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June 29, 2012

Australia’s population continues to grow

If you’ve been following my blogs you’ll know that I feel confident about the long-term prospects for our property markets, which will be supported by dual pillars of healthy population growth and a nation where people become wealthier because of a strong economy.


With the recent release of Census Data, everyone’s talking about what’s happening to our population.

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June 27, 2012

The most wonderful time of the year

There are only a few sleeps left until the end of another financial year. While there aren’t any carols, public holidays or sitting on a red-clad jolly man’s lap (unless you visit a fairly strange accountant), I reckon it’s the best date on the calendar. Christmas comes in a distant second.


I’ve always loved tax time. As soon as the last piece of required paperwork is in my hot little hands, I excitedly rush off to see the accountant. It’s usually no later than July 15.

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June 25, 2012

Has the Brisbane market turned?

How can you tell when a particular property market is on the up? Market watchers each have their own theories on which milestones signal a change in fortunes. I, for one, think Brisbane has turned a corner and is well positioned on the property clock.


Why do I think this? What measures am I using? Here are my 10 market turn milestones.

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June 22, 2012

Are we on the brink of another rental crisis?

Vacancy rates in most Australian capital cities are hitting new record lows, and tenants are doing it tough. Competition to secure a place to live is soaring at a steep trajectory. Some experts are warning of an impending crisis, with Perth fast becoming the hardest place to find a reasonably priced rental


In a recent ninemsn report, Stockland managing director of major development Matthew Quinn says house prices in Perth have come off the boil recently, but the same can’t be said for the rental market. According to Quinn, the vacancy rate within Stockland-owned projects alone has fallen to less than one per cent.

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June 20, 2012

The trouble with love

It was meant to be an emotionless liaison – black and white, no strings attached and an arrangement purely about the money. Then the overpowering allure of rustic charm, old-fashioned good looks and a potential for something much more took hold of me. This isn’t my first pony show, but I fell – and I fell hard.


I’ve been checking out the market for a few weeks, since deciding it was time to throw my hat in the ring once again. I figured out my budget, a list of target areas and a desired rental yield, and then I went shopping.

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June 18, 2012

The flat market’s impact on The Block

Doom and gloom in the housing market is rarely out of the media spotlight. RP Data recently released figures showing capital city house prices fell by 1.4 per cent in May – with the largest drop of 2.7 per cent seen in Melbourne. What impact will this sluggishness have on Channel Nine’s hit show The Block?


The pull back in Melbourne’s house prices is understandable when you take a close look at the historical data. Figures from RP Data-Rismark’s daily hedonic index series illustrate the extraordinary boom that occurred between January 2009 and December 2010. Prices rose a whopping 34 per cent – a level of growth that’s unhealthy and clearly unsustainable.

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June 15, 2012

Avoiding stamp duty traps in Queensland

In one of his early moves as the new Queensland Premier, Campbell Newman reinstated stamp duty concessions for principal places of residence (your home). It’s back from July 1 and will save you up to $7000 on the purchase of an average family home. But I’ve got a warning on some traps to avoid.


The concession was dropped in June 2011 by then Queensland Treasurer Andrew Fraser, in a bid to raise an estimated $161 million for the government. While its return is good news for homebuyers, there are some traps to avoid.

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June 12, 2012

A 20 per cent deposit is not always a good idea

You’ve saved a 20 per cent deposit and have enough funds to cover the purchase costs, so you’re ready to venture out and buy your first property. This might sound crazy, but have you considered the downside of using all of your hard-earned cash on the deposit?


Most people believe it’s in their best interest to put their money towards a 20 per cent deposit on their first property. That way, they figure, they can avoid paying lenders’ mortgage insurance (LMI).

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June 8, 2012

Some lessons from the BRW Rich 200 list

Rather than richer, it seems the rich are getting poorer according to the recently released BRW Rich 200 list. The fact is that more than half saw a drop in their wealth over the past 12 months, even though they are far from poor.


This year, Gina Rinehart was the richest person in Australia and became the richest woman in the world. The 58-year-old mining magnate’s wealth has ballooned by $18.87 billion in the past year to a grand total of $29.17 billion. That equates to more than $1 million for every half an hour and almost $52 million a day.

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June 6, 2012

Just plain bunkum

Despite yesterday’s media reports to the contrary, the world hasn’t ended. I’m still breathing. How about you? Instead of Armageddon, Europocalypse, DeathbyKeen or something similar, we all seem to get by. The Henny Pennys have survived the farmer’s axe to live another day of worry.


Yesterday’s lacklustre 0.25 per cent cut to the official cash rate will no doubt have many in a spin. Well, stuff them – today is special. It’s an opportunity to take some time to reflect.

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