14 June 2017
Jennifer Duke via domain.com.au
Housing was a hot button topic for the 2017/2018 federal budget, so it’s no surprise there were a raft of changes for real estate.
The new measures have impacted on a variety of housing rules from first-home buyers’ savings strategies to what investors can claim at tax-time.
Here are the five big announcements to know about.
More supply is just one part of the housing push with a raft of initiatives rolled out in the 2017/2018 federal budget. Photo: Pat Scala
1) Foreigners can only buy up to 50 per cent of a development
Under the new budget rules, developers will no longer be able to sell every property in their new development to overseas buyers.
Instead, a maximum of half the development can be sold to foreign buyers with the rest to be sold locally. The budget documents note this is to provide a “clear message” that new housing stock is expected to increase supply for Australian buyers.
Before this change developers required pre-approval to sell properties to foreign buyers but there was no limit on the proportion of sales.
Effect on revenue: No impact
In place from: May 9, 2017
2) First Home Super Saver Scheme
First-home buyers weren’t ignored by the budget with a new First Home Super Saver Scheme announced. The new super saver scheme will allow first-time buyers to put up to $15,000 a year, to a maximum of $30,000 under the scheme, into their superannuation.
These funds can later be withdrawn for a home deposit, including any earnings the deposits made.
This means they will have a tax incentive to save more, and it can be taken advantage of as a couple with each claiming $30,000.
Effect on revenue: Cost of $250 million ($9.4 million funding given to ATO)
In place from: July 1, 2017 (contributions), July 1, 2018 (withdrawals)
3) An ’empty home’ tax on foreign investors
Foreign investors who keep properties vacant for more than six months will be faced with a vacancy tax. This is described as a charge on “underutilised residential property”.
The cost of this tax will be the equivalent of their foreign investment application fee – some several thousand dollars – and will be charged annually.
This change is intended to get more vacant homes onto the rental market.
Effect on revenue: Gain of $16.3 million ($3.7 million funding given to ATO)
In place from: May 9, 2017
4) Stopping investors from claiming travel deductions
Investors who previously had tax deductions for travel expenses related to their investment property will no longer be able to make these claims.
The government has ruled them out, even for those travelling to collect rent, maintain or inspect a premises, saying many have been incorrectly obtaining this deduction. This has included situations for “private travel purposes”.
Effect on revenue: Gain of $540 million
In place from: July 1, 2017
5) Retirees given incentives to downsize
Australians aged over 65 who sell their home of a decade or more will soon be able to put up to $300,000 in sale proceeds into their superannuation.
This incentive to downsize is expected to help free up larger homes for families to move into.
Effect on revenue: Cost of $30 million
In place from: July 1, 2018
14 June 2017
A new rental affordability study has highlighted the challenges very low and low income households face in Perth’s private rental sector.
The study, Housing Affordability (Rental) – A study for the Perth metropolitan area, looks at rental affordability for households on very low (less than $43,000), low ($43,000-$69,000) and moderate incomes ($69,000-$103,000), and is the result of a second collaboration between the Housing Authority, Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA) and Shelter WA.
The report found:
- There is insufficient affordable rental options in Perth’s private rental sector, which is placing pressure on the region’s social housing system.
- 35 per cent of Perth rental households fall into the lower income categories, however only 19 per cent of rentals in Perth in the 2015-16 financial year were affordable to very low or low income earners.
- Perth’s rental stock lacks diversity, with over 70 per cent of all rentals across the metropolitan area have three bedrooms or more.
- The central sub-region contains the bulk of affordable rental housing in Perth. It provides 65 per cent of affordable housing for very low income earners and 49 per cent for low income earners.
REIWA President Hayden Groves said all sectors of the property market need to work together to increase the number of affordable rental properties.
The Housing Authority’s General Manager Strategy and Policy Tania Loosley-Smith noted that although the Western Australian property market has been in a cyclical downswing for the past few years, there is still a significant shortage of housing that is affordable for Western Australians on low incomes.
“By a range of measures, this shortage has entrenched over decades and deepened in the last 10 years. It affects our vulnerable citizens, as well as the key workers who are the backbone of our economy,” Ms Loosley-Smith said.
“The Housing Authority is committed to addressing these challenges in order to ensure Western Australian families, our local communities, and our economy thrive. That said, achieving these outcomes needs both Commonwealth and State leadership.”
Ms Loosley-Smith said she welcomed the Commonwealth Government’s commitment to establish a National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation, and its focus on models to increase affordable rentals for people on low incomes.
“Large scale market investment in our rental sector, particularly at the affordable end of the market, is the missing part of the Australian housing continuum and can only be tackled effectively at a national level. This, combined with ongoing funding for the social housing system under the National Affordable Housing Agreement and ongoing State efforts on housing supply and diversity is critical to ensuring that all Western Australians have a place to call home,” Ms Loosley-Smith said.
At the state level, the Housing Authority in late 2016 launched the Assisted Rental Pathways Pilot. According to Ms Loosley-Smith, this innovative initiative provides opportunities for social housing applicants—with the desire and means—to move successfully into the private rental market.
“This Pilot is a unique partnership between the government, not-for-profit support providers and participants. It offers rent subsidies and individually tailored support services for up to four years to help people succeed in the private rental market. The project offers benefits for both participants and landlords, and is important in addressing the key finding of the study—the lack of affordable rentals in Perth, despite a high overall rental vacancy rate.”
Mr Groves said housing affordability was a critical issue for West Australians and the report emphasised the glaring need for a greater emphasis on the provision for affordable, accessible and appropriate housing options.
“It is clear that the current stock of private rental accommodation does not meet the needs of our community and more needs to be done to address the requirement for choice and housing diversity. The planning system needs to mandate and address housing diversity within the WA planning system,” Mr Groves said.
Shelter WA spokesperson Stephen Hall said the research highlighted the lack of accessible and affordable private rental accommodation in Perth for very low and low income households, with only a small number of three or more bedroom properties available to these income brackets.
“This research shows that only a small number of three or more bedroom properties are affordable for lower income families. Shelter WA is concerned that families, especially large families, could be forced to reside in inappropriate and unaffordable housing.”
“It is also concerning that households, on very low incomes, including those on disability and aged pensions, are confronted with so few rental options in the Perth metro area. Seniors and those living with a disability, often already have difficulties in their lives, which can be exacerbated by unaffordable and insecure housing.”
“Improving inefficiencies in the planning system, replacing stamp duty with a progressive land tax, and ensuring social and affordable housing is provided in and around new developments such as Metronet, can improve the availability of affordable accommodation for Perth households,” Mr Hall said.
The Housing Affordability (Rental) – A study for the Perth metropolitan area is a follow up to a study released last November which focused on the impact of housing affordability on home ownership.
14 June 2017
Housing affordability and rental affordability improved in Western Australia in the March quarter 2017, according to the findings of the latest Adelaide Bank/REIA Housing Affordability Report.
The report found affordability in WA’s housing market improved over the quarter, with the proportion of income required to meet loan repayments decreasing 0.9 percentage points to 23.4 per cent.
Affordability also improved over the year, with figures showing the proportion of income required to meet loan repayments in the March quarter 2017 declined by 1.1 percentage points compared to the March quarter 2016.
WA’s rental market was more affordable in the March quarter than it was in the December quarter, with data revealing the proportion of family income required to meet the median rent price decreased by 0.5 percentage points to 18.6 per cent.
Compared to the same time in 2016, the proportion of income required to meet the median rent decreased by 1.6 per cent.
First home buyers
The volume of first home owners in the market decreased by 6.5 per cent in the March quarter to 3,562, and by 1.8 per cent when compared to the March quarter 2016.
The report found that of all first home buyers in Australia, 17.2 per cent were from WA. Additionally, that proportion of first home buyers in WA equated to a significant 31.5 per cent of the state’s owner-occupier market.
The average amount WA first home buyers spent on their loans in the March quarter decreased by 4.1 per cent to $307,800. Affordability in this sector improved further when compared to the same time last year, by 4.9 per cent.
There were 11,301 loans (excluding refinancing) taken out in the March quarter, which is a dip of 6.4 per cent on the December quarter 2016 and 3.2 per cent on the March quarter 2016.
The average loan size amount also decreased in the March quarter, by 3.8 per cent to $337,812. Compared to the same time last year, this figure is down 0.6 per cent.
For more information about the market give us a call on 9475 9622 or email us at email@example.com
07 June 2017
There are fears the launch of a “rent bidding” app will push Aussie rents up even higher. Photo: Jim Rice
Following a lengthy period of falling rents and sharply rising vacancy rates, early signs are now emerging that the Perth rental market may be steadying.
Latest Domain data reports that the median asking rent for a Perth house over April remained at $360 per week, the same as reported over the previous month. Although steady over the month, Perth house rents are 10.0 per cent lower than recorded over April 2016.
Median asking rents for units were also steady at $300 per week over the month but similar to house rents have fallen sharply over the past year – down by 14.3 per cent.
Similar to rents, Perth vacancy rates have also stabilised over April at 3.9 per cent for houses and for units down from 4.2 percent recorded over March to 4.1 per cent. Total vacancy rates for both houses and units combined fell to 3.9 per cent over the month which was the lowest result since March 2016.
Although rents and vacancy rates have steadied over the past month, Perth remains the most tenant-friendly mainland capital with relatively low rents and a wide choice of available homes. By contrast, vacancy rates in most other capitals are generally tight and tightening for both houses and units.
Sydney remains the most expensive capital for tenants with a median asking weekly rent over April of $550 for both units and houses. This is an increase of 3.8 per cent for each over the past year and 52.8 per cent higher than Perth for houses and remarkably 83.3 per cent higher for units.
For more information on property management contact Ron Padua on 0404 428 843 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
30 May 2017
The Western Australian State Cabinet decision to move forward with the strata title reform process has been commended by the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia, Strata Community Association WA, Property Council of Australia and Urban Development Institute of Australia WA.
Announced this morning, the Honorable Rita Saffioti MLA said strata title reform was important to the future housing needs of WA and the McGowan Government would be progressing with this legislation as quickly as possible.
The proposed reforms to the Strata Act, which were drafted by Landgate, cover off seven key areas:
- Community title schemes
- Leasehold strata
- More flexible staged strata development
- Improved management
- Simplified dispute resolution
- Better buyer information
- Safeguards for the termination of schemes
REIWA President Hayden Groves said reform to the Strata Titles Act was long overdue and he was pleased the new State Cabinet would be implementing these reforms.
“REIWA is committed to the strata title reform process, and we are particularly supportive of more buyer information being disclosed and making sure buyers know what they are getting into,” Mr Groves said.
Strata Community Association President Scott Bellerby said the drafted reforms are desperately needed and would help provide more flexible and sustainable housing options.
“The current reforms are a good first step to helping define the role of the strata manager and will provide improved management of schemes, however, further regulation and licensing is still needed.
The Minister should commit to the formation of a working group after the current reforms are passed, to deliver a licensing platform for the State Government to adopt early next year,” Mr Bellerby said.
Property Council Executive Director Lino Iacomella said the introduction of community titles in particular will make a real difference by encouraging more mixed use development in and around activity centres and retirement villages, offering greater amenity to residents and more sustainable local economies.
“These reforms will also provide better outcomes for communities, improving housing choice and affordability for all West Australians,” Mr Iacomella said.
UDIA WA CEO Allison Hailes said The Urban Development Institute of Australia strongly supports the proposed reforms to the Stata Title’s Act, particularly the introduction of community title schemes, leasehold strata and staged strata development.
“The reforms will bring Western Australia’s strata titles legislation in to line with other Australian jurisdictions and result in more affordable and diverse housing being delivered. UDIA encourages all decision makers to support the passage of the new legislation through Parliament as a matter of priority,” Ms Hailles said.
The property industry congratulates Landgate and the McGowan Government for taking a leadership position on such a vital component of the future of WA property.
24 May 2017
State Treasurer Ben Wyatt today announced the $15,000 First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) for newly built homes will be cut back to $10,000 on 1 July 2017.
Mr Wyatt said the previous Liberal Government’s decision to increase the FHOG by $5,000 in December last year was not an effective mechanism for stimulating additional construction of homes.
“Given the disastrous state of the finances which we have inherited, we need to remove any ineffective spending.
“Ceasing the boost early will allow the State Government to fund higher priority areas while ensuring Western Australian first home buyers continue to be eligible for generous Government assistance,” Mr Wyatt said.
REIWA analysis shows that the introduction of the grant in January 2017 did little to stimulate activity levels in the new-build market.
At the time of the grant increase, REIWA President Hayden Groves said the Institute was concerned the $5,000 boost would widen the gap between established and newly built properties for first home buyers.
REIWA Councillor Suzanne Brown said now that the FHOG is returning to $10,000, REIWA hopes this will help to even out the playing field, albeit marginally, between the established and newly-built market.
“However, there is still work to be done to help first home buyers purchase an established property as the gap remains significant,” Ms Brown said.
10 May 2017
Perth’s property market continues to encourage first home buyers, with the latest preliminary data for the March quarter 2017 revealing the bulk of transactions occurred within the $400,000 to $450,000 price range.
REIWA President Hayden Groves said market conditions in the March quarter highlighted that housing affordability remains an east coast issue.
“While the dream of home ownership is becoming increasingly difficult in some parts of Australia, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne, this isn’t the case in Perth.
“First home buyers remain active and continue to take advantage of improved affordability and choice in the market to secure a property that meets their needs. These factors, combined with record low interest rates, makes for positive buying conditions for those looking for a first home,” Mr Groves said.
Median house and unit price
Perth’s median house price slipped back over the quarter, with the preliminary median coming in at $505,000 for the three months to March 2017.
“This softening in median price is due to the ongoing trend of comparatively more transactions occurring in the lower end of the market, with fewer sales of properties in the $700,000 to $1.5 million price range. However, once all transactions have been accounted for, it’s likely the median will lift to around $517,000, just shy of December’s quarterly median,” Mr Groves said.
Perth’s preliminary median unit price held up reasonably well over the quarter, coming in at $411,750 for the three months to March 2017.
“In the unit market, although there were more transactions occurring in the $350,000 to $450,000 price range, early indications suggest there was also a boost in volumes between $600,000 and $1 million, which has kept the unit median strong over the quarter,” Mr Groves said.
The preliminary total dwelling sales figure for WA came in at 6,496 for the three months to March 2017.
Mr Groves said this figure was below the revised December quarter 2016 sales figure, which wasn’t unusual.
“Although preliminary total WA dwelling sales figures are down compared to the December quarter, once all transactions for the March quarter have been recorded, we expect this figure to lift to approximately 8,500, putting this quarter’s activity levels on par with the December 2016 quarterly figures.
“Additionally, early indicators suggest a rebound in house sales in the Perth metro area for the March quarter, with transactions expected to lift to around 6,500. This would put house sales volumes in the Perth metro region for the March quarter up significantly higher than the December quarter 2016 and marginally above the same time last year.
“These stable, moderately improving market conditions provide for equitable buying and selling conditions for both buyers and sellers,” Mr Groves said.
Listings for sale
Listings for sale in Perth increased over the quarter, sitting at 14,845 at the end of March 2017.
“It’s common for listings to rebound in the March quarter following the seasonal dip in listings over the festive period. This quarter’s listings figure is similar to levels experienced in the latter half of last year.
“Stock levels have been well controlled with total listings having declined by 2.7 per cent compared to the March quarter 2016,” Mr Groves said.
Average selling days and discounting
On average, it took vendors 70 days to sell their property in the March quarter.
Mr Groves said the proportion of vendors needing to discount their asking price held steady over the quarter at 55 per cent.
“We’ve also seen an improvement in the amount vendors are having to discount by, with figures revealing the average discount had fallen to 6.4 per cent in the March quarter, from seven per cent in the December quarter 2016,” Mr Groves said.
12 April 2017
Modified by realestate.com.au
Did you know that the rate of Auctions being sold is now an average of 28 day on the market? Whilst the Perth market average days on the market for Selling via Private Treaty is 76 days. Here at Porter Matthews Metro we have a well thought out Auction process and success rate, if you have queries as to how this method might suit you, please give us a call on 9475 9622 or email us at email@example.com
Read more here why Auctions are becoming more popular in WA.
Perth real estate agents are predicting an increase in the popularity of auctions over traditional offer-acceptance sales in Western Australia, saying auctions could help fuel the state’s dull property market.
Auctions are not typical in Perth and only represent about 3% of the market, but agents and auctioneers say that is changing, with a growing number of vendors favouring auctions over private treaty sales.
CoreLogic data shows the number of auctions in Perth is on the rise, with 1964 held last year, compared to 1692 in 2015. So far this year, there have been 404 auctions in Perth.
First National Druitt & Shead Doubleview principal and auctioneer Rob Druitt says auctions have become more popular because it heralds speedier sales in a slow market.
Druitt says auctions enable the vendor to get a quicker understanding of where their property sits on the market, with the intensive marketing campaign usually spanning 30 days.
“The other important phenomenon is that in this market, the ‘no price marketing’ clearly isn’t working… because the market is driven by price. If your price is right then the market will see value and you’ll get offers.
“Price is the driver in this market. Buyers are looking for value.
“In inner-city Melbourne… 80-90 % of properties sell by auction. In Perth, you’re only talking about 2-3 % of total transactions. It’s a smaller number but it is rising and there’s a number of prominent firms around Perth who are embracing it more and realising the benefits for both the buyer and seller,” he says.
Acton chief executive officer Travis Coleman says the number of auctions in Perth has been on the rise for the past three or four years.
“A lot of people are doing it because we’re moving from a market where there are extended days on market and we’re trying to shorten that and bring the price discussion to a head in a shorter time.
“Auctions are not just limited to the upper end of the market. [Acton Coogee agent] David Bombara is doing it down in Spearwood, the mortgage belt areas, with great success and actually selling quite a few properties prior to auction,” Coleman says.
He says auctions are a transparent property sales technique and generally mean quicker turnaround times, rather than having a property sit on the market for four to five months, or in some areas even longer.
Realmark Western Suburbs director Adam Gilbert says the increased take-up of auctions across Perth was due to the competitive market and shortage of supply.
“What the market wants is transparency. In a market where there isn’t a real understanding as to what is a real price, what is a market price and what is an agent price – the market is saying just give me an opportunity to have a go.
“Auctions are very transparent, very honest, aligned with what the market wants and they do bring urgency not only for the buyer but the seller… to make the best decision in a shorter period of time.
“I think agents in WA need to get in tune with the current market. The market is evolving, the landscape is changing, technology is assisting buyers to gain information in a much shorter period of time so I think we give our sellers the option to consider auctions,” Gilbert says.
But CoreLogic head of research Cameron Kusher says with declining values in Perth it is unlikely that auctions will become more popular in the short-term.
“Auction volumes were a little higher last year than they were in 2015 for Perth, however, auction sales still represent a very small proportion of the overall market.
“Although selling by private sale in Perth is tough, a lot of vendors probably feel as if it is not worth the additional expense to sell at auction, particularly when the success rates have typically been well below 50% this year,” Kusher says.
02 March 2017
via Community News
THE Perth rental market is showing signs of improvement, with leasing activity for the December 2016 quarter 23.8 per cent higher than the December 2015 quarter.
REIWA president Hayden Groves said reiwa.com data showed all five sub-regions in Perth experienced notable increases in activity over that time.
“While conditions in the rental market remain challenging, the spike in leasing activity levels between December quarter 2015 and December quarter 2016 is a real positive for the market,” he said.
“Tenants are very active and are taking advantage of favourable conditions.”
Leasing activity also lifted on a quarterly basis, increasing 1.9 per cent in the three months to December.
“All but two of the sub-regions saw a lift in activity over the quarter, with the South-East region the stand out performer,” Mr Groves said.
“At a suburb level, the big winners for leasing activity in the December quarter were Burswood, up 78.9 per cent, Palmyra, up 70.3 per cent, Melville, up 59.1 per cent, Langford, up 54.5 per cent, and Beechboro, up 53.8 per cent.”
Tenants continued to benefit from Perth’s current rental market cycle, with the overall median rent price (houses and units) falling to $360 per week in the December quarter.
Mr Groves said median rent prices had softened slightly across all sub-regions.
“In good news for investors though, there were numerous suburbs within each sub-region that bucked this trend to record increases in their weekly median rent prices over the quarter,” he said.
“Ocean Reef and Burswood in particular saw substantial increases to their median rent prices, which can be attributed to a greater proportion of higher priced rentals leasing during the period. In both these suburbs there was stronger demand for three to five bedroom homes, which usually command a higher weekly rent comparative to smaller properties.”
On average, it was one day quicker to lease a property in the December quarter than it was in the September quarter.
“On an annual basis, the average days to lease a house or unit have come in by almost a week, with reiwa.com data showing it was six days faster to find a tenant in the December quarter 2016 than it was in the December quarter 2015,” Mr Groves said.
23 February 2017
Article modified via @REIWA Author: Rachel Preston-Bidwell
Buying your first home is a big deal and one of the biggest investments you will make in your adult life.
There are many factors to consider when researching the suburb and type of property you’re interested in buying. Do you buy an established home or build off-the-plan? Live in the city or on a quiet suburban street? Then there’s the question of transport, proximity to work, cafes and amenities. The list goes on.
If you’re keen to buy a house without sacrificing on an inner city lifestyle then looking into older, more established properties might be for you, especially if you’re into DIY and don’t mind getting your hands dirty or renovating.
We spoke with Kareena Ballard, Director at Jones Ballard Property Group, to get her expert advice on why you should consider buying an older property for your first home.
Why buy established?
Older homes come with greater responsibility and you may need to consider the renovation costs to modernise or touch-up the property. Some maintenance should be expected and it’s recommended a thorough building inspection is conducted before you buy. But if you’re prepared to do the work, buying an older, established property can bring some major benefits.
Typically, you can purchase an older property for a reasonable price near the CBD or an inner city suburb. Buying and living in these areas means you’re closer to the action for events and festivities, plus if you work in the city, it can cut down on transportation costs and time. This is an attractive prospect for tenants, should you decide to rent out the property in the future.
Additionally, older homes tend to sit on large blocks, making them ideal for subdivision, redevelopment or extension if you want extra living space.
Ms Ballard recommends looking out for houses built between the 1960s and 1980s, or those that lend themselves to the charm of the art deco era. Look for timber floors, high ceilings and simple design layouts, which you can easily bring up-to-date whilst preserving the character.
“Benefit from a ‘live in them or hold now’ approach. Renovate the property by renewing kitchens and bathrooms, restoring timber floors or putting down tiles, rendering the face brickwork and painting a concrete tiled roof,” Ms Ballard said.
Units and villas are also a good option for first home buyers living alone or as a couple, and there are often good buys within close proximity to the CBD.
“Older units are mostly larger than those being built new today. Many opportunities exist to invest and make money for both investors and first home buyers.
“Ensure the building is well managed and strata maintenance is being taken care of,” Ms Ballard said.
Renovating old houses in WA
It might be a dream for some to ‘flip’ a house quickly and sell it for a higher value. However, Ms Ballard advises this concept rarely works in Perth’s current market.
“To do this successfully, you need a rapidly rising market. A second story addition may work in this case if built well and quickly – the addition must blend well with the old,” Ms Ballard said.
If you’re buying your first home with the long term view in mind however, you can potentially build equity in an established property by renovating it bit by bit over the years.
“First home buyers could start with a property under $300,000, live in it, renovate and then move out, using the equity that has been built up as the deposit on the next purchase,” Ms Ballard said.
If you do decide to buy an established home with the aim to renovate, be sure to use quality fit-outs and reputable trade companies.
“There’s nothing worse than a renovation done cheaply, it will look as cheap as it cost and be difficult to sell. Buyers and renters alike have so much choice now, you need to stand out in the crowd to achieve a profit.
“Good luck and happy hunting. The property no one else wants is often a property worth researching,” Ms Ballard said.
If you’re looking for an established house with old-world charm, find properties for sale on pmmetro.com.au
08 February 2017
We all want to live in a happy home where we can relax and feel good. However, what makes you happy at home, or in your life, is very subjective, and you have to find your own recipe for happiness. As I mentioned recently, being surrounded by beautiful art does make some people happy. Others might find happiness in using bright colours and energy oils in their home. Or, maybe, being organised and living in a tidy house is your take on happiness. Often, it is the simplest pleasures that make us feel good. To be happier at home does not have to be expensive.
The only thing it requires is for you to take action and change something if you do not feel well. So follow the advice of the British politician and writer Benjamin Disraeli, who said, “Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.”
Tidy up and declutter
As Marie Kondo explains in her bestseller, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, a tidy and uncluttered home can make all the difference to your life. Once you get rid of physical clutter, your mind will free up as well. And, as a consequence, you will be able to focus on more meaningful things and eventually improve your lifestyle. Once you have experienced the impact of a tidy home on your wellbeing, you will never want to go back to a cluttered house.
Find out more about Marie Kondo’s philosophy
Write a happiness journal
Find out more of what makes you happy by writing a happiness journal. Writing about joyful experiences will help you stay positive and foster creativity. Each night, capture what made you happy during the day. Explore different areas of your life that affect your happiness. Set monthly objectives to work towards being happier at home and in your life.
Buy fresh flowers
Add a touch of colour and happiness to your entrance hall, dining table or kitchen bench with a bunch of fresh flowers. Use the happy colours yellow and orange to make you feel good. Buy a big bunch from a flower market and divide it to embellish several areas in your home at the same time. Arrange single stems in small glass containers next to each other to create a beautiful display. You could also find quirky containers, such as old teapots, for example, to show off your flower arrangements.
Browse a wide selection of dining tables on Houzz
Make your bed
I work a lot from home and can’t be creative or productive if I know that my house is messy. Therefore, I make my bed every day. Making my bed takes only a few minutes, and it has a positive effect on my wellbeing. Start with these little things to experience how a tidy space can increase your happiness level at home.
Relish in the simple pleasure of fresh sheets
Use the power of smell
Aromatherapy can reduce stress and anxiety. According to aromatherapist Julie Nelson, the citrus family of oils – also called energy oils or happy oils – are a great way to enhance your happiness at home. Essential oils can be used as room or body sprays, for baths and foot baths or as oils, substituting conventional perfumes. The most important thing is that you enjoy what you are using. Go with what your nose tells you.
9 smells that’ll boost your health
Display your favourite objects
I am a big fan of a tidy home, but I also love buying and collecting beautiful things. As Gretchen Rubin puts it her book, Happier at Home, “buying things is a way to engage with the world.” And if we only buy things that are meaningful to us, they become precious and valuable. You can engage with your belongings by simply using them or just seeing them and being reminded of a precious experience from the past. I love displaying my favourite books with selected pages open. Every time I walk by, I read an inspirational quote or see a beautiful image. Decorating interesting vignettes with objects and colours you love will make you feel happier at home, too. Change your displays as often as you like for some decorating fun.
Introduce feng shui principles
Optimise the energy flow in your home. Research Houzz for feng shui specialists to help you determine which energy you need to add or remove in each of your rooms to optimise the feng shui. In keeping with this harmonising philosophy, you should also repair everything that is broken or discard it.
Feng shui for beginners
Dress for success
Are you wearing the same stuff every day? In busy lives, people can often get stuck with wearing the same old T-shirt, jumper or jeans. It seems to be easier to stick to what is familiar than try something new. But according to psychologist and author Fiona Robards, how we project ourselves to the world has a strong reciprocal relationship with our self-confidence and happiness. If you’re not feeling happy about your wardrobe, and if you don’t know what to wear even if your wardrobe is overflowing, maybe it is time to step out of your comfort zone and engage a personal stylist to help you boost your self-confidence. Choose someone whose style you like and with whom you can connect.
Upgrade your closet space with the help of a storage designer
Spend quality time with loved ones
Spend more time with the people who are close to your heart. Schedule quality time with your partner, your children, and your best friends. Often, these quality times are neglected and slide to the bottom of our to-do lists because we are so busy juggling our daily lives and chores. But think about what will be more meaningful and memorable to you years from now: getting your daily chores done or spending time with your loved ones?
Work with to-do lists
Write things down to externalise your memory to your environment. Every time thoughts interfere with what you are doing, write them down. This will help prevent you from feeling overwhelmed, and will help you stay organised and on track with your daily jobs and tasks. Essentially, you will be clearing your brain from mental clutter. Break down big tasks into smaller steps to make them less overwhelming. If you have sleepless nights, use a beautiful notebook on your bedside table to capture your ideas when they occur. As my most creative time is early in the morning, I love the notepad ‘3am’ from kikki.K.
12 list-making strategies to put you ahead of the game
Think about a person you shared a joyful experience with. Show your gratitude and happiness by sending this person a handwritten ‘Thank You’ card. You will both feel happy about it. Keep a box of beautiful cards at home so you have one at hand if you are in the mood for writing.
10 ways to give thanks to your home
07 February 2017
via @The West.com.au
The new year has delivered a small boost to Perth’s beleaguered property owners with values lifting in the first month of 2017.
Figures from CoreLogic show dwelling values in the city improved by 0.2 per cent in January to be 2.1 per cent up over the past three months.
The increase was driven by units with values lifting by two per in the month. Over the quarter, unit values were only up by 1.5 per cent and down by 3.8 per cent over the past year.
House values were flat but thanks to a pre-Christmas improvement they were up by 2.2 per cent over the quarter.
Through the past 12 months, however, values were down by 3.2 per cent.
Nationally, values were up by 0.7 per cent led by a 1.8 per cent increase in Hobart house values.
House values in Sydney lifted by another 0.5 per cent to be 16.6 per cent up over the year while house values in Melbourne have improved by 12.9 per cent through the year.
CoreLogic head of research Tim Lawless said there were signs the bottom of the market had been reached in both Perth and Darwin where values have climbed by 1.8 per cent over the past three months.
“Buyers still have a great deal of leverage in these markets, with listing numbers remaining high, long selling times and high rates of discounting,” he said.
“However, in another indication that conditions may be moving through the bottom of the cycle, transaction volumes moved higher across both markets prior to the seasonal downturn in December and January, whilst the average selling time reduced from previously higher levels.
“With economic and demographic conditions remaining weak in these markets, a recovery in dwelling values is likely to be a slow process.”
Since January 2009 Perth is the worst performed property market in the country with values up by 8.1 per cent. In Sydney, values have jumped by 99.4 per cent while in Melbourne they have lifted by 85 per cent.
07 February 2017
The once-humble kitchen, increasingly the showpiece of any house, is growing ever grander.
No longer content with a basic stovetop and the almost-forgotten art of dish drying, Australian homeowners are lusting after kitchens that wouldn’t be out of place on the set of MasterChef.
But when it comes down to it, what do most of us really need in our kitchens on a day-to-day basis? We asked a couple of experts for their top tips.
Decent bench space
Cherie Barber, a regular TV fixture who also designed the course Renovating for Profit, says having enough room to whip up your creations is one of the essentials.
“In my experience one of the fundamental things with any kitchen design is the bench space. It tends to be a big issue in a lot of kitchens – particularly a lot of older kitchens built in the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s,” says Barber.
“I’m having to rip out a lot of kitchens because people ultimately have no bench space.”
An “appliance centre” where you can hide away your kettle, toaster, juicer and other cooking accoutrements can leave your benches feeling less cluttered and more spacious.
The Block’s Will and Karlie ensured their kitchen had plenty of bench space for food preparation and entertaining. Photo: Channel Nine
A large pantry (preferably built-in)
Barber says a good-sized pantry is an “absolute must”.
If you’re short on space, one option is to reclaim part of your laundry.
“More often than not your laundry is very close to your kitchen. Quite often you can steal half of your laundry and that can become your walk-in pantry,” says Barber, noting that a European-style laundry is a massive space saver.
Two bonuses: it’s cheap to do, and you don’t usually need council approval.
A well-planned layout
In designer lingo, the ultimate aim is to go for the “golden triangle”. For the uninitiated, that’s planning your kitchen in a way that spaces its three main elements – your sink, oven and cooktop, and fridge – evenly apart.
“You hover between these three areas in the kitchen,” says Barber. “It’s OK to have a triangle with a really long side, but obviously the longer it is, the less practical it is.”
Likewise, you want to make sure your dishwasher is flush to your sink – not across the other side of your kitchen which could lead to you ferrying dripping dishes across your kitchen floor.
Barber also warns anyone getting new cabinetry designed to take into account the increasingly size of modern fridges, and the extra space they’ll need. Be sure to leave at least 50 millimetres clearance on either side, and remembering your living situation may well change.
“Definitely if you’re designing a new kitchen, design it also with a larger fridge capacity,” says Barber. “You might only be a couple right now, but you could be a couple with two kids in five years’ time.”
This Schulberg Demkiw Architects-designed kitchen with its concrete splashback is a real knockout. Photo: Derek Swalwell
A sensible splashback
“A lot of people really screw up in their material selection in their kitchen,” says Cherie Barber. Stainless steel splashbacks are one of the worst offenders when it comes to a high-maintenance kitchen.
“They look great when they’re brand new, but it’s probably about the only time they look great,” she says.
Dennis agrees, saying you need to think carefully when selecting a style of splashback.
“Test them for practicality. All these things you sort of have to think – ‘in an ideal world, how do I live and how often do I clean?’”
Tiles are making a comeback, and Dennis suggests going with bigger tiles. Make sure you get the grout sealed to avoid your errant pasta sauce becoming an accidental feature of your kitchen.
A quality tap that won’t date
Better Homes and Gardens presenter Tara Dennis says a small thing like a tap can make a major difference to the practicality and look of your kitchen.
“The kitchen tap for me is really high on the list. It can sort of set the tone for the kitchen, it’s something you use every day,” she says.
The type of tap you opt for – a sink mixer, pull-down mixer? – will depend on the way you like to cook and the style of your kitchen, says Dennis.
“I love brass taps but I think that the fashion will come and go. I think for long-term value you can’t beat a good old chrome tap.
05 January 2017
03 January 2017
First home buyers purchasing newly built properties will now have access to a $15,000 First Home Owners Grant until 31 December 2017.
Announced last week, Premier Colin Barnett said the decision to increase the grant from $10,000 to $15,000 would help first home buyers enter the property market, stimulate construction in WA’s housing market and provide around 2,000 new jobs.
“We are conscious about housing affordability and this boost will provide more families an opportunity to get into the housing market,” Mr Barnett said.
Speaking to ABC Online last week, REIWA President Hayden Groves said he was worried the increase to the grant would be a detriment to the property market and would like to see the same incentive given to first home buyers purchasing existing homes.
“As an Institute we’re a little concerned that the gap between established property and new property for first home buyers is getting larger,” Mr Groves said.
As with the existing grant, the boost payment applies to new homes up to the value of $750,000 (or up to one million dollars if the home is located north of the 26th parallel).
17 November 2016
15 November 2016
It’s hard to believe Christmas is just around the corner. For most of us, it’s the busiest time of the year, when there is often a mad rush to meet deadlines and get things completed before the holiday season begins.
Beat the rush
If you are thinking of selling your home, it’s better to get it on the market well before Christmas, if you can. By the second half of December you can expect the market to go a little quiet until late January when it tends to pick up again.
Use the holiday season to prepare
If you are considering selling, but are in no rush, now is the time to speak to a REIWA real estate agent. They’ll advise you on what you need to do to your property over the holiday period in order to attract the most attention from buyers when things pick up in the New Year.
This might include things like painting, general maintenance or cleaning up the garden and pool. By using the holiday season to get your property primed, you’ll be able to maximise your asking price when you go to market.
Understand your marketing approach
If, due to circumstances, you need to put your house on the market at this time of year, or if you have not yet sold your home, you can expect a temporary slowdown.
Your real estate agent can advise you on the best marketing strategy during this period, which may include a different approach to other times of the year.
Some sellers will choose to delay the marketing of their property until things show signs of picking up, however, if you do decide to promote your home over the holiday season there can be some advantages.
These include the fact that there is less competition and that those looking to buy at this time of year are generally more motivated. They have more time to view properties and are keen to lock in a deal quickly.
Potentially longer settlement times
If you have recently succeeded in selling your home you should allow a little extra time for settlement. Usually five weeks is enough between the contract of sale and the settlement date, but the holiday break may cause delays.
Give yourself time to undertake things like building inspections and termite clearances. I recommend allowing around seven weeks for the settlement period at this time of year.
The festive season is the perfect time of year to relax and spend time with family and friends, so it pays to be organised early so you can enjoy it.
03 November 2016
29 September 2016
Story via @REIWA
14 September 2016
Renovating a house is not for the fainthearted. It can be time consuming, effort intensive and often expensive, so it’s important to know what you’re getting into.
Before kick starting a renovation project, make sure you’ve addressed these questions.
1. What exactly do you plan to renovate?
This question sounds easy enough, but you might be surprised at the ripple effect renovating one room can have on the home.
You want any improvements you make to be seamless and fit in with the design of the original home. Modernising one area, like a kitchen or bathroom, may look out of place if it doesn’t blend well with the rest of the home.
You will also need to determine how involved the renovations will be. Are you planning a small upgrade to one or two rooms, or something more extensive like an extension? You’ll need to establish a rough timeline of how long the project will take and whether or not you can reside in the home for the entire duration. If not, you’ll need to figure out where you will stay during this time.
2. What is your budget for this project?
Establishing a budget from the outset and working to it is key. How much money are you willing (and able) to spend on this renovation? Does this money cover your wish list or do you need to readjust your expectations?
Over exerting yourself financially is risky. Be realistic and work to your budget. You can always stagger the project and get to some of the less crucial items on your list later down the track.
3. Will your renovations add value?
Improving a property’s capital value is often a driving factor behind the decision to renovate. If your plan is to renovate so you can sell your house at a better price, then you need to be strategic about what features and additions you choose.
A REIWA buyer’s agent can help you identify what renovations should be carried out. They will carry out due diligence on your behalf so you don’t overcapitalise and help ensure your renovations fit in well with the neighbourhood, street and original design of the home.
As well as being able to determine the end value and research sought after features in your area, they’ll also contact your local council on your behalf to make sure your renovations adhere to local regulations.
On the flipside, if you plan to live in the home long-term and your primary motivation is to improve your personal living experience then you have more freedom to make changes that suit your unique preferences.
4. Will you engage a professional or is this a DIY project?
Whether or not you engage a professional designer and builder to oversee this project is likely to depend on the size and scale of the renovation.
If it’s a small improvement, you might feel comfortable completing the project yourself, however if it’s a big job it’s probably smarter to use the services of a professional like a buyer’s agent to ensure the best people are on the job.
28 September 2016
via @The West Australian
Real Estate Institute of WA President Hayden Groves said the mining downturn had had a big impact.
Four years ago 1500 people a week were moving to WA, that’s now dropped to just 150 a week.
Across Perth in the past year, the median house price has fallen by 4.8 per cent.
Since the peak in 2014, the reduction is more like a 6 per cent.
In Melbourne, prices have increased by 8.2 per cent in the past 12 months.
The list of Perth’s cheapest suburbs is dominated by the south – three suburbs now have a median price of $300,000 or less.
View the Video and more of this story here.