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A dash of style goes a long way in a tight market

October 26, 2010 § 1 Comment

Presentation is crucial to achieving the highest price. Real estate agents will tell you they no longer sell property. These days, they’re selling a lifestyle.

Perception and emotion play as much a part in the sale of a property as the actual building itself, and increasing numbers of vendors are finding property styling not only helps a home sell, but often helps it sell for well above market value.

Essentially, styling a property means presenting it in its best possible light. ‘‘Presentation is just so important to getting the highest price,’’

Read more…

Docklands: Future visions

October 26, 2010 § Leave a comment

Ten years after work began in Docklands, it is home to thousands of residents and hundreds of offices, but it is still thought of as a soulless, corporate wasteland. As the precinct prepares for the next decade, can it shake off its bad reputation?

Developing and providing for this community will be the focus of the second decade of Docklands. For 10 years, private developers have dominated the transformation of the 190-hectare waterfront site, investing more than $6 billion in commercial and residential high rises and snapping up 98 per cent of all developable land. As the population is predicted to grow from 6000 to 15,000 and the number of workers to double by 2021, critics say it’s about time planning authorities shifted their attention to the needs of the people who live and work here.

Read the full article here

Reserve Bank Interest Rate Announcement

October 5, 2010 § Leave a comment

It’s good news for mortgage holders today – the Reserve Bank has opted to keep rates on hold.

Although there has been talk of rate rises in recent weeks, the RBA has adopted a wait-and-see approach for another month and left official rates at 4.5 per cent. 

“Many people were bracing themselves for bad news today,” says blogger Carolyn Boyd. 

Each 0.25 per cent interest rate rise adds another $50 to the monthly cost of an average mortgage. Australian mortgage holders are already paying about $300 more per month in repayments than they were a year ago. 

Boyd says there is a chance of one or more interest rate rises before the end of the year. Mortgage holders should prepare now and start paying a little extra off their loans each week or month. 

The property market has remained steady in recent weeks and there has been a slower than usual start to the spring selling season. It is expected the property market will remain balanced through spring. 


Brits to sell off Toorak outposts

September 29, 2010 § Leave a comment


A plan by the cash-strapped British government to offload some of its Australian properties has set the scene for some major real estate action in Melbourne‘s richest suburb in the new year.

Tough times in Britain have prompted the sale of three Australian properties, including two top-end homes in Toorak and a mansion in Vaucluse, Sydney. British diplomats will be expected to live in more modest city apartments, according to the British Foreign Office.

A spokeswoman for the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office said the residences would be put on the market next year and replaced with properties ”more fit for purpose”.

Read more…

Costco pumps $140m into Aussie growth

September 24, 2010 § Leave a comment

Costco’s only Australian store made $8.9 million in sales and membership fees in its first two weeks of operation, as customers flocked to the warehouse discount outlet.  

But Costco Wholesale Australia made an overall loss of $14 million in the year to August 31, 2009, due to the costs of establishing its second store and headquarters in New South Wales, its special purpose annual report revealed.

The company had reported an annual loss of $2.4 million in the previous year due to the cost of establishing its maiden store at Melbourne‘s Docklands.

That store opened on August 17, 2009, and the annual report, filed with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission on Tuesday, reflects sales during its first two weeks of operation.

Costco now has 345 employees in Australia and an annual salary bill of more than $9 million.

The annual report also reveals that its parent company in America has injected another $140 million worth of capital into the company.

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Court ruling spells trouble for investors and rental agents

September 24, 2010 § Leave a comment

A recent NSW court decision will push investors and rental agents to take a closer look at safety in their properties after more than $840,000 was awarded to a tenant injured by broken glass.  

Chances are you’ve never heard of the case of Hunt v Roads and Traffic Authority of NSW, but this recent court decision could have a far-reaching consequences for unwary property investors around the country.  

Read more…

  The ruling cuts right to the heart of the issue of what “duty of care” an owner and their managing rental agent owes a tenant, their awareness about potential problem areas in rental properties, and the importance of complying with building codes when conducting even routine maintenance.

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