Dual Occupancy Boost
In Sydney & Melbourne some of the most popular suburbs are populated with terrace homes, think about Paddington, Surry Hills, Redfern and Richmond where terraces range from modest workers terraces to grand 4 level mansions. The terrace has always been a winner and that popularity has been growing. It’s not surprising that the State Government’s Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code has been welcomed. The code will take effect from 6 July 2018 and will permit new dual occupancy homes to be built and subdivided on blocks as small as 225sqm. However, the new code does not apply to existing or approved dual occupancy developments. The Planning Minister Anthony Roberts has been asked by some councils to fast track approval of an amendment to that will allow existing and approved dual occupancy development to be subdivided. With supply and affordability pressures this looks very much like a progressive and popular idea.
What’s your image of a bachelor’s apartment? Could it be a kitchen with take-away food cartons all over the bench tops, running shoes on the couch and damp towels on the bathroom floor? Well it’s time to think again. Today’s urban bachelor is very different and may well be one of the most underrated and untapped demographics of the apartment market. In an era of increasingly fluid gender identities and marital values, it’s time to abandon convention. Today’s urban bachelor is more like a super smooth, well dressed, decisionmaker keen on interior design that suits their lifestyle preferences. Across inner city locations we’re talking professionals in finance/law, real estate, tech and creative, that follow go-to fitness routines and fashion trends. Urban bachelors embrace apartment living in their fast-paced world and so let’s not forget these guys in our marketing. Not every buyer is a couple, far from it!
Shared Ownership with a Stranger
Like other parts of the economy, shared ownership of real estate, either where you live or as an investment is on the rise. But would you buy with a stranger. Imagine a cool basement bar in central Sydney or along one of Melbourne’s laneways where you have a select group of singles meeting for a speed dating night. But the group of young professionals we’re taking about are trying an alternative matchmaking event. They have five minutes to make an impression, share vital statistics and gauge each others’ interests not as potential partners. Rather they are looking for a possible future home ownership partner from among the ‘strangers’ sitting in front of them around the room. This is now an increasing reality of house buying in 2018. As more millennials try to jump the hurdle into the housing market such property speed dating is set to be more common.
Flowers Make It Big
Presentation of a property for sale, or setting up a display apartment for sale has taken on a new decorating twist. Flowers are very much back in style. Flowers are the new art and can help lift the appeal of a space, with possibly making more of an impression than a fresh coat of paint. What’s happening is the creation of whimsical arrangements in imaginative and crafty vessels with succulents in the kitchen, bathroom palms and bowls of exotic blooms on coffee tables. Even artificial flowers are popular and they now come with fragrance. A floral arrangement, sitting in just the right spot in an apartment can have an almost magical impact with the advantage of being easy to change and not costing a fortune. (Well possibly a small fortune).
Little Evidence of Repayments Distress
Figures published from an analysis of mortgage securities by credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's details the proportion of loans more than 30 days in arrears which most cases mean at least one repayment has been missed has yet to show signs of repayment distress. The figures show that nationally by the end of 2017 the arrears rate was 1.2%, down slightly from 1.3% per cent at the end of 2016. The general level of arrears was noted as in line with the long run average and well below historical peaks of 1.7% to 1.9%. In New South Wales arrears are the lowest nationally at just 0.8%, below the state's long-term average of 1.4%. Any uptick in these figures will be an important indicator of the market’s health. However, the RBA appears now to be linking a potential official rate increase to wage growth, which is still an illusion for most workers.
Homeownership Age Profile
Some interesting figures around the demographics of Australian homeownership age groups: The age bracket between 15-24 years are big renters at 74.6%. The bracket with the highest level of mortgages is 35-44 with 53.8% having a home loan, and the group with no mortgage are aged 75 plus where 84.7% have no housing loans. And as often noted the general ratio of owning (with and without a mortgage) to renting is currently 70% and 30%.
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