVE SURGED

In 1999, just 421 apartments sold for seven-figure sums across Sydney. Fast forward to last year, when 2087 apartments sold for more than $1 million, a massive increase of 495 per cent. "The nearly fivefold increase in unit sales above $1 million is a consequence both of the general incr... more >>>

ST GEORGE CUTS TWO-YEAR FIXED MORTGAGE RATE

St George Bank is to cut its two-year fixed mortgage rate by 0.4 per cent to 7.14 per cent per annum. The wholly Westpac Banking Corp-owned St George said the change would be effective from June 4. St George Bank chief executive Greg Bartlett said the rate decrease would be welcome news f... more >>>

HOME OWNERS TO ENJOY RATE HOLD

Borrowers struggling under rising rates can breathe a sigh of relief, with the RBA expected to keep interest rates on hold for the next few months.AMP Capital Investors chief economist Shane Oliver told Real Estate Business that while he expects to see more upside in this cycle, the RBA will keep... more >>>

FIRST HOME BUYERS DUE BACK IN SIX MONTHS

Struggling first home buyers could be back in the market within six months, analysts say.BIS Shrapnel economist Jason Anderson says 25 to 35 year-olds are now moving on a "solid growth path" to property ownership after a slow period earlier this year."We think that we're moving to ... more >>>

SYDNEY BEATS MELBOURNE IN WORLD'S TOP CITIES LEAGUE

Sydney has retained its spot in the top ten of the world's most liveable cities - beating Melbourne by eight places.Sydney remains stable in tenth place in the global survey, scoring 106.3 points and overshadowing Melbourne, which ranks 18th on 104.8 points.Australia's other state capitals are ou... more >>>

MORTGAGE HELP FOR THE KIDS

Avoid the pitfalls of helping the children with their first home. The strategy To help the children buy their own home.Surely it's not that hard? I could just give them money as a down-payment on their inheritance. You can either give the money to your child directly, or, if it suits them, contri... more >>>

HOUSING MARKET STRONG, BUT URGENCY EASES

Strong yet cautious - this seems to be the general impression of the weekend property market after a third successive clearance rate below 80 per cent.Of 756 auctions reported, the rate was 74 per cent, the lowest since the Easter weekend.''Sanity is returning to the market,'' according to buyers... more >>>

NEW PROPERTY TAX BLASTED

The NSW opposition is accusing the state government of using the federal budget as cover to sneak through a new property tax. Lands Minister Tony Kelly announced in Parliament today that the government will introduce new charges on transfers of properties valued at more than $500,000, as part of... more >>>

RISING RATES TO SPUR PROPERTY INVESTORS

Rising interest rates are discouraging first home buyers and keeping them in the rental market, which in turn is good for property investors, a mortgage broker says. Property investors, who themselves say they aren't deterred by rising interest rates, can look forward to strong rental returns as ... more >>>

RATE REPRIEVE FOR BORROWERS

Borrowers can breathe easy - for a few months, anyway Borrowers can expect a reprieve from interest rate rises in the next few months, analysts say, after the Reserve Bank gave strong signals that rates are on hold.After six rises in official interest rates since October, minutes from this month'... more >>>

NSW OPPOSITION TO OPPOSE PROPERTY TAX

The opposition will oppose the NSW government's proposed property tax and will repeal it in government if necessary, Opposition Leader Barry O'Farrell says.Mr O'Farrell said the proposed ad valorem fee on property transfers, quietly announced by Lands Minister Tony Kelly, is "based on a lie&... more >>>

RENTS SOAR IN SYDNEY'S HOUSING SHORTAGE

Sydneysiders are paying up to $30 a week more for rent than they were just three months ago as prices soar amid the city's housing shortage, a lobby group says. Renters of suburban homes and inner-Sydney apartments were the hardest hit in the latest series of rolling increases, according to prope... more >>>

PROPERTY INVESTOR CONFIDENCE RISES

Confidence in the property market among established purchasers is at an historic high as first home buyers recede from the market, a survey finds. Three quarters of established - or next time - buyers believed it was a good time to snap up an investment property - a record high proportion, acco... more >>>

NEW HOME SALES CLIMB HIGHER

New home sales inched up in March despite the tightening monetary lending environment. According to the Housing Industry Association (HIA), nationwide, the volume of homes sales rose 0.9 per cent in March following a 5.2 per cent fall in February. 'Rising rates have run headlong into pre-existi... more >>>

NOW IS THE TIME TO INVEST

Despite the RBA’s decision to raise rates again, more than 70 per cent of ‘next time’ buyers believe now is a good time to purchase an investment property. According to the latest Bankwest/MFAA Home Finance Index, the number of prospective ‘next time’ buyers has mov... more >>>

AUSTRALIAN BUILDING APPROVALS SURGE IN MARCH

Building approvals hit a six and a half year high in March on a boost in flats and townhouses, economists say. Australian building approvals rose 15.3 per cent to 16,383 units in March, seasonally adjusted, from an upwardly revised 14,208 units in February, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (... more >>>

HOME PRICES SURGE RECORD 20%

Capital city home prices rose by a record 20 per cent in the year to the end of March, giving the Reserve Bank more reason to lift interest rates tomorrow. For the quarter alone, home prices rose 4.8 per cent, easing from a revised 5.1 per cent recorded for the December, the Australian Bureau of... more >>>

BRICKS AND MORTAR OFFER A SOLID OPTION

With the Reserve Bank increasing interest rates again this month to 4.25 per cent and more increases on the way, it is important for investors to be aware of how these rate hikes will affect the market. A key benefit of residential property as an investment asset is its stability relative to ot... more >>>

RBA EYES MAY RATE RISE

 The Reserve Bank of Australia has left the way open for another rate rise in May. Although analysts have been given little explicit detail to go on with the release of the minutes of its April 6 board meeting, the wording of the reasoning behind the decision to raise rates in April is cons... more >>>

HOUSING INVESTORS TAKE UP SLACK

Investors are being lured back into the property market through the prospect of higher rents and price growth, helping to pick up the slack from departing first-home buyers. Even though rents are rising more gradually than expected, housing investors are taking up a bigger share of the housing ... more >>>

HOUSE PRICE GROWTH AT 6-YR HIGH IN FIRST QUARTER

Australian house prices grew at their fastest annual pace in six years last quarter as demand for homes in ritzier suburbs proved resilient to rising interest rates, a private report showed. The data come as the Australian government rolled out plans to clamp down on foreign residential propert... more >>>

HOUSING SHORTFALL WORSENING: REPORT

 A nationwide housing shortfall has expanded far beyond expectations, a new report says, as many people are priced out of the home ownership dream. And the assessment for the next two decades is bleak as an exploding population is projected to outpace property development in a massive hous... more >>>

CASHED UP INVESTORS PRICE OUT BUYERS

 First home buyers are rapidly being priced out of the property market as cashed up investors snap up properties amid a housing shortage. Martin North, managing consulting director of Fujitsu Consulting, says a buoyant economy and strong jobs prospects have spurred established home owners ... more >>>

NEW HOMES IN DEMAND DESPITE RATE RISES

 East coast borrowers are still hungry for new homes despite recent interest rate rises and the roll back of the first home buyers scheme, a survey shows. The Australian Property Institute's property directions survey found 94 per cent of respondents in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane belie... more >>>

MELBOURNE AND SYDNEY LEAD THE PRICE SURGE

Australia's housing market might be booming, but the shape of that boom varies by town and state. For the past year, the sharpest growth in prices has been in Sydney and Melbourne. Research by property monitoring companies and official figures suggest the price rises appear to be the result o... more >>>

PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT SET TO PICK UP

Property developers Lend Lease Ltd, Mirvac Ltd, Stockland, Ltd, Walker Corporation Ltd and Goodman Group Ltd have committed more than $15 billion to new projects in recent months, The Australian Financial Review reports. The commitments signal a pick-up in the sector as banks increase lending a... more >>>

HOME OWNERS KEEN TO INVEST

More than two thirds of Australians are keen to re-invest in the property market. According to a new poll, 61 per cent of Australians would access equity in their property to fund another investment, while 23 per cent said they would use equity to complete renovations. Research director Aaron M... more >>>

HOUSES STILL DRIVING CAPITAL GROWTH IN SYDNEY

With some reports that growth in unit prices around the country has been outstripping that of house prices recently, it's interesting to look at how units have been performing against houses in Sydney in the past quarter or two and over the longer term.First, we're talking only about capital g... more >>>

PROBLEM IS THE SHORTAGE OF LAND, NOT RATES

Rising interest rates will not end the desire to buy property in an undersupplied housing market, real estate agents say. A lack of housing meant people were buying properties quickly and the 0.25 percentage point increase in rates yesterday would have little impact on the decisions of those... more >>>

NO END IN SIGHT TO RATE RISES

Dramatically higher resource prices have emboldened the Reserve Bank to lift interest rates for the fifth time in seven months, making it clear there is no end in sight. The bank's decision to lift its cash rate from 4 to 4.25 per cent pushes most bank standard variable mortgage rates well abo... more >>>

SURGE IN HIGH-END HOME LOANS

Interest rates may be rising, but that's not stopping people from dishing out more than $1 million for prestige property, a leading mortgage broker says. Loan Market says its brokers have seen a 30 per cent increase from people seeking loans in excess of $800,000 in the past year. "There ... more >>>

POPULATION BREAKS THE 22 MILLION MARK

Australia's ongoing population boom is creating opportunities as well as challenges. During the September quarter Australia's residential population broke the 22 million mark. Fuelled by one of the highest population growth rates in the Western world, the number of Australian permanent residen... more >>>

HOME BORROWERS CAN HANDLE RATE HIKES: MOODY'S

Rating agency Moody's Investors Service says the Australian residential mortgage backed securities (RMBS) market is strong enough to withstand rising interest rates, with the Reserve Bank of Australia's (RBA's) latest hike unlikely to spur a rush of delinquencies or downgrades. In its latest r... more >>>

AUCTIONS RUNNING HOT WITH 73% CLEARANCE

Auction clearance rates across the country soared last month, with thousands of properties selling under the hammer and many going for well above their reserve, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne. According to figures released by RP Data, national auction clearance rates for March reached... more >>>

SUPER CHANGES 'PUSHED PEOPLE INTO PROPERTY'

Investment and Financial Services Association chief executive John Brogden yesterday blamed the federal government's changes to superannuation last year for prompting people to turn to investment properties for their retirement savings. In an interview with The Australian, Mr Brogden said... more >>>

FINANCIAL CRISIS DIDN'T STOP FLOW OF HOUSING CREDIT, RESERVE BANK SAYS

The Reserve Bank says the global financial crisis did not stop the flow of credit to consumers looking to buy houses, although the costs of funding those loans increased and lending standards were tightened. RBA assistant governor of financial markets Guy Debelle said the GFC had a "ma... more >>>

BIG FOUR BANKS TO TIGHTEN REINS ON MORTGAGES

Demand for home lending could soon outstrip supply, as the major banks restrict mortgage credit after a period of rapid market-share expansion, according to a report by JPMorgan and Fujitsu. JPMorgan banking analyst Scott Manning said the big four, which have expanded their share of the mortga... more >>>

WE ARE NOT IN A HOUSING BUBBLE: RP DATA

RP Data's national research director Tim Lawless has slammed claims Australia is currently in a housing bubble.According to Mr Lawless, a housing 'bubble' suggests housing values increased too rapidly and are set to experience a rapid decline, a fate not likely to come to fruition in Australia... more >>>

RENOVATION TIP: DIP IN A TOE OR JUST TAKE THE PLUNGE

A facelift can turn a tired pool into a haven.....It makes perfect sense that back gardens are transformed for stay-at-home holidays. For those lucky enough to have an old pool, there are ways to make it look new again.As long as you have a concrete pool, there are several options for renovating ... more >>>

ASSET VALUES ON THE RISE

Property has rebounded and increased in value across the nation by 12.1 per cent last year. A lack of supply and a growing population should lead to property prices continuing to rise. Superannuation funds have started to recoup some of the losses experienced during the financial crisis. It will ... more >>>

TOUGHER TIMES FOR BORROWERS ARE HERE TO STAY

The global financial crisis may seem to have left Australia's banks unscathed, but it's changed how they raise their funds, in ways that disadvantage borrowers and the wider economy while greatly advantaging savers. Have you ever given any thought to where the banks get the money they lend to hom... more >>>

BUYER DEMAND GATHERS PACE

Despite four rate hikes in six months, and the possibility of more on the horizon, buyer demand is not showing any signs of waning. RP Data’s national research director, Tim Lawless, told Real Estate Business that early indicators suggest house prices will continue to rise thanks to increasing... more >>>

PROPERTY BUBBLE IN AUSTRALIA FUELLED BY FIRST HOME BUYERS NOW CONTINUES WITH INVESTORS!

PROPERTY investors have returned in force to Australia’s major capital cities with more than one-third of home loans sourced for investment purposes. The percentage of loans made through Australia’s biggest mortgage broker surged 26 per cent in the past six months as buyers shrugged o... more >>>

AUSTRALIAN NEW HOUSING STARTS JUMPED IN DECEMBER QTR.

he number of housing starts in Australia pushed up 15 .1 per cent in the December quarter, building on the 11 per cent rise in the September quarter, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). According to the ABS, private sector house commencements rose 13.4 per cent in the period... more >>>

GOVT STIMULUS BUYS HOUSING RECOVERY

The government's stimulus packages are finally starting to be felt in the construction sector, with the establishment of residential buildings surging ahead in the December 2009 quarter.The Housing Industry Association's chief economist Dr Harley Dale said the strong recovery in housing ... more >>>

ARE OUR HOMES TOO BIG ?

Australia's love affair with large homes is extravagant and unsustainable and their size needs to be reduced to make housing more affordable, developer Stockland Group says.Chief executive Matthew Quinn also said governments needed to back adequate planning if the nation was to affordabl... more >>>

WEALTHY BUYERS PUSH PRESTIGE HOUSE PRICES UP

Australia's most expensive homes are likely to rise in price by 10-15 per cent this year as wealthy locals and overseas buyers hunt for prestigious addresses in a resilient economy, according to researcher RP Data.The rebounding share market and increased business confidence is underpi... more >>>

HOUSING SHORTAGE SET TO ACCELERATE: HIA

Australia's housing shortage could reach 466,000 homes by 2020, if current demand and building trends continue, according to a Housing Industry Association (HIA) report. The Housing to 2020 report estimates the current shortage at 109,000 dwellings, concentrated around metropolitan Sydney and B... more >>>

SYDNEY PROPERTY BOOM TIPPED FOR 2010: A VERY STRONG TIP TO PUT YOUR HOUSE ON....

What a difference a year makes.... Last February many property experts were prophets of doom in the face of the world financial crisis. But the Sun-Herald Property Guide paints a rosy picture for a large number of home owners. Eighty two suburbs are tipped to see median price growth of 10 per c... more >>>

AUSTRALIA RANKS 4th IN PROPERTY PRICE GROWTH

Australia has narrowly missed out on the winners’ podium, placing fourth in a list of the world’s top performing property growth centres. According to the Global Property Guide's latest survey, Australia achieved average annual price growth of 11.2 per cent in 2009. Australia’s Decem... more >>>

INVESTORS DOMINATE PROPERTY MARKET

Property investors are dominating the mortgage market, new data from Australian Finance Group (AFG) has found.According to AFG’s latest mortgage index, 34.1 per cent of all mortgages arranged nationally in February were for property investors - the highest percentage ever recorded by the ... more >>>

Billionaire loses $60 million deposit

Russian billionaire, Mikhail Prokhorov, has reportedly lost his deposit of $60 million he paid to secure a house in South-East France. Currently the chairman of Polyus Gold, Russia's largest gold producer and President of Onexim Group, Prokhorov first made a name for himself in the financial s... more >>>

PROPERTY VALUES STRONG

Sydney and Melbourne continue to perform strongly, with last weekend’s auction clearance results tipping 70 per cent in both cities.Melbourne continues to position itself as a force to be reckoned with, recording a clearance rate of 80.9 per cent and a median house sale value of $415,000.... more >>>

AUSTRALIA GEARS UP FOR PROPERTY BOOM

The Australian economy has emerged from the global financial crisis relatively unscathed and is now gearing up for another major cyclical upswing, according to BIS Shrapnel's Long Term Forecast Report. The report, released today, also said Australians should brace themselves for further rate r... more >>>

HOUSE PRICES PUSH UPWARD IN JAN QUARTER

The Australian housing market has started 2010 with renewed confidence, with home values rising 1.8 per cent in January, according to the latest RP Data-Rismark Hedonic home value index. Overall, home values pushed up 2.4 per cent in the January quarter, bringing the annual increase to 11.8 pe... more >>>

RBA LIFTS OFFICIAL CASH RATE

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has lifted the official cash rate by 25 basis points to four per cent. It marks the first increase in the cash rate since December, when the central bank lifted rates by 0.25 per cent for a third consecutive month. "The board judges that with growth likel... more >>>

Buying a property

Buying a property Step 1 - Do your research Step 2 - How much can you afford? Step 3 - Find a lender Step 4 - The buying processStep 1 - Do your researchOWNING property has always been the great Australian dream. Whether you are a first-timer or an experienced homebuyer, you need to ask yoursel... more >>>

PROPERTY MARKET'S LATEST WINNERS

The inner west and north shore are Sydney's best-performing residential property markets with surging land values outpacing the traditionally top-ranking eastern and lower northern suburbs last year.But land values in the central business district fell at the sharpest rate since the slump of the ... more >>>

RBA COULD 'HOLD' RATES IN MARCH

Despite an improvement in consumer confidence, the Reserve Bank is cautious about raising rates too soon.According to the Reserve Bank's 2 February board meeting minutes, while the housing market remained "fairly buoyant" throughout December, loans approvals declined."Perhaps indicating initial r... more >>>

WEALTHY MIGRANTS PRICING LOCALS OUT OF SYDNEY PROPERTY MARKET

AUSTRALIAN families are being priced out of the property market by record numbers of highly paid skilled workers arriving from overseas.  Research by The Sunday Telegraph has revealed for the first time how skilled immigrants - predominantly from Britain, India and China - are forcing house pri... more >>>

EARLY INHERITANCE: BUYING THE KIDS A HOME OF THEIR OWN

Worried their children may never be able to afford their own home, a growing number of parents are putting their hand in their pocket to give their kids an early inheritance by buying them their first home. This increasingly common trend is part of the legion of parents taking charge of their adu... more >>>

UPGRADERS TO DOMINATE IN 2010

Up-graders will be a force to be reckoned with in 2010, according to the BIS Shrapnel Residential Property Index."In the absence of continued first home buyer growth, demand from both up-graders and investors will be pivotal to sustained price growth over calendar 2010," the report said."Certa... more >>>

HOUSE PRICES FOR DUMMIES (by Chris Joye, RP Data Rismark)

Ever wondered how to discriminate between the different house price measures that are available out there? Then you need to read this >>>>I have received a bunch of questions from journalists about how to discriminate between the different house price measures that are available... more >>>

NAB, WESTPAC, CBA LEAVE RATES STEADY

Australia's big four banks say they will hold standard variable home loan rates steady after the central bank shone the spotlight on bank mortgage rates as a major reason for leaving the cash rate unchanged.The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) left the official interest rate unchanged at 3.75 per ... more >>>

RBA LEAVES CASH RATE ON HOLD AT 3.75%

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has left the official cash rate unchanged at 3.75 per cent.The central bank's surprise move marks the first time since its October policy meeting that it has not moved to increase the cash rate."Lenders have generally raised rates a little more than the ca... more >>>

HOUSE PRICES RECORD STRONG GROWTH

House prices are at all time highs in most capitals after more buying in expensive suburbs drove the strongest annual price growth in seven years. The medium to long term outlook for property prices remains strong as the population grows, incomes rise and demand for houses outstrips new supply, s... more >>>

HOUSE SALES ON THE BOIL AS CONFIDENCE RETURNS

Just 3 per cent of people expect home prices to fall this year - compared to a third who were expecting prices to fall when surveyed early last year, according to the latest Westpac Consumer Sentiment survey.Despite three official interest rate rises, and the likelihood of more, sentiment towards... more >>>

FIXED RATE MORTGAGE DEMAND AT RECORD LOW

Demand for fixed rate mortgages dropped to a record low in December, a survey reveals.Just over one per cent of Mortgage Choice's new home loan approvals were for fixed loans in December, a company survey released on Wednesday shows.It is the lowest since the mortgage broker began recording such ... more >>>

HOUSING AFFORDABILITY STEADY OVER 6 YEARS: Rismark

The perception that housing is becoming less affordable is untrue, according to a new housing index which indicates affordability has remained steady or even fallen over the last six years.Investment strategy firm Rismark Australia has released a new index that shows median house prices remained ... more >>>

RACE ON AS KEEN BUYERS CHASE TOO-FEW PROPERTIES

THE PROPERTY SCRAMBLE IS ONSupply, or rather, a serious lack of it, is tipped to become one of the driving forces shaping the 2010 residential market.There may be very little auction activity going on now but industry reports of strong levels of buyer inquiry and open-for-inspection numbers are a... more >>>

EXPERTS' VIEWS MIXED ON MORTGAGE OPTIONS

As the economy turns a corner, economic commentators are in two minds about whether borrowers should fix their mortgage at a relatively high interest rate or sign up for an historically low variable option.Economists predict we are looking at a fourth consecutive rate rise after a surprise surge ... more >>>

MEDIAN HOUSE PRICE TO TOP $1m IN 10 YEARS

Sydney’s median house price will top $1 million before the decade is out, new data from Residex has found. Just a decade ago, Sydney’s median house price was $328,000 with few believing it would surpass $500,000. It is currently around $630,000.Residex chief executive officer John Edw... more >>>

PROPERTY STILL THE BEST LONG-TERM INVESTMENT

Despite the rate rises, land remains a good long-term investment.Usually it's three strikes and you're out - and the Reserve Bank has just taken the unprecedented step of raising interest rates in a third consecutive month.But is that game over for the property market? Certainly, property prices ... more >>>

HOME RENTS SEEN RISING 4% IN 2010

Rents for homes across Australia increased nationally by a mere two per cent in 2009 - the weakest annual increase since 2002, a new report says.The figure compares with average annual rent increases of 12 per cent across Australia for 2007 and 2008, Australian Property Monitors' Quarterly Ren... more >>>

UPGRADERS AND INVESTORS MAKE THEIR MOVE

Double-digit increases in property prices over 2009 suggests that further interest rate rises may come sooner rather than later, an economist says.Australian property prices have risen by 11.3 per cent over the first 11 months of 2009, according to the RP Data-Rismark national home value inde... more >>>

NO SHORTAGE OF EXCITEMENT IN YEAR OF THE DECADE

Welcome to 2010, which is set to be the most eagerly anticipated and intensely watched property markets in a decade.And after the twists and turns of the past two years - the 2008 bust and the shock 2009 recovery - it's not difficult to understand why.RP Data-Rismark reports that Melbourne d... more >>>

TOP 10 OVERSEAS PROPERTY INVESTMENTS IN 2010

No. 6  -  Property in AustraliaThe Australian economic and property market recovery has been swifter than the other leading nations around the world.It has been claimed that the revival in the country's property market and economy is as much as 12 months ahead of the other developed countries ... more >>>

MARKET STRONG DESPITE FESTIVE SLOWDOWN: RP DATA

Market activity remains buoyant despite the overall ease in market activity with the approaching festive season, according to RP data.RP data’s weekly leading indicator of market activity eased slightly over the last week, with the fall in the index possibly the first sign of the impending C... more >>>

OVERSEAS DEMAND PUSHES PRICES UP

Overseas investors are driving top end property prices upwards, recent record sales show.In the past week, three sales were brokered above $10 million to local buyers, including a mansion called Avon Court, which sold for $25 million.The Australian Financial Review reported that overseas inte... more >>>

RESOURCES BOOM TO BOOST HOUSING INDUSTRY

Australia is expected to see a further expansion of the resources sector in the next few years, which will ultimately impact the housing industry, says RBA deputy governor Ric Battellino.At the 6th National Housing Conference in Melbourne yesterday, Mr Battellino said that the key implicatio... more >>>

AUSTRALIA LEADER IN GLOBAL HOUSING MARKET RECOVERY

While housing markets in the world’s leading economies embark on the slow road to recovery, Australia has emerged one of the top performers.Of 27 countries Australia’s housing market recovery was the second best performer on a global basis, with house priciest climbing 4.9 per cent since the... more >>>

OVER 33% OF AUSTRALIANS PLAN TO BUY PROPERTY: SURVEY

More than one third of Australians plan to buy a property in the next two years despite concerns over higher living costs and rising interest rates, a survey shows. And 40 per cent of Australians plan to revisit their financial plans as the nation emerges with a more positive economic outl... more >>>

RENTERS STRUGGLE TO FIND PROPERTY IN SYDNEY

Rental property vacancies remain very tight in Sydney, according to the NSW Real Estate Institute (REINSW). The REINSW president Steve Martin said Sydney had not experienced an increase in the rental vacancy rate since July 2009. "In Sydney last month the available rental vacancy rate rem... more >>>

HOUSING SUPPLY CAN’T KEEP UP WITH DEMAND: HIA

Limits on the supply of new housing will mute the home building recovery over the next three years, according to the Housing Industry Association (HIA).Although housing starts are expected to increase by 9 per cent over the coming year, HIA chief economist Dr Harley Dale said this increase i... more >>>

FOUR THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT ADDING VALUE TO PROPERTY

by Alex Brooks, Fairfax.As I shake the gyprock dust out of my hair and splutter my way through an apartment renovation, I've been thinking about whether it's truly possible to "add value" by spending money on renovating property.I realise that businesses and companies can add value to their b... more >>>

AUSTRALIANS KEEN TO INVEST IN PROPERTY MARKET

More than 70 per cent of Australians over the age of 25 believe the time is ripe for property investment.According to Citibank’s Australian wealth survey, 74 per cent think now is a good time to invest in property, while 40 per cent believe it is a bad time to invest in shares.Citibank’s Andre... more >>>

BUSINESS CONDITIONS, CONFIDENCE RISING

Soaring business conditions have raised the prospect of a further interest-rate rise when the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) board meets in December. Money markets are pricing in a 75 per cent chance of another 25-basis-point increase in the cash rate, following the two quarter-point moves i... more >>>

BORROWERS SHUN FIXED RATES

The popularity of fixed rates continues to dwindle, according to Mortgage Choice.The brokerage’s October 2009 data shows fixed rate loans now account for less than 3 per cent of all new loan approvals, while the demand for variable rate loans has risen by two percentage points to 97 per cent.F... more >>>

INVESTORS TO SPEARHEAD DOUBLE-DIGIT PRICE GROWTH

The property pundits have been gazing into their crystal balls once again, and the outlook for the next few years appears rosy.A recent report from QBE Lenders Mortgage Insurance projects double-digit growth in median house prices for all capital cities until June 2012.While first home buyers ... more >>>

MURDOCH SETS HOUSE PRICE RECORD

Lachlan Murdoch has set the Sydney house price record of the year, after netting a mansion in the sprawling eastern suburbs for $23 million.The Bellevue Hill fortress, Le Manoir, owned by the French Government since 1956 was purchased by a savvy Mr Murdoch during a hotly contested auction in w... more >>>

'SOLD' STILL THE CRY DESPITE RATES DOUBLE WHAMMY

Home buyers were blissfully unaffected by this week's 0.25 per cent rise in the interest rate, the second time the Reserve Bank has hiked the rate in as many months.The Real Estate Institute says that 81 per cent of the 498 properties up for auction this week sold.While it takes months for th... more >>>

BOOM IN NEW HOMES ON THE WAY

The scene is set for a home construction boom after a record number of Australians rushed to take advantage of the First Home Owners Boost in September before the scheme was wound back from October.In September more than 49,000 Australians took out mortgages for purposes other than refinancing, a... more >>>

WHIP THE BACKYARD INTO SHAPE

Lavish a little love on your outdoor area now for the perfect relaxation space in summer.Summer is looming and the outdoors beckons. But before you can laze away the sweltering days in your backyard oasis, a little preparation is in order. We spoke to the experts to find out what you need to ... more >>>

STRONG SPRING REAL ESTATE ACTIVITY

The spring market is still well and truly active, according to RP Data's latest market activity index.Although RP Data's head of property research Tim Lawless said he expects the index to dip in the weeks leading up to Christmas, current figures show properties are selling faster and vendors a... more >>>

HOME PRICES RISE AS OWNERS UPGRADE

Home prices rose across Australia in the three months to September, as investors upgraded to more expensive properties.The adjusted median price on houses in capital cities rose 3.7 per cent in the September quarter, while prices for units jumped 3.4 per cent, according to Australian Propert... more >>>

10 QUICK WAYS TO ADD VALUE

When it comes to selling your home, it needs to stand out from the competition. Here's a few value-adding tips from the Property Experts;.1. Replace splashbacks2. Refresh with paint3. Update flooring4. Quick kitchen fixes - new cupboard doors and handles or replace the benchtop5. Makeover the b... more >>>

ALTERED STATES: HOW WE'VE CHANGED

Ten years ago, our lounge rooms were dominated by bulky wooden cabinets housing big, clunky televisions; our kitchens were shut off from the living areas; one indoor bathroom was considered more than adequate for a family of five; and bedrooms were only for two things - one being sleeping.Tod... more >>>

10 TIPS TO PUT SOME SPRING INTO YOUR INTERIOR

TV celebrity and interior designer Shaynna Blaze-Vaughan shares her top tips to get your house looking fabulous for the spring selling season.There is something exciting about seeing the first blossoms of spring, so with that excitement in mind take a fresh look at your home and see what you can ... more >>>

A-Z SELLING GUIDE - YOUR MUST-HAVE COMPANION

Follow Property Professor Peter Koulizos’ comprehensive guide and reap the rewards of selling well in spring. As spring is here and the football finals are over, people start thinking about real estate again.At this time of year, many prospective purchasers have more time on their hands, days... more >>>

MIGRANTS, EXPATS PRICED OUT OF PROPERTY MARKET

Migrants and returning Aussie expats say the unchecked rise in real estate prices over the past decade is a major barrier blocking their entry to the local housing market.And the trend - exacerbated by the rising Australian dollar - may force skilled migrants to think twice before moving Down Und... more >>>

THE NEXT BOOM

Numbers alone do not drive housing markets but the high levels of migrant intake will be responsible for Sydney's next boom.Migrants have historically been high housing achievers in Sydney, underpinning both our home-ownership rate and the prices paid for houses.It's reflected in the higher mortg... more >>>

PROPERTY PRICES TO RISE BY 23 PERCENT, SAYS QBE LMI

Property prices across Australia are expected to grow by as much as 23 percent over the next three years, as upgraders and investors pile back into the market. Low interest rates and a shortage of affordable housing, coupled with growth in rental rates, will continue to drive up house prices... more >>>

LENDER CUTS RATES ON ALL RESIDENTIAL PRODUCTS

In contrast to market conditions that point to upward rate movements, Liberty Financial will today drop rates on all of its residential loan products.The non-bank lender believes that the move will help inject competition into a market that is currently dominated by the big four banks."We ar... more >>>

CONSUMERS CELEBRATE AN ECONOMY ON THE MEND

CONSUMER SENTIMENT Consumer confidence lifted for the fifth straight month in October. The index of consumer sentiment rose by 2.1 points to 121.4 in October, marking the highest level in more than two years (since June 2007). The 32 per cent lift in confidence over the past five mont... more >>>

REAL ESTATE ACTIVITY STILL STRONG

Business remains brisk for real estate agents, according to RP Data’s latest Market Activity Index.The Index, which measures the activity of real estate professionals, has risen by 14 per cent since the start of June.The increase in action corresponds with the rise in overall real estate li... more >>>

RATE RISES 'WILL BALANCE HOUSING MARKET'

Rising interest rates will prevent the housing market from overheating and will help create a well balanced market..Industry executive Brian White says this month's interest rate rise by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) and the prospect of further increases will prevent the property market fro... more >>>

WEALTH OF AUSTRALIANS GROWS BY 4% IN SECOND QUARTER : COMMSEC

The wealth of Australians rose by four per cent to $4,894 billion in the second quarter, the largest increase in five and a half years, according to a CommSec analysis of the Australian Bureau of Statistics and Federal Treasury's Modellers' Database.And private sector debt fell by 3.6 per cent to... more >>>

MORTGAGE MARKET GETS $8 BILLION BOOST

AAP/ReutersThe federal government will invest a further $8 billion of taxpayers' money in new residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) to support the home lending market, Treasurer Wayne Swan says. The move is set to double its investment in mortgage-backed securities, and comes as an earlie... more >>>

PROPERTY MARKET RECOVERING WELL: RATECITY

Financial comparison website RateCity says Australian property is racing into recovery, with the number of home loan applications rising by almost 30 per cent in the first few weeks of September."Lower interest rates and the first home buyer incentives have definitely helped the Australian r... more >>>

DIRECT PROPERTY OWNERSHIP IN AUST OFFERS STRONG RETURNS

ReutersDirect ownership of property in Australia has delivered higher returns than listed property trusts or fixed interest products, an industry association said.Owning property directly has yielded total returns of 10.1 per cent over the past 10 years, compared to 2.1 per cent for real estate i... more >>>

HOUSE PRICES SET TO JUMP: REPORT

October 14, 2009 - 1:28pm House prices may surge about 20 per cent or more in some of Australia's largest cities over the next three years, driven higher by on-going shortages. Adelaide - previously considered among the more affordable cities - may lead the advances, with prices likely to be 23 p... more >>>

HOUSE PRICES LIFT AS BUYERS RETURN IN FORCE

The latest data on residential property prices by RP Data-Rismark shows a rise of 2% for August 2009. This is the fastest increase since the service started compiling the figures in 2005, and indicates that the stable financial system, relatively low unemployment, and housing undersupply due to... more >>>

BRACE FOR A HOUSING PRICE-RISE FLARE UP

Tony Richards, head of economic analysis at the Reserve Bank of Australia, has warned of a possible new price boom in the residential real estate sector. He noted the unwelcome social side-effects of such a trend, and called on state governments to make more development land available. Experts fo... more >>>

ISLAND HOPPING IN THE HEART OF SYDNEY

As part of the 'Crave Sydney' celebrations throughout October, locals and tourists alike will be able to travel along the Sydney Harbour foreshore with Sydney Harbour Island Hopping. For the first time from October 3-25 there will be a ferry ticket that will enable people to make a trip betwee... more >>>

AUCTION ACTIVITY SURGES

The recent surge in home buying activity shows no signs of abating as Sydney and Melbourne both recorded auction clearance results above 70 per cent over the weekend.More than 260 properties went under the hammer in Melbourne this weekend, 190 of which were sold for a clearance rate of 72.2 per c... more >>>

HOME LOANS SOAR

AAP The federal government's enhanced first home owner grant helped mortgage brokers write more than $18 billion of home loans in the June quarter, an 18 per cent increase on the same period a year ago, a report says. Mortgage brokers wrote and settled $18.3 billion in new home loans in the June ... more >>>

IMF SAYS AUSTRALIAN HOUSE PRICES NOT OVERVALUED

Australia is unlikely to experience a major correction in house prices given the impact of long-term migration on demand, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In its world economic outlook, the IMF said that after taking long-term migration into account, there was insufficient evid... more >>>

Australia’s population continues its rapid growth

Despite the world economic slowdown and a reduction in skilled migration, Australia’s population growth continues to surge ahead, creating unprecedented demand for Australian housing. Over the 12 months to March 2009 Australia’s estimated population has increased by just over 439,000 resident... more >>>

RESERVE BANK DECISION IMMINENT

Leading up to the Reserve Bank’s board meeting on Tuesday Oct 6th , there has been a great deal of data that the RBA board will be contemplating when deciding whether to lift interest rates or not. Residential property values recorded their largest monthly gain (1.9% nationally over August)... more >>>

PROPERTY VALUES CLIMB 2% IN AUGUST

National property values have jumped by almost 2 per cent in August in the largest monthly movement since January 2005.According to figures from RP Data, Australia’s housing recovery solidified during the month of August with strong capital gains registered across the country despite eviden... more >>>

LACK OF HOUSING SUPPLY TO HURT AFFORDABILITY

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has warned that rising house prices and interest rates could have a significant effect on affordability.Speaking at the Committee for Economic Development of Australia’s housing forum yesterday, the RBA’s Tony Richards said supply was not keeping up... more >>>

GLOBAL HOUSE PRICE RECOVERY

Australia’s residential property market is rebounding strongly…   Global residential property markets bottomed in the March quarter of 2009 with numerous markets rebounding in the June quarter…It does appear that the worst is behind us…Buyers are still being very specific when condu... more >>>

AUSTRALIANS COPING WITH GFC THROUGH LIFESTYLE APPRECIATION

Australians have coped with the economic slowdown by staying home, chilling out and saving money - and we're all the happier for it. That's the finding of the second annual happiness survey by marketing research consultancy The Leading Edge. Based on a survey of 1,500 people aged between 18... more >>>

AUSTRALIAN PROPERTY LEADS GLOBAL RECOVERY

Australia is leading the global recovery in residential property prices, according to research from Knight Frank.The latest Global House Price Index shows house prices are beginning to stabilise across the globe, with an increase in value recorded for the second quarter of 2009 for almost half... more >>>

STRONG DEMAND TO CONTINUE FROM FIRST HOME BUYERS

Agents can still expect to see strong sales to first home buyers over the coming months despite the wind-back of the beefed-up First Home Owners Grant.More than 200,000 Australians are expected to take their first step on to the property ladder this year thanks to low interest rates and gover... more >>>

HOUSE SALES UP 32% YEAR-ON-YEAR

AAP The property market rebounded in the past year with house sales up by almost third across the nation, a leading analyst says. The number of houses sold across Australia was 130,000 in the June quarter, up 32 per cent from the corresponding period in 2008, RP Data said. RP Data national res... more >>>

THREE PROPERTY SINS THAT WILL STOP YOUR HOME FROM SELLING

Here are three sins of home sales that can negatively impact on the ease of the sale and the size of the cheque you end up receiving. Selling your home can be a demanding process, and too often sellers focus on one area of improvement, rather than a broad-based approach. The informed seller ... more >>>

BUSINESS CONFIDENCE HITS SIX-YEAR HIGH

Business confidence has lifted to the highest level in almost six years, helped by federal government measures to support the economy, stock market rallies and encouraging signs from abroad, a report shows. The National Australia Bank (NAB) monthly business survey's measure of business confide... more >>>

ECONOMY READY TO FIRE, EXPERTS SAY

The first anniversary of the onslaught of the global financial and economic crisis has been marked by a run of positive economic leads suggesting Australia will be the first developed country to emerge from the downturn. Private sector surveys for August are pointing to an economy that will s... more >>>

VARIABLE RATES STILL BETTER: EXPERT

Borrowers should consider switching from fixed rate home loans to variable rate mortgages because they are cheaper over the longer run.Joint head of lending at Centric Lending Services Sheyne Walsh said the pendulum had swung against fixed rate mortgages.Mr Walsh said also that borrowers with a... more >>>

RATES HIKE NOT JUST YET, SAY ANALYSTS

The minutes of the latest monetary policy meeting do not offer any compelling reason to expect an interest rate hike in October. The board of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) held its monthly meeting on September 1 and ended with the decision to leave the overnight cash rate, the benchmark ... more >>>

HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR ASSETS

Spring is here, the housing market is in bloom and home owners everywhere are preparing to put their biggest assets on show.For vendors who exhibit their properties to their greatest potential, the end results are likely to be far happier. Statistics show that good property presentation can in... more >>>

CUT YOUR HOME LOAN RATE

Stick with one institution for all financial services and you can vault your savings into the fast lane.Home-loan packages that bundle together a mortgage, credit card and transaction account are a good deal, according to the banking industry researcher Canstar Cannex.Financial institutions use m... more >>>

FIXED RATE LOAN POPULARITY DIPS BELOW 7%

The popularity of fixed rate loans in Australia has dropped to just under 7 per cent, as lenders continue to raise the interest rates applied to this loan type. Demand for fixed products has remained under 10 per cent of all its loan approvals for the past 14 months, Mortgage Choice foun... more >>>

HOUSING PRICES SET TO SOAR

According to the Sunday Telegraph 6 Sep, Australia could be heading for a rampant house-price boom! The article says this will be fuelled by superannuation fund investors exploiting generous goverment concessions.The Treasury is trying to dampen demand by winding back the First Home Owner Gra... more >>>

AUCTION RESULTS CLIMB HIGHER AS SPRING SEASON STARTS

The traditional spring auction season is off to a strong start with Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne all achieving clearance rates over 70 per cent.Figures from Australian Property Monitors show Sydney achieved a 70.1 per cent clearance rate over the weekend, continuing its pattern of strong result... more >>>

CONSUMER SENTIMENT JUMPS 5.2% IN SEPT.

Consumer sentiment surged 5.2 per cent in September, a leading survey has shown, placing sentiment at its highest level in more than two years.The Westpac-Melbourne Institute consumer sentiment index jumped to 119.3 in September, from 113.4 in the previous month – its highest level sinc... more >>>

AUSTRALIA IN POLE POSITION

by Alan Kohler  Bus.Spec.The Japanese election result is a distant blast reminding us that there are big things going on elsewhere.But down under, it's business as usual: we're even talking about interest rates going up again.And even the landslide victory by the opposition, the Democratic Pa... more >>>

PROPERTY PRICES PUSH UP, BUT BARGAINS STILL AVAILABLE

Capital city housing markets have shrugged off the global financial crisis, with values rising 5.9 per cent in the first seven months of the year, surpassing the last market peak in February last year.Darwin led the growth with values increasing 10.8 per cent to a median price of $466,903, while ... more >>>

HISTORY WEEK: SYDNEY'S WILD SIDE

Ready to learn more about the wild side of Sydney's past? If you delve into the seedy underbelly of Australian history you will soon come across stories of bushranging, rum-smuggling, cattle rustling, robbery, arson, murder and all sorts of intriguing misdemeanors from our early years. History... more >>>

DEMAND FOR MORTGAGES RISES

AAPMore Australians are taking out mortgages as low interest rates and government handouts make owning a home more feasible, a new survey from a leading credit provider says. But fewer applications for credit cards and personal loans are being made, indicating consumers are responding conservativ... more >>>

ECO-FRIENDLY BUILDING AND RENOVATING

If you’re building or renovating and want to make your project as environmentally friendly as possible, it can pay to engage building professionals with experience in sustainable practices. From building orientation to paint finishes, there’s someone who can help you green every aspec... more >>>

RICH JOIN THE PROPERTY HUNT

Australia's wealthiest individuals and families are virtually supporting the commercial market themselves, having bought properties valued at about $1 billion in the past few months.Individual and family outfits are responsible for most of the large property transactions as listed and unlisted pr... more >>>

OUR BULGING BANKS AND ALL THAT MONEY

Whatever happened to Armageddon? Ever since the global financial crisis erupted, the big banks have been soaking up capital at every available opportunity in anticipation of the avalanche of bad debts that would pour through the system. Now they find themselves over-capitalised in an improving en... more >>>

Housing recovery firms in July

Based on Australia’s largest property database, which includes around 145,000 sales for the first seven months of 2009 (and over 129m data records in total), Australia’s housing recovery has continued in the month of July with solid across-the-board capital gains.According to the RP Data-Risma... more >>>

RECORD LIFT IN CONFIDENCE:

Consumer sentiment; Labour Price Index Consumer confidence rose for the third straight month in August. The lift in confidence over the past three months has been the strongest since the survey began in 1973. Wages rose by 0.8 per cent in the June quarter, matching similar growth in the... more >>>

SYDNEY SET FOR PROPERTY BOOM

The average price of a Sydney home could rise by $100,000 in the next two years, according to an investment group.A shortage of homes and a growth in population will cause the property boom, The Investors Club says. Kevin Young, president of the group, which has 90,000 members in Australia, say... more >>>

IMPRESSIVE INCREASE IN HOME VALUES

A 4.5 per cent increase in Australian home values in the first half of 2009 heralds good news for the property market with improvements being recorded across all market price segments according to the combined RP Data-Rismark National Home Value Indices.RP Data national research director Tim Lawl... more >>>

BUYERS ON INCREASE - CLEARANCE RATES CONTINUE UPWARD TREND

Auction clearance rates were up in almost every capital city last weekend, according to Australian Property Monitors (APM). The auction clearance rate in Sydney hit a healthy 74.2 per cent, with $84.2 million in property sold. The 74 per cent auction success rate was well up on the same Sat... more >>>

BEWARE OF GETTING INTO A FIX

IF YOU can feel the panic rising in your body about the possibility of higher interest rates, take a few deep breaths and consider this: all but the most hawkish commentators are saying there'll be no rises before the end of the year, with most tipping the middle of next year.And the majority bel... more >>>

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE 'UP'

Consumer confidence has risen towards a two year high driven largely by an increase in house prices and the resilience of the labour force.The Westpac-Melbourne Institute Consumer Sentiment Index increased by 3.7 per cent in August.According to Westpac senior economist Matthew Hassan, the inde... more >>>

POSITIVE DATA SUGGESTS ROBUST PROPERTY MARKETS AHEAD

Consistently high clearance rates and positive data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) are pointing towards a consolidation in the housing market.ABS figures released this week show that finance commitments, excluding refinancing, were at their highest level for the past 18 months.Rea... more >>>

DTZ says Sydney property market will deliver positive returns in 2010

Property returns in Sydney are set to turn positive in 2010, making it one of the first cities globally to recover from a property slump, research firm DTZ said on Tuesday. DTZ expects total returns for Sydney assets to reach nine per cent in 2010, from minus 27 per cent in 2009. In comparison, t... more >>>

Rates hit bottom but hikes not imminent

Reserve Bank Board meeting The Reserve Bank (RBA) has left the cash rate unchanged at a 49-year low of 3.00 per cent.The RBA has removed its easing bias (inclination to cut rates). For the past two meetings, the RBA indicated that there was scope to cut interest rates further. Now the RBA says ... more >>>

ABS CONFIRMS HOUSING RECOVERY

Well, I don’t mind saying it –  we told you so. As we anticipated last week following the release of the more comprehensive RP Data-Rismark house price survey, the ABS today finally reported a recovery in the housing market with detached homes purportedly experiencing 4.2 per cen... more >>>

USE THE CRUNCH AND 'CASH IN'

As our economic recovery gets more assured by the day, rate rises are back on the agenda. Perhaps not this year but maybe mid-next year. And perhaps a couple of per cent in quite a short period.Which means your window to turn the credit crunch into a free lunch is slowly starting to shut.You may ... more >>>

AUSSIE EXPATS IN THE MONEY, BUT GOOD TIMES ABROAD MAY BE OVER

Australian expatriates are among the richest in the world, with one in five earning more than $A322,000 a year. But almost a third are planning to return home, blaming global economic turmoil for limiting their career prospects.Research by HSBC Bank Australia, based on 3100 expats working in... more >>>

BUST EDGES BACK TO BOOM

The property market is back, or so we've been led to believe by a recent run of data that shows property prices across the nation have been increasing over the past year. In part aided by the first-home buyer grant at the lower end and lower interest rates for all buyers, house prices, as me... more >>>

LENDERS, BUILDERS WELCOME RBA RATES DECISION

The Reserve Bank of Australia's (RBA) decision to leave official interest rates on hold will give borrowers more time to maximise the benefits of current low rates, lenders say. The RBA has maintained official interest rates at a 49-year low of three per cent, amid signs that the global ec... more >>>

WHY WE LIVE WHERE WE LIVE

The Australian Psychological Society has conducted research into why we choose to live where we do and discovered that old ties like family connections to a location are not as important as they used to be."It is aspects of the place and not people that are important in choosing the location... more >>>

THE RETURN OF 'RENTAL' PROPERTY

An undersupply of housing and weak returns from other assets has put the spotlight on investment property.Following the dismal performance of shares and super funds, many older investors are likely to have a renewed appreciation for the value of a reliable income stream generated by investment pr... more >>>

INVESTORS RATE AUSTRALIA AMONG WORLD'S TOP THREE

Australia, China and Japan have topped the list of the best countries for property investment in an annual survey of the investment intentions of the world's largest global real estate investors.The choice of Australia among the top three investment destinations was a sharp contrast to the findin... more >>>

HOUSE PRICES SURGE 4% IN FIRST FIVE MONTHS OF 2009

New housing data shows the value of Australian properties rose 3.9% during the first five months of 2009, nearly wiping out losses incurred during 2008.The RP Data-Rismark national home value index shows prices increased in May by 0.9% to a median of $468,819, just $520 below their February 2008 ... more >>>

HOME PRICES HIT FRESH RECORD HIGHS

Monthly house prices The RP Data-Rismark Hedonic Australian Home Value Index rose by 0.9 per cent in May, the fifth consecutive monthly gain. Over the first five months of 2009 capital city home prices rose by 3.9 per cent, or at an annualised rate of 9.4 per cent. Over the year to May home ... more >>>

IS YOUR MORTGAGE THE BEST PLACE TO PARK EXTRA CASH ?

Property commentator Michael McNamara debates the pros and cons of not altering your payments when variable home loan rates change.Australians, by default, are paying their loans off quite rapidly at the moment. Is this the best thing to do?The situation arises because even though variable mor... more >>>

MORTGAGE ‘FIX-RATE’ FEVER IS HERE

Homeowners are rushing to lock in their mortgage rates with fixed-rate loan deals, in the fear interest rates have bottomed and will rise. Mortgage brokers and comparison websites have been inundated with fixed-rate mortgage inquiries in recent weeks - most notably after the Commonwealth B... more >>>

STAMP DUTY ON HOME LOANS TO BE SCRAPPED

Stamp duty on housing loans is set to be abolished after the Henry tax review, which is likely to recommend states be given a share of income tax to make up the difference. The most likely path to do this would be for the commonwealth to give the states the ability to impose their own surcharge o... more >>>

RESERVE BANK BOARD ADOPTS WAIT AND SEE POLICY

RBA Board minutes;    ABARE crop report  • Reserve Bank Board members agreed on “a wait and see” policy at the last interest rate meeting, noting the significant improvement in economic conditions in domestic and global economies. • Board members noted the significant stimulus i... more >>>

50% SAVING ON TRANSFER DUTY

The State Government announced a NSW Housing Construction Acceleration Plan (HCAP) in the NSW Budget 2009-10.In short, the HCAP means that transfer duty on certain contracts for sale or transfers of certain residential property in NSW will be cut by 50%.The HCAP will apply to anyone other than pe... more >>>

NO RECESSION

The Australian economy expanded by 0.4 per cent in the March quarter after contracting by a revised 0.6 per cent in the December quarter.The Australian economy out-performed all other industrialised nations in the quarter by a big margin.No state government is officially in recession once expor... more >>>

Consumer confidence soars 12.7% in June, biggest monthly rise in 22 years

A key measure of Australian consumer confidence has soared 12.7 per cent in June, the biggest monthly rise in 22 years, as the nation celebrates its fortune in dodging a global recession. The survey of 1,200 people by the Westpac-Melbourne Institute showed its index of consumer sentiment ju... more >>>

BUYERS BECOME SELLERS (are you one of these….?)

Did you know many of our property listings are sold without even being advertised? The majority of these ‘express sales’ are to buyers who have pre-registered on our exclusive in-house database. These buyers are notified by email alert at least 2 weeks prior to our new listings being official... more >>>

The Top Four Tips For Buyers...

What’s my budget? Before you start looking, work out how much you can afford to spend. Talk to several mortgage providers to agree your borrowing capacity. This is an essential first step in successful buying. Have I done my homework? Decide on an area you like and do your ... more >>>

Are You Space Savvy... ?

In the past Australians have opted for sprawling lawns and large thirsty gardens. It is possible however, to embrace higher density living and smaller backyards without compromising your lifestyle. Whether you own an inner-city apartment for work trips, or have permanently downsized, you can stil... more >>>

Industry Market Wrap

The latest figures tracking the performance of the US housing market came out this week, with the First American Core Logic House Price Index (HPI) release revealing US housing prices fell 11.5 percent as of March ‘09 compared to a year ago, a slight improvement from an 11.7 percent annual declin... more >>>

First home buyer scheme extended

The move is part of a bid to boost the home construction market, following lobbying by the housing industry.Prime Minister Kevin Rudd would not commit on the issue yesterday - prompting Liberals to attack him for "cruelly teasing" couples weighing up their purchasing options.But sources... more >>>

Sydney in world's top 10 places to live

Sydneysiders enjoy Australia's best quality of living - ahead of Melbourne - but better conditions can be found across the Tasman, so a survey claims.Vienna topped the 2009 Worldwide Quality of Living Survey, but Australia fared well with Sydney placed 10th, Melbourne 18th, Perth 21st, Adelaide 3... more >>>

More rate cuts… the only question is 'when'

RBA Board minutes The Reserve Bank Board debated the possibility of further rate cuts at the March meeting before deciding to keep rate on hold. The board believes generational low interest rates and fiscal stimulus is having an expansionary effect on the Australian economy, however it i... more >>>

RBA cuts key rate by 100 basis points

February 3, 2009 - 3:24PMThe central bank has slashed the cash rate to a 45-year low, saying the reduction will work in tandem with the government's latest stimulus measures to help cushion Australia from the global economic crisis.The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) cut the cash rate to 3.2... more >>>