real estate news

Top 10 Australian Suburbs

by Chris Lang on July 7, 2014
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Being the most popular real estate website in Australia, realestate.com.au has access to the biggest pool of property listings with all the data and statistics associated with it. The information they released today is quite interesting, because it shows which ten Australian suburbs are looked at by most people. And here they are (based on […]

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Weekend links

by Chris Lang on February 4, 2012
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It’s Saturday, and if you’re not busy house hunting or heading to the beach, then you must be at the computer :). So here’s my modest contribution to your weekend reading: Renovation resulting in breathtaking bay views @ Domain.com.au: A couple decided to renovate their home, but the project ended up being a complete rebuild, […]

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Weekend links

by Chris Lang on January 21, 2012
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This week I’ve read a few interesting articles about what’s happening in the property market – so here is some reading for your weekend: Property is overvalued by 60% @ News.com.au: A leading US real estate analyst Jordan Wirsz believes Australia is heading towards a property bloodbath as the global economic downturn spreads to China […]

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Rumors About a New Vendor Tax on Investment Properties

by Chris Lang on April 22, 2011
Rumors About a New Vendor Tax on Investment Properties

When I saw a report in The Age about the Gillard Government discussing a new 4% sales tax on investment property and a reduction in negative gearing tax benefits for investors, I simply couldn’t believe my eyes. Are they really going to do this, NOW? Falling auctions clearance rates and new property listings adding up […]

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The real estate debt is in overdrive in Australia

by Chris Lang on March 5, 2011
The real estate debt is in overdrive in Australia

The figures as per the latest reports by the Reserve Bank of Australia prove that the real estate debt in Australia is spiraling out of control. Australia is facing an economic crunch and the finances of most of the households are collapsing under the pressure of debt. Despite lowered spending, household debt has increased by […]

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Property news: 4 real estate articles worth reading

by Chris Lang on August 3, 2009
Property news: 4 real estate articles worth reading

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 starts, but it will cost you. For 6 starts you will have to add about an extra 10,000 and for 7 starts – 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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Google wants its piece of real estate

by Chris Lang on July 7, 2009
Google wants its piece of real estate

Google Maps New Real Estate SectionIf I had to name the most interesting bit of real estate news this week, it would be about Google entering the real estate market (and starting their quest from New Zealand of all places). It doesn’t surprise me that they did – what took them so long is what surprises me. I mean, if you were in a position to grab a huge piece of a very yummy pie, why would you wait? Google literally rules the world of online advertising which leaves little chance of any real estate website competing with them.

According to the news, in New Zealand there is now a real estate section in Google Maps and it’s populated with listings from 2 big real estate websites in New Zealand. What more, Google invites any estate agency to upload its listings to Google for free.

That article made me so curious about what’s going on with Australia, how far did Google get here and some very interesting facts surfaced as I looked through the listings in Aussie Google maps / real estate section.

Apparently this is a brand new feature and was only added yesterday, July 6. It was announced by Andrew Foster who wrote on Google’s Official Australian blog “Today we’re adding a feature to Google Maps in Australia that we think will make Maps an even more invaluable resource to Aussies as they go about their busy lives. Increasingly, people are heading online when looking for a new house to rent or buy, and from today, we’re adding the ability to search for properties on Google Maps. We’ve worked with partners across the real estate industry to provide up-to-date listings, which you can search for directly from the Google Maps search box.”

So here is what it looks like (watch the video below):

My next question was – where did the listings come from? Apparently Google have solved the problem of populating their section with ads mostly from myhome.com.au, homehound.com.au and real-estate-australia.com.au (in Victoria). Same as in New Zealand, the most popular websites Realestate.com.au and Domain.com weren’t interested in uploading their ads into Google’s new section.

Of course Google’s interface needs a lot of work to match that of Realestate.com.au, but something tells me they will get it “just right” very quickly. It will be very interesting to see how Domain.com and Realestate.com.au handle the competition – or will it be cooperation?

What do you think of this feature, did you try it? Do you think it will work with or against the big real estate websites?

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Property news: 2 real estate articles worth reading

by Chris Lang on June 22, 2009
Property news: 2 real estate articles worth reading

ABC Television News RoomI am starting a new “tradition”. Once a week I will be posting links to the most interesting articles I’ve read this week with a short overview what those articles are about and why you should take a closer look at them.

I think it will add a healthy balance to Homeiown, because while my main goal is to share what I learn about the way Aussie property world works, it is impossible to get there without being somehow up to date with some of the news. So without driving you into information overload I will limit it to 2 – 4 articles worth reading.

So let’s start with my latest reads:

Getting dumped by conveyancers

Did you know your conveyancer can dump you? Yes, I know, it sounds completely unprofessional, and you might expect it from a lover but not from a person you’re hiring for a job.

Nonetheless it happens and here is why: convecyancers charge less than lawyers because they work on assumption that your case will be a very “straight-forward” one and all they’ll have to do is push paperwork. As soon as there are complications that make their life more difficult and you become less profitable as a client, there is a risk of you being dumped, meaning they will return your file and say they can’t (= don’t want to) do anything for you. This is especially dangerous for you if the settlement date is very close because of all the fees you might have to pay for failing to settle.

It doesn’t mean that you have to put up with this dumping and as a customer you have rights, which you can read all about here, in Peter Mericka’s blog.

In-room property auctions – what are they and why should we care

Have you ever seen one of those TV shows where they sell antiques at an auction? Apparently, they sell houses in a similar way. When I think property auction, the image that comes to mind is a bunch of people on a footpath waiting for the show to begin. Well, this is not the only way and if you want to avoid curious neighbors, bad weather or public embarrassment if nobody comes, go for an in-room auction.

Here is what happens: the estate agency books a room in a neutral location and presents about 50 houses at once for people to bid. Although those in-room auctions are quite popular in Queensland and New South Wales, in Victoria they were only recently introduced and right now there is just one real estate group that is holding them.

These in-room auctions looks like an ideal solution for investors, obviously because they are a great time-savers, but on the downside the pace of bidding is faster and the atmospheres can get somewhat intimidating, so I wouldn’t recommend those for a beginner. Read the full article in Herald Sun and find out all the details.

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