Thursday, November 11, 2010

Latest Property News from Ted Hanson

Friday 12 November 2010
Illawarra Business Awards

The 2010 Integral Energy Illawarra Business Awards will again turn the spolight on the Illawarra business community and celebrate the achievements and diverstiy of the region's business community.

The awards congratulate and recognise the many success stories that make up our local business community. They acknowledge and promote the importance of local business to the future growth and development of the Illawarra, articulate the key drivers of growth for the region and give vital recognition to the region's most successful and innovative businesses.

Dwelling approvals continue to fall
Building approvals continue to drop Australia-wide, despite a surprise lift in private house approvals in New South Wales, according to figures released this week by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The total number of dwellings approved fell 6.6 per cent to 12,143 dwellings in September 2010; the ABS reports that this figure has been showing falls for six months, in seasonally adjusted terms.

The largest falls were recorded in Victoria (down 10.0 per cent) and South Australia (down 24.9 per cent).

Tasmania recorded a rise in dwelling approvals (1.0 per cent) this month, while New South Wales (down 1.5 per cent), Queensland (-2.3 per cent) and Western Australia (-2.0 per cent) all fell, in seasonally adjusted terms.

The number of private sector houses approved dropped 2.2 per cent with falls in Victoria (down 3.6 per cent) and Western Australia (down 10.7 per cent), while New South Wales (8.1 per cent), Queensland (0.5 per cent) and South Australia (0.4 per cent) rose.

The value of total building approved fell 3.2 per cent in September in seasonally adjusted terms. The value of total residential building fell by 4.5 per cent while non-residential building fell by 0.7 per cent following a rise last month.

Construction improves

The national construction industry remained soft in October largely due to ongoing weakness in activity and new orders, although the rate of contraction was less than the previous month.

The latest Australian Industry Group Australian Performance of Construction Index (Australian PCI®) in conjunction with the Housing Industry Association lifted 3.2 points to 44.0 in October (readings below 50 indicate a contraction in activity).

While the four major sectors again spent the month in negative territory, there was a distinct slowing in the pace of decline in the house building and commercial construction sectors.

House building lifted 15.5 points to 47.9, the sector's highest reading in five months.

AIG Director Public Policy, Dr Peter Burn, said that project delays and intense competition to secure existing contracts is continuing to have an adverse impact on activity, especially in the engineering construction and apartment building sectors.

New home sales drop

The number of new homes sold rose in September, but not enough to reverse the general trend over recent months, a new report has revealed.

The latest HIA/Jeld-Wen New Home Sales Report, a survey of Australia's major residential builders, showed that the number of new homes sold increased by just 0.6 per cent in September 2010.

However, sales were down by 14 per cent for the September 2010 quarter and 15 per cent below the level of new home sales for the September quarter of the previous year.

HIA Chief Economist, Dr Harley Dale, said that leading indicators signal a contraction in new home building in the post stimulus environment of 2011.

"Warnings from the banks of pending increases in mortgage rates outside of changes in monetary policy have been unhelpful to buyer confidence and are causing potential buyers to stay on the side-lines", Harley Dale said.

"As it stands the lack of available credit from Australian banks to small and medium sized residential developers is contributing to the renewed weakness in new home building conditions that has become evident over the course of 2010," Harley Dale added.

Detached house sales increased by 1 per cent in the month of September 2010 but were down by 15 per cent over the quarter. Sales in the multi-unit sector fell by 2.4 per cent in the month and were down by 1.5 per cent over the quarter.

In the month of September 2010 detached new house sales increased by 5.9 per cent in New South Wales and by 3.6 per cent in Queensland, although both these markets suffered double digit declines in sales volumes in the September quarter.

Sales fell by 3.1 per cent in Victoria in the month of September and were down by 4.6 per cent in South Australia and 1.8 per cent in Western Australia.

Stop ants in their tracks

With all the rain we've been having lately, you may have noticed an increase in the number of ants in your home. Ants marching in lines through the house have long been welcomed as a sign of rain, so long as it is just an occasional visit.

However, an infestation of ants can be a sign of potential structural damage to your house, as well as being a constant nuisance. Whatever the reason they are coming in the house, you'll no doubt want to deter the critters.

If you are averse to using chemical sprays and poisons, let's try some age-old remedies. Old Wives' Tale #714 says that ants will not cross a line of chalk, so you could try laying down some guidelines using a stick of chalk from the local newsagent.

If that doesn't have the desired effect, Old Wives' Tale #715 suggests wiping surfaces with oil from the Pennyroyal plant. Pennyroyal is a mint, which can be grown in a shady spot by the back door so that there are always leaves to crush when needed.

Bottom dollar tree change

Another tiny Australian town is offering annual rents at a smaller figure than its population size, in a bid to strengthen the community and save local schools.

Similar to the effort to pump new life into the drought-stricken NSW town of Cumnock (population 295), a few farming properties around Trundle, NSW, have become the nation's most affordable real estate.

According to the incentives website there are currently 7 farmhouses available with a rental price of $1 a week. Anyone who is looking for bottom dollar rentals and handy with a paint brush and hammer is welcome to apply.

Applicants should also be keen to experience rural living and (preferably) have a family who would love to be part of a vibrant and welcoming community.

Sofa gets a grip

They may seem benign, yet couches are well known to be diabolical thieves of the contents of our pockets. Anyone who's cleaned one out will have been astounded at the veritable treasure trove of coins, pens, keys, notes and anything else that could possibly slip between the cushions.

The key is to beat them at their own game, and that's just what Lost In Sofa does.

Japanese architect Daisuke Motogi's design is in the shape of an armchair but covered with padded cubes that will encourage you to actually store things between them, from books, pens and papers, to cups of coffee, phones and remotes.

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