Thursday, September 23, 2010

Latest Property News from Ted Hanson

Friday 24 September 2010
Illawarra Fly Treetop Walk

Less than 2 hours from Sydney, The Illawarra Fly Treetop Walk is one of the regions newest attractions. Nestled amongst temperate rainforest, the Treetop Walk takes you along the picturesque Illawarra escarpment and offers inspiring views from Bass Point in the South to Bundeena in the North.

Attraction features:

500 metres long at an average height of 25 metres
'Knights Tower' at a height of 45 metres
280km/hr wind speed design
Cantilevers can hold a maximum weight of 28 tonne or 800 wombats!!
The Treetop Walk holds an average of 400kg/m2

1. Strong upswing in dwelling starts

National dwelling commencements rose again in the June quarter as the effect of previously low interest rates and government stimulus measures continues to flow through into the work pipeline, according to figures released this week by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The total number of dwelling units commenced in the June quarter 2010, seasonally adjusted, rose by 0.8 per cent to 44,899 to be up by 43.8 per cent on the June quarter 2009.

The number of private new houses commenced fell by 3.9 per cent to 27,154, up 18.8 per cent from the corresponding quarter a year ago.

Commencements of other dwellings, the category that includes apartments, rose by 11.5 per cent in the June quarter to be up 74.7 per cent on the June quarter 2009 figure.

The number of public sector dwellings was up 3.9 per cent in June to be up 397.2 per cent on the same quarter a year ago.

Peter Jones, Chief Economist for peak building and construction industry association Master Builders Australia, remarked that the fourth consecutive quarterly increase confirms a recovery of residential building after five years of insufficient activity.

"This year's bounce-back in dwelling commencements has offset the ratchet down in activity that occurred in the previous year in the wake of the global financial crisis", Jones said.

Jones did suggest, however, that questions remain over the durability of the upturn, with forward indicators already signalling a tapering-off in activity.

"A period of interest rate stability from the Reserve Bank will now be critical to ensure the upswing in the interest-rate-sensitive residential building sector can become entrenched."

"Australia needs a long and strong housing upturn to overcome a massive shortfall in dwellings that has developed", Jones said.

"Three or four years building 200,000 plus dwellings per annum is needed to not only meet the demands of a growing population, but to make inroads into the massive deficit of housing that has accrued through a long phase of under-building", he concluded.

Planners back Green Star Communities

Sustainable communities were given a green light this week, with a decision by industry bodies to set standards and benchmarks for their development.

The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) and Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) have signed a memorandum of understanding which will see both organisations work together on the development and delivery of the Green Star Communities rating tool.

According to the GBCA's Chief Executive, Romilly Madew, this MoU confirms Green Star Communities as a project of national significance.

"This MoU is particularly momentous, as best practice planning is vital if we are to deliver communities that are liveable, sustainable and adaptable", Ms Madew said.

According to the Acting Chief Executive Officer of PIA, Kirsty Kelly, the MoU is a clear signal that planners are committed to sustainable communities.

"Members of PIA will play an important role in the success of Green Star Communities by contributing urban, environmental and social planning information that will help establish best practice standards in the tool," Ms Kelly said.

The Green Star Communities project continues to build momentum, with a number of instrumental sponsorships and partnerships announced in the previous few weeks, including an MoU with every single state government land organisation in Australia.

"Working closely with PIA will enable us to establish planning benchmarks that not only protect our natural environment, but also support the development of liveable, prosperous, dynamic and connected places for generations to come," Ms Madew added.

The Green Star Communities project is being led by the GBCA in conjunction with partner, VicUrban, and supported by principal project sponsor, Rock Development Group, together with other sponsors Grocon, Brisbane City Council, Barangaroo Delivery Authority, Lend Lease, Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority, Brookfield Multiplex, Aurecon, University of Melbourne, Stockland, Sustainability Victoria, City of Sydney, Mirvac and BlueScope Steel.

Every government land organisation (GLO) in Australia has also agreed to theMoU and will participate in the tool development. The GLOs are: Landcom (NSW); Landcorp (WA); VicUrban (VIC); Land Management Corporation (SA); Land Development Agency (ACT); Urban Land Development Authority (QLD); Hunter Development Corporation (NSW) and Land Development Corporation (NT).

Boom goes west

Australia's fastest-growing region is no longer the Gold Coast but the Western edge of Melbourne, according to researcher KPMG.

Analysis by KPMG demographer, Bernard Salt, shows that the municipalities of Wyndham and Melton added 18,000 new residents over the 12 months to June 2009, as compared with 17,000 added to the Gold Coast.

"This extraordinary growth in Melbourne's West has come out of the blue," says Mr Salt.

"Just ten years earlier this region was attracting approximately 4,000 new residents per year, but is now attracting more people than the Gold Coast."

Mr Salt says housing affordability may be a key driver of growth in the West. The area has also attracted corporate growth, such as manufacturing and head offices, and has been a focus of major infrastructure spending including road and rail links.

The report shows that the region's demographics are changing, with `kids and grandparents on the up'.

"Over the last 20 years most growth in Melbourne's West has been in the `family' stage of the life cycle (between 30 and 55).

"However, over the next 20 years there will be a surge in the under-20 population underpinning demand for schools and sporting facilities", Mr Salt says, adding that a surge in the grandparent population (aged 60-80) will mean more demand for leisure facilities, health care, wellness centres and a focus on value.

Bushies want clean energy, too

The idea that city people are more eager than country people for the large-scale development of clean energy has been de-bunked, according to a new poll released this week.

Commissioned by the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF), the Auspoll survey of 1,500 people showed rural Australians are more likely to support large-scale clean energy than their city counterparts.

The poll found 85% of rural respondents and 82% of urban respondents want the government to "make clean energy cheaper quicker, through large scale development of solar, geothermal and wind power in urban and regional Australia".

"These results may surprise some people, but they send a clear message to the new minority government that whether they live in the city or the country, Australians overwhelmingly want government leadership to promote clean energy", ACF climate change campaigner Phil Freeman said.

"The new parliament should introduce incentives that give large scale renewable energy a major boost, so we can have big solar plants, wave power and geothermal power, all linked to a renewable-friendly electricity grid.

"Putting a price on pollution would unlock enormous investment potential for clean energy and new sustainable enterprises in regional Australia.

"On the other hand, regional and farming communities will be badly affected by extreme weather, water shortages and drought if we ignore climate change", Mr Freeman warned.

Goldilocks caught red-handed

Sleeping on the job rarely pays off, but perhaps more so when you're a burglar and the job is the house you're looting.

In what local news sources have referred to as the `goldilocks incident', residents in Malaysia returned home to find their living room in a mess and a man napping on a couch upstairs, the BBC reports.

The burglar, who had snatched over AU$3000 in watches and jewelry, woke up and escaped through a window. After a brief chase, police apprehended the man.

Real property or personal property?

When selling or buying your home, make sure you understand exactly what is being sold along with it.

The general rule is, if it is attached to the structure or the ground, it is real property and stays with the house. But this can be confusing.

So if you want to make sure an item remains in the house list it specifically in the contract. It's better to do this than "assume" anything, and of course, if you have any questions about inclusions seek confirmation from your legal representative.

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