Property news: 4 real estate articles worth reading

by Chris Lang on August 3, 2009

TV news roomLast week I came across some interesting articles.

Builders oppose to energy ratings on houses

Remember my post about government supporting the environment? Well, it appears that the builders are not so thrilled with the idea of making houses as “green” as possible. Why? Obviously because it makes the houses more expensive and therefore, reduces builder’s profit, plus makes the house harder to sell.

All the new homes in Victoria now must have a 5-stars rating in energy efficiency, and that’s not the highest rating – you could go to 6 or even 7 stars, but it will cost you. For 6 stars you will have to add about an extra 10,000 and for 7 stars – 14,000.

Google in real estate listings market

Not long ago we discussed Google’s invasion of the real estate listings market and what it might bring, and now it looks like the largest companies in that market are not happy. In fact, Domain.com.au and RealEstate.com.au are considering pulling their advertising off Google (that totals in millions of dollars they pay Google for displaying their ads, when people are searching for real estate keywords).

While the giant media companies aren’t happy about the competition, I believe that for us, the consumers, there will be advantages and benefits. I would imagine that prices and possibilities of advertising on Domain.com and RealEstate.com.au will get better, let’s wait and see what happens.

Costs of land are up

Undeveloped land in Australia became more expensive by 7.4 %, a survey by HIA (Housing Industry association) says. It happened in the March 2009 quarter and the median lot price increased to $172,490. I just couldn’t find their definition of “lot” to see exactly how much land it is. It would be a number between 744 square meters (the largest median lot, located in Tasmania) and 607 square meters (the smallest median lot, located in WA).

No more underquoting in real estate pricing

Can you believe that estate agents will finally stop deliberate underquoting? I have trouble imagining that, but we shall see, as now Consumer Affairs of Victoria and ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) are making this happen.

Under new laws from January 1 2010 if you’ve done pre-purchase inspections, paid for pre-purchase advice (any pre-purchase costs you’ve incurred), and at the auction it turned out the reserve price was higher than the ad said, you are entitled to get everything you spent back. Also vendors would face fines up to $220,000 for underquoting.

And over to you – what is the most interesting piece of news you’ve read last week?

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