house price

Cost of living in Australia

by Chris Lang on April 24, 2013
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Cost of living is very important to any prospective migrant, because it varies significantly from country to country. You can’t model your living expenses based on what you pay in your home country. To get an idea what it will cost you to afford the basic necessities in Australia you need the most recent data, […]

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How to figure out the REAL asking price for a house

by Chris Lang on October 11, 2012
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Most vendors (property sellers) hire agents to sell their homes – and everyone knows that advertising costs a lot. What not everyone knows (or often forgets) is, that vendors transfer the advertising costs on to the buyers. Yes, that’s true – the asking price for the house is usually worked out this way:

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Thoughts on Australian Houses

by Chris Lang on June 5, 2012
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At present, as many commentators suggest, housing prices have reached their peak and took a time-out from the upward trend they maintained for decades, the much-needed break to think – which way from here? Up, based on lack of confidence and the urge to “get in now” before the houses become even dearer, or down – based on frustration of those who can’t make the ends meet and give up their dream of home ownership?

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The bad effect of a carbon tax on housing prices

by Chris Lang on May 2, 2011
The bad effect of a carbon tax on housing prices

Everyone is discussing now how a carbon tax will make our energy bills higher. Yet there’s another negative effect to a carbon tax that doesn’t get much coverage in the media – and it really should. At a first glance housing prices and carbon tax may seem unrelated, but a closer look reveals that there […]

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Time to sell Melbourne housing?

by Chris Lang on April 18, 2011
Time to sell Melbourne housing?

The following article first appeared on the MacroBusiness website. Republished with permission. Melbourne has long been considered one of Australia’s best property bets – it lured my wife and I, among many other buyers – but the city’s increasingly costly housing market is now showing signs of weakness that are hard to ignore. In mid-2006, […]

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Is this a good time to buy a house?

by Chris Lang on August 3, 2010
Is this a good time to buy a house?

I’ve been waiting for a good time to buy a house over a year now. But contrary to what I was hoping for, house prices kept on rising, against all my logic, against reason, against common sense. For the last year and a half I’ve been asking myself this question a lot – is this […]

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Another interest rates rise and how it translates into our money

by Chris Lang on May 4, 2010
Another interest rates rise and how it translates into our money

Interest Rates RiseToday RBA has lifted the interest rates again, for the 6th consecutive time. I didn’t mention any of the previous rate rises on Homeiown (why bother when the mainstream media is covering it well anyway), but this time is different.

What is so different about it?

Well, firstly, this interest rates rise will push the Standard Variable Rate above the 10 years average, and this is kind of big deal. The 10 years average is 7.5% and after today’s RBA decision the new Standard Variable Rate goes up above that number. Of course all the banks are quick to pass that on.

Percentages, percentages… look all too small and insignificant, aren’t they?

How about a real life example. Take a typical 30 year housing loan of $300,000. Today, with the same loan, you would be paying $317 more a month compared to September last year.

You know what, forget September last year, and compare it to last month. From May on, assuming that interest rates are not going anywhere (which is probably unreasonable) you will be paying $51 a month more, that’s $612 a year. Which means that average first home buyer is now around $600 a year poorer.

“Today’s rate rise is tough for families and small businesses”, Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan admits, and as a consolation reminds us that the rates are still significantly lower than they were at their peak. What a joke. Let’s just hope that that we all get a pay rise to cover this extra expense – otherwise it could just wipe out that holiday we were planning off the calendar.

Ironic, isn’t it.

First we get stung by forever rising housing prices. Then, after we’ve paid whatever it takes to secure ourselves a home and got into a mortgage for the next 30 years, they say that the rise in house prices pushes inflation up and that deserves another interest rates rise. So there we are, having overpaid for the house, we now have to overpay for the mortgage as well.

And renters amongst us are in no better situation – they don’t even own an “asset” that appreciates with the housing market, but are paying higher rents because their landlords with mortgages are passing on the difference in their mortgage repayments.

What are higher interest rates doing to your family budget?

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Property Reports 101: Who To Buy From and How Much?

by Chris Lang on April 8, 2010
Property Reports 101: Who To Buy From and How Much?

And now, when you’re all back from your Easter holidays and are house-hunting again, finally we get to the most interesting part. This post, in fact, will save you the “price shopping”, as it lines up all the major property report providers and compares their products and prices. There are 3 big report providers to […]

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Property Reports 101: What is “Postcode Sales History Report”?

by Chris Lang on March 26, 2010
Property Reports 101:  What is "Postcode Sales History Report"?

Suburb View Those of you who had a look at the property reports websites know that some of them call it a “Postcode Report”. You could also have noticed that there’s another similar report, named “Suburb report”.

In case you were wondering, yes, there is a difference between “Suburb report” and “Postcode report”, and the reason why “Suburb report” is normally cheaper is because it can have less data than “Postcode Report”. In many cases Postcode report includes quite a few suburbs, all sharing the same postcode, whereas Suburb report will include only one suburb.

For example Postcode Report for 3196 will include suburbs Bonbeach, Chelsea, Chelsea Heights and Edithvale because they all share the same postcode. But if you were to buy a report for Chelsea, it would not include even the adjacent suburb Chelsea Heights.

I recon that for the $10 difference Postcode report is a better buy, because it will give you a bigger and clearer picture. You might even see that there are better opportunities in another suburb nearby that you didn’t consider before.

What’s inside?

First, there are 2 kinds of Postcode reports – 12 and 24 months of data – and, of course, the price is higher when more data is included.

Property-specific information

You will find a list of all the sales in the last 12 or 24 months, specifying:

– Property address (just a street name, not even a house number in Victoria)
– Type of the house / land (detached, semi-detached, hobby farm, etc)
– Sale price
– Sale date (just month and year for Victoria, not the full date)
– Estimated area (land)

Some providers will include information about the number of bedrooms / bathrooms / parking spaces in each sold house, others won’t. In some reports you will find whether the houses were sold by auction / private sale.

What can I do with this information?

If you are too busy to be to gathering this data on your own, looking through the latest auction results, this report saves you time. Or if there are no auctions in the suburb of your choice, this is your only way of knowing prices of the houses that were sold via private sales. Although some information about private sales is available online for free, it is very limited and won’t give you a clear picture.

Having the list of real sales figures in the suburb/postcode you can work out the gap between the asking price and the sale price, and therefore estimate how much you will REALLY have to spend, as advertised prices can be under-quoted or over-quoted.

You can see what locations / suburbs are more expensive than the others, and direct your search towards areas you can afford. This will save you time, money and your search will be focused (as opposed to you looking for properties all over the place and feeling overwhelmed).

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Property Reports 101: What is “Street Sales History Report”?

by Chris Lang on March 19, 2010
Property Reports 101: What is "Street Sales History Report"?

You will find this report available at different providers’ websites under the names of “Street Sales History Report”, “Street History Report” or just “Street Report” – but they all are essentially the same. What’s inside? Property-specific information For all the sold houses on that particular street you will get the following: – Property address (just […]

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Property Reports 101: What is “Individual Property Report”?

by Chris Lang on March 10, 2010
Property Reports 101:  What is "Individual Property Report"?

It’s the same story with any range of similar products: when you first look at them and there are more than just 2, it’s easy to get lost. There was a sales study I heard about, where they put 6 kinds of jam on the supermarket shelf and 30 percent of the people bought a […]

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