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Hot Property: The biggest stories this week

18 September 2020 Grace Ormsby
The biggest stories this week

Victoria’s COVID-19 restrictions have begun to lift as the rest of the country watches on: 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. Ray White Queensland confirms leadership restructure

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Jason Andrew has been confirmed as the group’s incoming CEO. He replaces outgoing CEO Tony Warland, who has been with the network for more than 31 years, including the past 12 spent as CEO of Ray White Queensland. Mr Warland will remain as a member of the Queensland board and commence a new role as Queensland North director. 

2. Real estate professionals spill on tenancy state of play

“[Not a lot of] data exists on the current dynamics between investors and landlords which is becoming increasingly important as we approach the expiry of a moratorium on evictions, which has already been extended in some states,” said Eliza Owen, head of research at CoreLogic.

Almost a third of real estate professionals surveyed had seen an increase in requests for rent reductions. Over a quarter had seen an increase in rental delinquencies, and 8.8 per cent had noted an increase in evictions. Of those who had seen an increase in rental delinquencies, 56.8 per cent were based in Victoria, suggesting renewed restrictions across the state have impacted tenants’ ability to service rent, Ms Owen noted.

3. Proposed policy to ‘cripple’ mum and dad investors

Small is the New Big co-founder Ian Ugarte said the NSW government’s proposed overhaul of existing planning provisions will spark negative consequences to housing affordability.

The housing commentator likened the proposed changes to a “sledgehammer to the existing policies when only a scalpel is needed”, noting the changes will “cripple the entire mum and dad investment sector, with the result being that only inefficient community housing providers or large profit-driven commercial property developers can operate in the sector”.

4. Government ‘refusing’ to talk to real estate industry

The recent passing of the Retail Leases Amendment Bill 2019 further proves the Victorian state government’s unwillingness to work with the real estate industry, according to the REIV.

In a statement issued to REB, CEO Gil King and president Leah Calnan said the passing of the bill follows a number of pleas “directly to the Premier, the Treasurer and other ministers to pull the bill from Parliament during the COVID-19 pandemic” going unanswered.

5. Almost half of investors want to bolster portfolio in 6-12 months

A new survey has found that almost half of Australians with property in their pocket are actively looking to expand their investment portfolio in the next six to 12 months.

According to the 2020 PIPA Annual Investor Sentiment Survey, which gathered insights from over 1,000 property investors during August, Australians remain largely optimistic about buying in the months ahead, with 44 per cent of investors looking to purchase in the next six to 12 months.

6. Where to now for the property market?

The recent COVID-19 outbreak in Victoria and, to a lesser extent, NSW highlights the extreme nature of this pandemic and how it is likely to remain part of our lives for many months or even years to come. So, what can we expect from the property market in the short, medium and long term as we deal with the fallout from COVID-19? Dominic Cavagnino asks.

7. Victorian government launches swathe of grant packages

The Victorian government has announced a $100 million support package to assist sole traders in the state, building on a $3 billion support package announced on the weekend to support businesses.

8. All non-major FHLDS places now reserved

All 5,000 places allocated for non-major participating banks within the FHLDS have now been reserved for the 2020–21 financial year.

Hot Property: The biggest stories this week
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