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AU All change: China’s reform agenda shuns growth at any cost

Property Here - Saturday, January 04, 2014

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Last month Chinese leader Xi Jinping set out his top reform agendas for China’s next decade, setting out important policies, ranging from political reforms, social policy and market reform, to a commitment to encourage innovation.

One important change is China’s intention to move away from a GDP-oriented, at-the-cost-of-everything development model, in favour of a move towards pollution control, energy efficiency and debt reduction.

In the midst of rapid industrialisation and urbanisation, China needs a strong political will and commitment to move away from its current growth model to a green/low carbon development model.

Given the scale of the environmental challenge and the complexity of China’s decentralised governance system, China needs to find a new path for growth, navigating between the Western lifestyle of over-consumption, and China’s “business as usual” model (high-resource utilisation, high emission and low energy efficiency).

As with every developing country, there will be resistance to a transition that will potentially slow the Chinese GDP growth rate, and as such, if China can implement a more green-focused model, it could make a significant contribution to the world community.

The achievement of a green/low-carbon China (or the Chinese term of “Ecological Civilisation”) is a part of Xi’s “Chinese dream” and will benefit both China and the rest of the world by contributing significantly towards global emissions reduction. The immediate benefit to China will be an overall increase in the quality of life for Chinese citizens: being able to see blue skies more often, breathe and drink cleaner air and water, as well as create greater demand for research and technologies from developed countries. If implemented, its focus on local officials’ performance will also change the mentality of Chinese leaders.

Furthermore, “Made-in-China” products would be produced with lower emissions and under more standardised working conditions and fairer income levels.

For Australia economically, this is a double-edged sword: China’s demands for Australia’s natural resources (such as coal and minerals) will inevitably diminish, but at the same time, Australia has the chance to invest in China’s green development, and maintain strong trade relations despite the decrease in demand for our natural resources.

As China is linked closely to us, rapid urbanisation in China means an increase in demand which could also benefit Australia’s economy. We should take advantage of the potential gains flowing from the reforms to Australia’s resource, retail, education and business sectors.

How is change to be implemented? By two interrelated processes: the first involving centralisation of political power, to provide leadership in strategic issues and continuation of market reform; and the second by reducing rich-poor gaps and creating a fair society.

The first process embodies the “top-down reform design” approach, where strategic agendas will be initiated, carried out and managed by the central government.

Xi does not believe the market can effectively implement change and accordingly, China’s next stage reform requires a top-down push. As part of this process, China will establish two new powerful government bodies: the Central Leading Team for Comprehensively Deepening Reforms, and the State Security Committee.

Interestingly, this top-down approach is not intended to inhibit the decentralisation or development of China’s private economy. Xi will abolish the government’s control over the price of utilities, and will also allow private capital to invest in state-owned firms and government projects, giving the market a more decisive role to play.

Reducing the rich-poor gap

The second process is designed to address polarisation and unfairness issues and to promote good governance. China’s rich-poor gap has reached an alarming level and social unrest threatens the Party’s power. Unfortunately, China has not provided specific policies to reduce the rich-poor gap, but the reform agenda includes a few issues which are of general concern:

  • Giving the rural population more rights to move to small-medium cities and access the same entitlements as urban citizens.

  • Giving farmers better land rights. Currently land acquisition in China’s suburban areas has generated conflict due to local governments and developers combining in their efforts to reduce farmers’ land compensation benefits.

  • Education reform: primary and secondary school students will not be segregated as accelerated or normal, no preferential treatment will be given to certain public schools and headmasters and teachers will be rotated among public schools.

  • Abolishing the controversial re-education labour camps.

  • Various measures to enhance good government including strengthening anti-corruption measures and reducing the local government’s power over the court system.

These agendas are ambitious, however the key lies in their implementation. The worst scenario is that power is centralised, but Xi fails to implement the reforms outlined above. If this occurs, he risks leaving China polarised and increasing the domination of the central government, at the cost of the environment and health of its citizens.

AU Tasmania's public housing waiting list falls to lowest figure in a decade

Property Here - Saturday, January 04, 2014

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Tasmania’s public housing waiting list has fallen to its lowest level in a decade as a result of strong investment and reform, according to the Minister for Human Services Cassy O’Connor. 

The waiting list fell by 5.4% in the three months to September 30 2013, with almost 300 Tasmanians moving into public housing. These figures come from the latest Health and Human Services progress chart.

Since 2009, the Tasmanian Government has invested about $220 million to build around 1,500 new affordable housing properties, in partnership with the former Federal Government.

Another $17 million is being invested this financial year, with another 1,360 homes that will be completed in 2016.

“A comfortable and affordable place to live is a fundamental human right,” Ms O’Connor said.

“As a progressive Government, we’re determined to help low-income Tasmanians put a roof over their head - with the security, opportunity and dignity that brings.

“The Government has an active role to play in sharing wealth and levelling the economic playing field. That’s why we’re increasing the supply of affordable housing, and reforming the sector to prioritise Tasmanians most in need,” she said.

There are some 2,000 Tasmanians still on the waiting list for public housing.

Ms O’Connor also noted that low-income families in private rental properties are also benefitting, with 1,125 Tasmanians receiving rental assistance in the September quarter, up slightly on the previous year.

At the same time, one of Tasmania’s largest affordable housing projects – named Queens Walk Apartments – officially opened last month. The first tenant, Phillip Turnbull has signed a lease, and was welcomed by Ms O’Connor.

The Queens Walk redevelopment is part of the State Government’s broader affordable and social housing strategy to support for Tasmanians on low incomes.

Stage One of the $8.5 million redevelopment is complete, which includes 16 one-bedroom units, 26 two-bedroom units, and a community room.

Formerly known as Stainforth Court, the site will ultimately provide 84 high-quality units and aims to create a welcome community for a diverse range of Tasmanians.

“It’s fantastic to be welcoming people to their impressive new homes – just in time for Christmas,” Ms O’Connor said.

“Queens Walk apartments is a powerful symbol of what we can achieve if we’re brave enough to look beyond the past reputation and stigma of a place, and work towards a bright, dynamic and sustainable future.

“This formerly troubled site has been completely reinvented into a fantastic home and strong community for Tasmanians who need affordable housing.

“As a progressive Government devoted to supporting Tasmanians in need, projects like this are what government all about.

“It should also be a great source of pride for our whole community,” she said.

Stage one, which involved two housing towers, was completed on time and on budget. Stage two, involving another two towers, is on track to be completed in April.

All units are energy-efficient and four one-bedroom units in Stage One are Platinum-standard disability units.

The project has supported 125 construction jobs for Tasmanians so far, including apprentices.

AU Make the most of low interest rates while they stay low

Property Here - Saturday, January 04, 2014

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There are some predictions that rates are set to increase over 2014, so it's crucial to make the most of the record lows that we're in at the moment, according to RateCity.

With the official cash rate at a record low 2.5%, and borrowers 1.42% better off than January 2012, or typically $262 savings each month, it might be the time to get started on that New Year's resolution of hacking through the mortgage.

The Reserve Bank of Australia, in passing the August rate cut, gave borrowers an extra $540 a year (on a typical $300,000 mortgage).

With five cuts since January 2012, it's the time of year to put extra money back into your mortgage, notes Alex Parsons, CEO of RateCity.

“If you are paying an average rate of 6 percent interest on your mortgage over time and you’re an average tax payer, you would have to find a financial investment with a greater than 10 percent rate of return elsewhere to better off – that’s a tough gig in the current market,” said Parsons.

“If you leave the extra money on the mortgage, it comes straight off the principal and it pays off your mortgage faster," he said.

Top tips to get more from low rates:

- Pay more than your minimum repayments: This will cut the amount you owe, shortern your loan's life and save you interest. (On a $300,000 25-year loan term, paying the current average standard variable - 5.41% - with monthly repayments, it could cost $547,850 principal and interest, with steady rates. Putting the savings back in will take six years off the mortgage and save $63,545).

- Refinancing the same loan to a lower rate variable home loan, such as at 4.49%, could free up $160 per month ($1,920 per year). If put back into the loan, that's $33,000 over 25 years saved without any lifestyle impact.

- Paying down non-tax-deductible debt first, such as credit cards, is a good first approach, with average interest rates on credit cards at 17%.

Source: RateCity

AU 西澳大利亚州的 “黑天鹅之城”珀斯

Property Here - Saturday, January 04, 2014

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        平纳克尔斯的尖峰石阵。



        天鹅河里成群的黑天鹅。

        又是一年的岁末新春,不少人都在早早地计划自己的海外假期了。而对于那些既想着避开拥挤的旅游团队,又希望交通便捷、气候温暖的人们来说,澳大利亚西部城市珀斯(Perth),应该是一个理想之地。

        “世界上最孤独的城市”

        记得第一次到访珀斯,是在2000年9月,在参加了悉尼奥运会的开幕式后,我们便乘机穿越整个澳洲大陆,一直飞到了最西端的西澳大利亚州,珀斯正是西澳大利亚州的首府了。

        这是一个非常小巧而精致的城市。城市的一侧濒临浩瀚的印度洋;不大的Downtown现代化高楼建筑密集,规划整齐划一;市内公园、绿地随处可见,阳光终年充沛,却没有那些大都市的喧嚣和繁华。珀斯实在与深圳有着太多的相似之处,感觉非常亲切。由于这里与悉尼、墨尔本、大堡礁等国人耳熟能详的澳大利亚景点、城市远隔4000公里以上,而且周围2000公里的范围内没有任何居住聚集的城市,仅有160万人口的珀斯被称为“世界上最孤独的城市”。

        除了芬芳绽放的野花,偶尔疾驶而过的小车外,确实几乎见不到行人,即使是在“地标”巴拉克广场和当地市民休憩常去的国王公园,也只有不多的几个游客的身影。一条宽阔清澈的河流穿过城区中央,它就是“天鹅河”。

        1697年,荷兰探险家威廉(Willian Viaming)乘船来到这里时,在这条流通印度洋的河面上发现了大量的黑天鹅,这是在欧洲其他地方很少见到的物种,于是他将这条河命名为“天鹅河”(Swan River)。

        珀斯不仅有天鹅河,还有以“天鹅”命名的“天鹅湾”、“天鹅钟楼”、“天鹅谷”等等,天鹅甚至还登上了西澳大利亚州旅游局的标志,足见珀斯人对这种高贵优雅大型游禽的珍爱。

        绿树成荫的岸边,不时有成群结对的黑天鹅划破平静的河面,七八只白色小天鹅紧紧依偎在父母的身后,左右相随。据说这种黑天鹅配对后一生都形影不离,雏鹅出生后先为浅白色,随后在逐渐长大的过程中,毛色才由灰白色,逐渐变为灰黑色,最后完成了向成年天鹅的亮黑色的转变。黑天鹅看到游人一点儿也不陌生,对我们的饼干和面包渣也来者不拒。虽然黑天鹅是澳大利亚的国家保护动物,但这里不像很多城市里设有“切勿投喂小动物”的禁忌,并不禁止游人向黑天鹅喂食。这种积极的生态保护模式,其实是在鼓励人们和自然中的动物们亲密接触,深入地了解自然,进而会更加地热爱自然、保护自然。

        “夕阳海岸”与“珊瑚海岸”

        距离珀斯Downtown以北十几公里的郊外,著名的“夕阳海岸”(Sunset Coast)和“珊瑚海岸”(Coral CCoast),以绝无污染的碧蓝海水、细绵的白色沙滩、清澈的环礁湖、广阔的海边自然生态林、倒沙入海的巨大沙丘和野生的袋鼠、鸟类天堂,而极受人们爱戴。这条从珀斯向北,沿着澳大利亚的西部海岸一直延伸上去,长度达50公里的海岸线,竟散落分布着20多个大大小小的沙滩。它们非常适合野餐、高尔夫和冲浪、垂钓、风帆、潜水等各种水上活动。

        “夕阳海岸”顾名思义,是以欣赏日落而著名的。已是太阳西下,我们所在的位置是特里格岛海滩(Trigg Island Beach),它是“夕阳海岸”的中心地带,分布着无数的咖啡馆、酒吧和海鲜餐厅,已经有不少游客迫不及待地在那里坐等了。西澳洲盛产霞多丽和梅洛葡萄酒,我们挑选了一个向西的位置坐下来,品酌杯中的“玛格丽特河”红酒,渐渐卸下了一天的疲惫。

        更巧的是,海岸浅层数百种珊瑚几乎会在每年同一时间产卵,蓝色的海水中漂浮着无数彩色的珊瑚虫,这一奇观不仅使得海水的颜色变得异常丰富,还吸引了大量鱼群和大型鱼类赶来觅食,其海洋的色彩和各种鱼类的“盛筵”,使得“珊瑚海岸”成为“全世界上最有活力的海水”。我曾无数次在世界的各个角落看到日落时的壮观,而面对“夕阳海岸”无边无际的印度洋海面,澄净得没有一丝云彩遮挡的天空和明亮透彻的愠色交织变换,都给我留下了极深的印象。

        宛如月球景观的“尖峰石阵”

        珀斯的魅力不仅仅在于海水的“蓝”,更多的还显现在自然景观的“黄”色上。从“夕阳海岸”继续北上约2小时左右,南堡国家公园(Nambung N。P)中的兰石林(Lancelin),巨硕的黄色大轮越野车给我们留下了深刻的印象。它虽然体格硕大,可在20多米高的巨大黄色沙丘前却一点也不温钝,可以毫不费力地爬坡、俯冲;110米长、15米高的黄褐色天然花岗岩构成的“波形岩”(Wave Rock),形成于27亿年前,它宛如一层席卷而来的海上巨浪,铺天盖地,在即将扑打过来的一刹那,却中了魔法似地瞬间凝固在空中了。

        平纳克尔斯(The Pinnacles)是珀斯最有魅力的景观了。貌似月球表面上的怪石嶙峋,形状奇特的岩柱伫立在淡黄色的沙丘中。它们是数万年前的远古树木,树木逐渐在根部填满了砂土和岩石,经过千万年的石英化和风化、侵蚀,露出地表,形成的石灰岩柱体。它像是一座座直立的石笋般“石化原始森林”,又像是古代战场上排列整齐的军士,被称之为“尖峰石阵”。如此卓绝、不可不知的自然奇景,成为我们珀斯之旅中最难忘的“亮点”。

        攻略:

        签证和交通:

        前往珀斯旅行,需要提前办理澳洲签证。现在澳洲“自由行”的个人旅游签证通常有效期是一年多次往返。香港有直飞珀斯的国泰航空的航班,每日一班,直飞省时,非常方便。

        旅行季节:

        珀斯属于地中海式气候,四季分明,温度宜人,每年的12月至2月为夏季,较为炎热干燥,旅行中应注意随时补充水分。

        深度体验:

        珀斯的北桥区(Northbridge)是当地著名的文化娱乐集中地。那里有超过100间以上的各国风味的餐厅可供挑选;晚上也是酒吧和咖啡厅的消遣场所,还有大量的博物馆、图书馆、艺术馆等文化设施。

        珀斯附近的弗里曼图尔(Fremantle),是一个颇具历史感的港口小镇,那里的“卡布奇诺带”有大量的海鲜餐馆可供选择。


AU 气象部门称澳洲今夏更炎热 林火风险增加

Property Here - Saturday, January 04, 2014

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来自澳大利亚气象部门的消息说,新一年开始的时候,该国高温炎热的天气持续,在未来几天一些地区气温将超过40摄氏度。由此,新南威尔士州、昆士兰州、维多利亚州和南澳大利亚州等地区山林火灾风险在增加。

        高级气象学家杜奇克表示,2日下午悉尼的气温在逐渐升高,风向从东北风转为西风,气温可达33至35摄氏度。2014年新年伊始的气温与2013年同期相近,热浪侵袭着澳大利亚内陆很多地区。

        目前,在澳大利亚中部地区呈现高温酷热天气,南澳大利亚州、昆士兰州、北领地的一些地区气温将超过45摄氏度。特别是在昆士兰州可能会经历历史上最长的炎热天气,这是很不寻常的。同时,受气候变化的影响,海洋将会吸收大气中的热量,导致海水变暖。

        专家认为,由于2010年底和2011年初的“拉尼娜”现象的影响而发生洪灾,导致灌木丛生,后遗症在显现,特别是澳大利亚南部地区正在出现变得温暖和干燥的趋势。在入夏之前,澳大利亚就发生过严重的山火,目前气温升高,澳大利亚多个州面临火灾的风险,加强防火措施十分紧迫。


AU 房价上涨不是错 首置业难主要怪政策

Property Here - Saturday, January 04, 2014

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BIS Shrapnel指出,是州政府改变住房优惠政策,而非房价上涨,导致了新州、昆州和北领地的首置业者在住房市场上失去立足之地。

        这家研究公司称,取消7000元的首置业补助和购买现房时慷慨的印花税优惠,降低了首置业者的借贷能力,迫使他们要么得花更长时间存钱,要么只能继续租房。

        相反,据抵押贷款经纪公司AFG报告,在西澳(该州政府保留了首置业补助),尽管柏斯房价在过去一年里飙涨,但11月份的首置业贷款占比却超过了20%.

 

        在新州,BIS Shrapnel计算出,按照85%的贷款与估值比率,一名首置业者现在得多存2万零490元,才能够买下一套40万元的现房。BIS Shrapnel的齐格马尼斯(Angie Zigomanis)说:"在补助减少以后,这些购买力上的损失即刻削减了首置业者进入市场的能力。"

        "最大的购买力损失发生在新州、昆州和北领地,这三个州的首置业需求跌幅最大。在其他州,购买力的损失则不太明显。"齐格马尼斯说,"一些首置业者只好静待时机,并积累更多首付款以弥补失去的补助,而其他人则会觉得买房实在太艰难了,索性选择继续租房。"


AU 昆士兰州首次置业者最爱45万以下地区

Property Here - Saturday, January 04, 2014

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随着整个昆士兰州房屋销售的增加,首次置业者受到该区域最实惠地区的吸引回到了房地产市场。

        由圣乔治银行和昆士兰房地产协会公布的新数据显示,由于平均房价在45万以下,该地区已成为新买家的购房热点。

        布里斯班房价上涨5.1%。

        North Lakes是昆士兰最受欢迎的实惠地区,截止到2013年9月的12个月里,有377个销售。



        昆士兰州圣乔治银行的零售主管罗斯吉勒姆说,很高兴看到首次购房者仍在寻找经济实惠的地方购买物业。

        “我们看到横跨西部通道的房屋贷款申请上升了20% ,所以毫不奇怪,Forest Lake 一直是最受首次购房者青睐的选择之一, ”罗斯吉勒姆说。

        “该地区在集中就业,零售服务,基础设施和交通设施方面都拥有巨大的增长潜力。 ”

        REIQ首席执行官Anon Kardash表示,数据显示了在昆士兰州所有买家都有许多机会。

        “几乎所有这些地区都经历过房价上升,这样就非常值得考虑, ”他说

        昆士兰最受欢迎的郊区中位价为45万或以下

        郊区 - 平均价格 - 到2013年9月的12个月的销售量

        North Lakes, 43.175万, 377

        Forest Lake, 38万, 365

        Kirwan ,34.5万,321

        Kallangur,32万,281

        Upper Coomera,38万,252

        Springfield Lakes,37.6万,235

        Helensvale,44.7万,235

        Newtown,26.5万,234

        Pacific Pines,45万,232

        Victoria Point,44.7万,224


AU 2013年布里斯班出售的最便宜的物业top10

Property Here - Saturday, January 04, 2014

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它和一个渔民的棚屋差不多大,但配备了所有的现代化设备:水,电,厕所,厨房和简单的淋浴。

        据RP Data数据显示,在Macleay Island,Heath Street,11号的这套住所是2013年布里斯班出售的最便宜的房屋。

        在二月转手是价格仅仅为6.7万。

        豪不奇怪,2013年出售的其他一些最便宜的房子并不在大陆,而是在近海地区。

        他们在Macleay Island, Russell Island 和 Lamb Island,对那些想在安静的岛屿上生活或度过周末的人而言,那就是完美地点。


        南海湾群岛距离布里斯班约30公里,只有通过渡轮,驳船或私人船只才能抵达。


        众所周知,在Russell Island有一套因其饼干色外观而被当地人称为“姜饼屋”的独特房屋,成交价为9.5万。

        在销售是,没有化粪池和电源,其摇摇欲坠的内饰也迫切需要修复。

        在Russell Island,Vista Street,23号的一套简单檐板房屋五月份售出,价格为10.5万。

        十个最便宜的房屋销售

        1.Macleay Island,Heath Street,11号:6.7万

        2.Russell Island,Shore Street,37号:9.5万

        3.Russell Island,Vista Street,23 号:10.5万

        4.Macleay Island,Jordan Street,12号:10.5万

        5.Rosewood,Walloon Road,2号: 10.65万

        6.Lamb Island,Pier Haven,27号: 10.7万

        7.Russell Island,Kings Road,82号:11万

        8.Lamb Island,Paula Parade,19号:11.5万

        9.Macleay Island,Coffea Street,13号:11.5万

        10.Lamb Island,Leonie Crescent,26号:11.5万


AU 阿德莱德赌场为“抢”赌客耗资3.5亿扩建

Property Here - Saturday, January 04, 2014

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        受詹姆斯·邦德这位赌客的吸引,阿德莱德赌场打算投资3.5亿澳元进行扩建,希望藉此吸引到更多一掷千金的赌客。

        纸牌游戏百家乐Baccarat因书籍和电影里的超级间谍而出名,深受中国大陆,台湾,印尼,马来西亚及泰国赌客的喜爱,是占赌场总业务40%的热门赌博项目,比10年前增加了5%。这次扩建包括打造一个百家乐赌厅。

        赌场的目标是吸引海内外豪客,同时也想通过扩建留住南澳州当地的赌客。

        总经理克里斯蒂安David Christian说,南澳州是“VIP客户的净出口区”。

        Mr Christian 说,因为我们的产品没有吸引力,不仅是本地的豪客不多,来自墨尔本,悉尼和昆士兰的也一样很少。

        “墨尔本Crown 的最大赌客有一些来自南澳,但南澳人不在这里赌博。也不能在这赌博,这里不适合他们,这是我们会改变的地方。”

        阿德莱德唯一的赌场运营商至少要到2035年,Skycity Entertainment Group,这家上市公司的总部设在新西兰,在12月份开始扩建,投入4500万整修了在North Tce的两个赌厅。

        到今年2月,赌场将有一个新的豪华赌厅,里面设有酒吧,休息区,私人房间和最新赌博机,还有最先进的无现金技术。主要赌厅还将提供更多的食品和酒水服务。

        扩建之后,豪客们可以玩单笔消费达100万的专属设施,一次下注20万。

        赌场下一阶段的建设工程将在2014年底开始,计划投资3.05亿。包括一个6星级,12层楼的酒店,里面有100间客房、VIP游戏室、签字消费餐厅和一个天台游泳池。扩建预计在2016年年底完工。

        Skycity Entertainment在其最新的贸易概况里称,阿德莱德赌场正面临一个充满挑战的环境。


原文链接: http://www.domaintoday.com.au/n/bencandy.php?fid=77&id=143091#ixzz2pU0QCZkt

AU 墨尔本房价上涨“太剽悍” 置业者惊呼承受不了

Property Here - Friday, January 03, 2014

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        2013年墨尔本平均单元房价格上涨了8.7%,达到了创纪录的48.1万,房价上升8.5%,之后又上了一个新高。

        房价上涨引发了更多墨尔本人,尤其是年轻置业者的警惕。

        去年的一项住房负担能力的研究发现,墨尔本是世界上最负担不起的城市之一,其平均物业成本是平均家庭年收入的7.5倍。



        一家独立的费尔法克斯媒体分析发现, 50年前,墨尔本房价大约是年收入的三倍。这意味着房子比他们在1964年要贵2.5倍,相对于收入。

        这份Demographia国际调查,对七个国家的城市房价与收入进行对比,发现墨尔本比纽约更贵,但比伦敦更实惠。

        据RP Data- Rismark 12月份房屋价格指数显示,墨尔本十二月的平均房价为62.5万,与2010年10月高峰期相比,仍低0.9%。单元房或公寓的中位值是48.1万。



        商业地产分析机构BIS Shrapnel的高级经理Angie Zigomanis表示,墨尔本大部分的增长在内城区和北部郊区,而远郊发展一直很平缓。



        财政部长Michael O'Brien表示,房价稳步上涨标志着消费者对国有经济的信心,并鼓励建设新的住房,以适应人口的增长。为了推动住房负担能力,州政府也实行了相关政策,包括首次购房者的印花税优惠,和首次购房者的新房补助,他说。