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Hot Property: Biggest headlines from the week that was

30 July 2020 Grace Ormsby
Biggest headlines from the week that was

New border restrictions come into play as the country continues to deal with 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 it to include stories from our sister brands that could have an impact on the Australian property landscape.  

1. Harcourts names heavyweights to NSW/ACT team

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Harcourts Group Australia CEO Marcus Williams has announced Mahan Shishineh will be chief executive officer of the New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory support team, while Babette Coutanche will move into the role of property management operations manager of the same group.

The appointments signify Harcourts’ commitment to “strengthening the value delivered into the franchise offices from our corporate team on both a national and state-based level”.

2. Professionals adds 5 new offices

The network has added new agencies in Western Australia, New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland. The move sees Professionals add to its network even further, currently holding over 230 agencies under its banner.

Professionals Group Australia CEO David Crombie said the network’s growth, particularly over COVID-19, solidifies the brand’s attractiveness: “Professionals Group Australia continues to grow its agency network, aided by its unique membership model that features a flat-fee structure.”

3. Mother-daughter duo embark on new agency adventure

A new family-backed business venture is opening its doors to the Sunshine Coast real estate market.

Perry Cooper will see mother and daughter duo Lou Cooper and Ambre Perry take on the Buderim market and its surrounds — in spite of the pandemic.

4. What it takes to be a top agent amid COVID-19

Despite the landscape changing, old-fashioned customer service still remains a winning strategy throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, agent Darren Davis has explained.

With over 25 years of experience in customer service, and a passion for helping his clients, Mr Davis’ exceptional customer focus and in-depth market knowledge are what have led him to a very successful career in the real estate industry, he revealed to REB.

5. 3 tax errors made by property investors

CEO at BMT Tax Depreciation Bradley Beer said “property investors can claim sizeable tax deductions for the natural wear and tear that occurs to a building and its fixtures and fittings over time. These deductions are known as property depreciation.”

The three major mistakes people make? Getting the depreciation category wrong, assuming depreciation on older categories can’t be claimed and overlooking deductions.

6. Stamp duty stamped out in NSW

For the next 12 months, the threshold above which stamp duty is charged on new homes for first home buyers will be bumped up from $650,000 to $800,000, with the concession reducing on higher values before phasing out at the million-dollar mark.

For vacant land, thresholds will rise from $350,000 to $400,000 before phasing out at $500,000.

7. Rent prices to soar as undersupply sets in

Research conducted by Propertyology’s head of research, Simon Pressley, has shown that only four out of 52 major Australian cities and towns had a residential vacancy rate of 3 per cent or higher as at the end of June 2020 — showing COVID-19 is the only thing keeping rents low right now.

Generally speaking, a market with a balanced supply has a vacancy rate between 2 and 3 per cent.

8. Major bank introduces new serviceability probe

Brokers will now be required to document their clients’ post-retirement mortgage repayment plans. NAB has updated its credit policy as part of its commitment to “lending responsibly”.

After identifying their clients’ planned retirement age, brokers will be required to assess the borrower’s repayment strategy based on specific metrics set out by NAB, which determine the level of “enquiry, supporting documents and verification required to satisfy the policy”.

9. Westpac to onshore jobs to improve processing lags

The major bank will onshore 1,000 jobs following “challenging conditions for home lending processing and call centres”.

Westpac has acknowledged that its response rates have been “too slow” following the “surge in demand for customer assistance at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic”.

Hot Property: Biggest headlines from the week that was
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