API Blog :: Have your say!

July 2, 2012

Returning to a true ‘green’ economy


Urban developers seem obsessed with the notion of building high-rise concrete jungles, or at the very least limiting development to high-density housing. It may seem like an obvious solution to population growth… but at what cost?

BY CATHERINE CASHMORE

I recently read a report about the value buyers place on having a garden. In the study, it’s claimed some families would spend an extra $75,000 to get a private bit of ‘green’ around their property. My reading of the findings followed a question I’d been asked by a reporter researching the notion of gardens and their place on a buyer’s priority list.

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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?

BY CATHERINE CASHMORE

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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May 21, 2012

Action on affordability isn’t working


The mining boom is great on paper, but like the unsinkable Titanic on calm waters, no one seems to see the great iceberg ahead. There’s an old Jewish proverb, which – roughly translated – goes: “People come to poverty in two ways, accumulating debts and paying them off.”

BY CATHERINE CASHMORE

You don’t need the brain of a statistician to work out why political polls are low. It’s not just about lowering hospital waiting lists and reducing rising electricity bills. Neither is it about handouts to appease changes in policy such as the carbon tax.

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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.

BY CATHERINE CASHMORE

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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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?”

BY CATHERINE CASHMORE

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 2, 2012

Empty homes


It’s almost impossible to accurately estimate the number of homeless in Australia. According to the 2006 census there were 105,000 – that’s 5100 more than recorded in the 2001 census, which found 99,900 were without a permanent abode.

BY CATHERINE CASHMORE

Of course there are many reasons individuals find themselves without shelter. Some come from abusive families, many being women and children, and some are what are commonly known as ‘couch surfers’ – sleeping a night here and there.

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January 3, 2012

Worry about tomorrow and you’ll miss today’s opportunities


There’s an incredible amount of concentration on the state of the world’s economic situation and what it bodes for the average mum and dad investor in Australia. However does anyone really understand all the implications of the data being reported and interpreted by journalists and economic commentators?

BY CATHERINE CASHMORE

Let me give you some idea of the range of opinions hitting the papers each week. A recent article in the UK Telegraph by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard suggested the US economy is not only rising, but “within five years or so” America will be well on the way to “self-sufficiency in fuel and energy”. The report makes plenty of other bullish assertions under the premise that the “American phoenix” is on the rise once again and indicates a return to prosperity, which would no doubt hit the real estate sector.

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December 12, 2011

Purchasing for the future Aussie buyer


The demographics of our cities are changing at a dramatic pace. While most are distracted by the state of the Euro and the possible consequences to the Australian economy, long-term property investors should have their sights set on the emerging trends affecting Australian real estate.

BY CATHERINE CASHMORE

Immigration has brought a wonderful diversity of culture to Australian shores, but the effects on property have been startling. The biggest increases in population between the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2001 Census and 2006 Census were from China (64,000) and India (52 000) – two countries with dense populations and lifestyles very different from that of the typical Aussie family. As a proportion of our population, ratios of migrants born in Asian countries are on the rise and it’s suggested that by 2025 they’ll be the majority, not minority.

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November 21, 2011

Looking through the microscope


Remember this picture? It might look like a museum image of prehistoric man, but it’s a rock located in the Cydonia region of Mars.

BY CATHERINE CASHMORE

JPL scientists at NASA made the discovery of the ‘Face on Mars’ in 1976. Wanting to give the public a familiar looking feature, they released this image to the tremendous delight of daily tabloids that ran with headlines suggesting ancient intelligent life had been found on Mars. Of course a few years later, on closer inspection, the imagined eyes, nose, and lips turned out to be nothing more than peaks and ridges…

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November 8, 2011

Why opt for ‘sale by auction’ in a flat market?


We’re coming to the end of a year many real estate agents will be pleased to bid farewell.

BY CATHERINE CASHMORE

Turnover has been down in most states and prices ordinary at best. Last month should have been one of the busiest of the yearly real estate cycle, but it turned out to be one of the quietest, which has placed a strain on many of the smaller real estate agencies that need to bank enough commission to last through the quieter Christmas months.

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