Viewing by month: February 2014

New home lending steady as prices strengthen further

Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics demonstrate that new home lending remains steady while price growth has strengthened across Australia’s cities, according to the voice of Australia’s residential building industry, the Housing Industry Association (HIA).

“During December 2013, the number of owner occupier loans for new dwelling construction increased by 0.4 cent, while loans to owner occupiers for the purchase of new dwellings declined by 1.9 per cent during the month,” explained HIA Senior Economist, Shane Garrett.

“However, in the final quarter of 2013, total new home lending to owner occupiers rose by 2.1 per cent and was 14.6 per cent higher than a year earlier. This is a pretty strong result.

“Today’s data cap off a strong year for new home lending and signal that activity on the ground will be strong during the early months of 2014. During December, the share of the owner occupier market accounted for by First Home Buyers reached its highest in four months and this is something to be welcomed.

“Today’s data also show that capital city dwelling prices increased by 3.4 per cent in the final quarter of 2013 and were 9.3 per cent higher than a year earlier.

“Steady and sustainable price growth reinforces confidence in the market and healthy lending activity must be seen in this context.

“In order to maintain a healthy level of activity in the market, more will have to be done to deal with constraints around planning, land supply and infrastructure funding.

“Addressing these issues will do much to improve longer term housing affordability and will ensure that Australia achieves its full economic potential over coming years and decades.”

0 comments | Posted by Charles Tarbey on 26/02/2014 at 12:00 AM | Categories:

Confidence returns to premium property market

Century 21, the largest real estate sales organisation in the Asia Pacific region, believes that recent data showing capital gains in the premium property market may suggest a return of confidence to this segment.

Chairman and Owner of Century 21 Australasia, Charles Tarbey, believes this growth in confidence could be linked to other economic factors.

“Upward movement in the premium property segment tends to be linked to an improvement in confidence in equity markets and the wider economy.”

“However, positive gains in the premium market shouldn’t be confused with a turn in the property market.

“A more accurate bellwether for the property market is discretionary spending such as the purchase of holiday homes and the like, a market segment which Century 21 will be closely observing for any change in sentiment,” Charles Tarbey concluded.

The recently released RP Data-Rismark Hedonic Home Value Index confirms that the premium property segment is also now showing higher capital gains than the broad middle and most affordable segments of the property market.


0 comments | Posted by Charles Tarbey on 25/02/2014 at 12:00 AM | Categories:

Property prices finish 2013 on a high

Figures recently releasedby the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that residential property prices have risen in every capital city during the December quarter 2013.

The figures show that the Residential Property Price Index (RPPI) for the weighted average of the eight capital cities (a measure which includes both houses and attached dwellings) rose 3.4% this quarter, for a total rise of 9.3% over the last year. Established house prices rose 3.5% and attached dwelling prices rose 3.0% in the quarter.

According to RPPI Director Robin Ashburn, "Sydney continues to grow at the fastest rate across the country, with house prices rising 4.9% in the December quarter 2013, the third consecutive quarter for which Sydney has had the largest rise in house prices of any capital city."

House price increases in other capital cities included +2.8% in Melbourne, 3.5% in Perth, +3.0% in Brisbane, +2.8% in Adelaide, +2.3% in Hobart, +2.7% in Darwin and +0.4% Canberra.

Prices for attached dwellings, including flats and apartments, rose in all capital cities except Darwin (-0.4%). Prices went up in Sydney (+4.4%), Melbourne (+1.9%), Perth (+2.6%), Brisbane (+2.2%), Adelaide (+1.5%), Hobart (+0.7%) and Canberra (+0.1%).

0 comments | Posted by Charles Tarbey on 24/02/2014 at 12:00 AM | Categories:

Australasian launch of Century 21 Global

Century 21’s new global listing portal,, might just be one of the largest online integrations of real estate markets in history.

With real estate transactions becoming increasingly global in nature, the new website will see Century 21 listings automatically promoted across 74 different countries, in 16 languages and multiple currencies.

According to Chairman and Owner of Century 21 Australasia, Charles Tarbey, “For a vendor selling their home through Century 21 in Australia or New Zealand, the website may significantly expand their pool of potential buyers, giving them a competitive advantage over other sellers who might only have their properties promoted in a local market.”.

“It has never been a better time to list or buy through Century 21.”

While we expect that a majority of real estate transactions will continue to occur within the country of origin, the new website will also make it easier for those Australians and New Zealanders looking to secure property overseas.

The website contains localised content pages with information to assist buyers in making informed decisions, as well as interactive maps displaying all of the available markets with properties for sale, offices and various agent contact information.

It also features auto-translation capabilities which allow buyers to send messages and receive responses in their language of choice.

“Century 21 Global provides an innovative platform for Century 21 agents to collaborate and cross-promote their listings in key international markets such as Asia, the United States and Europe,” continued Charles Tarbey.

“Century 21 Global collates and generates live data on every property listed with Century 21 around the world, and translates language, currency and unit-measurements in line with the consumer’s location and preferences.”

0 comments | Posted by Charles Tarbey on 21/02/2014 at 12:00 AM | Categories:

Rate hold may spur vendor interest

Century 21 believes that the decision by the Reserve Bank of Australia to keep interest rates on hold at 2.5 per cent may encourage more Australians to consider placing their home on the market this summer.

“As this decision may draw new buyers to the market, vendors may respond in kind by listing their property to take advantage of a heightened level of interest in this asset class,” said Chairman and Owner of Century 21 Australasia Charles Tarbey.

“This is great news for anyone looking to transact property in Australia, regardless of whether they’re buying their first or fifteenth property,” said Mr Tarbey

As part of its decision, the Reserve Bank reasoned that it was prudent to leave the cash rate unchanged in light of higher than expected inflation, slightly firmer consumer demand and foreshadowing of a solid expansion in housing construction.

The Reserve Bank’s decision follows the recent release of RP Data-Rismark’s Hedonic Home Value Index results, which showed that capital city dwelling values are currently sitting 4.8 per cent higher than their previous peak in October 2010.


0 comments | Posted by Charles Tarbey on 13/02/2014 at 12:00 AM | Categories:

Premium property market grows at a premium pace

According to the latest RP Data-Rismark Home Value Index, capital city dwelling values increased by 1.2 per cent during January, while rising by 2.7 per throughout the three months to the end of the same month.


The premium sector of the housing market in particular has gathered pace over the past six months, and is now showing higher capital gains than the broad middle and most affordable segments.


During this period, dwelling values across the most expensive quarter of the capital city markets were up 6.7 per cent compared with only 5.8 per cent across the broad mid-market, and 4.7 per cent at the most affordable quarter.


Capital city home prices have now risen 13.2 per cent since the beginning of the current growth cycle in June 2012, and currently sit 4.8 per cent higher than their previous peak in October 2010.


RP Data research director Tim Lawless said that capital city housing markets continue to be a mixed bag.


“Sydney and Melbourne were the clear drivers for capital gains over the past year, with values up 13.4 per cent and 11.9 per cent respectively over the twelve months ending January 2014.”


The results also confirmed that Sydney and Melbourne are now well advanced in their growth cycle.


Rismark CEO Ben Skilbeck said that “while a moderation in growth is expected for Melbourne and, to a lesser extent, Sydney, strong population growth, an increasing appetite for housing credit and positive consumer sentiment means we are unlikely to see price declines in the near term.”


“While we are yet to observe a significant increase in owner occupier borrowing, lending commitments to this segment for the month of November, the latest available, are 19 per cent higher than the same time last year.”


Rental rates continued to grow at a slower pace than dwelling values, further eroding rental yields across the capital cities. The Melbourne and Sydney markets where dwelling values have shown the most appreciation are now showing gross yields for houses below 4 per cent, with he typical gross yield on a Melbourne and Sydney unit being at 4.2 per cent and 4.7 per cent gross respectively.


According to Mr Lawless, such a yield environment may potentially start acting as a disincentive to investors.


“With gross yields low in Melbourne, and not a lot better in Sydney, together with the fact that both these markets are well advanced in their growth cycle, it would suggest that investment fundamentals in these markets are waning. It is my view that investors will start seeking out the higher yields of Brisbane where the market is also far earlier in the growth cycle,” he said.

0 comments | Posted by Charles Tarbey on 12/02/2014 at 12:00 AM | Categories:

New housing continues its upward march

Recently released Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) housing data suggests an uptick in dwelling commencements.

The update points to an ongoing new home building recovery according to the Housing Industry Association (HIA).

“There was a 2.0 per cent decline in the September 2013 quarter, but over the twelve months to September there were 163,250 homes commenced,” said HIA Chief Economist Dr Harley Dale.

“Looking past the spike in activity due to the GFC-related stimulus, that is the strongest level recorded since 2004.

“The overall recovery in new dwelling commencements since the trough in March 2012 is still being driven by New South Wales and Western Australia, although Queensland is showing clear signs of improvement.

“The recovery is also being driven primarily by other dwellings (multi units) rather than detached housing. Both segments are growing, but annual commencements for detached houses are 9 per cent below their 20 year average while commencements of multi-units are running 35 per cent above their 20 year average.”

0 comments | Posted by Charles Tarbey on 06/02/2014 at 12:00 AM | Categories:

New tax scam targets agents and investors

NSW Fair Trading Minister Stuart Ayres is warning consumers to avoid tax scams and report them to the Australian Tax Office (ATO).

Mr Ayres said NSW Fair Trading received a report yesterday of a scam letter offering landlords living overseas the opportunity to claim tax exemption on rental income.

“The CEO of the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales Tim McKibbin reported receiving the scam email, which was sent to the REI helpline.

“The scam email advises agencies managing landlords to forward forms to them to complete and return to the scammers.

“The forms require detailed personal information as well as photocopies of passports and mortgage account numbers. The covering letter in the scam email is badly written with numerous errors of grammar and spelling.

“It is designed to harvest details from real estate agents about Australian properties they manage on behalf of non-residents.

“The scammers may then seek to assume the identities of non-residents and sell their properties without the real owners’ knowledge.”

Mr Ayres said Fair Trading had issued a warning about the same scam in July last year after it was reported by a real estate agent in Lennox Head.

“The ATO confirmed the scam to Fair Trading and that identical fake Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) letters had been sent to real estate agents in the United Kingdom since at least March 2012,” he said.

A copy of the fake ATO letter is available on the Fair Trading website and attached for the information of the public and media and especially the real estate industry in NSW.

The HMRC and ATO signature on the scam letters is identical, and in some places in the ATO letter the scammers had failed to replace the HMRC references.

These types of widely-circulated scams are regularly sent to other international jurisdictions, with the perpetrators often failing to change all details.

A similar scam was identified in Western Australia in 2012.

ATO Chief Technology Officer Todd Heather said the ATO‘s brand was often employed in scams due to its intensive interaction with the community, who in turn is generally quite willing to comply with any of its requests.

“Scammers are relying on more sophisticated methods to trick people into handing over their financial or personal contact details,” he said.

“This scam, as with many others reported to the ATO, asks people for their personal details so they can likely commit identity theft and other types of fraud.

“We have seen this scam over the past two years and have dealt with it by informing real estate industry associations and asking them to warn their members.”

In 2013, the ATO received 49,645 reports from the public about ATO branded scams.

If people suspect they have fallen victim to an email or phone scam they should call 1800 179 647 and send the details of the scam to


  • Don’t respond to offers, deals or requests for your personal details. Stop. Take time to independently check the request or offer.
  • Never send money or give credit card, account or other personal details to anyone who makes unsolicited offers or requests for your information.
  • Don’t rely on glowing testimonials: find solid evidence from independent sources (not those provided with the offer).
  • Never respond to out-of-the-blue requests for your personal details.
  • Always type in the address of the website of a bank, business or authority you are interested in to ensure you are logging onto the genuine website.
  • Don’t open unsolicited emails.
  • Never click on a link provided in an unsolicited email as it will probably lead to a fake website designed to trick you into providing personal details.
  • Never use phone numbers provided with unsolicited requests or offers because they could connect you to fakes who will try to trap you with lies.
  • Don’t reply to unsolicited text messages from numbers you don’t recognise.
  • Always look up phone numbers in an independent directory when you wish to check if a request or offer is genuine.
  • Don’t dial a 0055 or 1900 number unless you are sure you know how much you will be charged.

0 comments | Posted by Charles Tarbey on 05/02/2014 at 12:00 AM | Categories: