This special section of the Real Estate Your Way website is dedicated to providing you with the latest news, ideas, figures and trends on real estate in Australia and items of interest from overseas. It's another way we help DIY property sellers and buyers to stay informed and take control of your FSBO and private real estate transactions with greater confidence. If you would like to contribute please email us at contact us
01 April Negative gearing tax deductions for loans on existing properties to be scrapped from 1 Jan 2020 if Labor is elected
01 March Flammable building cladding court decision. Following the serious Melbourne Docklands Lacrosse residential tower fire in November 2014 attributed to building cladding, a court has awarded damages of $5.7M against the architect, fire engineer and building surveyors.
15 November realestate.com.au has announced that Tracey Fellows, will be moving into a newly created role with News Corp as President, Global Digital Real Estate, based in New York from January next year.
14 October New Laws regarding combustible building cladding are coming into effect in NSW on 22 October 2018. This follows on from the tragic Grenfell fire disaster in London where over 70 people died when the buidling caught fire. For further information on the NSW laws please click on this link
30 August Westpac Bank has announced a 0.14% rise on all variable interest home loans from September 19 blaming rising costs of borrowing on international money markets. The Westpac rise is out of sync with the Reserve Bank who has not increased the official bank rate for over 2 years. Other banks have not yet made any announcements on their respective rates
26 July In a major shake up of the media landscape in Australia the Domain real estate listing website is to be merged into a new entity "Nine" . The move is subject to approval by regulatory and competition authorities
23 March The Federal Govt has launched a new website to assist homebuyers and can be seen here homeownership.gov.au in addition the treasury dept has also updated it's website to provide more information on various grants and housing affordability intiatives and can be seen at this link treasury.gov.au
23 January In a surprise announcement Antony Catalano CEO of major listing platform Domain.com.au has announced his retirement for family reasons only two months after Domain was spun out of Fairfax Media and listed on the ASX. The Domain share price dropped by more than 12% on the news. In another event some members of McGrath Real Estate board have resigned and the company is now also looking for a new CEO. McGrath earnings performance has been well below market expectations since it listed 2 years ago. The share price dropped by 11% on the news
05 December Dangerous building cladding has been identified on major Victorian buildings including several large hospitals. The Vic Govt task force media release and actions to be undertaken are available here
10 November A vacancy tax is to begin in Victoria effective from 1 Jan 2018. This is part of a suite of measure aimed at easing homelessness and housing affordability. For more detailed information on the vacancy tax click here
27 October The federal government has (again) announced a $375M homelessness and community housing support package. This was originally flagged in the 2017 budget. The funding is contingent upon the states and territory governments developing a housing and homelessness strategy for their respective jurisdictionsre
8 September The Insurance Council of Australia have now entered the debate on the fire risk of sub-standard building cladding. A spokesman stated that properties with such cladding may not be insured, leaving many building owners and apartment owners uninsured against the risk of fire
7 August National Homelessness week is now on from 7-13 August. With rising house prices and lack of affordable housing the plight of the homeless is an increasing issue in cities as well as regional and rural Australia
10 July A new report from the Grattan Institute, based on data from the last 2 ABS census has identified that many property owners would struggle to pay their mortgages if interest rates were to rise by just 2%
22 June It appears that the market is softening as prices ease for units and apartments in particular due to the large number of completions that are about to occur. Analysts are also noting that first home buyers are staying out of the market until stamp duty changes come into effect next week in NSW and Victoria
15 June A residential tower block has been destroyed with the loss of many lives. It appears that the external cladding on the building may have contributed to the rapid spread of the fire. Multiple investigations are underway by UK authorities. In Australia, many buildings are now being inspected to ascertain if there is a similar risk.
10 April Westpac bank picks Real Estate Your Way as one of the 200 Businesses of Tomorrow.
05 March The Victorian state govt has announced a stamp duty cut for first home buyers in a bid to ease the housing affordability crisis
07 Feb Interest Rates remain on hold at historic low of 1.5% RBA announcement today contained cautionary notes on "considerable supply of apartments" expected to reach completion in next couple of years
31 Jan Media reports have speculated that the Federal Govt may be considering introducing capital gain tax on the family home. The expected revenue from such a measure would save the budget approx $60Billion pa according to Treasury annual reports
11 Jan The Victorian Govt has issued an options paper on residential renting laws. Submissions are invited from the public and close on 10 Feb 2017. More information on the options paper and how to submit feedback can be found here
06 Jan Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley has become embroiled in alleged abuse of parliamentary travel entitlements in relation to the purchase of an investment apartment property on the Gold Coast. The Minister has denied any misue of entitlements and has offered to repay the money.
15 Dec Interest rates: The US Federal Reserve has raised interest rates on the back of a stronger economic outlook for the US economy. This rate increase is expected to be the first of several in the coming 12 months. The impact is likely to be felt across the world with other central banks lifting their historically low rates which in turn may result in changes to home loans rates
28 Nov It is reported by ABC news that approx 30,000 Chinese property investors may be left scrambling to cover their Australian property investments as Chinese authorities crack down on on foreign investment lending and Australian Banks tighten their lending rules
24 Nov Negative gearing tax breaks have again been questioned as NSW planning minister calls for another look amid new claims that negative gearing distorts the market and makes it harder for first time buyers to enter the market
06 Oct A Melbourne real estate agent has been fined $330,000 for misleading and deceptive conduct in the sale of land. The penalty was imposed by Consumer affairs Victoria and includes additional compliance and public notification measures.
19 September The Victorian Govt has announced the lease of the Port of Melbourne for $9.7Billion. The lease will be for 50 years and the successful bidder is an international consortium comprising venture capital funds, the future fund and a Canadian pension fund.
07 September The Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) has released a report on foriegn ownership of agricultuaral land. The findings show that the United Kingdon tops the list. The report can be downloaded here
06 September In a VCAT case likely to cause considerable angst for body corporates, a renter has won the right to keep her dog despite it being against the body corporate rules
06 September The Reserve Bank has announced that official Interest rates remain on hold at record low of 1.5%
14 August The Victorian Govt has issued a consultation paper on new design standards for apartments following recent commentary and community concern. The consultation period closes on 19 Sept 2016
02 August Reserve Bank cuts official interest rates to 1.5% an all time low. The big 4 banks are being called upon by the Govt to pass on the rate cut in full to customers.
19 July Less than half of adults will be able to afford to own their own home in the next few years according to a report authored by Melbourne University. The HILDA report is a highly regarded survey of approximately 20,000 people across Australia
13 July The South Australian Govt has announced an extension of concessions to stamp duty payable on off the plan apartment purchases. More information here
08 July Brexit fall out: Some UK commercial property trusts are reported to be freezing redemptions. Investors trying to cash in their investments are worried about the long term effects on commercial property prices in the UK if large institutions move their European headquarters out of London
17 June In a pre-budget announcement the NSW govt has stated there will be a surcharge of 4% applied to foreign buyers of residential real estate effective from 21 June (budget day) for more details click here
07 June Interest rates to remain on hold at record low 1.75%. the RBA has just announced. For full details of the decision please click here
26 May Property developer Harry Triguboff now heads the BRW Rich 200 list for the first time with a reported wealth of $10.62 Billion. Other people at the top of list who have made their fortunes in real estate included shopping centre development tycoons Frank Lowy and John Gandel at 3rd and 5th place respectively
24 May The Victorian Govt is set to introduce new legislation to help property owners affected by unruly behaviour in adjacent short term accommodation. This appears to have been sparked by the massive rise in the number of properties listed on accommodation portals like Airbnb
22 May The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has announced new rules for property sales over $2M. The intent is to ensure that foreign resident meet their capital gains tax liabilities. More information here
03 May Lowest interest rates ever: The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has dropped the official cash rate to 1.75%
29 April Treasurer Scott Morrision has put a "preliminary" stop on sale of Australia's largest property on grounds that it "may be contrary to the national interest"
26 April "Negative gearing distorts investment decisions, makes housing markets more volatile and reduces home ownership" according to new report from Grattan Institute
15 April The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has indicated serious concern of over supply in residential apartments in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and increasingly in Perth in it's latest Financial Stability Review
29 March Victorian govt is offering 'voluntary purchase' to property owners who are directly impacted by the 'Sky Train' development proposals. This appears to have been an afterthought and likely to add substantial costs to the project budget. More information here
24 March Sub-standard Building Materials - investigation into a recent serious fire in a high rise residential property in Melbourne's Docklands area has reportedly pointed the finger of blame at the project Building Surveyor. It appears likely that there will be further enquiries and investigations into this matter
21 March The long term lease of the Port of Melbourne has reached the expressions of interest stage with a 50 year lease up for grabs the State Govt is relying on the proceeds to fund it's level crossing removal strategy
04 March The Victorian Govt has announced plans for an overhaul of laws relating underquoting by real estate agents. For more information click here
02 March The ACCC has issued an urgent safety warning regarding dangerous electrical cabling. For more information click here
14 Feb Negative gearing to be scrapped on NEW investments in exiting homes - new Labor party policy announced
11 January Capital Gains Tax on sale of family home: this idea has been floated again as a potential source of revenue for the Federal Government. Estimates of up to $46Billion in revenue have been suggested
16 December Foreign Investment In Residential Real Estate: The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has released information on new rules. More information here
11 December The Victorian Government has announced it will be setting up a new "one stop shop" for Building Disputes. It is anticipated this will be available via the Consumers Affairs - VIC. More to follow as it becomes available
01 December The Productivity Commision has released a new report Housing Decisions of Older Australians which makes recommendations on selling the family home to release equity in order to fund a more comfortable retirement.
24 November Housing affordability stress for rentals - a new report has found that some renters in NSW are paying up to 65% of their income to keep a roof over their heads and other States are not far behind
19 November Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison has blocked the sale of S Kidman and Co Limited to foreign interests on advice from the FIRB (Foreign Investment Review Board). The company owns a number of large cattle properties in South Australia, Western Australia, Queensland and The Northern Territory some of which are close to the Woomerra weapons range in outback South Australia. For more information click here
10 November Concerns over the importation of some building products containing asbestos materials have been raised in Federal parliament. Some are pointing the finger at the Border Protection force who monitor shipments of a wide range of products including building materials and other insulation type products. November is asbestos awareness month in QLD. For more info click here
20 October Reserve Bank (RBA ) latest report has noted that housing price inflation appears to have slowed a little in Sydney and Melbourne recently - but it's too early to tell whether the slowdown is only temporary
15 October Interest rates: Westpac bank announced late yesterday that it would be raising interest rates by 0.2% from the middle of next month. Many commentators are suggesting that other major banks are likely to follow
06 October Interest rates decision: The Reserve Bank of Australia has announced that the official cash rate remains on hold at 2.0%
22 September Thousands of residents in Melbourne have been issued with a letter advising their homes may be affected by the construction of the Melbourne Metro rail tunnel
07 September The International Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has raised concerns about Australian real estate potentially being used for money laundering purposes
28 August Global ratings agency Fitch says banks should be using lending stress tests that use interest rates closer to the long term average to ensure borrowers can cope with any rate rises
18 August Melbourne has been named the world's most liveable city for the fifth consecutive year
08 August Commonwealth Bank are reportedly set to introduce new lending restrictions for housing investment
27 July Top tier accounting firm KPMG has proposed the abolition of stamp duty in it's submission to the Federal Govt Tax reform White paper
21 July Australian housing market is set to experience oversupply conditions according to forecasts by BIS Shrapnel.
07 July The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has announced that official interest rates will remain on hold at 2.0%
26 June A Senate enquiry has been announced into the safety concerns around the importation and use of substandard building materials in Australia
23 June A phase out of stamp duty on commercial property in South Australia will commence in mid 2016
09 June Foreign real estate investors under investigation: Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey has reported that more foreign investors are under investigation for non-compliance with Australian residential property investment rules. Mr Hockey warned that the Australian Tax Office (ATO) is using it's highly sophisticated data matching capabilities to find property owners who have flouted the rules
05 June Housing Affordability: a new report from Property Council of Australia finds that poor planning is a major contributor
26 May Some international property developers may be granted discretionary exemptions by Victorian treasurer from overseas buyer tax rules
18 May The NSW Govt has released guidance for home and property owners on procedures for cleaning up hazardous materials after storms and floods.
06 May The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has announced that official interest rates will be lowered to 2.00%. This is a historic low level of interest rates and some commentators are questioning if it will add further fuel to an already hot real estate market
28 April A potentially very serious fire in a residential tower block in Nov 2014 has been linked to the external cladding material according to an investigation by the Melbourne Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) more details at this link
26 April The Victorian Environmental Assessment Council (VEAC) is conducting a statewide assessment of public land. Public submissions are invited and can be accessed via web page
21 April New market research from NAB shows that 20% of new property sales in NSW are purchased by foreign buyers
12 April The National Medical Health and Research Council (NMHRC) has called for research proposals into the potential effects of wind farms on human health
07 April The Reserve Bank (RBA) has announced that official cash interest rate will remain on hold at 2.25%
30 March Negative gearing is under the spotlight in a new Federal Govt discussion paper
20 March Concerns have been raised in the Melbourne Age newspaper, over the design quality of newly built apartments in the many new towers going up around the city of Melbourne. The claims are that they "too small, too dark and badly ventilated" according to a former planning advisor to the city council
16 March Sydney estate agents facing allegations of underquoting by NSW Fair trading
11 March The 'think tank' per capita has produced a new report that discusses the dilemma facing many ageing Australians - whether to stay in their own home - or not
06 March Foreign investors in Australian residential real estate have received a blunt warning as Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey forces the sale of a high profile Sydney property due to non compliance with oveseas investor rules
04 March The Port of Melbourne Authority has flagged potential rental increases of 750% to terminal operators which, if it proceeds at the proposed rates, would have significant flow on pricing effects for users
03 March The Reserve Bank (RBA) has surprised many commentators by leaving official interest rates on hold at 2.25%
02 March A new report from Core Logic RP Data has announced that Sydney and Melbourne house prices have risen by 13.7% and 7.4% year on year respectivley
26 Feb The Federal govt has announced the tightening of eligibility rules for foreign investment in agricultural land. The 'scrutiny threshold' has been reduced from $252M to just $15M effective from 1 March 2015. The ATO will also be establishing a register of foreign investors in agricultural land from 1 July 2015. In addition, a new set of rules and a tiered structure of "application fees" for residential foreign investment will be established
23 Feb The NSW State Govt is reported to be considering evicting drug dealers from public housing
17 February The Abbott Federal Gorvernment is again considering including the value of the value home in the age pension assets test
09 February Over 60 organizations representing the homeless have written to the govt expressing concern about funding cuts to this sector
03 February The Reserve Bank of Australia has cut official interest rates by 0.25% down to 2.25%
01February The new Victorian Labor Govt has announced plans to scrap the controversial resort development at Point Nepean national park
30 January Low inflation numbers are increasing speculation the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) may actually cut official interest rates next week
19 January Australian Housing is the third most expensive in the world behind South Africa and Brazil according to a new report from Fitch ratings. The study looked at 22 countries.
9 January Building approvals are up by 7.5% according to latest data from Australian Bureau of Statistics with most of the activity being for apartment dwellings
06 January Shameful : Returned veterans are an increasing proportion of the homeless due to lack of housing affordability and support services according to media reports today
17 December Reserve Bank of Australia has noted a slowing in aggregate housing price growth in it's latest monetary statement.
11 December The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has written to banks and other deposit taking institutions enforcing the need for sound residential mortgage lending practices. More at this link
2 December Reserve Bank keeps official interest rates on hold at 2.5%
29 November A massive hailstorm has caused extensive property damage in the Brisbane area. The Insurance Council of Australia has set up a hotline for property owners on 1800 734 621
27 The Federal Gvernment enquiry into foreign investment in residential real estate has hnded down it's report. Fact boxes and recommendations are contained in chapter 2 of the report
25 November Nightmare fire situation averted as hundreds of residents are evacuated in the early hours of the morning from a high rise apartment complex in Melbourne's Dockland precinct
17 November Real Estate Institute of Victoria to investigate privacy issues following the photo capture of a Mount Martha Resident sunbaking in her own back yard by a real estate drone.
14 November A new report released by NGO Prosper Australia indicates potential property hoarding by speculative investors. Based on the data obtained from several water utilities in the Melbourne Metropolitan area this report has identified a large number of properties where the water consumption has been zero or less than 50Litres per day
07 November The latest statement from the Reserve Bank of Australia has noted a rise in the number of owner occupied interest only loans
04 November The Reserve Bank of Australia has announced today that the official cash rate will remain at 2.5%
31 October ANZ bank announces record profit of $7.3Billion - up 15% on previous year
28 October Victorian Bayside Frankston City Council has announced a new 'priority planning' development application process process to boost regeneration of the city centre and commercial district and possibly other areas where there is a significant economic benefit
16 October Melbourne City Council has announced it will pay $76M for the acquisition of the Munro site adjacent to the Queen Victoria Market as a strategic move to enhance the long term future of the market precinct
07 October The Reserve Bank of Australia has announced today that the official cash rate will remain at 2.5%making this one of the longest low interest rate periods on record.
24 September Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) to increase focus on lending standards in face of strongly rising house prices particularly in Sydney and Melbourne by property investors.
22 September The Housing Industry Association (HIA) has claimed that negative gearing assists housing affordability for more details please click on this link
15 SeptemberThe Victorian Govt has announced a 50% stamp duty discount for eligible first home buyers more details are available at the media release here
07 September The QLD Govt is conducting a "once in a generation" review of Planning Legislation. The public consultation phase is closing on 26 September
02 September The Reserve Bank (RBA) has kept official interest rates on hold again at 2.5% despite noting that "the growth in dwelling prices continues."
25 August A leading international economist is reported in The Australian Financial Review that Australian house prices are 20-30% overvalued. Jeremy Lawson is Global Chief Economist for Standard Life a large British Fund Manager and former Reserve Bank Official.
15 August The NSW Govt has announced an independent investigation into the problem of loose filled asbestos insulation products that were used by a contractor known as "Mr Fluffy" during the 1960's and 1970's throughout NSW and ACT
05 August In a tragic event a NSW Environment Officer has been shot dead in a long running dispute over illegal land clearing in Croppa Creek. A 79 year old propery owner has been charged with murder
02 August The National median house price is now $555,000 with Sydney and Melbourne still experiencing strongest growth. House prices have risen by 5.1% across the nation year to date according to latest research from RPdata Rismark research
26 July The Victorian Govt has announced the launch of a new website for the sale of public land assets. To see more info click here
21 July A second Melbourne Council is set to oppose the construction of the troubled East West road link. The Yarra Council has announced it will join Supreme Court action initiated by Moreland Council to prevent the project going ahead
13 July Public Housing tenants in the Sydney Millers Point area are putting up a strong campaign against the NSW Govt's plan to remove them from the inner city suburb. Around 300 tenants, many of whom have lived in the public housing for more than 20 years are to be moved to alternative accommodation in order that the properties can be sold off. For more information click here
1 July Interest Rates On Hold Again: The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has announced today that the official cash rate will remain on hold at 2.5%. Amongst a range of international and domestic factors for the decision the RBA has stated that "Dwelling prices have increased significantly over the past year, though there have been some signs of a moderation in the pace of increase recently."
20 June Just under 99 per cent of Australian farm businesses are fully Australian owned and just under 90 per cent of farmland is fully Australian owned, according to figures released yesterday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
13 June Australian house prices to income ratio is now the third highest in the world according to a new report issued by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) lagging only Canada in second place and Belgium in first place.
03 June Interest Rates: The RBA (Reserve Bank) has kept official interest rate on hold again at 2.5%. The RBA statement today notes that "Dwelling prices have increased significantly over the past year, though there have been some signs of a moderation in the pace of increase recently"
31 May ASIC and the ATO is reported to be targeting loan schemes and commissions paid for purchase of investment property by Self Managed Super Funds (SMSF) to ensure they meet the regulations
19 May Community action groups at Victoria's Hanging Rock in the Macedon Ranges have sucessfully fought off a private resort development proposal for a 100 room accommodation and day spa in the area. Instead the area will be given a $1M 'care package' grant from the Victorian State Govt
05 May The Federal Government's National Commission of Audit recommendations contain some matters related to the family home (principal residence). If adopted, the value of the family home may be taken into consideration for assessing eligibility for the age pension. The recommendations can be seen at this link
22 April The Federal Government has announced that a second airport will be built a Badgerys Creek to the west of Sydney. This decision has been taken after numerous consultations and studies over almost 50 years and will cost $billions. There is likely to be considerable impact on surrounding property owners and businesses as the construction phase ramps up with massive infrastructure development. On the upside there will certainly be opportunities for commercial investors to capitalise on the new airport support systems such as warehousing and car parking
14 Apr Following on from the stoush between the trucking magnate Lindsay Fox and the local Portsea Community, the Victorian State Govt. has moved to close a legal loophole.
Development on beaches covered by a Public Conservation and Resource (PCR) Zone can only proceed with agreement by the State Government. This will cover a loophole that until now has allowed those who own private land within this zone to build permanent structures as of right. Planning Minister Matthew Guy has said “This reform is important to ensure that areas for public conservation are subject to public oversight, ensuring their enjoyment by future generations of Victorians"
27 Mar Reserve Bank Warning on House Prices: In the latest Housing Market section of the RBA Financial Stability Review, the Reserve Bank has sounded a note of caution about the recent trends in rising house prices stating "It will be important for both investors and owner-occupiers to understand that a cyclical upswing in housing prices when interest ratesare low cannot continue indefinitely, and they should therefore not base their decisions on anextrapolation of recent outcomes". This is RBA code speak for "be careful - house prices can go down as well as up"
20 Mar The NSW Govt has announced a consultation phase for the revitalization of Newcastle. The proposals include plans for up to 6,000 new homes and better transport infrastructure. The consultation website can be found at this link where you can see tha plans and have your say
04 Mar Interest rates on hold again The Reserve Bank of Australia has announced today that the official cash rate is on hold at 2.5% Welcome news for all mortgage holders and prospective purchasers
25 Feb The Victorian Government planning Minister Matthew Guy has today announced that he has approved the largest number of residential building permits in one day. There are to be 2,000 apartments in towers to be built in 5 separate locations around the city. For details see the media release here
17 Feb Billionaire trucking magnate Lindsay Fox has been reportedly granted an extension to the boundary of his property at the exclusive seaside town of Portsea according to an online article by the ABC. Mr Fox has long claimed his deed to the property grants him rights up to the high water mark which has fallen in recent years. The Victorian government planning Minister Mathew Guy says he has called for investigation into the matter
4 Feb The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has announced today that it has kept the official cash interest rate on hold at 2.5%. Amongst other factors in it's decision the RBA has concerns over weak labour demand and rising unemployment despite solid growth in the housing construction sector. For full details of the RBA media release click on this link
20 Jan Located on a prime site on the St Kilda foreshore, one of Melbourne's most recognised restaurants has been burnt to the ground. The Stokehouse was built on Crown land and now vigorous public debate is underway as to whether it should be replaced by another restaurant or a public building
16 Jan Internet giant Google has reportedly purchased a Thermostat and smoke detector company for over US$3Billion dollars. The company is called Nest and they manufacture a range of high technology products for use in the home that enhance energy saving and safety in the home. Watch this space for more news about this venture
06 Jan Latest house prices data from RPData-Rismark for the 2013 year have shown an average rise of almost 10% across most capital cities. This is the strongest price since 2009 and the combined capital city prices are now 3.5% higher that the previous peak
14 December The home of Australia's first female prime Minister Julia Gillard has sold at auction for $921,000 - more than $200,000 above the expected sale price. The house was in Altona in the Western Suburbs of Melbourne
09 December The NSW Dept of Fair Trading has released a comprehensive update on dealing with residential tenancy disputes including free dispute resolution service. For detailed information click on this link
4 December Interest rates remain on hold at 2.5% (lowest for 50 years). In his statement of 3rd Dec Reserve Bank Governor Glenn Stevens stated that "Housing and equity markets have strengthened further over recent months, trends which should in time be supportive of investment." As the RBA board does not meet in January due to the holiday season, the next announcement will be in Feb 2014. For full details of the statement click on this link
14 November The NSW Govt. has flagged comprehensive changes to the Strata and Community Title Laws with around 70 proposed changes. These reforms focus on improving the everyday things that people living in strata care about, including building a culture of community and cooperation and supporting democratic and accountable decision-making. Importantly, the reforms also seek to empower strata communities to chart their own future. The reforms follow an extensive consultation process which attracted more than 1,200 online comments and 1,900 written submissions. For more information on the review and to download the position paper, go to this link
05 November The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has decided to keep official interest rates on hold at 2.5%. For details of the statement please click on this link
21 October The Grattan Institute has released a research paper Renovating housing policy, which shows how government tax and welfare policies, by favouring homeowners and property investors over people who rent, are increasing the divide between Australians who own housing and those who do not.
09 October The Victorian State Govt has release it's 'Plan Melbourne' Strategy document for public comment. Comments close on 6 Dec 2013. To see how the new plan is likely to affect planning and development issues in your suburb click here to access the Plan Melbourne website and view the relevant detailed planning documents
26 September 156 out of 158 Parkville apartment owners affected by the construction of the new Melbourne East-West link have elected to sell their property back to the Victorian State Government at a reported cost of $90m
17 September According to the latest Reseve Bank minutes "Conditions in the housing sector had continued to improve in response to lower interest rates. Information to hand suggested that building activity had increased moderately in the June quarter and building approvals increased in July. Dwelling prices had increased further over recent months, to be 7 per cent above their trough in the middle of the previous year, auction clearance rates were noticeably higher than a year earlier and housing turnover had increased from relatively low levels. Overall, recent data and information from liaison were consistent with further recovery in the established housing market and moderate growth in dwelling investment."
13 September Apartment property owners who are affected by the construction of the new East-West link in Parkville Melbourne have been offered options by the State Govt. Sell now, sell within 90 days or keep the property. The options are subject to various conditions.
03 September The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has decided to keep official interest rates on hold at 2.5%. For details of the statement please click on this link
25 August A new expert panel has been formed to examine planning reform in South Australia more info can be found at this link
21 August Victorian Planning Minister Matthew Guy has reportedly settled out of court for $2M in relation to botched Phillip Island residential development
14 August Interest rates are at an all time low now. The choice of fixed vs variable home loans is discussed in this article from the Money Smart website
07 August Encouraging news for property owners and investors. Latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics indicates a positive trend in the value of finance for owner occupied housing commitments which rose by 1.5% in June 2013. Rises were also recorded in commitments for the purchase of established dwellings and for the purchase of new dwellings for full details visit the ABS page
27 July Capital city dwelling values are up by 3.0% over the first half of 2013 according to RPdata
16 July Details are emerging of the compulsory property acquisitions required to build the Melbourne East-West road link. At least 118 properties are in the current design zone and there may be more as the design develops. Details are available from the media release at this link
12July The Victorian Government is coming under pressure from unhappy land owners who are being asked to build their new homes to comply with new fire safety building regulations
3 July The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) announced yesterday that the official interest rate is on hold at 2.75%. Official interest rates are still at historically low levels and there is still room for further reductions. For the full statement from the RBA click on this link
24 June The end of financial year is fast approaching. If you have a rental or investment property have you got all your receipts for deductable expenses incurred? Visit the Australian Tax Office Website for more info.
19 June The NSW Government has announced it will extending its generous scheme for homebuyers of new properties (which was due to drop from $15,000 to $10,000 in 2014), for a further two years until January 2016. Details of the NSW Govt announcement are available here
09 June Australian Securities and Investment Commission have released a new reverse mortgage calculator tool on their Money Smart Website
30 May There are encouraging signs that the recent interest rate cuts are beginning to have some impact with the latest dwelling approval figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics showing a slight increase in April.
28 May News from New Zealand: Movie director Sir Peter Jackson has listed 2 mega apartments in New York for sale. If you have a spare $26M check them out on our Facebook page
15 May Budget News: The Government has announced in the budget that it is investing $112.4 million over four years in a trial program to support Age Pensioners and other pensioners over age pension age who want to downsize their home, without it immediately affecting their pension. Under the pension means testing rules, the value of the family home is not assessed and does not affect a person’s pension. This exemption means that many senior Australians stay in their family home, even though it may no longer be appropriate for them. This can also put pressure on the housing market. More details here
11 May International News: The UK Government has flagged the introduction of tough new laws to monitor the housing rental sector. The new legislation proposes to make private landlords accountable for monitoring the migration status of tenants in a bid to ensure that illegal immigrants are more visible to authorities. More detailed information on this is available at this link
07 May The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has today announced another 0.25% interest rate cut to the official cash rate bringing down now to 2.75%. The decisions given for the rate cut are explained by the Reserve Bank statement at this link
29 AprilThe Victorian Govt has announced significant changes to the First Home Buyers Grant. From 1 July 2013 the first home owners grant will be increased from $7,000 to $10,000 for homes under $750,000 but restricted to new dwelling constructions. First home buyers who buy established properties will still get relief of a 40% cut in stamp duty more detailed information is available at this link
22 Apr According to BIS Shrapnel’s Emerging Trends in Residential Market Demand report – which examines trends revealed by a detailed analysis of Census data from the last 20 years – the increasing propensity to live in multi-unit dwellings across all age groups in that period will continue to drive solid demand for units and apartments over the next decade, but the overall movement to apartments will stabilise.
10 Apr Strata Living is rapidly becoming more popular and the NSW Dept of Fair Trading have released a good information booklet about how it all works. The publication is available at this link
3 Apr The Reserve Bank has kept official interest rates on hold again at 3.00% stating once again 'Dwelling investment is slowly increasing, with rising dwelling prices and high rental yields'
25 Mar Australia’s peak mortgage industry body, the MFAA has cancelled the memberships of 1,100 mortgage brokers for failing to meet new education requirements. The terminated brokers failed to obtain a Diploma in Financial Services (Finance/Mortgage Broking Management) or equivalent qualification necessary to become MFAA Credit Advisers. More detailed information in this report from Property Observer Magazine
18 Mar Melbourne’s skyline will take a dramatic turn upward following the Victorian Coalition Government's approval of the Australia 108 tower. Standing at 108 storeys and 388 metres tall, Australia 108 will be 91 metres taller than the Eureka Tower and become the world’s 19th tallest building on completion.
5 Mar Reserve Bank keeps official cash interest rates on hold again at 3.00% stating 'Dwelling investment appears to be slowly increasing, with higher dwelling prices and rental yields'. For the full explanation check out the Reserve Bank statement at this link
19 Feb There are growing calls for an independent enquiry into the Australian Banking Sector. The big 4 banks are making massive annual profits by swallowing up the smaller regional based banks like St George. Credit Unions and non bank lenders such as Building Societies say that it is more than 17 years since an inquiry was held into the banking sector.
12 Feb The potential impact of the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast Property market is examined in some detail by respected real estate valuation experts Residex
5 Feb The Reserve Bank has decided to keep official interest rates on hold at 3.00%. Amongst the reasons given the RBA statement says ' there are indications of a prospective improvement in dwelling investment, with dwelling prices moving higher, rental yields increasing and building approvals higher than a year ago' For the full media release click here
1 Feb The latest real estate market reports for the December 2012 period have been released by Residex
5 Jan The insurance council of Australia has opened a hotline 1800 734 621 to help people affected by the Tasmanian bushfires who are not sure which insurer they are with, or who have general inquiries about the claims process. This media release explains more
17 December Aussie Home loans founder John Symond has sold down his shares in the business to Commonwealth Bank who will now own 80% of the business that Symond started. The deal is reported to be worth about $300 Million and Symond will stay on as Executive Chairman. The deal requires the approval of regulators but is expected to go through without difficulty. With this news the competition will further be reduced with news out this week that the big 4 banks have tightened their grip on the home loan market
27 November On 15 November the High Court unanimously allowed an appeal from two decisions of the Full Court of the Family Court of Australia concerning the settlement of property owned by a husband and wife. The High Court held that there was no basis to conclude that it was just and equitable to make an order altering interests in the marital property between them. The husband and wife married in 1971. In December 2008, the wife suffered a stroke and moved into full time residential care. She was later diagnosed with dementia. The summary judgement can be read in full at this link
22 November. The Victorian Govt has announced a plan to create a new suburb to the west of Melbourne. The intent is to create 50,000 new jobs and create 7,000 new dwellings. Click here to have your say on the new plan
19 November The Federal Govt has amended the immigration visa rules for migrant investors. These new new rules, which come into effect from 24 Nov 2012, make it easier for migrants to settle in Australia if they invest $5 million or more in Australian assets. From a real estate perspective it is likely to create an additional level of interest in Australian property funds and high end residential and commercial property. For more details on the new rules read more...
7 November The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has left official interest rates on hold at 3.25%. At it's meeting on the 6th November the RBA Governor Glenn Stevens announced that the housing market has strengthened. Full details of the RBA statement are available here
1 November The latest report from research firm RPData describes the housing market as 'delicately balanced'. The modest signs of recovery in house prices in capital cities over the last 4 months have suffered a set back
27 October The Victorian Government has released a new discussion report called 'Melbourne, Let's talk about the future' . This comprehensive report discusses a wide range of planning options for growth and housing needs including a prediction that Melbourne will need an extra million homes over the next 30 years. To see a copy of the report and a range of other info visit our downloads page
19 October Australian Treasury official Dr David Gruen is quoted in th Australian Financial Review as saying "we think there is a net undersupply in the housing market" So the prospects of a house price bubble are being carefully watched especially as we keep a close eye on the November RBA meeting for an indication of where interest rates are heading
11 October Real estate agents Kon Balasis and Victorian Realty Group Pty Ltd (VRG), operating as Century 21 Craigieburn, have been permanently disqualified from holding estate agents’ licences after breaking the law on trust accounts. Full details are available at this link from Consumer Affairs Victoria
8 October The NSW Dept of Fair Trading has released a Fraud Prevention Guide. These Guidelines have been issued by the Commissioner for Fair Trading and are intended to help real estate agents verify the identification of vendors when dealing with clients in order to prevent real estate fraud. However the guide is also very useful for vendors who want to sell their own property
2 OctoberReserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has surprised most of the economic pundits today by reducing the official cash rate to 3.25% For full details check out this statement from the RBA
26 September Flexible pricing options for electricity are being planned for Victorian consumers from mid 2013. If you have a 'smart' electricity meter you may be able to save money by adjusting your power usage to off peak times. Why do we have to wait until 2013 if the smart metering technology is already installed? More info at this link
18 September The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has released a report into a review of early termination fees for residential loans entered into before 1 July 2011. It discusses what it regards as unconscionable charges. New laws which came into effect on 1 July 2011 prohibit early termination fees for variable residential loans. Definitely worth a close read if you have been charged early termination fees
18 September A consultation discussion paper on law reform of Strata and Community schemes has been released by NSW Fair Trading. This is your chance to make your views known
11 September The Queensland budget was handed down today with first home home owners grants more than doubling from $7,000 to $15,000 see this media release for full details
10 September Interesting new report from the Grattan Institute recommends ways to make our new suburbs, shopping centres, buildings and homes more adaptable to change, without imposing undue burdens on current residents. The goal is to ensure that greenfield developments are flexible enough to become the successful suburbs of tomorrow.
4 September The Reserve Bank of Australia has left official interest rates on hold again at 3.50% stating that 'capital markets remain open to corporations and well-rated banks, and Australian banks have had no difficulty accessing funding, including on an unsecured basis' so why is that the big banks keep telling us that their cost of borrowing money are high so that's why they keep mortgage interest rates up?
2 September Check out this link for useful info on new Good Practice Protocols for retirement village operators and resident that has been released by the Consumer Affairs Victoria
23 August New legislation about water usage in certain types of rental properties has been introduced in Victoria. This is essential info for landlords and tenants from Consumer Affairs Vic
19 August An increasing number of home owners are having to raid their superannuation funds in order to pay their mortgage debt according to this article The Sunday Age newspaper
15 August Melbourne has been ranked as the World's most liveable city for the 2nd time in a row
13 August Enter our Facebook competition to win 2 Diamond tickets worth $620 to see George Michael Live at the Rod Laver Arena!
07 August Official interest rates remain on hold at 3.50%. The Governor of the Reserve Bank issued a statement today saying 'that as a result of the sequence of earlier decisions, monetary policy is easier than it was for most of 2011, with interest rates for borrowers a little below their medium-term averages. While it is too soon to see the full impact of those changes, dwelling prices have firmed a little over the past couple of months'.. see more at this link
02 August Confused? well you are not alone! The latest release from the Australian Bureau of Statistics seems to indicate that the property market may have bottomed out. The ABS also released the June quarter 2012 House Price Index. This quarter has seen houses rise in price for the first time since December quarter 2010.
31 July Private sector buidling approvals are down again according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics
24 July Residential Property Prospects 2012 – 2015 from BIS Shrapnel provides a comprehensive review and the outlook for residential property in each capital city and includes price forecasts for the regional areas of Cairns, Townsville, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Newcastle and Wollongong through to June 2015. Understand what is happening with the key fundamental drivers of demand and supply:
20 July Another earthquake hits Victoria. Only a month after the last event this new earthquake was felt in Melbourne but no damage has been done
11 July New planning zone controls are to be introduced in Victoria. Speaking on ABC radio today, the planning minister Matthew Guy said 'one size does not fit all' - What do you think about the proposals? - See attached media release for more details
29th June The Australian Tax Office has released a comprehensive guide for rental property owners the document is available at this link
20 June Last night's earthquake in the Melbourne area has left people looking up their insurance policies. The Insurance Council Australia is operating its disaster hotline − 1800 734 621 − to help affected residents who are not sure which insurer they are with, or who have general inquiries about the claims process. For further advice and the full media statement please click on this link
13 June The NSW government has announced a new package of incentives for first home buyers. Details of the elgibility criteria are available from theState Revenue office at this link
5 June The Reserve Bank Statement today on interest rates contains a number of reasons why they have reduced interest rates by 25 basis points "Housing prices had shown some signs of stabilising around the turn of the year, but have recently declined again." The media release of the statement is at this link....
29 May New home sales mounted a partial recovery in April following a very weak end to the first quarter of 2012, said the Housing Industry Association, the voice of Australia’s residential building industry.
HIA Chief Economist, Dr Harley Dale said an April lift in new home sales of both detached houses and multi-units was an imperative result.
18 MayThe number of properties up for sale has jumped by over 30% in Victoria and in ACT over the last 12 months. For a full picture of the number of properities for sale across Australia read this report from Property Observer magazine
6 May Safety issues have emerged following the Queensland floods for people doing home renovations. This article from ABC news is definitely worth a read for all home owners
1 May The Reserve Bank has cut the cash interest rate by 0.5%. This will bring some relief to home owners and business but will the big banks pass it on in full? Please let us know your thoughts on this.
26 April Australian house prices are unlikely to see a significant decline in value because of the suppy Vs demand imbalance in the Australian property market. The demand of up to 200,000 new homes per year is not able to be met and this is helping to keep house prices relatively stable. However the number of properties on the market has declined to it's lowest level for a number of years. Read more at this latest report from RPData research.
22 April Changes to the aged care system have just been announced that have implications for home owners and for the real estate industry generally. Australian's rapidly increasing elederly population will be a little better off with these changes aimed at keeping people in their own homes for longer. The changes are also expected to be means tested so the fine detail will emerge over the coming weeks. Watch this space for more information.
17 April According to respected ABC financial corresponent Peter Ryan, financial markets are pricing in a 90 per cent chance that the RBA will cut interest rates by 25 basis points at its May 1 meeting, with some economists tipping a more aggressive move of 50 basis points. What do you think?
14 April The ANZ bank has lifted it's interest rates independently of the Reserve Bank for the second time this year. Despite massive profits and savage job cuts across the banking sector the government seems powerless to intervene. We welcome your feedback on our facebook page
4 April Today the Reserve Bank announced that interest rates will remain on hold for now. The explanation is that Interest rates for borrowers remain close to their medium-term average. Credit growth remains modest. Housing prices have shown some signs of stabilising recently, after having declined for most of 2011, but generally the housing market remains soft.
29 March We are all into saving energy right? From the ABC Science team this article looks at how the use of home battery systems are being trialled to test battery technology. It's a bit technical but the basic idea is to save power and reduce reliance on coal fired power stations.
27 March Beat Lonliness with better housing design. This report from the Grattan Institute makes interesting reading in the Australian Financial Review as it explores the connection between housing design and social isolation.
24 March Please be careful and make sure you read the fine print before you list your property with anyone else. Real estate websites who advertise on google claiming 'Free Listing' on the large property portals are making misleading and deceptive claims. There is no such thing as a 'free lunch'. These websites are actually run by agents! You will only end up paying large sums of money in agent fees and commissions and you will still have to pay the large portals to advertise your property online.
21 March Australia's biggest losers - some areas of QLD property really taking a knock of up to 25% reduction. See this real estate report summary from RP Data that appeared in the online magazine Your Investment Property
15 March Slight encouragement on Housing Finance Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. In trend terms, the number of commitments for the purchase of established dwellings rose 0.9% and the number of commitments for the construction of dwellings rose 0.4%, while the number of commitments for the purchase of new dwellings was flat 0.0%. See latest report here
13 March The impacts of a natural disaster may affect the types of expenses you can claim and the income you need to report for your rental property. Check out this advice from the Australian Tax office
9 March Do you think a rate cut is back on the table? read this article from property obersver and then send us your thoughts on facebook
6 March From the horse's mouth - no it's not Black Caviar! it's Glenn Stevens Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia explaining why official interest rates are on hold - for now.
4 March A 7.2% decline in new home sales in January may give the RBA more to discuss when they meet this week to set interest rates, according to The Adviser.
29 February In this article from RP Data, an increase in first home buyer activity is anticipated for 2012.
27 February Oh dear! It just makes you wonder why they keep doing it and think they can get away with it? A well-known Cooma livestock and property agent has been jailed for an eight-month non-parole period after being found guilty of six offences of dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception involving the funds of his business clients. A statement of facts tendered to the court said that eight creditors suffered a total loss of $1,294,576. Check out this article for more info
24 February Aussie Loans Founder John Symond sees signs of life in the metro housing marketing for properties in the $600,000 to $650,000 range. Article
23 February The number of real estate agencies the NSW Office of Fair Trading has investigated for misusing trust account money has doubled in the space of a year, according to research highlighted in this Smart Company article.
21 February The Property Observer reports that homes priced between $300,000 and $400,000 recorded the highest volume of activity in 2011.
20 February Victoria's housing supply and demand imbalance continues to provide the property market with the prospect of upward pressure on prices and rents, according to this analyis in The Age.
18 February Agents are doing it tough with declining sales and margins and many are leaving the industry. Check out this article for more details. Well that simply confirms that we are on the right track! The whole nature of the real estate industry is rapidly moving towards a situation where consumers are much better informed and more and more are willing to do their own real estate marketing online with real estate your way.
17 February Celebrity property update! Nicole Kidman's NSW beach land has failed to sell at auction according to this report inProperty Observer
13 February The Australian property market is at a "tipping point" according to the industry experts quoted in this article from Smart Company.
13 February Home buyers now rank multiple bathrooms as a more essential feature of a house than lawns or even peace and quiet, according to this article in Property Observer.
11 February The property market in Victoria is stalled in a stand-off between buyers and sellers, according to this report in The Age.
8 February Real estate industry observer and commentator Michael Yardley discounts the "property bubble about to burst" as the biggest property myth of 2011.
6 February There are 154 capital city fringe suburbs where the median value of a house is less than $300,000, with half of these outside either Adelaide or Brisbane. Details in this Property Observer column.
2 February A report that mainland Chinese buyers have returned to buying inner city apartments is good news for the Sydney and Melbourne markets.
30 January According to this report from ANZ Bank, there is no Australian housing bubble.
28 January The carbon tax, which starts in July, is not expected to have much of an impact on the housing marketng, according to this analysis.
25 January The industrial property market appears to have stablised and a modest growth is forecasted for the current fiscal year, according to this article on the Smart Company website.
24 January Properties are taking longer to sell as stock articles hit record highs in some areas. Details in this Smart Company article.
21 January There is a growing divide between property values, with 43% of all Australian homes worth more than twice the original purchase price, but 5% now worth less than their purchase price. See other data from the latest RP Data Equity Report.
20 January Residential house price expectations are on the rise, but consumers are still pessimistic, according to this Smart Company article.
19 January The demand for rental properties is once again pushing rents higher. Details in this article in The Adviser.
14 January Here's an in-depth analysis of the latest Property Industry Confidence Survey. At the end of the article are links to PDFs of the commentary and various charts and data from the survey.
11 January Weak retail figures may lead to another RBA rate cut, according to this article in The Adviser.
10 January Building approvals for detached houses rose 4.9% in November, while approvals for other dwellings rose by 16.1%. Details in this The Adviser website article.
9 January New home sales rose nearly 7% in November, helped by declining interest rates. But industry experts warn there is more work to be done, in this SmartCompany article.
5 January The Queensland Office of Fair Trading has confirmed it will continue investigations into allegations that wealthy investors were duped into buying multi-million dollar properties on Mermaid Beach in an elaborate price-fixing scheme. Story
21 December The Housing Industry Association forecasts 141,000 new housing starts in the year ahead, a figure that is well below demand. Details in this SmartCompany article.
20 December Mortgage arrears declined in the September quarter, and recent interest rate cuts should provide more scope for improvement in 2012, according to this SmartCompany report.
15 December Housing Markets will recover in most capitals in 2012 according to Australian Property Monitors.
12 December First-time buyers help lieft the October mortgage lending figures, the fourth straight month of inceases. Details in this Property Observer article.
6 December The Australian Bankers Association has started a new website to help homeowners who are experiencing financial difficulty to contact their banks and figure out ways of obtaining some financial assistance. See this article in Smart Company.
30 November Thinking of buying off the plan? This article in Property Observer highlights three critical risks that should be considered.
25 November Consumers and businesses have been warned that anyone claiming to offer energy savings devices from the "Australian Electricity Commission" are not actually linked to government and any claims about the energy savings devices they promote are unsubstantiated. See this alert from Consumer Affairs Victoria.
18 November Office buildings need to be more bike-friendly to keep tenants happy, according to recent research from Colliers Internaitonal. This Property Observer report shows why bike racs are a key to securing office tenants.
13 November The Age reports that thousands of home owners are deciding to sell privately rather than risk the auction route.
12 November See the Australian Property Portal for property news, data, research and resources.
5 November The Australian Financial Review profiles places you can afford to live.
31 October The cost of renting has started escalating again, as shown with detailed statistics in this article on rental inflation.
26 October With consumer inflation at an anaemic 0.6% in the third quarter, and in line with expectations, expectations for a Melbourne Cup Day reduction in interest rates is rising, according to this SmartCompany report.
19 October Marketing Magazine reports that "women are pushing the property market forward" and that 87% search online for properties three times per week.
18 October Over two-thirds of lenders are now requiring a deposit of as little as 5% in an effort to kick-start a sluggish mortgage market.
17 October Home Loans Rise Again; Housing Steadies. Home loan approvals increased by 1.2% in August and the housing sector is stabilising as talk of an interest rate rise wanes according to this report in The Age.
12 October Sydney and Perth to see property price growth of 20% by 2014 according to a new report compiled by QBELenders Mortgage Insurance and highlighted in this article.
11 October Victorian home owners have lost more than $290 million over the past three years selling properties for less than what they paid for them, according to this HeraldSun report.
10 October ANZ expects two rate cuts by the Reserve Bank in the next six months according to this Property Observer report.
7 October Residential listings rose 5.6% in September, with Melbourne and Sydney recording the highest increases. Listings are now 24.2% higher than a year ago, according to SQM Research figures cited in this SmartCompany article.
30 September Housing Prices fall 0.4% in August with biggest declines in Perth (3.8% for the past quarter) and Canberra (1.7% for the past three months). Details in this SmartCompany article.