COULD it be possible that the Ipswich housing market is getting back to normal? That depends, of course, on how you define ‘normal’.
Our big cities, where demand is high and supply constrained due to a lack of land, have had the most confident growth and sustainable prices.
Holiday markets, rural and regional areas — where demand is always more unpredictable and inconsistent — felt the pinch most.
I was in Britain recently which is now showing signs of having come through the worst of it. Interest rates are low but funding is still a challenge. Nevertheless, people are buying, selling and moving again. There are no record breaking prices — yet — but sales are being achieved at fair values.
Like here, much housing stock has not had substantial capital growth for five to seven years. It only seems terrible because growth levels in recent decades were high double digits. But let’s face it, we have to recognise that that is just not normal. The US is the housing market of extreme diversity. Houses can sell for $10,000 but you often find the tax you owe is almost half of that. And two years later, the value of the property has dropped to $7000 as high stock levels continue to push prices down.
Meanwhile, in New York demand is on the rise again and prices are pushing up. Likewise in San Francisco, where Silicon Valley salaries are again pushing up the prices of homes.
Away from the biggest cities, however, are places with high foreclosure rates and property prices in freefall. So the conclusion to draw out of all of this is that all three markets are behaving “normally”.
Regardless of whether you are in Australia, Britain or the US, there are high-demand areas and places that haven’t seen a value gain in half a decade.
Markets are driven by localised factors as well as macro-economic trends and this gives some context for why the market is behaving the way it is.
But in 2013 we do have something that was not always “normal” — the amount of information you can access to help decide on the health of any real estate market.
If you are a property nerd like me, sites such as realestate.com.au here and in Britain rightmove.co.uk are a treasure trove. In the US my favourite site is trulia.com, which provides the market for properties and the official valuation — often nowhere near the asking price.
I love pouring over these sites and seeing what’s on the market — it’s all good fun.
And that’s perfectly normal, isn’t it?
How to attract and keep top tenants in your rental property
Being a landlord isn’t always easy. Dealing with tenants who are bad payers or appear to be on a mission to turn your rental property into a rubbish tip can be time consuming and stressful.
Renters currently have the upper hand in many Australian cities. Inner-city Brisbane, for example, has experienced a high volume of apartment construction in recent years and landlords have had to reduce rents and offer incentives to lock in leases.
With renters able to pick and choose, landlords need to try harder to ensure they attract –and keep – top quality tenants.
Here are some tips for achieving this:
Best face forward
The way you present and market your property will influence the type of interest you receive. If a rental property appears dirty and unkempt, prospective tenants may assume you’ll be equally lackadaisical once they’re in residence. This may be appealing to those who share your ‘relaxed’ approach to home and garden care, but it’s likely to be a turn-off for renters who keep things in proper order. The better the home looks and feels, the higher the calibre of applicants you’ll attract (and the higher the rent you can potentially command).
Faced with the choice between your dwelling and another that’s broadly equivalent, tenants are likely to go for the property that offers extras that add to their comfort. Installing air conditioners in the living room and main bedroom may tip the balance in your favour, or deter good sitting tenants from considering their options during the summer sizzle. Similarly, a dishwasher in the kitchen and freestanding wardrobes in bedrooms that lack built-ins are modest investments that can make a big difference.
Gardening made easy
Not everyone has a green thumb. Ensuring garden maintenance is as easy as possible can make your house or townhouse appealing to renters who may be good payers, but don’t have the time or inclination to mow and prune. Consider providing a green bin, include a monthly or quarterly yard clean-up in the rent and plant shrubs and trees that require minimal TLC.
Lock it up
If you want tenants to take good care of your property, it pays to demonstrate that you’re committed to looking after their personal property too. Installing security that’s appropriate to the home and the neighbourhood can provide peace of mind and make it cheaper and easier for tenants to obtain contents insurance.
Attend to maintenance
Having to ask repeatedly for something to be fixed is irritating, particularly if the request is reasonable. Attending to repairs as soon as possible tells good tenants you respect them and value the relationship. Conversely, making them wait weeks for maintenance requests to be actioned may result in them looking elsewhere for a landlord who can keep up their end of the bargain.
Reasonable rent rises
The market will determine the rent you can charge. If what you’re asking isn’t on par with equivalent dwellings in the same area, renters will assess their options. Should a lease be due to expire and you’re happy with the tenant, it’s wise to be realistic about rent rises – or open to the possibility of a reduction if the market has dropped. Keeping a good tenant is usually easier than finding a replacement
Related article: How to attract and keep top tenants in your rental property
More Ipswich suburbs to be switched on by the NBN
Queensland Says No New Taxes on Foreign Property Buyers in Bjelke Petersen-like Strategy
The Queensland government has ruled out introducing new taxes on foreign buyers of residential real estate.
They are the only state that actually monitors foreign investment, so were in the box seat to implement such a tax regime.
The rejection comes after the populist Victoria Labor government’s recent budget unveiled a new tax regime that will seek to tax foreign buyers and foreign owners.
Queensland has vowed not to follow Victoria’s lead and introduce any new taxes on foreign property investors.
Treasurer Curtis Pitt said Queensland welcomed foreign property investment.
“We’re ruling out any stamp duty surcharges for foreign investors who purchase a house in Queensland,” said Pitt.
“We’re also ruling out any land tax surcharge for foreign investors in this state.”
The Victorian state budget, revealed on Tuesday, included a 3%t stamp duty surcharge for homes from July and land tax increases of 0.5% from 2016 for offshore-based investors.
News Ltd reported Queensland executive director of the Property Council, Chris Mountford saying the action will strengthen Queensland’s position on the global investment map.
“In particular it creates a compelling case to invest in Queensland over Victoria.”
Nothing new for Queensland as that was how former premier Joh Bjelke Petersen saw the state into an upswing when Queensland didn’t have death duties like other states.
It was in 1977 when the Premier of Queensland Joh Bjelke Petersen abolished death duties and a wave of Australia’s elderly headed towards the Gold Coast with the high rise following as dying in Queensland became a tax avoidance scheme and Surfers Paradise became a retirement haven.
By JONATHAN CHANCELLOR via propertyobserver.com.au