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February 25, 2011

What does full employment mean for our property markets?

The Australian Bureau of Statistics recently released its labour force statistics for January, which showed our unemployment rate remained unchanged at five per cent.


Digging deeper into the figures revealed employment participation now at an historic high of 69.5 per cent and that Australia created an additional 330,000 jobs over the last year, almost 264,000 of which were full-time positions.

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February 23, 2011

Does everyone need a mentor?

The word ‘mentor’ comes from Greek mythology. According to Wikipedia its origin is quite long-winded, but suffice to say that it has led to its adoption in the English language as a term meaning a teacher.


I recently interviewed someone who believes that all property investors must have a mentor. Someone who is experienced in the property investing world, so they can help you, as their… apprentice, if you like… become just as successful at investing. Read more →

February 21, 2011

Homeownership – can it still be achieved?

I often hear people say that it’s too difficult for young people to buy their first home. Reasons given include restrictive lending criteria, high interest rates and high property prices. Now, I don’t necessarily disagree with these comments but as I am a ‘glass half full’ type of person, I try and look on the positive side and for solutions.


Restrictive Lending Criteria

There’s no doubt that straight after the global financial crisis it was very hard to borrow money from lending institutions. Some banks wanted first homebuyers to have at least a 20 per cent deposit and demonstrate genuine savings over a very long period of time. Did you realise that now many banks are willing to accept a five per cent deposit and genuine savings over six months?

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February 18, 2011

Our capital cities will more than double in size

I’ve just come back from a trip to the Middle East where I saw some overcrowded cities – Cairo with a population of close to 20 million people and Istanbul with a population of over 13 million people.


I sat in some shocking traffic jams while I was there and saw the results of poor city planning on the quality of life of the residents, so I was interested to read that the size of our capital cities will double over the next 50 years. Read more →

February 16, 2011

The landlord-tenant relationship

In the aftermath of the Brisbane floods, there were lots of stories circulating about the prospect of rents ‘skyrocketing’ due to higher demand, both from misplaced residents and from workers coming into the area for the reconstruction process.


I noticed that comments below those stories (on the internet) were quite often very scathing of landlords. Obviously written by tenants, they complained about ‘money hungry’ property investors, who are always seeking a buck and trying to get more out of renters, who can’t afford to buy a home themselves.

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February 14, 2011

Making the most of your property search

Buyers are always looking for a bargain. There’s something psychologically satisfying purchasing an item for a price that would, could, or should have been higher. Whether it’s an antique you happen across in an op shop, or something you pick up in a department store end of year sale, the feeling is the same.


However when it comes to quality real estate, true bargains are few and far between.

It’s not hard to purchase a house for a knockdown price if no one else wants it, but most of the time the house you want is the house three or four other people want as well. Therefore, one of the real tricks to buying ‘well’ starts during the search process. Read more →

February 11, 2011

Investing in regional areas remains risky

It came as no surprise to me that the latest RP Data-Rismark Home Value Index has highlighted the widening gap between Australia’s capital city housing markets and those of our regional towns.


If you’ve been following my blogs you would know that I believe that as the movements of property values are largely hinged on the supply and demand equation, investors must stick to areas that have lasting appeal to particularly homebuyers, and also to tenants.

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February 9, 2011

First-time investor

I’ve recently begun the transition from owner to investor – I’m moving out of my home and renting it out, so I’m embarking on my first experience as a real life investor. Despite being armed with a wealth of knowledge about property investing, I’m a little overwhelmed.


My first move has been to find property managers and my experiences there have been a mixed bag so far. Some have instilled confidence in me – they’re professional, they offer to send me information and they’ll work around my schedule to organise a meeting time. That’s the sort of manager I want.

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February 8, 2011

The banks win hands down

The Federal Government, and treasurer Wayne Swan in particular, have loved playing hero for the Aussie homeowner by attacking lenders and allegedly tightening the reins on their credit policies.


The Federal Treasurer believes his recent moves to abolish exit fees on new home loans will increase competition in the sector and give borrowers a better deal.?

But is this really the case? Or is it more likely that what the banks lose with the abolition of exit fees, they’ll gain by slugging borrowers with an upfront charge for the privilege of applying for a home loan?? Read more →

February 4, 2011

Tenants to remain on the rental roundabout in 2011

Unfortunately this year will not bring good tidings for the thousands of Australian tenants trapped on the rental roundabout.


Rising interest rates and the ever increasing cost of living are making it virtually impossible to penetrate the housing affordability barrier for would-be first homebuyers who face a double dilemma: the difficult task of trying to save a deposit while paying for groceries, utilities and the weekly rent; and the increasing cost of home ownership.

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