First-Time Homebuyer Activity Expected to Recover

Data published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) showed that loans to Australian owner-occupiers rose to 8,573 in June 2017, the highest increase since October 2014. The growth was attributed to a surge in activity in Queensland.

Of the total owner-occupier loans released in July 2017, 15% was for first-time buyers, continuing to pick up from a record low of 12.9% posted in March 2016.

The share of owner-occupier loans was the biggest from February 2015.

By State
The largest number of first-home loan approvals was posted in Victoria at 2,367, but the number was a drop from the 2,431 recorded in June.

New loans in Queensland rose to 2,257, the biggest monthly total from October 2009 and which was the driver of the growth in in the national figure. On June 30, a provisional lift to the state’s first-home buyers grant to $20,000 ended, seeing it cut to $15,000. That probably drove some demand prior to the expiration of that increase.

Here at home in New South Wales, and also in Western Australia, loans dropped from the levels posted in June, while they rose in South Australia.

New Stamp Duty Concessions
It is expected that first-home buyer activity will continue to recover in the months after the launch of new stamp duty concessions in New South Wales and Victoria, considering data from Queensland in June, together with the national growth in the first-home buyer activity during the world financial crunch in response to increased grants. This response caused the share of new owner-occupier loans issued to first-home buyers to temporarily increase to more than 30%.

In New South Wales, stamp duty has been removed for first-home buyers on current and new homes valued at up to $650,000, with stamp duty cuts given to properties worth up to $800,000.

The Most Popular Paint Colours in Australia

The paint aisle at your local hardware offers hundreds of options. But there only a few that are considered the best, according to Taubmans.

Sales figures show only minimal deviations across Australian states. The selection of colour palettes is driven by factors such as environment, natural light and house styles. The Australian east coast has many similarities, but there are distinct dissimilarities that resulted in diverse outcomes.

Here are the top three colours in different Australian states:

Neutrals are a popular choice (top to bottom: crisp white,windy beach,charcoal heather,centurion,viking grey)

New South Wales (NSW)
Crisp White
Viking Grey
Windy Beach

The most popular colour in NSW is Crisp White, particularly in the coastal areas. Due to solid, beach connections, blue-tinged greys like Viking Grey and Windy Beach are really sought after.
Queensland (QLD)
Crisp White
All Black
Whisper White

Because they are used to sunshine, Queenslanders prefer stark white bases like Crisp White and Whisper White, which can counteract glare and heat during summer. All Black, a new comer in the mix, is a surprise pick for a place that has customarily liked white interiors.

Victoria (VIC)
Crisp White
All Black
Cotton Sheets

The state, a mix of old-style and ultra-modern structures, leads the opposing tones of All Black and Crisp White with the addition of a warm white, like Cotton Sheets, to counterbalance the grey skies and cool wintry season.

Most popular paint colours beyond white:

All Black
Charcoal Heather
Viking Grey

So, the final results showed that the most popular are grey and white-based colours, which combines perfectly with Nordic-inspired soft pastels and light-oak and ash-toned wood that are much preferred these days.

The popularity of outliers such as All Black can be attributed to the increased in popularity of high-contrast interiors showcasing black and white and a single accent colour, inspired by Japanese and simple art-deco designs. Another factor is the popularity of “Japandi”, which combines Japanese blacks and design style and the usefulness and lightness of Scandinavian design.

What colours are expected to become popular in the future?

Pastels are expected to grow in popularity, especially the much deeper and richer pastel hues of blues, greens, pinks and blush, due to the advance of dark wood stains such as walnut.

The Advantages of Open Homes

An open home is when potential buyers can walk through a property that is for sale at a scheduled time and date. It boosts the exposure of the property and lets many people inspect it at one time.

It’s a smart way for real estate agents to give their sellers another chance to show their property. People will come if they don’t have to ask for the agent because they will not feel as committed. Believe it or not, it is true that it can be intimidating for prospective buyers to call an agent.

People often want to fully check out several options, so open inspections allow them to evaluate a number of properties more easily. Open homes can also attract the notice of people who may not be keen on buying, but may impulsively cash in on the right property being available at the right time.

It is not uncommon for agents to sell properties through open inspections where people have no plans of buying, but just happens to see the open home and go to have a look.

Opens homes is also a way to settle the expectations from buyers that an open for inspection is part of the marketing plan. Real estate agents often receive calls from people asking when a house for sale is available for viewing.

Having an open home when people can drop in at one time benefits the present residents, as they would be less inconvenienced if they don’t have to pack and leave each time there is a private viewing. It can be difficult to get a buyer look at a tenanted house, but in the case of an open home, any person who is interested can walk through the door.

Real estate experts recommend combining private inspections and open houses. This way interested people can make a private inspection appointment, and sales could also be made from people who are just looking through with no intention of making a private appointment.

You just never know if the buyer will be actively looking or if they will be a passive buyer.

New Measures to Help First Time Homebuyers in Australia

The Government has announced additional measures to help first time home buyers in response to affordability issues in Australia’s housing market, particularly in big cities like Sydney and Melbourne.

According to a draft legislation that has been published, a First Home Super Saver Scheme (FHSSS) will be introduced to let first time homebuyers save for a deposit within their superannuation account, adding to it the tax incentives and earnings benefits of superannuation, and further boosting their capacity to save.

Those saving for a first home will receive direct assistance under FHSSS as they will be able to save in their superannuation accounts. They can contribute $30,000, as much as $15,000 annually within existing limits, and can withdraw the contributions plus the deemed earnings to help them save a deposit for their home.

Additionally, there will be a new law that would let retirees make an exempt non-concessional contribution to their superannuation when moving into a smaller home or into a retirement village.

The two legislations are planned to be introduced on 1 July 2018. Voluntary contributions coursed through FHSSS and made starting 1 July 2017 can be withdrawn, as long as all requirements are fulfilled beginning 1 July 2018. The law will become effective well ahead of the start date to provide guarantee to savers and sellers.

A draft legislation has also been published which prevents foreign residents investing in residential properties from claiming the primary residence exemption. Foreign tax residents will no longer be allowed to claim the primary residence capital gains tax (CGT) exemption when they sell their home in Australia which was started on Budget night this year.

If a foreign tax resident still owns property on Budget night, they can still claim the exemption until 30 June 2019.  Under the new measure, the CGT principal asset to test for used on an associate inclusive basis will also be amended.

These changes will disassociate indirect interests in Australian real estate, thereby compelling foreign tax residents to pay their CGT liability. These are part of a package projected to contribute revenue of $600 million over the forward estimates.

The measures are part of the Government’s broad strategy for housing affordability published in the 2017-2018 Federal Budget intended to reduce the cost of living for Australians.

Many Australians are affected by the problem of housing affordability, which has no magic formula to solve it. The measures will enhance outcomes for Australians – from those who have no homes and those who rely on social housing, to first time homebuyers and retirees who are considering downsizing.

Who do you know that is affected?   Perhaps we can help…….