Canberra and Darwin are Australia’s most expensive cities to rent

October 11, 2010 § Leave a comment


Darwin and Canberra remain the most expensive Australian cities to rent a home.  

This is occurring as the government and resource sectors, coupled with a shortage of housing stock, continue to push the cost of accommodation higher, The Australian reports.

Rents in Darwin and most other capital cities were steady for the three months to September.

But resource projects in the Northern Territory and tight supply are expected to trigger more increases in the Territory capital, where some residents have been seeking commercial warehouses as an affordable housing alternative, according to real estate agents.

The RP Data rent report showed Darwin’s average house rents were $520 a week, followed by Canberra, where rents had risen 3.1 per cent in the past three months to $495 a week.

RP Data analyst Cameron Kusher said while the biggest rises in the coming months would be in Sydney and Melbourne, rents in those cities would still not overtake Canberra or Darwin, which had transient populations. Read more… 


The pointy end of the Yarra

October 1, 2010 § Leave a comment

Eight years after building its fifth tower, Mirvac has launched Yarra Point, the sixth tower in its Yarra River precinct development. The $200 million, 31-level tower will have 201 one, two and three-bedroom apartments. Like the Yarra’s Edge townhouses, Yarra Point offers waterfront living with premium views of the city, Point Park and Port Phillip Bay.

All apartments will have private balconies set into the building’s facade and this development boasts spacious layouts and apartments ranging in size from approximately 55 to 200 square metres. Sky residences make up the top three levels, offering spacious living and three bedrooms from $1.4 million.

Read more…

Funding a retrofit

October 1, 2010 § Leave a comment


The City of Melbourne can now help building owners obtain finance for retrofit works that will reduce energy use, save water and lower carbon emissions through the city’s 1200 Buildings Program.

An amendment to Victorian legislation means financial institutions will be able to advance funds to commercial building owners for environmental retrofitting works. These funds will be recovered by the City of Melbourne through a charge linked to rates collection.

Read more…

Home prices down ahead of likely rate rise

October 1, 2010 § Leave a comment


Home prices fell in August amid expectations price growth for the year will grind to a halt if the Reserve Bank lifts interest rates.

The median national home prices dropped 0.2 per cent in August, seasonally adjusted, following a 0.4 per cent increase in July, RP Data-Rismark figures show. The national city median dwelling price fell to $457,000 in August from $465,000 in July.

In unadjusted terms, capital city home prices were flat in August, after a 0.1 per cent increase in July.

House prices rose for 17 consecutive months to June when rising interest rates and falling new home sales and loans combined to slow growth. The Reserve Bank, which started lifting rates in October 2009, is expected to lift rates again next month, with the market tipping a two-in-three chance of a 25 basis point rise. That would move the official cash rate up to 4.75 per cent from 4.5 per cent.

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Top 10 renovation mistakes

October 1, 2010 § Leave a comment


Planning to succeed is the key to adding value.

If you’re planning a renovation, there are 10 sure-fire ways to devalue it, according to building advisory service Archicentre.

These range from poor planning to going over the top on things such as taps and ovens. Archicentre’s Angus Kell says the most important step to ensuring value from a renovation is good planning.

If you are renovating in stages, you need a master plan so you don’t waste money.

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The Shakespearean drama taking place in your street

September 29, 2010 § Leave a comment


Of all the unique things about Melbourne, here is one of the strangest: our city is devoted to a pastime that is all our own. Yes, it might be followed half-heartedly in other cities, but only here has it reached the fervour of a religion, the passion of an obsession. During the season, no Saturday is complete without it. The Age has an entire section devoted to it, full of intelligent expert commentary, and just by looking at the crowd you can see the breadth of its appeal.

Melburnians of all ages, backgrounds and circumstances jostle for a better view, staring at the proceedings with rapt attention. For children, their first attendance is often a rite of passage. They watch, wide-eyed, while the big men in their uniforms flay their arms and try to rev up the crowd. I find the sight of fathers with small children perched on their shoulders or mothers rocking prams incredibly touching, these parents gently initiating our next generation into the mysteries of the greatest game of all.

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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…

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