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December 24, 2010

The biggest property myth of 2010

Probably the biggest property myth of 2010 was the claim that Australia was in a ‘property bubble’ that was about to burst.


It all started a few years ago when ‘doomsday economist’ Steve Keen predicted Australian house prices would plummet. Awkwardly for him, average house prices went up rather than down 40 per cent, after Dr Keen made a very public statement selling his Sydney home in late 2008, just before the Sydney market rebounded and values in his suburb skyrocketed. Oops! Read more →

December 23, 2010

Disclosing lender valuations

Should banks and other lenders be obliged by law to give their valuations to borrowing customers


Below is part of a note sent recently to my local Federal Member suggesting that, while banking reform is currently under government consideration, the Treasurer might look at legally requiring banks and other lenders to give copies of their valuations to their borrowing customers. Read more →

December 22, 2010

Refinancing blues

My personal experience with refinancing a couple of investment loans has given me a clearer understanding of why borrowers often put this in the ‘too hard’ basket.


There’s been a lot of talk recently about borrowers fleeing the ‘big four’ banks to chase a better deal elsewhere, especially after all four jacked up interest rates by more than the Reserve Bank of Australia in November.

With each of them reporting billion-dollar profits this year, it’s little wonder consumers saw red. Read more →

December 21, 2010

The Pet Shop Boys got it wrong

I confess I’m a child of the 80s and the Pet Shop Boys – despite what we think now – were musical gods. One of their songs stated “You’ve got the brains, I’ve got the looks, let’s make lots of money”.


I cringe whenever I attend a course where the organiser says: “In this room there are those of you with no time, but a good income and savings, and others who have time on their hands and lots of creative flair – why not get together and start a joint venture?” Read more →

December 20, 2010

Maximise your growth potential

It’s time for investors to put on their future spectacles and start assessing the financial outlook for the new year.


Considering the current flat market and negative press surrounding sales figures, only those vendors who need to sell in 2011 are likely to do so. However buyer demand looks set to increase now we have some clarity over increased banking competition, and the Reserve Bank of Australia indicating interest rates ‘may’ be on hold for a while.

Read more →

December 17, 2010

How important is timing the property markets?

I’ve often heard it said that timing is everything when investing, but I’ll let you in on a little secret – that’s not really the case.

Timing is one of the most misunderstood concepts with regard to investing. The truth is, successful investors know how to create wealth at any point in a cycle.

Of course timing your property purchase matters. You don’t want to buy a property at the peak of the property boom and then wait two or three years before it starts to increase in value.

But successful investors find that timing isn’t really that important. Read more →

December 16, 2010

What the Henry Tax Review means for you

While many Australians may be aware of the Henry Tax Review, particularly its most controversial mining tax, few realise that it proposes radical changes to almost every property tax, including capital gains tax, negative gearing, stamp duty and land tax.


As a property investor, tax is crucial in determining investment return and strategy.

One of the biggest risks facing investors is change to laws. It’s a risk that needs to be managed.

The implications of the Henry Tax Review for property investors are potentially immense and, at the very least, you should be aware of what it has proposed, what’s been accepted and rejected by the Federal Government and what’s still up in the air. Read more →

December 15, 2010

Do we need help?

I recently went to a backyard party and while mingling, I discovered a financial planner was also in attendance. This perked my interest, because I’ve recently been pondering the benefits of seeking advice from financial planners.


Never having been to a financial planner, I’ve been curious as to what it is they actually do and whether their advice is independent.

So, after this particular financial planner tried to convince me to become a bank teller (because apparently there are plenty of these jobs available), he soon started to tell me about his job. It came as no surprise to me to hear him quote property growth figures and advocate that shares were the better way to go when it came to investing. Read more →

December 13, 2010

Property Christmas checklist

You are probably preparing yourself for the holiday season

by buying presents, booking flights, accommodation, getting the car serviced, etc. If you are serious about buying property, you should also be preparing yourself because Christmas is an excellent time to buy.


Many people are concentrating on Christmas parties, tidying up loose ends at work and going on holidays. With less people focused on and looking for property, this provides the opening for an astute investor to buy a bargain. I have prepared a seven-point check list so that you can best prepare yourself when the opportunity presents itself. Read more →

December 10, 2010

Should investors cool their heels?

As the booming property markets are replaced by a period of slower property price growth, what is an investor supposed to do?


With the prospect of some properties falling in value, I know some beginning investors are worried about their recent purchase while others who were contemplating getting into the market are waiting to see the market ‘bottom’.

Firstly, if you bought a property recently with the intent of owning it for a while, you probably have little to fear. We all know that the property market is cyclical. It has its flat periods and times of small dips but in the long term well-located properties continue to rise in value. Read more →

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