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What to buy and where: How to prepare for possible negative gearing changes if you’re an investor

Investors are now back in the market, looking for good buys before the proposed changes to negative gearing and capital gains tax come in from January 1 if Labor wins the next federal election.

What type of home in Sydney is likely to bring the best returns? And where? And when?

Now is a good time to snap up an investment property, suggests Domain economist Trent Wiltshire.

“Prices may fall a little more but then the market will bottom out in late 2019,” he says. “The lending environment is easing a bit so banks are offering better deals.

“Consumer surveys also show people are thinking now is a good time to buy, with signs the market is turning around.”

The Sydney suburb of South Coogee
Prestige investment pockets, like Sydney’s eastern beaches, are often a good bet. Photo: Steven Woodburn

Sydney’s popular blue-chip investment areas – the eastern beaches like Coogee and Bondi, the lower north shore with Neutral Bay and Kirribilli, and the inner west including Annandale and Balmain – can be the best bet, believes Chris Gray, chief executive of Your Empire.

“For the best capital growth and rental returns, you need to stay within five to 15 kilometres of the centre, in areas that are short of supply but always high in demand,” he says.

“Also, try to buy a property that’s priced around the median as the majority of renters, and later buyers, can afford that.

“For apartments, choose a two-bedroom apartment with parking and nice-sized rooms, and if you want to buy a house, you’ll have to spend more money to buy in those blue-chip areas.”

26/293 Alison Road, Coogee. Photo: BresicWhitney Rosebery.
Chris Gray, chief executive of Your Empire, recommends looking at two bedroom apartments. Photo: BresicWhitney

New developments can also be a good buy now, with finance tight for developers and many offering discounts, says Loanmarket East director Alex Lambros.

“Rental returns will be stronger [near the CBD],” he says. “Choose something close to transport and in smaller buildings of 50 units or less.”

On the lower north shore, Olivia Chung of McGrath Neutral Bay favours older-style apartments or houses for investment: “Choose a two-bedroom apartment with parking and a balcony as demand will be higher and they offer the highest yield and capital growth.”

“Choose [a house] that’s already renovated as they can offer a better return straightaway,” she says.

Surry Hills in Sydney
Terrace houses around Surry Hills and Paddington are also worth considering. Photo: Steven Woodburn

In the inner west, two-bedroom terraces can be a great choice, according to Matt Hayson, director of Cobden & Hayson.

“They rent well to singles, professional couples and downsizers, particularly if they have the right aspect with a north or north-east-facing rear,” he says.

In the east, terraces around Paddington or Surry Hills can be a good bet too, says Tony Laing of The Agency Eastern Suburbs.

Apartments in smaller blocks with fewer amenities and therefore lower levies are a good idea. “They mean you don’t have as much land tax or other maintenance costs,” he says.

Four investments to check out

26/293 Alison Road, Coogee

26/293 Alison Road, Coogee. Photo: BresicWhitney Rosebery.
26/293 Alison Road, Coogee NSW.

This new, north-facing penthouse in a boutique block is likely to offer a great yield, says agent Charles Touma of BresicWhitney Rosebery, who is selling the property with a $1.4 million guide.

“I’ve already rented 16 apartments in that building and they [are] all getting a good rent of about $1000. And since this is a penthouse, it will get even more because of its size, its outlook and its amazing balcony.”

Only 750 metres to the beach, the penthouse has a large terrace, leafy views, open-plan living and a gas kitchen with stone benches.

20 Alfred Street, Annandale

20 Alfred Street Annandale NSW Low res
20 Alfred Street, Annandale NSW.

This is a classic two-bedroom terrace and a great investment opportunity in a leafy street in a very desirable area of the inner west.

It has character features like period fireplaces, ornate ceilings and timber floorboards, but its kitchen and bathroom have both undergone a good quality renovation and the courtyard has entertaining space as well as rear car access.

It’s for sale with a price guide of $1,095,000 via agent Ray White Annandale agent Tina O’Connor.

G01/562a-564 Miller Street, Cammeray

G01.562a-564 Miller Street Cammeray NSW Low res
G01.562a-564 Miller Street, Cammeray NSW.

A two-bedroom, two-bathroom-plus-study apartment in the new block Aleuca is close to completion close to the cafes and restaurants of the local village, but in a bush setting.

With big bedrooms and a study in the second bedroom, the 113sqm home has a designer kitchen with Caesarstone bench-tops, feature timber finishes, Spotted Gum floorboards and one security parking spot.

Ray White Lower North Shore agent Justin Kurenda is selling the apartment for $1.85 million.  

83 Garden Street, Maroubra

83 Garden Street Maroubra NSW Low res
83 Garden Street, Maroubra NSW.

This four-bedroom freestanding house is on 363sqm of land, and offers plenty of opportunity to renovate for instant leasing, and then more extensive work later, including permission for a two-storey home, to add extra capital value.

It’s in a corner position in a popular spot just minutes to Maroubra Junction shopping precinct, with a variety of stores, cafes and restaurants, and transport.

There’s also an enclosed back veranda for more room, and a lock-up garage. It’s for sale for $1,575,000 through agent Veronica Perez of PRDnationwide Perez Real Estate.  

This article was first published in www.domain.com.au. Here is the link to the original article: https://www.domain.com.au/news/what-to-buy-and-where-how-to-prepare-for-possible-negative-gearing-changes-if-youre-an-investor-814610/

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Pymble’s building boom: How a steady demand for property is reshaping this leafy pocket

Pymble is undergoing a building boom, with property owners either knocking down old 1960s bungalows to make way for bigger new homes, or undertaking major renovations, in order to stay in the area with their perfect home.

“People love it here for the large blocks, leafy streets and great schools,” says Michael Doran of Belle Property Pymble, who’s been selling homes in the area for nine years. “And while we have a lot of established properties, there’s a lot of building going on so people can stay in the suburb but have homes that really suit their needs.”

The steady demand in the upper north shore suburb, 16 kilometres from the Sydney CBD, means the fall in prices has been much less over the past year than in other areas.

Domain Neighbourhood Pymble
The famously lush suburb is about 16 kilometres from the CBD. Photo: Steven Woodburn

Pymble house prices, while up 60.4 per cent over the past five years, have softened by just 0.4 per cent in the last year. That contrasts with much bigger falls in neighbouring suburbs of Gordon of 14.4 per cent, West Pymble at 9.3 per cent and St Ives of 7.3 per cent.

“That doesn’t surprise me at all,” says local businessman Jeoff Jones, who runs Anjeos Hair & Beauty from a site on the Pacific Highway that’s been operating as a hairdressing salon since 1954. “This area has so much going for it, people don’t move away, but a lot of others want to come here.   

“We’ve had some of the same customers for 14 years. No one likes to leave!”

Pymble in Sydney.
Local Jeoff Jones says once people set down roots in Pymble, they tend to stay. Photo: Steven Woodburn

He puts it down to the great public transport offered by the train station and buses in the area, as well as the parks and good schools, particularly independent schools like Pymble Ladies College, Ravenswood School for Girls, and Knox Grammar nearby.

It’s certainly still a well-to-do suburb, with median weekly house rents at $1000 for the 16 per cent of people who rent in the suburb, showing a 2.5 per cent rental yield. As well as the building boom in houses, there are also a few new apartment buildings going up over the past few years.

There are a number of good new cafes, restaurants and businesses, including the French cafe Comme Chez Nous and chic furniture store Remarkable Outdoor Living.

Domain Neighbourhood Pymble
Green and serene, Pymble has a median house price of nearly $2.4 million. Photo: Steven Woodburn

“Pymble in the 1950s and 1960s used to be the boutique spot, and was to the upper north shore what Double Bay is to Sydney,” says Jones.

“Now it feels like we’re going back to those days, with lots of building and a fresh vibe.”

Pymble has a clearance rate of 52.2 per cent, a median house price of $2,378,500, and a median unit price of $870,000.

Two homes in the area

16 Peace Avenue

16 Peace Avenue Pymble NSW
16 Peace Avenue, Pymble NSW. Photo: Supplied

This multi-level home has had a series of quality renovations, so it’s ready to be moved into and enjoyed, with its large open spaces, formal lounge with fireplace, and great outdoor area complete with saltwater pool.

It’s for sale through Orr & Co Estate Agents, who are quoting a price guide of $2.2 million.

104 Livingstone Avenue

104 Livingstone Avenue Pymble NSW
104 Livingstone Avenue, Pymble NSW. Photo: Supplied

This 1904 Hamilton Park mansion was once owned by the family who started the first shops in Pymble, the Hamiltons. It has been renovated for contemporary living on 3200 square metres of landscaped grounds.

Luschwitz Real Estate lead an expressions of Interest campaign, and advise on a $4.5 million-to-$5 million buyers 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/pymbles-building-boom-how-a-steady-demand-for-property-is-reshaping-this-leafy-pocket-813281/

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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/