Thursday, June 17, 2010

Latest Property News from Ted Hanson

Friday 18 June 2010
Quote of the week...

It's only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth -- and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up -- that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had.

- Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Investor loans rising

Loans for investment housing continued to rise in April, according to dwelling commitments figures released this week by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Investment loans for new housing increased 9.1 per cent over the month, assisting total investment to rise by 1.3 per cent.

Loans for the purchase of new dwellings grew by 6.3 per cent in April, however the number of loans for construction fell by 4.8 per cent.

Overall, loans for new housing dropped by 1.8 per cent to be 25 per cent lower than six months ago.

Over the 3 months to April 2010 total housing loans dropped by 20.8 per cent compared to the same period in 2009. First home buyer loans were down by 51.4 per cent, while trade-up buyer loans fell by 8.6 per cent.

In seasonally adjusted terms the total number of owner occupier loans in April 2010 fell by 0.7 per cent in Victoria, 3.1 per cent in Queensland, 1.9 per cent in Western Australia, 0.2 per cent in the ACT, and 8.6 per cent in the Northern Territory.

Loans increased by 0.4 per cent in New South Wales, 3.8 per cent in South Australia, and 2.7 per cent in Tasmania.

Good time to buy a home

We may be a little apprehensive about the way the global economy is going but are more than happy to buy a house, according to a recent survey of consumer sentiment.

The Westpac-Melbourne Institute Consumer Sentiment Index fell by 5.7 per cent in June from 108.0 in May to 101.9 in June. But that's not because we're worried about rising interest rates, apparently.

Westpac's Chief Economist, Bill Evans, commented that the result seems to reflect a mixture of concerns about deteriorating conditions abroad, financial market turmoil and uncertainty around the Government's proposed Resource Super Profits Tax.

"The spending intentions measures in this survey have been quite resilient", Mr Evans said.

"The component `whether now is a good time to buy a major household item' is only down 5.6 per cent over the last two months and in this survey other `time to buy' questions posted partial rebounds."

`Time to buy a dwelling' rebounded 7.3 per cent from its 15.4 per cent slump in May and `time to buy a car' rebounded 1.6 per cent from a 6.4 per cent fall in May.

Mr Evans does not expect that interest rates will rise in the near future.

"The Reserve Bank Board next meets on July 6.

"Clearly we are not changing our view that rates will remain on hold following that meeting", he said, adding that the next significant meeting will be on August 3, after the Board will have received an update on inflation.

The survey found that consumers' short-term outlook for the economy improved in June, with expectations for `economic conditions over the next 12 months' rising 2.8 per cent.

Australia's building hotspots

Victoria is the nation's biggest building hotspot, according to a new report from the Housing Industry Association.

The Population and Residential Building Hotspots report provides a snapshot of Australia's fastest growing metropolitan and regional areas in the 2008/09 financial year.

A "hotspot" is defined as a local area where population growth exceeds the national rate and the value of residential building work approved is in excess of $100 million.

The nation's top local building hotspot was Whittlesea North in Victoria where residential building work approved rose to over $484 million and the population growth rate was 18.3 per cent. The national population growth rate was 2.1 per cent.

Next on the list was another of Victoria's fastest-growing cities, Wyndham South, where the value of work hit almost $284 million and the population growth rate was 12.8 per cent.

Griffin-Mango Hill in Brisbane, Queensland took third place with almost $150 million worth of residential building work approved and a population growth rate of 12.8 per cent.

HIA Chief Economist Harley Dale remarked that the 2008/09 financial year was a very challenging one for Australia's new home builders and renovators with a sharp fall in new home starts and a moderation in renovations activity.

"At the same time, Australia's population was growing at a historically fast 2.1 per cent pace", Dale said.

"Meanwhile, very low interest rates and assistance to first time buyers targeted to new homes created the conditions for a first stage housing recovery in 2009/10.

"Last year there were 58 local area hotspots across Australia's states and territories and these areas have experienced healthy new home building and renovations activity in 2009/10," he added.

Among the Top 20 National Building and Population Hotspots are Wanneroo in WA, Ipswich, Caloundra and Inner City Brisbane in Queensland and Whyndham, Casey and Melbourne's Docklands in Victoria.

The only area in NSW to make the list was Canada Bay/Concord in Sydney.

Wrap it up, Daddy long-legs

How often do you clean up cobwebs in the house, only to find they are back again in a few days? And the culprit is almost always a Daddy-long-legs spider, isn't it?

But before you get the broom out to remove the perpetrator once more to the outdoors, take a moment to consider his role in removing the other spiders which might otherwise invade your house.

According to Backyard Buddies - a website initiative of the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife - Daddy-long-legs are adept at catching, wrapping and killing the much larger Huntsman spiders, Redback spiders and Funnel-web spiders.

Their not-so-secret weapon is their extremely long legs. When another spider passes by, the Daddy-long-legs can simply reach down and haul the more dangerous (but shorter-legged) spider into its web. It then wraps its prey up before it can get close enough to harm the Daddy-long-legs. Once the more deadly spider is immobilised, it is easy to bite and kill.

So Backyard Buddies concludes that while their messy webs might make the Daddy-long-legs appear un-neighbourly, they might well be preventing far more undesirable spiders from taking up residence in our homes.

Farmers having a blast

Just like Daryl Kerrigan in the iconic Australian movie The Castle, a Chinese farmer has brought in the big guns to defend his castle from encroaching developers.

Since February, the 56-year-old farmer living on the outskirts of Central China has foiled two attempts by property developers to move him off his land, scaring off demolition crews using a home-made cannon to fire makeshift rockets at those looking to flatten his home, China Daily reported recently.

Almost all the nearby farmland has been requisitioned for government building and although the man had been offered around AU$22,000, he is said to have demanded almost 5 times the amount and is clearly willing to fight for it.

Grow your own chair

For centuries trees have been cut down to be made into furniture - until now.

Instead of being uprooted and re-processed, the trees in Swiss designer Michel Bussien's Growing Chair evolve right before your eyes, growing into the structure of a seat with their roots in your own yard.

Willow trees grow from each leg within glass chair-shaped confines, with Russian vine wrapped around the living structure for added greenery.

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