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Hot Property: Biggest headlines from the week that was

21 May 2020 Grace Ormsby
Melbourne

As looser restrictions let Australians begin to imagine a world post-COVID-19, the real estate industry keeps pushing on: Here are the biggest stories from this week.

Welcome to REB’s weekly round-up of the headline stories and news that’s important not only for the real estate sector, but also for the state of property in Australia more broadly.

To compile this list, not only are we taking a look at the week’s most read stories and the news that matters to you, but we are also curating it to include stories from our sister platforms that could have an impact on the Australian property landscape.  

1. Property market set to soar post-COVID

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PIPA chairman Peter Koulizos has analysed annual median house price and index data from 1973 to the GFC.  

He has revealed that after each major economic event, capital city house prices saw a significant increase. He said: “Over the past nearly 50 years, house prices were higher five years after a recession or downturn each time.”

2. Is negative gearing still a winning strategy?

According to Small is the New Big, negatively geared investors are now finding it harder to service their debts, meaning many need to rethink the make-up of their property portfolios.

The property education company has seen a 37 per cent spike in enquiries about positively geared investment strategies, with concerned investors wanting to know how to stop the “haemorrhaging”.

3. What property investors should know before tax time

In the lead-up to tax time, it’s important for property investors to ensure they are organised with their receipts and records.

4. How expats are driving up rental prices

Expats being forced to return home due to the COVID-19 pandemic are driving up the rental market in Adelaide, agents reveal.

“Our market has been impacted over the last few months, with the numbers of tenant enquiries down, yet the overall rental days on market and vacancy rates have held their line,” said Gwen Levesque, co-principal of property management specialist at Raine & Horne Gawler.

5. ‘It’s not a revolution’: Real estate in 2020

One of Australia’s best real estate agents has said COVID-19 has “really reinforced to me and my team that what we are paid to do is get the absolute very best price that we possibly can for our vendors in the current market”.

Calling it an evolution and not a revolution, Michael Clarke said the technologies that have been deployed more widely since COVID-19 became an issue aren’t actually all that new for the industry.

“Whether on the phone or Zoom, whether the vendor reports are being emailed through, that quality of communication remains the most important thing.”

6. FBAA issues warning over fixed-rate ‘trap’ 

Borrowers are at risk of being lured into fixed-rate products that undermine their long-term interests, according to the Finance Brokers Association of Australia.

He warned that borrowers could be lured into such products by banks “trying to buy business”, without considering revert rates and other fees and charges tied to the fixed-rate product.

“Borrowers may eventually find themselves with a variable interest rate that is not the best for their particular circumstances, and they may be prevented from changing lenders due to lender fees, new valuation costs and maybe even LMI insurance.”

7. EXCLUSIVE: Senator calls on banks to extend IO periods

WA Liberal senator Dean Smith has urged lenders to extend interest-only periods for borrowers to help reduce hardship levels during COVID-19, noting that exemptions are in place that allow them to do so.

8. ‘Absolutely inundated’: Lack of stock drives Queensland interest

As open-home restrictions begin to lift, a Brisbane agency has reported huge interest from first home buyers clamouring to get onto the property ladder despite COVID-19.

Coronis Agency has reported that it had more than 80 potential buyers attend the first scheduled open home of an Archerfield property.

Hot Property: Biggest headlines from the week that was
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