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North Lakes’ new $140 million development underway

Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt today announced a new $140 million development will get underway at North Lakes at the start of next year. Mr Pitt said Stage 2 of the of Westfield North Lakes’ redevelopment positioned the Moreton Bay Region to further build on the positive economic growth and jobs creation recorded this year. “North Lakes Stage 2 will create approximately 3,000 jobs through the construction phase and another 500 in ongoing retail positions as part of the centre’s ongoing operations,” Mr Pitt said. “It’s my privilege to be announcing a project that will deliver even more jobs and economic growth to North Lakes and broader the Moreton Bay region. “By the end of next year this area will be transformed into a 113,000 square metre shopping mecca with 280 retailers an 8-Screen Events Cinema, IKEA and more. “The Moreton Bay area is one of Queensland’s fastest growing regions and Westfield North Lakes has been a big part of this very positive story. “The local unemployment rate is 5.8 per cent, well below the latest Queensland trend rate of 6.3 per cent – a figure we are constantly working to chip away at through our $1.6 billion jobs package. “This includes a $40 million Business Development Fund to stimulate emerging industries and $240 millionSkilling Queenslanders for Work program which will support up to 32,000 Queenslanders back into jobs over the next four years. “This is how we’ve created 43,800 jobs since the election as compared to the 310 full-time jobs lost every month while the LNP were in power.” The Treasurer’s announcement comes on the eve of the completion of the first stage redevelopment of Westfield North Lakes, opening tomorrow. Scentre Group Director of Development Stewart White said since opening in 2003, Westfield North Lakes has grown in tandem with the local community. “Our investment to further develop the centre is a reflection of our commitment to this area,” Mr White said. “We believe the completed centre will provide the people of Brisbane’s North with a superior facility that meets their every need.” The combined investment from Scentre Group and DEXUS Wholesale Property Fund for Stage 1 and Stage 2 is $220 million. More than 4,700 jobs in construction will have been created for works across Stage 1, Stage 2 and IKEA, with a total 900 jobs in retail, providing significant employment opportunities for Brisbane’s northern suburbs. Source: News Release, Queensland Government, 25 November, 2015 http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2015/11/25/north-lakes-new-140-million-development-to-get-underway
Rocco Pennisi
January 12, 2019
Horaay Group Australia

Australian Dwelling Values Weakest Since 2008

Housing Market Fell 4.8% Through 2018 Housing market conditions ended the 2018 calendar year on a weak note, with the rate of decline consistently worsening over the year. National dwelling values were down 2.3% over the December quarter; the largest quarter on quarter decline since the December quarter of 2008 According to the CoreLogic December home value index results, the downturn in Australian housing conditions accelerated through 2018, driven by consistently larger quarter-on-quarter declines in Sydney and Melbourne together with a reprisal in Perth’s rate of decline and slowing conditions across the remaining capital cities and most regional markets. The year finished with national dwelling values down 4.8%, ranging from an 8.9% fall in Sydney values through to a 9.9% rise in values across regional Tasmania. Most regions of Australia recorded a weaker housing market performance in 2018 relative to 2017. Four of the eight capital cities recorded a decline in dwelling values over the calendar year led by Sydney (-8.9%) and Melbourne (-7.0%), while values were also lower across Perth (-4.7%) and Darwin (-1.5%). The remaining capital cities recorded a rise in values, although conditions weren’t as strong as 2017 with every capital city recording a weakening in the pace of growth or an acceleration in the rate of decline over the year. According to CoreLogic head of research Tim Lawless, the broad weakening in housing market conditions in 2018 highlights that this slowdown goes well beyond the correction in Sydney and Melbourne. He said, “Although Australia’s two largest cities are the primary drivers for the weaker national reading, most regions around the country have reacted to tighter credit conditions by recording weaker housing market results relative to 2017. “The two exceptions were regional Tasmania, where the pace of capital gains was higher relative to 2017 resulting in a nation leading 9.9% gain in values over the 2018 calendar year, and Darwin, where the annual rate of decline improved from -8.9% in 2017 to -1.5% in 2018.” The December CoreLogic housing market results take national dwelling values down by a cumulative 5.2% since peaking in October 2017. Values across the combined capitals are down a larger 6.7% since peaking, while regional dwelling values have been more resilient to falls, down by 1.5%. Although Sydney and Melbourne recorded the weakest conditions, the peak to current declines are much less severe relative to Perth and Darwin where values have been falling since mid-2014. Sydney values are now 11.1% lower relative to the July 2017 peak and Melbourne values are down 7.2% since peaking in November 2017. The downturn has been running much longer in Perth and Darwin, resulting in cumulative falls of 15.6% and 24.5% respectively. At the end of 2018, Sydney values were back to where they were in August 2016, while Melbourne values are back to February 2017 levels. Perth values are back to levels last seen in March 2009 and Darwin dwelling values are at October 2007 levels. Tim Lawless 2 Jan 2019
Rocco Pennisi
January 2, 2019
Horaay Group Australia

Queens Wharf Priority Development Area Approved

Brisbane is set for a massive jobs boost with the Queensland Government formally adopting the development scheme for the renewal of the Queen’s Wharf Brisbane Priority Development Area. The $3 billion Queen’s Wharf Brisbane Integrated Resort Development will deliver a world-class tourism, leisure and entertainment precinct for Queensland. Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning Jackie Trad said the Queensland Government, developed the scheme which will support up to 2,000 jobs during construction and 8,000 ongoing jobs. “This development will transform and rejuvenate the under-utilised south-western edge of the Brisbane CBD, attract significant investment to the city and most importantly, create jobs for Queensland families,” Ms Trad said. The Queen’s Wharf Brisbane Priority Development Area development scheme provides the planning framework for the assessment of the Destination Brisbane Consortium proposal. Public submissions to the development scheme supported the area redevelopment, the Government’s commitment to sub-tropical design and heritage protection and the delivery of improvements to the pedestrian and cycling network in the Priority Development Area. “We invited the community, residents, and business operators to view the proposed development scheme and we received 37 written submissions. Some amendments were made to the proposed development scheme as a result of issues raised in these submissions,” said Ms Trad. Queen’s Wharf Brisbane was declared a Priority Development Area on 28 November 2014 to facilitate the planning and delivery of an integrated resort development including a casino and other related development on the site. All development applications will now be assessed against the development scheme. The final Development Scheme also includes provisions for a Design Advisory Panel to assist in delivering a high-quality project for the benefit of all Queenslanders and visitors. “This part of our city is one of the most culturally and historically significant sites in Brisbane, and the Design Advisory Panel will help ensure that Queen’s Wharf is a civic landmark,” Ms Trad said. The Design Advisory Panel will be chaired by the Queensland Government Architect, and members will be drawn from the Queensland Urban Design and Places Panel. Source: News Release, Brisbane Development, 01, February, 2016 https://brisbanedevelopment.com/queens-wharf-priority-development-area-approved
Rocco Pennisi
January 1, 2019
Horaay Group Australia

Is 2019 a Good Year to Start Investing in Australian Property?

I started investing in property when I was 18! I bought an apartment in Morningside (Brisbane) and my amazing Dad went guarantor for the loan. (Purchase price $40,000 - Sale price $70,000 18 months later.) I used the cash to travel. Property is a great investment option, but is it right to sell and make a profit or hold? (If I still owned the property, it would be worth about $400,000 today) It all depends on your circumstances. My 6 months in Europe gave me son many memories and I connected with my cousins in Italy. Those were irreplaceable life experiences. When is the right time to buy property? There are always doomsayers - the media, wider market uncertainties, lack of time, knowledge, or the confidence to make a decision and take action – so many people let opportunities slip by. For example, there are so many people who did not make any money in the recent boom in the Sydney and Melbourne markets. By this I mean, there are so many people who were financially qualified to be able to invest, many who wanted to invest but who failed to act on their intention. Of course, this is understandable. Property investment is a significant commitment and it can be hard for a new investor to take the first step. And there are so many people out there who aren’t even aware that building wealth for the future is important. There are so many people who are not even aware of the possibilities and options for investing. If you are aware and have the intention, then this is a big step in itself. If you have not yet managed to take the next step and actively get yourself into the market, what I would say is: make 2019 the year. I encourage you not to let another year slip by or let another cycle come and go without taking some action. Because at the end of the day, only action will bring results. So what can we learn from 2018 to be able to take some action in 2019? Be selective about who your advisors are! The media is never there to inform, it’s there to startle. As negative headlines of plummeting property prices dominate the media – now more than ever, it’s important to be careful who you listen to. Because what we know from looking at the data is that there is a more nuanced story than what appears in the newspapers. Certain areas, suburbs and types of properties are continuing to outperform the wider market. Look beyond Sydney and Melbourne and you’ll find the South East Queensland market is genuinely moving. But you won’t find too much of that reported in the media. Embrace the opportunity mindset.  Having the right mindset in your response to these challenges will still be very important. There’s no doubt that there is some pain involved now in terms of credit, however there are signs of opportunity for others. For example, while some buyers will be scared off by the media headlines, this will leave others who are more informed to take advantage of the markets that are still growing. Some may be deterred by finance, while others will take the opportunity to work on themselves, on their careers and better qualify themselves. Investors with strong financial profiles will realise that lenders will be competing for their business and take the opportunity to negotiate better rates and secure a quality property before the market becomes highly competitive again. Look for owner-occupier appeal We expect to see a genuine difference between quality properties with owner-occupier appeal and ‘investor-focussed’ properties in 2019. In a booming market, any property you buy will probably perform. Now, investors will need to be even more discerning. Our focus is quality properties, and this is why we’ve been able to successfully help our investors settle so many quality properties this year – while others are facing 20% – 30% valuation issues. When you come to sell your asset, you want to be able to access the widest possible market. Property investors make up only a small percentage of the market, comparatively speaking. Investors also tend to make purchasing decisions less emotionally. Owner occupiers may be more willing to pay a premium for something they fall in love with. If Labor gets elected next year and upholds their promised changes to negative gearing – which will favour new property – then owner-occupier appeal will be even more important for investors when and if they decide to sell. Surround yourself with the right people   As anHoraay Australia subscriber, you are so much better supported than the many investors doing it alone, and you will be able to embrace those challenges and take advantage of the opportunities that will emerge. You are also backed by our comprehensive service, research, property selection and customer care teams for the life of your investment journey. Our relationships with leading developers – long-standing brands – means we will continue to be able to offer you quality properties that are a cut above. Our property and research team ensure the properties we recommend have strong fundamentals – including properties favoured by owner occupiers – and offer genuine value for our investors. In 2019, you can expect to find fewer property companies; particularly those without the scale, infrastructure, relationships and customer-centric approach that we have established over the past 12 years. We are doing this because we know there are opportunities for investors, it’s a time when investors will need professional help more than ever and we want to make sure that we are investing more into our people and services, so we can provide our customers with a better service experience. Building wealth through property investment takes time, so even if you purchase the perfect investment property at the perfect time – this alone is not going to help you achieve financial freedom. The key is to build a portfolio strategically and then to hold those assets over the long term – and holding is easier said than done. But with the right support team around you, success in investment – as in anything in life – is far more achievable. We are here for the long term to ensure you achieve your goals; at Horaay Australia, our aim is to create customers for life.    
Rocco Pennisi
December 31, 2018
Horaay Group Australia

South Brisbane apartments return more than Brisbane average!

South Brisbane apartments achieve $125 more p.w. than the average Brisbane Apartment . South Brisbane apartments have an average rent per week of $510 compared to the Brisbane average which is $385 per week. (Residex August 2016) $25 million Flight Centre Head Office Moves Into South Brisbane With 2,000 Staff in August 2016 Flight Centre’s new headquarters will be located within the commercial tower of Anthony John Group’s $590m Southpoint complex at Brisbane’s Southbank. Flight Centre’s new headquarters will be located within the commercial tower of Anthony John Group’s $590m Southpoint complex at Brisbane’s Southbank. The travel company wanted to bring its diverse brands together under the one roof, and will ­vacate their current tenancies in Brisbane’s CBD to move their 2000 staff to the 23,000sq m new offices. Southpoint is one of the ­biggest mixed-use transit-orientated developments in Queensland, located in the busy hub of South Bank. Southpoint will also feature a hotel and restaurants as well as apartments. 0.6% Vacancy For Inner Brisbane Apartments In the March quarter 2016, Urbis surveyed projects within the Inner Brisbane Catchment. From the surveyed data Urbis recorded a  vacancy rate of 0.6% showing a tightening vacancy rate for new apartment product from December 2015 at 1.6%. Top Ranked For Recreational Space  Kelder Architects have ranked all new South Brisbane apartment developments and found that ARIA Property Group and Abacus/Kilcor’s Property (Spice Apartments) ranked the highest above all other developments for the ratio of recreational space to a number of apartments at 3 – 8 square meters of recreational space per apartment.   #1 Brisbane State High School in South Brisbane Dominates Private Schools in 2016 Despite fierce competition from expensive private schools Queensland’s top public school – Brisbane State High has dominated the 2016 NAPLAN results across the high school years. The selective school is located within the South Brisbane catchment and applications are only considered from South Brisbane residents. Southpoint to Deliver $6 million South Bank Train Station Upgrade Located at the southern gateway to South Bank, one of Queensland’s largest transit-oriented developments is set to deliver major improvements with an estimated $6 million upgrade to the existing train station late this year. With over 60,000 passengers passing through on a weekly basis, South Bank is one of Brisbane’s busiest train stations.   Neville Bonner Bridge A new inner-city pedestrian bridge to be built as part of the Queen’s Wharf Brisbane project will honour the life and legacy of Australia’s first Indigenous parliamentarian, Neville Bonner. The new bridge will be part of the $3 billion Queen’s Wharf Brisbane development and link both sides of the river. Iconic Sydney Brand Gelato Messina To Open Largest Store in South Brisbane. The shop is anticipated to be the largest Gelato Messina in Australia! Over 200 square metres of retail space to open in October 2016.  Messina’s first-ever Brisbane store will open its doors, confirmed by Messina director and co-founder Declan Lee. We predict a whole lot of hanging around South Brisbane in our future store at 109 Melbourne Street, South Brisbane –  Also home to Aria’s highly anticipated “Melbourne Residences.” Foodies Converge on First Fish Lane Festival Saturday saw the kick off of the inaugural Fish Lane Festival showcasing dishes not only from the venues in the lane but from restaurants from the wider Southbank dining precinct and beyond.
Rocco Pennisi
December 26, 2018
APRA INTEREST ONLY LOANS

Have a Clear Exit Plan Before taking Interest-Only Loans

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has announced that it will remove interest-only lending restrictions from 1st January 2019. These restrictions were originally introduced in March 2017 and essentially forced lenders to restrict the percentage of their new interest-only loans to 30% of their total home loans that they issue.   “This announcement is good news for experienced property investors who know how to invest in assets that provide income or growth, or a combination of both,” said Horaay Australia Head of Property Rocco Pennisi. The announcement comes off the back of cooling markets in Sydney and Melbourne, which previously enjoyed strong growth, placing significant pressure on housing affordability. “While we expect the measure will boost the market, we maintain our advice for buyers to have a clear exit plan before buying with interest only debt,” Mr Pennisi added. JP Morgan’s Chief Economist Sally Auld said that while she doesn’t expect a quick acceleration in interest-only lending, she does expect borrowers to potentially benefit from cheaper interest-only loans. “Interest-only loans were repriced quite significantly [higher] in the wake of this regulation, so there will likely be some reduction in rates for these loans,” she told the ABC. The announcement from APRA marks the second time this year that the regulator has relaxed lending restrictions. In April, APRA lifted the 10% annual “speed limit” on investor credit growth which had been in place since 2014. “APRA’s lending benchmarks on investor and interest-only lending were always intended to be temporary,” APRA Chairman Wayne Byres said. “Both have now served their purpose of moderating higher risk lending and supporting a gradual strengthening of lending standards across the industry over a number of years.”  
Rocco Pennisi
December 24, 2018
Horaay Group Australia

Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide housing affordability best in 20 years

The latest Housing Industry Association (HIA) quarterly index reveals that housing affordability is at its highest level in 20 years in all of Australia’s capital cities, with the exception of Sydney and Melbourne. Residential property in Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide hasn’t been this affordable since 1997, according to a peak industry body. “It is often overlooked that affordability conditions are favourable in the markets outside of Sydney and Melbourne,” said HIA senior economist Shane Garrett. “Housing prices are more affordable in the other 6 capital cities today than has typically been the case over the past 20 years – primarily due to very low interest rates.” HIA Affordability Index for 5 largest capital cities, December Quarter The HIA affordability index measures mortgage repayments as a proportion of typical earnings in each market. Perth is now Australia’s most affordable capital city, with an average monthly mortgage repayment of $2,194 representing 27.5% of gross average earnings, the Urban Developer reports. City Average monthly mortgage repayment % of gross average earnings Sydney $4,559 67.5% Melbourne $3,566 48.2% Adelaide $2,160 32.4% Brisbane $2,466 32.2% Perth $2,194 27.5% “The HIA Housing Affordability Index saw a small improvement of 0.2% during the December 2017 quarter indicating that affordability challenges have eased,” Mr Garrett said. During the December quarter, out of the 5 biggest cities, the largest improvement in affordability occurred in Sydney (+3.1%), followed by Brisbane (+1.4%) and Perth (+1.3%).
Rocco Pennisi
December 18, 2018
Horaay Group Australia

$1.162bn Gateway Motorway upgrade Brisbane

Major works on the $1.162 billion Gateway Upgrade North project were officially launched in Brisbane last week by the Queensland and Australian governments. At a sod turning event to mark the start of works, Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the upgrade will include widening 11.3 kilometres of road between Nudgee and Bracken Ridge from four to six lanes. “The project will improve road safety and reduce congestion for the more than 80,000 motorists who use the motorway each day,” Mr Chester said. “It will increase capacity and efficiency along this important part of the national road network which is a vital freight route servicing the Port of Brisbane, Trade Coast and Brisbane Airport precinct. “Ultimately, the upgrade will mean a faster, safer journey to boost freight productivity and improve travel time reliability. “In what amounts to another major boost for the local economy, around 1000 direct jobs will be supported over the life of the Gateway Upgrade North project, which is expected to be completed in late 2018.” Queensland Minister for Main Roads and Road Safety Mark Bailey said the motorway upgrade will meet the future transport needs of a rapidly-growing region. “Major works include building extra lanes, new interchanges, bridges and an off-road shared pedestrian and cycle path along the length of the project,” Mr Bailey said. “The Nudgee interchange will also be upgraded and the Deagon Deviation between Depot Road and Bracken Ridge Road will be widened to two lanes in each direction.” The Australian Government has committed $929.6 million to the project, in partnership with the Queensland Government which has committed $232.4 million. Source: News Release, Urbanalyst, 29, February, 2016 http://www.urbanalyst.com/in-the-news/queensland/3895-work-starts-on-1-162bn-gateway-motorway-upgrade-in-brisbane.html
Rocco Pennisi
January 12, 2017