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April 27, 2012

Melbourne: our fastest-growing capital

Over the last decade Melbourne’s growth outpaced all other Australian capital cites, adding 666,000 new residents or the equivalent of a third of Brisbane’s population. The Age reported the city added 67,000 people in the year to June 30, 2011 – almost 1300 a week – as new suburbs emerged, expanded and filled up, mostly to the north and west.


Melbourne accounted for 80 per cent of Victoria’s growth in 2010-11. While regional cities and the coast grew solidly, population losses continued in inland western Victoria.

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April 24, 2012

The right time to buy?

I went to a dinner party last week and thanks to my new role with Australian Property Investor, I was bombarded with questions from almost everyone at the table. There was very little pessimism about the market and no strong feeling that it still had some way to go before hitting the bottom of the cycle. The overwhelming sense was that people wanted to invest now.


Against all conventional investment wisdom, I toyed with the idea of selling one of my properties last year. I knew it wasn’t the best time, but I was curious so I listed the apartment anyway to see what sort of response I’d get. It wasn’t great. The sole offer I received was well below expectations – daylight robbery, in my obviously unbiased opinion.

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April 23, 2012

Your first home or an investment?

A question I’m often asked is whether people should buy an owner-occupied property first or an investment property. What most don’t realise is that it might be possible to do both. A client could purchase a property that needs a cosmetic renovation, add value to it and then leverage into the world of investing.


Accessing this newly created equity means they could fund a deposit and costs on their first investment purchase. With this strategy, the client also gets to take advantage of government bonuses like the First Home Owners Grant (FHOG) and stamp duty concessions.

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April 20, 2012

Mining boom assures property profits

By now you know we have a “boom and gloom” economy in Australia, with one leg being driven by mining. But what if this falters – what will it mean to our economy, the property markets, and you and me as property investors?


The recent long-term forecast update by BIS Shrapnel should give us some reassurance, as it confirms the rapid expansion of minerals-related investment that’s providing a significant boost to the Australian economy.

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April 19, 2012

Buy, hold and hope – 7 myths that destroy your wealth

You make your money when you buy, but you make more money when you proactively review and manage what you’ve bought. Some investors adopt a “set and forget” mentality with property. This is a dangerous strategy, as there are many things that can change over time and affect the performance of your investment.


To minimise risk and accelerate the growth of your property portfolio, it’s critical that you take an active interest and involvement in each property you hold. Let’s examine seven myths that some investors and homebuyers believe, and what you can do to improve your portfolio.

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April 18, 2012

Finding true tenancy love

Meeting and keeping a good tenant for your investment property is a lot like the trials and tribulations of dating. There’s the initial nervous anticipation as you set out to find someone, the excitement of getting to know them, the dizzying highs of finding “the one”, and – if you’re lucky – the satisfaction of a long and happy relationship.


My first foray into the role of landlord was a whirlwind romance. The sign went up out the front of my first property after I decided to move on to a new renovation project. Within 24 hours, I’d found my perfect match.

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April 16, 2012

Insure your risk away

One Christmas morning, we had just started opening presents when the phone rang. There was a bushfire and all hands were needed. My father left and our lamb roast quickly became sandwiches for the firefighters. At 3pm, we heard someone had been killed. At 8pm, dad came home. He had been putting out spot fires.


In a tight-knit farming community, that day was a heavy blow – particularly for the family whose world was changed forever. In addition to the emotional pain and loss, they also lost their only breadwinner.

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April 13, 2012

How are our property markets performing?

Now that we’re a quarter of the way through the year and our property markets have had a chance to show their hand, it’s probably a good time to see how property is performing.


RP Data has reported its March quarter house price index results and the findings were encouraging.

Once again, the latest stats will disappoint the doomsayers who frequent the property forums and for the last four years have been predicting an apocalypse.

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April 11, 2012

Renovating: what I know now

A good friend just bought her first property, in the form of a rundown renovator’s dream in inner-Brisbane. She’s keen to get stuck in straight away, with grand plans for a full-scale overhaul, but when I asked about her project budget she just gave me a blank stare. Oops… she doesn’t have one.


My friend’s brave foray into the world of renovation reminded me of my own early experiences. When I embarked on my first project, I was a typical 20-year-old: ambitious, but totally clueless. Over the next two years, I fumbled my way through with no plan, no budget, no contingency and no idea.

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April 10, 2012

So, how are things going?

With a little over one quarter of the year gone, I think it’s an opportune time to check on the progress of the property market, based on a number of key indicators provided by RP Data. I have also added some comments on what we need to see happen to these key indicators to give us a sign that the property market is improving.


Days on market

The average time it takes to sell a house or unit has increased in the past year. Twelve months ago, it took on average 75 days to sell a house and 65 days to sell a unit. Fast-forward to today and the time taken to sell property has increased. It’s now taking on average 78 days to sell a house and 67 days to sell a unit. The days on market needs to decrease to give us a sign that the property market is improving.

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