API Blog :: Have your say!

October 13, 2010

How to sell in a buyers’ market


Selling your home in a buyers’ market leaves little room for mistakes.

BY ELIZABETH ALLEN

There are few situations more psychologically challenging than having a property on the market that does not sell – no matter how much you will it to.

A property that sits also becomes stale, leaving you with the choice of taking it off the market or reducing the price.

Make no mistake: today’s is a buyers’ market with supply outstripping demand. Australian Bureau of Statistics figures released this week show housing finance for August was down by 1.3 per cent (seasonally adjusted) on last year. Finance for owner-occupied housing was flat (no change) and investment housing was down by 3.9 per cent. Read more →

October 6, 2010

What’s love got to do with it?


Property investment can sometimes involve both head and heart.

BY ELIZABETH ALLEN

Almost all of the advice about investing in property tells us that the head must rule the heart. But does that always have to be the case?

Many years ago, I had a weekend home alone while my husband attended a conference interstate.

By the time he returned three days later, I had bought my first house.

The price tag: $43,000 reduced to $39,000. Now, even for 1985 that was ridiculously low. Read more →

September 29, 2010

Populate or perish


Australia’s population growth is under scrutiny.

BY ELIZABETH ALLEN

In the time it takes you to read this blog, Australia will have gained another person. That’s if you’re a quick reader and take one minute and 18 seconds from top to bottom.

If you’re slow, we may have another two people by the time you’ve finished.

According to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), one person is born in Australia every one minute and 44 seconds; and we gain another resident through net migration every two minutes and 11 seconds. Read more →

September 22, 2010

House prices and our kids’ inheritance


A new study forecasts changing fortunes for our children.

ELIZABETH ALLEN

I don’t know about you but I was highly irritated by that series of television ads which depicted older Australians, the so called Grey Nomads, living it up in retirement.

The ads were accompanied by the tag line that these people were “spending the kids’ inheritance”.

This irritated me on two levels: first, the inference that they were doing something illicit and second, the idea that this somehow made it all the more enjoyable. Read more →

September 15, 2010

The mortgage dilemma


Fixed interest rates are trending downwards so is now a good time to lock in your home loan?

BY ELIZABETH ALLEN

To fix or not to fix? That is the question occupying many home borrowers’ minds.

For those who were caught with high fixed rates as variable rates plummeted during the global financial crisis (GFC), the memory probably produces a resounding ‘no’ today.

The percentage of borrowers with fixed rates dropped from about 25 per cent in early 2008 – pre GFC – to only three per cent a year later. Read more →

September 8, 2010

Government needs to tackle housing bottlenecks


As the pundits debate just how much, or little, the new minority Gillard Government will be able to achieve, the housing development industry has some blunt advice.

ELIZABETH ALLEN

Get down to work and deal with the pressing issues affecting housing supply in Australia, say some of the housing industry’s main players.

“Affordability”, “bottlenecks”, “infrastructure” and “population policy” are some of the words on their impatient lips.

The Federal Government has to act quickly or else watch the housing situation become “dire”, warns the Housing Industry Association (HIA). Read more →

September 1, 2010

Silver linings in elections and property prices


Over the past few days I’ve been pondering just how much the recent election outcome and the property market have in common.

By ELIZABETH ALLEN

To approach both the election result and current property prices with equanimity it helps to believe in the old adage “every cloud has a silver lining”.

It’s been hard while watching Australia wallow in its post-election hiatus and seeing the Independents’ egos – with a couple of exceptions – expand daily. Read more →

August 25, 2010

Rural focus could influence housing policy


If Australia emerges from its election limbo with Independents holding the balance of power, as expected, Federal Government policy is likely to take on a distinctly rural flavour.

By ELIZABETH ALLEN

The rural and regional focus of three key Independents combines with Australia’s inevitable population growth to create a very different scenario for our federal policy makers.

And it’s one that could have implications for the property market – as CommSec chief economist Craig James noted this week.

“We do need more migrants and where these people end up settling may be a matter for the Independents,” James said. Read more →

August 18, 2010

Property goes missing during federal campaign


The Federal Election campaign has been “full of sound and fury signifying nothing”, to borrow a line from Shakespeare.

By ELIZABETH ALLEN

At least, that’s the view of many political commentators  – and property industry experts seem to agree.

Their view is that property has played no direct role in the campaign.
In fact, issues such as housing affordability and interest rates have been conspicuously absent.

But most analysts warn that the hot campaign topic of future immigration policy has the potential to affect property investment down the track. Read more →

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