30 April 2018
Although housing affordability has improved in WA in recent times, it remains a legitimate concern for many West Australians.
A recent Housing Affordability Report by the Real Estate Institute of Australia and Adelaide Bank showed while affordability improved in WA on an annual basis in the December quarter 2017, it had declined when compared to the September quarter 2017.
It’s concerning that despite favourable buying conditions and record low interest rates, housing affordability remains such a pertinent worry for many West Australians.
State property taxes are a barrier
REIWA is a strong advocator for addressing housing affordability, and we firmly believe current state property tax arrangements significantly contribute to this problem.
When REIWA surveyed the WA public about this topic last year, respondents overwhelmingly told us that property taxes negatively impact their lives. This is a growing issue and we need to do something to address it.
Home ownership still attainable in WA
The good news is; WA remains one of the most affordable states in the country for housing. Particularly in comparison to east coast property markets like NSW, where the median house price is higher and first home buyers find it more difficult to enter the property market. Here in WA, home ownership is still very much attainable.
In fact, we have the highest proportion of first home buyers out of any state or territory in Australia, with the Housing Affordability Report revealing 34 per cent of all owner-occupier home loans in WA in the December 2017 quarter were to first home buyers.
Additionally, although the average home loan amount to WA first home buyers increased during the December 2017 quarter, it was still $50,000 more affordable than the average loan amount required in NSW. A considerable difference.
However, more needs to be done. While the McGowan Government continues to face a challenging fiscal environment, REIWA still believes an incremental reform of property taxes will encourage both owner occupation and investment.
The residential property market is a key contributor to state revenue, specifically through transfer duty – one of the most inefficient and ineffective taxes. In the long term, we would like to see the Government transition to a broad-based land tax instead of relying on transactional taxes for revenue.
All West Australians deserve to have access to affordable, accessible and appropriate housing stock.
We call on the McGowan Government to commit to conducting a state tax review to look at more sustainable ways of funding essential services that doesn’t impact so heavily on affordability.
27 November 2017
Adrian Ballantyne via realestate.com.au
With the real estate market continuing to roll from strength to strength, trying to determine a property’s true value is an ever-present challenge for buyers.
Snaring the property you want while avoiding paying too much is the dream, but how do you make that happen? As a buyer, how do you ensure you purchase at the right price every time?
Some of Melbourne’s leading buyer’s agents share their tips.
Buyers need to know what a property is really worth. Picture: Getty
Know your goals
The “right” price for a particular property won’t be the same for everyone.
For example, a first-home buyer might see a certain price as fair for a property, while an older couple looking at downsizing might be perfectly comfortable paying $100,000 more to ensure they get hold of it.
Kristen Hatt, from buyer’s advocates Woledge Hatt, says being crystal clear about what you want from a property will help determine what your right price is.
“It’s about having a really good understanding of what you’re trying to achieve, and then making sure that property will meet all of those goals, because then you can make decisions around price as well,” she says.
“Understanding what the property is and the likelihood of (a similar property becoming available again), will determine the right price for you.”
How to negotiate a property price:
Research, research, research
When it comes to determining the right price for a property, there’s no substitute for market knowledge and conducting your own research.
Luke Assigal, from Parley Property Advisory, says it’s important to frame your own market, rather than blindly following the selling agents and their indicative price ranges.
Inspect in person
All property knowledge isn’t necessarily equal. While looking at properties and results online will give you some measure of knowledge, there’s no substitute for checking out properties in the flesh, Hatt says.
“Just getting the results of properties doesn’t necessarily tell you about the properties,” she says.
“Sometimes a property sells for a certain price because it has a major structural issue, and you can say: ‘Well that’s why it was cheap’. Understanding more about each property is important.”
Home tips for buyers:
Calculate based on square metres
Some agents are reporting that for many properties, calculating the likely sale price based on the rate per sqm of land is proving increasingly accurate.
Again, it’s about research. If a number of properties nearby have sold for around $5000 per sqm often you can expect a very similar rate for the house you’re eyeing off.
“You can do square meterage, particularly when you’re dealing with larger blocks and development blocks in blue chip areas,” Assigal says.
“You can get access to stats quite easily – most properties have the square meterage listed online.”
It doesn’t necessarily mean the property will be the right price for you, but at least you’ll know how much you’re likely to be up for if you decide to bid.
Use a buyer’s advocate
Studying the market yourself each week is one thing, but consider for a moment that there are people who do it professionally.
While the average punter researches properties only when they’re actively looking to buy one, buyer’s advocates/agents have knowledge and expertise built up over many years, and can give an almost instant appraisal of what a property should be worth.
Hatt says that with buyer’s advocates, you’re paying for that superior market knowledge, as well as their ability to sniff out properties based on your personal requirements and circumstances.
“We were chatting to clients the other day and talking about a specific bayside area, and I said that over the last five to 10 years I would have been through 80% of the homes in that area that have been for sale over $1 million,” she says.
“That’s knowledge that you can’t just get by going to a few open for inspections and thinking that you’ve got an understanding. A lot of buyers are only in and out of the market in a very short period of time.”
22 November 2017
Erin Delahunty via realestate.com.au
Property auctions can be intimidating, especially for first-time buyers, so knowing what to do and what not to do is essential.
David Holmes, LJ Hooker’s national auction manager, shares his advice.
Four top tips for a successful auction day…
Holmes says pre-auction preparation is absolutely vital to success. Would-be buyers should talk to the selling agent, research comparable properties, decide on a strict price limit and commit to sticking to it, he says.
“Once you’ve inspected the property, know you have a connection and want it, ensure your finances are all sorted and your deposit is ready to go. If your bid is successful, you will be required to pay the deposit on the day,” Holmes says.
“Get all the necessary inspections done before auction day too, because when that hammer comes down, it’s unconditional, with no cooling off period,” he adds.
Don’t let nerves take over
The biggest mistake many potential buyers make is turning up to an auction and not bidding because of nerves, Holmes says.
“If you’ve done your homework and know the market value of a property, put your hand up and bid, strongly and confidently. While it can be daunting, an auction is a genuinely transparent process, a negotiation that happens out in the open, with people who want to buy a property,” he says.
“People can have real peace of mind that they’re not paying, say $50,000 over the market value, because it’s all done in public.”
Think about your body language
At an auction, it’s also important to appear confident, Holmes says.
“You need to look confident and essentially, like you have very deep pockets, like you can bid all day long, to deter your competition,” he says.
“Don’t be on the phone or looking like you’re out of your depth or stressing out, as other bidders will be able to sense that. Appear very, very confident, put your hand straight up with a decent bid and you’re half-way there,” Holmes says.
Don’t be ‘invisible’
“As an auctioneer, I always go and meet the potential buyers before an auction, to ensure they’re aware of the relevant legislation and terms and conditions. There’s no point trying to hide up the back and not talk to the auctioneer and agent staff,” Holmes says.
“If you’re keen, polite and courteous from the get-go, the auctioneer will be more likely to engage positively with you too.”
22 August 2017
Author: REIWA President Hayden Groves
Modiefied via reiwa.com.au
Over the last couple of years as the Perth property market has slowed, there has been a lot of talk about ‘waiting for the bottom of the market’ to arrive.
In an ideal world, it would be crystal clear when the bottom had arrived and primed buyers could act immediately to secure their dream home, content in the knowledge they had purchased their property at the absolute lowest possible price.
How do you tell when the bottom of the market has hit?
The truth is, it’s virtually impossible to tell whether the actual ‘bottom’ has hit until it has passed and we’re on the upswing again. The best we can do is observe trends in the market and make an educated guess. It’s not an exact science and can be influenced by a number of external factors, such as the economy, consumer sentiment and state and federal elections.
In Perth, signs over the last quarter suggest our local market is beginning to stabilise, with all key indicators (median house price, sales activity, listings for sale, average selling days and discounting) recording little or no change in the three months to June 2017.
Historically, one of the earliest signs of a change of momentum in the market is a period of stability. Although no one can accurately ascertain the future of the property market, the signs are there that we have finally found, or are very close to finding, the bottom.
Take advantage of affordable conditions
If you’ve been thinking of buying a home or purchasing an investment property, but have been holding off for the ‘right’ moment to strike, I’d advise you to take action sooner rather than later. Although we might not be able to predict with absolute certainty the ‘bottom’ of the market, we do know that property markets are cyclical and conditions will change again.
With the signs there that we’re heading into a period of stabilisation, now is the time to buy. There is lots of choice in the market with listings for sale , so you are in the best possible position to find a home that meets all your requirements at a competitive price.
I would advise buyers who are considering purchasing property in this market to take advantage of the steady, but quieter conditions. Do your due diligence and view a range of different properties in suburbs that appeal to you to ensure you explore all your options.
If you’re unsure what the best move is, speak to us on 9475 9622 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org about your plans. They are well educated on your local market and will be able to advise what is most suitable for your situation.
15 August 2017
Rachel Preston-Bidwell via reiwa.com.au
Perth home buyers looking to trade up are now seeing more opportunity in areas such as Peppermint Grove, Applecross and North Coogee, which topped reiwa.com’s list of affluent suburbs which have become more affordable.
REIWA President Hayden Groves said while prices in these suburbs were still well above the Perth median house price, they had become more affordable for buyers looking to trade up into those million dollar suburbs.
Peppermint Grove saw the biggest annual average change in its median house price over the past five years, shifting from $3,750,000 (year to April 2012) to $3,350,000 (year to April 2017).
“Buyers are looking for opportunities in areas with a good lifestyle scene, cafes and restaurants. In particular, we are seeing buyers placing more importance on proximity to good public schools.
“Suburbs such as Applecross, Nedlands and Peppermint Grove are within the catchment for some of Perth’s best public schools. Due to the easing off in median house prices of these suburbs, the opportunity is there to secure your ideal family home if you have the means,” said Mr Groves.
There’s also good news for sellers in Applecross, City Beach, Nedlands and Peppermint Grove, as properties are selling quicker in comparison to five years ago.
“In 2012, it took on average 120 days to sell a property in Peppermint Grove for instance. In more recent figures, the average selling days for the suburb sits at 90 days.
“We are also seeing sellers willing to negotiate and discount their initial asking price to achieve a sale,” said Mr Groves.
The average discount sellers in the five suburbs are applying to their asking price is around the eight to ten per cent mark in the year to April 2017 data.
“Both buyers and sellers are benefitting from the current market conditions in these million dollar suburbs,” said Mr Groves.
||MEDIAN HOUSE PRICE (YEAR TO APRIL 2012)
||MEDIAN HOUSE PRICE (YEAR TO APRIL 2017)
||AVERAGE SELLING DAYS (YEAR TO APRIL 2012)
|| AVERAGE SELLING DAYS (YEAR TO APRIL 2017)
|1. Peppermint Grove
|3. North Coogee
|4. City Beach
Figures based on median house prices in the year to April 2012 versus year to April 2017. Filtered for suburbs with greater than 15 sales, with a median house price of more than $1 million.
10 May 2017
Perth’s property market continues to encourage first home buyers, with the latest preliminary data for the March quarter 2017 revealing the bulk of transactions occurred within the $400,000 to $450,000 price range.
REIWA President Hayden Groves said market conditions in the March quarter highlighted that housing affordability remains an east coast issue.
“While the dream of home ownership is becoming increasingly difficult in some parts of Australia, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne, this isn’t the case in Perth.
“First home buyers remain active and continue to take advantage of improved affordability and choice in the market to secure a property that meets their needs. These factors, combined with record low interest rates, makes for positive buying conditions for those looking for a first home,” Mr Groves said.
Median house and unit price
Perth’s median house price slipped back over the quarter, with the preliminary median coming in at $505,000 for the three months to March 2017.
“This softening in median price is due to the ongoing trend of comparatively more transactions occurring in the lower end of the market, with fewer sales of properties in the $700,000 to $1.5 million price range. However, once all transactions have been accounted for, it’s likely the median will lift to around $517,000, just shy of December’s quarterly median,” Mr Groves said.
Perth’s preliminary median unit price held up reasonably well over the quarter, coming in at $411,750 for the three months to March 2017.
“In the unit market, although there were more transactions occurring in the $350,000 to $450,000 price range, early indications suggest there was also a boost in volumes between $600,000 and $1 million, which has kept the unit median strong over the quarter,” Mr Groves said.
The preliminary total dwelling sales figure for WA came in at 6,496 for the three months to March 2017.
Mr Groves said this figure was below the revised December quarter 2016 sales figure, which wasn’t unusual.
“Although preliminary total WA dwelling sales figures are down compared to the December quarter, once all transactions for the March quarter have been recorded, we expect this figure to lift to approximately 8,500, putting this quarter’s activity levels on par with the December 2016 quarterly figures.
“Additionally, early indicators suggest a rebound in house sales in the Perth metro area for the March quarter, with transactions expected to lift to around 6,500. This would put house sales volumes in the Perth metro region for the March quarter up significantly higher than the December quarter 2016 and marginally above the same time last year.
“These stable, moderately improving market conditions provide for equitable buying and selling conditions for both buyers and sellers,” Mr Groves said.
Listings for sale
Listings for sale in Perth increased over the quarter, sitting at 14,845 at the end of March 2017.
“It’s common for listings to rebound in the March quarter following the seasonal dip in listings over the festive period. This quarter’s listings figure is similar to levels experienced in the latter half of last year.
“Stock levels have been well controlled with total listings having declined by 2.7 per cent compared to the March quarter 2016,” Mr Groves said.
Average selling days and discounting
On average, it took vendors 70 days to sell their property in the March quarter.
Mr Groves said the proportion of vendors needing to discount their asking price held steady over the quarter at 55 per cent.
“We’ve also seen an improvement in the amount vendors are having to discount by, with figures revealing the average discount had fallen to 6.4 per cent in the March quarter, from seven per cent in the December quarter 2016,” Mr Groves said.
22 March 2017
Kevin Eddy via Domain.com.au
Deal with caveats and encumbrances early
A major cause of anxiety that can cause settlements to be delayed are undetected legal caveats and/or encumbrances on a property. These must be legally lifted before you can settle.
Ideally, you should aim to buy a property with no caveats or encumbrances upon it in the first place – you can uncover these by instructing your solicitor or conveyancer to carry out a title search prior to purchase, or at the very least before the contract goes unconditional. If anything crops up, your solicitor/conveyancer should instruct the seller’s legal counsel to resolve the issues – or you can simply walk away from the purchase if you prefer.
Make sure the money is in place
One of the most common reasons for settlements being delayed or failing altogether is the funding not coming through. Mortgage approval is usually dependent on the bank’s valuation of the property, which may not take place until late in the buying process. If the valuation falls short, you could be in big trouble.
Results Mentoring property coach and experienced property investor Brendan Kelly says you should make finalising your funding your top priority after signing the contract of sale.
“If you’re on a standard settlement of between 30 and 90 days, get your loan approved once you’ve signed the contract or gone unconditional,” says Kelly. “Make sure it’s all done well in advance of settlement.”
Even better, choose a bank that will pre-approve your loan or accept your evaluation. A mortgage broker can help you find a lender who will do this, as well as help you find the best loan for your circumstances.
Be proactive as D-day approaches
You may have a great conveyancer or solicitor, and the bank may have approved your loan, but you should also take responsibility for ensuring the settlement goes ahead as planned. You should be proactive, albeit not pushy, in ensuring that things are progressing well as settlement date approaches.
Kelly recommends chasing up your conveyancer/solicitor, your bank/mortgage broker and the vendor’s solicitor or real estate agent between seven and 10 days before the appointed settlement date.
“Call, don’t email, the key players, and ask the following questions,” says Kelly.
- Is everything on track for settlement on [this date]?
- Is there anything that is missing that could stop settlement?
- Is there anything you need me to do/anything I can do to help?
“Follow up your calls with emails confirming the conversations. That way, if there are any problems, you have evidence that you’ve ‘done your part’,” he adds. “This also helps counter any demands for additional funding or payments from your end if things go wrong.”
Kelly adds that you should repeat this process three days out from settlement as a final check. The day before or on settlement day is often too late to resolve any problems and settle on time.
Proactive preparation should mean your settlement goes smoothly, but don’t panic if it still doesn’t go to plan. There’s usually a grace period to resolve any problems, and nine times out of 10 all the parties involved will pull out all the stops to make sure settlement goes ahead within a few days.
To discuss any settlement matters please give Conveyancing HQ a call on 08 9478 6677
09 March 2017
The hardest part of buying your first property is saving the deposit.
Prospective homeowners in Queensland have the benefit of more affordable property prices, but it still takes discipline to pull together that all-important down payment.
According to Mortgage Choice’s 2016 First Home Buyer Survey, it takes about two years for two-thirds of Queensland-based first homebuyers to save a big enough property deposit.
“This data is hardly surprising when you consider that property prices continue to surge and wages have all but stagnated over the last couple of years,” Mortgage Choice’s Jessica Darnbrough said.
“Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows the average home loan has climbed 300 per cent over the last 20 years, while wages have only doubled.”
Saving a property deposit has never been easy and requires discipline – usually at a time when young people are finally earning a decent salary and have money to spend.
Qualified Property Investment Adviser Andrew Hancock of MyPropertyPro said many prospective homebuyers struggle to set aside money to save each month because their expenditure exceeds their income.
“You need financial discipline on some level to save money and ultimately you need control over it, but some people struggle to deal with the expenditures and then have money left over to save,” he said.
“I personally advocate reversing the situation and viewing your savings as a bill that needs to be paid, like any bill that you can’t get out of, and put it away first. Then you’ll learn how to live off the rest and the savings plan will just naturally develop.”
With property prices potentially rising faster than a would-be first homebuyer’s ability to save a deposit, Hancock said another strategy may involve paying lenders mortgage insurance – but only after they’ve sought professional advice on their financial situation.
“Sometimes trying to ‘out save the market’ is a bit of a futile experience and it may be better to buy in earlier with a lower deposit, but people do need to understand their own risk profile and personal situation,” he said.
Darnbrough said that while it is becoming harder for many buyers to save a deposit, there are a few tactics they can employ to reach their savings goal faster.
Strategies to increase their savings include shopping around for a better savings deal from their lender, building a budget, asking for discounts, and simply taking their lunch to work, she said.
“This is an oldie, but a goodie. Those who bring their own lunch to work every day, can ultimately save themselves upwards of $50 a week, or $2600 a year – money that can then be put towards a home deposit,” she said.
23 February 2017
Article modified via @REIWA Author: Rachel Preston-Bidwell
Buying your first home is a big deal and one of the biggest investments you will make in your adult life.
There are many factors to consider when researching the suburb and type of property you’re interested in buying. Do you buy an established home or build off-the-plan? Live in the city or on a quiet suburban street? Then there’s the question of transport, proximity to work, cafes and amenities. The list goes on.
If you’re keen to buy a house without sacrificing on an inner city lifestyle then looking into older, more established properties might be for you, especially if you’re into DIY and don’t mind getting your hands dirty or renovating.
We spoke with Kareena Ballard, Director at Jones Ballard Property Group, to get her expert advice on why you should consider buying an older property for your first home.
Why buy established?
Older homes come with greater responsibility and you may need to consider the renovation costs to modernise or touch-up the property. Some maintenance should be expected and it’s recommended a thorough building inspection is conducted before you buy. But if you’re prepared to do the work, buying an older, established property can bring some major benefits.
Typically, you can purchase an older property for a reasonable price near the CBD or an inner city suburb. Buying and living in these areas means you’re closer to the action for events and festivities, plus if you work in the city, it can cut down on transportation costs and time. This is an attractive prospect for tenants, should you decide to rent out the property in the future.
Additionally, older homes tend to sit on large blocks, making them ideal for subdivision, redevelopment or extension if you want extra living space.
Ms Ballard recommends looking out for houses built between the 1960s and 1980s, or those that lend themselves to the charm of the art deco era. Look for timber floors, high ceilings and simple design layouts, which you can easily bring up-to-date whilst preserving the character.
“Benefit from a ‘live in them or hold now’ approach. Renovate the property by renewing kitchens and bathrooms, restoring timber floors or putting down tiles, rendering the face brickwork and painting a concrete tiled roof,” Ms Ballard said.
Units and villas are also a good option for first home buyers living alone or as a couple, and there are often good buys within close proximity to the CBD.
“Older units are mostly larger than those being built new today. Many opportunities exist to invest and make money for both investors and first home buyers.
“Ensure the building is well managed and strata maintenance is being taken care of,” Ms Ballard said.
Renovating old houses in WA
It might be a dream for some to ‘flip’ a house quickly and sell it for a higher value. However, Ms Ballard advises this concept rarely works in Perth’s current market.
“To do this successfully, you need a rapidly rising market. A second story addition may work in this case if built well and quickly – the addition must blend well with the old,” Ms Ballard said.
If you’re buying your first home with the long term view in mind however, you can potentially build equity in an established property by renovating it bit by bit over the years.
“First home buyers could start with a property under $300,000, live in it, renovate and then move out, using the equity that has been built up as the deposit on the next purchase,” Ms Ballard said.
If you do decide to buy an established home with the aim to renovate, be sure to use quality fit-outs and reputable trade companies.
“There’s nothing worse than a renovation done cheaply, it will look as cheap as it cost and be difficult to sell. Buyers and renters alike have so much choice now, you need to stand out in the crowd to achieve a profit.
“Good luck and happy hunting. The property no one else wants is often a property worth researching,” Ms Ballard said.
If you’re looking for an established house with old-world charm, find properties for sale on pmmetro.com.au
05 January 2017
03 January 2017
First home buyers purchasing newly built properties will now have access to a $15,000 First Home Owners Grant until 31 December 2017.
Announced last week, Premier Colin Barnett said the decision to increase the grant from $10,000 to $15,000 would help first home buyers enter the property market, stimulate construction in WA’s housing market and provide around 2,000 new jobs.
“We are conscious about housing affordability and this boost will provide more families an opportunity to get into the housing market,” Mr Barnett said.
Speaking to ABC Online last week, REIWA President Hayden Groves said he was worried the increase to the grant would be a detriment to the property market and would like to see the same incentive given to first home buyers purchasing existing homes.
“As an Institute we’re a little concerned that the gap between established property and new property for first home buyers is getting larger,” Mr Groves said.
As with the existing grant, the boost payment applies to new homes up to the value of $750,000 (or up to one million dollars if the home is located north of the 26th parallel).
28 September 2016
19 September 2016
New apartment complexes are popping up all over Perth which has led to more West Aussies opting to purchase an apartment off the plan before or during construction.
What is an ‘off the plan’ purchase?
Off the plan refers to property purchases that take place before the property is completed and/or the Certificate of Title has been issued.
A deposit is paid by the buyer and settlement occurs when the apartment complex is completed, which could be several months or years later.
If you’re considering making an off the plan purchase, it’s very important that you’re aware of the commitment and that you read the contract to know exactly what you’re buying and what your rights and responsibilities are.
How does buying off the plan differ to a regular property purchase?
Buying off the plan is quite a different process to buying an existing house and the contracts are often lengthy, complex legal documents.
If the property is an apartment then you’ll be buying a strata titled lot and the developer has probably drafted a set of strata by-laws, so make sure you read and understand what these by-laws are.
Before making an offer, check to see if it can be subject to finance approval. This may not be possible because a lender can’t make a lending offer that lasts for an extended period, but it can’t hurt to ask.
If you fail to meet settlement, the sellers may have the right to cancel your contract and re-list the property for sale. If the apartment resells for less than what was agreed in your contract, then you may be exposed to the possibility of being sued for any shortfall.
Bear in mind that if the development has not yet commenced construction, there is no guarantee of it starting as the developer will often need to achieve a significant number of pre-sales in order to proceed. Therefore, it’s wise to enquire about any clauses in the contract that permit the seller to withdraw if their sales targets aren’t met.
Benefits of buying off the plan
Off the plan sales can be a great opportunity to buy into an exclusive development in a location you want to live in. Plus, it can provide an extended period of time to plan your transition with ample time to sell an existing home. As a buyer, you may also get the opportunity to choose from a range of finishes for tiling, floor coverings and cabinetry.
When buying off the plan, be sure to ask the real estate agent lots of questions, gain an understanding of the timeline to completion and ensure you read and understand the contract and by-laws.
Couple buying a house with a real estate agent