API Online

June 30, 2010

What’s happening in the market?

Westpac Bank has just released its latest residential property market update report that gives a good overview of what’s happening in the residential property markets around Australia. Here’s a summary.


What’s happened to property values?

Westpac reported that the Real Estate Institute of Australia’s (REIA) 2010 Residential Market Facts for the first quarter indicates that nationally, average median house prices increased by 0.8 per cent over quarter one 2010, which is lower than the 4.2 per cent quarterly increase reported by Rismark.

On a state basis, REIA suggests quarter one house prices increased in Adelaide (4.5 per cent), Perth (3.1 per cent), Hobart (2.8 per cent), Sydney (1.4 per cent), Darwin (1.3 per cent) and Brisbane (0.9 per cent) while prices fell in Melbourne (minus two per cent) and Canberra (-0.2 per cent).

The REIA indicates that national median house prices are now 18.7 per cent higher than a year ago,

which, according to REIA, is the highest annual increase since September 2003.

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June 29, 2010

Investment income and how it affects your portfolio

One of the first things you need to understand as you build and continue to manage your investment portfolio is the importance and relevance of income generation.


Income is important as it affects what investments and structures can or should be included in your portfolio.

Firstly though, let’s examine two reasons as to why you may need income.

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June 25, 2010

Property vs shares: battle of the assets

What’s the best investment for you? Property or share



Investors need to take their goals, their individual risk profiles and their investment strategy into account when deciding whether to invest in property or shares, investment analysts say.

These individual factors make it very difficult to say outright that one asset class is a better investment than the other, according to property writer Margaret Lomas.

Lomas likens asking whether property or shares is better to asking which is better out of a Mercedes and an overseas trip.

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How high can property prices go?

Typical house prices in Australia’s capital cities could very well be higher than $1 million by the end of this decade, property analysts say.


A storm of debate erupted early this year when Metropole Properties founder Michael Yardney suggested median house prices in Australia’s capital cities could conceivably run to seven figures before this decade is over.

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June 23, 2010

Tribunal – the purpose, the process and the bottom line

The tribunal is one of the scariest places I have ever been. For as little as $35, you make a claim of up to $10,000. That’s scary if you’re on the receiving end, as many landlords would know.


The purpose of the tenancy tribunal, known as something different in every state but effectively the same, is to resolve disputes of a residential tenancy nature for landlords and tenants. What’s interesting about dispute resolution is that it takes many forms at the tribunal. It starts with mediation but can end in an order which actually contravenes the residential tenancy legislation.

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7 ways to increase the transparency of real estate

Australia’s commercial real estate market has been judged the most transparent in the world, but there are many aspects of the residential market that could be conducted with more of an open book.


The Jones Lang LaSalle Global Transparency Index finds that Australia has the most transparent commercial property market in the world, beating out other perennially open markets, such as Canada and the United Kingdom.

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June 21, 2010

Is the Australian housing market really a time bomb?

It’s a question lots of people are asking. So what should property investors believe?


The Australian and British housing markets are the last two bubbles left in the wake of the financial crisis and it’s only a matter of time before they crash, warns legendary US investor and co-founder of global investment management firm GMO, Jeremy Grantham.
So who is this guy who grabbed the headlines recently?

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June 16, 2010

Do you suffer from the number one reason why people don’t invest in property?

I keep having a conversation with people lately about why they’re afraid of investing in property, so I thought it was worth looking at the main thing holding them back.


“Come to the Edge” by Guillaume Apollinaire
“Come to the edge.” he said.
“We can’t. We’re afraid.” they said.
“Come to the edge.” he said.
“We can’t. We will fall!” they said.
“Come to the edge.” he said.
And they came.
And he pushed them.
And they flew.

This quote has always been one of my favourites because it hits on three key points:

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June 15, 2010

What does the slide in consumer confidence mean to property investors?

Early this year all the news was good, but now we’re getting lots of mixed messages in the media and this seems to be scaring many Australians. So what does it all mean?


Each moth the Westpac/Melbourne Institute consumer confidence index reveals how Australians feel and this index fell in June by 5.7 per cent. This is the third consecutive month of falls. In fact over the past three months confidence has fallen by 13.7 per cent – the biggest quarterly fall since the period following the collapse of Bear Stearns (April 2008).

A subset of this, the time to buy a dwelling index, also fell, indicating that Australians are less confident about making the significant investment of buying a new home.

At the same time new home loans fell for the ninth time in 10 months in April, down by 1.8 per cent. These figures relate to those looking to buy or build homes to live in as well as those seeking to buy or build homes for investment purposes. Generally people get their finance organised first, so the figures are regarded as a leading indicator on the housing market.

What does all this mean for property investors?

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June 11, 2010

What’s going to happen to interest rates?

Why has the Reserve Bank decided to hold rates and how does it compare to previous cycles?


By now you would know that the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has left interest rates on hold for the first time in four months, leaving the cash rate at 4.5 per cent.

This was really no surprise, considering rates have moved up six times since last October and are now starting to have some effect.

There’s clear evidence that consumer sentiment has fallen, our property markets are slowing down and some segments of the retail sector are hurting. Add to that the uncertainty surrounding the impact of the new resources super tax and the issues facing a number of European economies, and it was clearly time for the RBA to step back to see how things pan out.

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