Saturday Summary – the most interesting property investment articles I’ve read this week (2013/03/02)

There are more property investment articles, commentaries and analyst reports on the Web every week than anyone could read in a month. Each Saturday morning I like to share some of the interesting ones I’ve read during the week.

Enjoy your weekend…and please forward to your friends by clicking a social link buttons on the left.

Identifying hidden problems with properties

Leading real estate agent John McGrath recently quoted a St George’s bank survey which found 55% of Australian home buyers discovered problems with their new homes after moving in.

Here’s a list of the top 10 problems buyers discovered, according to the survey.

  1. Plumbing problems – 28 per cent
  2. Poor TV reception – 23 per cent
  3. Bad mobile phone coverage – 20 per cent
  4. Noisy neighbours – 19 per cent
  5. Cracks in the walls or floors – 18 per cent
  6. High speed internet not available – 16 per cent
  7. Parking on the street is difficult – 10 per cent
  8. Rising damp – 8 per cent
  9. Future developments in the area – 8 per cent
  10. Insufficient parking onsite – 8 per cent

Read the complete list at Switzer

McGrath suggested buyers should watch out for:

  • Check the power board in the electricity box. If it’s relatively new (especially if it has a circuit breaker), that’s good. If the board is in original condition, it could indicate that the home is due for rewiring.
  • Sagging floors (check near fireplaces) or moving floorboards can indicate problems with the stumps or bearers.
  • Are the walls flat, straight and free of cracks? If not, the foundations might be shifting.
  • Dark stains around the skirting boards can indicate rising damp. That’s not necessarily a deal breaker, but you need to get it checked out.
  • Turn on a tap in the bathroom and check the water pressure (hot and cold). If it’s weak, there might be problems with the plumbing.
  • Is the roofline sagging? The trusses or the entire roof might need replacing.
  • Stains on the ceilings or rafters indicate there is a leak in the roof.
  • Is the underfloor area well-ventilated and free of signs of termites?
  • Are the foundations free of cracks? Cracked foundations can lead to uneven floors and cracks in walls
  • Is recent painting covering up a few defects?
  • Check your phone and internet reception, is it at full strength in all rooms?
What really drives property price growth?

Another great Real Estate Talk show  produced by Kevin Turner. If you don’t already subscribe to this excellent weekly Internet based radio show.

This week’s guests:
Michael Matusik sheds some light on properties and their location
Margaret Lomas– shares her growth driver strategy
Ken Raiss– talks about his experience with joint venture
Michael Yardney– explains why he is still confident about the 2013 property market

You should definitely subscribe to this weekly audio program. Click Here It’s free and you can listen on the go on your smartphone, iPad etc.

Economists say more rate cuts are needed.

It’s that time again – the beginning of the month when there will be lots of speculation about what the RBA will do with interest rates. Recently two bank economists gave their views in the Sydney Morning Herald explaining why we’ll need further rate cuts:

ANZ chief economist Warren Hogan said:

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) will need to cut the cash rate further in 2013 to boost underperforming sectors of the economy and stop the unemployment rate from moving higher.

He has forecast four interest rate cuts for the year, taking the cash rate, currently at 3.0 per cent, to 2.0 per cent.

Mr Hogan said inflation remained at the bottom end of the RBA’s two to three per cent target range, while jobs growth remained weak.

He said the economy was expected to struggle in the second half of 2013, once mining investment peaked.

National Australia Bank chief economist Robert Henderson said:

The continued high value of the Australian dollar had offset much of the effect of the 1.75 percentage points of interest rate cuts delivered by the RBA between November 2011 and December 2012.

‘‘The lower interest rates are helping things but we think they need to go lower,’’ he told the forum.‘‘I think the high currency is a real issue and the RBA needs to cut interest rates further in order to kick some real life into the rest of the economy.

‘‘We have three more rate cuts from the Reserve Bank that takes us back to more neutral levels.

‘‘We think the RBA is going to need to cut interest rates further, we’re not too fussed about the timing. We think they are going to come in the middle of the year and then later on.’’

10 trends to watch out for from the mining boom

Regular Property Update blogger Pete Wargent recently predicted 10 trends (both good and bad) to watch out for in the future in his Escape the Rat Race blog.

  1. Massive sustained population growth of new tax-payers to offset the ageing population
  2. Prolonged period of low interest rates as the RBA looks to stimulate a housing construction boom (to replace the hole left by falling mining construction capital)
  3. A tremendous and unprecedented spike in NIMBY-ism in privileged suburbs as construction approvals are sought
  4. Developers struggling to sell expensive new properties in outer suburbs and remote locations
  5. Investors and homebuyers contesting the same established housing stock – particularly that situated close to or in comfortable proximity to the four major capital cities
  6. Australian GDP growth attempting to claw its way back above 3% in 2014 after a lull
  7. Inflation ticking up due to stimulatory rate cuts and consumer sentiment improving
  8. With some luck, unemployment peaking at a lower level than feared
  9. Analysts begin to warn of a “stock price bubble” as yield stock PE ratios move in to the ‘teens’**
  10. An unforeseen event which impacts all of the above!

Read the complete blog here to find out the reasoning behind his predictions

12 great motivational quotes:

I enjoy reading motivational quotes. Do you? Here are a dozen from

  • “Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements.”- Napoleon Hill
  • “The key to success is to focus our conscious mind on things we desire not things we fear.”- Brian Tracy
  • “Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.”- Dale Carnegie
  • “Obstacles are necessary for success because in selling, as in all careers of importance, victory comes only after many struggles and countless defeats.”- Og Mandino
  • “A real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken a new action. If there’s no action, you haven’t truly decided.”- Tony Robbins
  • “If you can’t control your anger, you are as helpless as a city without walls waiting to be attacked.”- The Book of Proverbs
  • A mediocre person tells. A good person explains. A superior person demonstrates. A great person inspires others to see for themselves.”- Harvey Mackay
  • “Freedom, privileges, options, must constantly be exercised, even at the risk of inconvenience.”- Jack Vance
  • “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”- Jim Rohn
  • “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.”- Zig Ziglar
  • “The number of times I succeed is in direct proportion to the number of times I can fail and keep on trying.”- Tom Hopkins
  • “You have everything you need to build something far bigger than yourself.”- Seth Godin
Blogs you may have missed this week:

If you didn’t have a chance to read my daily blog, here’s a list of the blogs you missed this week:

Why counter-cyclical property investors win over the long haul

Melbourne house and land sales in big trouble

Regional markets a mixed bag through 2012

Where are our property markets heading? John Edwards from Residex speaks with Peter Switzer



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Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who help their clients grow, protect and pass on their wealth through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's once again been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and his opinions are regularly featured in the media. Visit

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