Tips to Get Into the Housing Market

Melbourne SuburbsWITH interest rates rising, and government grants falling, it’s a pretty fair guess property prices won’t run away on you.

So if you’re working full-time, possibly renting and wanting to invest in your future, take note of the tips below, to enjoy the next cycle as a home owner.


Saving a first-home deposit – about 10% of the property’s purchase price – is your first goal as a home owner.

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Sell or Extend?

ACCOUNTANTS say it can make financial sense to reinvest in your home, than buying another – particularly if you are in a good suburb.

Agents agree, saying the value of property goes up by more than the sum of its parts when owners reinvest in extensions, kitchen and bathroom renovations, paint and flooring.  Coupled with the fact the tax office does not impose capital gains tax on an owner’s main place of residence, investing in your own home sometimes make more sense than buying another.

An extension has the potential to add the greatest value to your home, particularly if it creates a larger open-plan living area or increases the number of bedrooms.

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Melbourne’s Most Reinvented Suburbs

Beacon Cove, Port MelbourneONE has to wonder what “great Australian dream” some Melburnians were being sold last century.

Until recently – the 1980s and 1990s for most inner-city areas – owning an inner-city terrace was not necessarily a big deal. More often than not, according to veteran agents, they were used as “stepping stone” investments that could be paid off in a few years and sold on the basis of being “more attractive than renting”.

Buyers – particularly immigrants from Italy and Greece – bought in Richmond, North Fitzroy or Northcote, in order to save a deposit to build new, larger homes in Avondale Heights, Glenroy or – if they invested well – Doncaster.

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Top Melbourne Suburbs to Invest, For Budgets of Less Than $500,000

Flemington Post OfficeMELBOURNE’s once booming real-estate market has finally decelerated – and for the first time in a long time, buyers are calling the shots.

If you have a secure job, low debt and a will to own real estate – banks, developers and the Government want to talk.

But a word of advice: if you do take the plunge, spend what you can afford, rather than the maximum amount you can borrow.

Saturday Domain talks to some experts on which suburbs you should look at, no matter what your budget:

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Translator Service For Online Property Listings Could be Australian First

BURGEONING demand from overseas investors, has resulted in developer and agency TS2 creating a translation service for its online property listings.
In what director Richard Luff believes is a first of its kind in the country, users select one of ten flags to translate the website into different languages, including Arabic, Chinese, French, Italian, Japanese and Korean.
Mr Luff said overseas investors are learning our markets beyond the traditional blue ribbon heartland of Toorak, and there is clear evidence of demand for new and old homes in suburbs including Balwyn, Brighton, Canterbury, Kew, South Yarra and Templestowe.

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End of September Marks Phasing Out of First Home Owner Grant Boost, REIA Says

The first stage of the phasing out of the First Home Owners Grant Boost (FHOG Boost) will happen on September 30.

From October until December 2009 the FHOG Boost will be reduced from $14,000 to $10,500 for established homes and from $21,000 to $14,000 for newly constructed homes.

From 1 January 2010, the FHOG will return to the $7,000 previously provided to first home buyers of new and established housing, before the implementation of the Boost.

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Prices to Fall 10 Per Cent When Housing Handouts End, Researcher Says

The phasing out of the First Home Owners Grant Boost and a range of other state government benefits could drive down lower-end house prices by as much as 10% in some markets according to a new analysis from CB Richard Ellis.

According to Erin Rolandsen, CBRE’s Manager of Residential Research, the May 2009 finance figures just released by the ABS confirm that the various stimulus measures to the housing market have evidently helped to increase sales activity.

The total number of dwellings purchased by owner occupiers was 29% higher in May 2009 than in October 2008 when the boost was introduced.

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New Home Sales Drop Across Country, But Still Strong, HIA Says

Victorian new home sales dropped by 9 per cent in May, following months of increased sales resulting from the boosted first home buyer grants.

Overall Victoria’s new home sale market is still performing impressively, with detached home sales increasing by 16 per cent over the three months to May 2009, according to the Housing Industry Association’s survey of the state’s largest builders.

 “Along with other leading indicators, the figures point to a healthy new home building market in Victoria in 2009,” said HIA Victorian Executive Director Gil King.

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Off the Plan Sales in Jeopardy, HIA Says

Off-the-plan sales could be at risk, and jobs could be lost, because of a Supreme Court decision that buyers can cancel building contracts and get their deposits back if projects are not completed in time. The Housing Industry Association’s Victorian Executive Gil King said the court ruling showed no understanding of the significant barriers already faced by builders.

“This decision could not have come at a worse time for the residential construction industry,” Mr King said. “The decision puts projects, and thereby jobs, at risk, and may put the entire future of off-the-plan sales in jeopardy.”

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Worst May Be Over For Australia’s Residential Real Estate Markets

AUSTRALIA’s residential real estate markets are heading into a sustained recovery period, with average values expected to rise between 11 and 19 per cent in all major capitals, according to a new research report.

Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide will lead the property price rise charge, according to the report, with values expected to increase 19 per cent between 2009 and 2012.

Darwin – currently Australia’s second most expensive capital city with a median house price of $470,000, is expected to record the slowest growth, rising just 11 per cent over the same period.

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Australian House Prices Tipped to Rise in 2010: RBA

RESERVE Bank of Australia head of economic analysis Tony Richards has warned Australian house prices will rise in the next 12 months, putting pressure on housing affordability – despite imminent interest rate rises.

At a Committee For Economic Development of Australia conference yesterday, facilitated by The Australian newspaper, Dr Richards said: “It is looking increasingly clear that Australia has avoided the large falls in house prices seen in some other countries over the past two years or so.”

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More Real Estate Agents Failing to Disclose Auction Sale Results

DODGY real estate agents are not posting auction results, in a move creating even more smoke and mirrors in the sector.

In a move not monitored by Victoria’s toothless tiger industry watchdog (Consumer Affairs Victoria), some 12 per cent of public auction results were not recorded in April 2009, compared to 5.1 per cent in April 2008.

The practice comes as agents tell consumers to refer to sale results, for a property’s price guide. At the same time, many agents are refusing to disclose estimated sale prices during a campaign, meaning Australian home buyers risk making a purchase based on very little reliable information.

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Investors to Become a Force at Expense of First Home Buyers, Survey Says

INVESTORS will take over from first home buyers, as a demand driver from next year.

That’s the view of mortgage broker Mortgage Choice, which released a survey today saying 75 per cent of Victorian respondents were delaying buying a property until after the First Home Owners Boost ends in December. A similar survey conducted a few months ago showed just 23 per cent of respondents were waiting for the boost to end, before buying.

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