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.

Most in-demand suburbs of 2018

As we wrap up another year – it’s always interesting to see where the most in demand properties are.

This article from realestate.com.au looks at the best performing suburbs for 2018.

New Year 2018 Trends On Blackboard Sign And Green Plant On Wood Table At Brick Wall.business Plan For Next Year.

As 2018 comes to a close, some Australian suburbs have emerged as hot property, while demand for others dwindled.

So, which suburbs did buyers have their eyes on?

By analysing views per listing on realestate.com.au, we have found the most popular Australian suburbs of the year – with five of the top 10 found in Melbourne.

Australia’s 10 most in-demand suburbs for 2018:

  1. Albert Park, VIC (10,087 views per listing)  Sydney+suburbs
  2. Hawthorn, VIC (9,667)
  3. Freshwater, NSW (9,652)
  4. Stirling, SA (8,973)
  5. West Hobart, TAS (8,925)
  6. Parkside, SA (8,546)
  7. Fitzroy North, VIC (8,504)
  8. Unley, SA (8,376)
  9. Red Hill, VIC (8,176)
  10. Warrandyte, VIC (8,158)

Here are the most in-demand suburbs by state:

Kaleen, ACT

In the Belconnen district of Canberra, Kaleen attracted 1,867 views per listing.

Older couples and families tend to make up the highest demographic in this suburb where the median house price is $735,750.

While many other suburbs came close, including Macgregor and O’Connor, the buying market had their sights set on Kaleen in 2018.

39 Delegate Street in Kaleen. Picture: www.realestate.com.au/buy

Freshwater, NSW

Buyers were scrambling to buy in Freshwater where we recorded 9,652 views per listing.

The northern suburb of Sydney offers a quieter waterside lifestyle to other hotspots like Bondi and Coogee.

This stunning home in Freshwater is currently on the market. Picture: www.realestate.com.au/buy

Nightcliff, NT

Nightcliff in the Northern Territory attracted a median of 1,789 views per listing, which is the highest in the state.

Close to the water with good schools and neighbourhood amenities, Nightcliff is popular for a good reason.

8/12 Poinciana Street, Nightcliff is the perfect lofty home for those seeking a waterside lifestyle. Picture: www.realestate.com.au/buy

Paddington, QLD

Queensland buyers can’t get enough of the Brisbane suburb of Paddington where a house will receive up to 4,884 views per listing.

It’s largely made up of an independent youth demographic and many renovators love to take on a project in this area, which has vintage appeal with classic Queenslanders and worker’s cottages galore.

26 Armstrong Terrace, Paddington is currently on the market for over $1,049,000. Picture: www.realestate.com.au/buy

Stirling, SA

Home buyers keep coming back to Stirling. This year, the Adelaide Hills suburb received 8,073 views per listing.

This blue-chip suburb attracts established families and city professionals who would be paying a median of $726,250 for a house.

Leafy streets and a close commute to Adelaide CBD – what more do you need?

4 Gould Road, Stirling is on the market with a beautiful outdoor setting for its new owners. Picture: www.realestate.com.au/buy

West Hobart, TAS

West Hobart appears to be the cool kid on the block this year with 8,925 views per listing.

The suburb has a real community vibe and is walking distance to downtown.

99 Arthur Street is an example of one of the homes on the market, which buyers would be swooning for.

99 Arthur Street in West Hobart will already have a lot of eyes on it. Picture: www.realestate.com.au/buy

Albert Park, VIC

Albert Park was Australia’s most in-demand suburb for 2018 with 10,087 views per listing.

This bayside Melbourne suburb is ideal for young families and mature singles wanting the best of city life while being close to the water.

Albert Park is a hot attraction, especially during the Grand Prix, and there’s a wide selection of cafes, restaurants and bars to sample.

This period beauty at 121 Richardson St, Albert Park, has had a complete transformation to turn it into a luxurious dream home.

Shenton Park, WA

Buyers are looking at Shenton Park in Western Australia, with a median of 4,147 views per listing.

Older couples and families make up the largest proportion of this suburb’s population – unsurprising, as you’ll need a fair bit of cash for the median house price of $1,215,000.

Read the full article here

Aussie property prices deflate -1.9pc over the year

Results show that Australian property prices continue to fall.

This Blog by Pete Wargent looks at what’s really going on.

Home prices fall in Q3 House Prices Down

The ABS released its residential property price indexes this morning.

The indexes showed capital city prices down by -1.9 per cent over the year to September 2018.

Dragging back the data series all the way back to their inception in 2003 you can see that – with Melbourne prices down by -2.6 per cent in Q3 2018 – surprise package Hobart is set to take the mantle of strongest performer over the full history of the data series.

That may seem an unlikely outcome, but there is more interstate and international capital around these days – especially from China – and Hobart has been relatively affordable until recently.

Asian tourism is firing in Tassie, and the lower dollar has helped to turn around the exporting economy. 


Indexed housing market price changes in Brisbane and Adelaide continue to track each other remarkably closely in recording modest price growth, and there was also solid growth in Canberra over the year to September (+3.7 per cent).

A significant decline over the year was again recorded in deflationary Darwin at -4.5 per cent.

Looking at the chart from 2003 to 2018 by capital city the most striking observation is just how similar price growth has been, despite the divergence of the resources capitals through the mining boom years (I’ve posted a few charts here – you can click on them to expand).


Read the full article here

Reserve Bank says rate cuts and QE possible as Australian housing enters ‘uncharted territory’

For the last time in 2018, the interest rate announcement showed no shift – but could that potentially change?

According to an article on ABC News talks of a further interest cut is not off the table.

For many months the Reserve Bank has told us the next move in interest rates is likely to be up, albeit not for some time.

But, in a speech to a business economists’ dinner on Thursday night, not only did the bank’s deputy governor say further rate cuts were possible, but also that the RBA could engage in quantitative easing (known as QE) — like the US Federal Reserve did to assist the recovery from the global financial crisis — if it was needed. Reserve Bank Of Australia

Guy Debelle’s comments came a day after surprisingly weak GDP figures showed a notable slowdown in Australia’s economy during the third quarter.

This data has caused many economists — a lot of whom were at the dinner Dr Debelle was addressing — to question the Reserve Bank’s economic growth forecasts and its hope to raise interest rates.

On Thursday night the RBA’s second-in-command himself threw a fair degree of doubt on Australia’s economic outlook.

“[Household] consumption was weaker than expected, everything else was pretty much as expected so I think it’s just a question of seeing how that goes,” he said.

“We’ll see how that goes over the next few months and reassess accordingly.”

The weakness in consumption is likely to be, at least in part, related to the dramatic fall in Sydney and Melbourne property prices, something Dr Debelle admitted the Reserve Bank was keeping a watchful eye on. Recession Australia Note Money Economy Squeeze Tighten Save Saving Budget Cut 300x200

“It’s an interesting environment where … the unemployment rate’s been coming down, the economy’s growing at a reasonable pace — that’s not an environment we’ve really seen anywhere else before where house prices are falling,” he said, answering a question.

“It’s somewhat uncharted territory, seeing how that might play out.”

Cutting rates and sinking the dollar

If things turn out much worse than the RBA currently expects, Dr Debelle said the bank is not without tools to try and minimise any economic downturn.

“The Reserve Bank has repeatedly said that our expectation is that the next move in monetary policy is more likely up than down, though it is some way off,” he said.

“But should that turn out not to be the case, there is still scope for further reductions in the policy rate.” Interest Only Lending Australia

If cutting interest rates does not spark any life back into housing or a slowing economy, Dr Debelle said the RBA would be prepared to take more extreme measures.

“We have also been able to examine the experience of others with other tools of monetary policy and have learned from that. Hopefully, we won’t ever have to put that learning into practice,” he told the gathered economists.

Dr Debelle said a key lesson from the global financial crisis was that economies needed a steady flow of debt to flourish.

“The crisis very much demonstrated the critical importance of keeping the lending flowing,” he added.

“The lesson is that countries that did that fared better than countries that didn’t. That lesson is relevant to the situation today in Australia, where there is a risk that a reduced appetite to lend will overly curtail borrowing with consequent effects for the Australian economy.”

Read the full article here

Has Uber Eats shrunk the kitchen?

There’s no denying Uber Eats has changed the way we order food, but has it had a bigger impact than we know?

In this article for Switzer, John McGrath looks at the affect Uber Eats has had on the family kitchen.

The kitchen is now the design centrepiece of our family homes, while Uber Eats shrinks the kitchens of apartment dwellers.

We’re sharing cars, installing moveable walls, creating socialising spaces in residential buildings and swimming in demountable pools. Ubereats Menu Godmother 1024x683

Feature walls are now feature ceilings and curves are replacing straight lines in the shapes of our best architectural abodes.

The future of Australian home design is a dynamic space.

Adam Haddow, Director of Sydney architecture and urban design studio, SJB says today’s housing design buzzword is diversity.

“In the past, we had this fixed idea of what you got in a house – three bedrooms, backyard, maybe a pool,” says Haddow, who is a Churchill Fellowship recipient and thought leader on urban design and the modern evolution of city living environments in Australia.

“That hasn’t gone away but many people are realising they don’t need lawns to mow and four bedrooms.

“You used to need a desk and possibly an office; now you need a kitchen bench the right height for your laptop, or a sunny courtyard with connectivity.

“These changes are dialling down in home design because we don’t need to create a space (for study/work); it is more about creating spaces where people want to live.”

In our recently released McGrath Report 2019, we revealed the hottest trends in urban residential design this year.

Repurposed living  Dining Room 2157778 1920

When Australia embraced open plan living at the start of the 21st century, there were inevitable casualties.

Goodbye formal dining and lounge rooms.

 Also over is the short-lived dalliance with the media room.

In came integrated study zones or home offices, with at least 3.5 million Australians now doing at least some work at home and nearly one million of us running home-based businesses.

The future view is more flexible dwellings, reflecting the shrinking size of Australian homes with couple-only households due to outnumber couples with children by 2030. Greater use of moveable walls will allow room conversions and adaptable furniture will serve as room dividers.

Glamour kitchens in houses

Kitchens are still the heart of our homes but have evolved from utility rooms to social and entertaining spaces, Haddow says.

The open plan layout has brought the once segregated kitchen into the living and dining zones, typically with a sizeable island dining bench creating a gathering point for guests so they can chat with their host as the meal is prepared. Rm 11 Challenge Kitchen Courtney Hans 61

Prepping kitchens and butlers’ pantries are on-trend in new high end family home design.

As showcased in the luxury family-sized apartments of this year’s season of The Block, these separate private spaces enable home chefs to get messy, away from guests’ eyes and without detracting from their entertaining kitchen.

Smaller kitchens in apartments

Has Uber Eats shrunk the kitchen? The popularity of home delivered meals and our rising café and restaurant culture, particularly in big cities, has changed how Australians think about kitchens in the new millennium.

Food and drink delivery apps such as Deliveroo, Menulog and Uber Eats have exploded, with Australians spending $2.6 billion annually.

These trends are impacting how much of the modern floor plan is dedicated to food preparation, particularly in apartments which are more commonly occupied by time-poor couples and singles increasingly opting for Uber Eats over preparing food themselves.

So, they don’t need a full kitchen anymore.Kitchen Interior 1772105 1920

A rising trend in new development today is the glamorous communal kitchen and dining area that residents can hire to entertain guests, with more modest and functional kitchens in their own apartments.

Garaging parking

Our car-loving culture is rapidly changing, with 3.1 million active Uber users and 100,000 GoGet members nationally.

These share services, along with expanding public transport, environmental awareness and dedicated bicycle lanes are reducing the need for parking on title. Cars

Haddow says more small home designs will forego car parks.

“What we are seeing is movement from majority to minority car ownership in the not too distant future.

People are totally okay with using the one shared car on the street.”

City of Sydney figures show a 500% increase in the usage of its Kent Street Cycleway since 2008.

Apartment blocks are increasingly supporting two-wheeling residents with shared bike rooms or racks. 

Blue sky thinking

Textured housing exteriors made from recycled natural or industrial material like rammed earth, stone and bottle bricks are in vogue. landlord rights and responsibilities

Architects are also departing from the traditional square shape, with curvy facades maximising the illusion of space and spherical structures emulating igloos offering bolstered thermal efficiency.

Fifth wall feature ceilings with stencil art and complex imagery have arty home makers talking.

All the rage when Michelangelo was painting churches in the 16th century and Marie Antoinette was decorating ceilings with mirrors in the 18th century, housing costs eventually quashed the trend.

Today, some owners and designers are resurrecting it, realising that ceilings are a blank canvas for injecting personality and texture into a home, Haddow says.

Keep a (goggled) eye out for the new wave of above ground pools.

Able to be disassembled, the waist deep water features promise flexible all-seasons living in tight inner city spaces.

Green homes Kitchen 1867663 1920

Sustainability is becoming a major influence on home design, with record levels of solar use and rising interest in battery power resulting in the equivalent of 8.28 million households using renewable energy in 2017.

Savvy developers and home owners are fitting and retro-fitting properties to boost their appeal to an increasingly eco-conscious buyer pool.

Low cost improvements include draught sealing, insulation, low flow showerheads and taps, window shading and low wattage lighting.

Your personal touch

Australians have embraced the concept of using their homes to reflect their lives and personalities.

The ‘showroom look’ used in property marketing is often held up as the ideal, however that sort of styling is designed to appeal to the masses.

Read the full article here

The seven big decor trends of 2019, according to interior designers

If you’re planning on giving your house an update in 2019 – it’s good to know which trends are heating up the market.

This article from Domain.com.au looks at the latest decor trends for 2019.

Believe it or not, 2019 is just around the corner.

Once the confetti is swept away and the new year officially commences, a slew of new home decor trends are sure to come right along with it.

Rather than wait until the new year to start thinking about what styles will be in and which will be out, why not stay ahead of the curve and get a head start on your 2019 design upgrades right now?

We have it on good authority that a few trends you can be sure to see everywhere in six months time are already bubbling up among those in the know.

Interior designers Ariel Okin and Emma Beryl both use their resources and experience to predict which styles are making an impact, and they already have a sense of what will be big next year.

Green accents

According to Okin, green will be an it colour of 2019. “Green is popping up everywhere at the moment,” she says.

“It feels fresh and invigorating,” the designer says.

She suggests incorporating the look in your space with accent pieces like emerald upholstered velvet pillows for an easy upgrade.

green chair

Natural fibres

Okin swears that natural fibres like wicker, rattan, jute, and sisal — which have already grown in popularity this year — are here to stay.

“They are timeless classics and really elevate a room in an elegant way,” she says.

natural fibers

Vintage gems

Beryl predicts vintage items, ethically sourced pieces, and sustainable materials will only gain popularity over the next six months.

“With a growing emphasis on global warming and climate change, it’s only natural that these concepts are having a — hopefully long-lasting — moment in the design world,” she says.


Plaster pieces

Okin makes a case for plaster decor to take over as one of the invigorating styles of 2019.

“From Milo Baughman style coffee tables to white plaster lighting by the likes of Julie Neill and Stephen Antonson, plaster is definitely having its moment,” she says.

The designer suggests using the unique finish in the form of sconces or a chandelier.


Statement art

“Your design should always be a little bit bold,” says Beryl.

In 2019, she suggests forgoing the overdone gallery wall and opting to decorate your large blank walls with oversized statement art instead. consider this a living room trend to watch.

statement art

Chintz textiles

Okin predicts English country style will be a trend to watch in 2019, and it’s something that’s already been bubbling up this year with the rise of kitschy retro styles.

“Chintz is back in a big way,” she says.


Mixed woods

“People often believe that it’s a design faux-pas to mix woods and although there is a fine line here, it can and should be done,” Beryl says.

She predicts that decorating with woods that don’t necessarily match but do complement one another will be a popular trend in the new year.


Read the full article here

Weekend video: Dogs vs. Christmas – Funny dog compilation


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