API Online

February 29, 2012

Yes we bought a flooded property – what’s the big deal?

Over the past 12 months, I’ve done stories about flooded suburbs or areas impacted by last year’s downpour in southeast Queensland. Each and every time, real estate experts have warned to stay away from flooded properties, claiming the risks far outweigh the benefits. Well, I’m going to throw a spanner in the works and say that last year my fiancé and I bought a flood-affected property and it was the best financial decision we’ve ever made.


I actually think flood-affected properties have heaps of benefits. For starters, most of the best suburbs in Brisbane are near the river. So chances are if you’re buying a flood-affected property, you’re buying in a pretty good suburb. You’re also likely to get a discount and walk into a renovated property that you don’t need to paint or recarpet for at least another 10 years.

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February 28, 2012

Property owners get the interest rate jitters

Home owners and property investors had much to celebrate over Christmas and the New Year as the Reserve Bank started slashing interest rates in the wake of a gloomy global financial outlook.


Many economists tipped a round of rate cuts were likely throughout the coming year, with the RBA (Reserve Bank of Australia) expected to take precautionary measures and ensure Australia could weather Europe’s continuing financial instability.

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February 24, 2012

Decades of wealth from our resources boom

2012 has already started out as a year of economic confusion and consternation. We all know the strength of our property markets is underpinned by Australia’s economic prosperity and of course this is closely intertwined with China’s growth. However, with the economies of many countries faltering, stories of a property bubble in China and of China’s growth slowing, some are concerned that stumbles in China’s economy could stunt Australia’s economic growth.


So let’s look at what’s really happening in China and what’s ahead. And more importantly what this may mean to your wealth and mine.

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February 23, 2012

Why we’ll go to the moon and back to own property

Bursting with excitement, she told me “I just bought 10 hectares of land for each of my five grandchildren!”
“How very thoughtful – what did that set you back?” I asked.
“Just $20 a hectare and each block has unbelievable views!”
“Wow! Where did you find such a fantastic investment?”
“On the moon,” she replied.


It was true. She showed me the title deeds she had received from the vendor, a company called Lunar Embassy detailing the exact location of each grandchild’s plot of lunar land.

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February 22, 2012

Are mining towns really that risky?

Those who missed out on Gladstone’s boom in 2011 are probably wishing they’d bitten the bullet and dived into the market sooner rather than later. If you were like me, you probably watched prices increase by around $5000 per week, every week, for the entire year.


I kept thinking to myself ‘it’s a no brainer to snap something up in Gladstone’, but instead I went with an emotional purchase and bought a house (my principal place of residence) in Brisbane.

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February 17, 2012

Why do economists get their property predictions so wrong?

If our economists are armed with all the research available in today’s information age, why can’t they agree on where our property markets are heading? In fact a better question would be – why do so many get it wrong?


The simple answer is that market movements are far from an exact science. It’s more than just fundamentals that move markets.

The fundamentals are easy to monitor. Things like population growth, supply and demand, employment levels, interest rates, affordability and inflationary pressures.

However one overriding factor that the experts have difficulty quantifying is investor sentiment.

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February 14, 2012

The power of the media in property markets

It seems that just a couple of months ago we were reading headlines outlining the possibilities of a US style crash in Australian real estate. It was the most common question I got asked throughout the course of last year – “should I wait to buy – is the market going to drop further?”


I never have to field such questions during the boom phase of a property cycle. During these periods, despite cautioning the opposite, buyers are too busy following the herd mentality to take a step back and read the signs.

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February 10, 2012

The biggest property myth of 2011

Probably the biggest property myth of 2011 was the claim that Australia was in a ‘property bubble’ that was about to burst.


It was only a few years ago when doomsday economist Steve Keen predicted Australian house prices would plummet. Awkwardly for him, average house prices went up 40 per cent, rather than down.

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February 9, 2012

Investing in property – a super idea!

Australian workers have watched world sharemarkets ride a hair-raising rollercoaster of ups and downs for some time now.


Thousands lost large chunks of their retirement nest eggs during the 2008 global financial crisis and more recently, as the European markets teeter on the brink of uncertainty, many are concerned as to how their savings, shares and super funds will weather this new economic storm.

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February 7, 2012

Five steps to buying property interstate

I recently replied to a blog posted by API deputy editor Vanessa De Groot relating to the difficulty of buying property interstate.


I suggested a simple five-step process so as to try and overcome the fear with buying in unfamiliar territory. As many people are considering buying interstate, especially in the resource-rich states, I thought it would be a good idea to provide some more detail on this five-step process.

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