Category Archives: News

Australian economy needs to go cold turkey

If you want to hear some common sense on what the Japanese government should do to repair its economy, click here.

You won’t find praise of the latest multi-trillion yen stimulus package. And you won’t hear any fawning over the supposedly heroic central bankers.

No. What you’ll hear is a straightforward and common sense argument for why the Japanese central bank should increase interest rates right now.

If it doesn’t, it will result in more wasteful and misdirected government spending and even greater pain for the Japanese. Continue reading Australian economy needs to go cold turkey

Longer wait for council approval

Councils are taking longer to approve big developments.

The average time to process a DA worth between $5 million and $20 million increased from 230 days to 257 days in 2009-10 over the previous year.

The time for applications worth more than $20 million remains well above 300 days – much higher than three years ago.

Part of the rationale behind introducing fast-track approvals for simple developments was so councils could devote more time to major developments and process them faster.

”The situation has deteriorated for those wanting to invest large sums in NSW,” says Aaron Gadiel, chief executive of the Urban Taskforce which represents developers.

Councils that took the longest time to process developments between $5 million and $20 million were Singleton (1167 days), Burwood (940), Wingecarribee (687), Bega Valley (595) and Tweed (589). For projects worth more than $20 million they were Rockdale (894 days), Wyong (766), Lake Macquarie (554), Bankstown (553), Blacktown (521) and Tweed (497 days).

The Property Shop wins Australasian Rural Agency of the Year

Damian Kearns, ARERA's 2011 Regional Agent Achiever of the Year, with RER Network CEO Michael Sheargold and Olympic Beach Volleyball gold medal winner Natalie Cook.

The Property Shop was awarded two pretigious accolades at the Australasian Real Estate Results Awards (ARERAs) held at The Ivy Room in Sydney on February 14.

The Property Shop was represented by Damian Kearns and Peter Vanags at the black tie gala attended by more than 250 of Australia and New Zealand’s top performing independent agents who are part of the Real Estate Results Network. Continue reading The Property Shop wins Australasian Rural Agency of the Year

Life – and mortgage – is as expensive as you think

If you think your cost of living is rising faster than what official figures seem to say, you are probably right.

Living cost indices published by the Bureau of Statistics yesterday show the increases facing working families, age pension households and welfare beneficiaries have all outpaced the consumer price index.

In the year just gone, working households faced extra costs of 4.5 per cent, aged pensioners 3.1 per cent and welfare recipients 4.5 per cent. The CPI grew 2.7 per cent. Continue reading Life – and mortgage – is as expensive as you think

Crime and property prices

Would you live in a house where a terrible crime had taken place? Or in a street that is known to be dodgy?

Intuitively, there should be a pretty substantial link between crime rates and property price, because who would want to pay big bucks to live in a suburb where you need eyes in the back of your head to make sure your car doesn’t get stolen or your house broken into? Continue reading Crime and property prices

It’s uphill from here on interest rates

Although RBA watchers agree the next move is up, they are divided over whether rates will head north this half or next.

Announcing yesterday’s widely expected interest rate reprieve, with the official cash rate kept on hold at 4.75 per cent, RBA governor Glenn Stevens said monetary policy was “appropriate in view of the general macroeconomic outlook”. Continue reading It’s uphill from here on interest rates

Insurance premiums to rise to cover payouts

Insurers are expected to increase premiums as part of efforts to claw back more than $3 billion in payouts from a string of natural disasters in the past two years.

Home and business owners in Queensland’s flood zones are set to feel the brunt of rises as big insurers become more discriminatory with their pricing.

General insurers have paid out billions of dollars in claims since the start of 2009, in disasters ranging from Victoria’s bushfires to freak hailstorms. Continue reading Insurance premiums to rise to cover payouts

Commonwealth Bank cuts fees to win back unhappy customers

The Commonwealth Bank is attempting to win back customers by scrapping fees across a range of mortgage and savings accounts after being stung by criticism of its interest rate rise last November.

The move, which includes the temporary removal of mortgage establishment fees, is part of efforts by the banking sector to smooth over relations with customers after a round of large out-of-cycle interest rate rises. Continue reading Commonwealth Bank cuts fees to win back unhappy customers

Flooded QLD tenants obliged to pay rent

Tenancy agreements do not automatically end during natural disaster.

Renters left homeless during the Queensland floods are legally obliged to keep paying rent on their flooded home until they “officially” end their agreement.

According to the Rental Tenancy Authority of Queensland, a tenancy agreement does not automatically end during a natural disaster, even if the property has been totally destroyed.

Rick Machin of the RTA said tenants could stop paying rent as soon as they had given their landlord a “notice of intention to leave”. Continue reading Flooded QLD tenants obliged to pay rent

Rent to own: major bank says Yes

Imagine being able to use your rental history as evidence of genuine savings when trying to get a home loan…

Well, now you can.

Mortgage broker Loan Market has been lobbying the banks to allow people applying for a home loan to use rental payments as evidence of savings and it has been answered by one of the nation’s major lenders. Continue reading Rent to own: major bank says Yes