Thursday, December 17, 2009

Latest Property News from Ted Hanson

Friday 18 December 2009
Merry Christmas!
Wishing you all the best for the holiday season. In the news this week, Aussies still want to buy houses; and looking after the little guys while you're away on holiday...
More loans for new housing

Lending for new homes continues to increase, according to figures released this week by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Loans for the construction of new dwellings and the purchase of newly-built homes combined increased by 5.7 per cent in October, following a rise in September. New housing loans have increased in 13 of the past 14 months.

New investment housing did not fare so well, dropping by 0.6 per cent. Loans for new investment housing were down 10.5 per cent over the last 3 months relative to the corresponding period last year.

During October, loans for the construction of new dwellings increased by 9.2 per cent, while loans for the purchase of newly-built dwellings dropped by 3.9 per cent.

The total number of seasonally adjusted loans for owner-occupiers (net of refinancing) fell by 1.5 per cent in the month of October 2009 but was up by 37.4 per cent compared to October 2008.

In seasonally adjusted terms the total number of owner-occupier loans (net of refinancing) in October 2009 declined in New South Wales (5 per cent), Queensland (0.6 per cent), Victoria (0.4 per cent), the Australian Capital Territory (1 per cent) and South Australia (3.8 per cent).

The total number of loans increased by 0.8 per cent in Western Australia, the Northern Territory (7.9 per cent) and by 6.2 per cent in Tasmania.

Home comfort

More than one third of Australians plan to buy a property in the next two years despite concerns over interest rates and higher living costs, according to the annual Consumer Sentiment Survey commissioned by mortgage broker, Mortgage Choice.

The results indicate the country's more positive economic outlook is prompting almost half (40 per cent) of Australians to revisit their financial plans. Furthermore, 40 per cent of responding mortgage holders believed they could afford to make repayments at an interest rate of over 11 per cent.

Mortgage Choice senior corporate affairs manager, Kristy Sheppard said that since the global financial crisis hit home, more borrowers are taking ownership over their financial situation and although many see rates as concerning, a high percentage are prepared for rate rises of at least five percentage points, which is much higher than is being predicted for the next couple of years.

"This suggests many borrowers can comfortably repay their home loan sooner, if they put their mind and budget to it", Ms Sheppard said.

"Improved sentiment from Australians around their livelihoods is also terrific to see. When compared to last year's results, job security slipped from the top of the `biggest concern' list to third place this year, behind interest rates rises and other costs of living."

The survey data shows that for 2010, respondents were most concerned by interest rates (19 per cent of respondents) and other costs of living such as utility bills and clothing (17 per cent) than they were about their job security (16 per cent) and economic management at Federal Government level (15 per cent).

Last year, the major personal concerns were job security (20 per cent), followed by economic management at Federal Government level (18 per cent) and other costs of living (17 per cent).

This aside, almost three quarters of this year's respondents were confident the Australian economy would be strong during 2010, so much so that almost half of those without a mortgage (41 per cent) planned to take the leap into property ownership within the next two years.

When asked to consider higher mortgage interest rates, 40 per cent of mortgage holders said they could afford a rate increase of more than five percentage points before they would need to consider selling their property. 17 per cent of those said they could afford `any' increase - the second most popular response.

On the lower end of the scale, 14 per cent could afford four to five percentage points, 13 per cent between three and four points, 15 per cent between two and three, and 6 per cent between 1.5 and 2 percentage points. 6 per cent said they couldn't afford any rate rise before considering selling.

Over half of all respondents (57 per cent) felt the global financial crisis had made investing in property seem safer than shares.

Generation Y was the most comfortable investing in property, with 62 per cent believing property is safer. 58 per cent of Baby Boomers agreed and 56 per cent Generation X. Western Australia had the highest percentage of respondents who believed this to be the case, at 61 per cent.

"As a housing market service provider, Mortgage Choice is pleased to see 41 per cent of respondents planning to buy property in the next two years and 43 per cent of them planning on an investment property.

Hopefully, increasing demand from this buyer group will stimulate more housing construction," Ms Sheppard said.

Take a gander at George's house!

No one knows exactly why George Stacy chose to construct his family home in the shape of a goose. The railway worker just came up with the concept impulsively, his wife Ollie says.

"He came home one day with the idea in his mind, I have no idea how he came up with that notion".

In fine Darwinian form, Stacy shot down a sacrificial goose and used the carefully prepared carcass as a scale model of his vision. This would provide a natural blueprint.

For six years, the Stacys lived in an old shack above the site whilst construction was taking place. Determination was key, and without the money to build continually they had to "work a while and build a while", Ollie recalls.

The result is a truly unique home featuring eight egg-shaped windows, two of which contained car lights that served as life-like goose eyes.
Ollie reports that at one stage these lights would blink to passing motorists. Sandstone from the local creeks, most of it hauled to the site by Stacy's three sons, was used for the external walls. Akin to the model, the roof of the building is ribbed, with a `head' protruding about 15 feet high. There is a tail at the other end of the roof and the entire building sits within an oval `nest'.

Completed in 1940, the Mother Goose building in Hazard still continues to attract attention around the world and has been featured in the New York Times and on the Oprah Winfrey Show.

Although George Stacy has passed away, his monumental display of imagination and creative genius lives lives on. Not only as the `Mother Goose' building, but as concrete reminder of the magical imagination that lies within us all, just waiting for a chance to hatch out.

It's what's outside that counts

If you're planning to go away for the holidays, spare a thought for your buddies who stay behind to keep an eye on the house. Just as you make arrangements to have your pets and plants cared for, it is important to ensure there is shelter and water for the variety of birds, lizards and a number of other insects and small animals that share your patch.

Not only do these critters live and find food in your backyard, but they also play an important role in maintaining the biodiversity of our land. Birds, bees and butterflies help propagate the plants, while the bluetongues, skinks and frogs all love to hunt and eat garden pests.

The National Parks and Wildlife Foundation, through its Backyard Buddies initiative, offers a few suggestions of things you can do to make sure your co-habitors enjoy their summer too:

Install a bird bath. Your feathered friends will love to splash and cool down. You can even add a timer to your pond or birdbath to keep water fresh and clean. If water restrictions are an issue, birds love to roll around in a shallow sand bath. Make sure the bath is beyond the reach of neighbourhood moggies - spiky ground cover makes an effective and attractive natural barrier!

Tadpoles are growing legs and will be looking for ponds, so keeping yours in good shape while you are away could see some new residents move in. Again, a timer is a cheap and simple way to keep water levels stable for your plants, fish and frog buddies.

Add shade and plenty of leaf litter or fallen bark for your smaller visitors. Before you go, how about adding some rocks and logs in a corner of your backyard? They provide shade and shelter for lizards and other small animals while you are away, and these guys will keep your backyard free of snails and other pests while you're on holidays.

Housing starts up

Housing starts increased by 9.4 per cent in the September 2009 quarter, according to figures released this week by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The seasonally adjusted estimate for new private sector house commencements rose 8.1 per cent following a rise of 5.1 per cent in the June quarter.

The estimate for new private sector other residential building

Staircase je t'aime

Ever had a friend or relative go to France and bring you back a tiny model of the Eiffel Tower?

Here's one sure to trump their gift - a 40-step section of spiral staircase removed from the Eiffel Tower was sold by auction recently.

Part of a flight of stairs dismantled in 1983 when elevators were installed, the 7.8 metre section sold for A$136,000 in Paris to a man who also bought a piece of the Berlin Wall.

No comments:

Post a Comment