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Archive for July, 2010

Posted by admin on 30 July 2010

We attended a Macquarie Bank seminar this week where their Rod Cornish detailed historical stats and some forecasts on our property market. One tidbit that stood out was this gem: in the past 25 years Brisbane’s annual median house price went down just twice. In 1993 and in 2009. So in 23 of 25 years our median price went up.

There’s good reason residential property is considered “safe as houses”.

Ask a banker which security they’ll lend on. Residential property is king to them. We understand the merit of a balanced portfolio but do sometimes wonder if some investors have simply forgotten the strength of property?

For those of us too time-poor to track and research, property doesn’t rely on scientific analysis to determine the right time to buy or sell. Rismark’s Christopher Joye says price volatility of property is just 3 or 4% compared with 19% for shares. It’s no surprise you may be feeling giddy watching the All Ords of late.

Matusik Property Insight’s Michael Matusik says Australians on average hold 80% equity in their dwellings, and higher for their principal place of residence. There’s no great risk in that and shows the strength of our nation compared to others. Our love affair with bricks and mortar does continue, even if some of us have had a wandering eye in recent years.

Posted by admin on 27 July 2010

I today attended the monthly Gabba Business Association meeting which featured guest speakers Mr Gary Lee (Planning Manager of the Urban Development Authority) and Mr Luke Franzmann (Project Director of Cross River Rail). It was a chance for members to hear first hand about the changes that are going to occur in the Gabba in the coming years.

Most of the information that was covered in the meeting has already been widely reported in the media or on the websites of each organisation but if you haven’t had a chance to see it already you can access it through these links.

http://www.crossriverrail.qld.gov.au/

http://www.ulda.qld.gov.au/01_cms/details.asp?ID=34

Probably of all the information we received on the evening the largest note of conjecture from the members was in regards to proposed road changes to allow a greater area of the Go Print site to be developed. The concern was that the planners hadn’t thoroughly thought through the ramifications of traffic movement in the area and that the proposed changes would make travelling through the Gabba during peak times more congested in the future. It will be interesting to see if the UDA takes any notice of these objections and come up with a better solution.

Posted by admin on 19 July 2010

The Residential Tenancies Authority recently released their June quarter stats and analysis by Bees Nees Research shows inner Brisbane’s rents have now remained flat for well over a year. Small drops in some suburbs shows landlords are being cautious and reducing their rents to keep their homes rented.

Bees Nees’ Rob Honeycombe said a more balanced market had replaced the strong rental growth of 2007-2008.

“In postcode 4101 for example we have the same median rents for a 2 bed apartment that we did in September 2008 at $450 per week. The appeal of South Brisbane, West End and Highgate Hill is still very much on the rise but saving money in tougher times has drawn some tenants into cheaper areas further out.”

The RTA shows rents are flat right across Brisbane and Rob believes landlords are reluctant to push for rent increases. “Rising interest rates do make some landlords nervous and that has a flow on effect. To see a drop in popular spots like Fairfield and Annerley (down $10 to $310 per week for a 2 bed apartment) suggests tenants are getting good value. A typical house in that area is still $400 per week, the same level as September 2008.”

One of the few inner city areas to see a rise in the June quarter was a $10 increase for Woolloongabba/Dutton Park apartments.

Posted by admin on 13 July 2010

If you’ve ever driven along Logan Road in Woolloongabba you would probably have seen the signs and advertising promoting the Phoenix Development. With a land area of 21,436m2 (over 5 acres) and plans for retail, commercial and residential spaces this was going to be a huge construction site that was supposed to kick off in 2009 and be a major part of the future development in the area.

It was even included in the Council plans for the urban renewal of  Woolloongabba and would presumably have gone ahead were it not for the tougher financial times. This is one of Brisbane’s largest development opportunities – certainly the largest inner Brisbane has seen for some years.

The receivers have now moved in and the land is to be separated into 6 individual parcels ranging from the extremely small 387m2 up to 11,837m2.  It’s  a wonder that the receivers don’t think that the land is worth more as a single entity. The likely explanation being that it will be far easier to sell quickly to various buyers than over a longer period of time to one.

Artist's impression of the failed Phoenix development

Posted by Rob Honeycombe on 12 July 2010

Would two per cent make a difference? If your preferred holiday was $3000 or $3060 it wouldn’t matter. And $1,000 wouldn’t stop you buying your favourite $50,000 car. But in a property market like Brisbane’s inner city is currently experiencing, home buyers and investors alike seem reluctant to make offers. One told me last week that a $500,000 Brisbane apartment they’d seen was too dear. “Not worth more than $490,000”, they said. For others it’s just 3 or 4 per cent ‘overpricing’ that stops them buying. So in this newsletter we thought we’d remind everyone about an idea called “making an offer”!

Sellers are sometimes reluctant to drop their listed price until they’ve seen the colour of buyers’ money and a real estate agent can’t offer you the property at a price cheaper than authorised by their client. They need to be careful in encouraging you without harming their sellers’ interests. And some buyers feel embarrassed and awkward suggesting an offer. Maybe they’re concerned they’ll offend the real estate agent (hard to do in our opinion!) So the standoff drags on.

We’re currently watching some inner-Brisbane properties sit on the market without action, even when their prices seem pretty close to the mark. Maybe it’s the internet gone mad. Buyers can sit back with the property portals and, with plenty of accuracy in many cases, forecast a home’s true value. There’s danger for sellers in staying on the market too long so they need to monitor the activity at their inspections and have an agent whose feedback they trust. The Bees Nees team had an average discount from asking price to selling price of just over 1% in the past 12 months – we’ve been negotiating great results for our clients. But right now the market’s sensitivity to price seems to be at an all time high. An auction can help avoid the price problem but it’s not, in our opinion, the right solution for every property.

One final thought: for those of you who’ve owned your home for more than 5 years just think back to the day you bought it for a moment. Would you have paid another 2% to get the right place? We always get the same response to this question!

How do you set the right price? We’d love to have your comments.

Posted by admin on 3 July 2010

Recently we met with a home owner who proudly fished into a drawer and produced her stiff, creased and blotted old title deed. It had been a family milestone in the late 1980’s when they’d paid off the house and cleared the mortgage. And there was something special about holding that grubby piece of paper. Of course titles have been recorded in a database in Queensland since 1994 but if you still have your old deed you can hang on to it – until you sell of course!

When we’re drawing up contracts buyers often wonder why the home’s title is described as being in the County of Stanley and Parish of South Brisbane for example. The historical description dates from our English heritage and Brisbane sits in the County of Stanley, so-named for Edward the British PM of the 1850’s and 1860’s. Remember Queensland’s birth was 1859. Apparently our state now has 322 Counties, further split into 5,319 Parishes, but of course the use of these two terms has only ever related to property titles.

It seems an antiquated idea and maybe it’ll be changed in years to come. We know first hand though the importance of getting a property’s legal description spot on. This salesperson sold a vacant block of land in 1991 to a keen buyer who discovered just prior to settlement (whew!) that it was next door to the one he thought he was buying. Older readers might even remember a certain Minister of the Crown who got his own properties mixed up in a sale too – embarrassing when your own portfolio covers the Titles Registry!

Posted by admin on 2 July 2010

We rarely repeat articles from other blogs but this one is a gem! Teresa Boardman is an American Realtor in St Paul, Minnesota, and a great writer. Plenty of Brisbane parents could share the sentiment of this story!!

Dear person in their twenties,

It is wonderful that you got that new job and were able to move out of your folks place a mere eight years after you graduated from college. I know you will be turning 30 this year and you have accomplished much in your short life.

Your parents love you, we always have and we would do most anything for you and we probably have and we are very proud of you.

There is one thing that you need to know. We are not being honest with you about something. We have kept a secret from you all these years, and it has nothing to do with auntie Sue or that one incident a few years back at the water park. We know you did not do that on purpose.

We want to tell you that we are very tired of the boxes and storage bins in the basement and the bike, sports equipment and roller blades in the garage. We understand that you also regret having purchased that tacky piece of furniture that you bought the first time you moved out but left stored in the basement this last time you moved out. We hate it too, and yes you may move back in that is true, even though we had the locks changed and you know the secret about the back door, you will find a way, but I suspect you won’t want to use the furniture as you seem to hate it so.

Even though we love you and would do most anything for you we don’t want to provide storage for your stuff anymore. We would like to use our basements and garages and attics for something else now. We have our own tacky furniture that needs to be stored and most of our closets are over flowing as we have not moved in years and have not had any place to put anything in decades.

It would be heavenly to be able to walk to the washer without tripping over something and honestly the furnace and water heater have always wanted a room of their own, they watch and wait silently as the stuff piles up around them. Last time we had a repair man here he couldn’t even find the furnace, I guess he wasn’t much of a repair man. I never saw him leave the house, he may still be down in the basement looking for the furnace, I guess we don’t know for sure, but hope not because they charge by the hour.

Please come over for dinner tonight. We promise to cook something you really like, and buy a couple of bottles of wine, or maybe you would enjoy a beer instead. Bring a friend or significant other and a moving van. We will even front you the cash so that you can rent it. After dinner kindly remove your stuff. Don’t make me have to write this twice. I may be old but I am still your mother and even though you are bigger than I am I can still kick your butt, or at the very least make you feel guilty.

Thanks, your loving mother.

PS if you read this after the garage sale please accept my apologies, I know I should have sent a text message but for some things 140 characters are not enough.

Oh and while I am at it I would not mind being a grandmother some day. I saved your crib and pookie your stuffed rabbit just in case.

Posted by admin on 2 July 2010

Fridays are for fun so here’s the best of the bunch we’ve seen on email this week. And yes we’d love to hear your clean joke!

1) Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting a tomato in a fruit salad.

2) The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

3) Children: You spend the first two years of their life teaching them how to walk and talk. The next sixteen? Spent telling them to sit down and shut up.

4) He who smiles in a crisis has found someone to blame.

5) If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.

6) To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.

7) I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn’t work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.

8) Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

9) We live in a society where pizza gets to your house faster than the police.

10) A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station.

11) How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?

12) I didn’t fight my way to the top of the food chain to be a vegetarian.

13) A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing.

14) The shinbone is a device for finding furniture in a dark room.

15) Laugh at your problems, everybody else does.

16) Did you know that dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw them fish?.

17) Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.

18) Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won’t expect it back.

19) A diplomat is someone who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you will look forward to the trip.

20) Money can’t buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.

21) I discovered I scream the same way whether I’m about to be devoured by a great white shark or if a piece of seaweed touches my foot.

22) War does not determine who is right. It determines who is left.