WEEKEND READS: Catch up on the most interesting articles I’ve read this week

There are more interesting 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 ones I’ve read during the week.

So enjoy for some weekend reading …and please forward to your friends by clicking the social link buttons on the left.

Australian Tax Office to target investment property owners in 2015

Domain reports that the Australian Tax Office is targeting the 1.8 million people – or about 8 per cent of the population – who own an investment property in 2015.

Investment property ownership throws up particular challenges for the ATO, both in making sure that they know exactly who owns what and also in making sure that taxpayers aren’t rorting the system.

Given that the amounts at stake are increasing every year, it’s not surprising the ATO is worrying about the loss of revenue.

Rental property owners should only claim for the periods the property is rented out or is genuinely available for rent. Periods of personal use cannot be claimed.

This is particularly important for holiday homes, where the ATO regularly finds evidence of home-owners claiming deductions for their holiday pad on the grounds that it is being rented out, when in reality the only people using it are the owners, their family and friends, often rent-free.

Importantly, the ATO now has access to numerous sources of third party data, including popular rental listing sites for both long term and holiday rentals, so it is relatively easy for them to establish if a claim that a property was “available for rent” is correct.

Buying off market properties | Buying a property with a tenant in place | 5 things tenants hate  | Finding a good builder plus more…

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

In this week’s show:

  • Michael Yardney will talk about whether to buy a property with a tenant in place or not
  • Shannon Davis outlines the 5 things tenants really hate
  • Ben Kingsley gives some tips on how to find properties before they hit the market
  • Brad Beer answers a question from Sonya who wants to know how reliable depreciation schedules are
  • Plus hear what a seasoned developer has to say about how to find a decent builder.

AFG record in May for mortgage lending

In his fantastic blog Pete Wargent analyses the Australian Finance Group (AFG) May 2015 mortgage figures, which have proved to be the biggest on record.

The group wrote 10,668 mortgages in the month (note that the index is not seasonally adjusted).


The total value of loans in the month broke $5 billion for the second time in May at $5,017 million.

The first time this barrier was broken was in March of this year.

3 reasons to live where you love and buy where you can afford

Switzer’s Penny Pryor writes that if you can’t afford to buy where you want to live, another option is to buy elsewhere and still rent in your preferred area.

Melbourne, Perth, Darwin and Canberra all have median house prices above half a million too. A 20% deposit on that amount is at least $100,000 and even half that is not an amount quickly amassed.

Here are some of the benefits:

1) It’s affordable

Firstly it was manageable. I didn’t have a Sydney loan of over half a million, which there was no way I could afford, and I was getting an income from my property which was pretty much covering the rent I was paying myself. I was also eligible for all the tax deductions that come with owning an investment property.

2) You can build equity that might enable you to buy where you love eventually

With interest rates as low as they are, you can really make a dent in an affordable mortgage.

It’s also particularly useful for building equity in your property if you do hope to eventually buy where you’re living.

3) Or it may turn out that you are able to live where you’ve bought

Any good property investor will tell you to know your market, and buy a property that suits that – i.e. don’t buy a unit in an area that is primarily young families.

Fake agent sells 23 properties

Real Estate Business reports on a Fair Trading NSW warning to consumers not to deal with an unlicensed agent who has been successfully selling real estate.

Fair Trading NSW said that Peter Franklin Atherton, who is based in the New South Wales town of Goulburn, has been operating without a licence.

His business, Franklin Real Estate, which trades as The Country Specialist, is also unlicensed, according to Fair Trading.

A search of Mr Atherton’s profile suggests he has sold 23 properties this financial year, including five in April and one in May.

Fair Trading said it launched an investigation into Mr Atherton following a consumer complaint.

Weekend video: ‪10 Mind Blowing Optical Illusions

This video has ten of the most mind blowing optical illusions.

They are so crazy that you would think that they were simply a trick of the camera or computer.

What makes these optical illusions extra special is the fact that they play with your perception using colors, angles, light, shapes, sizes, and more.

Blogs you may have missed this week:

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

The “Secret” to Property Investing Success

12 of the Most Unusual Tax Deductions Ever [Infographic]

Are Your Best Friends Making You Poor?

Young Australians falling into debt they can’t repay

Where is Australia’s new Millionaire Row?

How Goal Setting Really Works [VIDEO]



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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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