Thursday, March 25, 2010

Latest Property News from Ted Hanson

Friday 26 March 2010

No matter how wonderful our dreams, how noble our ideals, or how high our hopes, ultimately we need courage to make them a reality. Without action, it's as if they never existed.

Housing starts to climb

The number of housing starts jumped again in the December 2009 quarter, following on a rise in the previous period, according to figures released this week by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The seasonally adjusted estimate for the total number of dwelling units commenced rose 15.1 per cent in the December quarter, following a rise of 11.0 per cent in the September quarter.

The seasonally adjusted estimate for new private sector house commencements rose 13.4 per cent in the December quarter following a rise of 9.9 per cent in the September quarter.

The seasonally adjusted estimate for new private sector other residential building rose 18.9 per cent in the December quarter following a rise of 10.0 per cent in the September quarter.

Needed: half a million homes by 2020

Australia could face a shortage of almost half a million homes in the next decade, according to a new report released this week.

The Housing Industry Association's inaugural Housing to 2020 report shows that if current building trends persist, Australia's cumulated housing shortage would reach 466,000 dwellings by 2020.

HIA Senior Economist Ben Phillips said that the report, which focuses on future housing demand and the number of dwellings required in meeting this demand, highlights a current housing shortage that already numbers over 109,000 dwellings.

"The reality in many regions and cities in Australia is that affordable, well located land is not available or abundant", Phillips said, pointing to planning restrictions, taxes and labour shortages as the other main culprits behind the problem.

"If we don't get a comprehensive supply response to the accumulating housing shortage then the lack of affordable and appropriately located rental properties will only worsen, while pressures on existing home prices will continue at an undesirable rate", he warned.

The report provides the first estimates made of Australia's housing shortage at a Local Government Area (LGA) level, showing that shortages exist in just under half (295) of the 669 LGAs across Australia.

The majority of the shortages can be found in and around metropolitan Sydney and Brisbane.

"It was also found that many of the LGAs with the largest housing shortage are also the same regions with the highest level of demand", Phillips said.

"Again, it's the growth areas in the greater Sydney area and in South East Queensland where demand will be amongst the highest in the nation.

"The growth areas in and around Melbourne also show high levels of demand.

"Current construction levels in most high demand areas are simply not sufficient to meet the needs of a fast growing population," he concluded.

Top prize goes to champions of sustainability
A husband and wife team creating sustainable buildings that reinforce sense of place, community and identity in increasingly pressured urban environments has been awarded Australia's top national architecture prize - the Australian Institute of Architects 2010 Gold Medal for Architecture.

Kerry and Lindsay Clare are the first husband and wife team to win the nation's top architecture prize, with Kerry the second Australian female only in the Gold Medal's 50-year history to receive the honour.

Architecturally, Kerry and Lindsay Clare are best known for the creation over the past 31 years of a large range of projects in Queensland (particularly the Sunshine Coast) and NSW (Sydney). Their most iconic project to date is the multiple award-winning Gallery of Modern Art, in Brisbane's cultural precinct.

The couple is widely known for their sub-tropical, low impact, sustainable residential projects across regional Queensland. These houses are typically modest in size, elegant, lightweight structures bathed in natural light and cooled by natural ventilation. The Goetz House and Thrupp and Summers House in particular received national attention when designed in the mid-1980s, forging new ground for environmental design.

The jury citation noted that the couple's "great body of work demonstrates an appropriate environmental response, developing the concept of efficient low-energy, sustainable solutions decades before legislation made it mandatory".

Recent past recipients include high profile architects such as Richard Johnson, Kerry Hill, Glenn Murcutt, Jørn Utzon, Gregory Burgess, Keith Cottier, Brit Andresen and Peter Corrigan.

Colour your home happy

How would you feel about putting your baby to bed in a nursery decorated entirely in black and white?

How would you feel about putting your baby to bed in a nursery decorated entirely in black and white?

Scientific tests have shown that when humans are exposed to different colours, our physical, mental and emotional states change slightly. The effects can range from an actual physical change in blood pressure and body temperature through to an alteration in our perception of space and distance. It has a marked influence on our mood and even on our appetite.

So it's easy to see how colour can play a huge role in the home, not just in the way it looks but how you feel when you are there.

The good news is that often you don't need an entire paint-job to change the feel of a room - small accents are sometimes enough. Cushions, artwork, sometimes a rug or a subtly-coloured lamp can add the touch you are looking for.

Whether you're looking to adjust, rework or overhaul an existing colour scheme, look for inspiration in your surroundings. A favourite painting, rug, or anything similar can be used as a starting point to build on.

If you struggle for inspiration, don't fret - try starting with a scrapbook from magazine cutouts and fabrics, compiling colours or palettes that appeal to you.

Of course, you can put together any colours that you like, but there are some standard combinations which designers use for different effects, such as:

* The monochromatic scheme - possibly the easiest combination, it uses varying tones from one colour.
* Complementary colours - colours which are opposite each other on the colour wheel will form a contrast and create a stimulating effect.
* Related colours - colours that lie side by side on the colour wheel create a subtle harmonious effect.

When considering different options, keep in mind the occupants who will be affected by the colours you choose - for instance, babies and very young children will be more sensitive to the effects of colour than adults and care should be taken when choosing a colour for their surroundings. The pale peach/pink of the womb (the place they were nurtured and feel safe) is a baby's first experience with colour. Decorating the baby's room in pale pink can help them relax and generate a safe feeling in their new environment.

Once you've decided on some possible colour schemes, head down to your local paint supplier to get colour chips in your chosen colours. Look at the chips both in the daylight and at night so you can see how the lighting will affect the colour. As a last resort, you might want to buy a sample pot of your chosen colour and test it on one wall.

Another way to play with colours is with "Mycolour", an innovative colour scheming tool on the Dulux website. With a variety of rooms and more than 800 colours to choose from, the program makes it not only easy to match colours throughout an entire room, but is a lot of fun to use. It even allows you to flick a switch to see how the room looks from different angles or in both daylight and at night.

Most importantly, have fun finding a colour scheme that expresses your personality and makes you feel good!

Quick, hide - it's the policemen again

Having police knock on the door is enough to cause anyone anxiety, so it is not surprising that an octogenarian couple in New York have petitioned the NYPD to stop harassing them, after more than 50 visits.

Local news sources report that police have knocked on the door of Walter Martin, 83, and his wife Rose, 82, 50-plus times since the couple moved into their home in 2002, looking for suspects or witnesses in murder, robbery and rape cases. The couple has been visited by law enforcement up to three times a week.

The Daily News reported its computer search showed 15 other people living at the Marine Park address. The Martins don't know any of them. NYPD are now investigating the possibility of identity fraud.

Shower Thoughts

The shower isn't just where we do our best singing, but also our best thinking. Unfortunately a lot of the great ideas that come to us end up rinsing out before we get a chance to write them down - which is where AquaNotes come in.

With 40 waterproof tear-off sheets of paper and a waterproof pencil that both attach to your shower with suction cups, you're less likely to lose ideas down the drain.

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