Investors Gear Up to Buy as Australia’s House Prices Fall

When markets begin to fall, ever-resilient investors begin to ask if it’s already time to buy.

If you follow the advice of economists and analysts, then the smart way is don’t rush as more challenges are still ahead. But if you follow history, then this is merely another glitch on a history-making market. Though both sources are very tricky, they are often relied on.

What is the situation that investors face?

The latest house price report from the Domain Group says that house prices in the country declined 1.2% over the past quarter, with the national median declining to $809,201 from a record high posted in the past quarter.

Meanwhile, annual price movement is still in the upbeat zone, but the 2.3% growth is the lowest posted since 2012.

Sydney, Australian investors’ hottest pick, reported a 2.6% drop from media house prices in the March quarter and posted its first year-on-year decline in six years. Meanwhile, Melbourne saw a 1.0% increase 0.1 in the quarter and 8.8% over the year – holding on to its 22nd straight quarterly increase record by a slim margin.

The macro-economic observations are very negative as well, with regulators instituting stricter controls on lending; the banking royal commission presenting the possibility of more restrictions, forecasts of increasing interest rate, and economists forecasting more house price declines in the future.

Economists predict more challenges

A correction in Australian house prices is expected to last two to four years. However, the long-term price increase seen in property markets makes the decline seem small.

Following impressive gains over the last 10 years, prices in Melbourne and Sydney could be priced too highly by as much as 25%.

This potential issue could be addressed by house values declining significantly, or a fixed period of extremely minor house price declines and increasing income growth. This is scenario is what economists are offering.

There are other experts who have offered forecasts for the future of the property market.

According to AMP, Sydney and Melbourne house prices could decline by 5% in 2018, but no crash. Morgan Stanley, meanwhile, forecasts sluggishness for the rest of 2018.

In contrast, ANZ economists believe that all challenges are over and forecasts a 2% increase in 2018 and 4% in 2019.

Is the worst over, or another glitch?

A thinned-out group of property investors will need to determine if a post-golden era of investing is beneficial. This is true if we look at history.

A world record was recently posted by Australian house prices when growth reached 6556 % in 55 years, according to data from the Bank of International Settlements and cited by UBS, with gains averaging 8.1% annually during that period.

Prices increased twofold every nine years. It was deemed the world’s longest increase during that period with no downswing. Downswing means a steady price fall of three years.

And more currently, history has shown that price declines tend to be fairly fast and negligible.

There have only been three falls in the national year-on-year property prices in the last 15 years, according to data from Domain Group. And in that period values haven’t declined by over 19% in one quarter.

Though Australia’s present economic, debt and housing situations are very different from the past, positive tax laws continue to drive investors towards housing. Meanwhile, population growth continues to be robust, which indicates plenty of prospective tenants, and employment figures continue to be strong, which denotes people would be able to pay rent.

There are plenty on the line for short-term investors, though there will be despair for a few bottom-pickers. However, plenty will remain very satisfied property investors.

Hottest Kitchen Design Trends for 2018

Your feelings about a house can change in an instant upon glimpsing a well-designed, beautiful kitchen, as this is a home’s heart and soul and where a family spends a significant part of their day.

We have gathered trends and function tips from experts to help you create a fine-looking kitchen for 2018.

  1. Colour and texture

The classic, all-white look is out, same as gloss cabinetry. This is good news because both are very difficult to keep clean. The trend that is rising in popularity as an alternative to the all-white look is matte finishes, warm greys, timber and all shades of grey, green and olive. Rather than sparkling and white, the kitchen of 2018 is stylish and mature.

  1. Terrazzo and marble

The versatile and durable terrazzo will be a big kitchen trend this year. This material is now increasingly being used in poured floors, floor tiles, splashbacks and cast sinks.

Meanwhile, marble benchtops and splashbacks remain bang on trend. A style of marble, Silver Galaxy, is a intense but fairly cool stone that brings elegance to kitchen benchtops and splashbacks.

  1. Splashback versus tiles

Simple splashbacks are competing against wall tile this season. As a result, there are many options and styles that people can choose from.

The biggest trend for splashbacks currently is to put in the stone benchtop up the wall, creating a clean and stylish vibe.  Mirror splashbacks are also good additions to tiny areas. If you’re using a stone benchtop but not putting it up as the splashback, put in a lip. If installing a subway tile, pile them up rather than bricklaying, and use white grout. This year, square tiles are also in.

  1. Storage never go out of style

Smart storage options can help even tiny kitchens. It is important for a kitchen to have storage. Make sure you identify what needs to be stored in your kitchen, such as drawer for pots and pans, plastic containers, etc. Make sure that every item in your kitchen has a place then come up with a place and cross-reference it with your list.

  1. Open shelving for display

Smart storage is important but modern kitchens are also a design feature so why not try mixing up wall cabinets with display shelving. Cabinets tend to clutter up the wall. But open shelving makes a space look bigger. Showcase your beautiful ceramic tableware or just stach your white dinner plates and make a feature from the stuffs you utilise regularly.

  1. Don’t forget the details

If you’re not renovating the entire kitchen or just want to give it a fresh look, consider upgrading some of the finer details such as brass hardware, rangehoods and tapware. You can find unique range of styles and finishes for these items. A little update on these items can instantly bring your kitchen back to life.

If you are considering a renovation or update in 2018, bear this in mind: It’s good to add the latest trends to your interior décor, but it’s also good to pick finishes that match your home. Choose what you love – and you won’t be disappointed.



Tips to Make Your Home a Selling Hit

“How much is my property worth?” This is the question that is foremost in the mind of a seller when they decide to put their home on the market.

And this is a complex question because there are many factors that can influence a property’s sale price.

However, sellers can do some things to help improve the property’s chances of getting an excellent sales result.


Here is how to position your property to achieve selling success:


  1. Begin from the front

Many buyers will see your house first on the Internet, but a significant number of these people may follow up with an actual visual check or drive by.

It’s important to ensure the potential buyers’ first impression is a good one. You can boost your home’s street appeal by cleaning up the front of your house and the yard. This will encourage more people to drop by and check out your property in detail.

You can also paint and fix the fence. Giving your fence a fresh coat of paint will make your yard appear larger and more attractive.  Remember the letterbox too!  It’s just as important.


  1. Small investment, big rewards

Buying a few cans of paint and giving the interior of your home new paint is the most inexpensive way to raise the value of your home.

Buyers look positively on a home with big space. With light, neutral colours, the sense of space within the home is instantly improved.

Go with neutral colours, particularly white, to make the space appear bigger. It also pushes you to get pull out some furniture and furnishing because you don’t want the pieces you’d like to take with you to the new home to get paint.


  1. Think carefully about renovations

One major mistake that many sellers commit is overcapitalising with the cost of their renovations.

Experts say that renovations in the kitchens and bathrooms bring the biggest return on investment. However, sellers should proceed with caution.

Don’t spend too much on renovations because most buyers want to give their own stamp to their own kitchens and bathrooms anyway.


  1. Put a shine on those benchtops

Instead of spending thousands of dollars on a complete kitchen overhaul, experts suggest painting the old benchtops and cabinets to give them an instant boost in appeal.


  1. Dec-clutter

Getting rid of clutter will barely cost a cent. Remove as many of your belongings as possible throughout the period when your home is open for viewing. It makes your home appear bigger, thereby boosting its selling potential.

You’re leaving the property anyway, so if there are things that you’d like to take with you then that would be a big help for your agent in selling the place.

Failed to Buy a Property Last Year? Here is a go-to buyers’ checklist for house-hunters

Buyers had a tough time in 2017. If you failed to get the home that you had your eye on, don’t feel dejected. Be ready next time armed with this plan of attack that I give to clients.

1. Organise your money situation
I always encourage my clients to maintain a good relationship with a bank or mortgage lender in order for them to know how much deposit they need. I also advise them to have their loan pre-approved.

2. Determine what you want
One of the major reasons for people not purchasing property is clarity, or lack of it. I recommend putting on paper what you want physically, emotionally and financially to get a clear view.

3. Make your own enquiry
I tell my clients to pick three primary and three secondary suburbs for consideration to prevent confusion. When you’ve selected a property, drive to the homes at various times to observe differences.

4. Get familiar with the market
Buyers need to establish a strong relationship with a selling agent and identify the real value of the home.

5. Regard purchasing like a job
After you have brought together your team, it is now time to be proactive. Newcastle is undergoing a transformation, with major developments as evidenced by the record number of cranes operating in the city. New developments to watch out for include apartment blocks, the light rail line, a new university campus, a 500-unit mall redevelopment, new office buildings, and more.

6. Buy in winter
I advise people to buy in winter when there are less buyers and competition.   And I also warn them not to make a common mistake people make – looking at the furniture rather than the space and location.

7. Perform due diligence
Ensure you read the pest and building reports, and learn about heritage restrictions and look closely at the contract details. Don’t spend hundreds of thousands of dollars without getting independent advice.

8. Review your financial situation
When you’ve chosen a property, contact your financier straight away to discuss moving forward.

9. Don’t quibble over the smallest things
Don’t be fussy over small things like where the clothesline is.

10. Hire a professional
It would be natural for a group of buyers’ agents to endorse themselves, but you could save time and money from hiring a professional.