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Developers return to Townsville market with $24m unit project


A $24 million residential apartment project with a focus on environmentally friendly design is set to be launched for a property in Little St, Belgian Gardens.

Plans for the 30-unit development, named Little Street Luxury Residences, include 20 single-storey apartments and 10 three-storey high-end townhouse residences on a 4892 sqm site.

Units will be priced from $495,000 up to $1.5 million.

Townsville-based development company Cable Property Developments are bringing the innovative project to the market.

M Property sales agent Martin McDonough said the directors of Cable had received numerous awards for their work and had a long-term commitment to the region.

He said the project was one of the first major unit developments to be launched in the Townsville market for some eight or nine years.

“We think the Townsville market is ready for this and that the city is on the rebound,” Mr McDonough said.

“We are bringing something new to the market that nobody has seen for some time.”

Mr McDonough said the project’s design took advantage of the site’s northerly orientation to capture cooling ocean breezes that would reduce reliance on electricity, while offering 180-degree ocean and island views just 3.4km from the Townsville CBD.

“Each residence within the development will include access to solar panels and options for battery storage, hot water supplied by heat pumps, recycled building materials, access to parking spaces wired for electric vehicles, energy efficient lighting and appliances and water efficient fittings,” Mr McDonough said.

“Little Street Luxury Residences’ blend of high-end finishes and luxury-style living with a commitment to sustainable design make this project unique for northern Queensland.”

The project will be developed over three buildings with a garden and outdoor space at the front of the property.

Units sizes range from 112 sqm to 283 sqm.

Mr McDonough said an expressions of interest campaign would be launched in the four to six weeks with construction expected to begin in late 2019.

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A Sydney suburb wearing a disguise: How Curl Curl hides its wealth with laid-back charm

Wealth comes in many forms, from over-the-top displays to the under-the-radar style of US billionaire Warren Buffet, who still lives in the modest home he bought in the 1950s.

Curl Curl, on Sydney’s northern beaches, has a median family weekly income nudging $3000 a week, well above the NSW average.

James Smyth, principal at SEA-Smyth Estate Agents, says this affluence wears a casual disguise.

“You could see someone wearing a T-shirt and board shorts and you won’t know they’re the CEO of a public listed company,” Smyth says.

How Curl Curl Hides its Wealth with Laid Back Charm? - Investors Advisors
Curl Curl is the kind of neighbourhood where CEOs go incognito in boardshorts and thongs. Photo: Steven Woodburn

Eighteen kilometres north of the Sydney CBD and five kilometres north of Manly, Curl Curl is famous for its outdoorsy lifestyle, from swimming and surfing, to running or walking along the waterfront paths.

Smyth’s family has a long history in the neighbourhood: his grandmother ran a milk bar on the oceanfront Carrington Parade in the 1950s.

He traces the birth of modern-day Curl Curl, with its comfortable family homes and small clusters of apartment buildings, to the mid-1990s, when would-be Manly buyers were priced out of that suburb.

How Curl Curl Hides its Wealth with Laid Back Charm? - Investors Advisors
Buyers can choose from homes in original condition, apartments and more recently built or updated residences. Photo: Steven Woodburn

“There was no negotiation: buyers were just coming in and paying the full asking price. Because they were coming from an area of money, they started building and renovating.”

Today’s house hunters can choose from homes in original condition, a small selection of apartments and more recently built or updated residences, often with impressive water views. They might need to be patient, as Curl Curl only has about 1400 homes, meaning “for sale” signs aren’t all that common.

How Curl Curl Hides its Wealth with Laid Back Charm? - Investors Advisors
You’ll find ample foodie options lining the beach. Photo: Steven Woodburn

Residents enjoy South Curl Curl Lifesaving Club’s cafe, and for a bigger range of dining there is the nearby Harbord Diggers and Freshwater village.

The B-line bus service has been warmly welcomed by CBD commuters – from nearby Brookvale, the commute takes roughly half an hour.

Smyth says two-bedroom apartments overlooking the beach are priced from about $900,000. Free-standing three or four-bedroom homes typically command between $2.1 million and $2.7 million.

How Curl Curl Hides its Wealth with Laid Back Charm? - Investors Advisors
The beach lifestyle is a key drawcard luring potential buyers to the area. Photo: Steven Woodburn

Will Bird and his then-fiancee were living in Perth when they travelled to the northern beaches to get married.

The couple rented a unit overlooking the surf club at Curl Curl and decided if they ever relocated to Sydney, this is where they would like to live. They have now called Curl Curl home for three years.

“I love the beach lifestyle,” Bird says. “Everyone says that but there’s no other beach in Sydney that gets such consistent surf. And for an urban beach, it’s still not overpopulated.”

Two homes in the area

1 Adams Street

1How Curl Curl Hides its Wealth with Laid Back Charm? - Investors Advisors
1 Adams Street, Curl Curl NSW. Photo: Supplied

On a level, 651-square-metre corner block less than 10 minutes’ walk from the beach and Harbord Lagoon, this two-storey home is configured in duplex style. Renovating or rebuilding might appeal.

Cunninghams have scheduled a March 23 auction and are quoting a $1.85 million bidding guide.

10 Gardere Avenue

How Curl Curl Hides its Wealth with Laid Back Charm? - Investors Advisors
10 Gardere Avenue, Curl Curl NSW. Photo: Supplied

This is the property’s first time on the market in 50 years. The house, on a 456-square-metre block and 300 metres from the beach, is largely in original condition, offering plenty of scope for improvement.

The March 30 auction is fast approaching, with Stone Real Estatehandling the campaign. Expect to pay between $2.5 million and $2.75 million.

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Best suburbs to sell a home based on past 10 years of price growth trends

Long-time homeowners across Sydney are still reaping major windfalls from their home sales, despite recent falls in prices.

An analysis of sales records has revealed the average Sydney homeowner selling a property bought 10 years ago made about $475,000 in resale profit.

The average apartment seller who owned their home for the same period pocketed about $373,000 in median resale profit, according to the CoreLogic data.

The big profits were amassed in an otherwise subdued market.

Sydney’s median property price dropped nearly 11 per cent over the past year and the number of buyers reporting they’re actively looking for property fell about 25 per cent. chief economist Nerida Conisbee said the profits showed the recent downturn had a minimal impact on sellers.

Best Suburbs to Sell a Home Based Price Growth Trends - Investors Advisors

Many of the historic homes across Strathfield are being restored by young families.

“Recent falls in prices are not that significant when you compare them to long-term trends,” Ms Conisbee said.

“Most homeowners benefited from an incredible run-up in prices over many years. They’re not affected by the weaker market in the same way as those who bought when prices were at their peak, and they’re not the majority of sellers.”

Ms Conisbee added that sellers of homes in areas where there was rapid gentrification and population growth were in a particularly strong position.

“Those who own homes in the inner west would have done very well,” she said. “A lot of young people have moved in over the years and renovated the homes, making the region more attractive to other buyers and that’s pushed up the prices.”Andrew Winter: How to flaunt your Unique Selling Point

Sales data confirmed that detached house sellers in the Strathfield council area were getting the biggest resale profits in Sydney.

The average seller resold their house for about $1.18 million above the price they paid 10 years ago.

The growth equated to an 8.7 per cent jump in prices every year — a faster rate of average annual price increase than anywhere in Sydney.

The median price of a house in the area was under $1 million at the end of 2008 and is now $2.1 million.

The boost in prices followed a 15 per cent jump in the size of the local population between 2011 and 2016, when the last two censuses were taken.

Best Suburbs to Sell a Home Based Price Growth Trends - Investors Advisors

Strathfield is one of Sydney’s oldest suburbs and many of the homes have a long history.

Devine Real Estate principal Steven Devine said Strathfield also benefited from being at the “geographic centre” of Sydney.

“It’s a better bet for people like medical professionals than somewhere like the eastern suburbs because it’s easier to get around the whole city,” he said.

Mr Devine added that sellers who focused only on the past 18 months of price movements needed to consider the bigger picture.

“It’s true that you will have to accept a price that’s lower than you could have got a year ago. But when you consider the price you could have got three years ago, you’re still significantly up,” he said.

Best Suburbs to Sell a Home Based Price Growth Trends - Investors Advisors

Parramatta also had significant price growth over the past decade. Picture: AAP/Justin Sanson

Sellers in nearby Burwood, along with Ryde and Parramatta have also been scoring big wins.

Burwood house prices remain up $850,000 on what they were 10 years ago, while in the Ryde council area the median price difference is $909,000. House prices in the Parramatta LGA have swelled by $660,000 over the decade to hit a median of $1.19 million.


They first moved there 44 years ago knowing little about the suburb — but Rod and Lyn Rimes say they lucked out by buying in Strathfield all those years ago.

The couple have watched their suburb transform into one of Sydney’s most popular areas and became heavily invested in its success along the way — Mr Rimes was a local councillor for many years and served as Strathfield mayor in 1985.

Best Suburbs to Sell a Home Based Price Growth Trends - Investors Advisors

Rod and Lyn Rimes have lived in Strathfield for 44 years.

“It’s a wonderful area,” Mr Rimes said. “When we first moved here there was little open at (Strathfield) square but that’s all changed.

“It’s become very convenient. You’re in the city now in 20 minutes.”

The couple are taking their much loved home at 54 Redmyre Rd to auction with Joe Campisi of Devine Real Estate on April 6 after deciding to downsize to something smaller.

“The house is still very much like it was in 1905 when it was built,” Mr Rimes said. “It’s got these lovely big rooms and high ceilings.”

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Savvy buying: Experts tip Melbourne’s overlooked and underappreciated suburbs

In Melbourne’s inner ring, there are few suburbs that escape the attention of buyers looking for the best compromise between distance to the city, value, and amenity.

But agents say there are a few underappreciated pockets that are often overlooked by buyers for their size or perceived attractiveness or status.

Melbourne Suburbs Overlooked and Unappreciated by Buyers
17 Baker Parade, Ashburton is going to auction on March 16. Photo: Marshall White

While most of the east receives more love than other parts of Melbourne, a few key areas were overlooked by the more wealthy residents and offered aspirational buyers a chance to get a leg up into the leafy enclave, founding director of Jellis Craig Alastair Craig said.

“East Malvern, parts of Glen Iris, Ashburton, Ashwood, and North Balwyn,” he said when asked to list suburbs he thought were unappreciated.

“We saw some really good growth in them and there are pockets in them that represent good value.

“Mount Waverley and areas like that, they’re still very popular areas. But there is a growing trend in those suburbs where prices have moved tremendously, including towards Doncaster.”

Mr. Craig said in recent years urban sprawl made the relatively close suburbs more attractive.

“They used to be seen as too far out. Now they’ve improved services, they’re far more accessible,” he said.

Northwestern suburbs
Melbourne Suburbs Overlooked and Unappreciated by Buyers
36 Farnham Street, Flemington is for sale with an asking price of $890,000 to $970,00. Photo: Nelson Alexander

Western and northwestern suburbs are often seen as budget alternatives to the better-connected parts of Melbourne, but Seddon and Footscray are no longer the secrets known only to savvy buyers that they once were.

Nelson Alexander agent Ryan Currie said Flemington was often overlooked but was coming back into vogue as prices fell.

“People can definitely buy something sub a million in Flemington, when previously it was tipping over that,” he said. “Otherwise they were jumping it as a suburb. They were looking to get a bit more bang for their buck in Maribyrnong and Maidstone.”

But even then, Mr. Currie felt Maribyrnong was underappreciated.

“It’s got a lot of upsides to coming, and it’s a good lifestyle suburb.”

Northeastern suburbs
Melbourne Suburbs Overlooked and Unappreciated by Buyers
17 Temby Street, Watsonia has an asking price of $1 million to $1.1 million. Photo: Jellis Craig

Just outside affluent Rosanna and Ivanhoe, Miles agent David Blythesaid, Watsonia was making waves despite being little known to most.

As well as tiny, sleepy Watsonia, Mr. Blythe said MacLeod wasn’t as popular with buyers as it should be.

“MacLeod and Watsonia shopping villages are really coming alive. Then they’re on the Hurstbridge line, which is about 15 to 20 minutes up the line from the city,” he said.

“The bang for your buck is great.”

Similarly, Mr. Blythe said Heidelberg Heights was an underrated suburb due to its history as a housing commission area. “There’s a perception that’s not really reality,” he said.

“There’s pockets of Heidelberg Heights that are really good. The [best] road would be Waiora Road. There’s a really high calibe suburb, Rosanna, that’s literally [on the other side] of the road.”

Southern suburbs
Melbourne Suburbs Overlooked and Unappreciated by Buyers
10 Gardenia Road is one of four homes for sale in Gardenvale at the time of publication. Photo: Thomson

Finally, in the south is Gardenvale, one of the city’s smallest suburbs.

Gary Peer director Leor Samuel said the suburb was often overlooked because buyers didn’t know it existed.

“[Buyers] don’t [know] because you don’t ever search Gardenvale,” he said. “It sort of just pops up. They look at Elsternwick and Brighton.

“They say things like, I really love this area and homes rarely come up.

“It doesn’t have much turnover. There’s not even a median, so few homes go up for sale.”

Mr. Samuel said the good-sized blocks and period homes made the oft-forgotten suburb a hit with buyers who do stumble upon it.

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Sydney faces shortfall of more than 200,000 homes for low to moderate-income earners, report shows

Sydney needs to find room for 200,000 more homes to help low to moderate-income earners who face chronic rental stress, new research has found.

The biggest area of need is the inner south-west, according to University of New South Wales researchers, where 33,600 homes are needed within the next two decades just to keep up with demand at that income level.

Sydney has a huge backlog in social and affordable housing thanks to decades of undersupply, said research fellow Laurence Troy from the university’s City Futures Research Centre, ahead of the release of the research on Thursday.

The Parramatta region and the south-west also have a lack of appropriate housing and face a shortfall of 28,000 and 23,000, respectively.

“Social housing doesn’t currently deliver enough to even maintain the same share [of the market] and while affordable housing is being built by the community sector, it’s not enough to meet the current unmet backlog,” Dr Troy said.

A further 117,000 properties are needed across the rest of the state, which Community Housing Industry Association chief executive Wendy Hayhurst said indicated the urgent need for government action.

Region Dwellings needed
Inner South West33600
South West23900
City and Inner South17700
Inner West13500
Outer West and Blue Mountains13000
North Sydney and Hornsby11500
Outer South West10600
Eastern Suburbs10300
Northern Beaches6300
Baulkham Hills and Hawkesbury3800
Source: City Futures Research Centre.

“It’s a huge total, but if we turn our back on it, all it will do is get bigger and bigger, and more difficult and more difficult to solve … it won’t go away,” she said.

Ms Hayhurst, whose organisation commissioned the research, said demand for social and affordable housing was greatest in the city’s outer regions because lower income earners had already been pushed to live there. But, she noted, this did not mean this was where the most new housing should be built.

Dr Troy added while it was more affordable to build fringe estates where land was cheaper, this would not have the same benefit as having a spread of social and affordable housing across the city.

Delivering such a huge amount of social and affordable housing would cost billions, with the report indicating government would need to chip in $3.3 billion a year under the preferred funding model to meet demand. More than $1.2 billion would be needed for housing in Sydney alone.

Dr Troy said a capital grant, combined with money available though the federal government’s bond aggregator, would be the most efficient way to fund supply long-term. He said if combined with any private housing development that in turn raised capital for social and affordable housing, annual funding needed for Sydney properties could drop to $345 million.

He said while an ongoing subsidy was often more appealing to governments than an upfront payment, it could be more costly in the long term.

Along with picking the right funding model, Ms Hayhurst said the delivery of social and affordable housing could be greatly affected by affordably housing targets, such as those put forward by Labor and the Greens, as well as by government giving up land – which could make up between 40 and 60 per cent of development costs – for redevelopment.

The findings come ahead of a cost of living rally to be held Thursday night, which will call for at least 5000 new social housing homes to be built across the state each year. The rally at Sydney Town Hall, expected to draw about 2400 community leaders and members, will also call for government action on housing insecurity, rental affordability and energy costs.

A spokeswoman for Social Housing Minister Pru Goward said the government was on track to deliver 23,500 new and replacement social and affordable housing dwellings over 10 years. An extra 3400 homes were expected to be delivered by community providers under an affordable housing fund.

The opposition was contacted for comment.

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Governments urged to spend billions to meet Victoria’s housing shortfall

Victoria’s social housing stock is in urgent need of new supply, with one researcher reporting a cash injection of $960 million needed in just the first year of a long-term overhaul.

The University of NSW’s City Futures Research Centre report, released on Thursday, showed that under a capital grant funding model, a further $744 million in land and cash will also be needed to build affordable homes across the state.

Separate figures show 225,600 new social and affordable homes will be needed in Victoria by 2036.

That number takes into account those under rental stress who are spending more than one-third of their income on rent.

Government Suuport to Meet Victoria Housing Shortfall - Investors Adviosrs
Melbourne urgently needs more affordable housing. Photo: Wayne Taylor

Report author Laurence Troy said while the outlay was huge, spending the money on social and affordable housing would mean cost savings for governments.

“Based on our modelling, the best and cheapest way for governments to deliver on our unmet housing need is to fund it through a combination of upfront grants and low-interest, government-supported financing,” Dr Troy said.

He said the federal government spent $11.8 billion on negative gearing and capital gains tax subsidies for property investors each year. Funding social and affordable housing until 2036 would cost an estimated $8.6 billion annually across the nation.

“Delivering below-market rental housing through the not-for-profit sector, as opposed to the private equity model, will save $3 billion a year by removing developer mark-ups and shareholder returns,” Dr Troy said.

The report comes as housing and community sector organisations ramp up the Everybody’s Home campaign in the lead-up to the federal election. The groups are demanding 225,600 more social and affordable houses in Melbourne alone.

The need is most pronounced in the inner city, western suburbs and south-eastern suburbs, according to the UNSW report.

Dr Troy said the cost of the existing housing market was adding pressure to low-income families in these areas.

“Higher cost housing [in the inner city] leads to people paying more rent and more chance of people being in rental stress. Meanwhile there are lower income earners [in other areas], which is how you end up with higher rental stress in those areas,” he said.

Dr Troy said governments should not just be building social and affordable housing in suburbs in need but across the city.

National spokesperson for Everybody’s Home Kate Colvin said the cash figures would be surprising to politicians, many of whom might be unaware of how big the issue was in their electorates.

“I think this is an issue that people who struggle to pay the rent every week have been feeling for some time – and there are thousands and thousands of people every week,” Ms Colvin said.

Adding to the issues in Melbourne were the low rental vacancy rates – 1.8 per cent in January –  which saw people on extremely low wages struggle to compete in the private rental market.

More social and affordable housing across Melbourne, and Victoria, would help to reduce the pressure on rent costs.

“One of the other things the report is telling us is that the lowest cost way of delivering this housing is via upfront capital grants from a land contribution from government … it’s highlighting the need for both state and federal governments to look at their land holdings and contribute the land and capital that’s needed,” she said.

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World-first building in Melbourne to provide home for young people sleeping rough for as long as they need

It’s not the first time a “world-first” building is being claimed by Melbourne.

But when it opens in April, Melbourne City Mission’s Frontyard Youth Services in King Street will take the descriptor – and for good reason.  Near the corner of Flinders Lane, it will be a place where young people living on the streets, or at risk of homelessness, can find a home and get the support services they need 24 hours a day. A world-first, according to those in the youth services field.

Melbourne City Mission homelessness and justice general manager Wayne Merritt said there was an urgent need for a building offering accommodation and health, legal and drug and alcohol services for young people aged 16 to 25 in the city.

Between 30 and 60 young people seek crisis accommodation from Frontyard Youth Services each day. 

“I think, over the past six years, there’s been a noticeable increase in young people sleeping rough in the city,” Mr Merritt told Domain. “[And] we know when young people come to our services, we’ve only got one chance to help them, otherwise they’re gone.”

World-First Building in Melbourne for Homeless Young People
The refurbished Frontyard Youth Services building in King Street. Photo: Supplied

Frontyard’s redeveloped building is four storeys, with the top two floors providing 18 rooms for accommodation. It also features kitchens for young people to cook a meal, sensory rooms for quiet contemplation and offices and consulting rooms for health, mental health and legal services.

The building is not only a first for youth services, it is also a first of sorts for world-renowned Melbourne-based architects Fender Katsalidis and builders Built.

For both, it’s their first significant pro bono job in Melbourne. They teamed with the Property Industry Foundation to help deliver $8 million worth of refurbishment works, funded in part by the state government with other philanthropic donations.

Built project manager Luke Rankin said the build was challenging and inspiring for the company, which has previously undertaken other, much smaller, pro bono projects.

He said about 90 per cent of the internal building changed, meaning lots of work for the team involved.

“We’ll probably be lacking a bit of sleep by the time it opens,” Mr Rankin said.

World-First Building in Melbourne for Homeless Young People
The refurbished Frontyard Youth Services building in King Street. Photo: Supplied

Fender Katsalidis Associate director Jessica Lee and director David Sutherland said the design was undertaken with Melbourne City Mission to make the building somewhere young people would feel welcome and calm.

“We wanted to create a sense of comfort from the time of arrival [at the building] because it’s a very stressful time,” Ms Lee said.

Mr Sutherland said the initial brief was to add two floors to the existing building for accommodation. When it became clear that would not be approved under planning regulations, the decision was made to gut the building and design it.

Mr Merritt says the entrance features soft furnishings, lots of plants, natural light and wooden finishes – all which create a calm, open and warm feeling for young people suffering from heightened trauma and anxiety about entering.

“There are lots of lines of sight, so there are no surprises – they know what they’re stepping into,” he said.

The crisis accommodation has also been specially designed and will allow young people to stay as long as they need.

Mr Merritt said he is already expecting the 18 beds to be full when the building officially opens and hopes that the extra rooms can help Frontyard in their mission to reduce the number of young people who end up in a cycle of adult homelessness.

“It’s so exciting, it’s a really big project and is going to allow us to show the sector, Australia and the world what can be done,” Mr Merritt said.

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Futurist Steve Sammartino explains why we’ll soon be talking to walls and printing houses

Real Estate Developers |Investment Advice|Investors Advisors

IMAGINE printing a 3D house that can put an at-risk family in emergency accommodation in as little as 24 hours for just $4000.

It’s not science-fiction.

Australian futurist Steve Sammartino, who is speaking at the upcoming REIQ Summit, is currently designing his own 3D printed smart house in Melbourne, and will talk about how he will integrate the latest technology in to the build.

He said the design could help across Australia’s natural disaster zones as well as assisting with affordability issues.

“With housing, you can set up a house really quickly, and not even for disaster zones, but even areas where they’re living in substandard housing, it will make things affordable,” he said.

It is a technology already being explored in other parts of the world.

An American manufacturer is working with the not-for-profit company, New Story, to set up 3D printed houses in developing countries as part of a humanitarian drive.

Steve Sammartino - We Will be Soon Printing Houses

The 3D printed house Texan company New Story has designed for use in developing countries. Picture: supplied.

While in The Netherlands, a 3D printed housing community will go on the market this year in a partnership between Dutch developers and a local university.

Steve Sammartino - We Will be Soon Printing Houses

A workers in The Netherlands supervising the 3D printing of concrete walls as part of the Project Milestone 3D community.

Mr Sammartino said technology had changed the way we work and live.

“But houses haven’t changed much and houses are the number one indicator of where we are in life,” he said.

“Two hundred thousand years ago we lived in caves, then stone houses, now those stone houses haven’t changed that much but the technology inside them reflects how life is going.”

Queensland University of Technology 3D printing expert Melissa Johnston said the 3D printing technology was being used across health, construction, IT, and the arts, and the popularity of desktop 3D printers was helping consumers embrace the new technology.

“I really do expect to see 3D houses in my lifetime, the technology is advancing so quickly now,” she said.

Regardless of what house you live in, Mr Sammartino said it was time to renovate.

“And that’s not putting plaster in places, I mean renovate so it matches the technology that’s all around us,” he said.

He said housing had gone through the industrial age, where energy and artificial power was placed inside a house, and the next phase was for intelligence to be put inside houses.

“Our houses will be commanded in the same way we interact with humans, commanded by voice and movement and body language and gesturing and thinking,” he said.

“We have power in the walls, and now we will have intelligence.

“It’s not even that expensive, we could automate a house to never have to put on a light switch again, to have it heat and cool itself based on sensing the outside environment, to only do the washing at a time when the electricity’s cheap.”

Mr Sammartino is calling on government and industry groups to develop a basic standard for smart housing to encourage competition, and address consumer concerns over security and privacy.

“We have a standard for wiring, plugs, plumbing; industry needs to come together to develop a basic standard that can be used in all houses, so instead of having Google or Amazon dominate, you can plug in different suppliers.

“I think it’s the job of industry and government to regulate around this so it becomes a competitive marketplace.”

The Real Estate Institute of Queensland Summit will be held from March 14 to 15 at the Royal International Convention Centre at Bowen Hills.

REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella said the conference was the most forward-thinking one so far.

“The next generation of property consumer, whether that’s owner occupier or investor, will have different values to the generations that have gone before,” she said.

“They will have different expectations and demand different results.”

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What the median house price in each of Australia’s capital cities gets you around the world

Ever dreamed of throwing it all in permanently and chasing your holiday dreams?

It’s tempting, especially with the next long weekend more than a month and a half away! But what could you get for your money?

We’ve taken a look at what the median house price from the December quarter in each Australian capital buys and what you could get in cities around the world.

The prices used here are worked out using the exchange rates on March 11 and, for simplicity, the euro was used in some cities where it isn’t the local currency.

Melbourne – London
What Median House Price Australia Capital Cities Gets You? - Investors Advisors
The one-bedroom flat for sale Atherton Street, Battersea. Photo: Douglas & Gordon, Battersea Park

Melbourne’s median of $833,000 doesn’t get you much when converted to British pounds, about £451,000. Similarly, you get much less house for your GBP.

In Battersea, six kilometres from the centre of London, a single bed flat costs £450,000, which is just under budget. And it’s not a huge one bedroom flat – just 47 square metres of floor space, with the kitchen on a mezzanine level. The bathroom also appears to be very narrow.

In Melbourne, the median can get you a two-bedroom townhouse in Moonee Ponds which is about the same distance from the CBD.

Sydney – Tokyo
What Median House Price Australia Capital Cities Gets You? - Investors Advisors
A small house in Shibuya, Japan. Photo:

The median in Sydney is out of range for most buyers in Australia, but if you take the figure of $1.062 million to Tokyo, you can get a fairly good deal.

That many Australian dollars makes 83 million yen, and that can get you a 75-square-metre block with a three-storey, four-bedroom townhouse on it. It’s almost brand new too, built-in 2018.

In Australia’s busiest city that will get you a two-bedroom terrace house a similar distance from the city centre. If you’re lucky.

Brisbane – Prague
What Median House Price Australia Capital Cities Gets You? - Investors Advisors
A four-bedroom house in Prague. Photo: ee24

The median house in Brisbane is $566,000 for the December quarter last year. Converting that to euros gives us 354,000 to play within Prague.

In the Czech Republic’s capital, that figure can get a four-bedroom detached house in the suburbs, which is similar to what it would get you in Brisbane.

The block for sale in Czechia is 564 square metres, which is considered fairly standard in Brisbane.

Canberra – Washington DC
What Median House Price Australia Capital Cities Gets You? - Investors Advisors
945 T St NW # 2, Washington, DC. Photo: Fairfax Realty Premier

Canberra’s median of $739,000 translates to about $US520,000. Taking that budget to the US counterpart of our very own capital territory, buyers would be able to pick up a one-bedroom townhouse near Capitol Hill.

The pictured home was built more than 100 years ago.

Perth – Istanbul
What Median House Price Australia Capital Cities Gets You? - Investors Advisors
A villa in Istanbul on 350 square metres of land. Photo: ee24

Perth’s median has finally arrested, for now, at $546,000. That’s 342,000 euros, and if we stretch the budget and head to Istanbul, in Turkey, that can buy a seven-bedroom villa, spread over four levels.

The listing boasts that the home is a “HOUSE IN WHICH YOU WILL BE RESPECT !!! [sic]”, with a “fenced territory” of 350 square metres.

Adelaide – Auckland
What Median House Price Australia Capital Cities Gets You? - Investors Advisors
227 Church Street Onehunga, Auckland City. Photo: Ray White

Over in New Zealand, the exchange rate is a bit kinder, resulting in a budget of $567,000 from Adelaide’s median house price of $537,000.

That sum won’t get you much – possibly a single-bedroom unit in Auckland central, but you might be able to snag a freehold home out on the outskirts.

For example, the “Perch on Church” is a two-bedroom, dated weatherboard home about 12 kilometres from the city centre.

Hobart – Jakarta
What Median House Price Australia Capital Cities Gets You? - Investors Advisors
A five-bedroom home in Jakarta.

Turning Australian dollars into Indonesian rupiah is much more enjoyable than pounds, USD or euros. Australia’s lowest median, Hobart’s, shoots from a measly $480,000 to 4.8 billion rupiah.

And that’s nothing to be sneezed at in Jakarta, that sort of cash can land a buyer a five-bedroom compound on the eastern edge of the city.

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Are Australia’s ‘secondary’ cities still a bargain, or have they run their race?

Australia’s capital cities may be coming off the boil, but what of their metropolitan siblings?

Secondary cities such as Geelong, Newcastle and Launceston have been on a run,  proving more affordable options for buyers after prices shot up in the closest major capital city. But with prices in some capitals declining – most notably in Sydney and Melbourne – some secondary cities now don’t look quite as good value as they did a year or two ago.

The outlook for prices in major regional cities Newcastle, Wollongong, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Geelong and Launceston is analysed below.

Secondary cities boomed after major cities became too expensive

When capital city prices become too expensive for first-home buyers and investors, aspiring capital city home buyers often look to nearby regional cities as a cheaper alternative. These secondary cities are often close enough to a major capital that people can commute to the capital city for work.

Price growth in major cities and secondary cities generally track pretty closely together, but sometimes with a delay of around a year. For some cities, the major city in some city-pairs can lead turning points in the price growth of the secondary city.

Sydneysiders consider Newcastle and Wollongong, Melburnians often look to Geelong, and Launceston, Tasmania’s second-largest city, is considered after Hobart. In Queensland, the typical house in Brisbane is cheaper than in the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast, but these coastal cities are both within commuting distance to Brisbane and are obvious alternatives to Queensland’s capital.

Property prices in Wollongong, Newcastle and Geelong began rising a year or two after Sydney and Melbourne property prices began taking off around 2013. Launceston house prices have increased significantly since 2017, a couple of years after Hobart’s price boom started in 2015. While price growth has been more subdued up north, Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast house prices have increased by more than those in Brisbane.

Most secondary cities have experienced stronger house price growth than their nearest capital cityMedian house price, December quarter
2015201620172018Per cent change,2015-2018
  Gold Coast$545,000$590,000$620,000$622,50014%
  Sunshine Coast$540,000$560,000$615,000$620,00015%
Notes: Capital city house prices are Australian Property Monitor city regions and are a stratified median price. Secondary cities are ABS Significant Urban Areas and are a raw median price.

What’s in store for secondary cities house prices?

Several indicators are used to predict price growth in secondary cities in the coming years.

The first method is comparing the ratio of the median price in a capital city with the secondary city’s median house price. The higher the capital city/secondary city price ratio, the more expensive the capital is compared to the secondary city (for example, a ratio of 2 indicates a typical house in the capital city is twice as expensive as the secondary city).

If a capital city/secondary city price ratio is below average, then this may indicate the secondary city is overvalued, suggesting the secondary city may see weaker price growth in the near future (and vice versa).

Buyer interest in an area – using changes in the number of views per listing from Domain’s website and apps, a leading indicator of future price growth – is also analysed. The economic outlook and job prospects in secondary cities, including the interconnectedness of the secondary city with the closest capital city, are also considered.


While Wollongong’s economy is performing well, its prices are likely to stagnate or fall in the year ahead. The main reason is that the Sydney/Wollongong price ratio has fallen just below the 2010-2018 average and is back close to the level over the 2003-2013 period, where the median house price in Sydney prices was approximately 50 per cent higher than in Wollongong (see graph below). This fall in the price ratio was due to Sydney house prices falling by more than Wollongong house prices over the past two years.

While prices are likely to remain fairly stagnant over the next one to two years, Wollongong’s improving job market and growing links to Sydney should provide support to Wollongong property prices in the medium term.

Wollongong has seen strong jobs growth in the past couple of years, with the unemployment rate for the Wollongong LGA falling from almost 7 per cent in 2016 to 4.5 per cent in 2018.

Wollongong is also a growing commuter town: in 2016, more than 21,000 people commuted from Wollongong to Sydney for work (the second largest regional city to capital city commuting pair, behind the Gold Coast to Brisbane). Wollongong and Illawarra residents may also benefit from the construction of the Badgerys Creek airport, which will be just over an hour’s drive from Wollongong, although construction is not expected to finish until 2026.


Newcastle is likely to see weak price growth or modest price falls in the next year or two. The Sydney/Newcastle price ratio has fallen below the 2010-2018 average as prices have grown slowly in Newcastle over the past year, but fell by 10 per cent in Sydney. This indicates Newcastle houses may be becoming overvalued compared to Sydney.

Buyer interest in Newcastle also appears to be waning. Domain’s views-per-listing measure for Newcastle fell by 2 per cent over 2018 as there were fewer buyers or they began looking elsewhere.

Another reason property price growth in Newcastle might be subdued is that there is no clear jobs boom on the horizon in the region. Newcastle’s unemployment rate has hovered around 6 per cent over the past couple of years, which is above Sydney’s unemployment rate of 4 per cent.


The Melbourne/Geelong house price ratio fell significantly over 2018 as house prices increased in Geelong and fell in Melbourne. The Melbourne/Geelong price ratio now sits at 1.5, meaning a typical house in Melbourne is 50 per cent more expensive than a typical Geelong house. The ratio is now below the 2010-2018 average.

With Melbourne house prices forecast to continue falling in 2019, Geelong’s relative affordability will decline further, so this may also see prices in Geelong stagnate or fall modestly. The Geelong market is already losing momentum, with house price growth slowing in Geelong over 2018 and Domain’s views-per-listing measure for Geelong falling at the end of 2018.

While the analysis of the Melbourne/Geelong price ratio suggests Geelong prices may fall, there are some promising signs for Geelong’s economy. Some sectors are seeing jobs growth, particularly government jobs, and the city is on the rebound after the end of car manufacturing in 2016. Geelong’s unemployment rate has hovered around 6 per cent since 2016, but a very low unemployment rate in Melbourne of 4 per cent (down from 6 per cent over the past year) may help push Geelong’s unemployment rate lower.

Geelong is increasingly interconnected with Melbourne, which should see the Geelong property market become further tied to the Melbourne market. There are a number of transport infrastructure projects planned, or underway, that should improve travel times between Geelong and Melbourne, including the West Gate tunnel project and planned improvements to the Geelong-Melbourne rail service. 

These projects – combined with strong population growth and lots of homebuilding in Geelong and surrounding towns – mean the number of commuters from Geelong to Melbourne will likely increase from the 15,000 commuters in 2016.


An above-average Hobart/Launceston price ratio, increasing buyer interest and brighter economic prospects all indicate that Launceston may see further price growth over the next one to two years.

Price growth in Launceston, Tasmania’s second-largest city, is closely correlated with price growth in Hobart. As Hobart’s prices boomed over the past few years – house prices have increased by more than 40 per cent since early 2015 – Launceston has become relatively cheaper. The Hobart/Launceston price ratio has increased, with a typical house in Hobart now 40 per cent more expensive than a typical Launceston house, up from a 20 per cent difference a few years ago. 

But Launceston prices have also grown strongly since 2017, resulting in the price ratio stabilising, with the relative affordability of Launceston likely to encourage some investors and migrants to buy in Launceston instead of Hobart.

There is also growing buyer interest in Launceston. Views per listing in Launceston increased by about 40 per cent over 2018.

Launceston’s economic prospects are also improving. Unemployment recently fell to its lowest level in more than seven years, although it remains elevated at 6.8 per cent. Launceston is the subject of a City Deal partnership between federal, state and local governments to boost the Launceston economy. 

The annual MONA-FOMA festival has been moved from Hobart to Launceston, so Launceston may benefit from some of the “MONA-effect” that has boosted Hobart’s economy. A weaker Australian dollar should continue to support Tasmania’s economy by boosting tourist numbers to Tasmania, as well as making Tasmania’s exports cheaper for overseas buyers.

Unlike other city-pairs considered in this article, few people travel between Launceston and Hobart for work (only 275 people commuted from Launceston to Hobart in 2016).

Brisbane-Gold Coast and Brisbane-Sunshine Coast

Moderate price growth in the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast compared to slower price growth in Brisbane over the past two years has made a house in Brisbane relatively cheap compared to the coastal cities. The Brisbane/Gold Coast and Brisbane/Sunshine Coast price ratios have fallen and now sit below the 2010-2018 average, suggesting the coastal cities are slightly overvalued.

Because the smaller Queensland cities have a higher median price than Brisbane, the Brisbane/Gold Coast and Brisbane/Sunshine Coast price ratios are below 1, meaning a typical Brisbane house is about 10 per cent cheaper than in the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast.

South-east Queensland is highly interconnected. More than 30,000 people commuted from the Gold Coast to Brisbane for work in 2016, the biggest city pair in Australia, while 8400 people commuted from the Sunshine Coast to Brisbane. 

Job prospects have been better in the Gold Coast than in the other cities. The Gold Coast’s unemployment rate has fallen from 5.5 per cent in late 2016 to 4.3 per cent at the end of 2018, whereas the unemployment rate hovered around 6 per cent in Brisbane in 2018 and increased to 6.5 per cent in 2018 in the Sunshine Coast.

The price ratios suggest Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast house prices may grow more slowly than Brisbane in 2019. But the Domain views-per-listing measure for the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast increased in the second half of 2018, and job prospects look better in the Gold Coast, suggesting there is scope for further price growth for both secondary cities.

The outlook

Secondary cities are closely tied to the performance of their closest capital. Over the next few years, as jobs continue to concentrate in Australia’s major cities, secondary cities will likely become even more closely linked to their nearest capital city.

The outlook for some capital cities is for further falls in 2019 before prices bottom-out later in the year, so the likelihood is secondary cities will see prices stagnate or fall in 2019, although Launceston looks to be an exception.

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