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…and please forward to your friends by clicking the social link buttons.
Melbourne property prices: The top school zones for house price growth
As most parents know being in the right zone for you preferred school is crucial – The Catch? It will cost you now cost you more than ever.
This article on Domain.com.au looks at some of the most sought out school catchment zones and their new increased price-tags.
School catchment zones have become an increasing concern for Melbourne buyers as the city’s population continues to balloon and place further pressure on enrollment limits.
And it is now getting even tougher for Melbourne parents to afford to get their children within certain zones, with the city leading the country in terms of house price growth per school catchment.
Some popular schools zones have outpaced city-wide averages by more than double, an analysis of the top school zones for price growth across Australia has shown.
A mix of high, mid and lower priced neighbourhoods listed in the Domain Annual school zones report shows parents in all parts of the city are facing the dilemma of being priced out of certain catchments.
Melbourne schools took out the top five places in a national list comparing growth in secondary school catchments, while five primary schools also made the cut.
The ever-popular University High School, which is set to triple its boundary in size thanks to a state government announcement last October, was the second fastest growing catchment zone in Australia.
The Parkville college boasted an annual growth of 23.7 per cent — for context, Melbourne as a whole grew by 10.3 per cent over 2016.
Jellis Craig director Rob Elsom said the number one question asked in his North Melbourne office was whether a property was within the University High zone.
“I’ve known buyers that have literally moved from one side of the street to the other just to get into the zone,” Mr Elsom said. “University High also has a strong reputation within the Australian Chinese community and overseas.”
Buyers were so keen on getting within the borders, they are happily forgoing other family priorities such as a backyard or a car space, he said.
His listing within the zone at 15A Lothian Street, North Melbourne, due to go to auction Saturday, even has families considering converting the garage into a fourth bedroom.
“What a school zone really does is add to the appeal and, ultimately, add more prospective buyers into the mix,” Mr Elsom said.
The data derived annual growth figures from sales within the state government’s catchment boundaries between November 2015 to October 2016.
Read the full article here
Banks move to close a loophole + Auctioneers tactics revealed + The world is not fair!
Another great Real Estate Talk show produced by Kevin Turner.
Michael Yardney looks at a recent study by Oxfam, which found that just eight of the richest people on Earth own as much combined wealth as half the human race.
Cate Bakos, discusses the contrast for buyers when buying in a seller’s market vs a buyer’s market, how tactics need to be different, how agents and vendors behave and understanding the differences in the data and auction clearance rates.
Andrew Mirams gives his view on Westpac’s decision to stop property buyers using a combination of personal loans and mortgages to fully fund deposits or even to top up shortfalls if off-the-plan apartments.
David Holmes takes us behind the scenes of an auction to discover how auctioneers prepare for an auction, how they structure the call and what tactics they use to get a sale.
Mark McCrindle paints a wonderful picture of how our lives have changed in the last 100 years and how that has molded the future of housing.
If you don’t already subscribe to this excellent weekly internet based radio show do so now by clicking here.
Asking prices jump in Sydney & Melbourne
The year has kicked off with a bang for asking prices in Sydney & Melbourne.
Thus reports SQM Research in its weekly residential newsletter.
Asking prices for houses in Melbourne are 11.4 per cent higher than a year ago, and in Sydney the figure was 11.5 per cent.
Hobart also recorded outsized gains, while Brisbane, Canberra, and Adelaide each recorded moderate increases.
A key driver appears to be a lack of new stock being brought to market, with upgraders perhaps discouraged by prohibitive transaction costs in the form of stamp duty.
Nationally listings were down by 5.5 per cent from a year ago, with Melbourne in particular chewing its way through a previously elevated number of listings.
Sydney listings were down by 6.6 per cent in January from a month earlier to just 21,633 (remember that Sydney is Australia’s most populous capital city, and this number is much lower than in Melbourne, and even Brisbane and Perth).
Read the full article here
Bank refunds $4.9m for overcharging interest on home loans
How thorough are you when checking your statements?
You may want to take an even closer look – in fact it could save you thousands.
According to an article on Smart Property Investment one bank has refunded as much as $4.9 million of overcharged interest on home loans to approximately 10,800 customers – giving a whole new meaning to crossing your t’s and dotting your i’s.
A major bank-owned mortgage lender has refunded $4.9 million to approximately 10,800 customers after it failed to link some offset accounts to home loan accounts, resulting in a number of customers being overcharged interest.
Following media coverage of ASIC’s work in relation to similar breaches by another bank, Bankwest undertook an internal investigation into the operation of its offset accounts.
Bankwest identified issues in the linking of offset accounts with home loans for some customers who had open accounts between 2007 and June 2016, and reported the matter to ASIC as a significant breach of its licence obligations.
“It is critical that licensees ensure that their systems work properly so that promises made to customers about their bank accounts are kept,” ASIC deputy chairman Peter Kell said.
“When a problem is identified, licensees not only have an obligation to report the breach, but impacted customers must be returned to the position they would have been in, had the breach not occurred.”
Click here for the full article
‘Binge-watch’ and ‘humblebrag’ among more than 1,000 new words added to Merriam-Webster dictionary
Have you ever noticed how much our vocabulary has evolved?
Whilst people think most of these words are just ‘Facebook’ talk – that couldn’t be further from the truth.
An article on Business Insider has reported that over 1000 new words have been added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary; so the next time you invite your friends for a “binge-watch”- they had better know what you’re referring to.
Scrabble just got a whole lot hipper.
Online dictionary Merriam-Webster announced on February 7 that it has added more than 1,000 new words to its catalogue, drawing from pop culture, science, foreign languages, sports, medicine, and more.
New additions include “humblebrag,”“binge-watch,” “EVOO” (extra virgin olive oil), “SCOTUS,” and “FLOTUS.”
“Ghost” now doesn’t just refer to a paranormal spirit, but also to the act of cutting off contact with someone by ignoring their texts and phone calls.
The dictionary has also immortalised “ride shotgun,” “throw shade,” “side eye,” “weak sauce,” and “face-palm.” And reflecting the public’s political sensitivities, it has also included “microaggression,” “first world problem,” “food insecure,” and “safe space.”
Occasionally, the dictionary will take words out, too. “Snollygoster,”referring to an unprincipled person, especially an unprincipled politician, was removed in 2003 but was just added back, in part because conservative pundit Bill O’Reilly has been using it frequently in recent years.
Merriam-Webster adds thousands of new words each year in an effort to stay current with common usage.
Last April, for example, it added more than 2,000 new words.
Among them: “FOMO” (fear of missing out), “athleisure,” “bitcoin,” and “meet-cute.”
Click here for the full article
Weekend video: The 71 Most AMAZING Innovations of All Time
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