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Sixties-Inspired house hits the market

Reminiscent of the Peter Sellers’ film classic, The Party, this eclectic masterpiece must be seen to be appreciated.

60s Inspired House Hits the Market - Investors Advisors

The outdoor area includes an entertaining deck and pool. Picture:

Selling agent Richard Young, from Caporn Young Estate Agents – Claremont, says the residence at 42 Alexandra Road, East Fremantle presents an “out-of-the-box” real estate proposition, heavily inspired by the 1960s film and unique décor.

“It’s a very edgy, contemporary home. It’s got amazing spaces and it’s just been very well done,” Young says.

“It’s really designed so that each of the spaces has their own amenities. So, the master suite is a true master suite with its own fridge, dishwasher, sitting area, TV area – it’s really quite a special property.”

60s Inspired House Hits the Market - Investors Advisors

The home features industrial-style floating staircases. Picture:

Built by the current owners in 2012, the five-bedroom, four-bathroom property heralds an abundance of space and light, and natural stone and timber detail to create a private sanctuary.

With clean, geometric lines, a passive solar design, and breezeway considerations, the home is set high on Alexandra Road with vistas extending across the treetops and to Fremantle Harbour.

60s Inspired House Hits the Market - Investors Advisors

The kitchen bench can accommodate 20 people. Picture:

The property features travertine flooring, complete with underfloor heating in the living areas and bedrooms, and a separate study.

Entertaining has been a significant consideration in the design, with the kitchen bench large enough to accommodate 20 people and bi-fold doors that open from the living area to the pool deck, which also hosts an outdoor shower.

60s Inspired House Hits the Market - Investors Advisors

The house has two lounge areas. Picture:

The kitchen has a Vintec wine fridge, a built-in coffee machine, two separate larders, two integrated cupboard-concealed dishwashers, and a fridge.

The two industrial-style floating staircases have been carefully crafted with steel frames against custom-made timber slats imported from Singapore.

60s Inspired House Hits the Market - Investors

One of the five bedrooms. Picture:

There is integrated remote perimeter and front deck access from the two split-level, lower-ground bedrooms, as well as a below-ground cellar and safe, a ducted vacuum system, attic storage, garden water tank, and rear access to the secure four-vehicle carport.

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Property trends: The Brisbane buyers turning their backs on renovated Queenslanders

Lifting and building in underneath a Queenslander has been the modus operandi of many a Brisbane renovator these past 15 years or so but there’s now a new breed of buyer who is begging for you to stop.

Property experts are reporting a rapidly growing number of house hunters who are bemoaning the lack of Queenslanders kept to their original one-level design during the renovation process, with one agent calling it the next big trend to sweep Brisbane.

Tyson Clarke of Queensland Sotheby’s International said he had a list a mile long of frustrated buyers chasing a single-level Queenslander.

“The emphasis has been on making Queenslanders bigger and better for so many years but I’m finding buyer after buyer who wants a smaller, well-designed character home,” he said.

“Bigger is not always better — my buyers don’t want that many bedrooms, they don’t want the stairs and they don’t want that much space.”

Real Estate Trends: Buyers Turning Backs on Queenslanders - Investors advisors
35 Emma Street, Kalinga was hotly contested when it sold earlier this year. Photo: Queensland Sothebys International

Mr Clarke said he had one client who had been searching for the right house for more than 12 months.

“She’s been looking for a year for a place with character that doesn’t have stairs,” he said. 

“She’s so frustrated and keeps saying ‘why do people keep lifting them and making them five bedrooms?’ She doesn’t want a Queenslander that’s been doubled or tripled in size. She wants the Queenslander in its more original form with only a few steps up to a front verandah.

“I have so many more clients who want exactly the same thing. So you can imagine what happens whenever one of these houses comes up — which is rarely — buyers are all over them.”

Earlier this year Mr Clarke listed a house at Emma Street, Kalinga — a two-bedroom, two-bathroom low-set character home that had been beautifully renovated — and it was snapped up within days for an impressive $1.27 million.

Real Estate Trends: Buyers Turning Backs on Queenslanders - Investors advisors
35 Emma Street, Kalinga was beautifully renovated but all on one level. Photo: Queensland Sothebys International

“People were all over that house. We had 210 individual groups come through. It was unbelievable how popular it was and everyone just kept asking if we had any more like it,” he said.

Mr Clarke recently listed a renovated cottage at 4 Owen Street, Wooloowin, in Brisbane’s inner north, and said he had 30 phone enquiries on the first day and 61 groups through in the first two open homes.

“Just think about it. The biggest section of the population is those who are retiring or nearing retirement. Over the next five to 10 years there’s going to be a massive transitional change to the whole structure of our city,” he said.

“The demand for homes like this is going to explode and, at the moment, there is so little supply of it.

“People want to downsize from something big but not always to apartments — they’re too restrictive. I know buyers who’ve moved into penthouses at Newstead and Teneriffe but they want to get out of them, they’re tired of having their pets in apartments.

Real Estate Trends: Buyers Turning Backs on Queenslanders - Investors advisors
Inside 4 Owen Street, Wooloowin. Photo: Queensland Sothebys International

“They want a character house in an inner-city location but they don’t want all the stairs and they want a backyard but not an enormous one; they’re asking me is there room for a veggie patch and a dog.”

Independent buyers agent Wendy Russell is based in Brisbane and said she was fielding the same requests as Mr Clarke.

“I recently worked with a woman who relocated from Sydney back to her home town of Brisbane. She was very specific — she wanted an original colonial Queenslander, all on the one level, nothing built in underneath,” Ms Russell said.

“We managed to eventually find it but it was done as an off-market deal. It wasn’t easy to find something. I’d say Tyson is right — these sort of buyers know what they want, they want it to be a home they can stay in the rest of their life, so they don’t want stairs but they still want the character and all the amenities of the inner-city locations.”

Mr Clarke said while there were still plenty of unrenovated single-level cottages in Brisbane, the challenge was finding cottages that had been renovated without being tripled in size.

Real Estate Trends: Buyers Turning Backs on Queenslanders - Investors advisors
35 Emma Street, Kalinga. Photo: Queensland Sothebys International

“Obviously for families, they’re still going to want that space. But there is such an important segment of the market here that’s being missed and it’s only going to become more of an issue in the coming years,” he said.

“I have a category of homes in my system called low-set homes. There are but a few on the list. And another category is low-set buyers — that list is chockas. There’s an opportunity here for renovators.”

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Chinese buyers tipped to search for property as significant investor visa program matures

One group of international buyers looks set to keep searching for high-end homes in Australia despite the curbs on cross-border purchases.

Participants in the significant investor visa program, which allows a pathway to permanent residency in exchange for a $5 million investment in Australian business, are expected to be buying over the near term.

The program began in late 2012 and requires visa holders to lock up cash in shares or another business for a minimum of four years.

Experts say the visa has been popular with Chinese applicants, such as business people who want to split their time between China and Australia.

Those migrants whose four-year terms are expiring will then have the choice to apply for permanent residency, freeing up the cash. This would make funds available locally even as the Chinese government has clamped down on cash being taken out of the country.

From the start of the program to June 2015, some 879 visas were granted, according to the Department of Home Affairs.

In fiscal year 2016, 552 visas were granted, then 405 the following year before dropping back to 183 in fiscal year 2018.

Temporary residents in Australia can buy one established property to live in but are not permitted to buy established homes to rent out. Residential property investments are not allowed to make up part of the $5 million invested.

Those on the SIV program who gain permanent residency after four years are expected to have a realistic commitment to continuing business or investment, but with a permanent visa they do not face the same restrictions on the type of investment.

Carrie Law, chief executive of Chinese international real estate website, now expects some of the cash to flow out of approved investments under the scheme and into the premium property market.

Investor Visa Program: Chinese Buyers Search for Property - Investors Advisors
Experts tip a rise in well-heeled buyers looking at high-end homes.

“Expect an increase in the number of well-heeled buyers looking at expensive listings,” Law said.

“By definition these buyers are very well-to-do. They are wealthy enough to lock up $5 million in strictly controlled investments for four or five years just to obtain a visa and residency in Australia.”

Kay & Burton partner Jamie Mi said the significant investor visa was popular with her international clients looking for prestige Melbourne homes.

She noticed several buyers in this situation, now applying for permanent residency, started looking for property last year and expects more this year.

“A lot of those Chinese buyers see good value in buying this year. Definitely, I would expect them to free up all their money to buy commercial or residential,” Mi said.

“I think this year to us, we will be really busy.”

Sydney Sotheby’s International Realty managing director Michael Pallier said someone releasing $5 million might upgrade the property they currently own, but had not yet seen buyers doing so.

“If they invested in shares it could be worth more than $5 million now … or could it be worth less,” he said.

“I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they would upgrade to a more expensive property.”

He is also seeing continued demand for property from international buyers who have received Australian citizenship and established themselves in Australia.

David Chin, managing director of China-focused consultancy Basis Point, expected visa holders who became permanent residents to use the cash for property focused business opportunities such as property development.

“They may be interested in non-bank lending opportunities where the banks have pulled back on lending,” he said.

“That’s a double benefit of keeping an eye on property market conditions … and deploying that capital.”

Alternatively, a business person could buy an Australian vineyard and use their existing Chinese distribution network to increase local wine production, he said.

Law said wealthy Chinese were flocking to similar visa programs all over the world.

“Some see this as a sign that wealthy Chinese are fleeing their country, but that’s not true,” she said.

“Most Chinese who get golden visas do not actually move overseas. They use their new visas and citizenships to make international travel and investment easier.”

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Affordable havens: The sub $300,000 suburbs on the verge of extinction in Brisbane

Median House Prices Brisbane Suburbs [Affordable Havens] - Investors Advisors

Riverview resident Telita Webb with two of her children, Margaret (5) and MJ (7). Picture: AAP/David Clark.

SUBURBS with a median house price of $300,000 or less are on the verge of extinction across Brisbane.

Figures from property researcher CoreLogic show house prices in some of the city’s most affordable postcodes experienced above average growth over the past year, leading to a drop in sales at lower price points.

Only 1.7 per cent of properties in Brisbane changed hands for less than $200,000 in 2018.

In 2019, there are no longer any suburbs in the Brisbane local government area with a median house price of $300,000 or less.

RELATED: Brisbane’s affordability on the rise

Median House Prices Brisbane Suburbs [Affordable Havens] - Investors Advisors

This two-bedroom house at 21 Sinclair St, Ellen Grove, recently sold for just $222,000.

Across Greater Brisbane, there are now only 19 mainland suburbs with a median house price under $300,000, whereas there were double that number a decade ago.

The last affordable havens can be found in the Ipswich suburbs of Riverview, Dinmore and One Mile, in the Logan locations of Kingston, Logan Central and Woodridge and in Caboolture South in Moreton Bay.

The median house price in Greater Brisbane is now $532,000, according to CoreLogic.

More than a third of sales in Brisbane during 2018 were between $400,000 and $600,000, while 7.8 per cent were at $1 million or more.

CoreLogic senior analyst Cameron Kusher said that was a drastic change from the state of affairs over the past couple of decades, with the majority of sales in 1993 and 1998 coming in below $200,000.

“Over time, there has been a steady climb in the share of sales across the more expensive price points,” Mr Kusher said.

“While you’d expect this in the markets that have seen strong value growth such as Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart, we have also seen it across markets where value growth has been much weaker.”

Median House Prices Brisbane Suburbs [Affordable Havens] - Investors Advisors

CoreLogic senior research analyst Cameron Kusher. Picture: David Clark.

Mr Kusher said that even though he expected slightly more sales to occur at lower price points over the next year, he did not expect any material change in the share of sales under $200,000 — in fact they may reduce even further.

Real Estate Institute of Queensland chief executive Antonia Mercorella said Brisbane still had plenty of affordable suburbs with good quality housing compared to Sydney and Melbourne.

“We have so many affordable options in really high growth suburbs,” Ms Mercorella said.

“They’re not going to run out tomorrow.

“And many are still within a 12km to 15km radius of the city, which is pretty mind-blowing compared with Sydney and Melbourne.”

Median House Prices Brisbane Suburbs [Affordable Havens] - Investors Advisors

REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella. Photo: Claudia Baxter.

Ms Mercorella said Brisbane’s affordable havens provided great opportunities for entry level property buyers.

“Many people assume a $300,000 house must be a dump, but that’s just not the case in the southeast corner,” she said.

“Low price does not mean low quality.”

Nick Kruger, principal of Your Haven Realty, said there were still plenty of opportunities for first home buyers to get a foot on the property ladder in Riverview, which has the cheapest median house price in Greater Brisbane.

MORE: Labor’s plan to hit Brisbane rents

Mr Kruger said that he had noticed a shift in the buyer profile in the market as a result of the banks cracking down on lending.

“Predominantly, in the past, investors were snapping up these properties for their SMSF because of the good rental returns,” Mr Kruger said.

“Now the banks have cracked down, that’s incentivising a market change.

“It’s better for owner-occupiers now, because they have a chance to get it over investors.

“But in time, obviously these prices will jump so the sooner you can get in, the better.”

Median House Prices Brisbane Suburbs [Affordable Havens] - Investors Advisors

This house at 57 Price St, Riverview, is on the market for offers over $245,000.

He is marketing a three-bedroom house at 57 Price St, Riverview, which is currently leased for $290 a week and is on the market for offers over $245,000.

“That’s a good figure for an investor,” Mr Kruger said.

“At that price point, for a three-bedder on a 600 sqm plus block so close to Redbank Plaza and within 5 minutes walk of sought-after schools, I definitely it’s ideal for first home buyers or young families.”

Single parent Telita Webb has rented the home with three of her children for the past year, but would love to buy the property if she could afford the deposit.

“I love the place; Riverview’s my home,” Ms Webb said.

Chris and Tiffany Campbell live in Bundamba, which is one of greater Brisbane’s last affordable havens — just scraping in with a median house price of $292,752.

The couple are renovating a turn-of-the-century Queenslander, which they recently bought for $315,000.

“Bundamba has a bad wrap; I’m not sure why,” Mrs Campbell said.

“The street we live in is so quiet and full of beautiful, old Queenslanders, and you can see the growth potential.

“I think it is one of those places a lot of people forget about.”

They sold another property last year that they had bought and renovated two years earlier in North Ipswich and made more than $100,000 in profit.

we knew going into it and paying price we did in an up andcoming suburb it was going to be a good investment

Median House Prices Brisbane Suburbs [Affordable Havens] - Investors Advisors

Chris and Tiffany Campbell have owned a number of homes across Brisbane’s affordable havens. They have renovated them and sold for a profit. Picture: AAP/David Clark.

Propertyology managing director Simon Pressley said Ipswich was becoming a popular location for property investors because of its affordability, solid rental yields and good infrastructure.

But Mr Pressley said he was not convinced the region had the ability to create the volume of jobs required to put pressure on the local labour market and drive property prices significantly higher.

“One could do worse than investing in Ipswich, however, my overall rating of the Ipswich property market is a middle-of-the-road performer for the feasible future,” Mr Pressley said.


Suburb Region Median house Change in median Change in median

price Mar 2019 12 mths to Nov 2018 5yrs

1. Riverview Ipswich $256,787 -2.3% 13.7%

2. Dinmore Ipswich $259,481 9.0% 35.2%

3. One Mile Ipswich $260,181 0.0% 15.9%

4. Leichhardt Ipswich $264,565 2.1% 22.5%

5. Rosewood Ipswich $273,359 6.9% 19.2%

6. Logan Central Logan $273,541 -3.4% 26.1%

7. Woodridge Logan $274,352 -1.3% 28.1%

8. Basin Pocket Ipswich $275,769 -4.6% 25.6%

9. Ebbw Vale Ipswich $276,599 -6.1% 20.3%

10. Kingston Logan $285,032 -2.4% 24.2%

11. Goodna Ipswich $285,329 -4.1% 10.8%

12. Tivoli Ipswich $292,168 -2.7% 8.6%

13. Bundamba Ipswich $292,752 4% 14.4%

14. North Booval Ipswich $293,058 4.6% 17.9%

15. Caboolture South Moreton Bay $293,517 0.6% 16.2%

16. Gailes Ipswich $293,572 0.7% 11.8%

17. Churchill Ipswich $295,020 1.1% 7.2%

18. East Ipswich Ipswich $297,405 13% 27.1%

19. Wulkaraka Ipswich $299,733 6% 2.6%

(Source: CoreLogic)

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Escape to Penguin, Tasmania: ‘Come and spend a weekend – you won’t want to move back’

It’s hard to think of a town with a cuter name with Penguin, Tasmania, named for a local penguin colony spotted by botanist Robert Campbell Gunn in 1861.

The small seaside locale on Tasmania’s north coast has embraced its name; a Big Penguin statue draws onlookers along the esplanade and smaller motifs are scattered throughout.

But there’s more to the town than birdlife. Late last year Penguin received a boost with the Seven Day Makeover project, where residents worked together, building and painting civic projects.

Funded by Creative Communities, a place-making organisation, decks and a stage were installed for musicians to perform on along the esplanade, and a penguin adventure trail was developed to help much-welcomed visitors find all the local landmarks.

David Engwich, Creative Communities’ director, was “stunned and delighted” by the way the community had rode the wave of momentum after the initial makeover.

The Big Penguin in Penguin Tasmania: Come & Spend a Weekend -Investors 
The Big Penguin in Penguin, Tasmania – but there’s more to the town than the statue. Photo: Diane Reed

“Now the community has started raising its own funds,” he said. “We think the Penguin community is setting the gold standard for other communities.”

Local resident Ross Hartley said the makeover had had “a profound impact on the town”.

“People came out of the woodwork to make that happen,” he said.


Population: 3849, as of the 2016 census. Apart from the attractions along the water, Penguin is also home to two beautiful historic churches and a replica Dutch windmill, presented to the town in 1988, a swathe of new sporting facilities, and the heritage-listed Penguin General Cemetery.

Who lives here?

Mr Hartley said Penguin appealed to families – with the local school slated for a $20 million redevelopment to be completed in 2022 – as well as some professionals.

“We have the UTAS Burnie campus just up the road,” he said. Some of the university’s academics also live close by.

Penguin Tasmania: Come & Spend a Weekend -Investors Advisors
Penguin, Tasmania. Photo: Creative Communities International/YouTube

Leah Morrow, from Avalon Body Boutique on Penguin’s main street, has seen an influx of people from other parts of Tasmania, and also the mainland, and they are sticking around.

“I’ve been living here 14 years; I don’t see myself moving from here,” she explained. “There’s a lot of people moving to the area.”

This is supported by the median house price of the town – a modest $285,000 compared to the cities, but with 9.8 per cent growth year-on-year, and 15.2 per cent growth over the past five years.

What happens here?

The new decks along the waterfront have encouraged the local music scene, said Ms Morrow, and several local cafes and restaurants hold regular live music nights.

“Naturally the markets every Sunday; they are always a drawcard,” she added. “With the beautiful weather that we’ve been having, and the live music, it’s really been attracting people just walking along and enjoying it.”

Mr Hartley pointed to the many outdoor activities on offer around the area.

“You can go bushwalking just behind town, [or] you can walk from Penguin to Cradle Mountain. For a little place, we do have a lot of stuff,” he said.

Penguin Tasmania: Come & Spend a Weekend -Investors Advisors
Penguin, Tasmania.

What’s life like?

Ms Morrow described Penguin as a community-minded place. “When people are ill, we rally around,” she said. “I think, as far as being a tight-knit community, I don’t think you could get any tighter. But people are given space as well.

“In the major cities, it takes you three hours to do your shopping, just because of the traffic. But here in Penguin it can take three hours because you’re chatting to people, having a coffee, and enjoying the beautiful weather.”

Mr Hartley agreed that the weather was better than in much of Tasmania.

“Because it’s near the beach, it’s a nice climate,” he said. “We rarely get a frost here in Penguin, and the lowest temperature would be five or six degrees in winter.”

What about work?

Tourism was a strong economic driver within the town, and both Ms Morrow and  Mr Hartley said tourists were still arriving in droves despite summer ending.

But with Burnie and Devonport so close — both less than half an hour’s drive — it was easy for residents to commute there for work, said Mr Hartley.  “You can practically walk to Ulverstone,” he added.

Why move here?

As Ms Morrow says, it’s just the feeling of the place.

“It’s a really nice vibe,” she said. ” I would just say come and spend a weekend – you won’t want to move back. That is basically what I did.”

Diane Reed set up a Facebook group to help keen future Tasmanians navigate their move south, having made the move herself from Victoria. She regards herself as the “luckiest woman alive” by calling Penguin home.

“We chose Penguin mostly because of its natural beauty and awesome community feel,” she said. “People here actually care about each other.”

She said aside from services in the nearby cities, the town itself had two doctors, three supermarkets, an “awesome bakery”, post office, bank, and an assortment of small shops.

“With three and half thousand people, it’s got a village atmosphere and the main street is right on the beach,” Mr Hartley said.  “There’s not too many places that have that.”

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Sydney first-home buyer stamp duty exemptions and concessions on the decline


Sydney properties are becoming more affordable as prices fall, but the number of first-home buyer stamp duty exemptions and concessions have taken a sizeable drop of more than 20 per cent in the past year, new data shows.

About 6200 exemptions and concessions were granted to first-home buyers in NSW over summer, data from Revenue NSW shows. There were 7940 issued over the same period last year.

“We have seen a bit of a drop-off in first-home buyers in the past few months,” said Domain research analyst Eliza Owen. “Even though property prices have become cheaper, in some ways it has become harder to get a mortgage [due to tighter lending restrictions].”

Last month, 1961 exemptions were granted, the lowest monthly number since July 2017, when the threshold lifted from $550,000 to $650,000 while the concession cap increased from $650,000 to $800,000.

The change boosted first-home buyer activity, Ms Owen said, prolonging price growth at the lower end of the market as the downturn took hold.

“Those who could afford to may have already utilised the policy and now we’re seeing that … drop-off,” she said.

“[But] even when we talked about a surge in first-home buyers, once investors started dropping out of the market, it was still at a relatively low level compared to some of the previous peaks we’ve seen.”

Monthly lending to first-home buyers peaked last April and has been on the decline since, the most recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows. But the proportion of first-home buyers in the owner-occupier market is still growing, with first-home buyers responsible for almost one-quarter of loans.

The number of grants issued for new homes is also in decline, with about 1770 issued over the past three months —  3.8 per cent less than the previous summer.

Sydney First Home Buyer Stamp Duty Exemptions Decline - Investors Advisors
First-home buyer couple Stephanie Nowicki and Mervin Sayseng are buying a house and land package in Riverstone in north west Sydney.

Among those looking to make the plunge are Mervin Sayseng and Stephanie Nowicki, who are buying a house and land package in Riverstone – about 48 kilometres north-west of the central business district.

“I don’t think that prices will go down much more, at least in our range,” Mr Sayseng said. “We’ve kept our budget at $650,000 … due to stamp duty concessions and how much we had saved. For established homes, [the threshold], it’s very limiting.”

Where are first-home owners buying? (March 2018 to February 2019)
SuburbPostcodeNumber of first-home owner grantsNumber of first-home duty exemptions or concessionsTotal benefits
Spring Farm2570369427$9,482,673
The most common suburb or town for the postcode has been shown. Source: Revenue NSW.

In the past year, $6.6 million was given to first-home buyers in Riverstone. The most benefits were cashed in in Liverpool, followed by postcodes covering Campbelltown, Westmead and Werrington. Of the top 20 areas, postcode 2205 — covering Arncliffe, Wolli Creek and Turella — was the closest area to the CBD.

First Home Buyers Australia director Taj Singh said most of his clients using benefits were buying entry-level apartments far from the city.

“We need these thresholds looked at. They’re so out of date in terms of the dollar value,” he said. “Even 20 to 30 kilometres out of the city, prices are well over the [stamp duty exemption] mark.”

Mr Sayseng said if the stamp duty exemption cutoff had been $50,000 higher it would have made a big difference.

“Increasing the exemption would be nice, when we were looking at housing — even around Plumpton and areas like that — if we could spend $50,000 more it was a major step up in what we could buy.”

Though house prices are falling, the average loan size to first-home buyers has been relatively flat, said Commonwealth Bank senior economist Gareth Aird.

“They’ve still got the appetite to borrow the same dollar amount,” Mr Aird said. “They’re just getting a better property now, for no more money. “

The overall appetite for finance has changed, with an ever-growing number of prospective buyers waiting to see if prices fall further.

“We as a bank are approving the same proportion of loans … the average size is the same and the approval rate is about the same. That implies the number of applications is just down,” Mr Aird said.

“All things being equal, you’d expect the number [of first-home buyer benefits] to go up, because more properties are selling under the threshold, but demand is weakening so that’s just not happening.”

Grattan Institute fellow Brendan Coates said first-home buyer benefits were an ineffective way of improving affordability because they tended to inflate prices.

“The fewer of these things being giving out is probably the better. There’s certainly no case for lifting the threshold and it would better if they were abolished entirely,” Mr Coates said.

While grants and exemptions could bring forward first-home buyer purchases and help them pull together a deposit quicker, Mr Coates said, they did not make housing cheaper.

He said it would be better if the state government abolished stamp duty for a broad-based land tax, which could boost turnover, and increased the supply of property in inner and middle-ring suburbs.

“It just takes a government that’s willing to take the risk … which neither side of politics was heading into the election.”

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The western Sydney suburb undergoing a period of renewal


Where once Granville was the overlooked neighbour of the busier and more flamboyant Parramatta, this western Sydney suburb is fast becoming a bustling oasis for residents and visitors to work, rest and play.

Located just 22 kilometres from Sydney’s CBD and only minutes from Parramatta, Granville has seen relatively affordable house prices and proximity to cultural opportunities bring new life to the suburb.

Tony Eltakchi works for LJ Hooker Granville and has lived in Granville all his life. He says it’s a great place to live and raise a family, not least because of its property values.  

“While prices in the area are down this year, they’ve increased dramatically over the past five,” he says.

Eltakchi says he’s seeing more first-home buyers coming into the area and more young families.

West Sydney Suburbs Undergoing a Period of Renewal - Investors Advisors
Granville is minutes from Parramatta. Image: iStock

“There are some benefits coming through from the massive development taking place in Parramatta, although we need more infrastructure to help cope with it,” he says. “But Granville is very central – it’s half an hour to the CBD and the same to Penrith or Hornsby.”

As with most Sydney suburbs, Granville has experienced dramatic property price growth over the past five years, with houses up 47.4 per cent and units 35.6 per cent higher over the same time frame.

Growth has reversed of late with the median house price of $770,000, representing a year-on-year decrease of 3.8 per cent, while the median unit price of $470,000 reflects a 11.3 per cent yearly decline.

Nicola Powell, senior research analyst with Domain, says Granville is a diverse suburb with a mix of nationalities.

“Many families are attracted to the area due to the price-point”, Dr Powell says, “with an even split between renters and purchasers.”

West Sydney Suburbs Undergoing a Period of Renewal - Investors Advisors
The suburb is conveniently placed for University of Western Sydney students. Image: iStock

She says the current fall in price will be welcome news for first-home buyers, offering an opportunity to enter the market after what has been a robust period of price growth.

“It’s an affordable area and ideal location relatively close to the CBD and a stone’s throw away from Parramatta, and other work-hubs,” she says. “These factors will continue to drive growth in the area, but for first-home buyers it’s a suburb that offers a reasonable price point.”

Dr Powell expects the lower end of the market to remain quite resilient to any downturn, especially with the number of first-home buyer incentives available.

“Being close to Parramatta adds to its attractiveness,” she says. “The amount of infrastructure developments will contribute to employment options and having a home close by is an attractive option.”

With Parramatta so close, Granville residents can enjoy a night at the theatre or choose to dine at any one of a number of restaurants and bars. Granville is also close to a range of facilities and services, including Sydney’s Olympic Park and the University of Western Sydney.

People looking to buy into Granville’s growth can seek out residential apartment buildings, such as Shoakai Ausbao and Develotek’s forthcoming Granville Place.

West Sydney Suburbs Undergoing a Period of Renewal - Investors Advisors
Granville’s reputation is growing. Render: Ausbao

“Granville Place is appealing to all types of buyers but offers a great opportunity for first-home buyers and investors who want to break into the Sydney property market,” says Develotek director Robert Sargis.  

Comprising 617 apartments across three residential towers, the $400 million project has named Parkview Construction as its builder and will be located on corner of East, Rowell and Cowper streets – just 50 metres from the train station.

Also attractive are the full-sized kitchens, Fisher & Paykel appliances, timber floor and the amenity of three bedrooms for the price of a two-bedroom apartment.

West Sydney Suburbs Undergoing a Period of Renewal - Investors Advisors
Everything you need in one place. Render: Ausbao

Sargis says Granville Place’s amenities will be part of the suburb’s renewal. The development will feature a new 1400-square-metre public park, 3600-square-metre garden and close to 7000-square-metre retail and commercial precinct that will include a supermarket, medical centre, childcare, cafes and restaurant.

He says these combined amenities offer convenience while giving residents “their time back”.

“The childcare centre on level one means parents don’t have to travel all over town to drop off and pick the kids up. This convenience factor gives residents their time back so they can spend it doing what they love.”

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Melbourne’s median house price forecast to drop to $740,000: BIS Oxford Economics

Melbourne’s median house price is set to drop to about $740,000 by June next year as the property market continues to weaken, one leading researcher says.

The Victorian capital peaked at a median house price of just under $870,000 about two years ago, on figures from BIS Oxford Economics.

“We think the market will bottom out in early 2020,” the group’s managing director Robert Mellor told a Melbourne conference on Thursday. “Our expectation is that there is still a fair bit of price decline to come through.”

Melbourne house prices are set to fall 13 per cent this financial year and 3 per cent next, he said

Unit prices are expected to fall 4 per cent this year and hold steady in the next.

The research comes as a chorus of economists have predicted further falls in an environment where banks have clamped down on lending under regulatory pressure and the scrutiny of the financial services royal commission.

AMP Capital’s Shane Oliver forecasts a peak-to-trough decline in Melbourne dwelling prices of 25 per cent and NAB tips about 15 per cent. Domain’s Trent Wiltshire expects Melbourne house prices to reach a trough around the middle of the year before edging higher.

Earlier, the Domain House Price Report found Melbourne house prices fell 8.4 per cent over calendar 2018 to a median $833,321.

Melbourne Median House Price Forecast to Drop to $740,000 - Investors Advisors
Melbourne house prices are expected to fall further. Photo: Eliana Schoulal

Mr Mellor warned potential buyers were cautious about purchasing in a falling market, while a low rate of turnover for established properties meant owner occupiers were hesitant to sell.

Other headwinds include the drop-off in investor demand and tighter lending standards. Well-publicised problems with flammable cladding and cracking in unit towers were not helping sentiment around apartments.

“Don’t expect a quick recovery here in Melbourne, given the magnitude of the last boom,” he said.

The right time to trade down would have been at the market peak, he said, but the right time for a first-home buyer to buy “is some time probably in the next 12 months”.

Although the federal election was creating policy uncertainty, Mr Mellor tipped Labor to struggle passing changes to negative gearing tax arrangements through the Senate even if it won government next month.

The policy might be implemented more gradually, or there might be changes to how much in interest payments an investor can deduct from their tax bill, or how many properties were eligible for the tax concessions.

Amid the weak market, Mr Mellor expects the amount of new residential building to fall, following the apartment boom of recent years.

A 23 per cent drop in total building commencements across Victoria is predicted for this financial year.

Dwelling commencements in Victoria are set to drop 24 per cent this year and another 18 per cent in 2019-20.

The steepest falls are expected for attached dwellings, where commencements are set to fall 42 per cent this year and 20 per cent next year, he said.

House commencements are expected to drop a more modest 6 per cent this year and 17 per cent next year.

Building approvals have already dropped 17 per cent over the first half of this financial year, he said.

The downturn is more heavily concentrated in Melbourne than regional Victoria. House approvals in Melbourne are set to fall 10 per cent this year and another 19 per cent next, while the rest of the state will see house approvals rise 2 per cent this year and fall 13 per cent next year.

Population growth would be a bright spot and support the housing market, alongside low interest rates and strong employment, he said.

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A new survey shows how South Australians feel about their neighbourhoods

Australia Property investing

What makes a neighbourhood feel like home?

A new Life in Australia report, powered by global market research firm Ipsos and released today by, attempts to answer this question, looking at the key factors that impact on quality of life in local communities.

Factors we feel make somewhere a good place to live in 2019

The report shows safety is at the top of most South Australians’ list when choosing a good place to live.

After that, we value high quality health services, affordable and decent housing, reliable and efficient public transport and access to the natural environment.

These were the top five attributes that study participants chose from a list of 16, ranging across transport, culture, education, health and environment.

How do we rate our local areas in terms of attributes including the economy, house prices, cultural amenities and congestion?

The report also ranks how people feel about certain attributes in their own localities, comparing their answers to those in similar surveys, dating back to 2015.

It shows South Australians are feeling more positive about the economy and their job prospects than they were four years ago.

But conversely, our confidence in affordable housing has dropped over the same time period.

We are also ranking our local areas lower on lack of road congestion (suggesting roads are getting busier).

And, while we are happier with our access to cultural facilities, such as museums, galleries and festivals than we were in 2015, the research suggests we feel less able to participate in sports and recreation this time around.

How South Australians Feel about their Neighbourhoods:Survey - Investors Advisors chief economist Nerida Conisbee says South Australia’s economy is growing, and house prices are on the up.

A growing economy vs housing affordability Chief Economist Nerida Conisbee says the report finding are largely positive for South Australians

“Across Australia, people are feeling more confident (in the economy) and Adelaide is no exception,” she says.

Ms Conisbee says confidence in SA’s economy is increasing due to employment growth and government spending announcements in recent months, including on submarine building and the Australian Space Agency, which is to be hosted in Adelaide.

The finding that housing feels less affordable is disappointing but not surprising, Ms Conisbee says.

“We’ve hit the highest median recorded for Adelaide and we haven’t seen prices coming back,” she says

“It’s not great that housing is getting more expensive but people feel that job prospects are getting a lot better.”

“There’s always two sides to economic success — on one side people have jobs and on the other, it drives population growth which does impact on housing.

Ms Conisbee says increased road congestion also “makes sense” because “Adelaide is growing”.

Real Estate Institute of South Australia CEO Greg Troughton says he was not surprised by the report’s findings.

“The affordability issue seems to be a little bit higher given the other states but I guess South Australians keep demanding quality accommodation at an affordable price,” he says.

“Safety, and health infrastructure have always been a focus. The reliable public transport is disappointing but can be expected to be low as many south Australians look to other modes of transport.”

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Life in Australia: what we value about where we live

Living in a safe area with access to good health care services and affordable housing is more important to most Australians than having access to parks and cafes, according to new data.

The Life in Australia Index report, powered by Ipsos, shows that 67% of the 9,515 Australians surveyed value feeling safe as one of the most important factors in making an area a good place to live.

This was followed by having high-quality health care services nearby (60%), affordable decent housing (58%) and good local job prospects (41%).

What’s important to residents in your city? Use our interactive to find out.

The study, undertaken last October, asked Australians to rank 16 attributes – such as local schools – as the main factors they seek in their ideal location, along with how well they feel their city rates for these same factors.

The data also shows a preference for reliable and efficient public transport (33%) compared to a lack of road congestion (19%), while access to the natural environment (32%) was more important than being able to view or participate in sports and recreation (7%).

A strong sense of community (26%) is also something Australians value about where they live.

Life in Australia: What we Value about Where we Live - Investors advisors

Why we feel less safe

Australians feel less safe now about where they live than they did four years, according to the Life in Australia Index report and its 2015 findings.

The sentiment doesn’t surprise’s Chief Economist Nerida Conisbee who says safety is the number one consideration for renters and home owners.

“These would be factors that would make or break, in terms of looking at a suburb. If it didn’t feel safe, you’d be very unlikely to consider that suburb,” she says.

And when it comes to safety, the high ranking also reflects people’s perception of public safety.

Life in Australia: What we Value about Where we Live - Investors advisors

Australians feel less safe now about where they live than they did four years, according to the Life in Australia Index report and its 2015 findings. Picture: Getty

“I think it’s that thing of people thinking there’s more crime going on because of reporting (on crime) versus the statistics that show there is less crime. I think it’s the way information is disseminated that’s probably making a difference,” she says.

“The more you hear about it, the more you worry about it.”

Data shows the housing boom has led to a notable decrease in local affordable housing.

“If you have a look at that study that’s done on global housing affordability, all Australian capital cities are in the top 20 so it is a very big issue here compared to other countries and it’s top of mind according to this report,” she says.

Access to health services ranks highly particularly in rural or regional areas, says Conisbee.

“If you move to regional parts of Australia it becomes a far bigger deal if you don’t have a local hospital, let alone a local doctor service.”

Which is Australia’s most liveable city?

For the Index survey, residents in each capital city were asked to rate their hometown for its ability to delivering on the 16 aforementioned attributes – and Canberra came out on top.

The ACT and Australian capital was ranked most liveable in the country for the third year in a row, with residents feeling more positive about their city than the national average.

Perth has jumped two places to number two on the list of most liveable cities, thanks largely to a prosperous economy ranking higher with locals.

Adelaide has also jumped two places since last year’s survey, to the nation’s third most liveable city due to a growing economy and increased job prospects.

Brisbane residents reported feeling less safe, and a decline in affordable housing saw it rank fourth in the country for liveability.

Life in Australia: What we Value about Where we Live - Investors advisors

The ACT and Australian capital was ranked most liveable in the country for the third year in a row. Picture: Getty

Hobart dropped three places this year, with an increased cost of housing having a negative impact on its liveability ranking. It is now ranked fifth for liveability.

While Melbourne might be globally considered one of the world’s most liveable cities, that’s not what locals think, rating their city sixth for liveability.

Melburnians feel less safe in their city, despite statistics showing a steady decline in crime, and there’s been a noticeable drop in social cohesion as well.

Rising house prices and tighter lending conditions aren’t helping Sydneysiders feel better about their city, with locals rating it seventh for liveability due to the lack of local affordable housing.

Darwin sits at the bottom of the list with locals rating it the least liveable capital city in the country. The median house price sits at $442,000.

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