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Melbourne weekly house rents now cheaper than Hobart but unit rents on the rise

Renting a house in Melbourne is now cheaper than it is in Hobart, due to a runaway property market on the Apple Isle and an unusually strong unit rental market in Melbourne.

Domain senior research analyst Nicola Powell said Hobart’s strong rental price was extraordinary.

“Overall for the city it’s cheaper to rent a house in Melbourne than it is in Hobart and that’s never happened before,” Dr Powell said. “Rental competition in Hobart is extremely tight and affordability is being pushed further and further to its limits.”

Domain data show house rents in Melbourne were flat for the quarter at $440 per week; in Hobart the median rose from $420 to $450 in three months, a 7.1 per cent rise.

Median house rents

Victorian Council of Social Services chief executive Emma King said low wage growth meant the rent hikes would impact low-income earners the hardest.

“When people on low or fixed incomes have to pay more in rent, they must cut back on things like food, heating or medical care,” she said. “That’s terrible.”

The relative weakness in Melbourne house rents could be due to strong unit prices, Dr Powell said.

“In both the sale and rental markets, units are outperforming houses,” she said. “It’s almost a little bit counter-intuitive to what you’d expect given Melbourne has a lot of development and a big supply pipeline. But Melbourne has strong population growth.

“Maybe it illustrates a preference of renting a unit and being closer to the CBD than renting a house.”

Median unit rents

Melbourne Asset Management director Cameron Osbourne said an uptake in apartment living meant inner-city units were rented more quickly.

“It’s probably the fact that they’re still cheaper … and people are starting to value that location. Areas like Richmond and St Kilda, there just aren’t very many places around,” he said.

“Even in the last couple of days we’ve been doing rental increases for places that haven’t had them in the past couple of years.”

In well-connected and bustling suburbs like South Yarra and Windsor, the renting situation was tight, Hocking Stuart South Yarra head of property management Louise Perrignon said.

“We’re finding the situation for rentals really strong, the demand is really high,” she said. “We’re having seasonal peaks and troughs but we had our biggest month ever in January.”

Median weekly house rents
Melbourne – Inner$625$610$6152.5%1.6%
Melbourne – Inner East$590$590$5800.0%1.7%
Melbourne – Inner South$650$650$6000.0%8.3%
Melbourne – North East$410$400$4002.5%2.5%
Melbourne – North West$400$400$3900.0%2.6%
Melbourne – Outer East$440$430$4302.3%2.3%
Melbourne – South East$400$400$4000.0%0.0%
Melbourne – West$390$390$3800.0%2.6%
Mornington Peninsula$420$410$4002.4%5.0%

It was not so competitive that the balance had fully tipped in favour of landlords, however.

“Everything’s price sensitive. Prices are stable-ish,” Ms Perrignon said. “We’re not getting outrageous pricing, it keeps growing but it’s not rocketing away.”

ANZ head of Australian economics David Plank said he’d seen both data and had anecdotal evidence to suggest the Melbourne rental market was still difficult to navigate for tenants.

“The data does suggest Melbourne vacancy rates are falling and I’ve had a recent experience with a new member of my team trying to find somewhere to rent in Melbourne experiencing rental bidding at open homes,” he said. “That would suggest that there’s tightness and upward pressure on rents.”

Since December, the vacancy rate has been trending downward from 2.2 per cent to 1.4 per cent in March, Domain data shows.

Median weekly unit rents
Melbourne – Inner$475$450$4505.6%5.6%
Melbourne – Inner East$425$410$4103.7%3.7%
Melbourne – Inner South$425$420$4101.2%3.7%
Melbourne – North East$370$370$3600.0%2.8%
Melbourne – North West$360$365$355-1.4%1.4%
Melbourne – Outer East$380$370$3602.7%5.6%
Melbourne – South East$350$345$3501.4%0.0%
Melbourne – West$340$335$3301.5%3.0%
Mornington Peninsula$335$330$3301.5%1.5%

Mr Plank said strong population growth would be one of the core drivers in buoying the Melbourne rental market.

“I think Melbourne’s migration rate has been strong which has helped to absorb the stock,” he said.

This news was first published in www.domain.com. Here is the link to the original article: https://www.domain.com.au/news/melbourne-weekly-house-rents-now-cheaper-than-in-hobart-but-unit-rents-on-the-rise-817671/

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House values to fall sharply in Australia’s capital cities across the year, says Moody’s Analytics

House prices are expected to fall sharply in Sydney and Melbourne over the course of the year, according to a new report.

Sydney will be hit hardest with values forecast to fall a further 9.3 per cent this year. Apartment values are tipped to decline slower than houses, with an expected drop of 5.9 per cent in 2019, followed by a turnaround in 2020.

The latest report comes after the Australia Bureau of Statistics released figures last month showing house prices had dropped at a faster rate than during the global financial crisis.

Property values have now fallen 13.9 per cent in Sydney since their peak in July 2017 and experts warn prices could remain stuck in a “deep trough”.

In Melbourne, apartment prices are expected to decrease 5 per cent this year and another 1.4 per cent in 2020.

Across the nation overall, Moody’s expects house prices in major cities to fall 7.7 per cent this year, while apartments will see a smaller 4.3 per cent decline, according to the ratings agency report.

The biggest fall in house prices are expected to remain in the Ryde area, in the city’s northwest, with a 15.8 per cent fall tipped for this year.

Apartment buyers in Ryde are already paying the sames prices they were five years ago as sellers continue to slash their asking prices to counter the current market slump.

The median unit prices have fallen from over $720,000 two years ago to about the $650,000-$670,000 mark in North Ryde and nearby Meadowbank.

House prices in Ryde are expected to be savaged. Picture: Google

House prices in Ryde, Sydney are expected to be savaged. Picture: Google

The news isn’t great for Perth either, with house values tipped to decline 7.6 per cent in 2019.

The property downturn could be made worse by changes to negative gearing and further tightening in lending restrictions.

There’s better news in Brisbane, with the worst “likely over” for the Queensland capital, according to the report. House values are set to see a correction in 2019 and strength in East Brisbane.

Values in Brisbane’s apartment market are tipped to recover 0.9 per cent this year.

Adelaide’s housing market will remain stable, with house values forecast to rise 1 per cent in 2019 following a 1.9 per cent gain in 2018.

In Darwin, a further 13.1 per cent slump is tipped for 2019.

Hobart is tipped to end next year with small decreases in house prices over 2020 and 2021.

Labor’s plan to abolish negative gearing on existing properties for new investors could put a halt to a near-term rebound in the market.

“If this policy were implemented within the first year of the Opposition entering office, already-slowing conditions in the investor segment of the market would be exacerbated,” the analysts wrote.

“As investor participation had already slowed, national home values would be expected to reach a slightly deeper trough and have a slower recovery, particularly in the markets where investor participation is higher than the national average, including Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.”

Moody’s expects the Reserve Bank to keep the official cash rate on hold at 1.5 per cent until the middle of 2021.

Property prices are still around 20 per cent higher than they were at the start of the property boom in 2013.

The ABS released figures last month showing house prices in capital cities fell 2.4 per cent in the December quarter to record a total drop of 5.1 per cent in 2018.

This compares with the annual fall of 4.6 per cent in 2009 during the GFC.

Sydney prices lost 3.7 per cent to the three months to December for the sixth consecutive quarter loss and were down 7.8 per cent for the year, according to the ABS.

Melbourne prices were down 2.4 per cent for the quarter and 6.4 per cent for the year.

The bureau’s chief economist Bruce Hockman said the falls in the nation’s two major property markets were based on a number of factors.

“While property prices are falling in most capital cities, a tightening in credit supply and reduced demand from investors and owner-occupiers have had a more pronounced effect on the larger property markets of Sydney and Melbourne,” he said.

This news was first published in www.realestate.com.au. Here is the link to the original article: https://www.realestate.com.au/news/house-values-to-fall-sharply-in-australias-capital-cities-across-the-year-says-moodys-analytics/

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Sydney rent prices remain flat, tenants have upper hand

Sydney renters are spoilt for choice, with lower prices and less competition as more properties hit the market.

But in the northern beaches, median weekly house rents have soared $45 in three months, bucking the city-wide trend, according to the Domain Rental Report, released on Thursday.

The city-wide median house rent remained flat at $540 a week over the past quarter, and apartment rents were also flat at $530 a week.

Sydney becomes the second most expensive capital in which to rent a house after being overtaken by Canberra last quarter, but was the only city to have annual price falls for both houses and units, with rent down $10 a week (1.8 per cent) for houses and $20 a week (3.6 per cent) for units.

Mar-19Dec-18QoQ changeYoY change
Source: Domain.

House rents in the northern beaches and the inner-west increased by $45 and $5 a week over the quarter. In many areas rents have returned to 2016 levels but northern beaches rents are back to where they were a year ago.

Domain senior research analyst Dr Nicola Powell said the number of units on the market across Sydney was up more than 20 per cent year on year, while houses were up almost 13 per cent.

“Current rental conditions provide tenants with a window of opportunity to negotiate rents and terms,” Dr Powell said. “Meanwhile landlords will face greater competition to secure a tenant resulting in rent reductions.”

Mar-19Dec-18QoQ changeYoY change
Source: Domain.

While rents remained flat over the quarter — off the back of Sydney’s first house rent drop in 12 years — this was still a good outcome for tenants, Dr Powell said, because it was the busiest time for the rental market and when prices were most likely to rise.

Weekly house rents in Canterbury-Bankstown and the city and eastern suburbs took the biggest quarterly hit,  falling 2.8 per cent – or $15 and $30 respectively. The lower north shore had the most significant annual drop, with rents falling 9.1 per cent or $100 a week, followed by the north-west, city and eastern suburbs, and west.

With an increasing number of rentals coming onto the market, the days of finding a tenant in less than a week are long gone, said Rachel Beadman, head of property management at Phillips Pantzer Donnelley.

“It’s competitive and days on market are getting longer,” Ms Beadman said. “A year ago you wouldn’t have had people putting an offer in under the market asking price, traditionally price were driven up … whereas now it’s going the other way.”

“If a property is on the market for $1000 a week, [tenants] are probably trying for around $900,” Ms Beadman said. Rents for high-end, family houses had come down more significantly, dropping hundreds of dollars, she said.

RegionMar-19Dec-18QoQ changeYoY change
Blue Mountains$442.50$450-1.7%-1.7%
Canterbury Bankstown$530$545-2.8%-3.6%
Central Coast$440$4400.0%-2.2%
City and East$1,050$1,080-2.8%-4.5%
Inner West$765$7600.7%-1.9%
Lower North Shore$1,000$1,0000.0%-9.1%
North West$600$6000.0%-4.8%
Northern Beaches$995$9504.7%0.0%
South West$460$465-1.1%-2.1%
Upper North Shore$785$800-1.9%-1.6%
Source: Domain.

Lauren Beare of The Agency said that in her 18 years in the industry, she had never experienced a market where tenants had so much choice. While once tenants turned up to open homes, they had not even set foot in, with completed applications, they were now knocking back offers to go for their preferred property.

Ms Beare said the time taken to find a tenant on the lower north shore rose about 20 per cent and that, with prices falling, landlords who didn’t meet the market faced an even longer wait.

“As much as we want to advertise the rent at the current level [when re-letting], it’s going to sit on the market for weeks if we do that,” she said.

The most significant quarterly falls in apartment prices were in the south-west and south, down 2.7 per cent and 2 per cent, with the south-west also recording the most significant annual decrease of 5.3 per cent. It was followed by the north-west and upper north shore, while the northern beaches, again, defied the trend with rents up 1.6 per cent over the year.

Supply was again key, Dr Powell said, with unit supply on the northern beaches down 1.2 per cent annually, while supply was up more than 20 per cent in outer regions, topping out at a 40.8 per cent annual increase in the north-west.

Canterbury Bankstown$420$4200.0%-2.3%
Central Coast$380$3654.1%0.0%
City and East$650$6500.0%-3.0%
Inner West$550$5500.0%-1.8%
Lower North Shore$600$6000.0%-1.6%
North West$490$495-1.0%-3.9%
Northern Beaches$620$6003.3%1.6%
South West$360$370-2.7%-5.3%
Upper North Shore$520$530-1.9%-3.7%
Source: Domain.

This article was first published in www.domain.com.au. Here is the link to the original article: https://www.domain.com.au/news/sydney-rent-prices-remain-flat-tenants-have-upper-hand-817138/

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Seven of the quirkiest homes for sale around Australia right now

If you’ve ever wanted a home that stands out from the rest, then here are seven you need to see. From historic homes to abodes with train carriage bedrooms and those that are mid-century marvels, here are some of Australia’s quirkiest homes for sale right now.

26 Henry Street, Avenel, Victoria
26 Henry Street, Avenel
26 Henry Street, Avenel. Photo: Janelle Puppa Real Estate

Ever dreamed of living in a (former) pub? Here’s your chance with this historic residence in Avenel about 90 minutes north-east of Melbourne. Originally the Royal Mail Hotel, the Coach House, as it’s now known, has been variously used over the years. It was a bed and breakfast, a community meeting place and was also used as a home. It has a history ingrained in Aussie folklore with the son of one of the former owners saved from drowning by bushranger Ned Kelly. The home, hand built in the 1840s with clay bricks, features 12 rooms, including four bedrooms and four living areas.

17 Bell Street, Jimboomba, Queensland
17 Bell Street, Jimboomba
17 Bell Street, Jimboomba. Photo: Meagan Read Property

This unique fixer-upper in Jimboomba, 45 minutes outside Brisbane, offers buyers a very holy abode. The building is a former Uniting Church, moved from Brisbane by the current owner who wanted to turn it into a home. Because they are moving on to another investment, an opportunity exists for buyers to snap it up and make it theirs – though it will need council approval to become a residence. The 100-year-old church includes stained glass windows and even a pew or two.

55 High Street, Campbell Town, Tasmania
55 High Street, Campbell Town
55 High Street, Campbell Town. Photo: Key2Property

Speaking of churches, this former house of worship, built in 1857 in Campbell Town is up for sale. The church, which formerly catered for events including weddings is called, well, The Church and offers a business and potential residence in one. The property is between Hobart and Launceston and includes the church building, a hall and just over half a hectare of land.

213a Campbell Street, Newtown, Queensland
213a Campbell Street, Newtown
213a Campbell Street, Newtown Photo: Ray White Toowoomba

A mid-century marvel, this home in Newtown (a suburb of Toowoomba) could definitely be the dream home for lovers of the era. Dubbed the tree house because of its outside decoration, this two bedroom abode also features gingham kitchen walls and an in-keeping-with-the-era bathroom. It’s also just a hop, step and jump from Newtown Park, the State Rose Garden and Toowoomba CBD.

11-12 Elouera Place, Parkes, NSW
11-12 Elouera Place Parkes
11-12 Elouera Place, Parkes. Photo: Langlands Hanlon Parkes

Best known for its radio telescope (the dish) and its annual festival celebrating all things Elvis, it’s probably no surprise Parkes has some unusual real estate for sale. This unique looking four-bedroom, two bathroom home, with concrete rendered walls, a curved kitchen and bathroom is for sale in Elouera Place. It also includes an in-built bar perfect for all those after-hours Vegas-style parties.

114 Main South Road, Yankalilla, SA
114 Main South Road, Yankalilla
114 Main South Road, Yankalilla. Photo: Ray White Normanville

This stone cottage looks like something out of a fairytale, but it’s actually a quirky home in Yankalilla, just over an hour south of Adelaide. The house, built in the 1850s, features three bedrooms and has amazing stonework inside and outside. It has a stone out-building which could be used as an artists’ studio and also features a garden of the era.

6780 Caves Road, Margaret River, WA
6780 Caves Road, Margaret River
6780 Caves Road, Margaret River. Photo: Margaret River First National

Lovers of purple and quirky homes rejoice. This could be your dream house in wine country in WA. This unique and purple home was built around a 1910 Western Train carriage and has three train carriage bedrooms. It also has a purple kitchen and gorgeous bush surroundings. With approval to use the home for short-term holidays, it could also earn a buck or two if you decide to rent it out when you’re not there.

This article was first published in www.domain.com.au. Here is the link to the original article: https://www.domain.com.au/news/7-of-the-quirkiest-homes-for-sale-around-australia-right-now-april-2019-816847/

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Local governments held back by state counterparts on housing affordability: report

There has been very little uptake on improving housing affordability over seven years at a local government level across Australia despite increased attention on the issue, according to new research.

NSW recorded a decline in measures that tackled the problem while South Australia outdid all other states because for the past decade it has had a statewide affordable housing program, the research found.

Report authors University of Sydney post-doctoral fellow Catherine Gilbert and University of Sydney Urban and Regional Planning professor Nicole Gurran found affordable housing mechanisms were overall quite rare in local plans across Australia.

“To date, very few local plans have had concrete measures to include affordable housing,” Ms Gurran said.

“Not because of a lack of interest. In fact, local councils across Australia have often tried to include requirements to include affordable housing … but they’ve been held back by state governments who have been worried about the impact on development overall.”

The planning research paper compared the survey results of 200 local planning documents between 2007-09 and 2013-14, which reflected current development frameworks. 

Of the plans analysed, only 4 per cent had specific affordable housing mechanisms – primarily in Melbourne and Sydney.

Ms Gurran said affordable housing could be achieved only if it was mandated through different mechanisms, including incentives like additional floor space for developers.

“It is a fiction to think the market is able to deliver an affordable housing outcome,” Ms Gurran said.

“The other fiction is that the private sector would voluntarily provide affordable housing. That’s not commercially viable.

“The only way to build affordable housing into the local plan process is to require it through an even playing field.”

Last year, the Reserve Bank of Australia also found local councils’ restrictive regulations and NIMBYism were driving up property prices.  

The research also found planning reforms in the past decade had limited the different ways of achieving housing affordability.

“The major change in the survey period is a decade of planning reform,” Ms Gurran said. “But as part of that standardisation you’ve seen a falling off of specific mechanisms.”

This included affordable housing contributions requirements.

But Ms Gurran believed this loss could be offset by the NSW government’s announcement earlier this year to enable all councils to include affordable housing provisions in local plans. It was previously available only to the City of Sydney and expanded to five more councils in 2018.

This article was first published in www.domain.com.au. Here is the link to the original article: https://www.domain.com.au/news/local-governments-held-back-by-the-state-on-housing-affordability-report-finds-816909/

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High tech housing underway in the The Hills

Construction has commenced on a futuristic residential project, in Sydney’s northwest, featuring voice command home automation and a circadian rhythm lighting system.

The 74-architect designed ‘smart’ townhomes, currently selling off the plan, are part of a new 6ha masterplanned community at Norwest called Essentia. Each property will also include an integrated home battery storage system designed to reduce power costs plus rainwater recycling and double glazing.

Essentia at Norwest

There are 74 architect designed townhomes within the Essentia masterplanned community

Among its hi-tech features is a circadian lighting system has been designed to keep residents alert during the day time hours and ease into sleep at night.

It adjusts the lighting warmth and colour depending on the time — it is more blue during awake time and warmer in the evening to assist with sleep.

The state-of-the-art home automation is voice controlled and is compatible with Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home.

Residents will also be able to relax at a special Wellness Centre to be built at the estate — also powered by solar energy — featuring a swimming pool, gym, yoga area and clubhouse.

Essentia at Norwest

The first stage of the townhome development is under construction

Mulpha Developments Executive General Manager, Tim Spencer, said last week’s soil-turning ceremony was an opportunity to celebrate this important milestone with the people involved in this special project.

“We understand we are not just building great homes, we are creating a place of wellbeing, economic opportunity and community,” he said.

“Essential will be the first large-scale residential development in Australia to have fully integrated solar and battery storage solutions for residents.”

Mulpha, is the parent developer of Norwest Business Park and the creator of Bella Vista Waters, Central Park and Sanctuary Cove, Queensland.

Essentia is located on the border of the newly created suburb of Norwest and recently realigned Bella Vista, which were approved by the Geographical Names Board last year.

The site will also feature a landscaped “riparian corridor” with natural waterway and native plants.

Essentia at Norwest

Construction has commenced on 6ha site at Norwest

The estate also comprises of 33 large homesites ranging in size from 700 sqm to 750 sqm. These prestige allotments, which will attract housing similar to that of Bella Vista Waters, were released onto the market in September last year with earth works now completed, including grading of blocks and guttering.

This article was first published in www.realestate.com.au. Here is the link to the original article: https://www.realestate.com.au/news/high-tech-housing-underway-in-the-the-hills/

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Regional investment: try these potential money makers

Investor eyes are on regional Victoria amid cooler Melbourne market conditions and following a Federal Budget tipped to boost towns and cities outside the state capital.

We’ve collected some quirky and historical listings that savvy investors could turn into money-making opportunities.

118-124 Raymond St, Sale

The heritage-listed building offers prominent street frontage in Sale.

Polished floorboards, coffered ceilings and chandeliers make for a wonderful pub setting.

wonderful pub setting.

A heritage-listed former Australian Mutual Provident headquarters built in the 1930s is banking on attracting a buyer to Sale.

The prominent building, zoned for commercial use, still has the statues that were a feature of all AMP buildings.

“What’s really interesting about the way in which they created their brand was that they used social values that were represented by the Amicus group of statues,” vendor Ivan Rijavec said.

“They actually used these statues to crown their buildings all over Australia — what’s particularly significant about this one — if you looked at all the AMP buildings — it’s one of the best of its time.

Upstairs is room for a New York-style apartment, or a rooftop bar.

The property was recently in use as a nightclub.

“It was considered to be the best building in the region.”

Mr Rijavec said that, as one of the final builds before the Great Depression began, “it was the last of the buildings of prosperity”.

Graham Chalmer director Chris Morrison said the property was being sold as a commercial building, but had flexibility for a variety of uses.

“For the last ten years it’s been a nightclub and for various reasons that closed down,” Mr Morrison said.

“We’re trying to sell it as a commercial building — a residence upstairs and then two commercial or two retail spaces downstairs.”

103 Mitchell St, Echuca

The gardens are a feature of the Echuca property.

A glassed-in balcony wraps around much of the main residence.

Sitting rooms abound in the quirky property.

An Echuca bed and breakfast with two dwellings and a unique garden is also on the market at the revised figure of $725,000.

The 1000sq m property has a two-storey residence with two bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, a kitchen, lounge room, office, craft room, sauna, spa, display rooms and a large storage space.

The main dwelling at 103 Mitchell St, Echuca is encircled by a wraparound, glassed-in balcony, with flower pots and timber featuring throughout.

“It’s a quirky, unique property,” said Ray White Echuca agent Lucy Piotrowski.

103 Mitchell Street, Echuca is listed at $725,000.

The property is on approximately 1000sq m.

“The person who owns the property lives on site but also rents out the cottage and other rooms.”

Pride of place belongs to the large garden, with a stream fed by multiple fountains, oriental statues and stone footpaths meandering lazily along.

“The gardens are lovely — they’re beautifully maintained,” Ms Piotrowski said.

2730 Traralgon-Maffra Road, Cowwarr

Once it churned out butter, now it churns out artworks.

Paintings and sculptures are on display throughout the home.

You can see why the property has been a fruitful artist’s residence.

A historic artist’s residence and art gallery east of Melbourne is looking for a new owner with a creative streak.

The six-bedroom residence, on 0.51ha with other dwellings including a pottery studio, is listed at a price of $775,000.

“It’s exactly 100 years old — it was built as a butter factory in 1919,” said Leo O’Brien’s eponymous director of 2730 Traralgon-Maffra Rd.

“It’s so solid, it’ll still be there another 500 years.”

A large open dining and living space feels like a great hall.

One of the Cowwarr home’s creative spaces.

A homely kitchen.March 23: Jack Boronovskis’ Victorian property wrap

Mr O’Brien said there had been significant interest from buyers hoping to convert the massive residence and self-contained studio into a “destination B&B”.

“A lot of people take that back road — it’s become a sort-of secondary holiday route,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Particularly during the summer, that road gets fairly busy now.”

This article was first published in www.realestate.com.au. Here is the link to the original article: https://www.realestate.com.au/news/regional-investment-try-these-potential-money-makers/

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Melbourne’s walkable neighbourhoods attract price premium: report

Homes in highly walkable neighbourhoods are more likely to hold their value than those in less pedestrian-friendly areas, a new report has found.

The effect holds during a rising market and also during the current slowdown, a paper from Melbourne buyers’ advocacy Secret Agent found.

Sought-after inner suburbs such as Carlton, Fitzroy, Collingwood and Brunswick were among the most walkable in Melbourne, even allowing residents to walk to the CBD, Secret Agent researcher and report author Jodie Walker said.

“Some [buyers] want to be close to work, they’re sick of driving on congested roads so they want to be able to walk to work,” Ms Walker told Domain.

“If they’ve got kids, maybe they want to be walking distance to their school.”

The report compared prices per square metre for select Melbourne suburbs, dividing locations into walkable and less walkable regions.

On average, price growth increased by 0.9 per cent in walkable zones compared to less walkable zones, over the 12 months to February this year, the paper found.

Pedestrian-friendly neighbourhoods attract a price premium. Photo: Jesse Marlow

It follows an earlier study by the agency that found a significant price premium for homes in walkable neighbourhoods during a rising market.

Vendors could expect to gain an extra $298 per square metre for their home for every five point increase in its Walk Score, the 2013 study found.

The group plans to repeat the study in future to better assess the effect of walkability in a falling market.

“We can hypothesise that walkability will likely have a protective effect on property value, in a similar way to what has been seen in America,” Ms Walker wrote.

A recent study in Dallas found homes in walkable neighbourhoods held their value by about 2 per cent more than less walkable counterparts during the GFC, while another in Los Angeles found the price premium for walkable homes increased as the economy recovered from the crisis.

Jellis Craig Fitzroy director Rob Elsom sees buyers willing to pay a premium to live in amenity-rich, city-fringe neighbourhoods.

“Generally speaking any suburb that’s close to the CBD does hold its value quite well,” Mr Elsom said.

“The closer you are into the CBD, the less boxes a property has to tick for a buyer to purchase them. When you’re further out of Melbourne CBD, people are a lot more discerning on what they want.”

Buyers were often willing to forgo a second car space or a large block so they could live in a “destination suburb” such as Fitzroy or Collingwood, where they could walk to work in the CBD and to local restaurants and cafes on the weekend, he said.

Diners at Cutler and Co. Dining Room and Bar in Fitzroy on March 22, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Wayne Taylor/Fairfax Media)
Being able to walk to local restaurants is a drawcard for Fitzroy homebuyers. Photo: Wayne Taylor

Woodards Carlton North partner Glenn Bartlett said inner-city buyers were looking to be close to cafes, transport, parkland and schools, and were willing to make compromises such as having smaller backyards.

“A lot of people will buy as close to the CBD as they can possibly afford if their broad criteria are met,” Mr Bartlett said.

“We hear from a lot of buyers that they’d much prefer to extend themselves and buy something closer to their places of work, rather than have to battle an extended commute time.”

An earlier study conducted for Domain named Fitzroy and Carlton as among the most walkable suburbs, and found the 16 most walkable suburbs were all within eight kilometres of the CBD.

The middle and outer suburbs are more varied in terms of walkability, said Lukar Thornton, senior lecturer at the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition at Deakin University.

Outer suburbs might start as a small area with a central shopping centre and school, then grow outwards, he said.

“If you’re there early, you might be near the resources that are there,” Dr Thornton said.

“If you’re coming to the town later, on that sprawl away from these town centres, it means you’re very disconnected from anything that would be considered accessible by foot.”

Even so, living in a walkable neighbourhood didn’t stop some residents from driving everywhere.

“The environment of the neighbourhood provides the opportunity. But it’s then up to the individual to take advantage [of it],” he said.

This article was first published in www.domain.com.au. Here is the link to the original article: https://www.domain.com.au/news/melbournes-walkable-neighbourhoods-attract-price-premium-report-816405/

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The Sydney suburbs where buyers are paying 2014 prices

It’s 2014 all over again — just without the ice bucket challenge.

House hunters in multiple areas across Sydney have been purchasing homes at or close to prices last recorded five years ago as sellers continue to slash their asking prices to counter the current market slump.

CoreLogic figures showed the areas with the biggest reversal in prices were spread across the southwest, Western Sydney and the Hills district and Ryde area.

They included suburbs Cobbity, Denham Court, Catherine Field, Mulgoa and Box Hill, among others.

Many of these areas had been in high demand when the market was booming but rampant housing construction has given buyers more choice, forcing sellers to adjust their prices.

The suburbs were also fiercely popular with investors up until 2017 when banks began clamping down on investment lending, squeezed out much of the previous competition for sales and putting home buyers in the box seat.Tips to keep ahead of the property market

Among the notable price falls were in North Ryde and nearby suburb Meadowbank, where heavy apartment construction helped pull down median unit prices from over $720,000 two years ago to about the $650,000-$670,000 mark.

It’s meant current apartment buyers are paying the same prices they were five years ago.

A similar trend was recorded in Penrith suburb Mulgoa, where the median price of a house was $1.39 million in 2017, but has since dropped to $829,000 — marginally below the level it was in 2014.

Divisions of larger blocks resold as smaller, cheaper lots explained some of the drop in the Mulgoa median, but local agents also reported weakened investor activity had an impact.

Buyers have a chance to get a better deal.

Home buyer Chantelle Stevenson and partner Eric recently bought a block of land in local estate Mulgoa Rise where they will be building their dream home and said their purchase went unexpectedly quickly.

The couple had heard stories about buyers in the surrounding area camping outside sales offices the night before a land release to avoid missing out on blocks and were expecting to come up against strong competition from other buyers.

“We were surprised how easy it was,” Ms Stevenson said. “We knew people had been waiting years for some of these blocks to become available.”

Their experience of competing for property was also much smoother than a year ago when they bought their current home, she added. “We felt like we were in a much position this time as buyers than we were last year.”

1 Dukic St, Bonnyrigg Heights was first listed at over $1.32 million but the price has been cut to $1.06 million.

Developer Mupha executive general manager Tim Spencer said buyers in the estate were capitalising on the choice of properties available, which appealed to first home buyers and upsizers.

Realestate.com.au chief economist Nerida Conisbee said the notable absence of investors in many suburbs, especially those with new housing estates, was creating “good opportunities” for owner occupier buyers.

“There’s a chance to get a better deal,” Ms Conisbee said. “Not only are prices down, but buyers have more time to think about their purchases. They can negotiate more and there is no rush to buy, which was something buyers struggled with during the boom.”

This article was first published in www.realestate.com.au. Here is the link to the original article: https://www.realestate.com.au/news/the-sydney-suburbs-where-buyers-are-paying-2014-prices/

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Out of the shadows: Waverley, the tiny suburb emerging as a cool new enclave

A quiet renaissance is underway in a small pocket of the eastern suburbs, where a high street is shedding its dowdy image to emerge as one of the area’s coolest customers.

Waverley has long stood in the shadow of beachy Bronte and the retail mecca that is Bondi Junction. Like Oxford Street in Paddington, its main shopping strip – known as Charing Cross – faltered when Westfield opened down the road nearly 20 years ago.

Gentrification has finally caught up with this part of the east. While its real estate is still more affordable than Bronte and other nearby beachside enclaves, Waverley has started punching above its weight with its vibrant village atmosphere.

The Sydney suburb of Waverley
Chic clothing boutiques, homeware stores and renovated pubs make up Waverley’s village vibe. Photo: Steven Woodburn

Among the highlights are a bike shop, chic homewares stores, clothing boutiques, a blow-dry bar and two pubs – The Robin Hood Hotel and Charing Cross Hotel, both recipients of fresh renos.

The dining scene is on fire too, including local faves Bronte Road Bistro, Bellagio Cafe, Iku Wholefood and Vacanza Pizzeria.

Carissa Lake was planning to open a cupcake shop in Alexandria a few years ago but decided instead to set up shop on Albion Street in Waverley, near St Catherine’s School.

“When I was working around the clock to open the shop as soon as I could, the neighbours often asked me in for dinner or a drink once I finished for the day,” Lake says.

The Sydney suburb of Waverley
Waverley’s cafe, bar and dining scene is on fire too. Photo: Steven Woodburn

The Cupcake Princess, a purveyor of delightfully decorated cakes made from scratch each day, opened in 2015. It has since expanded to include a party room next door.

“At first, I had a couple of older residents tell me I wouldn’t last and that I should make sugar-free products. These people are now my regular customers,” Lake says. “Nothing brings a smile to my face like seeing the after-school rush coming in to tell me what happened during the day. I guess I’m the new version of the milk bar.”

Between 2012 and 2018, the suburb’s house price median more than doubled, from $1.205 million to $2.438 million. But the rate of growth slowed right down last year. Units have also increased in value, though less dramatically since 2016. 

The Sydney suburb of Waverley
The suburb is about 1.5 kilometres away from public transport options at Bondi Junction. Photo: Steven Woodburn

Bondi Junction’s trains and shops are 1.5 kilometres away – close enough for convenience but far enough away to avoid the hectic town centre.

By bus to Bondi Junction then train to Martin Place, it takes about 25 minutes to reach the CBD. Bronte Beach is two kilometres to the east. A coveted cheap beach parking permit is a bonus for Waverley residents.

Anthony Puntigam, an agent at Phillips Pantzer Donnelley, says properties range from apartments to attached houses, semis and a small number of free-standing houses. Federation and art deco styles are especially popular.

The Sydney suburb of Waverley
Architectural styles include attached houses, semis, units and a small number of free-standing houses. Photo: Steven Woodburn

Young families are drawn to the neighbourhood’s good schools, including Waverley College for boys.

“It’s basically become a lifestyle hub, just giving you a fraction more bang for your buck compared to neighbouring Bronte,” Puntigam says.

Two homes in the area

4a Arden Street

4A Arden Street Waverley NSW
4A Arden Street, Waverley NSW. Photo: Supplied

Tipped to appeal to growing families and downsizers, this Victorian-era house combines classic Italianate detail with modern style.

It’s about halfway between Queens Park and Bronte Beach.

The Agency Eastern Suburbs’ Mary Howell advises on a price guide of $1.8 million ahead of the April 27 auction.

24/5-7 Macpherson Street

24.5-7 Macpherson Street Waverley NSW
24/5-7 Macpherson Street, Waverley NSW. Photo: Supplied

Enjoy ocean views from the balcony of this top-floor unit at the rear of an updated security block between Macpherson Street’s cafe strip and Charing Cross village.

Phillips Pantzer Donnelley agent Alexander Phillips has quoted a $950,000 guide.

This article was first published in www.domain.com.au. Here is the link to the original article: https://www.domain.com.au/news/out-of-the-shadows-waverley-the-tiny-suburb-emerging-as-a-cool-new-enclave-812165/