Sunshine Coast Gets $225m Airport Runway in Tourism Boost

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The Sunshine Coast will open up to more airborne visitors as a result of the construction of a new airport runway, generating demand for more tourism accommodation and services.

Construction and engineering group John Holland has been awarded the $225 million contract to deliver a new and enlarged runway at the Sunshine Coast Airport. The runway is due for completion by Christmas 2020.

Sunshine Coast Mayor Jamieson said that with increased air capacity will come the demand for new hotel accommodation as well as the refurbishment of existing stock.

“The new runway will accommodate larger, more fuel-efficient aircraft and open up direct access for the Sunshine Coast to more Australian cities, international markets in Asia and the Western Pacific and in turn, drive significant economic growth.”

The new runway is part of the Airport Expansion Project, and when complete is expected to contribute $4.1 billion to the Sunshine Coast’s economy over the period to 2040 – generating around 2,230 jobs and boosting tourism as well as providing new direct access to the region and access new markets for food and agribusiness sectors.

The expansion is part of a $372 million privatisation deal with Palisade Investment Partners. Palisade took control of Sunshine Coast Airport last year under a 99-year lease with Sunshine Coast Council.

The long-term lease sees Palisade responsible for operating, investing in, and developing the airport, as well as overseeing future expansion of both domestic and international routes available to and from the Sunshine Coast.

Current estimates for the whole project sit at $303 million, including design, environmental offsets and works undertaken to date.

The Australian Government and the Queensland Treasury Corporation have helped to bankroll the expansion project, providing around $181 million in concessional loans which will be repaid from the proceeds that council receives from its commercial partner, Palisade Investment Partners, in 2022.

John Holland Group will take possession of the project site over the next couple of weeks to start preparing the site for the dredging works to commence mid-year.

The project is on track for completion by Christmas 2020.

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Published in The Urban Developer, 8th March 2018

Fast Rail Projects Vie for Federal Government Funding

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High speed rail between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast is a step closer to becoming a reality, after securing federal funding to develop a business case.

The Queensland project was one of 11 submissions shortlisted to receive a share of $20 million in public funding from the Turnbull government to develop a business case.

Twenty-six national rail submissions were lodged last year in a bid to ultimately share $10 billion of federal funding to improve rail connections between cities and regions.

The Consolidated Land and Rail Australia, or CLARA, also released a statement on Friday announcing their selection by the federal government to put forward a business case.

Submitted by Stockland, Smec, Urbis and KPMG, the “North Coast Connect” project proposed upgrading the existing line from Brisbane to Beerburrum, Beerburrum to Nambour and Beerwah to Maroochydore, creating 200km of fast rail that could potentially see train travellers reach the Sunshine Coast from Brisbane in 45 minutes.

As shortlisted projects, CLARA and the Sunshine Coast fast rail projects will now make a business case to be put forward for the next stage of selection.

They join the NSW government’s proposal for a Sydney to Newcastle connection.

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The business cases are expected to be delivered over the next 12 months, and the Turnbull Government's funding for the business cases will be combined with funding provided by the project proponents.

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack said the intention of this process is to develop detailed proposals for faster rail services between major cities and surrounding regional areas.

“The successful proposals in NSW, Queensland, and Victoria were selected following a competitive assessment process for their potential to substantially improve the efficiency of rail links between key regional centres and major cities.

“If these proposals prove to be viable, they offer the potential to significantly reduce journey times on these key corridors—meaning better options for people who want to have the lifestyle of a regional centre but access to the job opportunities of a big city,” he said.

“We have also ensured that three different transport corridors, in three different states, are being considered.”

Once the business case for each proposal is complete they will then proceed to independent assessment by Infrastructure Australia.

Should the rail project in the Sunshine Coast be approved, it will add to the region’s current transport infrastructure action which includes the construction of a new main runway at the Sunshine Coast Airport, after John Holland Group was awarded a $225 million contract to begin construction.

Published in The Urban Developer, 11th March 2018

Housing Market Action Led by More Women

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Women have become more active in the housing market than men, with the most recent trends indicating the future of home buying will be increasingly female-driven.

According to the latest data from Westpac’s home ownership report, 71 per cent of women are considering either buying a home or investment property, renovating or selling in the next five years, compared with 61 per cent of men.

The data was based on a survey of more than 1,000 home owners and first home buyers in Australia.

“Mortgage Choice buyer data shows that while the majority of first home buyers in 2017 were couples, of the 22 per cent who bought by themselves, 58 per cent were women,” Westpac Wire deputy editor Emma Foster said.

“The figure is also high among customers of home loan specialist RAMS, at 49 per cent, up two percentage points since 2013.

The research suggests that the trend is set to continue, noting that twice as many female first-home buyers as males (22 per cent versus 11 per cent) were considering buying an investment property in the next five years.

“If successful, they’ll further swell the ranks of female homeowners.”

Foster also quoted the latest ABS housing data which revealed 60 per cent of women live in homes they own or are buying, compared to 56 per cent of men, and more women (23 per cent) than men (20 per cent) own their homes outright.

Westpac head of women’s markets Felicity Duffy said many factors were likely to be contributing to these trends, including that women appeared to be using property to “take control of their financial future”.

“Our research suggests women are becoming savvier and feeling more confident in the property market. They understand that home ownership can lead to greater financial security,” Duffy said.

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“Also, many of our bankers say they observe more women than men taking control of family finances and, among younger singles, women tend to be diligent at building up deposits so they're better prepared to jump in when the time is right.”

 

Published in Urban Developer; 7th February 2018

8 Property Trends that will Shape 2018

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LOOKING FORWARD, HERE ARE 8 TRENDS THAT COULD SHAPE OUR PROPERTY MARKETS IN 2018…

  • Price Growth to Moderate – 
    The phenomenal price growth experienced by Sydney and Melbourne over the last 5 years has come to an end. 
    What will happen to property values next year will depend in what the RBA does to interest rates and if APRA tightens the screws on lending further. Having said that…
  • Interest rate will remain unchanged – 
    The official RBA interest rate is likely to remain at 1.5% throughout 2018. 

Australia’s economy is still operating below its potential with economic growth not strong enough to justify an interest rate increase.  

The positive signs of jobs creation, falling unemployment and rises in full-time employment are being offset by slow wages growth, sluggish retail sales and a benign inflationary environment. 

Fortunately, the RBA will be pleased our property markets are cooling and will not feel the need to use rising rates to slow the market.

  • APRA is unlikely to tighten its macro prudential measures –
    APRA is getting its way…. Under its watch stricter bank lending criteria have created a “credit squeeze” which has stifled the Sydney and Melbourne property booms. 
    But this time round the slowdown has occurred in a low interest rate environment meaning our banks are in a healthy financial position and loan defaults are at a minimum. 
    This means it is unlikely that APRA will need to tighten the screws further, but on the other hand it is too early for APRA to relax its guidelines.
  • Jobs growth will continue – More than 335,000 jobs were created in the past 12 months, the majority in full-time work. 
    And Australia’s golden run of jobs growth is likely to continue to underpin our economic growth.
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  • Strong population growth will continue – Our strong population growth will also underpin our property markets.  
    Last year, Australia’s population grew by 389,100 people to reach 24.5 million by the end of March 2017. 
    Demand for housing has averaged about 164,000 dwellings per year over the last 5 years and according to the ABS in the five years to 2021, continued strong population growth (underpinned by net migration of 240,000 per annum), plus some shifts in household composition (more one and two person households), means we’re likely to grow by 172,000 households a year – a 5% increase in demand. 
    Over the last year Victoria was the fastest growing state with a population increase of 2.4% and this soaked up much of the anticipated oversupply of new apartments in Melbourne.
    Net overseas migration accounted for 60 per cent of Australia’s total population growth as we added 231,900 people to the population. 
    Overseas migration was the major contributor to population change in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania, whilst natural increase was the major contributor in all other states and territories.
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  • Brisbane will finally get its turn in the sun – 
    If interest rates remain unchanged, APRA don’t impose further lending restrictions and our economic growth remains steady, in the absence of any major international surprises this is what our research suggests is likely to occur to capital city property values in 2018:
  1. The Sydney property market has run out of steam, but won’t crash like some are suggesting. Instead it is likely to grow between +4% and 6%
  2. Melbourne houses, townhouses and villa units are likely to be the best performing market – +6% to 10%
  3. Brisbane’s market will move up a notch, spurred by jobs growth and infrastructure growth – +3% to 6%
  4. Hobart will again perform well – +6% – 10%; encouraged by speculators chasing the next hotspot. But remember how hot spots often become “not spots” – so with few long-term growth drivers, I would avoid the Apple Isle.
  5. Canberra will continue its steady performance – +4% to 7% – but excessive land tax is a strong disincentive to property investors in Australia’s capital.
  6. Adelaide is likely to underperform again – 0% to 4% growth
  7. The Perth property market may be near its bottom, but won’t see strong capital growth for a number of years – it’s too early for a countercyclical investment – -1% to +1%
  8. Darwin has very few long-term growth drivers – but prices are likely to stop falling – -1% to +1%

Overall apartments are less likely to perform as well as houses and will continue to be influenced by significant levels of new stock coming on the market ahead of demand through 2018 – steer clear of new and off the plan apartments particularly in our CBD’s

 Aerial view of Brisbane

Aerial view of Brisbane

  • A fight to quality – 
    During the last few years FOMO (fear of missing out) led inexperienced investors and home buyers to purchasing almost any property that there budget would allow and they were fortunate as a rising tide lifted all ships.  
    But as the market turns in 2018 we will see a flight to quality with well located “A class” homes and investment grade properties still selling well, but secondary properties languishing in the market
  • More property investors will sit on the side lines – 
    With market forecasts of subdued growth many would be investors will be questioning whether property still represents a smart investment. On the other hand, strategic investors who have a long term outlook will see the period of slower growth as a buying opportunity. 
    Sure investors may not see double digit capital growth in the short term, but the slower markets will give smart investors an opportunity to buy the type of property they’d have to compete more strongly for over the last few years when there were more buyers than sellers. 
    The type of property that will have them looking back in 10 year’s time saying “boy I bought that cheaply!”
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Published in Michael Yardney's Property Update, 16th February 2018

These suburbs under $400,000 are tipped to outshine Sydney

 Ipswich is expected to see stronger returns than Sydney with a median price that’s about half the southern capital.

Ipswich is expected to see stronger returns than Sydney with a median price that’s about half the southern capital.

NINE Queensland cities are tipped to return more bang for buck than star performers Sydney and Melbourne — and they’re about 50 per cent cheaper too.

Latest analysis by market research firm Propertyology found 39 growth locations where median house prices were less than $400,000 but whose returns were expected to beat the southern capitals.

Propertyology managing director Simon Pressley said the list included nine in Queensland, four in Tasmania, five in South Australia, eight in Victoria, nine in New South Wales, three in Western Australia and one in the Northern Territory.

“I am not a betting man however, each of these 39 locations have a superior three-year outlook to Sydney and Melbourne,” he said.

The Queensland suburbs were expected to come out strong.

“All things being equal over the next three years, both Sydney and Melbourne might be flat out producing 10 per cent cumulative price growth whereas Propertyology believes that each of the nine Queensland locations have potential to exceed that”.

Ipswich and Logan in the greater Brisbane region were on the list of top growth areas where the median house price was less than $400,000, as were Rockhampton, Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, Mackay, Townsville, Toowoomba and Cairns.

 Propertyology managing director Simon Pressley has picked 39 growth locations with median house prices at $400,000 or less.

Propertyology managing director Simon Pressley has picked 39 growth locations with median house prices at $400,000 or less.

The locations were assessed based on affordability, economic diversity, essential infrastructure, lifestyle, increased demand for housing and expected improvement in economic conditions.

Mr Pressley said for less than $400,000, there could be good returns for the taking.

“Some homeowners, particularly in the big cities, think nothing of spending $400,000 on a renovation or $800,000 to $1 million to buy a single property. However, for the same amount, you can buy two or more affordable properties in locations with considerable upside growth potential and rental returns that generate positive or near-positive cash flow.”

He called for investors to not underestimate the lifestyle and infrastructure potential outside big cities.

“Affordable property is available in every state and territory so there is no need to buy property in locations that are past the peak of the latest cycle and will burden you with significant out of pocket expenses. Interstate migration figures are already showing a shift away from Sydney to affordable lifestyle locations, many of which are now accessible by a one-hour direct flight. The rise of rentvesting is also testament to the growing demand for affordable property.”

GROWTH PICKS FOR NEXT 3 YEARS:

(Suburb/Median house price):

Albany WA $380,000

Logan QLD $400,000

Albury NSW $330,000

Mackay QLD $330,000

Ararat VIC $192,000

Mount Gambier SA $255,000

Armidale NSW $360,000

Narrabri NSW $290,000

Ballarat VIC $328,000

Onkaparinga SA $360,000

Bendigo VIC $327,500

Orange NSW $367,500

Bunbury WA $330,500

Parkes NSW $241,000

Bundaberg QLD $296,000

Port Augusta SA $192,500

Burnie TAS $224,500

Port Lincoln SA $300,000

Cairns QLD $400,000

Rockhampton QLD $270,000

Corangamite VIC $227,000

Shepparton VIC $260,000

Devonport TAS $250,000

Sorell TAS $313,500

Dubbo NSW $360,000

South Gippsland VIC $285,000

Gawler SA $335,000

Tamworth NSW $335,000

Geraldton WA $315,000

Toowoomba QLD $375,000

Glenorchy TAS $320,000

Townsville QLD $340,000

Griffith NSW $308,000

Wagga Wagga NSW $350,000

Hervey Bay QLD $320,000

Warrnambool VIC $325,500

Ipswich QLD $341,000

Wodonga VIC $330,000

Katherine NT $322,500

Published in the Courier Mail by Sophie Foster 19th February 2018
 
 Logan Parks

Logan Parks

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 Townsville

Townsville

The Four Secrets Of Financial Success

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Financial success or independence may be a goal for many Australians, but few actually achieve it.

Why is that?

To start off with, many people don’t understand the financial basics that can help them move them from being a wage-earner for 45 years of their lives to retiring many years earlier – if they choose too.

Now I’ve chosen to keep working long after I financially needed to.

I now work because I enjoy it – not for the money, even though by enjoying the work I do the money keeps flowing in.

It also allows me more opportunities to give back via various charities as well as helping my family.

The thing is becoming financially free doesn’t need to be a pipe-dream.

AND THE EASIEST WAY TO START IS BY FOLLOWING THESE FOUR SECRETS OF FINANCIAL SUCCESS.

1. INCOME IS NOT WEALTH

One of the biggest misconceptions out there is that a high income means that someone is wealthy. 

That is simply not true.

In my experience, many high paid professions are very good at spending every single cent – and more on credit – than they make.

They splurge on the latest mod-cons, the hottest overseas holiday destinations as well as expensive car upgrades.

At the end of every month, these highly paid individuals are often left with little in their bank account – just like many people who are on the lowest incomes.

I’ve said it before, being wealthy means different things to different people.

But whatever the definition you use, one basic requirement is the need to build a substantial asset base – such as income-producing investment grade properties.

2. SAVE TO INVEST

Many Australians save for a rainy day, which is a good thing as long as they don’t overdo it. 

I’ve often recommended that people have a financial buffer that will see them through three or six months if they lost their job or became unwell.

The problem is that too many people keep saving without any intention of doing anything with that money except keeping it in their bank account – earning an embarrassingly low interest rate.

What’s the point in that?

One of the other keys to financial success is to save to invest so you can grow your wealth through the accumulation of assets.

Most people need to save to afford the deposit for their first investment property.

After that first property it becomes easier because of the ability to use equity in your properties as a deposit for the next one.

The caveat, of course, is that you must choose the correct properties to start off with.

3. TAXES CAN BE CRUEL OR KIND

There is no way that you can avoid paying tax altogether.

While legal tax minimisation is a strategy that most wealthy people employ, that doesn’t meant that they’re trying to get out of paying it altogether.

Instead, they have invested in professional advice to ensure that their taxable income is reflective of the various deductions which they are legally entitled to claim.

And by reducing their tax bill every year, they’re able to use that money to invest in other assets, which will grow their wealth faster.

4. DON’T FORGET TO LIVE

Here’s the thing: attaining financial freedom takes time. 

In fact, it usually takes decades.

And there is nothing wrong with that.

Did you know that Warren Buffett didn’t make his first $1 billion until he was 60 years old?

Today, however, he is worth $81 billion – that is the power of compounding in action right there.

So, if your portfolio is going to take at least 10 or 20 years to turn into a cash machine for you, why would you not continue to live joyfully every day?

Now I don’t mean living extravagantly, but getting rich does take time.

So you might as well enjoy yourself as much as possible during the years that it takes to happen.

YOU SEE… 

Financial success is within the grasp of everyone if they’re truly committed to the idea.

Whether you’re a high or low income earner, there are strategies that can improve your financial situation significantly.

You’ve just have to believe that you can change your financial destiny.

Then instigate the necessary steps to make that dream a reality.

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Published in Michael Yardney's Property Update by Michael Yardney; 15th December 2017

APRA looks to have saved Australia from a housing crash in 2018: Alan Kohler

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Commentator Alan Kohler says property doesn’t look like it will crash and the feared bubble is yesterday’s scare story after the interventions of APRA’s Wayne Byres between 2014 and 2017.

But the Australian newspaper columnist still says there is still time for a crash, "but so far so good, and at this stage it doesn’t look like happening."

He suggests all the bubble talk is about bitcoins and cryptocurrencies so the housing bubble is yesterday’s scare story.
"The Australian housing bubble, so derided around the world and feared here, is having a soft landing," he wrote.

Kohler says Byers, the chairman of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority can take much of the credit for "gently taking the air out of what was looking a pretty stretched balloon."

He started just a few months after taking over as chairman of APRA, with letters to the banks in December 2014 effectively firing a shot across the bows. 

The press release at the time advised it was watching especially property investor lending above 10 per cent growth and increases in high loan-to-value ratio (LVR) loans.

Its other significant intervention in more recent times was on onterest-only lending which was restricted to 30 per cent of new loans, and only if LVRs were above 80 per cent, growth in investor lending had to be below 10 per cent.

Kohler says APRA was forced into this because the RBA felt unable to raise interest rates to lean into the housing boom.

"It must be acknowledged that APRA’s interventions over the past two years were exquisitely timed and directed — in effect APRA produced a much more targeted monetary policy than the RBA ever could."

"Whereas RBA rate moves affect everyone and all rates, APRA was able to specifically increase interest rates for investor and higher risk loans only, and leave owner-occupier mortgage rates where they were, simply by leaning on the banks to restrict investor lending."

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Published in Property Observer 18th December 2017

Understanding The Qld Contract Exchange Process

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Queensland real estate is on the radar of home owners, first home buyers and investors alike, due to its relative affordability compared to Sydney and Melbourne. 

In fact, interstate migration is on the rise in Queensland, as more southerners consider making the move to the Sunshine State in search of more property bang for their buck.

Historically, this migration happens every time the price differential between the three major capital cities makes Brisbane an attractive property price proposition.

But buying Queensland real estate in a legal sense is different than in Victoria, as well as other States and Territories – and that’s primarily because there is no Section 32 in Queensland.

DOES QUEENSLAND HAVE ANYTHING LIKE A SECTION 32 FOR CONTRACT EXCHANGES?

Instead of a section 32 document, Queensland real estate is bought and sold via a Contract of Sale for House and Residential Land, which has been developed by the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) and is endorsed by the Queensland Law Society.

The REIQ Contract for House and Residential Land, now in its 14th edition, is a succinct document that is used by both the seller and the buyer for a property sales transaction.

Let’s find out more about Queensland real estate and how you buy and sell it, shall we?

WHAT WILL I FIND IN THE REIQ CONTRACT TEMPLATE?

When buying Queensland real estate, contrary to Victoria and New South Wales, there is no contract exchange as such. Rather, both the seller and buyer sign the contract once negotiations are complete.

The REIQ sales contract – which is different for houses and community title schemes – is initially prepared by the seller’s representative, such as their real estate agent or their conveyancer, with the prospective buyer’s details added in once negotiations have begun.

The buyer will then take a copy of the signed sales contract to their legal representative to review during the five-day cooling off and/or finance period.

When buying Queensland real estate, time is of the essence, which means that a number of conditions must be met during the property settlement period – including finance, and building and pest inspection reports.

Within the REIQ contract template you will find: 

  • The first page includes the seller and agent details, which must be 100 per cent correct to prevent potential problems during the settlement period. For example, if the property is jointly owned then both seller’s names must be included.
  • On the second page is where the property’s details, as per its official property title, are listed as well as any excluded fixtures. It is also where the buyer’s details are listed including their legal representative. 
  • The third page is where the price offered by the buyer is included, which can be changed during further negotiations when signed off by both parties, as well as any encumbrances or tenancies. It is also where the finance or building and pest inspection periods should be listed, such as 14 days for finance to become unconditional. In Queensland, once the “finance period” is passed and the sale becomes unconditional it is usually difficult to walk away legally from the transaction.
  • On the fourth page, you will find disclosures regarding pool and electrical safety as well as smoke alarms and any neighbourhood disputes involving dividing fences or trees.
  • On the fifth page is where any special conditions should be written, such as early access prior to property settlement to begin renovations or to prepare for tenants. In Queensland, these special conditions cannot be prepared by an agent. They must either be written by a legal representative or by the buyer or seller. However, it is advisable that a legal practitioner prepares any special conditions for the avoidance of doubt.

TRANSFER OF SALE, STATE BY STATE

When buying or selling Queensland real estate, the legal transfer of the property from one party to another is called conveyancing and is undertaken by a legal practitioner.

When buying a property in Queensland – and once negotiations have been completed and the contract has been signed by both the seller and buyer – copies of the contract are given to each party’s legal representatives.

If you’re the buyer, your conveyancer will complete a number of searches on your behalf to double-check that all material facts have been disclosed about the property.

Each State and Territory across Australia has its own real estate and conveyance laws so it’s important that you have an understanding of what these are if you’re considering buying interstate.

I’M BUYING A HOUSE INTERSTATE – WHAT ELSE DO I NEED TO KNOW?

Borderless investing is becoming more common, as investors consider other locations to ensure they are buying the very best properties to suit their investment strategies. 

Buying interstate, however, is not without its complexities, such as different real estate laws.

The legal mechanisms of buying and selling real estate are more complex than they might appear.

Another difference if considering buying Queensland real estate is that auctions are not as popular as they are in Melbourne and Sydney, plus price guides are generally not advertised when a property is being sold at auction.

Buying property interstate might seem like a headache, but it doesn’t have to be if you have the right advice.

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Published in Michael Yardney's Property Update by Andrew Mirams; 15th December 2017