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Two more records!!   

We have upstaged our rivals again. This time Mario from the Pimpama / Coomera office has done another marvelous thing by listing a home and then selling it for a great price the next day!

Edgar from the Runaway Bay office has set the record for the highest sale price in Pacific Pines for an established home. Amazingly too, this was listed on a Friday afternoon and sold by Monday, the deal sealed after the first open house.

This is great news also knowing that Barry from the Ormeau office set and maintains the record for the highest sale price of a 1 acre residential vacant block.

So here's more evidence on how much we enjoy our dedication to service!

Australia & NZ top world house price growth   11th June 2004

US based magazine “The Economist” has released a chart of average house price increases in the world’s developed countries during the first quarter of 2004. The house price indicators are back dated to 1975 and are based on data provided by real estate agents, mortgage providers and government sources. According to the latest chart, Australian and New Zealand house prices have experienced the greatest increase of any other country on the list.

Of the sixteen countries on the list, New Zealand ranked number one with a house price growth rate of 22% during the first quarter of 2004. Australia came in second place with a growth rate of 17.9%, followed by Spain with a growth rate of 17.3% and Ireland with a growth rate of 12.9%.

British house prices were ranked in seventh place with a growth rate of 7.8% during the first quarter of 2004, while the United States, Canada and Switzerland ranked in respective 8, 10 and 13th place with growth rates of 7.7%, 6.3% and 3.4%.

The only two countries on the list not to show an increase in house prices were Germany, where prices were reportedly down by 1.7%, and Japan who experienced a 5.7% fall in house prices during the first three months of 2004.

Supply & Demand of Units   11th March 2004

Latest figures on the Gold Coast unit market shows that based on current demand for high, medium and low rise apartments
the Gold Coast has an overall supply level of 6.6 months. This supply level is broken down to 7.5 months for highrise, 4.4 months for medium rise and 6.9 months for low rise.

Surfers Paradise was the star performer for the December quarter as it was in the previous two quarters. The supply level in Surfers Paradise has dropped from 18.6 months in the June 2003 quarter to the current 8.7 months supply based on the current selling rate.

There were 165 sales in Surfers Paradise during the December quarter, this is up from 156 in the September quarter and 127 in the June quarter and with 178 in the March quarter this makes a total of 626 sales for the calendar year to December 2003.

How Do I know if an offer is genuine?   11th October 2004

One of the greatest causes of vendor stress in sale by private treaty is an offer falling through before contracts are exchanged.

There are many reasons why potential purchasers fail to cross the finish line, but experienced agents are more skilled at detecting and eliminating high-risk offers. While agents are bound by law to submit all offers presented, experienced agents minimise vendor disappointment and loss of marketing time by advising clients not to accept offers they know are unlikely to proceed.

Sometimes offers are made by intending buyers who have not yet placed their property on the market for sale and who need the finance from the sale of that property before they can complete their next real estate purchase. Buyers in this category are most often (not always of course!) just beginning to assess the market. They have found a house they really like almost at once and before they are ready to act. Often they have not done enough homework to know market values and their offers are not based on a genuine understanding of the current market.

Some continue to look around while waiting for their own home to sell, even though they have agreed in principle to buy another property. Such purchasers are not deliberately trying to deceive or inconvenience property sellers when they pull out of a sale - they were simply too inexperienced and eager when they made their offer.

Some purchasers offer to get bridging finance so they can proceed immediately; however, vendors should realise that in most (not all of course!) cases, the cost of bridging finance and the “what if” factor of not knowing what their own home will ultimately sell for, end up working against the sale.

Since professional real estate agents will advise against taking a property off the market upon the receipt of offers from unqualified purchasers, no loss of time or money is incurred. The harm done by uninformed purchasers who retract high offers is more insidious. Often the offers made by purchasers who have not really researched the market are higher than the property’s ultimate market value; in other words, the price is above what the vendor can realistically expect to achieve. Unfortunately, the effect on the vendor’s expectation is lasting. Most vendors continue to measure all subsequent offers against the high one, even though it fell through.

In the anxiety of undertaking what for 97% of people is their biggest ever financial transaction, it is easy for vendors to forget that no mere offer in itself actually represents market value, let alone a firm sale price - until a qualified purchaser backs it up with cash. If vendors could dismiss unrealistically high offers with the same incredulousness that they dismiss unrealistically low offers, they would sell faster and for a higher price in the long run.

Our population just keeps growing   12th June 2004

New data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows Australia’s population reached 20,008,700 people at December 2003, a 1.3% or 250,800 increase on the number of people living in Australia at December 2002

The population growth can be attributed to two factors, natural population growth, that is the total number of births minus the total number of deaths in any given period, and net overseas migration, which is net permanent immigration less any permanent migration out of the country.

Since Federation, Australia has grown predominately as a result of natural population growth, but for the year ended December 2003, net overseas migration was actually the greatest contributor to our population growth.

Natural population growth accounted for a 2.6% or 31,400 person increase in the population during the December quarter 2003, while on an annual basis, natural population growth accounted for a 2.6% or 118,400 person increase on the 2002 December quarter.

Net overseas migration increased by 2.0% or 36,500 people during the December 2003 quarter.

Around the states…

As at December 2003, the population of our states and territories were, New South Wales 6,716,300 people; Victoria 4,948,000 people; Queensland 3,840,100 people; South Australia 1,531,400 people; Western Australia 1,969,000 people; Tasmania 480,000 people; Northern Territory 198,700 people and the Australian Capital Territory 322,600 people.

During the December quarter, all states and territories experienced positive population growth with Queensland recording the strongest level of growth, up 0.6%, followed by Western Australia (up 0.4%), Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales (each up 0.3%), South Australia (up 0.2%) and the Northern Territory (up 0.1%). The Australian Capital Territory’s population remained relatively unchanged showing only a marginal growth from the previous quarter.

The rising population is likely to place increasing pressure on both state and federal governments to provide affordability housing solutions both now and in the future.

Housing contributes to economic growth   12th March 2004

Housing contributes to economic growth

National accounts’ figures released this week showed the Australian economy grew by a strong 4 per cent over the 2003 year. The housing sector contributed to around 22 per cent of this growth.
Many economic forecasters believe property will continue to contribute strongly to the economy over the next twelve months, a view that is echoed by the Housing Industry Association.
Mr Harley Dale, Senior Economist for the Housing Industry Association, has predicted the 2003 strong housing market will continue in to 2004.

Mr Dale said, “a significant amount of work still in the pipeline will see the housing sector make further strong contributions to Australia’s economic growth in the first half of 2004”.

Building Approvals Remain Steady   13th March 2004

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that building approvals fell overall by 1.5% in December 2003, the third consecutive fall. Approvals rose by 25.5% in South Australia, by 15.2% in the ACT, by 7.8% in New South Wales and by 0.4% in Western Australia. Approvals fell by 21.9% in Tasmania, by 11% in Victoria, 10% in the Northern Territory and 6% in Queensland.

Property Market Cracks   13th May 2004

Signs are ominous for the property market. Average house and unit prices fell sharply in the March quarter, auction clearance rates in Sydney and Melbourne plunged, and distressed sales of apartments in over-supplied inner-city areas spiked. Some prominent real-estate agents and property developers - who usually always try to talk the market up - admit that prices are down and buyers are fleeing.

Is this the start of a property crash? The truth is that nobody - not even the Reserve Bank of Australia - knows how this property downturn will unfold. The wild card is household debt: it is so high that even a small rise in interest rates could hurt investors and home-owners who borrowed too much to buy their properties.

As in all bubble situations, many who bought late in the boom will be the first to sell in the bust - sending prices in some property markets sharply lower.

The evidence suggests that the property market will deflate gradually rather than spiral out of control. But much depends on interest rates and unemployment. Falling house prices and home lending mean the RBA is in no hurry to lift interest rates, and can cut them if the property market does tank. Household finances, despite two rate rises last year, are still sound and unemployment is falling. It would take a sharp rise in interest rates and a sharp fall in employment to damage the property market badly. That is unlikely.

It is worth remembering, too, that there are many diverse segments within the property market. As BRW property writer John Stensholt notes in this Cover Story, the fallout from the slump in inner-city apartments in Sydney and Melbourne is getting uglier by the day. But prices for established homes in those cities are still robust; although they might have fallen 5-10% in some suburbs, the losses are small compared with the huge gains over the past five years. Prices for established homes in other markets, such as Brisbane and Perth, are still holding up well.

For now, it appears the property market\'s landing will be soft rather than hard. The Federal Government will no doubt hope it stays that way in an election year.

Tony Featherstone
Managing editor

Australia\'s population continues to grow   14th October 2003

Australia\'s population is continuing to grow. The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates that the 20th million Australian has been born.

Reaching a population of 20 million is a milestone. But the rate of growth is turning.

Australia\'s birth rate is now below the replacement rate, that is the number of babies needed to exceed the death rate.

Demographers beieve that the population will stagnate over the next 50 years. One demographer, Bernard Salt, has predicted that the population would expand by only about six million in the next 50 years.

Rising Prices affect affordability   15th December 2003

Rising house prices caused housing affordability for first home buyers to fall in the September 03 quarter, report the Commonwealth Bank and Housing Industry Association.

Housing affordability compares the average household disposable income to the average monthly first home loan repayment at the average interest rate.

Australia-wide, the median first home price is $320,700 with monthly repayments $1740 or 28.4% of average household income.

The number of first home buyers as a proportion of all home buyers fell to 12.1% in NSW. Just two years ago, first home buyers accounted for 25% of all buyers.

The news of a fall in affordability comes as the Government’s Productivity Commission inquiry into housing affordability considers the 200 submissions it has received from the public, religious groups, government organisations and private sector businesses. The commission will release its initial findings later this month.

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