27 November 2017
The latest data from REIWA shows 53.4 per cent of sellers are having to discount their property in order to sell and the average amount they’re discounting by is seven per cent.
If you’re on the market or considering selling, you need to adapt to the current property conditions. Otherwise, you may need to discount to achieve a sale, which can lead to significantly longer selling times.
The latest September quarter 2017 data shows it takes on average 70 days to sell a property in WA, so if you want to beat the average you need a strategy to encourage a quicker sale.
Meet the market from the get-go
Pricing your property appropriately as soon as it goes on the market is key. The number one reason why a home stays on the market for an extended period is because it’s considered over-priced by the market. If you want an expeditious sale, you need to be realistic about price.
A suitable price will attract more buyers and, subsequently, more offers and competition. If you’ve not had an offer to buy within the first four weeks’ of coming to market then you need to consider either the asking price or marketing/selling methods being adopted.
Consider expressing the price differently such as a price range or shifting to an auction campaign.
Auctions can achieve a quick sale
Auctions are gaining in popularity in WA and are a considerably faster way to sell, taking an average of 27 days for a seller to secure a buyer. While listing numbers are relatively stable across the Perth market, stock levels remain higher than the long term average.
Selling via auction can help your property stand out from the competition and separate the genuine buyers from those just browsing.
Presentation is key
With good choice for buyers (particularly in select markets), you’ll need to take extra care and effort when it comes to presenting your property. While you don’t need to do a full blown renovation, making mild cosmetic improvements to the property, including the garden and any fencing, can go a long way in attracting more buyers.
Do your research before coming to market
If you are buying and selling simultaneously under similar market conditions, the state of the market is almost irrelevant. While you might not sell for a price you want, you’ll also be buying in a market that offers adequate choice and competitive prices.
When you’ve made the decision to sell, do your research and find out how the market is performing in your local area. Speak to our agents in the areas you’re interested in buying in. They’ll be best placed to give you an idea of what’s going on in and around your area.
There are buyers out there and we know that if your property is priced correctly from the start, it will be snapped up by those eager to buy their first home, trade up or downsize.
Visit our website for more details pmmetro.com.au
27 November 2017
NICOLA MCDOUGALL via domain.com.au
During property transactions, sometimes the seller hasn’t found anywhere else to live by the time they sign on the dotted line.
One of the most common solutions to this situation is renting back the property to them for a period of time, but is it a good idea?
Property Pursuit director and buyers’ agent Meighan Hetherington said the “rent-back” option was more likely in an off-market sale that happened sooner than the seller had anticipated.
Deciding whether to offer a long settlement or a rent-back depends on each party’s circumstances. Photo: Gabriele Charotte
Renting back the property to the seller also gave the buyer a stronger negotiating position, she said.
“That’s a really strong position to be in from a negotiation point of view because we can meet the seller’s needs without offering more money,” she said.
“The seller can either have a long settlement with the comfort that they have got the sale or they can have a normal 30-day settlement and they can be cash buyer to jump on any opportunity if something comes up but not have to move before they’re ready.”
It’s important for the tenancy agreement to be explained in detail to the seller to prevent any potential issues. Photo: Lisa Maree Williams
Deciding whether to offer a long settlement or a rent-back depended on each party’s circumstances, but one usually put the buyer in a stronger position than the other, she said.
“You can often negotiate a better price by offering a normal settlement with a rent-back than you can in offering a long settlement,” Ms Hetherington said.
Long-standing Toowong sales agent and principal Doug Disher said rent backs were often mutually beneficial to both the seller and the buyer, such as when the property had been bought for future re-development purposes but the original owner had not found a replacement home.
But he said it was imperative that a formal lease was drawn up if renting back the property to the seller, to ensure the terms and conditions were clear.
“The most important thing in any arrangement is to ensure the terms are legal, clear and precise,” he said.
“It’s essential that both parties understand their obligations under any such arrangement. It is always best to get legal advice before entering into any agreement involving rent-back situations.”
Ms Hetherington said one of the risks with renting back a property was that many sellers had not rented for a long time and often misunderstand their rights and responsibilities as well as those of the landlord and property manager.
It was important for the tenancy agreement to be explained in detail to the seller to prevent any potential issues during the tenancy, she said. Likewise, an entry condition report was imperative.
“The entry condition report is the only piece of evidence that the new owner has to say what state that property should be left in by the tenant when they vacate,” she said.
22 November 2017
Erin Delahunty via realestate.com.au
Property auctions can be intimidating, especially for first-time buyers, so knowing what to do and what not to do is essential.
David Holmes, LJ Hooker’s national auction manager, shares his advice.
Four top tips for a successful auction day…
Holmes says pre-auction preparation is absolutely vital to success. Would-be buyers should talk to the selling agent, research comparable properties, decide on a strict price limit and commit to sticking to it, he says.
“Once you’ve inspected the property, know you have a connection and want it, ensure your finances are all sorted and your deposit is ready to go. If your bid is successful, you will be required to pay the deposit on the day,” Holmes says.
“Get all the necessary inspections done before auction day too, because when that hammer comes down, it’s unconditional, with no cooling off period,” he adds.
Don’t let nerves take over
The biggest mistake many potential buyers make is turning up to an auction and not bidding because of nerves, Holmes says.
“If you’ve done your homework and know the market value of a property, put your hand up and bid, strongly and confidently. While it can be daunting, an auction is a genuinely transparent process, a negotiation that happens out in the open, with people who want to buy a property,” he says.
“People can have real peace of mind that they’re not paying, say $50,000 over the market value, because it’s all done in public.”
Think about your body language
At an auction, it’s also important to appear confident, Holmes says.
“You need to look confident and essentially, like you have very deep pockets, like you can bid all day long, to deter your competition,” he says.
“Don’t be on the phone or looking like you’re out of your depth or stressing out, as other bidders will be able to sense that. Appear very, very confident, put your hand straight up with a decent bid and you’re half-way there,” Holmes says.
Don’t be ‘invisible’
“As an auctioneer, I always go and meet the potential buyers before an auction, to ensure they’re aware of the relevant legislation and terms and conditions. There’s no point trying to hide up the back and not talk to the auctioneer and agent staff,” Holmes says.
“If you’re keen, polite and courteous from the get-go, the auctioneer will be more likely to engage positively with you too.”
20 November 2017
If there’s one thing that gets a bad rap in design, it’s the studio apartment. Often a rental with very little in the way of space, studios must do it all without room to spare. While it is a tall order, we found a place that does it just right. Tucked away in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, this studio is just as relaxing as it is energising. Keeping rental restrictions and their client Jamie’s laid-back style in mind, designers Lindsay Boswell and Ali Levin of LABLstudio created an urban oasis filled with ideas that anyone would sacrifice square metres for.Mixing earthy and glamorous touches, this “hidden gem” evolved into a room suitable for sleeping, living, and entertaining. Getting creative with the space, Boswell and Levin incorporated unexpected pops of colour using removable wallpaper and made sure every piece served a variety of purposes. The result proves that size isn’t everything! Keep reading for a full studio tour and Lindsay and Ali’s favourite tricks for decking out a small space.
Photo by Matthew Williams via LABLstudio
POPSUGAR Home: How do you create a space for both living and entertaining, especially in a studio?
LABLstudio: In studio apartments, it’s really important to make sure that you carve out distinct areas for sleeping, living, and entertaining, even if they’re all in the same room. Whenever possible we like to make sure there is a proper living area (i.e., a sofa, side table, coffee table), as well as a place where you can sit, eat, or work. Sometimes this means sacrificing some of the “bedroom” to make for a larger “living and entertaining” area.
Photo by Matthew Williams via LABLstudio
PS: How do you make a studio livable without looking cluttered?
LS: Make sure that all of your main pieces serve multiple purposes. For example, the console that we placed between the windows doubles as a place where two people can comfortably dine, a place where Jamie can sit with her laptop, and a place where she can put her makeup on in the morning.
Photo by Matthew Williams via LABLstudio
Similar to the living space, the bathroom uses pops of colour to reflect the apartment’s earthy, glam vibe. For a personal touch, the designers even switched out the vanity knobs.
Photo by Matthew Williams via LABLstudio
PS: We love the wall art. How did you do that? It is from your Femme and Gem collection?
LS: The one wall (next to the bed) is wallpapered in our “Gemma” print (in Sapphire) from our “Femme and Gem” collection. It’s removable, and you can hang it yourself! For the other walls, we hand painted watercolour pinstripes to add personality and to tie everything together.
Photo by Matthew Williams via LABLstudio
The entryway is proof rental lighting doesn’t have to be boring. For an industrial touch, you can find a similar light fixture here.
Photo by Matthew Williams via LABLstudio
LS: The goal was to give Jamie a cool place to call home — a space that was relaxing yet energizing and a space that reflected her personality. We tried to make the apartment feel as large as possible and use fun and unexpected pops of magenta and purple throughout.
Photo by Matthew Williams via LABLstudio
: In this apartment, we opted to place the bed in the corner and mount a shelf on the wall rather than a bedside table. This allowed for a larger living and entertaining space. If you make the bed the priority, the apartment ends up feeling like a bedroom rather than a real place where you can hang out with friends and entertain.
Photo by Matthew Williams via LABLstudio
To maximise space, Ali and Lindsay choose side and coffee tables that double as stools for additional seating. To add personality, they hung a magenta juju (African feather headdress) above the sofa.
Photo by Matthew Williams via LABLstudio
PS: Any tips for renters looking to add a personal touch?
LS: Do not be afraid to paint your walls or hang some wallpaper! So many people who rent end up leaving their walls bright white. If you keep all of your walls this colour, your place will look like a rental and not like a home. There are so many removable wallpaper options out there to personalise your space. Get your hands dirty and paint or hang the paper yourself — make a day of it, invite a friend or two over to help, and open a bottle of wine!
Photo by Matthew Williams via LABLstudio
PS: What is one piece of advice you could give city dwellers?
LS: Living in a big city can be hectic and overwhelming at times, and it’s important to make your apartment feel like a real home, especially if you rent. Good design doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money or take up a lot of your time. These days, there are a lot of affordable design options out there.
Photo by Matthew Williams via LABLstudio
20 November 2017
Jane Hone via domain.com.au
If there’s one room in your house that needs to be functional, surely it’s the kitchen. So what’s the secret to ensuring that your kitchen works in the most functional way?
Architects and designers agree that if there were one magic ingredient to kitchen design, it would be the “kitchen work triangle”.
For the uninitiated, the work triangle is a design principle in which the three most utilised components of a kitchen—usually the fridge, stovetop and sink—are within easy reach of each other, traditionally in the shape of a triangle. The idea is that you only need to take minimal steps to move between each point.
Ema House. Architect: Evelyn McNamara Architects. Photo: Jeremy Toth
“The maximum steps are two to three,” says interior designer Fiona Lynch, who has designed hundreds of kitchens, all with some form of work triangle. “Any more than that and you’re going to get a workout while cooking – but it’s probably not good if you’re trying not to burn something!”
Interior designer Pascale Gomes-McNabb agrees. “Kitchens that are planned with the sink, stove and fridge in a triangular formation are generally more efficient and ergonomic to use”.
“You definitely work faster in a well-planned kitchen.”
Hahei House. Architect: Studio2 Architects. Photo: Simon Wilson
It’s a concept that was first developed in the 1940s by design researchers from the University of Illinois, who gave very specific guidelines on how the work triangle was to function.
There should be between four and seven feet (1.22 and 2.13 metres) between the refrigerator and sink, they said, four to six feet between the sink and stovetop, and four to nine feet between the stove and fridge. There was also to be as little foot traffic crossing the triangle as possible.
Of course, kitchens today are not the same as the standard kitchen of the 1940s. We are seeing more open-plan designs, for example, rather than a separate kitchen, which actually makes the work triangle even more important.
Seddon House. Designers: Red Door Project Photographer. Photo: Shannon McGrath
“People are wanting very large kitchens,” says Lynch. “Often the most functional kitchens are quite small. Some houses seem to be getting bigger, but [you need to make sure] that the triangle still works.”
On the other hand, there are more people living in small inner-city apartments. Gomes-McNabb says that in these spaces, the components might be arranged in a linear style. However, the basic idea of these three points remains.
Architect Brad Swartz suggests making sure the spice rack is within easy reach of the stovetop, and refers to a decent amount of bench space as the “fourth element” of good kitchen design.
Imo’s Modular Kitchen. Designers: IMO KXN. Photo: Toaki Okano
“I’ll typically push the cooktop to one side and the sink to the other side so you can then have a good space between for preparing food,” he says. “Also, a slightly deeper-than-standard bench top is really nice. A standard bench top is 600mm deep, but if you do one that is 650 or 700, you can do two sets of plates, front and back.”
Nick James of Architecture Architecture adds that the bench height should be tailored to homeowners for maximum cooking efficiency and that using island benches in work triangles isn’t for everyone.
“People either love it or hate it because the dishes end up piling up on the island bench,” he says.
Architect Chloe Naughton points out that there should be ample space on which to place hot or heavy dishes and that kitchen designers should be careful when it comes to galley-style kitchens.
“The distance between either side of the kitchen is key to the triangle working successfully,” she says. “If the space between is too large, it seems to interrupt the flow of the kitchen.”
The good news is that once you’ve got the flow of the kitchen down pat, you can set about making the place look beautiful.
“If you get the kitchen design right, you can go to town on the aesthetics,” says James.
Sayes Stock House. Architect: Sayes Studio. Photo: Simon Wilson
20 November 2017
Modified via domain.com.au
As the holiday season approaches, one more thing to worry about on the ever-increasing list is how to create a multi-purpose guest room for the family and friends who come to stay once a year, without tying up precious space in your home.
But, according to interior designer Meredith Lee, it can happen quite easily.
“Multi-use rooms are the key to doubling the feel of a home,” says Lee. “Whether it’s sectioning off spaces to create study nooks with creative uses of bookshelves as room dividers or adapting a living space into a guest bedroom at short notice.”
The King Living Felix Studio bed works well in guest rooms that double as a study when not occupied. Photo: King Living
She says the easiest thing to do is start with an idea of the main purpose of the room – for example, understanding whether you have a lot of guests coming to stay or just a few every now and then.
Likewise, if you only use the space as a study from time to time, cabinetry that hides away the workspace will help you relax in the room when there’s no work to be done.
Furniture designers are also helping in the trend towards more efficient storage options for living rooms and guest bedrooms, such as King Living, an Australian furniture manufacturer that has specialised in innovation, quality and design, superior comfort and enduring performance for the past 40 years.
Furniture with multiple functions is the key to saving on space and money. Photo: King Living
David Hardwick, global buying manager for King Living, says functional furniture such as the brand’s award-winning Delta sofa and multi-award-winning Jasper provide a place to sit as well as storage, making them perfect for multi-use rooms, especially as their modular designs can be reconfigured and have backs and arms that can be repositioned.
King Living has recently released The Reo Grand sofa bed, blending contemporary design, functionality and comfort. It also features Smart pockets on the arms to accommodate side tables that swivel, as well as phone charging, adjustable lights and wireless speakers to make small spaces extremely functional.
“Most customers will be surprised when you reveal this sofa bed as the form helps to mask the function hidden within,” says Hardwick. “A 15-stage adjustable headrest complemented by the streamlined aesthetic and deep-seated comfort create what we believe is the most comfortable sofa bed on the market.”
Make sure the room works well with the rest of your house, but has a few unique style choices. Bedroom by designer Meredith Lee. Photo: Elizabeth Schiavello
King Living’s Felix Studio bed is another innovative option, with a quick conversion that only requires the push of a button as it’s fully automated. The armless model is also perfect for small spaces without compromising on seating space and King Living products come with a 25-year steel frame warranty.
“When choosing one, it’s best to try and operate the sofa bed yourself when browsing various options, and have a good lie on the mattress or press down firmly to see where the lumps might be. Also consider the full size when opened to ensure there is still enough space within the room to move around the bed.”
Lighting is another important consideration when multi-purposing a room, and it can be tricky – such as having a bedside reading lamp rather than a floor lamp to provide the flexibility to turn a bedroom design into a living room area with minimal effort.
“It’s also about clever use of colour – in bedroom environments blues and greens are more calming and cooler colours make spaces seem larger,” says Lee. “You want to keep the guest room in synch with the rest of the house so any patterns, colours and textures are consistent. A guest room should feel different, but not completely different, to the others.”
And while it’s important to live in the moment, also consider adapting to life stages when you’re designing your guest bedroom and what the room could be used for in the future. Just don’t make your guest rooms too comfortable. As Benjamin Franklin said: “Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days…”
20 November 2017
Kate Shaw via houzz.com.au
When it comes to dream kitchens, there are two elements that feature highly on Australians’ must-have lists – a generous island bench, and bi-fold windows to connect the kitchen space with a family-friendly outdoor area. Why not take the concept one step further and install a kitchen servery – combining a kitchen island and alfresco dining in one? Take a look at these great spaces and be inspired to add some cafe-style cool to your home. Even better, if you’ve got the window, the benchtop is weekend-DIY friendly.
Milestone Building Pty Ltd
Less is more
How beautiful is this Sydney space? The simple kitchen servery showcases the contemporary painting on the opposite wall, and is set off perfectly by the timeless Charles Ghost stools. It’s the ultimate example of less-is-more.Note: While the grey-painted bricks look gorgeous here, you should think carefully before painting brick. Read more here before you pick up that paintbrush!
This kitchen servery is as cute as a button. Timber stools and benches both inside and out give this Sydney kitchen a warm, beachy feel. And the hat hook is a great touch for when the sun starts beating down.
Open all hours
The beachy vibe continues in this coastal Sydney home, with rustic stools, wood panelling and stunning flooring. The outdoor roofing and side protection ensure the area is an all-weather zone.
This lake house servery is picture perfect. The ultra-comfy stools, cute double casement windows and abundance of wood offer the warmest of welcomes.
Goes both ways
Again, wood is used to great effect in this contemporary Sydney home. And you’re not seeing double – the bar and stools extend inside, for the best of both worlds.
Hill Construction Company
Looking for a clever solution if you don’t have a fully covered area? The window itself opens to become a canopy in this stunning San Diego coastal home. What a beautiful spot to take in the sunset.Tip: Bi-fold, stacking, sliding, casement and canopy-style windows such as the one seen here can all be used for serveries. The space, size and budget you’re working with will determine which style works best for you. If you take the window all the way up to the ceiling, you will gain the advantage of the two spaces feeling like one large room.
Another example of an upward-opening kitchen servery window can be seen in this kitchen extension. This Queenslander has been sympathetically renovated and oozes character, with natural wood accents, traditional weatherboards and vibrant artwork.
Note: Generous kitchen windows such as these not only look great, but are an effective way of increasing airflow between the indoors and out, reducing the need for air conditioning.
Room with a view
This Brisbane drinks bar isn’t quite a kitchen, but with a view like this, I had to include it here. The bar stools look particularly comfy, although personally I’d prefer to be facing in the other direction!
This Seattle kitchen features a generous pass-through window and doesn’t skimp on practicalities. Note the kitchen benches on both sides of the window are at the same level, which aids service, and the generous length of the bench ensures there’s plenty of room when eating. The roofing ensures comfortable all-weather entertaining too.Tip: It’s important to allow enough space for each person when planning your servery. At least 70-75 centimetres per person is a good measure, allowing ample room for elbows and knees. Ensure you leave plenty of room for stacking windows as well.
Penman Brown Interior Design
But wait, there’s more
The kitchen doesn’t stop indoors in this Sydney residence. A small outdoor kitchen area creates additional storage space as well as providing room for a barbecue and outdoor sink…
The Home Improvements Group, Inc.
… as does the patio kitchen seen here. While these are compact spaces, the sky’s the limit when it comes to outdoor kitchens.
The perfect outdoor kitchen includes a servery window, bench space, utensil storage, a sink and two modes of cooking.
Exquisite Gardens Australia Pty Ltd
Talking about dream outdoor kitchens, take a look at this Melbourne beauty.
When it comes to cafe cool, this kitchen servery ticks almost all the boxes. The customised modular design is a prefabricated beauty, with the home consisting of three separate modules clad in corrugated metal. A cafe-style table umbrella could be a useful addition, however, on rainy days.
Neumann Mendro Andrulaitis Architects LLP
Kitchen serveries really come into their own on summer evenings. Set your outdoor table, open your windows and doors and let the festivities begin! Just don’t forget the insect repellent.
20 November 2017
Lucy Feagins via domain.com.au
Who: Milliner Carla Murley, her husband Troy, and their young children Ruby and Oscar
Where: Beaumaris, Victoria
What: Sympathetically updated mid-century home
The Beaumaris home of the Murleys encapsulates many of the best attributes of mid-century design. Photo: Eve Wilson
The Beaumaris home of Carla Murley, her husband Troy, and their children Ruby and Oscar perfectly exemplifies the hallmarks of classic late 1950s Australian architecture. It’s a relaxed, robust home, honest in its materiality, with a strong connection to the outdoors.
The Murley family moved here in November 2013. At the time, it was a small 1950s house on a corner block, slightly run down but full of potential. “The bones of this little mid-century house were perfect. The existing house only needed minimal updating to bring it up to scratch,” Carla Murley says.
The original house was built in 1958 using a “small homes service” plan published in The Age and modified slightly by a local builder.
Milliner Carla Murley and her young kids Ruby and Oscar. Photo: Eve Wilson
In the early 1960s, it was extended to include a studio for the original owner, who was a graphic designer. “It was the owner’s studio that sold the house to us, the brick floor sealed the deal,” Murley says.
The couple was keen to preserve the mid-century character of the house, while adding a few extra rooms to accommodate their young family.
A year after moving in, they extended either end of the existing house, creating a central courtyard. This gave them an extra bedroom and bathroom, and a home studio for Carla Murley’s millinery business, Murley & Co.
The home perfectly exemplifies the hallmarks of classic late 1950s Australian architecture. Photo: Eve Wilson
Having created a courtyard visible from almost every room, landscaping became a top priority for the Murleys once the renovations were complete. Luckily, the family inherited a treasure trove of mid-century plants from a local development site.
“I rang the developer initially and asked if he had any plans to keep the many mature agave americanas on his development block, which was just up the road from us – some were over 50 years old!” Murley recalls. “He just laughed at me and said, ‘take what you want’.” The couple spent three weekends removing and replanting the lot.
Furnished with an eclectic mix of mid-century treasures and vintage finds in every room, there’s a lot to love about this bright and breezy, relaxed family home.
The couple added a few extra rooms to accommodate their young family. Photo: Eve Wilson
With its original red brick floor, optimal orientation for sunlight and airflow, and strong connection to the garden, it’s a home that perfectly encapsulates so many of the best attributes of mid-century design, thoughtfully updated for contemporary family living.
The Design Files guide to brick
Wait long enough and every design trend comes around for a second (and third, and fourth) moment in the spotlight. Now, the humble brick is having a renaissance.
- Bricks are a robust, low-maintenance material that requires no sealing or finishing for most applications.
- Anywhere you might typically consider tiles, bricks are an option.
- Bricks retain heat in winter and keep the house cool in summer.
- If you’re not sure about the colour of a brick wall, consider painting it a neutral colour (we’re loving white painted brick). Be sure to prime bricks before painting.
- Mortar can have a big impact on the look. A safe option is a colour as close as possible to the bricks (mortar can be colour-matched).
20 November 2017
We know, we know. It’s still only October. But you’d be surprised how quickly this end of the year seems to slip away.
October turns into November and then all of a sudden it’s Christmas Eve and you’re at K-Mart playing tug-o-war with another shopper for the last set of fairy lights.
So to save you the hassle of trying to decorate last minute (and having to resort to the leftover red and green tinsel), HuffPost Australia spoke to Deb Bibby, editor-in-chief of JONES Magazine for a sneak-peek into the must-have Christmas trends of 2017.
But wait. Before we start, we have to ask. Do Christmas trends actually exist? Or is it pretty much also Santa and Rudolph every year?
“Yes, I think they do,” Bibby said. “And I think they are kind of dictated a little bit by fashion. This year we are seeing trends such as all white… just beautiful layers of crisp white all in different textures.
“And you can do that beautifully on a tree. It can be really elegant and chic. Though I would say if you are going for all white look, make sure you get baubles that are different textures to create some interest.”
As for other trends to watch out for, Bibby said organics, crystals and even underwater, beachy themes will be appearing in stores, as well as more traditional fare.
“There is a lovely trend for all the organics and more natural decorations. So for instance in the upcoming issue we have this gorgeous tree with earthy colours and gold baubles.
“This style really lends itself to home-made decorations as well. That natural thing is very on trend. You could pick a dull gold bauble and then make some things with the kids using cardboard or brown paper, such as little origami pieces tied with a bit of gold thread. You’d be surprised how much fun the kids have making these things. They just love the process.”
For those wanting something less earthy, Bibby said filling the tree with crystals can make for an eye-catching look.
“Then there is slick crystal, and you can use real crystal or a more affordable crystal style decoration, depending on your budget. Mass decoration looks beautiful if you can do it. You know, really filling the tree.”
While a crystal-covered tree may be stretching the budget for some, Bibby maintained Christmas decorations don’t have to be expensive.
“I mentioned before the earthy organic tree, with all those beautiful homemade pieces. Or if you wanted to invest in one thing a year, David Jones does beautiful limited edition hand blown baubles. I think that’s a really lovely thing for a young family to do, to start a tradition. Every year you could buy one of those to add to your tree.
“If all else fails, resort to fairy lights. Even if you took a branch — like a white branch — if you took a branch out of the garden and hung a simple selection of baubles on it, or threaded some fairy lights through the tree, even simple touches like that can look magical. Especially for kids, too. If you can’t afford lots of baubles, my advice would be to go for fairy lights.”
If in doubt, use fairy lights.
Given Christmas falls in the Australian summer, Bibby also said it can be fun to play around with beachy themes.
“I think underwater themes are really fun. You can get little decorative characters and little fish — it’s just beautiful for kids,” she said.
“You can have a lot of fun with little fish, little mermaids, starfish, beautiful blues… I think there’s something to be said for just having fun with the tree and not taking it too seriously. Let the kids contribute by decorating the tree with you.”
For those with more traditional tastes, Bibby said it’s fine to embrace the old red, green and gold but warns not to overdo it.
“If you are more for a traditionalist going for the greens and the reds, tone it back a little bit,” she said. “I wouldn’t go full on green and red. Perhaps the odd red through a green tree but not a full on multi-colour extravaganza.”
She also notes there are other ways to embrace Christmas traditions such as getting into candles, wreaths and pine cones.
“Candles are a beautiful thing at Christmas time, as well as being massive gifts at Christmas. They are just not dying… a candle is still a beautiful, beautiful gift,” she said.
“Even the scent of a particular candle at Christmas can really be special. Pick a particular ‘Christmas scent’ so that’s a memory for your children.
“Speaking of scents, using pine somehow on the table is lovely if you don’t have an authentic tree. And I love a good wreath. It’s a really nice welcome to Christmas.
“If you are having people over to your house, you want to make it feel special, and having something on the door to announce Christmas is a great way to do that.”
As for Christmas decoration no-nos?
“I think tinsel… if you were stuck with tinsel, stick to one colour you might be able to get away with it,” Bibby said. “I wouldn’t add different colours of tinsel. Look, it’s not my favourite decoration.”
For more Christmas decoration inspiration, see our favourite pins below.
16 November 2017
Housing affordability remains a hot button issue across the nation, and rightfully so. It’s a significant concern for a growing number of West Australians, particularly those on low and very low incomes, many of them facing the prospect of never being able to afford a home of their own.
Housing affordability has improved in WA
Despite this growing issue, house prices in WA have become more affordable over the last couple of years and have not increased at the rate they have in other states over the past decade. For example, Perth’s median house price for the year to June 2017 was $520,000, which is only approximately $60,000 more than it was at the same time in 2007.
By comparison, the Sydney housing market has seen its median house price increase by a staggering $600,000 over this same period, making it substantially more difficult for first home owners to enter that market market.
We are fortunate the dream of home ownership is still very much attainable in Western Australia. In fact, REIWA analysis shows it’s more financially attainable to be a home owner in 2017 than it was in 2007, with West Australians now spending a smaller percentage of their total income on mortgage repayments than they did a decade ago.
Specifically, home owners were spending approximately 56 per cent of their total income on mortgage repayments in 2007, whereas today that figure has reduced to 27 per cent. This improvement in affordability for WA home owners can largely be attributed to average income levels having increased since 2007. At the same time interest rates have gone down and house prices have remained relatively on par.
Perth property market appears to have stabilised
Home buyers remain in a strong position in Perth, but the signs do indicate the local property market has stablised.
Since July 2017, reiwa.com’s monthly data has revealed steady figures across a number of key indicators, such as median house price, median rent price and listings for sale and for rent. Historically, one of the strongest indicators a property market may be on the cusp of ‘turning’ is a period of stability.
Now is the time to buy
If you’ve been holding off making a property purchase because you’re waiting for the ‘bottom’ of the market to buy at the lowest possible price, I’d advise you to take action sooner rather than later. We don’t usually have the luxury of calling the ‘bottom’ of the market until we have the benefit of hindsight; meaning, we’re not certain the market has turned until it’s on the way back up.
With improved house prices, record low interest rates and a healthy supply of stock to choose from, now is the time to take advantage of Perth’s favourable buying conditions.
07 November 2017
When first deciding to buy a property, whether it be your first or fifteenth, one to live in or rent out, most buyers look to the internet for inspiration, information and insight.
The sheer volume of property information available online is staggering; the days of having to pour over the newspaper classifieds and spend countless hours dashing through home opens are behind us.
Lessened too are the days of buyers asking an agent to seek out a suitable property for them.
Before property industry de-regulation and the re-writing of the REIWA Members’ Code of Practice, it was common for an agent to introduce a buyer to another agent’s listing under a conjunctional arrangement and receive a handsome slice of the listing agent’s fee.
The property boom of the mid-noughties brought with it limited market supply and high demand, thereby limiting the need for a listing agent to give up a portion of their fee to a sub-agent; they were simply able to deal with the buyers themselves.
The quieter, well-supplied market of the post-global financial crisis times saw the volume of buyers reduce and as a result the conjunctional came back into popularity. However, with a well-priced listing still an agent’s priority, running about after a buyer on the chance of securing a sale for a small portion of the listing agent’s fee no longer seemed worth it.
Enter the buyer’s agent. Seizing on a growing gap in the market, a buyer’s agent is paid by the buyer to act in their best interest. Time poor investor types find this service particularly worthwhile, however this is a valuable service that benefits first home buyers, seasoned trade-up buyers and renovators too.
What to look for in a buyer’s agent?
A good buyer’s agent will undertake substantial research before choosing a property to buy for their client, assessing yields, rents, affordability, suburb infrastructure, growth history and much more. And because the buyer’s agent is acting on behalf of the purchaser, they negotiate with the listing agent in a manner that sets out to buy the property for the lowest possible price on favourable terms for their buyer.
Additionally, as this is a hired service, the buyer’s agent is not seeking to claim a portion of the selling fee. They provide an excellent service to their clients, which also makes the listing agent’s job easier. All negotiations are done through the buyer’s agent, making it a smooth and efficient transaction for all parties.
Buyer’s agents are growing in number in WA and so too is the demand for their services. If you are considering a property purchase, consider using the service of a buyer’s agent to ensure you’ve got a professional looking out for your interests.
Call us today on 9475 9622 to discuss how we can be of help or alternatively email us at email@example.com
31 October 2017
Peter Williams via thewest.com.au
Billionaire Kerry Stokes has added his weight to the view that conditions are ideal for entering the housing market, staking his reputation on now being the best time to take the plunge.
The Seven Group Holdings and Seven West Media chairman said the situation came as the State showed it was recovering from the shock of miners cutting their costs by a combined $10 billion in recent years.
“Right now any young person out there, any apprentice, worker, tradesman — the best thing they’ll ever do in their life is walk out this weekend and buy a home in Western Australia,” Mr Stokes told a WestBusinessLeadership Matters event on Tuesday.
“With interest rates low, housing prices low, this is the time to think of their future right now. I’d put my reputation on the fact this is the best time for them to do that,” he said.
“If that’s the case and everybody else agrees with that, then we’re past the bottom.”
Mr Stokes’ remarks follow Housing Industry Association figures showing affordability in WA had improved dramatically, in part because of national efforts to tighten bank lending standards for investors.
In the past two years, loan repayments on a median-priced house in Perth fell by more than $260 a month, or $3120 a year. Elsewhere in WA, they fell to $1545 from $1773 a month.
Kerry StokesPicture: The West Australian
However, a report yesterday showed Perth had the nation’s second-most expensive residential land prices at $730 per square metre, a 5 per cent gain over the year to June. The Housing Industry Association-CoreLogic Residential Land Report said land prices rose by 19.6 per cent in Melbourne and 9.8 per cent in Sydney.
Mr Stokes said the State’s economy was showing signs of improvement after miners’ efforts to improve efficiency had contributed to the downturn.
Leadership Matters Lunch with The West Australian: Country Chair for Shell Australia Zoe Yujnovich. Photo by Michael Wilson, The West Australian.
Ben WyattPicture: The West Australian
“So when they’ve saved some $10 billion in costs that’s supposed to come out of workforces in WA. That’s a shock we have to get over and we’re actually getting over it now.”
WA Treasurer Ben Wyatt told the event that competition in the retail gas market had largely offset the increases the McGowan Government had imposed on electricity tariffs.
Discounts of up to 30 per cent are on offer with new player Origin Energy this month, joining AGL, Kleenheat and Alinta in the gas price war.
At the Leadership Matters event are WA Newspapers Group Business Editor Ben Harvey, Treasurer Ben Wyatt, Rob Scott (Wesfarmers), Zoe Yujnovich (Shell), Tom O’Leary (Iluka) and Kerry Stokes. Pictures: Michael WilsonPicture: Pictures: Michael Wilson
Mr Wyatt said that situation could last until the early 2020s.
Incoming Wesfarmers chief executive Rob Scott said while the loss of disposable income and lower population had hit retail businesses hard, there was cause for optimism.
“We still see opportunities,” Mr Scott said. “We see a good path for growth.”
13 October 2017
Perth is well known for its sunshine and hot summer months, and while we are in the transitional spring season it’s the perfect opportunity to prepare your home for the warmer weather ahead.
Although the beach becomes a second home for many West Aussies during summer, it’s also a great time of year to spend at home with family and friends enjoying the long summer days. So we have put together five tips to help you prepare your home and make the most of it this summer.
Start with a clean home and head space by decluttering each room of the house.
Get rid of anything you don’t use by giving it to charity, friends and family, or throwing out broken and unusable items. Pack away winter specific items as well, such as blankets and heaters, in vacuum sealed bags or boxes and stow away in the shed.
2. Spring clean
Once you have de-cluttered your home, the next step is to do a thorough spring clean to freshen up your space and ensure it’s ready for your guests and summer BBQs. This can include:
- Washing your walls and windows.
- Thoroughly cleaning carpets, rugs and floors.
- Cleaning out cupboards and throwing away expired food.
- Removing mould, dust and cobwebs.
- Defrosting your freezer (and creating space for your favourite ice cream).
3. Make sure your summer appliances are in working order
Whilst performing your spring clean, it’s also a good idea to ensure your most used appliances during the summer months are in working order, such as:
- Air conditioners and fans – Perth summers pack a lot of heat, so it’s important you have good ventilation to cool your home. Double check the settings work on your fan or air conditioner units, and the blades/vents are clean to ensure you don’t circulate dust and allergens around the room.
- BBQ – an essential part of any summer dinner party is the Aussie BBQ. Now is a good time to deep clean your hotplates, check the gas and ensure the all the fittings are safely working.
- Pool and spa – if you’re lucky enough to have your own private oasis in your backyard, be sure to get your pool and/or spa ready for use during the hotter months. Get out the pool cleaner, check the jets and ensure your safety gate/fences are in tip top condition.
4. Prepare your outdoor area
It’s a safe bet you will be spending many nights and lazy days during December through to March outside on the deck or under the pergola. In this case, don’t forget your outdoor area in your spring clean.
Small but effective measures can be taken to ensure you backyard is summer ready, including:
- Mowing the lawn, cutting back hedges and trees, and removing any weeds.
- Hosing down pavement and/or oiling the deck.
- Cleaning your outdoor furniture to remove any dust and cobwebs.
- Fixing shade sails, purchasing an umbrella or replacing missing roof panels in your outdoor area to ensure you have appropriate shade from the harsh summer sun.
5. Decorate for summer
Just as winter brings out the richly scented candles and heavy fleece linens, in summer you may want to lighten up your décor.
Swap out heavy linens for lighter, cotton blends in the bedroom, and replace your fluffy blankets for a light throw in your living room. You can even introduce some greenery to your kitchen and living areas, such as a low-maintenance succulent plant, to create a more summery ambiance – some plants can even purify the stuffy summer air.
03 October 2017
Written by Natalie Hordov via Eastern Reporter REAL ESTATE
THE Perth property market is showing signs of stability with both the median house price and overall median rent holding steady in the three months to August 2017.
According to reiwa.com data, the median house price was $515,000, while the median rent was $350 per week for the fourth month in a row.
President Hayden Groves said it was encouraging to see the median price remain firm across both sectors of the Perth property market.
“The stable medians are good news and indicate that seller’s and landlord’s expectations are matching those of buyers and tenants,” he said.
Listings for sale have continued to trend downwards over the past month, decreasing by 1 per cent and are 10 per cent lower than three months ago.
“The reduction of properties for sale should create a better balance between the supply and demand of Perth’s overall housing stock,” Mr Groves said.
“Traditionally in spring, there tends to be a lift in sales activity which means there is potential for the median house price to increase in the coming months as we see more demand for housing and increased competition from buyers.”
In the residential rental market, reiwa.com data showed stock reduced by 6 per cent to 10,046 properties for rent, with leasing activity up by 8 per cent during the month of August.
“The boost in leasing activity is pleasing to see and has contributed to the declining trend in listings levels as rental stock gets absorbed due to the demand from tenants,” Mr Groves said.
“This improved activity is also helping to keep the overall median rent in check at $350 per week, stable for the fourth consecutive month, which is welcome news for landlords and property managers alike.
“With the warmer weather ahead, we should typically see both buyer and tenant activity levels increase.
“Together with the stabilising trends in median house and rent prices, the Perth property market is showing positive signs as we head into spring and summer.”
12 September 2017
With spring expected to draw an influx of buyers, and amid tight supply of properties for sale, Perth property prices could rise in the coming months, says Hayden Groves, president of the REIWA.
The Perth property market is showing positive signs as we head into spring and summer,” says Hayden Groves, president of the REIWA.
New data from the REIWA shows Perth’s median house price and median rent held steady in the three months to August 2017.
The median house price remained consistent at $515,000, and the overall median rent was stable at $350 – the fourth consecutive month rents have held steady.
REIWA President Hayden Groves said the results are “encouraging”.
“The stable medians are good news and indicate that sellers’ and landlords’ expectations are matching those of buyers and tenants,” said Groves.
Property listings down 10 per cent for the quarter
The reiwa.com.au data shows listings for sale eased one per cent lower in August, and are down 10 per cent compared with three months ago.
Groves said prices could rise in spring, when it’s likely demand will pick up.
“Traditionally in spring, there tends to be a lift in sales activity,” he said.
“There is potential for the median house price to increase in the coming months as we see more demand for housing and increased competition from buyers,” said Groves.
In the rental market, stock is down 10 per cent, and leasing activity is up 8 per cent
In the residential rental market, reiwa.com data shows stock levels declined by six per cent to 10,046 properties in August, and leasing activity rose by eight per cent.
“The boost in leasing activity is pleasing to see and has contributed to the declining trend in listings levels,” said Groves.
“Rental stock gets absorbed due to the demand from tenants,” he said.
12 September 2017
Perth’s median house price and median rent have both remained stable in the three months to August 2017, with the median house price sitting at $515,000, and the overall median rent resting at $350 for the fourth month in a row.
REIWA President Hayden Groves said it was encouraging to see the median price remain firm across both sectors of the Perth property market.
“The stable medians are good news and indicate that seller’s and landlord’s expectations are matching those of buyers and tenants,” said Mr Groves.
According to the latest reiwa.com data, listings for sale have continued to trend marginally lower over the past month, by one per cent. However, in comparison to three months ago, listings levels are lower by 10 per cent.
“The reduction of properties for sale should create a better balance between the supply and demand of Perth’s overall housing stock.
“Traditionally in spring, there tends to be a lift in sales activity which means there is potential for the median house price to increase in the coming months as we see more demand for housing and increased competition from buyers,” said Mr Groves.
In the residential rental market, reiwa.com data shows stock has reduced by six per cent to 10,046 properties for rent, with leasing activity up by eight per cent during the month of August.
“The boost in leasing activity is pleasing to see and has contributed to the declining trend in listings levels as rental stock gets absorbed due to the demand from tenants. This improved activity is also helping to keep the overall median rent in check at $350 per week, stable for the fourth consecutive month, which is welcome news for landlords and property managers alike.
“With the warmer weather ahead, we should typically see both buyer and tenant activity levels increase. Together with the stabilising trends in median house and rent prices, the Perth property market is showing positive signs as we head into spring and summer,” said Mr Groves.
22 August 2017
Author: REIWA President Hayden Groves
Modiefied via reiwa.com.au
Over the last couple of years as the Perth property market has slowed, there has been a lot of talk about ‘waiting for the bottom of the market’ to arrive.
In an ideal world, it would be crystal clear when the bottom had arrived and primed buyers could act immediately to secure their dream home, content in the knowledge they had purchased their property at the absolute lowest possible price.
How do you tell when the bottom of the market has hit?
The truth is, it’s virtually impossible to tell whether the actual ‘bottom’ has hit until it has passed and we’re on the upswing again. The best we can do is observe trends in the market and make an educated guess. It’s not an exact science and can be influenced by a number of external factors, such as the economy, consumer sentiment and state and federal elections.
In Perth, signs over the last quarter suggest our local market is beginning to stabilise, with all key indicators (median house price, sales activity, listings for sale, average selling days and discounting) recording little or no change in the three months to June 2017.
Historically, one of the earliest signs of a change of momentum in the market is a period of stability. Although no one can accurately ascertain the future of the property market, the signs are there that we have finally found, or are very close to finding, the bottom.
Take advantage of affordable conditions
If you’ve been thinking of buying a home or purchasing an investment property, but have been holding off for the ‘right’ moment to strike, I’d advise you to take action sooner rather than later. Although we might not be able to predict with absolute certainty the ‘bottom’ of the market, we do know that property markets are cyclical and conditions will change again.
With the signs there that we’re heading into a period of stabilisation, now is the time to buy. There is lots of choice in the market with listings for sale , so you are in the best possible position to find a home that meets all your requirements at a competitive price.
I would advise buyers who are considering purchasing property in this market to take advantage of the steady, but quieter conditions. Do your due diligence and view a range of different properties in suburbs that appeal to you to ensure you explore all your options.
If you’re unsure what the best move is, speak to us on 9475 9622 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org about your plans. They are well educated on your local market and will be able to advise what is most suitable for your situation.
18 August 2017
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15 August 2017
Rachel Preston-Bidwell via reiwa.com.au
Perth home buyers looking to trade up are now seeing more opportunity in areas such as Peppermint Grove, Applecross and North Coogee, which topped reiwa.com’s list of affluent suburbs which have become more affordable.
REIWA President Hayden Groves said while prices in these suburbs were still well above the Perth median house price, they had become more affordable for buyers looking to trade up into those million dollar suburbs.
Peppermint Grove saw the biggest annual average change in its median house price over the past five years, shifting from $3,750,000 (year to April 2012) to $3,350,000 (year to April 2017).
“Buyers are looking for opportunities in areas with a good lifestyle scene, cafes and restaurants. In particular, we are seeing buyers placing more importance on proximity to good public schools.
“Suburbs such as Applecross, Nedlands and Peppermint Grove are within the catchment for some of Perth’s best public schools. Due to the easing off in median house prices of these suburbs, the opportunity is there to secure your ideal family home if you have the means,” said Mr Groves.
There’s also good news for sellers in Applecross, City Beach, Nedlands and Peppermint Grove, as properties are selling quicker in comparison to five years ago.
“In 2012, it took on average 120 days to sell a property in Peppermint Grove for instance. In more recent figures, the average selling days for the suburb sits at 90 days.
“We are also seeing sellers willing to negotiate and discount their initial asking price to achieve a sale,” said Mr Groves.
The average discount sellers in the five suburbs are applying to their asking price is around the eight to ten per cent mark in the year to April 2017 data.
“Both buyers and sellers are benefitting from the current market conditions in these million dollar suburbs,” said Mr Groves.
||MEDIAN HOUSE PRICE (YEAR TO APRIL 2012)
||MEDIAN HOUSE PRICE (YEAR TO APRIL 2017)
||AVERAGE SELLING DAYS (YEAR TO APRIL 2012)
|| AVERAGE SELLING DAYS (YEAR TO APRIL 2017)
|1. Peppermint Grove
|3. North Coogee
|4. City Beach
Figures based on median house prices in the year to April 2012 versus year to April 2017. Filtered for suburbs with greater than 15 sales, with a median house price of more than $1 million.
02 August 2017
Nicole Cox via realestate.com.au
Perth’s house prices took another dip in July, but the outlook is brighter for owners of units and apartments with an improvement in values, new data from CoreLogic shows.
Perth retained the unenviable title as the weakest performing property market in Australia, with a combined drop in dwelling values of 1.3% for July.
The CoreLogic Hedonic Home Value Index reveals that unit prices surged 1.8% in July and 4.2% in the past three months to a median price of $400,000, but house prices dropped 1.6% last month to return a 2.5% decline since the same time last year.
The median house price in Perth is now $498,200.
CoreLogic says there has been a slowdown in growth conditions in the hottest markets of Sydney and Melbourne.
At the other end of the growth spectrum, Perth and Darwin have continued to see dwelling values slip lower during July, taking the cumulative decline to 10.2% in Perth and 14.5% in Darwin since both markets peaked in 2014.
“The ease in the rate of decline has been most visible in Perth, providing a signal that the Western Australian capital may be approaching the bottom of the downturn,” the CoreLogic report found.
“Listing numbers have been falling across Perth which is a positive sign of improving conditions and transaction numbers have found a new floor at around 2500 sales per month.”
CoreLogic Head of Research Tim Lawless says while the market has slowed from recent highs, growth remains robust.
“I don’t think there is any one factor causing the market to lose steam, rather it is the culmination of several factors working together,” Lawless says.
“Higher mortgage rates and tighter credit policies have dented investor appetite. This is clear from the RBA’s monthly credit aggregates which show investment related housing credit growth has consistently slowed from late last year.”
He says higher mortgage rates are now also impacting on interest only loans as well as fixed rate loans, which is likely to further deter some prospective buyers.