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Quick Guide to the ATO’s One Stop Property Webpage

The Australian Tax Office (‘ATO’) recently launched a one stop property webpage specifically designed for home owners and investment property owners. The site covers a rate of tax issues. It is an excellent resource for beginners and experienced investors alike who are seeking to refresh their knowledge of key property tax issues.

Introductory Section

The introductory section sets out the key issues for home owners and investors, with an overview section that covers different types of properties, uses, and investment or development activities.

For example, the ‘Your home’ section consists of the tax issues at each step from saving for your first home; buying and selling your home; buying a second property; to renting, building, or renovating your home. This section also contains an overview of home offices.

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Sydney Leading on Construction and Housing

Sydney has seen strong growth in construction and housing with a plethora of major construction and infrastructure projects currently under track. Furthermore, the city has recorded some of the strongest housing prices in the nation. The latest figures indicate that Sydney’s leading role in the national housing market is set to continue, making it a strong for destination for investment property.

Housing Capital Growth

The latest Australian Property Monitors data indicates that apartment prices were unchanged in Sydney even as the rest of the nation saw some small adjustments in price. The affordability of apartments coupled with a general trend towards small households and higher density living has driven Sydney’s strong performance

Apartment quick facts:

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Adelaide’s CBD Developments to Watch

Consistently ranked in the top ten for liveability surveys, Adelaide is a favoured destination for investment property, both in Australia and within South Australia itself. Recent private development projects and government initiatives have further raised its profile as an investment destination to watch. Most recently, draft masterplans have been released for Rundle Mall and the riverbank precinct.

Rundle Mall Development

Rundle Mall is the most visited site in Adelaide with 24 million visitors every year. Long considered to be the premiere retail area in South Australia, the Mall is currently undergoing development for a multi-storey $385 million retail complex named ‘Rundle Place’.

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National Rental Affordability Scheme to Benefit Renters

In October, the federal government announced the outcome of the latest round of the National Rental Affordability Scheme (‘NRAS’). The NRAS is aimed at delivering affordable rental housing to low and moderate income earners over the course of a decade. In this article, we look at the NRAS and its implications for renters and investors.

At a Glance: The National Rental Affordability Scheme

The NRAS began running in 2008, when the federal government incorporated it as a major component in its $3.7 billion housing package. The main goal of the scheme is to boost rental housing stocks for low to medium income earners.  In order to deliver this goal, the State and Federal governments have incentivized investors to rent out approved new properties at a discounted rent by offering them a Tax-Free payment each year for 10 years. This property investment option is suitable for many investors in relation to many approved properties all around Australia.

Under the NRAS scheme:

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Investors See a Big Future in Apartments

Apartments are one of the most attractive options for price sensitive investors looking for investment property with potential for high yields and capital growth. Affordability, location, attractiveness to tenants – these are just some of the reasons for the growing popularity of apartments.

Prices

One of the key advantages of purchasing an apartment over a house is the price differential.

  • Across Australia’s capital cities there is a 13.3 per cent (or $56,000) difference between median house price and median unit price.
  • The difference is the highest in Canberra, where the median price for a house is $129,000 higher than that for a unit. In Sydney, the difference is $103,000. Sydney and Canberra are the Australian cities with the highest unit sales relative to sales for all other dwelling types (around 43 per cent for both cities).
  • In Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide, the differential is at around 18 per cent, much lower than Sydney or Canberra, but still a significant difference amounting to around $70,000.

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Australian Investors Turning to Interstate Properties

A recent report has revealed that a growing number of Australian investors are looking beyond their home state or territory when choosing investment property. In this article, we examine the trend toward interstate investment and its potential advantages for investors.

Investors Favouring Queensland Properties

According to a report by Terri Scheer Insurance, around one-fifth of its insured landlords own investment property outside their state or territory of residence. The report found that:

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Perth Rents Soar as Vacancy Rates Plummet

Australia’s fourth most populous city is experiencing stunning growth in its rental market, making it a more promising prospect for investment property than ever. The latest figures on Perth’s rental activity reveals that rents are soaring and new supply is being rapidly outpaced by growth in demand.

New Supply Being Outpaced by Demand Growth

Figures released by the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (‘REIWA’) for the September quarter have shown that new rental leases increased by 6 per cent in the three months to September.

Although new housing stock was released into the rental market rather than being sold, this additional stock was quickly absorbed by strong rental demand, with the number of properties available for lease falling by 20 per cent or from 3,600 to 2,800.

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Young Investors Reaping Property Rewards

A well-considered investment property can double in value in as little as 10 years. With the old adage ‘time is on your side’ in mind, Australia’s enthusiastic young investors are getting into the property market early and reaping significant gains.

Key Motivations to Buy

Younger investors are getting started as early as 18 or younger, or as soon as they’re able to work. According to a 2011 survey by Mortgage Choice, setting up oneself financially is one of the top motivators for younger investors.

Other reasons included not being ready to own their first home, wanting to get a head start in the market, and not yet being able to afford to purchase their dream home. The same survey found that 77 per cent of Generation Ys were already making lifestyle sacrifices to achieve their property goals.

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Sydney’s Inner-City Star Performers

Some of Sydney’s top performers in the apartment category have been those in the mid-range, situated in the lower North Shore and the city-east areas. Various inner-city locales have yielded great capital growth, which bodes very well for investors looking for inner-city investment property.

North Shore

Sydney’s North Shore is the primary residential area of northern metropolitan Sydney. Some of its suburbs, such as McMahons Point, Waverton, Hunters Hill, and North Sydney, have show excellent growth for mid-range properties below the $600,000 price mark.

Growth has been estimated to have been as much as 10 per cent in the past year for the area. Given their excellent rental returns, one-bedroom and studio units and apartments have proven to be the most popular, particularly for property investment.

Quick facts:

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Smaller, Smarter, and Greener Dwellings for Australians

The trend for new houses and apartments in recent years has been toward buildling dwellings that are smaller, smarter, and greener. While a recent report by the Australian Property Institute found that green star commercial buildings deliver a 5 per cent premium in rent, the green trend is also catching in the residential market. Both first-time home buyers and investors seeking residential investment property are opting for compact living spaces. We examine what these smaller dwellings look like below.

1. Multi-Feature Rooms

It’s been estimated that removing household clutter can yield extra space equivalent to a bedroom or study, and incorporating clever design strategies can enhance space efficiency. Furthermore, well-designed homes can reduce construction costs by incorporating these multi-feature rooms.

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Investors Rank Property Over Shares

With the gloomy outlook and weakening investor confidence in the volatile share market, a recent study has revealed that a majority of Australian investors now believe investment property and not shares is the better choice for their investment dollars. In this article, we look at how the volatility in the share market is unlikely to abate in the near future and why investors are valuing residential property above all other investment types.

Survey Shows Investors Rank Property Over Shares

The research organisation CoreData in its Investor Sentiment Research Report found that 73.5 per cent of the Australian investors surveyed expect residential property investment holdings to outperform share portfolios. This leaves only around a quarter (26.5 per cent) of investors who expect their share portfolios to perform better.

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Residential Housing Leads the Way for NSW Construction

Residential housing is expected to lead the way for the NSW (and ACT) construction industry in the coming year. In this article we look at some of the trends for the NSW construction industry and how they are expected to play out in the short, medium, and longer term, with implications for property investment.

In the Past Year

Although total building and construction work done was slightly down during the second quarter of the 2010/11 financial year compared with the same quarter in the 2009/10 year.

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Victoria Opening Up New Era of Inner City Living

With a new master plan for the Docklands, soaring building permits, and intensifying demand for inner city rental properties, Melbourne and Victoria are presenting new possibilities for inner city living as well as property investment. We take a closer look at the latest exciting property trends in Melbourne.

Dockland’s $700m Master Plan

Melbourne’s Docklands will see a further expansion plan which will bring in five new buildings, new retail spaces, and public spaces such as a major public park. The plan also incorporates residential living spaces and a large hotel. The development will take place on the ING Waterfront city land that sits between Docklands Drive and Victoria Harbour.

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Brisbane’s Bowen Hills a Top Property Performer

Queensland has more than bounced back from the 2010/2011 floods, with Brisbane set for a period of intense urban renewal and development. Over the coming years, the Sunshine State’s capital city will see a series of major projects ranging from infrastructure to commercial and residential development. These projects will provide attractive opportunities for property investment, particularly in ‘up-and-coming’ suburbs such as Bowen Hills.

A Quick Look at Brisbane’s Unit Market

Brisbane’s unit property market is robust, with a strong spring season projected for apartments.

  • 15 per cent rise in preliminary sales;
  • Median apartment sale prices in the inner city increased by 1.3 per cent in the year to June 2011; and
  • Around 1,400 transactions on new apartments in inner Brisbane in the March 2011 quarter.

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Perth as the Next Property Investment Hotspot

Perth is emerging as one of the most exciting contenders for Australia’s property investment hotspots. Major inner city development projects combined with critical housing shortages and a mining boom that’s set to accelerate are expected to lead to burgeoning opportunities for property investors. In this article, we take a closer look at some of the ways Australia’s fourth largest city is set to further grow as an attractive destination for property investors.

Perth: a Quick Snapshot

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Adelaide to Undergo $1.9 Billion New Makeover

The South Australian capital will play host to some exciting upgrades and redevelopments over the next several decades. The city of churches is currently Australia’s fifth largest city, with a population of 1.28 million. A great location for investment property, Adelaide was ranked an equal eighth with Perth in the Economic Intelligence Unit’s (‘EIU’) World Liveability Index in 2011. In this article, we take a closer look at some of Adelaide’s most exciting new development projects.

Projects

Some of the projects that have been ‘green-lighted’ include upgrades to the Riverbank Precinct, Rundle Mall, and private developments in the CBD. In total, the projects will amount to a minimum of $1.9 billion being injected into the state’s economy, creating jobs and providing opportunities for astute long-term property investment.

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Melbourne Tops 2011 World Liveability Study

Melbourne has once again been crowned the World’s Most Liveable City by the Economic Intelligence Unit (‘EIU’). In its 2011 Global Liveability Survey, the EIU gave the Victorian Capital an impressive score of 97.5 per cent. Factors such as infrastructure, low crime rate, and culture were taken into consideration. Melbourne’s high position in liveability rankings has cemented its status as one of the most popular destinations for interstate and international immigrants, making it a great location for long-term property investment.

Criteria for Assessment

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Skyrocketing Rents in Australia’s Capital Cities

Australia’s inner city suburbs have experienced very high rental growth over the past year. Inner city suburbs provide the best combination of capital growth potential and growth in rental yields for investors and property investment. In this article, we look at some of the top performing suburbs for various capital cities.

Top Performing Suburbs

The latest data from the property group RUN show that Sydney experienced some of the highest growth in rental yields over the last year. The average weekly rent across the city is $534.

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Property Investors See Value in Small Homes

It’s official – Australians build some of the largest residential dwellings in the world. however, while the size of Australian homes have consistently topped world rankings for size, new data shows that this trend is likely to be reversed. With a growing preference for smaller properties in Australia, investors have realised the value in a smaller, more efficient investment property.

Growth of Smaller Dwellings

According to Stockland, one of the country’s largest developers, affordability issues mean the size of homes in Australia has peaked, with a trend away from ‘McMansions’ toward smaller more efficient homes. They have  seen a growth in smaller three-bedroom and two-bathroom homes, coupled with a decline in demand for five-bedroom residences.

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High Speed Rail Boom for Property Investors

The federal government is currently researching a proposal for a $100 billion high speed rail link to be built along Australia’s eastern seaboard. The project, linking Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, will offer very fast travel between the three eastern capital cities and various regional centres. Phase one of the report details options for station locations. These transport hubs are likely to have a direct impact on local property demand, with a potentially positive impact on investment property.

The High Speed Rail Report

Phase one of the High Speed Rail Study was released in July 2011, with Phase two of the study to be released in mid-2012. The report is generally considered an implementation study rather than a feasibility study and the project has the support of both the Greens and the opposition. As such, it’s very likely that the high speed rail will go ahead.

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The Rise of the Apartment Culture

Like the world’s largest metropolises such as New York, London, and Paris, Australian cities are undergoing a discernible shift towards inner city living. It’s not merely a shift to living in or living closer to the city centre. It’s also a shift toward higher density living, from detached housing to units or apartments. This trend presents opportunities for investors and property investment, which we’ll look at in more detail in this article.

The Growth of Apartment and Townhouse Living

The numbers are very clear on the trend towards inner city and higher density residences and a shift away from standalone housing. Apartments are well on course to overtaking detached houses as the most popular new homes in Australia’s big cities.

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