Australia Back to Real Estate News Homepage to RSS for this country

AU Property News

AU 2014 property forecast: your guide to picking the next boom suburbs across Sydney

Property Here - Saturday, December 28, 2013

Share to:

Kensington ... the next real estate boom suburbs are closer than you think.

Kensington ... the next real estate boom suburbs are closer than you think. Source: News Limited

SYDNEY property had a stellar 2013, with the market recovering to the previous heights of 2010 and then surging forward in the second half of the year.

Some experts believe 2014 will bring similar success, as the city settles into the growth phase of a new property cycle.

The Daily Telegraph asked some of real estate's leading experts for their 2014 predictions:

John McGrath

McGrath Estate Agents CEO

Predicts 5-10% growth

Sydney will benefit across the board in 2014, with likely growth between 5 and 10 per cent. The best performing markets are likely to be beachside and inner city suburbs.

The inner west area south of Parramatta Rd will benefit, with Petersham, Stanmore, Dulwich Hill and Summer Hill performing well. Ironically, the best bargains will be in areas like Palm Beach and Whale Beach.

They have been oversold in recent years and there is a 12-month window to get value there.

A number of suburbs will also benefit from improving infrastructure. The new rail link to the northwest will boost the Hills district and suit suburbs like Rouse Hill, Castle Hill and Bella Vista.

The new inner east light rail will benefit Kensington and Kingsford, as will the influx in Chinese buyers looking to purchase­ close to major educational­ institutions.

Scroll down for NEW HOMES IN SYDNEYS' FIELD OF DREAMS Exclusive Alicia Wood

Bella Vista in northwestern Sydney.

Bella Vista in northwestern Sydney. Source: Supplied

Chris Mourd

LJ Hooker head of network

Interest in Sydney's west

The 2013 success was driven by a shortage of quality stock, post-election job confidence and record low interest rates.

None of these will change during 2014 and a large pool of buyers will be hungry after missing out in 2013.

People will look for inner city living opportunities and Paddington and Woollahra have opportunity for growth after being subdued.

The pressure on the inner west is likely to continue.

People will look for value in places like North Ryde, which offers a convenient location and more land.

There has also been strong interest further out in areas like Guildford, Granville and Merrylands, which offer larger family homes.


Guildford. Source: News Limited


Granville. Source: News Limited

Chris Gray

Empire Property Portfolios CEO Beaches the big winners

What has happened in 2013 may just be the tip of the iceberg for the next cycle.

Properties under $1 million will still be in short supply and high demand and growth will spread to more properties in blue chip suburbs and affordable regional areas. Bondi Beach will perform as there are thousands who will pay any price to live near the beach. Coogee attracts a different demographic of city workers and beach lovers who like more of a village life.

Kirribilli has always been a favourite of city workers and a unit that ticks all the boxes will always be in demand.

Cremorne offers peace and quiet with easy access to the city, cafes and shops. Balmain is one of the best for the inner west lifestyle, still with access to harbour ferries and the city.


Balmain. Source: News Limited


Kirribilli. Source: News Limited

Adrian Wilson

Wilson Property Agents director

Prestige to rise

Lower and mid-level markets will continue to be popular due to positive economic factors.

The top end above $2 million will gain momentum throughout the year. Suburbs within 5km of the Sydney CBD will do well due to high demand but the beaches and coastal suburbs will also have a high performance rate in 2014.

A number of prestige properties that have been on the market for several months are now trading and achieving good results, showing renewed confidence at the top end of the scale. It is only a matter of time before momentum builds and the prestige section starts to pick up.

Bondi Beach.

Bondi Beach. Source: News Limited

Tim Lawless

RP Data national research director

Low rates continue

Growth rates in Sydney are likely to slow from the highs recorded over the second half of 2013. This does not mean there will be another price correction but that growth will slow to more sustainable levels, in line with income growth.

Population growth remains strong, which implies demand for housing and is a positive for the economy.

Mortgage rates are likely to remain low in 2014, meaning investment in housing should remain strong.

On the other hand, rental yields have fallen as values rose faster than rental rates.

The typical yield for a Sydney house is now just 3.9 per cent, which will send investors looking for better value in other high-yielding cities such as Brisbane.

Another factor is affordability, as the Sydney median price is now about $700,000.

Key market segments such as first homebuyers and low to average income families have struggled to find funds for a deposit as values have grown.


MORE than 3000 homes will be built in Sydney's southwest next year, after the state government rezoned a swathe of land in the Catherine Field precinct near Campbelltown.

NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell will today announce the rezoning, which will see 3200 homes constructed in the new suburb next year.

Figures from the state government show there has been an 80 per cent increase in the take-up of first-home owners grants on last year - with 6000 people receiving the $15,000 grant for buying new properties.

Mr O'Farrell said releasing land for new developments was important to drive down the cost of home ownership.

"We are making homes more affordable and in the process western Sydney is being transformed into a tradies' paradise, with the creation of thousands of jobs in construction," Mr O'Farrell said.

"The rezoning of land at Catherine Field being announced today tops off a bumper year in NSW, with a massive number of home approvals and a huge increase in the take-up of the NSW government's First Home Owner Grants.

"The latest figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show 44,628 new homes were approved in the 12 months to October 2013, the highest level since 2005."

Developers for the Catherine Hill project will pump $30 million of infrastructure funding into the region, including an upgrade for Oran Park Drive, land for a new primary school, and the construction of a main sewerage line.

Planning Minister Brad Hazzard said land will go on sale in 2014, and the houses will be complete by 2015.

It is a win for the government, which last year,the government failed to pass landmark planning reforms, after a stalemate in negotiations with the Labor Party and crossbenchers in the upper house.

The government has gone back to the drawing board on the legislation, and has until February to find a solution


Coogee. Source: News Limited

AU Pros and cons of buying a holiday home

Property Here - Friday, December 27, 2013

Share to:

Understand how much stamp duty, land tax and other holding costs you are likely to add up on a holiday home.

Understand how much stamp duty, land tax and other holding costs you are likely to add up on a holiday home. Source:Supplied

HOLIDAYS are a time of rest and relaxation and, for some with a real estate brain, a chance to think about making some money.

You may consider buying a holiday home near your favourite spot, an apartment in a resort complex, or turning an existing holiday home into a rental money-spinner.

It's tempting while having fun in the sun, but it's wise to rip off those rose-coloured holiday glasses and look at the property from a financial perspective, because there are some traps and issues that can come back and bite you.

Any property is going to cost you money, so understand how much stamp duty, land tax and other holding costs you are likely to pay.

And will you want to keep visiting the same place every holiday, or does the variety of Australia's and the world's destinations appeal more?

Apartments in resort complexes can come with high management costs that erode your income, not to mention a bigger chance of boom and bust periods that are not for the faint-hearted.

A growing trend is for people to buy property in their self-managed superannuation fund, but this is a no-no for holiday homes.

Strict rules around self-managed super prevent property owners from gaining any personal benefit from their fund assets until retirement, and there are nasty tax penalties for breaking the rules.

If turning an existing holiday home into a rental earner, you will have to pay tax on the income and deal with risks of damage, theft and injury.

Landlord insurer Terri Scheer Insurance says even the most careful holidaymakers can take a more casual approach to caring for a rental property when in holiday mode.

"Risks may include malicious and accidental damage, theft and legal liability issues if a holidaymaker injures themselves at the property. Such events could also lead to a loss of rental income while damages are under repair,'' says Terri Scheer Insurance executive manager Carolyn Majda.

She says landlords should inspect holiday homes regularly to check lights, appliances and smoke detectors are in good working order, and a detailed condition report - with photos and videos of the property and its contents - can help with potential insurance claims later.

Anthony Keane is editor of Your Money.

AU Land tax campaign launched

Property Here - Monday, December 09, 2013

Share to:

 Joe Lenzo, Executive Director WA of the Property Council of Australia in his offices in Perth.

Joe Lenzo, Executive Director WA of the Property Council of Australia in his offices in Perth. Source: News Limited

INVESTORS with big property portfolios will be celebrating if a new campaign to reduce land tax comes to fruition.

The Make Land Tax Fair campaign was launched by the Property Council of Australia's WA branch last week.

The campaign comes on the heals of an announcement that the State Government would look to secure WA's land tax revenue with new legislation in 2014, following a State Administrative Tribunal decision about land tax for a retirement village.

More WA Real Estate news

Property Council WA executive director Joe Lenzo said the current tax system was unfair as some property owners were hit with land tax while others didn't pay.

"The issue here is that the tax is lopsided and punishes some small businesses, but exempts others, and this depends on whether you rent or lease a premise or own the property direct," he said. "It must be fixed and made fair."

Mr Lenzo said land tax was paid by investors and big business owners - those with properties that were not used as their primary residence. Those with multiple properties were taxed exponentially more for each successive property.

Following this year's federal budget cuts, WA saw a 12.4 per cent land tax rise.

According to the Property Council, 6 per cent of land tax payers were paying 80 per cent of WA's $700 million annual land tax bill.

"The principal payers of land tax currently are property owners and investors who have large property holdings, such as shopping centres, office buildings, car yards and industrial warehouses," he said. "The key here is that these owners will pass their land tax costs on to the small businesses and tenants that rent or occupy these premises."

About 116,000 land owners will be subject to land tax in 2013-14.

AU What today's home buyers wants

Property Here - Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Share to:

Bidders at the auction in Concord, Sydney. Picture: Mitch Cameron

Bidders at the auction in Concord, Sydney. Picture: Mitch Cameron

WHAT those features are depends in part on the home's price, size and geographic locale as well as who the buyer is; owner-occupier, investor, or developer.

Some features are more beneficial than others, depending on those categories, and for every feature that appeals to one buyer, there will be another purchaser who wants the exact opposite

Land size: Owner-occupiers generally look for a relatively large block of land, especially if they are considering having a family. However, tenants hate it. A large block of land means more time that they have to spend maintaining the property. They don't want to spend their weekends mowing the landlords' lawn and watering her flowers. Investors generally don't want properties on large blocks due to the maintenance and upkeep issues. However, developers are very interested in the size and dimension of the block.

Size of house: Many tenants prefer larger homes and they are willing to pay more rent for it, where they won't pay more rent for a larger block of land. Owner occupiers try and buy as large a home as their finances will permit. Investors aren't interested in large homes with five and six bedrooms as these can be very hard to rent. For developers, they'd prefer that there wasn't a home on the site as they just want the land.

Period/character style: Owner-occupiers can fall in love with old style houses and pay a premium for them, especially if they are updated. It may seem remarkable that some people will pay more for a 140 year old house than a 40 year old house. Many tenants don't like old houses; they prefer brand new properties. Generally the condition of these properties is great and they have all the modern conveniences that people are looking for such as air conditioning, dish washer and two bathrooms. Commonly investors will also shy away from old properties due to the maintenance issues such as salt damp and cracking. Developers often aren't interested in period style homes for two main reasons. Firstly, they are regularly outbid by the owner-occupier who has fallen in love with the stone front, solid timber floors, fireplaces, high and ornate ceilings. Secondly, there is the risk that these properties might be heritage listed which restricts the development opportunities.

Views: Owner-occupiers love views, especially sea views. Tenants like them but won't necessarily pay extra rent for a view. Short-term/holiday renters are willing pay a huge premium for sea views. Some developers will also pay a premium for views, especially if they are views of water or the CBD. Investors aren't fussed by properties which have views as they realise they will have to pay more for a property with a view but tenants won't necessarily pay any extra rent.

AU Capital city house prices rise in September quarter

Property Here - Monday, November 04, 2013

Share to:

Capital city house prices rose 1.9 per cent in the September quarter.

Capital city house prices rose 1.9 per cent in the September quarter.

AUSTRALIAN capital city house prices rose 1.9 per cent in the September quarter, official data showed.

That followed a rise of 2.7 per cent in the June quarter.

In the year to September, the house price index rose 7.6 per cent, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Monday.

The gains are being riven by Australia's two largest housing markets, Sydney and Melbourne and may raise concerns that record low interest rates are fuelling overheating in the country's property market.

However, economists had expected a slightly higher rise of 2.2 per cent for the quarter.

Capital city house price changes for the 12 months to September

Sydney - 11.4%

Melbourne - 6.8%

Brisbane - 4.1%

Adelaide - 1.0%

Perth - 8.6%

Hobart - 1.1%

Darwin - 6.0%

Canberra - 0.6%

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics

AU First home buyers are staying out of the market

Property Here - Thursday, August 22, 2013

Share to:

Thomas Samaras has a strategy to escape the rent treadmill.

Thomas Samaras has a strategy to escape the rent treadmill. Source: News Limited

FIRST-home buyers are putting their dreams on hold, after being deterred by rising property prices and uncertainty over future employment.

The fifth annual RAMS First-Home Buyers' Pulse Check survey, released yesterday, revealed just one in eight people looking to buy their first home were seeking to do so within the next three months.

The majority identified 12 months as a realistic time frame for making a purchase, despite believing now to be a great time to buy.

"Results showed (respondents were) motivated to enter the market to stop paying rent and take advantage of low fixed and variable interest rates," said RAMS chief executive Melos Sulicich.

"However, many still feel buying a home is out of reach due to the challenges of saving for a loan deposit and finding a home in the right location.

"Results also indicate key concerns are a fear of unemployment, uncertainty around future earnings and a lack of housing supply."

NSW homebuyers were feeling the pinch of affordability barriers, being far more likely than those in other States to seek help from family members in raising a deposit.

"Prices are more expensive in NSW and the impact of the drop in first home buyers is felt across the rest of the country," Mr Sulicich said. "But once they have the mortgage, we find customers say it was one of the most rewarding things they have ever done."

The survey showed first home buyers had evolved since 2009, with a third now likely to be aged over 36. They were also less likely to have children, more likely to save for more than two years for a deposit and less likely to be able to buy in their choice of location. They were motivated largely by no longer paying rent.

"Customers recognise it can be cheaper to buy a home than pay rent and are working hard at saving for a deposit to get off the rental treadmill by taking out a second job, selling shares or using an online high interest savings account," Mr Sulicich said.

Thomas Samaras, 25, lived in Sydney for two years before deciding to buy a property. He soon realised he could not save enough for a deposit, so moved to the Central Coast for cheaper rent.

"I found it really hard to save in Sydney, paying rent and living expenses," Mr Samaras said. "My mates had been living on the central coast for a while and now I live with them and we commute to Sydney for work."

Mr Samaras plans to buy within 12 months and free himself from rent once and for all.

Read more:

AU Median house values rise as Queensland property market starts to climb back

Property Here - Saturday, August 17, 2013

Share to:

QUEENSLAND'S property is tipped to start firing again in time for the spring selling season.

According to the latest Real Estate Insitute of Queensland quarterly house value data, the market has already started its slow and steady climb back.

The data, released on Saturday in an eight-page lift-out in The Courier-Mail, reveals that the median house value in Brisbane went up by 2 per cent in the past quarter to $441,690.

On the Gold Coast values went up 3 per cent during the quarter to $479,669 and the Sunshine Coast rose by 3 per cent to $458,240.

The rest of the state also fared well with the median house value up by 2 per cent to $330,171.

REIQ chief executive Anton Kardash said there had been changes across the board in terms of prices but continued growth would be "slow and steady''.

He said all the data was pointing to a strong spring selling season ahead.



Read more:

AU House price rises set to gather pace in Brisbane

Property Here - Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Share to:

AFTER years of sluggish growth, Brisbane's median house price is tipped to jump by 17 per cent in the next three years.

According to economic forecaster BIS Shrapnel's latest Residential Property Prospects report, Brisbane's median house price is about $440,000, only 2 per cent higher than it was at the same time last year.

The predicted increase would lift the median house price to about $514,800.

While the increase in the past year was low, and remains 11 per cent below the peak of the market in June 2010, it is the first annual increase in medians since 2009-10.

BIS Shrapnel senior manager Angie Zigomanis said Brisbane's median house price had been affected in recent years by weak migration and population growth.

"Weak state economic conditions have also impacted on sentiment,'' he said.

But he believed conditions were slowly starting to turn around.

Mr Zigomanis said house prices were still affordable and interest rates were low.

He said all the pieces were now falling into place for the beginning of an upturn, although confidence was still weak.

"However, similar to the Perth market, once it appears that the market has definitely bottomed, turnover will begin to increase as purchasers seek to enter the market ahead of any further price rises in increasing numbers,'' he said.

Mr Zigomanis predicts a return to price growth in this new financial year, which will accelerate into 2014 and 2015.

"By the end of 2015-16 (financial year), rising interest rates will begin to impact on prices, but only after a forecast total rise of 17 per cent in the median house price over the three years to 2016, representing an average rise of 5.2 per cent per annum.''

Meanwhile, the latest RP Data-Rismark June Hedonic Home Value Index results out yesterday reveal that Brisbane's median dwelling values (that includes houses and units) has risen by just 0.1 per cent in the past month.

According to RP Data research director Tim Lawless, while there is some volatility in the month-to-month data, the trend is much more indicative of an ongoing recovery in values. The figures show that the values were up 0.6 per cent year on year.

Mr Lawless said lower mortgage rates were starting to have a positive impact on the housing market, however current conditions were still far from what it had been like in 2009.

Read more:

AU Property sales picking up for winter season, say Brisbane real estate agents

Property Here - Monday, June 03, 2013

Share to:

Property sales winter

Marketing agent Tegan Zernike of Place Newmarket, said the number of people inspecting this Yeronga home was promising. Pic: Marc Robertson Source: The Courier-Mail

TEMPERATURES may be dropping but real estate agents agree, the property market is starting to heat up.

As we now head into winter, RP Data statistics show 337 Queensland properties were scheduled to go under the hammer last week.

Australian Property Monitors preliminary Saturday auction results show 28 sales from 57 auctions, resulting in a clearance rate of 45 per cent. Additional figures come out on Tuesday.

Among the properties auctioned was a five-bedroom, tri-level executive residence at 72 Central Ave, St Lucia, which sold under the hammer for $2.35 million.

Marketing agent Caroline Munro of McGrath Paddington office said there were eight registered bidders and about 60 people attended.

"The opening bid starting at $1.5 million and the property went on the market at $2.2 million," she said.

Last week was the second largest auction week this year, behind the 393 total for the week of March 18 but higher than the 309 for January 28 - which was influenced by a Ray White Auction Spectacular event.


Industry experts believe this winter will be a good selling season, citing increased buyer inquiry, greater numbers of inspections and improved market confidence.

Place CEO Damian Hackett said the market had been steady for 18 months and people recognised that the bottom had been reached.

"Looking back at the last four or five years, I think the dynamics are there to have the best winter season since 2007," he said.

RE/MAX Australia managing director Michael Davoren said low stock levels and high buyer numbers would drive a strong market.

"Lack of confidence has held the property market back, even when affordability is attractive with lower interest rates and prices down," he said.

"The market is now dealing with the pent-up demand and the reality is that people will be buying and selling without a thought to the season."

Optimism has improved since last winter according to Ray White Queensland CEO Peter Camphin who said there was now "more buzz" in the market place.

He said stock levels were tight and advised people thinking of selling to list now - instead of waiting for the more popular spring season when there would be increased competition.

"I think it is going to be a strong trading period this winter," Mr Camphin said.

"It's not over-inflated optimism from a real estate person, we are seeing more people coming to open for inspections. It is a good time to sell."

Belle Property agent Debora Sutton agreed that optimism had returned.

"We are still getting record numbers at open homes and multiple bidders at auction," she said.

"People have been waiting for the right time to buy. If they see something they like, they are buying."

LJ Hooker Toowong sales consultant Daniel Lee has noticed a high level of unseasonal interest in auction campaigns from would-be sellers.

"Spring is traditionally the strong auction season," he said.

"But at the moment, the combination of historically low interest rates and encouraging market improvements has motivated buyers who have sat on their hands for the last few years.

"Winter is typically a quieter time for the auction market, but that notion is going to be tested this year because of where we're positioned in the market cycle."

Mr Lee said his office had conducted 61 inspections and multiple valuations during the auction campaign for a four-bedroom home in Murray St, Taringa.

A five-bedroom, two-bathroom contemporary home in Orcades Rd, Yeronga, was also popular, again attracting more than 60 inspections during a three-week open home campaign.

Marketing agent Tegan Zernike of Place Newmarket said the numbers were encouraging.

The property sold under the hammer on Saturday for $950,000.

"There is not a lot of stock at the moment so we are seeing better open home numbers and properties are selling faster," she said.

"Buyers are not so spoilt for choice.

"There is competition for quality properties priced correctly."

Read more:

AU Men from high-income families missing from rental market

Property Here - Saturday, June 01, 2013

Share to:

MEN from high-income families have gone missing from the Australian rental market. Why? Because they’re still living with mum and dad.

Research from has shown that a typical Australian tenant is likely to be female, aged between 35 and 49, earning more than $50,000 a year and looking for properties renting for more than $300 a week.

While the market in most states is currently favouring tenants, survey respondents from households with $100,000 plus income were the most likely to stay living at home. Less than 30 per cent looking to rent were male.

The survey also showed the average age for leaving home in Australia continues to increase, with just 17 per cent of those looking to rent aged less than 25.

Amy Sanderson, head of property investment management at LJ Hooker, believes getting out of home and into the rental market is worthwhile.

“Nationally we have seen a shift back towards a tenant’s market,” Ms Sanderson said. “In the majority of states rents are reasonably steady and with a high number of available properties it is a good time to be looking to rent.”

In areas with tighter rental markets, Ms Sanderson says first impressions are crucial.

“Despite popular belief, the highest earner won’t always get the property,” she said. “Landlords are after reliable tenants who will look after their property, so present yourself well and make sure your application is filled out correctly.”

Renting can have its romantic benefits also, with the research revealing 14 per cent had entered into a relationship with a housemate, and more than half of those were still involved in the relationship. A staggering 29 per cent who had entered into a relationship with a housemate had ended up getting married.

Marie Luke moved from the UK to Australia in 2010 and needed a housemate. Through a friend, she was introduced to fellow UK expat Tony Rehal, who had been living alone for six months and had a room to rent.

“We emailed back and forth a few times to make sure we were both OK to live with,” Ms Luke said. “The day we actually met, we found we had loads in common. There was a real spark between us and we actually got together on day one.”

Three years later, the couple are still living in the same Bondi property, are engaged and will be married on a beach in Thailand in December.

Understandably, Ms Luke recommends share housing to anyone looking to get into the rental market.

“I shared with other guys back at uni, but they were certainly not boyfriend material,” she laughed.

“It’s good to share house because you open your social circles to a lot of other people. Not only have I met my future husband, but also a lot of dear friends that were originally his.”

Read more: