Local News

Tenants may be spared rental hikes this year, despite predictions demand for rental properties would soar in 2010.

New figures published by RP Data show average weekly house rent prices in Brisbane did not budge in the June quarter, remaining about $360.

Meanwhile, the median weekly rent price for units fell 1.4 per cent in the same time.

The RP Data rental review showed weekly advertised rents for houses have increased by just $10 on average across the country since June 2009.

For the June quarter, rental rate growth across the country was negligible, according to the report.

Canberra and Sydney were the only capital cities to record an increase in rents for houses, with median house rents increasing 2.1 per cent in Canberra and in Sydney 2.3 per cent.

There was no change in weekly rent prices over the past quarter for both houses and units in the remaining capital cities, including Brisbane.

Ms Pridham described the present rental market as being on an “even keel”.



“It’s not dead, but it’s not buoyant either,” she said.

RP Data research analyst Cameron Kusher said rent rises would be minimal over the next year, although landlords would be keen to regain the upper hand in the longer term.

“Landlords are likely to be reviewing rental rates to make up for an erosion of profits caused by higher interest rates,” he said.

But that will be a slow and steady process, Mr Kusher said.

“I wouldn’t expect to rises of more than $20 over the next six to 12 months,” he said.

The report contradicts predictions by Australian Property Monitors in January, which pointed to rapid rental growth in 2010.

APM’s rental report predicted median house rents in Brisbane would rise nearly $40 to approach $400 per week.

But Ms Pradhim said landlords would need to pare back their expectations, as rental demand had eased.

“Those that had over-inflated rents are getting caught out if the property is vacant at this time of year or in this market,” she said.

Story by Marissa Calligeros www.Brisbanetimes.com.au

Australia’s property market is recovering with vigour thanks to the strengthening employment sector, according to CB Richard Ellis.

The company’s executive director of research for the Pacific Region, Kevin Stanley, said the employment base in Australia had already recovered from the downturn with rates of growth now returning to trend.

According to Mr Stanley, the improvement in employment confidence will help buoy rental growth across the nation’s capital cities over the next 12 months.

“The one thing that stands out is the growth phase in employment, with Australia at least a year ahead of the rest of the world,” Mr Stanley said.


Mr Stanley said CBRE had brought forward its forecasts for rental growth by 12 months, with the spike in rents now expected to occur next year as opposed to 2012. CBRE’s revised forecast is for rental growth to average 6.7 per cent from 2010 to 2012.

CBRE has also forecast capital values in the Sydney CBD to grow by an average of 10 per cent per annum between 2010 and 2012.

“The income growth promise in Australia is the big motivator and while the market will continue to be dominated in the short term by equity investors we expect to see a gradual return of bank lending, with a very cautious letting off of the screws by the banks in the next few years,” Mr Stanley said.

Story from www.rebonline.com.au

When yours truly was on Seven’s Sunrise back in May it was acknowledged by both David Koch and myself that the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) would be unlikely to lift rates that day, with the knowledge that things were looking worse in Europe and there were already signs of a slowdown on housing here. We were wrong.

The RBA lifted rates that day by yet another quarter point to 4.5 per cent. At the time it was largely expected by economists.

However, I believe it was a serious mistake to lift cash rates; similar to the mistake made in 2008 when the RBA thought lifting rates was a prudent idea in the first half of that year.


Now, sure, the RBA board members do not have a crystal ball and can only go on present information at hand. So it was not to know of the events on Wall Street and in Europe later in the week (the so-called “flash crash”).

However, Europe had been simmering for some time before May and as each week had gone by in March, and then in April, the situation was becoming worse and worse.

Yet the RBA moved rates higher in May largely on the belief the housing market was still surging ahead. This belief was due to, among other factors, auction clearance rates.

But, as I have stated before, there has been an increasing number of passed-in auctions failing to make it into the official results and clearance rates.

The problem with this is that the RBA has been relying on auction clearance rates to get an indicator of the market. Naturally, to think that it may have lifted interest rates in May partly based on incorrect data is a disturbing thought.

Now, not much more than a month later, the banks are starting to cut their fixed rates. And banks only tend to do that when they are sure cash rates have peaked.



Even the real estate spruikers have been stating the housing market is slowing. You know the market is seriously slowing when they do that.

The positive news in all this is that the probability of further interest rate rises this year has all but been eliminated. And I believe the next move is actually going to be down.

That is because the RBA was lifting rates to stop a potential housing bubble. Now that risk has gone and, indeed, the risk has increased for house price falls, the RBA can accommodate a cut and will likely make a cut if Europe drags us down and/or house prices retreat.

The RBA will never admit it, but it made a mistake in May. And that’s why I believe the probabilities have risen that the next move will be down.

Louis Christopher is the managing director of SQM Research and the head of property at Adviser Edge.

The Reserve Bank has opted to keep interest rates steady at its board meeting today.
It was a widely expected move and will give mortgage holders another welcome breather from the six rate hikes they have endured since September last year.

“It looks as though the earlier interest rate hikes are already biting,” says Domain.com.au blogger Carolyn Boyd. “Auction clearance rates are down and house price growth is cooling. Real estate agents are also reporting there are less people looking to buy.”

Reserve Bank Interest Rate Announcement

Each 0.25 per cent interest rate rise adds another $50 to the monthly cost of an average mortgage. Australian mortgage holders are already paying about $300 more per month in repayments than they were in September last year.
Mortgage holders on variable interest rates are currently being charged about 7.4 per cent by their lenders.

The Reserve Bank of Australia decided to leave interest rates on hold at 4.5% in June as they observe the impact that recent rate rises are having on the Australian economy. This is particularly important as Europe tries to deal with its sovereign debt issues. The RBA is paying most attention to the health of the global economy and how it may impact Australia.

For the year to March 2010, the Australian economy showed solid growth, expanding by 2.7%. This is significant when compared to the small 0.7% growth in the previous year. Economists predict a positive outlook with growth forecast to be around 3.5% for the coming year.

Property clearance rates in Melbourne have certainly eased in the past few months from the mid to high 80’s to 65% at present. Stock levels are at a record high for the time of the year. Despite this, our Street News subscribers have indicated that property sales and prices are still strong and that buyer levels at opens are still very good.


Leading industry forecaster, BIS Shrapnel, predicts a modest growth in the Melbourne market over the next three years. “Price performance will be patchy, although we expect the overall shortage of dwellings will prevent a fall in the median house price. On the other hand, price growth will remain very limited due to the rising interest rate pressuring affordability.

Our forecast is for Melbourne’s median house price to rise by a total of 11 per cent over the three year period to June 2013, or a modest 3.5 per cent per annum”.

By Peter Sarmas, Managing Director, Street News

When June-quarter property prices are released in the next two months, it’s likely we’ll see house price growth down markedly from the rates we saw in March and December.

The figures probably won’t show falling prices but growth will be a lot closer to zero than it has been for more than a year.

That in itself would be an unusual result. The fall in housing finance figures compiled by the ABS has been steep and would normally suggest falling prices, not just a fall in the rate of growth.

Overall, the number of housing loans for owner occupation, excluding those for refinancing, is down more than 30 per cent year on year for NSW.

One reason the downward effect on house prices hasn’t been as pronounced as we’ve seen historically is that it was accompanied by a rise in the proportion of housing purchases not involving mortgages.


Or another way to think about it, the lack of a significant fall is partly due to a fall in the proportion of first home buyers, who recently have had a much greater propensity to use mortgages for their purchases.

The other reason is the increased level of investor activity, reported separately to the owner-occupied numbers that are usually considered to have the biggest link to prices.

Nationally, the value of loans taken out by investors is up nearly 30 per cent year on year, according to the ABS, and brokers and financing groups are reporting strong upswings in investor activity as the competition from first home buyers and upgraders continues to dissipate.

This has helped cushion the effect of the withdrawal of first home buyers and upgraders from the market as interest rate concerns dominate.

Matthew Bell is the economist for the Fairfax-owned Australian Property Monitors.

Your pets will always be aware that something new is happening. As with humans, your pets enjoy comfortable and familiar surroundings. Moving away from routines will increase the stress levels.

Quotify has an excellent site detailing some of the measures you should consider when moving with your pets. Among the main concerns are:

> Keeping pet routines regular.

> Ensuring animals are registered and have all their identification tags available – especially during the moving period in case they get lost.

> Have your pet checked by the vet before you move.

> Ensure your pet meets local laws and regulations if you have moved interstate – some states have curfews (and in some cases outright bans) for different animals.

> Make sure your pet is accustomed to its familiar surrounding such as bowls and toys, etc, soon after they have arrived at your new address.

If you’re travelling by car, ensure you have the correct size animal carrier for your pet.



> It’s a good idea not to feed pets substantial meals during the trip, but rather have snacks and plenty of water.

  • Incorporate breaks and exercise time for pets into the trip.
  • Take a litter box for cats and scoop and plastic bags for dogs.

> Dogs should be acclimatised to their new surroundings as soon as possible – take them for a walk to familiarise themselves.

> With cats, in particular, it is a good idea to leave one room where they feel completely at home and are not upset by the sight of packing boxes and furniture out of place.

> At a cat’s new location, it is likely to feel out of place for a while and may be happy being kept inside until it’s ready to venture forth.

  • A good solution is to leave the cat in cage outside to check its new surroundings – with you not far away of course.
  • Making sure your cat is allowed to look outside through windows is a good way of letting them acclimatise.

> Animals such as guinea pigs, mice, birds or reptiles, should be kept in their cages, covered and cool.

  • Ensure they have access to water as soon as you arrive at your location.

> You could consider rubbing a towel around your cat’s or dog’s body at your old address and rubbing this around prominent surfaces at your new address to ensure your pet gets a feeling of ‘home’ at its new location.

> Some companies might move pets – always ensure you have up to date vaccination and vet records.

Story by Alice M –realestate.com.au

Australia must do better in the supply of housing – a supply gap that could grow to 600,000 by 2028/29, Treasurer Wayne Swan has warned.

Mr Swan told a Property Council conference in Canberra that the National Housing Supply Council estimates the country’s housing stock is currently short of 178,400 dwellings.

“It seems that the supply of housing in Australia is not as responsive as it could be, and this has been the case for some time now,” Mr Swan said in a prepared speech on Monday.

He said reasons for this supply shortage were impediments created by various regulations, slow planning and zoning processes, and complex, uncertain and time-consuming systems for charging developers for infrastructure.

“In the worst-case scenario, it can take as long as 15 years to proceed from the identification of suitable land to a completed house,” Mr Swan said.

“We can do better than this.”

He said commonwealth and state treasuries and premiers’ departments were now fully engaged in the process of designing reforms to improve the operation of the housing market.

“I’m determined to see the Australian government play a role in reforming the housing market for the long term, embedding better practices in planning and zoning and developer charging,” he said.



Mr Swan reeled off a number of initiatives undertaken by the federal government in its efforts to improve the functioning of the housing market.

These included a $6.2 billion national affordable housing agreement with the states, $5.2 million of stimulus money to build more than 19,300 in public housing stock, and a $512 million housing affordability fund.

This is on top of a national rental affordability scheme that encourages institutional investors to deliver low-cost rental housing, the first-home saver account and a more generous first-home owners grant during the global financial crisis.

The government is also committed to $27.7 billion in urban and regional road infrastructure that will help support housing.

“These are all important steps and they will all contribute to improving the functioning of the Australian housing market and, in particular, the supply of low-cost housing,” he said.

Brisbane rentals a tenants' market 1

Rates are rising, some effects of the GFC still linger, and every day the newspapers have a different take on what Brisbane’s property market is doing. But let’s look at some of the hard facts.

  • Building Approval levels have dropped to low levels not seen since the 1980’s
  • Release rate of new stock and lack of competition is affecting prices
  • Still not enough homes being built in Queensland
  • South East Queensland saw a population increase of 75,000 in 2008-09 with a need for 30,000 homes, yet only 17,000 were built
  • Interstate migration has dropped only slightly in Queensland (Victoria now leading the way), but there is still a high number of people coming from overseas

Given these fact, I still believe the market is strong for sellers. The average days on market for houses in this area is 21 days, which also speaks volumes.


The other day I had a lady yelling at me because I still had not found her perfect home. I told her to sell her a home I had to literally wait until the owner was ready to move. I could just got to the wholesaler and buy her one off the shelf. Sellers are holding on – nothing I do can force people to sell – no use yelling at the agent because we have no stock on our shelf.

The latest figures out show that the property prices have remained stoicaly steady and that confidence within the market place is improving.  After a turbulent year this is good news for many sellers, buyers and agents.

Only today I received a call from an investor, looking to purchase property in McDowall, he is withdrawing monies from the banks as the returns are negligable.  To quote him directly  “putting it in bricks and morter something I can touch and feel and won’t disappear into the big balck hole”.

Bank Valuations are going down down down

Having said this the bank valuers are being still very very cautious when carrying out valuations.  Only yesterday a contract crashed due to valuation i.e. the valuation was less than the contract price.  Within two hours we had a second contract on the same property for the same price.

Don’t the buyers set the value?  Interesting times!