Homeowners don’t always tell the truth about how much they spent on their property

tellinglies thumb Homeowners don’t always tell the truth about how much they spent on their property

Discussing the property market is a popular Australian past-time but when it comes to revealing how much we spent they are a little more tight-lipped.

A survey by online property listing website realestate.com.au has revealed while some like to keep the information to themselves others are quite prepared to lie.

About 4 per cent of buyers say they may have inflated the purchase price when discussing what they paid for their property.

Men are twice as likely than women to try and make out their property is worth more, while younger buyers also talk it up more than buyers aged over 35.

State-wide the survey found that 5.2 per cent were likely to say they paid less than they did.

State-wide, Victorians are the most honest, while Queensland and South Australia were found to be a little partial to a white lie.

Story Source:    www.news.com.au

tt twitter micro3 Homeowners don’t always tell the truth about how much they spent on their property

What home buyers really want differs dramatically between states

kitchens2 thumb What home buyers really want differs dramatically between states

Victorian property buyers fancy themselves as potential MasterChef’s while Queensland buyers are more worried about whether their property will turn a profit in the future.

New analysis of what it is that buyers want in their home and won’t compromise on, reveals significant differences between the states.

The only thing buyers in every state can agree on is that buying at a reasonable price is a top priority.

The study by realestateVIEW revealed Victorian home buyers wanted a big or good quality kitchen, followed by sufficient garage space and a substantial property size.

In Sydney buyers were more interested in not having to line up for the loo with a second toilet was more important to them. They were also keen on second bathrooms.

Western Australia buyers want to get to work quickly and easily, seeking a home with good access to public transport and something close to work.

As well as wanting to turn a profit in the future Queensland buyers are keen on plenty of outdoor space and being close to family and friends.

In South Australia outdoor space ranked highly followed by being close to work.

Asked on a scale of one to ten how important things were in a home, Queensland buyers rated potential for property price growth and air conditioning as important features.

Airconditioning was a must for South Australia and Western Australia buyers who also want plenty of storage space.

Almost a third of Victorian buyers will not compromise on being close to shops, cafes and restaurants.

In New South Wales buyers won’t compromise on property size, but only about a fifth thought it important to be close to shops and cafes.

Petra Sprekos of realestateVIEW says it appears Melburnians have been swept up by the MasterChef phenomenon by favouring big kitchens.

“True to its European reputation Melbourne buyers are also happy to live smaller but close to their favourite eateries and shops.’’

Ms Sprekos says Sydney buyers favoured multiple bathrooms, which are perfect for shared living.

“Particularly among young professionals, who want the Sydney high life without the hefty price tag.’’

Ms Sprekos says she is fascinated by the differences between cities.

“Victoria and New South Wales are quite similar, but I think the other states do vary because they are quite unique.

“Smaller cities such as Adelaide and Perth obviously factor things such as traffic less than buyers less than in Sydney and Melbourne.’’

Story Source:   www.news.com.au

tt twitter micro3 What home buyers really want differs dramatically between states

Keeping sane during ‘sale’ season

Forsaleretail thumb Keeping sane during ‘sale’ season

Is it me, or does there always seem to be a sale on in your local interiors/furniture store?

The sale season seems to be in full swing all year round and many of us are being bombarded with alluring emails, colourful catalogues and decoy signage about the ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ bargains which promise to transform our homes, ourselves and our lives.

Most of us have at times been lured into bargain hunting by seductive offers of 2 for 1, up to 30% off, or buy 1 get 1 free – and the deals appear to be hotting up season on season.


Well, while we may believe we are in control of grabbing a bargain, more often the retailer still holds the reigns, cleverly packaging up goods in a way which thrills all our senses, overwhelming us with FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), and clouding our judgement. Thanks!

Don’t be fooled by the thrill of the chase

If the thrill of the sales season always catches your attention, take a moment to consider how you are feeling when you are in bargain hunting mode; bored, anxious, empty, disconnected, lonely, or perhaps not good enough?

These feelings are part of the normal spectrum of emotions we all experience at times, so instead of undertaking a retail binge, try to find ways to acknowledge these emotions, sit with them, talk about them, or even write them down.

Research shows that the emotional regions of the brain light up when we secure a bargain or chase a deal, and as humans we are programmed to do what feels good.

Before you hit the shops – or the internet…

Yet buyer’s remorse can sting, as can spending beyond our means. So if you feel the need to redecorate your home, or kit up in a new wardrobe, consider the following tips before you go shopping or hop online:

  • Beware of becoming overly focused on the thrill of the chase, in turn losing sight of what it is you really need.
  • Take five minutes to consider what you will do with/how you will use your potential new purchase, even if that means going for a quick coffee or walk before opening your wallet.
  • Always take a list with you to minimise being seduced by the retailers.
  • Manage temptation by cancelling your email subscriptions and reminders from retailers to avoid being enticed into buying something you don’t need or want.

Now you’re mentally ready to hit the sales, and if there’s really nothing you need, but you fancy a look – maybe leave your credit card at home!

Story:    Sabina Read     Source:    www.realestate.com.au

tt twitter micro3 Keeping sane during ‘sale’ season

Gap widens between houses & units in capitals

housevsunit thumb Gap widens between houses & units in capitals

New data suggests the gap between house and unit values is widening across Australia’s capital cities, with houses recording greater value growth than units.

RP Data figures show that at the end of the first quarter of 2014, combined capital city house values were 28% higher than combined capital city unit values.

In the 12 month period house values increased by 10.7%, whereas unit values increased 9.4%.

“The faster rate of value growth for houses is likely to result in a growing differential between house and unit values,” Mr Kusher said.

The contrast was pronounced in premium Perth suburb Peppermint Grove, where house values are 687% (approximately seven times) more expensive than unit values.

Sydney’s Centennial Park posted a 523% between houses and units, and in Melbourne, Toorak homes were 283% pricier than units.

Adelaide suburb of Toorak Gardens had a differential of 280%, while Ascot in Brisbane recorded 236%. Forrest in Canberra recorded 242%.

In Darwin and Hobart the difference was less stark, but still considerable – at 156% and 105% respectively.

Story:   Venessa Paech    Source:   www.realestate.com.au

tt twitter micro3 Gap widens between houses & units in capitals

RBA leave interest rates unchanged

RBA thumb RBA leave interest rates unchanged

At its meeting today, the Board decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 2.5 per cent.

Growth in the global economy was a bit below trend in 2013, but there are reasonable prospects of a better outcome this year, helped by firmer conditions in the advanced countries. China’s growth appears to have slowed a little in early 2014 but remains generally in line with policymakers’ objectives. Commodity prices in historical terms remain high, though some of those important to Australia have softened further of late.

Financial conditions overall remain very accommodative. Long-term interest rates and most risk spreads remain low. Equity and credit markets are well placed to provide adequate funding.

In Australia, the economy grew at a below-trend pace in 2013. Recent information suggests moderate growth is occurring in consumer demand and foreshadows a strong expansion in housing construction. Some indicators of business conditions and confidence have improved from a year ago and exports are rising. But at the same time, resources sector investment spending is set to decline significantly and, at this stage, signs of improvement in investment intentions in other sectors are only tentative, as firms wait for more evidence of improved conditions before committing to expansion plans. Public spending is scheduled to be subdued.

The demand for labour has been weak over the past year and, as a result, the rate of unemployment has risen somewhat. More recently, there has been some improvement in indicators for the labour market, but it will probably be some time yet before unemployment declines consistently. Growth in wages has declined noticeably and this has been reflected more clearly in the latest price data, which show a moderation in growth in prices for non-traded goods and services. As a result, inflation is consistent with the target. If domestic costs remain contained, that should continue to be the case over the next one to two years, even with lower levels of the exchange rate.

Monetary policy remains accommodative. Interest rates are very low and savers continue to look for higher returns in response to low rates on safe instruments. Credit growth has picked up a little, while dwelling prices have increased significantly over the past year. The decline in the exchange rate from its highs a year ago will assist in achieving balanced growth in the economy, but less so than previously as a result of the rise over the past few months. The exchange rate remains high by historical standards.

Looking ahead, continued accommodative monetary policy should provide support to demand, and help growth to strengthen over time. Inflation is expected to be consistent with the 2–3 per cent target over the next two years.

In the Board’s judgement, monetary policy is appropriately configured to foster sustainable growth in demand and inflation outcomes consistent with the target. On present indications, the most prudent course is likely to be a period of stability in interest rates.

Story :  Statement by Glenn Stevens   Source:   www.rba.gov.au

tt twitter micro3 RBA leave interest rates unchanged

Landlords pay the price of druggie tenants

Landlords and drugs thumb Landlords pay the price of druggie tenants

IT’S every property owner’s worst nightmare.

Just this week almost 100 kilograms of amphetamine-type substances, manufacturing equipment and $2.5 million in cash were found in eight search warrants executed across Perth, Sydney and the Gold Coast.

A significant portion of this was found in homes in Queensland and Sydney, with one taking two days to complete because of the volume of drugs, equipment and chemicals at the house.

While the homes in question weren’t rentals, the majority of clandestine drug labs are found in residential areas according to the Australian Crime Commission Illicit Drug Data Report.

More than 757 residential drug labs were found around the country in 2012-13, which range from crude and makeshift to highly sophisticated operations.

“Regardless of their level of sophistication or size, clandestine laboratories pose significant risks to the community as a consequence of the corrosive and hazardous nature of the chemicals used,” the report states.

They can also rack up significant damages for property owners and cause financial ruin for the unfortunate landlord who happens to own the home.

Terri Scheer Insurance executive manager Carolyn Parrella said tenants involved in cultivating illegal drugs, such as cannabis, methamphetamine and ecstasy go to great lengths to hide their activities. But there are some crucial signs.

Here are her top tips if you’re worried your home is being used as a drug lab:

• Conduct regular property inspections

Cannabis represented more than 62 per cent of the seizures, with amphetamines making up 24 per cent. Cocaine accounted for 2.5 per cent and other other drugs made up the remaining 10 per cent, according to the Australian Crime Commission report.

“It takes three months to cultivate a hydroponics crop so carrying out quarterly inspections will increase the chances of detecting any illegal activity as soon as possible,’’ Ms Parrella said.

• Look for signs that the property is being lived in

“Illegal drug manufacturers generally do not live at the properties they use to cultivate drugs, therefore the premises may appear under furnished or neglected.”

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Property price growth slows throughout Australia

house with price tag thumb Property price growth slows throughout Australia

A SLOW down in property price growth in the past month, hasn’t stopped one of Australia’s most active markets breaking the $800,000 median house price barrier.

The latest RP Data-Rismark April hedonic home value index reveals dwelling values across Australia’s capital cities rose by just 0.3 per cent in April.

Despite this Sydney’s median house price has broken the $800,000 barrier for the first time.

Tim Lawless of RP Data said the rate of growth in values had slowed in April, following strong increases in March and the first quarter of the year.

Values dropped in Melbourne by 0.5 per cent and Canberra by 1.1 per cent.

Other capital cities recorded growth in values, although the rates of growth were not as they had been previously.

Values went up 0.5 per cent in Sydney, 1.1 per cent in Brisbane and Darwin, 2.1 per cent in Adelaide, 0.2 per cent in Perth and Hobart.

Mr Lawless says the latest figures showed growth is now at a more sustainable rate.

He says this is reflected also in auction clearance rates which have been trending down the last four weeks from very high levels.

At the same time average selling time and vendor discounting rates have also flattened.

“It suggests to me that the market is still at a very strong place but probably right at peak growth,’’ he said.

“When you look at a market like Sydney I think that very high median price is quiet reflective also that we are seeing a lot of activity in the market place now and in Melbourne at the upper end of dwelling prices.

“We are seeing more activity across the premium market place, million dollar plus and less activity down the more affordable end as we are seeing first home buyers increasingly priced out of detached housing.’’

Mr Lawless says the latest figures reflect a slowing trend in price growth.

“We were always of a view that the capital gains we have seen in Australia’s two largest cities, Sydney and Melbourne, was unsustainable.

“The market does naturally slow down, that’s what has happened over each cycle, we will probably find as growth rates start to taper away, we will find the weaker performing cities may potentially start to pick up some pace.

“Brisbane is probably the obvious candidate there. Affordability is nowhere near as much an issue as it is in Sydney, yields are still very strong, population growth is strong, the labour market is relatively strong. I think that will probably be the market place that bucks the trend of a slowing market and starts to gather some pace.’’

Source:   www.news.com.au

tt twitter micro3 Property price growth slows throughout Australia

Lenders drop rates, but tread lightly

rates drop thumb Lenders drop rates, but tread lightly

Some local lenders have reduced their variable home loan interest rates, but financial comparison experts are warning to investigate deals before signing on.

According to comparison site finder.com.au, seven lenders have dropped variable interest rates on 20 home loans by as much as 0.17 % since January 1, 2014, including ANZ, Bank of Queensland, Citibank, Homeloans, HSBC and Westpac.

While a competitive market is great news for home buyers, it’s still important to exercise caution and compare products in some detail before taking on a loan or changing an existing arrangement. Discounted rates don’t always last, and buyers might find they are penalised by fine print down the track.

“Some lenders, including the major banks, market their home loans based on a discount off their standard variable rate,” warned Michelle Hutchison, Money Expert at finder.com.au.

“But the rate you end up with could be much more than other home loans in the market.

“For example, the big four banks offer their package variable home loans for a $400,000 loan as 0.77 percentage points on average off their standard variable rates. The actual rate that borrowers are offered for this loan size is 5.14% on average.

“There are 65 variable home loans that are lower than the big four banks’ average discounted rate for this loan size.”

Mark Bouris, Executive Chairman of wealth management company Yellow Brick Road, said continued research matters and people should never assume that loyalty to an institution will expose them to the most favourable products and deals.

“People visit their bank thinking their loyalty is going to get them the best home loan rate, or they’re attracted to a special offer, oblivious to the fact that the discount rate might not be competitive in the long run.

Shopping around and comparing rates can easily save a home owner tens of thousands of dollars over the life of their loan, and that’s money better spent planning for the future than in interest payments.”

Story:   Venessa Paech     Source:   www.realestate.com.au

tt twitter micro3 Lenders drop rates, but tread lightly

Perfect time to a pay little extra on the mortgage

Savings thumb Perfect time to a pay little extra on the mortgage

Paying a little extra on your home loan? Perhaps you should consider it. Record low interest rates are giving Australian home owners the best opportunity in decades to get ahead on mortgage payments, for those who have funds available.

According to Smartline Personal Mortgage Advisers, paying an extra $100 a week on the average mortgage could deliver interest savings of more than $115,000 over the life of the loan.

“With the recent RBA decision to hold the cash rate at 2.5% again, current interest rate levels represent enormous savings to borrowers,”said Smartline’s Executive Director Joe Sirianni.

“Consequently, there has not been a better time to make additional repayments on your mortgage for 20 years. It very much highlights the concept of spending money to make money.”

Low interest rates absorb less of a mortgage repayment, freeing up more of the money you’re paying onto your property to be applied to your principal debt.

A $300,000 mortgage at 5% would be paid off your home loan 11 years faster, saving $115,000 in interest, with an extra $100 a week over the minimum repayment.

“There’s no doubt that now is the time to pay down debt more aggressively,” Mr Sirianni said.

“Now is the time for those with a home loan to be making hay while the sun shines.”

Remember that the impact of repayments comes down to the structure of your loans and your individual financial situation. Talk to the professionals and ask how applying some extra money – if you have it to spare – can help you reduce the debt on your home loan.

Story:   Venessa Paech     Source:   www.realestate.com.au

tt twitter micro3 Perfect time to a pay little extra on the mortgage

Investing in property should be about making money

Investing and making money thumb Investing in property should be about making money

The media is full of property stories about how auction clearance rates in the big cites are moving from strong to silly. Frustrated buyers are losing out and sellers are rubbing their hands together in financial glee. I’m hearing of stories of buyers neglecting their due diligence because they just don’t have time.

Buildings and pest inspections, for example, are the first to go by the wayside. Some people are even signing on the dotted line without seeing the home. There’s nothing new in this, of course; it’s all been done before when the market was busy. The thing to understand is that it’s a high-risk strategy and not for the amateur.

Cutting corners to secure the home before anyone else is dangerous. And here’s an important tip: Buying a property is not a race. While it is not boom time everywhere, for many buyers wanting to buy a new home or invest in established areas, is becoming rather tainted.

Buying a home should be an exciting challenge where the results are clearly worth all the effort. From what I can gather right now that clearly is not the case for very many, so here are a few pointers.

What is a boom? Usually and thankfully booms happen and are over in a short time. When supply is low, demand is high, the media realises and starts discussing it loudly, all combined with low interest rates: Boom!

This typically occurs in areas where limited land is available for further development, or what is being built or planned is not the primary housing demand stock. For example, in urban areas, developers may be building stunning luxury units, but the older, established units are cheaper per square metre and have lower strata fees and so are selling like proverbial hot cakes.

In these conditions, investors should be aware they are likely to be buying at the top of the cycle — and there are no deals here, just market value and a bit more for luck! This is fine if you can see very long term and the figures stack up, but if they don’t — never get carried away with the hyperbole —— property investing should be about making money, not your own emotions, a desire to win at auction or following the crowd.

First homebuyers have two options. The first is to give in and let things calm down. It will — it always does. The price you pay later may be a bit more — that’s always the risk — but just as equally, it might not be and you may have saved more money towards your deposit, too. The second option is to keep going but always ensure you choose a home you really like. The property should be good for you long term — one that can be rented to a value to cover your home loan if you need to move on before the value gain or purchase price has been covered.

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