Century 21 Port Douglas Blog

RBA Keeps The Official Cash Rate on Hold

Source : Westpac

 

RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA KEEPS THE OFFICIAL CASH RATE ON HOLD
The Reserve Bank of Australia today decided to hold the official cash rate at three per cent – a decision that is expected to help create ongoing stability for those Australians looking to secure finance for a property purchase.

In previous rate cutting cycles, house prices rose relatively steadily in the months following the first rate cut. This has not happened in the current cycle.

 

Posted in Australia, Australian Home Buyers, Australian Homes, Banks, Home Loans, Interest Rates, Property, Property Insurance, Property Investor, Property Port Douglas, Property Tips, Property Values, Propety Prices, RBA, Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

5 reasons a pre-purchase building inspection is essential

It may seem one of the more tedious aspects of buying yourself a home, but building inspections are a godsend. Trust me. It’s surprising how many people don’t think about getting a pre-purchase building inspection or even contemplate forgoing one for the sake of saving a few hundred dollars. Others believe skimping on a building report will speed up the buying process, but as you’ll see below, an inspection is essential for a number of key reasons.

1. Checking for structural issues

A structurally sound building is a must when you’re making a purchase because of safety issues and cost concerns. Structural weaknesses can cause collapses that may injure a person, but there’s also the possibility that the structural issue will be nearly impossible to repair without major construction.

Buildings must also conform to the Building Codes and Standards of Australia. If you purchase a home or commercial building that does not conform to these standards, you will be responsible for the cost of bringing the building up to code.

Getting a pre-purchase building inspection done can help you avoid purchasing a building with major structural issues – saving you major financial and emotional heartache down the track.

2. Budgeting for repairs

You may feel it’s worthwhile to purchase a building that needs some repairs because it is available for a discounted price, but going into the sale without an inspection could mean big costs for hidden repair issues. If you opt for a pre-purchase building inspection, you know exactly what needs to be done to bring the building up to where you’d like it to be. Then you can look at hiring a professional to give estimates on the repairs that need to be done to complete an accurate budget for repair costs.

For renovations, inspections are a cost saver and a life saver.

3. Electrical wiring and smoke alarms

New house, good.Smoke and fire, very bad. Faulty electrical wiring can make for a dangerous situation that could increase the risk of electrocution or fire.

Not having enough smoke alarms installed increases the likelihood of injury or death in the event of a fire, so invest in a building inspection to avoid serious injury related to electrical wiring issues or fire.

4. Identifying unsafe areas of a home

If you’re buying a home for your family, you want to be sure the home is safe and ready for you to live in. A pre-purchase building inspection will reveal any areas of the home that may be deemed unsafe, in particular, the presence of asbestos and other dangerous materials, missing or loose balustrades and cracks in walls.

Uncovering such hazards gives you the opportunity to decide if you are willing to take on the cost of making the home safe.

5. Evaluating sundry structures

The building itself is not the only part of a property that may need the keen eye of a building inspector. Did you know sundry structures including sheds and patios also have to be examined?

Local council regulations (and they vary from shire to shire) often dictate where these structures can be built, and purchasing a building that does not conform with these regulations can mean tearing down a building which may have been one of the reasons you decided to purchase the property in the first place.

Opting out of a pre purchase building inspection may seem tempting on the surface when you think you can save a few hundred dollars, but making sure the building you are purchasing is safe, requires no expensive repairs and conforms with council regulations is absolutely essential.

Inspecting could stop you making the biggest financial mistake of your life – it’s a very small price to pay.

 

Source: realestate.com.au

 

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New Home Sales Firming

Sales of new homes increased in December last year, marking the third consecutive monthly rise, according to a monthly survey of Australia’s largest volume builders. The HIA New Home Sales report shows that the total number of seasonally adjusted new home sales increased by 6.2 per cent in December 2012.

New home sales improved by 3.3 per cent over the December 2012 quarter, but were still 12.7 per cent lower than the level of sales in the same quarter in 2011.

 

HIA Economist, Geordan Murray said that the lift was driven by both detached house and multi-unit sales.

“Furthermore, if we look at the under-performing market for 2012 – detached houses – the December improvement was broad-based as sales increased in all but one of the surveyed states”, Murray said.

“However, the overall result for 2012 leaves plenty of room for improvement.

“Detached house sales were weak throughout the year and compared with 2011 were down by 22.7 per cent.”

On the other hand, sales of multi-units increased by 24.1 per cent in 2012, from record lows in 2011.

“It is hoped that further signs of an impending new home building recovery emerge in coming months”, Murray added.

Sales of new detached houses increased by 7.1 per cent in New South Wales, 6.0 per cent in Victoria, 3.8 per cent in Queensland and 12.2 per cent in Western Australia in December. Sales eased by 1.8 per cent in South Australia, but that followed three consecutive rises.

Over the December 2012 quarter detached house sales increased in New South Wales (up by 14.4 per cent), South Australia (up 9.3 per cent), and Western Australia (2.5 per cent). Sales fell over the December quarter last year in Victoria (down 8.4 per cent) and Queensland (5.5 per cent).

Source: Quartile Research

 

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Momentum Building in Port Douglas Property Market

Century 21, the largest real estate sales organisation in the Asia Pacific region, has started to observe improving market conditions that may indicate that the Australian property market (including the Port Douglas market)  is moving into a new growth phase.

Residential land values in the Port Douglas region have generally stabilised following several years of decline.

The Valuer-General’s 2013 Property Market report on which rates movements are partly based was released yesterday.  Values have fallen in the past 12 months  where the supply of land is still greater than the demand such as Wonga Beach and Thornton Beach.  Both suburbs have dropped by 9.6% in value.

But for the rest of the region, valuations have remained the same as those in 2012.

Momentum building in Port Douglas Property Market

Momentum building in Port Douglas Property Market

“Capital city dwelling values recorded growth in both January and February and, when this is combined with strong auction clearance rates, low interest rates and improving consumer sentiment – it is probable that the market is entering a new phase,” said Chairman and Owner of Century 21 Australasia, Charles Tarbey.

“While it is still too early to call a complete recovery, leading indicators look very positive for this year.”

A recent survey by RP Data and Nine Rewards showed that four out of five consumers believe that now is a good time to buy a home. Fifty-one per cent of those surveyed believed that house prices would rise over the next 12 months.

Interest rates remain at relative lows and transaction volumes have trended up since the start of 2012 which suggests that people are growing increasingly comfortable to buy or sell property.

“Century 21 believes that consumer sentiment is a key to fuelling a sustained growth period. With this in mind, it may pay to monitor the health of the Australian economy very closely this year,” concluded Charles Tarbey.

Phil Holloway – Principal of Century 21 Port Douglas Real Estate believes the resurgence of the tourism market in Tropical North Queensland will further enhance the recovery in the housing market in Port Douglas.

 

Posted in Australia, Australian Home Buyers, Australian Homes, Century 21, Century 21 Port Douglas, Far North Queensland, Great Barrier Reef, Home Ownership, Port Douglas, Port Douglas Auctions, Property, Property Port Douglas, Property Tips, Property Values, Propety Prices | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rate Hold As Selling Season Begins

Century 21, the largest real estate sales organisation in the Asia Pacific region, believes that the Reserve Bank of Australia’s decision to keep interest rates on hold will encourage many buyers to make a property purchase in the traditionally busy autumn real estate season.

 

“At its March meeting the Reserve Bank elected to keep the official cash rate steady at three per cent for a fourth consecutive month,” said Charles Tarbey, Chairman and Owner of Century 21 Australasia.

 

“This move suggests that the Reserve Bank feels relatively comfortable with current economic conditions which, in combination with relatively low interest rates, should help to provide a level of confidence for buyers looking to secure a property purchase.

 

“Century 21 is starting to see a lot of buyers get off the fence and this decision should only increase that trend.”

 

As part of its decision, the Reserve Bank reasoned that it was prudent to leave the cash rate unchanged in light of recent economic information, the expected rate of inflation and the fact that there had been a substantial easing of monetary policy in recent decisions.

 

The Reserve Bank’s decision follows the recent release of RP Data-Rismark’s Hedonic Home Value Index results, which showed that median home values In Australia’s capital cities rose 0.3 per cent in February, following a 1.2 per cent increase in January.

 

“In terms of the Australian residential property market, we have seen a decent rise in capital city dwelling values and excellent auction clearance rates pick up to levels not seen since mid-2010,” continued Charles Tarbey.

 

“For the time being, buyers can take advantage of another month of rates on hold at attractive levels,” concluded Charles Tarbey.

 

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10 Highly Dangerous “Tips” Investors Get

 

1. Invest in the US

If the property market is so good there, why aren’t the locals snapping properties up? Expect more volatility to come. Those spruiking these properties are on handsome commissions and a lack of good research opportunities has seen many people buying properties worth less than half of what they are paying.

2. Use your super

Investing using a self-managed superannuation fund is the latest with property sellers taking advantage of the new rules to find additional avenues to sell property. Very few people have enough in super to make this a viable, diversified strategy, the borrowing is complex and costly, compliance is onerous and the accounting is complex and also costly.  Unless someone has several hundred thousand dollars in superannuation, this is not a sensible strategy.

3. Buy into a hotel or serviced apartment complex in a holiday spot

This is usually made on the basis of being able to get some personal benefit from the purchase. Firstly, any personal benefits come at the cost of tax deductions and secondly, these kinds of property may have good yields but usually have poor growth records.  That great holiday place rarely makes a great investing spot.

4. Buy in one area only

There are thousands of property markets all behaving differently and a diversified approach will help to add stability to a portfolio.

5. Buy off-the plan during unstable economic times

It’s hard enough to forecast future values and even harder to do so when we are so unsure of the future.  Investors should only ever buy existing property with a known value.

6. Buy property in an area where there is a single ‘kicker’

People buy because of the ‘new hospital’ or ‘new rail line’ or any other single factor which may provide short term interest but little in the way of long term growth.  It’s the concert of factors (that is, many growth drivers) which makes property grow, not just one single factor.

7. Buy because of high yields alone

Getting a strong cash flow is important but not unless there are identifiable growth drivers too.  Cash flow may keep you in the market, but you need growth to build net worth which allows you to eventually retire.

8. Buy to take advantage of a tax ‘loophole’

This includes using complex tax avoidance structures – ‘loopholes’ – such as capitalising interest on investment loans and similar measures. One day these loopholes will be closed off and if the only thing a property has going for it is a tax loophole, then you will be left with a poorly performing asset without the tax advantage.

9. Invest because you saw a property that looks good

The decision to become an investor should come about because you decide property is the right asset class for you, and you then do a lot of independent research and get educated. If you first consider becoming a property investor because you saw an ad for a property, or went to a home show, what are the chances that the property you are being shown suits your personal risk profile, personal needs for income and growth, time till retirement AND is also in the best possible area to invest in, at that very moment in time? You should only buy property after you have learned how to do so well, and know what type of property suits you – then you can go out and source it. If you see a property and then decide you should become an investor, it’s highly likely you are buying a property not suitable for you.

10. Buy a property with a rent guarantee or other scheme of arrangement over the top

You should only ever buy a property because the underlying asset stacks up, not because it has a rent guarantee or a good tax arrangement.  If you find a property with all of the intrinsic growth drivers in place and it also has a guarantee or other arrangement, then it may be okay.

Source: Your Investment Property Magazine

 

 

Posted in Australia, Australian Home Buyers, Australian Homes, Buy Property With Your Superannuation, Port Douglas, Property, Property Insurance, Property Investor, Property Port Douglas, Property Tips, Property Values, Propety Prices, Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Smaller cities most liveable for families

 

A GREAT deal is made of Melbourne’s much-vaunted ‘’liveability’’ and Sydney’s glam harbourside lifestyle.

But for families who grow weary of the rat race, it seems the sedate Tasmanian city of Launceston is the country’s most family-friendly place.

New research that compares Australia’s most populous 30 cities on indicators such as access to schools, health, childcare, income and housing, found Launceston came out on top.

 

The lucky children who live there attend the least-crowded schools, with about 320 students per school, compared with places such as Coffs Harbour, which has 1521 per school, according to the report from Suncorp Bank.

It also has a low crime rate, affordable housing and good childcare availability.

Canberra was second – boosted by high disposable incomes and good childcare – but Melbourne ranked 14th and Sydney 23rd, behind the other capitals Adelaide and Perth (equal fifth), Hobart (seventh) and Darwin (equal eighth).

Half of the top 10 family-friendly cities were smaller regional centres – Victoria and New South Wales’ top entry was the twin-cities of Albury-Wodonga, which did well on housing affordability, health and a sense of community.

Source: www.domain.com.au

 

 

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Properties Banks Don’t Like

 

 

Company title- Instead of a strata title, an apartment might be on a company title, which means a company owns the block and each apartment is considered a share. Investing in a company title property means you become a shareholder in the company and do not own the land directly. Banks deem these harder to sell because new buyers are more likely to be put off by not owning their own land

 

Heritage listed- Banks believe heritage listed property is a bad security, because rules prevent owners from altering the property to add value and therefore makes it harder to sell

 

Hotel/motel conversion- Sometimes a hotel will be bought, closed down and converted into individual units. Lenders view them as tough to sell because they maintain their hotel feel

 

Leasehold- Sometimes a property comes without a title and a borrower actually buys it on a long-term lease from the government. An example of this is Woolloomooloo Wharf in Sydney, where the properties are over water instead of land, so there is no title. Despite the fact that the government leases are usually close to 100 years, many borrowers still prefer a freehold arrangement

 

Rural zoning- Out of town properties, such as farmhouses in rural locations, attract a smaller pool of buyers than those in residential zones. Most lenders will also only go to around 60% LVR, because it is too hard to get mortgage insurance.

 

Source: Your Investment Property Magazine

 

 

 

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De-amalgamation update – Meeting with Minister

Representatives of FODS had a successful meeting yesterday with the Minister for Local Government, the Hon. David Crisafulli. The Minister did not dispute that a new Douglas could be viable, and, in fact, re-iterated that we had been given the opportunity to vote on the issue because he believed we could be viable. He also reiterated that the QTC modelling did not automatically mean a massive rate increase to rate payers as every council can cut it’s cloth to suit, a message that FODS has conveyed all along.

There were also discussions in relation to the de-amalgamtion process should the vote be positive. An independent interim “CEO” would be appointed by the minister to oversee the transition process with elections being held in November this year and a new Douglas Shire Council to commence governing from January 2014. The first Council term would be for a two year period only to bring Douglas back into line with the normal local government elections cycle, i.e. 2016.

The Minister also assured us that should the vote to de-amalgamate be positive that he will give his unqualified support and would make every endeavour to guarantee that a new Douglas Council would work.

We have had a great response to the call for volunteers both before and on polling day but we still want to have as many people as possible to be able to help…so if you can offer any time at all either for pre-polling or on the day of the vote please let us know.

Finally, we still have a few weeks of ads to pay for and some other costs to attend to so, once again…please, if you can help us with a donation, however small, please contribute to our fighting fund!

Friends of Douglas Shire: Bendigo Bank – BSB 633 000 A/C 134706621

Kind regards,
Robert Hanan

Friends of Douglas Shire

Email: info@friendsofdouglasshire.org
Web: www.friendsofdouglasshire.org
Facebook: Friends of Douglas Shire

Contact:
Robert Hanan – 40988280
Michael Gabour – 40993667

Posted in Century 21 Port Douglas, Council Rates, Daintree, Daintree National Park, De-Amalgamation, Far North Queensland, FODS, Port Douglas, Property Port Douglas, Queensland, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

RATE HOLD WILL SUPPORT HOUSING MARKET

Century 21, the largest real estate sales organisation in the Asia Pacific region, believes that the decision by the Reserve Bank of Australia to keep interest rates on hold at three per cent, will likely encourage the national housing market by continuing to make finance and refinance options attractive to buyers.

 

“At its first meeting for 2013, the Reserve Bank elected to keep interest rates on hold, following four rate cuts last year that clearly had a positive effect on the national housing market,” said Chairman and Owner of Century 21 Australasia, Charles Tarbey.

 

“Century 21 is starting to see some green shoots appearing in the residential property market and this decision, combined with other attractive buying conditions, bode well for the market in 2013.

 

“This decision will likely help to keep Australia’s housing market on a modest growth trajectory, and also give the Reserve Bank more scope to cut rates should conditions deteriorate in the coming months,” concluded Charles Tarbey.

 

As part of its decision, the Reserve Bank reasoned that it was prudent to leave the cash rate unchanged in light of recent economic information, the expected rate of inflation and the fact that there had been a substantial easing of monetary policy in recent decisions.

 

The Reserve Bank’s decision follows the recent release of RP Data-Rismark’s Hedonic Home Value Index results, which showed that median home values in capital cities rose 1.2 per cent in January, taking the annual movement in dwelling values back into positive territory with a 1.8 per cent increase over the past twelve months.

 

Posted in Australia, Australian Home Buyers, Australian Homes, Banks, Interest Rates Australia, Property, Property Investor, Property Port Douglas, Property Values, Propety Prices, Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
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