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Hot Property: Biggest headlines from the week that was

02 July 2020 Grace Ormsby

It’s a new financial year and some Victorian areas have re-entered stage 3 restrictions due to COVID-19: Here are the biggest property 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 them to include stories from our sister platforms that could have an impact on the Australian property landscape.  

1. REIV responds to suburb crackdown


Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has reimposed restrictions, calling it a necessary action to take in response to a climb in coronavirus cases, which have been back in the double digits for the past week. Councils of primary concern include Hume, Casey, Brimbank, Moreland, Cardinia and Darebin.

In light of rising cases of the coronavirus, 10 Melbourne postcodes with the highest amount of incidents would return to stage 3 restrictions. This includes both businesses and residents.

2. 10 tips to launch an agency in a down market

Ayre Real Estate was crowned the New Office of the Year award at last week’s REB Awards 2020. Principal and director Adrian Wilson has shared its top 10 tips and tricks for launching an agency amid market disruption.

3. How the rest of 2020 will play out for property

Domain economist Trent Wiltshire has examined trends within the market, concluding that there are two likely scenarios to occur by the end of the 2020 calendar year: The first being modest price falls, and the second: a slow pick-up in property sales.

4. How COVID-19 changed business practices

The pandemic literally changed the world. It certainly changed the way we conduct business of all kind, writes RE/MAX’s Michael Davoren.

The real estate industry has learnt a lot of lessons from March through to the end of June, and continues to learn, and the lessons learnt from how we have been forced to adapt have a great many positives. He’s penned some of his observations.

5. EOFY: Big-ticket items you should be claiming on your investment property

There are many ways to reduce annual amounts, and deductions can sometimes be the difference between your investment having a positive or negative cash flow, writes Tamara Wrigley of Carolans First National Real Estate Sunshine Coast & Hinterland.

6. What to ask your builder

There are 10 things you should ask your builder before the construction of your new home, according to a new guide from Builder Finders.

7. Building a portfolio through fragmented investment

Investors are being urged to look at alternative property strategies, including fragmented property ownership, as a way of diversifying and growing their portfolio.

“Fragmented property means that all the owners of all the different pieces are actually on title. So, they’re on that land title as opposed to a fractional ownership model where that’s typically some kind of unit trust or company structure,” explained Bricklet CEO Darren Younger.

8. ‘Hayne got it wrong’: Committee chair backs status quo

Commissioner Kenneth Hayne’s recommendation to overhaul the broker remuneration model missed the mark, according to Tim Wilson, Liberal MP.

MFAA CEO Mike Felton also pointed to findings from previous inquiries, noting the utility of trail commissions as a “controlling mechanism”, which has “stood the industry in good stead” and “improved customer outcomes… ASIC reviewed our industry in great detail and did not recommend that trail commission be banned.”

9. In focus: ASIC commissioner Sean Hughes on Best Interests Duty Guidance

PODCAST: Last week, ASIC released its Regulatory Guide 273, the final guidance for the incoming Best Interests Duty for mortgage brokers. ASIC commissioner Sean Hughes has spoken with The Adviser’s Annie Kane to discuss the regulator’s new guidance on the incoming Best Interests Duty for mortgage brokers and what it hopes to achieve.

He has previously told The Adviser that ASIC is open to providing further guidance or explanation around BID in the future, if the industry requests it.

10. How does trust accounting fraud happen?

Real estate principals and business owners are being warned that periods of economic uncertainty, like the current COVID-19 crisis, can lead to greater instances of trust account fraud, or even the realisation of historical account siphoning.

In a recent blog post, property management software provider Console has highlighted that it’s not the large money heists that owners and operators should be on the lookout for when scanning accounts for fraudulent activity — and that perpetrators could be right under their nose.

Hot Property: Biggest headlines from the week that was
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