Viewing by month: February 2013

CENTURY 21 sponsors 2013 Women’s Australian Open

CENTURY 21, the largest real estate sales organisation in the Asia Pacific region, was a key sponsor of the 2013 ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open which was played at Royal Canberra Golf Club from February 14 to 17.

Boasting prize money of US$1.2 million, the prestigious event featured 10 of the world’s top 20 female players including world number one Yani Tseng, world number three Stacy Lewis, New Zealander Lydia Ko, defending champion Jessica Korda, and Australian Karrie Webb.

The championship, which offered the largest purse in Australian women’s golf history, was eventually taken out by South Korea’s Jiyai Shin. Shin, the world number eight, was tied with 15-year-old prodigy, Lydia Ko, until she performed what many have termed “the shot of her career” at the 14th hole.

“CENTURY 21 has been a supporter of Australian golf at various levels for over 17 years and believes that this tournament, and its stellar field of competitors, represents an amazing opportunity to support and be associated with a great event,” said Chairman and Owner of CENTURY 21 Australasia, Charles Tarbey. 

“Having sponsored the Men’s Australian Open in 2011, we also appreciate the fantastic global brand exposure that such an opportunity provides.”   

CENTURY 21’s branding was visible on two key holes from tee to green, as well as on the primary digital scoreboard and through other online and on-ground channels. 

ABC TV broadcasted the event to a live audience of over one million viewers over the four days of competition. The event also gained international exposure, with Fox Sports USA and JGolf broadcasting the Open to more than 15 countries worldwide, including New Zealand and the United States. 

CENTURY 21 is proud to have been a key supporter of the 2013 ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open and extends its congratulations to all the competitors and organisers on another successful event.

1 comments | Posted by Charles Tarbey on 25/02/2013 at 12:00 AM | Categories:

Charles Tarbey’s property outlook for 2013

It is widely recognised that Australia’s residential property market has seen some ups and down over the past year. And with 2013 now well underway, some investors are likely looking for insights into what’s in store for the year ahead. To this end, I’ve decided to share the following piece by CENTURY 21 Australasia’s Chairman and Owner, Charles Tarbey, which appeared in the February edition of CENTURY 21 Wentworth’s Property Investor.

The Australian residential property market: the year that was and the year ahead

It is my belief that the housing market likely hit the bottom in 2012. 

While RP Data-Rismark reported that capital city dwelling values ended 0.4 per cent down over 2012, a closer look at these figures reveals that there was positive growth in residential real estate over the period of March to December 2012. 

Last year could be categorised as a year where many investors chose to stay on the sidelines, but there are a number of prevalent market factors stemming from 2012 that could entice many people back into the market this year. 

Robust stock levels, relatively low interest rates, reduced competition in many markets and a stabilisation in property prices present attractive buying conditions. Some prospective purchasers might say that "it's too risky" to buy at the moment, but others will likely say that "it's too risky not to buy."

While I could take out a crystal ball and try to provide some type of definitive answer in relation to growth in 2013, the reality is that it will be a different year depending on which market you are looking at. Contrasting economic variables and supply and demand factors will lead to mixed results. The only forecast that most market commentators would likely agree on is that 2013 should be a 'better year' for housing prices. 

However, there shouldn't be any great expectations for the next 12 months other than modest growth. 

Although, for investors, there should be an expectation that rental returns are going to remain fairly strong in most locations. This comes down to two main factors: firstly, the shortage of rental properties on a national basis and secondly, if interest rates continue to fall and rents rise - many yields will be positively influenced. 


Sydney, has a lot of room to grow. Some areas at the top end of the market haven't quite gotten back to where they should be and the bottom end of the market is still pushing along very strongly.

There is still a tremendous amount of buyer enquiry in the market and a substantial lack of quality properties available for sale. In addition, the city's rental prices haven't pulled back and neither have its vacancy rates. 

We may have a situation where there is a shortage of homes for sale and properties for rent, while buyer activity is rising and interest rates falling. These factors, in combination, will likely create a strong push from buyers within the market, which should work to improve median house prices in Sydney. 

As such, if I were a betting person who wanted to buy in a market that's solid and sustainable - it would be Sydney. 


Victoria is a state that is still very much in catch-up mode. There is an oversupply of apartments that have been, and will continue to come, on the market. 

However, we believe the housing market may be in the midst of a recovery with CENTURY 21 seeing increased activity and buyer enquiries of late.

Melbourne is, to me, the bellwether of the national housing market; when the market's auction clearance rates start making it into the sixties on a regular basis, it should be a strong indicator that the rest of the country's markets are going to get moving. 


Western Australia is a marketplace unto its own because it's not affected by a great deal of talk from inside Australia. 

Western Australia's economy is largely driven separately to the rest of the domestic economy and, as such, I would give very little weight to talk of price reductions in Perth. I can see house prices in Perth continuing to rise; the city has a significant shortage of good quality properties available for sale and strong immigration from inside and outside of Australia.

Rents will likely continue to increase for as long as the imbalance between supply and demand remains. Perth's rents have shown, on average, almost 12 per growth over the last 12 months (according to CENTURY 21's internal portfolio) - the highest in the country. 

I would say that the previous two years have seen a lot of caution on the part of buyers, but this group is starting to see many good opportunities. Of late, CENTURY 21 has noticed an increased level of activity at open homes and even increased sales, all of which bodes well for the start of 2013. 

Whether a global economic recovery is driven from the US, China or Europe, it will occur at some point. 

In the meantime, I believe that the strong opportunities currently presenting themselves in the market, relatively low interest rates, vacancy rates, solid yields in many locations, and the relative strength of the Australian economy may, in combination, see the Australian residential market record moderate growth in 2013.

2 comments | Posted by Charles Tarbey on 22/02/2013 at 12:00 AM | Categories:

Reserve Banks keeps interest rates at three per cent

CENTURY 21 believes that the decision by the Reserve Bank of Australia to keep interest rates on hold at three per cent, will likely encourage the national housing market by continuing to make finance and refinance options attractive to buyers. 

“At its first meeting for 2013, the Reserve Bank elected to keep interest rates on hold, following four rate cuts last year that clearly had a positive effect on the national housing market,” said Chairman and Owner of CENTURY 21 Australasia, Charles Tarbey.  

“CENTURY 21 is starting to see some green shoots appearing in the residential property market and this decision, combined with other attractive buying conditions, bode well for the market in 2013.

“This decision will likely help to keep Australia’s housing market on a modest growth trajectory, and also give the Reserve Bank more scope to cut rates should conditions deteriorate in the coming months,” concluded Charles Tarbey.  

As part of its decision, the Reserve Bank reasoned that it was prudent to leave the cash rate unchanged in light of recent economic information, the expected rate of inflation and the fact that there had been a substantial easing of monetary policy in recent decisions. 

The Reserve Bank’s decision follows the recent release of RP Data-Rismark’s Hedonic Home Value Index results, which showed that median home values in capital cities rose 1.2 per cent in January, taking the annual movement in dwelling values back into positive territory with a 1.8 per cent increase over the past twelve months.

For more information about the residential property market in your areas of interest, please feel free to stop by your local CENTURY 21 Real Estate office for expert and clear advice. Additionally, if you would like to speak to a mortgage professional about suitable loan packages, please contact CENTURY 21 Home Loans.


3 comments | Posted by Charles Tarbey on 15/02/2013 at 12:00 AM | Categories:

Capital city dwelling values rise 1.2 per cent in January

According to the January 2013 RP Data-Rismark Home Value Index, home values across Australia's capital cities rose 1.2 per cent in January, taking the annual movement in dwelling values back into the black with a 1.8 per cent increase over the past twelve months. 

Since bottoming out in May 2012, dwelling values across the combined capital cities have recovered 3.1 per cent. 

The year-on-year results have now moved firmly into positive territory, with capital city dwelling values 1.8 per cent higher over the twelve months ending January 31. 

Every capital city, except Melbourne (-0.4 per cent), has recorded an increase in dwelling values over the past twelve months. 

The gains in January were mostly focussed within the Brisbane, Sydney and Perth markets where values increased two per cent, 1.8 per cent and 1.7 per cent respectively. Conditions across the Melbourne and Adelaide housing markets remained relatively subdued with dwelling values rising by 0.2 per cent and 0.4 per cent respectively. 

According to RP Data's Research Director, Tim Lawless, housing market conditions have started the year on a strong footing: 

"These strong January results are likely to have seen some upwards seasonal bias, however the housing market has been on a clear recovery trend since June last year. Capital gains aren't likely to remain this high over the coming months, however we are likely to see the recovery trend continue through 2013," Mr Lawless said. 

Additional data is also pointing towards an improvement in the Australian housing market. The average number of days that it takes to sell a property was steadily decreasing prior to the seasonal slowdown in December/January, and the rate of vendor discounting was also on a clear trend of improvement. 

According to Mr Lawless, these metrics are a sign that vendors are gradually regaining some leverage in the market. 

"The typical capital city house took fifty five days to sell in December last year, a vast improvement from the recent high of 76 days recorded in February last year. Additionally, vendors are now discounting their initial asking prices by an average of 6.6 per cent compared with -7.3 per cent a year ago," continued Mr Lawless. 

"With stock levels remaining high, it is likely to remain a buyers' market for some time, however I think we are now seeing some balance return to the negotiation table. Buyers are losing some of their negotiation power and homes are selling faster," concluded Mr Lawless.

For more information about the residential property market in your areas of interest, please feel free to stop by your local CENTURY 21 Real Estate office for expert and clear advice. Additionally, if you would like to speak to a mortgage professional about suitable loan packages, please contact CENTURY 21 Home Loans.

0 comments | Posted by Charles Tarbey on 14/02/2013 at 12:00 AM | Categories:

Buying a home can be cheaper than renting

Recent statistics from RP Data reveal that there are 388 suburbs within Australia where it is cheaper to pay a mortgage than rent. The fresh research is based on principal and interest payments on a variable interest rate mortgage. 

Queensland was the most affordable state according to the report, with data showing that there are a total of 147 suburbs where it is cheaper to pay a mortgage than rent. Of these suburbs, 42 were located in the Greater Brisbane area, with the remaining 105 scattered across regional sectors. 

NSW offered smaller, but nonetheless impressive figures. A total of 88 suburbs were identified within the state, 41 of which were located in Sydney. 

South Australia, which is considered to be one of the country’s most affordable states, offered 48 suburbs. 31 of these suburbs were identified in Adelaide, while the remaining 17 were situated throughout the state. 

Western Australia had the fourth highest number of affordable suburbs, totalling 44. However, only six of these suburbs were located in the state’s capital, Perth. 

In Tasmania 30 suburbs were found, with 14 of these being situated in Hobart. 

For more information about the residential property market in your areas of interest, please feel free to stop by your local CENTURY 21 Real Estate office for clear and expert advice. Additionally, if you would like to speak to a mortgage professional about suitable loan packages, please contact CENTURY 21 Home Loans.


2 comments | Posted by Charles Tarbey on 04/02/2013 at 12:00 AM | Categories:

A rocky road to recovery for residential land sales, says the HIA

The most recent HIA-RP Data Residential Land Report highlights a significant decline in residential land sales over the September 2012 quarter. 

RP Data’s research director Tim Lawless noted that “land developers and builders are facing the challenge of providing affordable house and land packages at a time when land costs, as well as construction costs, continue to rise. The median price of a vacant block of land rose 3.8 per cent over the September quarter last year despite the fall away in volume. 

“The broader housing market remains on a recovery trajectory, and I would be surprised if the vacant land market continued the slippage in transaction numbers we saw in September. Low interest rates and a subtle improvement in consumer confidence, together with Government incentives now more focused on new housing, are likely to be the driver behind a gradually improving market” he concluded. 

The weighted median residential land value in Australia increased by 3.8 per cent in the September 2012 quarter to $197,807, which took the land value 4.2 per higher the September 2011 quarter. 

The median value for capital cities increased by 5.1 per cent to $225,795 – a 6.0 per cent rise on the previous year, while the median value for regional Australia was $155,214.

Commenting on the figures, HIA Chief Economist Harley Dale stated: “residential land sales fell by 17.8 per cent in the September 2012 quarter, although the volume was still 14.9 per cent higher than the record low set a year earlier.” 

Mr. Dale went on to cite a reduction in the cost of new housing, which is initially caused by abnormally high levels of taxation, as one of the vital components required to kick start the home building recovery. 

One market that has already affected such a policy is The Gold Coast. The Gold Coast City council has embarked upon an initiative seeking to reduce infrastructure costs for a six-month period. 

HIA Executive Director for the Gold Coast and Northern Rivers Colin Buttenshaw welcomed this approach and encouraged state and federal Governments to follow suit by affecting similar proposals nationwide. The aim of implementing this action is to address the disproportionately high levels of taxation on housing, thus improving affordability.

 “Overall though,” concluded Mr. Buttenshaw, “residential land sales, a key leading indicator of housing starts, are signalling a rocky road for new home building in 2013.”

For more information about the residential property market in your areas of interest, please feel free to stop by your local CENTURY 21 Real Estate office for clear and expert advice. 

1 comments | Posted by Charles Tarbey on 01/02/2013 at 12:00 AM | Categories: