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.

Why ditching your car could be the key to getting on the property ladder sooner

Would you give up your car to purchase a property?

According to an article on Domain.com.au young property enthusiasts are finding alternative ways of transpiration in order to enter the property market.

Young people are falling out of love with owning a car, and high property prices could be to blame. 1 Car Space Really Necessary

But ditching the car and using other forms transport could save home hunters thousands of dollars, and in more ways than one.

Over the same period, the median price of a home in Australia’s capital cities rose from $497,059 to $713,433, an increase of more than 43 per cent, according to Domain Group data.

Co-author of the HILDA study Roger Wilkins said the decline in licence take-up at younger ages was a marked drop, suggesting higher costs and entry requirements had put downward pressure on the numbers of drivers.

“I think mostly the decline has been in the major cities where there are transport alternatives,” he said.

“Things like Uber have lowered the cost of alternatives to driving your own car,” he said.

Elizabeth Taylor, of RMIT, said Australia was splitting into two camps on car ownership: those who made sacrifices to live without a car and those who were centring their lives even 

 more around their vehicle.

“Young people are becoming progressively less attached to their car,” Dr Taylor said.

“There’s a growing sub-market of people that are more than willing to make the trade-off to have a nicer apartment without a parking spot.”

Financial planner and Wealthful founder Chris Bates said many young people had to choose between car or home ownership, and suggested buyers struggling to get into the housing market could sell their cars to increase their deposit.

“The cost of having a nice car might be not buying your first home,” he said.

The surprising costs of owning a car

A $25,000 car owned outright will cost $5396 a year in running costs, fuel and depreciation, or $104 a week, according to a finder.com.au analysis.

The same car with a five-year loan costs $11,270 a year or $217 a week, equating to more than $56,000 over five years.

This high spend can make a serious dent in anyone’s attempt to save for a deposit, Bates said.

“You don’t want a car to stop you buying a home.”

There is also a significant cost of garaging the car at home – properties with parking in Sydney and Melbourne worth up to $300,000 more than those without it. Sydney suburbs

Taking public transport may have unexpected costs beyond the price of a ticket, according to Opteon regional director Scott O’Dell, who said a property within walking distance of a train station could be worth $200,000 more than one that’s not.

“In Sydney, there is a definite premium on properties that are in close proximity to a train station with the caveat being that the train station is on a good line, preferably a direct line to the CBD,” he said.

“The premiums are most apparent in detached housing as this form of housing becomes scarcer the closer to a railway station you get.”

Cutting transport costs

Rethinking transport options could allow young people to get on the property ladder quicker.

Properties close to public transport cost more, but if you’re tempted to live further away and drive to the station each day, the running costs of a car add up. Car loans can also play havoc with their owners’ borrowing capacity, so what’s the alternative?

Read the full article here

Brisbane median house price rises to $673,000

Prices are on the rise in the sunny state.

This Blog by Pete Wargent looks at the results.

Brisbane closes the gap

The ratio of Sydney to Brisbane house prices recently came off a record high of 2.2, depending upon your preferred data source. Brisbane Market Up

As this cycle progresses it wouldn’t be surprising to see that ratio close back towards 1½.

The REIQ reported today that Brisbane’s median house increased by 0.9 per cent over the quarter and 2½ per cent over the past year to $673,000.

That’s the highest ever figure for Brisbane.

Brisbane’s median house price has increased by just over 20 per cent over the past five years.

The figure for the Brisbane LGA was closer to 30 per cent.

The median unit price increased by a somewhat slower 1.4 per cent over the most recent 12-month period to $405,000.

The only area to record a decline in unit prices over the past year was Logan, with a moderate decline of 1.3 per cent recorded.

The REIQ noted that strong internal migration to south-east Queensland would absorb the new unit supply.

Read the full article here

Housing affordability in Australia is improving for the first time in ages

Despite months of negative headlines – it would seem that things are looking up.

This article from Business Insider looks at the improvement is Australia’s housing affordability.

For the first time in a long time, housing affordability in Australia is getting better.

And not just on one metric, but many.Australian Money In Wallet On Real Estate Background

However, even with the recent improvement, affordability constraints still remain acute in many of Australia’s largest housing markets.

According to CoreLogic’s Housing Affordability Report, after hitting the highest level on record earlier this year, the ratio of home prices to household incomes started to decline in the June quarter.

“National results indicate that as at June 2018 the price to income ratio was measured at 6.81, a modest reduction from the March 2018 quarter when the national dwelling price to income ratio reached a record high of 6.84,” said Tim Lawless, Head of Research at CoreLogic.

“Across the broad dwelling types, the ratio of house prices to household incomes was recorded at 7.1 times, down slightly from the March quarter, while the unit price to household income ratio was recorded at 6.2, which was well down from its 6.6 times peak in late 2015 through to early 2016.”


The figures presented by CoreLogic are calculated based on median household incomes compared to median home prices, both for houses and apartments as well as specific markets. Property

The incomes data was sourced from ANU’s Centre for Social Research and Methods.

CoreLogic found the median dwelling price to income ratio in Australia’s capital cities was higher than the national average, standing at 7.2 times in the June quarter, the lowest level since the first quarter of 2017.

The multiple to buy a house fell to 7.8 times income last quarter, down from the record high of 7.9 in the March quarter of this year, while the multiple for a capital city apartment also fell to 6.4, below the peak of 6.5 set in 2015.

For regional areas, the multiple for houses stood at 6.2 times income last quarter, and 5.8 times for units.

Both were below the record levels set back in 2008.

Read the full article here

How to spruce up your property for an early sale

If you’re looking to sell before the year is out – it’s time to get organized.

In this article for Switzer, John McGrath gives an inside look at what you need to know.

Going early carries one significant advantage for sellers – time.

This year, I think it’s best to maximise it instead of listing later when the Christmas deadline can cause a bit of stress.   sale-sign-auction-house-property-market

I say this because credit restrictions are having a material impact on buyer competition and this, combined with cooler conditions and less urgency in the marketplace overall, might end up impacting the timeframe of your sale this year.

It’s not uncommon to see auctions postponed a week or two these days, especially when the best buyers on a property can’t get their finance in time.

This is a strategic decision that you may or may not face but it’s good to have extra time up your sleeve by going on the market early this Spring.

The other advantage of listing sooner rather than later is it gives you more time to buy back in.

Most family buyers want the moving process over by Christmas, so they can enrol their kids in new schools for new year and move into their new homes before or during the holiday period.  Propertyupdate Buy House

In terms of the time is takes to sell property, a three to four-week campaign is not all there is.

If you want to maximise your sale price, you need to approach the sales process methodically and this means at least a couple of weeks planning and preparing ahead of your campaign launch.

After signing with your agent, there is likely to be a series of small repairs you’ll need to do and maybe even some cosmetic renovations to freshen up the presentation, such as painting, a house wash, some gardening and so on.

If you want to professionally style your home, that also requires time for the stylist to attend your property, put together a plan and arrange for the hiring and delivering of furniture.

Presentation is a critical part of the selling process as it directly contributes to how buyers feel about your home. sold sale

You don’t have to invest a huge amount of money but what you don’t invest financially to get someone else to do it faster and better will cost you time to do it yourself.

Getting the presentation right can result in a $5,000 to $50,000 upside in most instances I’ve seen, so you can’t skip this process and that means budgeting a decent amount of time to get it done.

Then your property needs to be photographed and ads have to be booked and mocked up.

Don’t forget that you need to factor in school holidays (September 29 – October 14), which are best avoided in family suburbs because buyers go away.

Your agent can advise you on whether this is a consideration in your area.

Read the full article here

Here’s your chance to win a six-bedroom British mansion for just $23

Have you always wanted to live in a mansion?

Now you can – for just $23 … Chess win success

An article on News.com.au reveals how one lucky competition winner could win keys to the mansion featured in the iconic film Great Expectations.

INSTEAD of grabbing a lotto ticket, why not try to hit the property jackpot on this beautiful $9.1 million British mansion that was used in the iconic film Great Expectations.

But, there’s a catch, budding Aussie buyers will have to know their British royal history.

Owners Nigel and Melanie Walsh listed their home, known as Dancers Hill House, for sale earlier this year, but due to the difficult property market in Britain and high property taxes, they decided to try a more creative approach.

“Not many people are willing to pay the stamp duty fee that comes with such a large home,” Melanie Walsh told CNN.

“It could be up to 12 pre cent of the home value, but by entering our home in this contest, we can include the fees, so the person who wins won’t have to pay it.”

The home has its very own remodelled theatre room.

Source: Supplied

The home has its very own remodelled theatre room.

The sunroom looks out over the vast grounds.

Source: Supplied

The sunroom looks out over the vast grounds.

The British couple are now offering the home to anyone in the world to win the keys that is willing to pay the $23 (AUD) entry fee to their competition.

In order to enter, you must guess who the reigning Monarch was on Christmas Day of the year Dancers Hill House was built.

Think you know if it was King George II, King George III, King Henry VIII or Queen Anne? If you’re willing to part with the entry cost, you could be lucky enough to call this British gem your home very soon.

The striking manor sprawls across 1.61 ha, and was the backdrop for the 1999 film adaptation of Great Expectations.

It has a cinema room, home gym, wine room as well as its own lake that’s home to over 2000 fish.

The kitchen and living room has been extensively remodelled.

Source: Supplied

The kitchen and living room has been extensively remodelled.

… as has the bathroom.

Source: Supplied

… as has the bathroom.

One of the homes many living spaces, with its own fireplace.

Source: Supplied

One of the homes many living spaces, with its own fireplace.

The original home was built way back 1760, and has been extended several times in the early and later 19th century.

The home was originally listed for 6.2 million pounds (AUD $10.74m), and is located in Barnet, North London.

Read the full article here

Weekend video: ARE YOU A SOCIAL MEDIA ADDICT? | 10 Questions


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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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