Thursday, March 24, 2011

Latest Property News from Ted Hanson

Friday 25 March 2011
Tips for a happier home life

A little bit of organising can get your household running more smoothly. Here are some quick hints to make life easier now.

ENTRIES: Lots of family members and activities make for a busy entryway to the home. If you don't already have it, install a sturdy coat rack at child height. Add a bench with a cubby for shoes. Keep winter shoes in the cubbies, ready so you can grab and go when needed. Slippers kept by the door cut down on cleaning because all of that outside dirt isn't tracked in. Add a board for permission slips and homework, and mornings can run a lot smoother.

Read the full article

A quiet holiday

January is typically the quietest month of the year for the housing market, with many Australians on holidays and a natural drop in both listings and sales activity.

So it comes as little surprise, then, given the spate of natural disasters in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria over the same period, that figures show a slowdown in housing activity throughout the country.

RP Data-Rismark's Hedonic Home Value Index shows that the sedate conditions in January were in evidence across the board, with all cities registering declines.

In the capital city markets, dwelling values were down by 1.6 per cent in seasonally-adjusted terms over January, with a similar pattern recorded in the 'rest of state' areas, where house values fell by 1.2 per cent.

The median dwelling price in the capital cities is also down to $465,000 over the three months to end January, while the median in the `rest of state' markets is $325,000.

The national, all-regions median dwelling price is $412,000.

Rismark's joint Managing Director Ben Skilbeck commented that there are growing signs of a soft recovery in the housing market after six months of flat dwelling values since May 2010.

"Housing credit growth looks to be rising a little, and the early auction clearance rate data in February has been a demonstrable improvement over the sub-50 per cent clearance rates at the end of last year", Mr Skilbeck said.

"Our forecasting model implies low single digit capital gains in 2011 based on the assumption that the RBA tightens monetary policy further.

"However it is noteworthy that the futures market is not pricing in the first full interest rate increase until February 2012", he added.

Over the twelve months to the end of January, Perth (-3.8 per cent), Brisbane (-3.7 per cent) and Canberra (-0.6 per cent) recorded a decline in home values.

At the other end of the spectrum Darwin has regained the title of the best performing city, recording a capital gain of 4.7 per cent over the year to end January. This was followed by Melbourne (3.6 per cent), Sydney (2.5 per cent), Hobart (2.2 per cent) and Adelaide (2.0 per cent).

According to RP Data's research director Tim Lawless, the key leading indicators imply relatively balanced market conditions.

"We have had no value growth at all since May 2010 across the combined capitals and since January 2010 in the regions outside the capital cities", he said.

"The headline variable mortgage rate is only slightly above average at 7.8 per cent.

"While they are starting to improve, clearance rates, at just over 50 per cent, remain below average.

Mr Lawless noted that the number of homes being advertised for sale is also above-average while the level of vendor discounting and average selling times have risen.

"This must be balanced against the fact that the unemployment rate is very low at 5.0 per cent and wages have recorded strong growth of more than 4 per cent annualised over the last six months", he said.

Overall disposable household incomes have been growing at a 6-7 per cent annualised rate, and the interest rate outlook appears to be stable over the short term," Mr Lawless concluded.

Houses bring down commencements
Dwelling starts fell in the December 2010 quarter despite a lift in apartment building, according to data released this week by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The seasonally adjusted estimate for the total number of dwelling units commenced fell 5.3% in the December quarter, following a fall of 13.0% in the September quarter.

The figures show that the result was driven largely by a drop in new home starts. New private sector house commencements fell 8.0% in the December quarter following a fall of 5.4% in the September quarter.

The seasonally adjusted estimate for new private sector `other residential building' rose 4.2% in the December quarter following a fall of 8.1% in the September quarter.

On a state-by-state basis, housing starts fell by 15.9 per cent in Victoria in the December 2010 quarter. The number of housing starts also fell in New South Wales (down by 2.1 per cent), Queensland (down by 5.9 per cent), South Australia (down by 14.1 per cent), Western Australia (down by 0.6 per cent), Tasmania (down by 14.4 per cent) and the Northern Territory (down by 37.3 per cent).

Housing starts rose by 75.0 per cent in the ACT.

Get planning for your neighbours' sake!

The 9th annual Neighbour Day is rapidly approaching, and residents across the country are advised not to let late planning spoil a good party.

Each year, more and more Australians are choosing to celebrate Neighbour Day with other local residents by having a street party, 2011 Australia Day Ambassador and Neighbour Day founder Andrew Heslop said recently.

As the event falls on Sunday 27th March this year, anyone looking to close off their street for a party should talk to their local council as soon as possible.

"Closing off the street to create a mini-festival and to safely allow games of street cricket is a very good idea," Mr Heslop said.

"However the application process and timeframes required varies between councils and shires.

"Neighbours who want to hold a street party or major community event in a public space should apply to their local government authority now," he said.

Over the past nine years Neighbour Day has grown from a simple idea in a Letter to the Editor to become Australia's annual celebration of community.

"No matter where you live - in the city or the bush, in a house, an apartment or on a farm - knowing who your neighbours are creates a community," Mr Heslop said.

"When you are connected with the people who live nearby you care about what happens locally and are directly helping to ensure your suburb or town is safe, friendly and sustainable," he added.

Founded in Melbourne in 2003 - following the discovery of the death of an elderly woman who had passed away two years earlier - Australians have embraced the day by organising street parties, morning teas, community BBQs and by attending council-run fairs, events and open days in parks and other public spaces.

Neighbour Day has five principal aims -

1. Strengthen communities and build better relationships with the people who live around us.
2. Create safer, healthier and more vibrant suburbs and towns.
3. Promote tolerance, respect and understanding.
4. Break down community barriers.
5. Protect the elderly, the vulnerable and the disadvantaged.

Talking up the danger

If it is time to change not only the batteries on your smoke alarms but the alarms themselves, there is a new one on the market which will actually tell you where and what the problem is.

The ONELink Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detector with Voice comes equipped with a `voice' that speaks the type and location of danger in your home. This will help you make the best decision possible in an emergency situation - such as opening a garage door from the outside to release a buildup of carbon monoxide rather than running blindly into the room.

Once installed throughout the house, the (up to) 16 smoke and/or carbon monoxide detectors will immediately begin communicating with each other. If one alarm is triggered, they will all sound the alarm. The unit is powered by two AA batteries.

Aussies anticipating stable times

Only one in three Australians expects property prices to rise in the near future, according to the latest Bankwest/Mortgage and Finance Association (MFAA) Home Finance Index.

This is a considerable drop from more than three quarters of respondents in the March 2010 survey.

The research also revealed Victorians are the most optimistic about property prices with 46 per cent anticipating higher prices, followed by South Australia (45 per cent).

Queenslanders are the least optimistic with just 22 per cent anticipating prices to rise.

Bankwest Head of Specialist Banking Ian Rakhit said that households generally found their current financial situation steady compared to a year ago.

This was the first time in more than three years that households have not reported a deterioration in their financial situation.

"The fact that households no longer see their financial situation going backwards is an important development for the housing and mortgage market", Mr Rakhit said.

Phil Naylor, CEO, MFAA added that this should provide a solid base for activity in the next 12 months.

"At the same time, a large number of investors agree that now is a good time to buy, citing steadier house prices, higher rental incomes and rental demands as a key driver for their decision.

The majority (77 per cent) of investors see it is a good time to purchase an investment property.

"Despite a few cash rate rises throughout 2010, there are encouraging signs for investors in the property market", Mr Naylor said.

"Rents have increased and vacancy rates are low.

"These are the type of signals investors look for in their property decisions," added Mr Naylor.

"We are seeing savvy investors come back into the market as a long term investment strategy that's underpinned by expectations of income growth," he concluded.

Of all states and territories, Western Australian residents are the best performing when it comes to loan repayments (up 87.3 per cent from 81.1 per cent in July 2010).

The survey polled more than 1,100 people across Australia and is the eighth Index taken since 2004.

Slim pickings

Anyone looking for a little slice of the housing market may set their sights across the pond, at one of the smallest homes in the UK now on the market.

Originally part of a steam mill, the 2m wide "bijou" home is a short walk from a picturesque market town centre, the UK Daily Mail reports. With a single serve kitchen, bedroom, shower room (with toilet) and living room, the property is still expected to fetch nearly AU$154,000.

A Daily Mail reader humorously commented on the listing that it is one of those houses where you have to go outside just to change your mind.

No comments:

Post a Comment