Thursday, May 20, 2010

Latest Property News from Ted Hanson

Friday 21 May 2010
One week to go until Australia's Biggest Morning Tea!

The count down is on........Southern Estates will be hosting a "Biggest Morning Tea" at our office at 98 Market St, Wollongong on Thursday 27 May at 10:30am. We would love for you to come along and join us for a warm cuppa, a delicious assortment of cakes and great company!

By taking part you can help Cancer Council support the 1 in 2 Australians who will be diagnosed with cancer before the age of 85!

Here's how every cup counts:

$5 can help us give a newly diagnosed cancer patient important support and information resources to help them through their cancer journey.

$10 can help staff the Cancer Council Helpline (13 11 20) with expertly trained nurses and health counsellors.

$20 can help train a Cancer Connect volunteer to provide one-to-one support for people diagnosed with cancer.

$50 can help us visit a community to educate health professionals and support patients and carers.

$100 can help provide SunSmart educational talks to schools and community groups.

$500 can help fund research into the causes of cancer and into new and improved treatments.

Please let us know if you can join us by either emailing Nicki at or simply phone our office on 4229 5344 and leave a message with our fabulous Receptionist Tamsyn.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Confidence reaches historical high

A record number of Australians are preparing for property prices to increase in coming months, as demand for housing continues to outpace supply, according to a new survey released this week.

The latest Bankwest/Mortgage and Finance Association Home Finance (MFAA) Index shows three quarters of Australians (76 per cent) believe prices will rise in the current quarter.

The data shows it's the people upgrading or buying their second homes who are fuelling interest in the property market.

Three quarters (74.8 per cent) of `next time' buyers also believe it is a good time to purchase investment property - up sharply from the record low 14.5 per cent recorded during the height of the credit crisis.

In contrast, prospective first time buyers are more cautious about the market, with only 43.7 per cent believing now is a good time to buy compared to 49.7 per cent in the last survey.

According to Vittoria Shortt Chief Executive, Bankwest Retail, although interest rates are rising next time buyers are returning to the property market because of confidence in the economy and the jobs market.

"Historically, the market has proved a good barometer of home owners' confidence in the economy," said Ms Shortt.

"During the early stages of the GFC house prices slipped, then the market recovered as first time buyers flooded the market. Now the baton has been passed to upgraders who see it as a good time to buy because of a strong economy and confidence in their job prospects.

"We are also witnessing the return of investors to the market as a tight rental market see the potential for good rental yields", she added.

"Savvy next time buyers are also aware of impending interest rate rises and are factoring these into their decision making process."

The latest Index has also shown that of the many people who are expecting the cash rate to keep climbing, almost half (47.1 per cent) predict interest rates will rise by more than 0.5 per cent within the next 12 months.

The day after tomorrow

It's hard to deny that the future is rapidly approaching. An entrepreneurial company in the US is offering a solution for anyone wanting to survive polar shifts, massive volcano eruptions, solar flares, earthquakes, asteroids, tsunamis and nuclear attacks, just to name a few, with a series of modern life-style-equipped underground bunkers.

The Vivos Complexes are deep underground, airtight, fully self-contained shelters designed to survive virtually any catastrophe and capable of accommodating 200 people for up to 1 year.

One bunker is now established under the Mojave Desert, California, with 19 others planned in strategic spots so that it will take no longer than three days to reach from anywhere in the US. Securing a spot costs around AU$57,000 for humans, pets are welcome free. Members need to only arrive before each facility is secured, or it may be a lonely apocalypse on the outside.

Australia's population exceeds 22 million

Australia's population reached 22,066,000 as at 30 September 2009, according to figures released recently by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

This is an increase of 451,900 people over the previous year, keeping the growth rate high at 2.1 per cent.

The majority of this growth (66 per cent) was due to net overseas migration, with the remainder (34 per cent) due to natural increase (the excess of births over deaths).

All states and territories experienced positive population growth over the 12 months ended 30 September 2009. Western Australia recorded the largest percentage gain (2.9 per cent) and Tasmania the smallest (1 per cent).

More people, more first homebuyers

The rapidly increasing number of people in Australia is one of the reasons why First Home Buyer intentions are not expected to fall to the same extent as they did following the expiration of the previous First Home Buyer Boost Scheme in 2002, according to research by BIS Shrapnel.

QBE Lenders' Mortgage Insurance (QBE LMI) has just released its latest lmiMortgage Update (researched by BIS Shrapnel), which reports on first home buyer attitudes and activity.

The report anticipates loans approved to first home buyers to be relatively strong at 110,000 to 115,000 in 2010; this is a healthy 27 per cent above the low point of loans to first home buyers in 2003/04.

Ian Graham, CEO of QBE LMI, remarked that it is not surprising that the withdrawal of the First Home Owner Grant Boost Scheme (FHOGBS) as well as a number of interest rate increases have had a short term impact on demand in the market.

"This was expected, given that many first home buyers brought forward their intentions to enter the housing market in 2009", Mr Graham said.

"The research by BIS Shrapnel shows strong population growth in the first home buyer age cohort (25 to 39 year-olds) totalling 3.2 per cent over the three years to June 2012.

"The solid growth in this age group will result in a bigger pool of first home buyers in the market which will support demand in the future", he added.

The research shows that first home buyers are adjusting their expectations by turning to established or smaller dwellings, such as townhouses and apartments.

"Forecast rental increases will also be a factor in driving first home buyer demand", Mr Graham said.

"The move from renting to paying off a mortgage will continue to be an attractive option and as a result will encourage many first home buyers to enter the market in the year ahead" he predicted.

Commitments down

Housing finance commitments fell in March this year, for the sixth month in a row, according to figures released this week by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The total number of dwellings financed for owner occupiers, seasonally adjusted, fell by 3.4 per cent in March, to be down 23.3 per cent on March last year.

The number of loans for `new' dwellings (construction/purchase of new dwellings combined) fell by 6.3 per cent in March to be down by 5.8 per cent on the same month last year.

Loans for the construction of dwellings fell by 7.3 per cent in March (a rise of 1.6 per cent on the same month last year), however loans to buy new dwellings fell by 3.2 per cent in March, to be down 21.7 per cent on March 2009.

The number of loans for the purchase of established dwellings fell by 2.9 in March, to be down 23.3 per cent on the same time last year.

The value of lending to finance the purchase of investment housing rose by 3.0 per cent in March, to be up 24.0 per cent on a year ago.

The value of lending to finance construction of dwellings for rent or resale fell by 2.1 per cent, but was up 12.9 per cent on last year.

Despite the disappointing results, peak building and construction organisation Master Builders Australia remains optimistic about work in the pipeline.

"Owner occupier loans for the building or purchase of new dwellings have (also) come back in recent times, but remain up 30,000 to 40,000 dwellings in annualised terms from the low point in late 2008, suggesting a solid pipeline of new building work yet to be done", noted Peter Jones, Master Builders' Chief Economist.

A relaxing chair that rocks

A gentle rocking motion has been found to have a calming, relaxing effect on people of all ages, from babies to the elderly and most anyone in between. Add to that the sound of waves gently lapping on the shore, and we are in heaven.

Rocking On The Beach has taken the classic rocking chair and given it the capacity to produce its own soothing nature sounds, other than squeaks and creaks.

Looking like the lovechild of the tin man and a rocking chair, it has sand in its runners to create a gentle `whooshing' noise, which is projected out of speaker-like openings as the chair rocks back and forth, thus mimicking the sounds of the beach.

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