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October, 2018

The rental factor that could bolster Perth’s property market

Hillarys Perth 060516 AFR pic by Erin Jonasson. Costal living, life and leisure. the houses and homes on the water front at Hillarys Boat harbour, 25km+ north of Perth. story Marsha Jacobs generic hold for files. att Michelle O Sullivan SPECIALX 00051050 Perth’s property market woes could be coming to an end as rental vacancies drop, experts say.
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The Domain Group’s quarterly State of the Market report, released on Thursday, continues to bear bad news for homeowners, with the median house price down 1.3 per cent to $554,095 and the median unit price down 6.7 per cent to $351,875.

The median price for renting a house is down 2.8 per cent for the quarter to $350 a week, while unit rents have held steady at $300.

Domain Group chief economist Andrew Wilson said despite the bleak outlook, the one good sign could be the reduction in rental stock – an early sign that a struggling market was due to make a comeback.

“For the past year now, we have seen the first green shoots for a market revival, and that’s that vacancy rates have fallen quite sharply,” Dr Wilson said.

Vacancy rates are down about 1 per cent from last year – with vacant houses down to 3.2 per cent and units down to 3.8 per cent.

“It is a very early signal ??? the vacancy rate is still the highest in the country ??? but it’s not as extraordinarily high as it was a year ago,” Dr Wilson said.

Real Estate Institute of Western Australia president Hayden Groves said one of the reasons for the higher demand for rentals could be down to migration.

“We’ve got a lot more people coming into the state again,” Mr Groves said. “There’s still more people leaving than coming here, but the rate of exodus has significantly reduced in a quarter.”

International migration has nearly tripled to 5500 in the quarter between December 2016 and March 2017, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The post-mining boom flock to the east peaked in the December quarter at 3665, coming down to 2860 in March.

Mr Groves said the time was now for investors to get into the market, particularly if they were looking to buy newer units close to the city.

“The older stock that’s around built in the ’60s and ’70s, that’s still hard to shift in terms of getting tenants,” he said. “But new stock ??? very smart, near the city, near a railway line ??? you can pick them up pretty cheaply now and if you can get a pretty good tenant, they’re almost positively geared.”

Areas such as Mount Pleasant, Applecross and Ardross are tipped as good spots to pick up a unit, along with the western suburbs, in light of ongoing pressure to increase density, Mr Grove said.

“By getting in early and getting something good quality anywhere in the western suburbs, I think will be quite a good buy long term,” he said.

Thought Leaders Real Estate director Matt Travia sells and leases homes from Hillarys to Floreat, and said the coast was doing well in terms of rentals.

“The quality homes in quality locations are still leasing rapidly,” Mr Travia said. “We’re definitely not reducing rents any more on lease renewals, I think it’s found its bottom in that respect.”

Acton Real Estate chief executive Travis Coleman said there was still a lot of competition, but investors could do well.

“As long as the price is right on the advertised property, they will lease,” Mr Coleman said.

Dr Wilson said first-home buyers continue to be winners in the west, as they did not have to worry about selling in the slow market and could take advantage of five year lows.

“First-home buyers are still quite active in the Perth market because they don’t come in with that trading conundrum,” he said.

Investors may not be so lucky, however, as banks cracked down on investor lending across the country. Dr Wilson said this could mean an uphill battle to put the market back in black.

“It’s going to take quite a concerted period to return to the drive from people which was very much a part of the Perth story through the mining boom,” he said.

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Slowest quarterly growth for Melbourne house prices in 3 years

Carpenter Andrew Armstrong was outbid for the small Fitzroy North cottage.Melbourne house prices are still tracking up, but new data shows growth has started to slow, an early sign the property market is cooling.
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And while Sydney’s median house price has fallen for the first time in two years, economists say the Victorian capital is unlikely to follow in the coming year.

According to the Domain Group’s latestState of the Market report, released on Thursday, Melbourne’s median house price has risen to $880,902, a jump of more than $100,000 over the past year.

House prices have now consecutively risen every quarter for five years, but the latest figures show growth is tapering off. Over the September quarter, the median house price rose 1.3 per cent, the lowest result in three years.

HSBC chief economist Paul Bloxham said the cooling of the Melbourne housing market was expected.

“Some cooling of conditions in Melbourne is consistent with tighter lending standards, rising investor mortgage rates and some pullback in foreign demand,” Mr Bloxham said.

“But we see the demand/supply fundamentals still supporting further house price growth in coming quarters, given very strong recent population growth.”

Mr Bloxham said he expected growth in Melbourne house prices to slow to single digit rates in 2018, reflecting the bank’s view that interest rates will rise next year. Related: Watershed moment in affordability debateRelated: How you feel affects the property marketRelated: Over Melbourne? Here’s where to go

In the apartment market, the median unit price has broken the $500,000 mark for the first time, rising 3.4 per cent over the quarter to $506,334.

Overall, apartment prices have risen by 11.4 per cent ??? or $52,000 ??? since the September quarter last year.

Domain Group chief economist Andrew Wilson said it was a very strong result, particularly in the outer suburbs.

“Rather than any easing, we’re seeing an acceleration of prices,” Dr Wilson said. “The units in the outer suburbs are just flying at the moment and that’s where the growth clearly is.”

Apartments in the outer south-east region ??? which includes Carrum, Frankston, Narre Warren, Berwick and Springvale ??? have experienced the biggest boom in prices, with the median soaring 12 per cent over the quarter and 26 per cent over the year.

It was a different story in inner urban areas where the median fell 2.5 per cent in the September quarter. Inner-city apartment prices remain relatively stagnant, recording 0.3 per cent growth over the past year.

Dr Wilson said Melbourne was overall still recording strong results at auction, averaging clearance rates above 70 per cent.

“It’s still very much a seller’s market,” he said. “But the inner eastern suburbs have been a bit weaker than usual.”

The inner east remains the city’s most expensive pocket, with the median house price sitting at $1.6 million, but it has experienced the lowest annual growth of Melbourne’s eight regions.

Jellis Craig managing director Andrew McCann said A-grade properties in the inner east were still in high demand but, across the board, buyers had become more discerning.

“We’ve been very fortunate that in the past three years we’ve had tremendous gains in the market, so at some point we needed to see a bit more consistency in the pricing side of things,” Mr McCann said.

“For two or three years, we were constantly selling homes for more than we thought they were worth.

“At the moment we are achieving results at expected levels, so if we think a home is worth $2 million, then it’s selling for somewhere between $1.95 and $2.1 million.”

The inner south has also recorded weakening growth while the median house price in the inner-city region dropped 2.5 per cent over the quarter.

WPB Group chief executive Greville Pabst said there were some early signs of falling levels of confidence in the housing market.

“We’ve come off this huge wave of strong prices,” Mr Pabst said. “We’re going to enter into a new paradigm whereby we’re going to see more properties pass in [at auction].”

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Green Guide letters: bouquets and brickbats

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Once upon a time, a certain aficionado of the long lunch – John Burns – gave restaurant and pub reviews on 3AW breakfast. Are we seeing the same thing happening now, with an orderly transition to Kate Stevenson? I hope so, because she is a great talent. The best thing is, she would increase the number of on-air female voices on 3AW.

Doug Clark, HamptonOutstanding reports

Yet another excellent program from Four Corners (Fire-fighting foam) – 2017 has been an exceptional year for the number, quality, and importance of its reports. If this program was the ABC’s sole output I’d still feel I was getting value for my 11?? a day.

John O’Hara, Mount Waverley Relentless babble

It took only to lap 23 of Supercars to reach for the mute button and then at lap 40 turn the TV off. The experience was totally spoiled because of the relentless and mostly uninteresting babble of retired drivers. There are strict rules covering the race and there needs to be one for for commentators.

Peter Sparkes,Templestowe Lower Need for change

The announced demise of the ABC’s, Lateline, and the short-lived, The Link, reflects two things. In the case of the former it has become tired, a style of program that has lost any real “much-watch” status. And the latter has failed to engender any following. If Michelle Guthrie wishes to make the ABC different and appealing to a broad demographic, then meaningful changes need to occur.

Allan Gibson, Cherrybrook Must-see show

Unlike Dennis Fitzgerald (GG, 5/10), Gogglebox is must-see television for us. There is no easier or more entertaining way to learn how atrocious most television is these days. Without doubt, a wonderful public service telecast. Thanks Channel Ten!

Peter McGill, LancefieldDoc’s final season

One of my favourite TV series, Doc Martin, is back and it’s as good as ever. Sadly, season nine – to air in 2018 – will be the last. The chocolate box scenery, the quirky people and the excellent acting all make for an enjoyable and entertaining show.

Susan Munday, Bentleigh EastJust not funny

Recently, ABC Melbourne presenters Red Symons and Jon Faine discussed Steven Avery; a man many believe was wrongly convicted of murder – and is now in prison in the US. Symons, in his typical supercilious way, tried to undermine Faine at every turn while endeavouring to be “humorous”. But Avery’s incarceration is not a humorous subject. Advice to Symons: stop playing the fool, or people like myself will see it as truth.

Don Brooke, LangwarrinABC plays vital role

Congratulations to the ABC for the excellent expose of the Adani organisation on Four Corners. This further reinforces the vital place the ABC plays in our community, and is yet another reason why our national broadcaster must be well funded and free from political influence.

Ron Hayton, BeaumarisSwapping seats

My girlfriends and I loved Talking Footy this year but – we’d like to make a request for next year. Could the producers put Luke Darcy and Wayne Carey in Brian Taylor and Tim Watson’s seats, and vice versa? That way, we can enjoy the eye candy in all the long shots while BT and Tim blather on.

Ann Blake, TasmaniaPlaying the classics

Where do you have to go to hear the Beatles on radio these days? Gold FM is now playing “classic” music from my teenage years: the 1990s.

Simon Presljak, Reservoir Saying it wrong

Why do TV newsreaders keep pronouncing it “Loss” Vegas? Is it because of the casinos? It is Las Vegas, pronounced “Lass”.

Lee Palmer, Albert ParkFed up with campaign

Dear Coalition for Marriage: Please stop showing your “vote no” ads. They’re getting annoying! I’m fed up with my quiet evenings being ruined by your idiotic propaganda. We get it already: You hate a world where the marginalised are treated like human beings. Now just sod off, and take your lies elsewhere.

Nathan Milne, HadfieldBosch just boring

I agree with Ken Endacott (GG 5/10): the previously engaging Bosch has gone the way of so many US series. The first episode of the latest series was so slow and confusing, we pulled the pin. With so much choice on TV these days there is no excuse for being boring.

Ken Ring, BeaumarisPeak performance

Top of the Lake: China Girl is a masterpiece. Of course, it was filmed in Jane Campion and Gerard Lee’s wonderful, inimitable style. Elisabeth Moss, as in The Handmaid ‘s Tale, gave a breathtaking performance. The supporting cast are superb, right down to the ever reliable Geoff Morrell as the empathetic pathologist. The Bondi beach scenes were utterly brilliant. I loved every minute of it.

Geoff O’Brien, Pakenham

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Brisbane prices down again – will they keep falling?

Brisbane house prices have fallen for the third time this year, dashing hopes that 2017 would be a stellar year for property.
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Experts say until there’s improvements in wages and consumer confidence, Brisbane will likely stay in a holding pattern of minimal growth.

Greater Brisbane’s lacklustre performance, as revealed in the latest Domain Group State of the Market Report, shows median house prices have fallen by 0.2 per cent across the five LGAs, which include Brisbane, Ipswich, Redland, Moreton Bay and Logan.

Not surprisingly, unit prices have also fallen, having dropped by 3.5 per cent to $376,685.

Moreover, Brisbane LGA house prices also fell – for the first time in 18 months – dropping by 1.5 per cent over the September quarter to a median of $650,000.

It’s a similar story across most of the country, where prices are down nationally by 0.5 per cent. Sydney’s runaway property prices have finally stumbled, with both house and unit prices falling last quarter, marking what experts say is the end of a five-year property boom.

While Brisbane’s median house price is still up by 1.7 per cent for the year, Domain Group economist Andrew Wilson says the results will come as a disappointment to those who hoped the momentum of late-2016 would continue.

“There were expectations Brisbane’s housing market would rise this year after 2016 finished quite well but that hasn’t happened – and any hopes of that happening leading up to the end of the year are quickly diminishing,” Dr Wilson says.

“There’s no doubt this year has been a flat one for Brisbane and it will likely be flat for the whole year I’d say.”

While the outlook for Brisbane appears grim, experts say the local property market is not falling, but “on hold”.

Brisbane house prices are in a ‘holding pattern’, according to experts.

“There’s no urgency in the market,” says Kerrianne Meulman, managing director of Urban Economics.

“People in Brisbane don’t have that pressure to buy because things aren’t accelerating. We’ve still got low interest rates and those underlying stories – like non-existent real wages growth and modest growth in unemployment – mean we’re watching this space rather than rushing out buying houses.

“If house prices keep declining, it won’t be by much or it won’t be for long. I don’t expect that to be a long-term prevailing situation at all.”

Simon Pressley, managing director of Propertyology, says a distinct lack of confidence in Brisbane’s economy is what’s holding property prices back.

“I feel that whether we’re talking houses or units, metro Brisbane or Greater Brisbane, it’s been pretty much the same story for five years – and that’s really small amounts of growth,” Mr Pressley says.

“Demand for property is closely linked to employment and affordability. We’ve got an affordable market. But if we don’t have confidence in our jobs, in our future, in the community around us, the housing market suffers.”

Brisbane’s property market lacks the urgency that other interstate markets have had more recently. Photo: Glenn Hunt

And it’s important to keep some perspective with quarterly results, which are a 90-day snapshot that can be influenced by only a few big ticket sales, or lack thereof, Mr Pressley says.

“While the figures are down, it doesn’t necessarily mean everyone’s house in Brisbane has declined by this much, just that the median value has,” he says.

“Going forward, Brisbane has rock solid fundamentals. We’ve had a difficult five years economically. We’ve weathered that storm and our property prices have held up well, unlike Perth and Darwin, and what we can look forward to is the resources sector showing some green shoots.

“Tourism is getting stronger and stronger and our properties are much more affordable than our southern rivals, so there’s potential there.”

There are a couple of bright spots in Queensland – the best performing region being Gympie, where house prices increased by a whopping 5 per cent this quarter. Redland house prices are up 2.5 per cent and the Sunshine Coast has risen by 2.2 per cent.

The Gold Coast, which has been the jewel in Queensland’s property crown this year, saw prices fall for the first time in two years. The median price fell by 1.7 per cent, although prices are up overall for the past 12 months by a healthy 6.1 per cent.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Peter Dutton predicts ‘yes’ campaign will win

The Turnbull government’s leading conservative cabinet minister – and a key architect of the same-sex marriage postal survey – believes the ‘yes’ campaign will win.
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Immigration Minister Peter Dutton made the prediction on Wednesday night, just four weeks after the first ballot papers were distributed to households across the country, and four weeks before voting closes.

“My judgment is the ‘yes’ vote will get up and it will be in the order of… whatever it is… but it will be a win for the ‘yes’ vote and that is my judgment of where the outcome will be,” Mr Dutton said.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

The comment, made at an event in Sydney celebrating the Australian Financial Review Magazine’s newly published power list, is significant because Mr Dutton led the push inside the cabinet to hold the non-compulsory, non-binding postal survey. He is also the first senior conservative cabinet minister to publicly predict a majority of Australians will support amending the Marriage Act.

Mr Dutton personally opposes changing the law, but has previously pledged to vote for same-sex marriage in Parliament should the ‘yes’ campaign win the postal survey.

“The other aspect I might say about the postal vote is that I think it gives a greater legitimacy to a significant social change and I think for same-sex couples if there is to be change, if there is to be legislative change, I think that is best to be done with the support of millions of Australians demonstrated through a ballot as opposed to a five-to-midnight crossing of the floor of four people,” he said.

The Coalition agreed to the $122 million postal survey in August amid fears up to four Liberal MPs who passionately support same-sex marriage could cross the floor and vote with Labor and the crossbench.

Mr Dutton told the Sydney audience any other course of action would have caused the Liberal Party “political difficulty in the extreme” given it went to the 2016 federal election promising a plebiscite.

Some 10 million ballot forms have been posted to the Australian Bureau of Statistics as of October 6, representing a healthy return rate of 62.5 per cent. The response rate has already eclipsed Ireland’s, which held a non-compulsory referendum on same-sex marriage in 2015.

Voting in Australia closes on November 7 and the result will be announced on November 15.

Asked by the event’s moderator whether he held leadership ambitions, Mr Dutton agreed he wanted to one day lead the Liberal Party, but quickly pledged his loyalty to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

“You don’t sign up to play for the Wallabies or the Socceroos or for the Australian cabinet to not be leader or have the opportunity to become leader one day,” Mr Dutton said.

“I think recent history has demonstrated that anybody that would seek to burst their way into leadership now or try to knock off the leader would be dead before they got out of first base. So my perspective… is that loyalty is the new black and I think you are better off to be loyal to leaders.. and if things work out how you want them to work out then that’s a great thing.

“But my view is its in the best interests of our party to have a stability of leadership at the moment because ultimately it will be good for our country and then if that’s rewarded at some point, or if you are foolish because of that and the opportunity passes you by, then so be it.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.