Property Exchange PEXA Purchased by Major Bank

 

You may have hear months ago that the Commonwealth Bank disclosed in a statement to the ASX that it has purchased Property Exchange Australia Limited (PEXA) in a shared bid with Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners and Link Administration Holdings Limited.

PEXA is a web platform that helps users with lodging of documents to Land Registries and electronic financial settlements on property matters.

Per PEXA’s website, it has handled over 1.7 million transactions valued at a total of $237 billion. The company was established in 2010 “to fulfil the Council of Australian Governments” (COAG) initiative to deliver a single, national e-conveyancing to the Australian property industry.”

PEXA has 7,581 members comprising of real estate agents, as well as actors related to the property transaction process such as lawyers, conveyancers, developers and financial institutions.

PEXA’s shareholders officially approved the joint bid in November 2018, having been first filed in October 2018 and then augmented on 5 November 2018.

The deal calls for CBA to inject $50 million into PEXA and acquire a 16% equity share in the company, upping its current share in the company of 13.1%

According to Commonwealth Bank’s CEO, the move is an indication of its confidence in the Australian property sector.

The completion of the deal still depends on several conditions being met, but it is expected to be be finalised by the end of 2018.

Many of the conveyancers and solicitors One Agency Pinkerton Properties find themselves working with are now using PEXA.  It certainly streamlines the process and we receive the ‘Order on the Agent’ much faster enabling us to had over the keys to the purchasers sooner and pay the deposit held to the seller too.

What Appliance in your Home is Costing you the Most Money?

Our lives are made easier by home appliances, but they are also a burden to our pocketbook and the environment. And this is not good for anyone.

If you are interested in reducing your electricity bills and saving the environment, here is a  list of the home appliances that are costing you the most:

 

Heaters
The most expensive home appliances are heating and cooling systems, making up 40% of a household’s electricity bill. It can get pretty cold inside Australian homes, which often results in high heating costs during winter. But you can do some things to keep warm without spending too much.

First, choose your heater wisely.

Purchase the more energy-efficient heater as much as possible. For example, a reverse cycle (inverter) system is normally less expensive to operate than other types of heaters.

Turn on the heater only in the room where you’re in. The draughty homes in Australia allow heat to exit quickly, so having the heater turned on even when you’re not in a room is wasteful.

Don’t turn up the temperature settings, as you’ll be paying more for every degree. Make sure your heater is not working too hard to heat a room by maintaining the temperature in the low 20s.

You can also do something about your home to keep the cold out, like putting in insulation, sealing up draughts, installing double glazed windows and hanging curtains and blinds that keep the heat during winter and block the sun during summer.

 

Refrigerators
Fridges are big and constantly running, so they can significant users of energy.

Old fridges and freezers consume massive amounts of electricity and should be changed to a newer model. Small to medium fridges that are less than 10 years old and bearing a fairly high energy star-rating use a comparatively lower amount of electricity, making it a good replacement.

It’s time to buy a new one if you have one of those that are 15 or 20 years old, as they are not likely have been subjected to strict energy consumption requirements.

If you have a running fridge in your garage or shed, it’s time to determine if you really need it, particularly during winter.

Experts recommend purchasing a model with no ice dispenser (or switch it off) and stay away from big fridges if you to cut your energy bills.

 

Clothes dryers
With the Hills Hoist still used widely in Australia, it’s very common to see Aussies drying clothes the old-fashioned way. However, winter is when people prefer to throw in their laundry in the clothes dryer.

Air dry your laundry whenever possible, as clothes dryers are energy hogs. Use space efficient indoor drying racks that you can attach from the ceiling or on the walls.

Landlords and apartment body corporates can help out by providing clothes lines and permitting rack drying in public areas and balconies. This means putting aesthetic issues aside in favour of keeping your energy costs down.

 

Television and other electronics
TVs comprise 19% of an Australian household’s appliance energy consumption, and if it is switched on for most of the day, that adds up to your energy bill.

Additionally, putting televisions, DVD players and other electronic devices on standby mode, can increase a home’s “standby power” consumption. Standby power, on average, makes up roughly 10% of a household’s appliance energy consumption, and it can add up if multiple appliances remain switched even though they’re not being used.

 

Tips to save energy
A good way to lower your energy bills is to invest in energy efficient appliances, particularly for big-ticket items like washing machines, dishwashers and those mentioned above.

Appliances are the simplest feature to change in virtually all homes, especially in rental properties. And you don’t need to change of all it at once, you can prioritise the appliance that is the No. 1 energy hog.

You can determine how efficient an appliance is through energy star ratings. Five-star appliances may be more expensive, but you’d be able to save more in the long term.

This is an important fact to remember: you are saving 20-30% on your operating expenses for every extra star.

 

 

What Will Improve How Your Facade Looks?

A strong focal point – this is the one thing that would make your façade look better.

Normally, that will be the front entry and door. However, if it cannot be seen from the road, then the focal point might be the garage door, front fence or pedestrian gate areas.

They may have been times when you’ve seen too many focal points in a house, but don’t know why you dislike it. The reason is that multiple features on a home’s facade can cause the viewer’s focus to stray and make them feel uncomfortable. A design is deemed good if it is easy on the eye, unpretentious but chic and well organised.

It is a common mistake for renovators to give each element of their home’s façade the “wow” factor. Meanwhile, there are many homes without any feature or focal point and too visually boring.

So what can you do to liven up your home’s façade?

Install a beautiful front door. This is a simple change that you’d easily afford. To add layer, put in a few other design features. This will greatly jazz up your home’s façade.

Adding a feature wall panelling, screen or a deck at the front entry is also another option. But take note these features will depend on the home’s style and suitability.

A small roof is another feature that can make a huge difference in your front entry. Make it more inviting with big pots planted with lush plants.

However, make sure that the features you are adding fit with the existing style of your home. Designers and architects are experts at combining old with contemporary styles, but it is hard to find a balance.

It is absolutely fine to modernise your home by making changes, but be sure they are properly integrated.

You can also use contrasting materials and colours to create a powerful focal point.

It is also important to consider lighting. Often an afterthought, lighting is an effective way to create visual contrast to your home, especially at night.

Soften the general appearance of your home with stylish landscaping in the front yard. To add to the focal point, plant a green area close to the front entry to your home. Think about planting in layers, with the tall plants at the back and the small ones at the front. Planting a tree at the centre of the yard is a good idea too, but it shouldn’t obstruct the focal point.

Regardless of what style your home is, you can create a strong focal point. That is the advantage of good design – it can complement anything even if you think it won’t.

The Impact of Google Maps on House Prices

Have you ever felt smugly satisfied driving down a back street instead of stuck in massive traffic on a main road, thanks to a faster route found on Google Maps? If yes, then you’re not the only one.

According to experts, more traffic is being re-routed to residential streets due to the use of satellite navigation systems like Google Maps, and it is likely affecting not only traffic situations there but also house values.

Transport specialist Professor Majid Sarvi from the University of Melbourne said that transportation-wise, people are interested only in making the most of their benefits and cut their travel time, hence they’re actually battling against each other.

He added that it is good to get some traffic off the major roads, but when are too many cars re-routed to the back streets, the burden is placed on the road network, which lead to increased congestion and safety problems.

The particular design of local road networks is for slower speeds, for pedestrians to use them to walk or cycle around. It is similar to a freeway with bikes at the centre of it.

According to Wakelin Property Advisory director Jarrod McCabe, house prices are generally lower if the streets have more traffic, and that prices could be negatively affected if more traffic was being re-routed to residential streets.

This is an issue that investors should focus more on and not compromise on, because when you are searching for an investment property, it is better to have many people to participate as many as possible, both from a resale and a rental standpoint.

The most affected are suburbs within five to 10 kilometres of the CBD because people stay away from “boulevard style” streets with tram lines, preferring to live in peaceful residential streets.

The experts’ advice for people who plan to purchase in these locations is to find out what traffic is like on the street at various times of the day, pick the rear of the block if you are purchasing an apartment and consider double glazing for windows.

Properties on streets with no large volume of traffic, both from congestion and noise standpoints, would be more popular.

According to Professor Sarvi, technology is designed to link cars and other transport systems to a single network, which basically lets them communicate to each other and guides them on the best direction possible to prevent traffic jams and taking the wrong streets.

People should begin viewing the transport network as a whole, evaluating city planning and how people can go from point A to point B, still delivering goods to their intended locations, while the system is still performing at its best.

Satellite navigation systems are likely to direct people to the most obvious paths, mainly to circumvent roadworks or accidents on major roads.

People still depend on their familiarity with the roads, instead of solely utilising sat nav systems, however the technology is still increasingly being used.

Technology that allows communication between the satellite navigation and the road authorities will become commonplace. But there are potential benefits for smart homebuyers who choose busier roads – if a bit of traffic is not an issue for them.

For homebuyers, if you’re not overly concerned about something, it could be a chance for you to gain entry into a suburb that would otherwise be beyond your reach.

Are You Struggling to Pay Rent?

People will almost always choose to live in inner-city suburbs, because they want to be near all the amenities that a city has to offer. But there is usually a hefty price tag attach to being in close proximity to nightlife, food, entertainment and work.

The inner-suburbs is where rental stress is common, with the lion share of a tenant’s income allotted to be able to live where they do. What’s more, property managers will usually consider more kindly rental applications in which the prospective tenant is allotting no more than 30% of their income on rent.

Property managers and landlords alike don’t want tenants experiencing rental stress, so they must be sure that tenants are earning enough to afford essentials, etc.

If you are frequently experiencing difficulty in paying rent and living comfortably every month, you should talk with your current property manager and ask if they have another property a little further out of the city where it may be more affordable.  Ask yourself whether you really have the financial capability to live where you are.

No matter if you are a tenant or a landlord and you are seeking more information in todays market, call Annette Pinkerton.