Mortgage holders on flexible interest rates and anyone thinking of buying real estate have been given an early Christmas present in the form of 2 interest rate cuts by the Reserve Bank of Australia.
It has been a very tough year for property. Floods, tsunamis, earthquakes, 3 new taxes (flood, mining and carbon tax), sovereign debt crises and even a serious US debt limit crisis not yet resolved have hit confidence worldwide. In Australia, consumers have turned to savers and retailers, house builders, inbound tourism and especially manufacturing are all affected.
2012 should see an improved real estate market in NSW. There is pent up demand from population growth and supply of new housing is at record lows. In Spain and Ireland there are millions of empty new houses. We can sell any house if the price is right!
When I purchased my first block of land for $12,000 back in the seventies, stamp duty was not a major consideration in absolute dollars. As time went on however, the house my wife and I first built wasn’t quite right, especially with an expanding and growing family. At each stage that we considered a new extension we tossed up whether we should just relocate, but each time stamp duty weighed heavily against us moving.
Job mobility was always another problem. If you lose your job in Sydney, chances are you can get another one and not have to move. However, if you should move because your new job is 2 hours driving away (one of those unfortunate squinters that travel towards the sun in the morning and again in the evening), how much of a deterrent is stamp duty? I believe it is huge. Tuesday’s SMH reminded me of this and other considerations which make NSW stamp duty so onerous and why it stops people moving out west or interstate where the jobs are.
Apparently the new Federal Treasurer agrees. Even the Henry Tax Review stated that “really there is no place for stamp duty in a modern tax system”.
How much easier would it be to sell houses if buyers did not have to pay stamp duty? How much easier would it be to fill the new Greenhills Beachestate in our Shire if stamp duty was not a factor in the equation when weighing whether to stay put and suffer a house which is a compromise, or buy a block of land and put your dream house on it?
Let’s hope the State government sees the sense too, rather than allow 19 storey high rise apartments to be built next to 100 year old beautiful terraces in Erskineville, within a kilometre of where a company has a permit to drill for CSG (coal seam gas).
Inflation figures out last week were within the 2.5-3% annual range thought acceptable to the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) so that interest rates may not now rise tomorrow (3/8/10). Before the release of the June quarter inflation figures I tended to think we would be slugged again tomorrow.
Labour bottlenecks seem to be reappearing. On my recent trip up north, I could see how the Queensland resources industry is boosting its economy.
On the other hand, the retail industry in NSW has fallen into a hole in the June quarter. The USA was starting to benefit from a weak dollar by lifting exports but the dollar has come back again because of the flight out of the euro (sovereign debt risks).
There are other ticking time bombs out there:
massive and growing US public debt.
sovereign debt risk (Greece, Spain, Iceland, Ireland)
inflation and real estate bubbles in China
When these time bombs go off we will experience the double dip recession. It’s just a matter of time. Interest rates will then fall again.
In the meantime, a Federal election has been called. The real estate industry always goes into hibernation when elections are called. Pent up demand rises and consumers end up paying more when the floodgates open again. Till then rates should stay on hold. If the double dip recession kicks in because one of the above time bombs goes off, rates should start to fall again. We are on the knife’s edge.
One of my pet hates is land tax. Because Queensland does not charge it, that state is growing much faster than NSW. Fact. The NSW Treasury has become dependent on it. So much so it has been known to adjust values twice in one year in order to be able to send out two assessments in one year. So when Centro bought Bankstown Square (valued at $357m) it structured the deal in such a way that it only paid $765! (SMH 27 july,2010). NSW Treasury missed out on up to $13m. Good for Centro! Not so good for ordinary taxpayers if Treasury is going to try and make up the loss by hitting us harder.
09/08/2010 – After further research, I have found that owners of free hold land in Queensland may have to pay land tax. Their threshold is much higher ($600,000) and the rate is much lower (maximum of 1% up to $1,000,000). If you need further information, check out www.osr.qld.gov.au
Congratulations to the lucky buyer who just snapped up 301/4-6 Boorima Place Cronulla. We hope you enjoy your new life in Tradewinds on The Esplanade with long summer nights and cool winter mornings at the beach.
Enjoy the surf, enjoy the sand, enjoy the sun.
Henk Emans of Beach & Bay sold this property in just 2 weeks. With lots of buyer interest we are looking for other Esplanade apartments. Please feel free to call or email the office for a confidential appraisal.
Henk Emans of Beach & Bay Realty is proud to announce this impressive listing.
Excavation business ‘ Byrnes Earthworks’ for sale in the Jervis Bay area with a wide range of equipment (see separate list) kept on 40 ha property near Tomerong with direct access to Princes Highway and only 15km south of Nowra.
This property also comprises large covered area for equipment with DA for another shed. There is a cabin set apart from the machinery workshop and all electricity is underground.
Site manager is provided with a 4 bedroom, 5 year old luxurious Masterton home complete with 95 000 litre underground water tank. Tomerong Creek runs through the estate which is partly cleared and partly untouched forest.
There are 5 dams and good access to all parts of the property. It is ¾ fenced and comes with irrigation system.