Weekend reads – Must read articles from the last 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.

The weekend will be over before you know it, so enjoy some weekend reading.

Melbourne auctions: Buyers and sellers prepare for biggest weekend of the year so far

This weekend is set to be best auction week yet in Melbourne for 2019.

According to an article on Domain.com.au 919 homes are set to go under the hammer.

Melbourne’s auction market is picking up, with this weekend set to see the highest volume of homes go under the hammer for the year so far.

There are 919 auctions listed for Saturday, beating the year’s previous high point of 900 auctions held on the weekend of February 23, Domainfigures show. Propertyupdate Victorian Property Melbourne

Agents, buyers and sellers are readying themselves for a busy weekend before the AFL Grand Final public holiday next week, which will see a big drop in the number of homes going under the hammer.

While the weekend’s figures are well up on previous months, they are still far from spring “Super Saturday” levels as the market begins to recover from its recent downturn. On the same weekend last year, 1029 auctions were scheduled.

Domain economist Trent Wiltshire said while numbers were down, auction volumes were returning to more normal levels in spring.

“Throughout winter, Saturday auction numbers were typically 20 to 30 per cent below a year ago,” Mr Wiltshire said.

“The number of auctions this Saturday is still 11 per cent below the comparable Saturday last year, but they are rising, and the gap is closing.”

The drop in listings follows a tumultuous time in the Melbourne market which saw the biggest price falls since the 1980s.

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As the market begins to recover, homeowners have continued to hold back from selling, waiting to see whether prices will rebound to boom-time levels of late 2017.

Melbourne’s median house price peaked at $909,609 before experiencing 18 months of falls. Prices began to recover in the June quarter, up 0.3 per cent to $818,237.

Despite these price falls, auction numbers remained strong throughout 2018 with 1010 auctions held on December 8 last year, the last time more than 1000 auctions were held in a weekend.

Recent weeks have seen a string of top results, including a Port Melbourne apartment that sold for $1.54 million over vendor expectations. melbourne

Agents now say auction numbers for October are looking up, putting a spring back into sellers’ steps.

Russell Cambridge, director and auctioneer with Biggin & Scott Richmond, said he had adopted a mantra for the current market, which has fewer properties listed in spring.

“I keep saying that clearance rates are up, sale prices are up,” he said. “It’s a good time to sell.”

Last year, Richmond was one of the suburbs with the largest number of auctions over the super spring weekend.

While numbers were down this year, more houses were coming onto the market in the inner suburbs, Mr Cambridge said.

Two three-bedroom homes are going under the hammer in the next few weeks at 12 Malleson Street and 37 Highett Street in Richmond.

In Doncaster and surrounding suburbs including Templestowe, Balwyn North and Box Hill North there are 28 auctions scheduled for Saturday.

Read the full article here

Glitch in the matrix

What is the REAL number when it comes to our population growth?

This Blog by Pete Wargen looks at the statistics.

Population growth still ~400,000 Australian Population

Australia’s estimated population growth ostensibly ‘slowed’ to +119,000 in the first quarter of 2019, apparently bringing the annual pace down to +389,000.

However, upon closer inspection this was partly due to further processing delays for births in Victoria, which accordingly reduced estimates of the natural population increase.

For all the noises about slowing permanent migration to Australia, including ‘temporary’ migrants net overseas migration actually accelerated again to +250,000 over the year to March 2019.

Some clever sleight of hand there, though I doubt the congested capital city electorate is too much fooled!


Net overseas migration shifted a little more towards Queensland and Western Australia over the year to March, despite being still heavily dominated by immigration to Greater Sydney and Greater Melbourne.

Read the full article here

Chinese buyers are getting ready to flock back into Australia’s ‘cheap’ property market – with one city emerging as their clear favourite

It looks like Chinese buyers are returning to the Australian market.

An article on Business Insider reports on which city seems to be the favourite.

Of the 1.2 million Chinese tourists visiting Australia every year, as many as a quarter could be looking to buy a property here, a new study has suggested.

As many as 27% of mainland Chinese said they would be shopping for a property on their next overseas holiday, according to a survey by property portal Juwai. china-real-estate

Of those, Australia is their number one international destination to buy, as rocketing enquiries set up a possible resurgence in foreign buyer activity.

“Chinese buyer enquiries have posted two consecutive quarters of year-on-year growth for the first time since 2016,” the report said.

“In the first quarter, Chinese demand was up 40% compared to a year earlier.

That followed a 54% gain in the fourth quarter.”

While those figures are imposing, bear in mind they are coming off a very low base.

As property prices fell in 2017, so did Chinese interest.

Now with stability returning, so too are the buyers.

Chinese buyers overwhelming Melbourne property over other capital cities 27938026_l

As they begin to consider a return to Australian shores, however, one city is shining brighter than the rest.

“Melbourne is the most popular city for Chinese buying enquiries in Australia.

Chinese buyers make 83% more enquiries about acquiring Melbourne property than they do Sydney,” the survey noted.

In fact, more than four in 10 buyers rank Melbourne as their top Australian destination, compared to less than a quarter for Sydney.

Brisbane is also quickly climbing the ladder claiming more than 10% of the Chinese market.

However, there’s a number of smaller further afield destinations that Chinese are increasingly looking to buy.

“The fastest-growing cities, in terms of Chinese buyer interest, are Hobart, Brisbane, and Canberra,” the report said.Chinese currency

Of those, Hobart is convincingly leading the pack, experiencing 77% more enquiries than the year prior.

A perfect storm is driving Chinese interest in Australian property

The reasons for it though are many, according to Juwai, which points to China’s relaxation of controls designed to keep money in the country as a major factor.

“The reduction of China’s regime of capital controls provides the biggest opportunity by far to boost Chinese investment in Australian residential real estate,” it said, quoting a May survey which found the majority of real estate pundits shared that sentiment.

“Other factors that could significantly boost Chinese demand are the reduction of foreign buyer taxes in the various Australian states and the return of the Australian home market to positive price growth.”

Read the full article here

Sydney house sales resurge as political stability returns confidence in property market

It’s good news for Sydney’s property market!

This article from Abc.net.au shows that there is a sales resurge and a return to confidence.

Sydney’s resurgent property market will boost those looking to upgrade, but the outlook is bleak for first home buyers, according to real estate agents.

On Monday, CoreLogic’s monthly home value index showed a 1.6 per cent rise in the price of dwellings in Sydney, twice the national average.

Sydney real estate agents said while the number of available properties was thinning, there was no shortage of potential buyers. Sydney+suburbs

Since May, several factors have contributed to property prices rising and a return of confidence for homebuyers and sellers alike.

The Royal Commission into the banking sector concluded, resulting in an easing of lending criteria and expediated pre-approvals for potential first-time home buyers.

Political stability has also played a significant role, particularly on the higher-end of the property market, according to analysts and real estate agents who have reported an upswing in sales.

“Since the [federal election], there’s certainly a lot more confidence and there are more homes hitting the market,” said Paul Biller, Principal of Biller Property in Double Bay.

“Still [it’s] not as many as we’d like, particularly for the time of the year — however, whatever is on the market is selling very well.”

Mr Biller, who typically deals with Sydney eastern suburb homes valued between $5 million and $15 million, said the apprehension of sellers had faded in recent months.

The “unexpected” Morrison government win in May had eased concerns about potential changes in lending policies and investment rules, he said. Future Sydney Scenarios

Jackie Williams, a senior property associate at Warwick Williams Real Estate in Sydney’s inner west, said overwhelming demand by buyers prompted her to move one auction forward by 10 days.

“Certainly in our area, we’ve reached a steady level and now people feel quite happy entering the market, knowing what they should be paying,” she said.

“Prices aren’t falling as we felt they were for the last 12 months, so they’ve got the confidence that when they put their property on the market they’ll achieve a certain level.”

Ms Williams said the volume of sales had tripled since this time last year, but the volume of properties available across Sydney had dropped by about 33 per cent.

“If anything, there’s a lot more demand than there is supply,” she said.

However, Sydneysiders are being warned to temper their expectations and to not expect house prices to increase 1.6 per cent every month.

“Values in Sydney are still down about 13.3 per cent from their peak, so that’s important to consider,” said CoreLogic’s Cameron Kusher.

Read the full article here

You can stay at the real Downton Abbey home, Highclere Castle, for just $275

Fans of Downton Abbey are set for a treat.

This article from New.com.au looks at the experience fans can have for only $275.

Downton Abbey fans can get the royal treatment at Highclere Castle, the filming location for the show, for the first time ever.

Fans of Downton Abbey will be able to stay at Highclere Castle, the filming location for the show, for the first time ever.

Even better, the incredible experience includes cocktails in the saloon before a three-course dinner in the famous dining room.

The one-night-only experience has been made available to celebrate the launch of the new Downton Abbey film, according to The Sun.

This is your chance to find out what Highclere Castle is really like inside. Picture: iStock
Picture: iStockSource:istock

This is your chance to find out what Highclere Castle is really like inside.

You could be kicking up your heels right here. Picture: Supplied

You could be kicking up your heels right here.

And discover your inner Tom Branson.

And discover your inner Tom Branson.

Only one lucky couple will be able to book the stay at the estate — located 8km south of Newbury in Berkshire — on November 26, which will cost £150 ($275).

They will get treated like royalty during their stay, which starts with cocktails in the saloon — just as the Crawley family enjoys in the hit show.

It will then be followed by a traditional three-course dinner in the State Dining Room.

While you won’t meet Carson, the dinner service will be overseen by the castle’s butler.

Afterwards, you will enjoy coffee in the Library.

Guests will even sleep in one of the grand bedrooms inside the historic property, although the organisers haven’t revealed which one yet

Harewood House. Picture: Thomas Heaton / Supplied

In the morning, you will enjoy a delicious breakfast before exploring Highclere Castle’s extensive grounds.

The giant estate includes 5,000 acres of land and members of the public can explore the castle and gardens during certain periods of the year.

The historic 11-bed manor comes with servant quarters and room for entertaining the upper classes.

Much of the exterior shots of Downton Abbey and most of the interiors are filmed at Highclere Castle

Read the full article here
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