API Online

March 30, 2012

Uncertainty may hold opportunity for property investors

Our property markets started the year in a tug of war, caught between falling interest rates on the one hand and market uncertainty on the other. Now that we’re almost a quarter of the way through the year, it’s worth reviewing what’s really going on in the property markets and what’s ahead for the rest of the year.


Commsec economist Craig James is calling Australia the boom and gloom economy. On the one hand our economy is still growing – unlike many others, especially in Europe – and underpinned by a mining boom. But on the other hand, consumers and businesses are gloomy. It’s much the same with property – some areas are faring well, but many aren’t.

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March 28, 2012

Gazumping – why do agents do it?

Have you ever bought a home, but then found out it wasn’t actually yours? You may have signed the contract and been told the vendor was happy with your offer. You could have even started planning your house warming party, only to be gazumped a day or two later.


Unfortunately, gazumping happens all the time and while it’s still legal in most states, including New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria, some people might consider it immoral.

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March 26, 2012

Down and out with negative equity

Overspending on real estate is a temptation often hard to resist. It’s not an emotion restricted to houses, however as property is often the most expensive purchase most make in a lifetime – usually with the intention of making a profit from the proceeds – it’s a serious enough ‘habit’ to ponder the psychology behind it.


This past week, the media has widely publicised RPData’s research, ‘revealing’ that homeowners experiencing negative equity rose to 6.11 per cent in December 2011, compared to the previous quarter which came in at 4.9 per cent.

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March 23, 2012

Is negative gearing really unfair?

Around budget time each year, and whenever tax reform is discussed, property investors shudder at the thought of the abolition of negative gearing.


At the Federal Government tax summit last year, Grattan Institute economist Saul Eslake called for changes to negative gearing, arguing it provided $4.5 billion each year to affluent Australians and reduced the supply of affordable housing.

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March 21, 2012

Should it stay or should it go?

They say if a property isn’t performing you should ditch it. But that’s easier said than done.


There are some great opportunities out there right now in realestate.com.au land. No matter where I seem to look (mining boom areas, interstate, even coastal areas that have pulled back!) I keep finding properties that look great, at least in picture. The problem is, I’m stuck. My fiancé and I are pretty much maxed out when it comes to negative gearing and we have a reasonably big personal home loan too. So yes we could borrow again but being in the position we’re currently in, the property would probably have to be positively geared.

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March 20, 2012

Winning auction bidders beware

Victorian solicitor Peter Mericka was correct when he stated in his ‘Auctions exposed as non-binding’ story that, as every agent, auctioneer, solicitor and conveyancer knows, a contract for the sale of real estate must be in writing and signed before it can be enforced.


More particularly such a contract will be enforceable at law even if it’s only ‘evidenced’ in writing. This requirement flows from Section 4 of the Statute of Frauds 1677, an Act of the English parliament, which has been incorporated more or less in legislation across Australia in these terms: “no action may be brought upon any contract for the sale … of land … unless the contract … or some memorandum or note of the contract is in writing and signed by the party to be charged, or by some person by the party lawfully authorised.”
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March 16, 2012

Four mistakes all property investors must avoid

Here’s a startling but true fact: most Australians who get involved in property investment never develop the financial freedom they were looking for.


Close to half of those who get into real estate sell up in the first five years and of those still in the game, most never get past their second investment property.

However, some investors do very, very well.
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March 15, 2012

How to improve your borrowing capacity

There’s little doubt banks have tightened their lending criteria in recent times. It can be frustrating for those looking to get into the market and for investors who struggle to source finance for their next deal. Here are some ways investors can increase their borrowing capacity.


Remove/reduce credit card debts

Many borrowers don’t realise the bank takes their entire credit card limit into consideration when assessing their borrowing capacity. Therefore, if you have a large limit, which isn’t being utilised, consider reducing it to a lower limit. If you have credit cards that you don’t use consider getting rid of them.

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March 13, 2012

How much do Aussie banks really pay for ‘cost of funding’?

As Australia’s major lenders all want to do – particularly when the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) starts slashing interest rates – the cost of funding card is yet again being played in an attempt to ‘educate’ the population as to why the banks are really not nasty, money grabbing ogres.


Recently the ANZ bank took a gamble and informed customers that, regardless of the RBA’s position on whether interest rates should go up, down or remain unchanged, they planned to independently assess and adjust their variable rates according to the health of their own bottom line at any given time.

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March 9, 2012

Can you really trade property in the stock exchange?

In a world-first, RP Data and Rismark recently commenced publishing a ‘daily’ home value index that they suggest reflects the current state of the housing market.


The new daily index launched in conjunction with the ASX allows institutions, property investors and buyers to track and eventually trade the daily changes in capital city house and unit prices.

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