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…and please forward to your friends by clicking the social link buttons.

Changing prestige property market redefines the Australian dream

As times change – so do our aspiration, and it’s no different when it comes to our dream house.

Whilst the goals used to be mansions, gardens and tennis courts – a change in lifestyle has seen people aspiring to homes with less maintenance.

According to an article on Domian.com.au Aussies are redefining ‘the dream house’ and so is the market.

Once, the Australian dream was all about the huge mansion on vast sprawling grounds.

Today, we’re increasingly rethinking and refocusing our aspirations — and the prestige market is changing with them.manor-1503567_1920

“There’s almost a redefinition under way of what quality and prestige is,” says social researcher and demographer Mark McCrindle.

“We had the big impressive home with manicured, landscaped gardens as our sign of success but nowadays quality comes in smaller packages.

“With that comes better locations and access to amenity, like being close to the CBD or a beach or parks, gardens and public amenities.

Australians have changed a lot, and high net worth individuals have changed along with them.”

Agents are at the frontline of the shifting market and can see exactly how prestige tastes are trending. the-sea-657043_1920

Alain Waitsman, associate director and head of sales at LJ Hooker, Double Bay, Sydney, says gardens are simply not used so much these days, with far more kids spending time on their computers indoors rather than playing outside.

“They aren’t running around playing football as much any more,” he says.

“There’s now less emphasis on big parcels of land, and more on houses that are well designed and have a fantastic view.

“We’ve all now seen the value of good views which is something the Asian market really appreciates too.”

John Bongiorno, director of Marshall White in Melbourne, agrees that while some people do still choose the grand estates, there’s a definite movement among others. ocean-front-896704_1920

“Land sizes have come down and people are going more towards a low-maintenance style of home so they have more recreation time,” he says.

“The aspirations of people to have tennis courts and a pool have lessened.

They’re looking more towards lifestyle, and having more time for themselves.

“That might mean an easier-to-maintain home on smaller grounds plus a second holiday house.

“They’re far more conscious of having less time and looking towards lifestyle.”

Read the full article here

Property industry leader talks about his mistakes + The future of property investing + Buyer beware of false reports

Another great Real Estate Talk show produced by Kevin Turner.

Michael Yardney answers the questions; who you should ask for property investment advice?  


Ben Kingsley is our feature guest this week as he talks about his earliest property investment lessons and how he nearly fell for a big mistake he now sees many investors make.

Joel Smith discusses his app – GAVL; where a potential buyer can “virtually” attend dozens of auctions across several states over a weekend.

Kylie Davis from Core Logic is fresh back from the USA where she attended the worlds largest real estate conference that focuses on the future of real estate and she tells us where it is all headed and about some of the innovations that are on the way to make it easier and more transparent to transact property.

Garth Brown tells us how the changes to the real estate sector in NSW has led to some agents and vendors supplying false reports.

If you don’t already subscribe to this excellent weekly internet based radio show do so now by clicking here.

Capital city land prices rise

It’s the great Australian dream to own a peace of land – but is it still attainable?

Results show the price of land has risen significantly in our capital cities.

This Blog by Pete Wargent, looks at the statistics behind the results.

The median lot value in Australia rose by another 3.3 per cent in the September 2016 quarter.

The Housing Industry Association (HIA) reported that the median lot value hit at a record high of $243,585.

Since June 2012, the median lot value has increase by 28 per cent or nearly $54,000.


Source: (HIA)

The picture around the country was mixed.

Land values in the Kimberley have well and truly crashed by 74 per cent from the prior comparative period, for example.market rise property

At the other end of the scale Sydney’s median lot value is not approaching $1,000 per square metre.

Perhaps this is not all that surprising given that volumes were down by nearly 30 per cent in Sydney year-on-year, with a dearth of shovel-ready land being made available.

The next most expensive city for vacant land prices is Perth at $701/sqm.

The volume of lot sales increased to 1,121 in the quarter, following some low volumes in previous quarters.

Indeed, volumes were still some 7 per cent below their 2015 peak, according to the HIA.

Read the full article here

Investors feel pinch amid lending crackdown

It’s no secret that lending has become some what of a struggle recently – especially for new investors – and it doesn’t look like it’s easier any easier anytime soon.

An article for Money Magazine has reported that banks are set to crackdown on their lending, with the commonwealth bank taking the first step of the possible domino affect.

Investors set to feel sting as APRA crackdown gains momentum, writes Kirsty Lamont, director at comparison site Mozo.com.au

The recent uplift in investor activity has prompted banks to again pull the reins in on their investor lending after concerns that banks are infringing on the 10% investor growth speed limit imposed by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA). bank reserve interest rate save money finance loan

Last week the Commonwealth Bank (CommBank) and its subsidiary, Bankwest cited regulatory commitments behind their recent move to suspend new lending for investors looking to refinance.

This is part of a wider crackdown on investor lending activity, which is believed to be the cause of much of the rapid growth in the Sydney and Melbourne housing markets.

CommBank is Australia’s largest lender so it is entirely possible that other lenders will follow its lead and further clamp down on investor lending by hiking rates. In fact, we’ve already seen a flurry of lenders target property investors with higher interest rates in recent months.

Of the 84 lenders in Mozo’s database, 39 have upped their variable investor loan rates since the start of December 2016. lose saving

The outlook for property investors is bleak, with nearly 90% of lenders now charging investors higher interest rates than their owner-occupier customers.

The average price of an investor loan now stands at 29 basis points above an owner-occupier loan.

With some lenders offering much more competitive rates and requirements for investors than others, it’s more important than ever for investors to diligently research what interest rates they can get elsewhere.

Currently, there are nine lenders in the market that don’t slap investors with higher interest rates, which means there are good rates out there for those willing to shop around. Hands of businessman

Furthermore, a Mozo mystery shop revealed major lenders are still prepared to offer substantial discounts under the table to investors who ask them for a more competitive deal.

As long as the growth in the Sydney and Melbourne markets shows little sign of subsiding, the pressure for lenders to stay within APRA’s investor loan growth limit or face increased capital requirements will endure.

Click here for the full article

5 startling things you can do this year with smart appliances

It’s amazing how reliant we have become on our smart phones; they are out communicator, navigator and daily diary.

Now it would seem even more of our appliances are about to make daily life activities a little easier.

An article on Business Insider has listed some of the very clever appliances we have to look forward to in the coming year – and really, who wouldn’t want a robot to do the house cleaning for them?

Samsung has revealed a range of smart home devices that seem futuristic but will actually arrive in Australia this year.

Here’s what Australians can look forward to doing later this year in their homes:

1. Get your fridge to order groceries from Woolworths BI_Samsung-Fridge-Detail-Black-Steel-All-Screens-Shopping-Cart-Woolworths_2832731

Samsung is not the only company to make smart fridges, but in Australia it has a deal with Woolworths that allows its Family Hub 2.0 refrigerators to order groceries to be delivered from the supermarket giant.

2. Tell your robot to clean the house before guests arrive

Users have full control of Samsung’s new robot vacuum cleaner Powerbot VR7000 through a mobile app.

This means that you could remotely instruct the robot to clean the house before guests are due to arrive.

3. Ask your fridge what’s to eat

Family Hub 2.0 smart refrigerators respond to voice commands.

Rather than asking another human, who has to look it up on the internet anyway, you can just ask the fridge for the weather forecast, the current time or what’s coming up in your calendar. BI_Samsung_Family_Hub_2_fridge_refrigerator_view_inside

4. Check on your loved ones

Australian company mCareWatch has partnered with Samsung to customise the Gear S3 smartwatch for elderly users that are suffering from medical conditions.

5. See what you have in your fridge… from anywhere

If you’ve ever been at the supermarket and wondered whether you needed any milk, you might find this useful.

With a smart fridge, you can just look up on your phone what you have at home.

Click here for the full article

Weekend video: Questions No One Knows the Answers to



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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 Metropole.com.au

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