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The latest housing finance figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reflect flat lending activity for housing suggesting that the heat is coming out of the housing market.

The Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) says the figures for May 2015 show, in trend terms, that the number of owner-occupied finance commitments fell by 0.2 per cent. This fall follows nine consecutive months of increases through to March. If refinancing is excluded, in trend terms for May, the number of owner-occupied finance commitments fell by 0.9 per cent.

REIA President, Neville Sanders says, “Decreases were recorded in all states and territories except for South Australia, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory. The Northern Territory had the largest increase of 0.9 per cent. The largest decrease was recorded in Tasmania – down 1.1 per cent.”

“In trend terms, the number of new dwellings purchase commitments increased by 1.1 per cent while new dwelling construction decreased by 0.6 per cent and the purchase of established dwellings decreased by 0.2 per cent. The value of investment housing commitments again increased -by 1.1 per cent.”

“The proportion of first home buyers, as part of the total owner-occupied housing finance commitments, increased marginally to 15.9 per cent compared to 15.8 per cent in April and follows the March figure of 15.7 per cent which was the lowest since July 2004.”

“The lending figures indicate a market that is moderating with May 2015 being the fourteenth consecutive month of modest drops in lending levels if refinancing is excluded.”

“The moderating housing lending suggest any concerns of an over heating property market should be laid to rest and also allay fears of an imminent bubble,” concluded Mr Sanders.

Story source: www.reia.asn.au

They’re exciting, they’re fun to watch, and the results usually look incredible. What’s not to like about home reno TV shows?

Well, for one thing, they often gloss over the most important aspect of renovating a home.

If you’ve caught the itch and are thinking about making some improvements to your home, make sure you aren’t overlooking this one major factor.

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The Australian Greens push to remove negative gearing would make housing affordability worse, economists say.

Discouraging investment in property would reduce supply of new housing and increase rents.

“There’s no doubt if an existing benefit is taken away then landlords would logically recover that by putting up rents and that would be particularly so in markets where there are tight vacancy rates,” Domain Group senior economist Andrew Wilson says.

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As the cost of housing within the inner-city of Australia’s capitals continues to rise, potential buyers are looking further afield to get into the property market.

Middle ring suburbs – those within 10-20km from the city centre – are proving an attractive option for many. These established suburbs often offer greater amenities than those suburbs located further out from the CBD.

Middle-ring suburbs typically offer more affordable housing than the inner-city suburbs. Buyers may also find larger lot sizes for houses and a lower density unit landscape.

While overall amenity may not be as significant as within the inner 10km ring, because they are well established suburbs and still close to the city centre they are typically well catered for with regards to amenities and infrastructure.

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The cost of constructing a new building in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane is comparable, so why is there such a dramatic difference in the price of apartments?

By mandating minimum apartment sizes in Sydney after the implementation of the SEPP 65, the result was an increase in the number of bright, large, luxurious apartments, absolutely – but only for those who could afford to live in them.

Developers immediately lost out on yield in their proposed developments and delivering projects simply became too expensive. This drove down supply and as a result, drove up prices to an unsustainable level.

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When selling your home, getting the best result comes down to two things: how much you spend on the sale, and how much you make.

Here at Madeleine Hicks Real Estate, we’re often asked why it’s worthwhile using an agent, so to answer this question we’ve put together a short summary of what goes into selling a home.

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MORE than one million Australians are now embracing negative gearing to the tune of an $8 billion annual tax break.

But according to new research by the Australia Institute think tank, its use has spread from traditional Liberal seats to “battler” suburbs held by Labor, The Australian reports.

The single biggest group of people using negative gearing live in the Labor heartland of Canberra, including 18,200 voters in the electorate held by opposition assistant Treasury spokesman Andrew Leigh.

The heaviest users, however live in government electorates held by Tony Abbott and cabinet ministers including Joe Hockey and Malcolm Turnbull.

The report highlights the political challenge now facing both parties in any attempt to wind back negative gearing and an associated tax break on capital gains.

Who is really taking advantage of negative gearing

“People in Liberal Party seats on average were likely to get the largest benefit from negative gearing,” said Australia Institute senior economist Matt Grudnoff told The Australian.

“Those in Labor seats were second and significantly further back are those in Nationals seats.”

The research was conducted using calculations by the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling, which matched postcode data from Australian Taxation Office statistics with electorates.

According to the research, more than half of the tax breaks by dollar value go to households in the top 10 per cent of the country when ranked by income.

Grattan Institute chief executive John Daley said: “Most of the benefits in financial terms and most of the cost to the government goes to high-income earners. The idea that you keep negative gearing to look after middle Australia, given where the cost goes, is bizarre.”

Story source: www.theaustralian.com.au

9 ways to have a stress free auction day. A successful house auction doesn’t necessarily mean that the hammer drops on a bid worth twice as much as the reserve.

Although that would obviously be an excellent outcome, it’s important to remember that a successful auction can mean more than simply selling your property for a good price. If the auction has created unnecessary tension in your life or if you’ve been stressed through out the process, there aren’t too many people that would classify that auction as a success.

House auctions are about more than just the money so here are 9 ways to have a stress free house auction.

1. Do your research

Before you put your house up for auction it’s important that you’re at least a little bit familiar with the industry. Go to other house auctions, ask questions of the agents and most importantly have a few conversations with the bidders. House auctions are something most people will rarely participate in, so it’s difficult to acquire organic experience in this area. This is why it’s so important to get out in the field and learn as much as you can before your own auction. The industry changes every few years so even if you went through an auction ten years ago, it’s still worthwhile to attend upcoming auctions to see what’s happening in the space. 9 ways to have a stress free auction day.

Attend upcoming auctions before your own to get a feel of the space.

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Have you thought about what you might be able to get for your home, or dreamt of the possible opportunities that could open up if you released the funds tied up in it?

If not, perhaps give it a try. Most people only ever put their homes up for sale when something changes in their life (kids, jobs, spouses, etc.) – this means that they don’t want to sell, but they need to sell. Which isn’t ideal.

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