Jasmine Choi

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  • National OutlookRate cut and lack of stock stimulates winter property prices

    The Reserve Banks surprise move last month to slash interest rates to their lowest level on record 2.75% is expected to underpin the property market through the cooler months, says Angus Raine, CEO of leading property group, Raine & Horne.

    The 25 basis point cut in May was just the tonic the real estate market needed to encourage more buyers into the marketplace, said Mr Raine. The winter period is usually the time when the property market slows and its good to see the RBA exercised their prerogative to boost confidence and stimulate the property market.

    According to Mr Raine, the rate cut will go a long way to addressing underlying affordability issues that have deterred many buyers from purchasing a property. Lower cash rates will give buyers a greater capacity to borrow, said Mr Raine. All four big banks have passed on the 0.25% rate cut in full, and some smaller lenders have even surpassed it by slicing their variable home loan rate by as much as 0.3%. This is great news for buyers and investors looking to secure a property.

    In addition, Mr Raine said the nation-wide shortage of listings will also positively impact on residential property prices over the winter period. Australia is suffering from a gross undersupply of properties, as well as a 25% lull in historic sales volumes compared to pre-GFC levels. As a result, our agents are screaming out for listings,

    so I urge homeowners looking to sell to capitalise on the combination of the housing shortage and improving buyer confidence.

    As an example of market positivity, auction clearance rates in Sydney and Melbourne are currently hovering above 70%, while green shoots of growth have been recorded in re-emerging markets such as the Gold Coast, where Raine & Horne Surfers Paradise has revealed sales volumes are up around 60%.

    Despite dwelling values experiencing a slight stumble in April, a solid 2.8% first quarter gain in national dwelling values has reinforced a positive outlook for property prices. When viewed in line with other metrics such as auction clearance rates, private treaty indicators and some improvement in housing finance demand, it is likely that the negative April result will be a blip along the path to recovery, said Tim Lawless, director of Research at RP Data. Overall, the housing market is in much better shape than it was a year ago.

    Dr Shane Oliver, Chief Economist at AMP, added that additional rate cuts could be on the cards to help further stimulate housing growth. I expect the cash rate to fall to 2.5% in the next few months, but to get standard variable mortgage rates back to the lows of 2009 may require another cut again, said Dr Oliver.

    FAQThinking of building a property portfolio? Negative gearing can help!

    Improving business and consumer confidence, job security and concerns about share market volatility are all triggers for buying a property investment to help you build wealth.

    At the end of the day, a quality, well-located investment property is one of the best ways of creating long-term wealth, while our tax system even enables you to negative gear the costs of owning it.

    A rental home is said to be negatively geared when the costs of maintaining it (mortgage interest, repairs and expenses such as council rates, strata management levies, property management and so on) outweigh the rental income generated by the property. This loss is able to be offset against a salary, wage, dividend income, bank account interest and so on, to reduce an individuals annual taxable income.

    For tax advice about the benefits of owning a negatively-geared investment home, contact your accountant, while you can kick start your property research by talking with your local Raine & Horne agent.

    Why is it important to claim depreciation on an investment property?

    As an investment property ages, items and fittings start to wear out or depreciate. Fortunately, the Australian Tax Office (ATO) allows landlords to claim the impact of depreciation as a tax deduction, which could be worth many thousands of dollars annually depending on the size and scope of your investment property portfolio.

    However, the truth of the matter is that almost 80% of landlords are missing out on thousands of dollars in depreciation, according to BMT Tax Depreciation. Often this is because landlords dont have a depreciation report, which outlines the items that can be claimed.

    With the 30 June deadline for the end of the 2012/13 tax year fast approaching, BMT is offering every Raine & Horne landlord a reduced fee to bring their depreciation schedules up-to-date. Usually BMT charges $715 including GST for a depreciation schedule, but will charge Raine & Horne landlords just $655 including GST. And dont forget the fee associated with the preparation of a tax depreciation report is 100% tax deductible.

    Contact BMT on 1300 728 726 or bmtqs.com.au and please note this offer is available to Raine & Horne landlords Australia-wide.

    The NSW Governments recently-released white

    paper, A new planning system for NSW, plans to

    slash the development applications process to 25

    days or fewer a move that has been applauded

    by Angus Raine, CEO of Raine & Horne.

    According to the white paper, the strict proposals

    include maintaining the existing 10-day

    complying development assessment track for

    smaller applications such as new homes and

    home extensions, said Mr Raine, who for more

    than a decade has called on the NSW Government

    to reduce housing development red tape. At

    present, the government estimates that new

    homes are taking an average of 64 days to assess,

    with home alterations taking 58 days.

    We all know of horror stories of drawn-out

    development applications, so any proposal

    that can reduce the procedural speed bumps,

    while also addressing affordability and the

    investor drain to other states, has the thumbs

    up from me.

    Andrew Sorensen, Principal of Raine & Horne

    Charmhaven, on the Central Coast, said any

    decision to speed up the approval process will

    kick-start demand for new homes in the region.

    Charmhaven is just 44 minutes to Wahroonga,

    making the region a virtual commuter-belt suburb

    of Sydney, said Mr Sorensen. So its a logical

    step to free up planning red tape to facilitate

    housing growth in the Wyong Shire, which in

    turn can help address the housing shortages in

    the capital.

    There are large parcels of land at The Entrance,

    for example, which are ripe for development,

    while any changes in the rules and regulations

    that enable people to split larger blocks would

    also be worth considering. Currently splitting

    blocks is costly and the bureaucratic hoops

    just dont make it worth the effort, added

    Mr Sorensen.

    Lisa Surian, Director of Raine & Horne Parramatta,

    said any proposal to reduce planning red tape will

    create more choice for home buyers in Sydneys

    west. We saw the impact changing the rules for

    granny flats had a few years ago, which enabled

    councils to approve these developments in just 10

    days, said Ms Surian. Its fair to expect that any

    changes to the laws for building new homes and

    renovations will prove a boon for the Parramatta

    real estate market.

    Raine & Horne Parramatta recently sold at

    auction an ex-Housing Commission property

    at 19 Symonds Street, Parramatta. The property

    attracted 50 groups through at the open home,

    with many potential buyers telling us that the

    council red tape involved in renovating the

    property was an excuse not to bid, said

    Ms Surian.

    NSW

    Local OutlookNSW government proposes planning laws to fast-track new developments

    Local Outlook: NSW government proposes planning laws to fast-track new developments

    FAQ: Your property questions answered by our experts

    June 2013: Snapshot

    TerraineYour guide to navigating the property market

    National Outlook: Rate cut and lack of stock stimulates winter property prices

    At its meeting just after Easter, the Reserve Bank of Australia decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 3%.

    This represented the third time in 2013 that rates were left on hold, while the current rate is the lowest since the peak of the Global Financial Crisis in September 2009, said Angus Raine, CEO of Raine & Horne.

    RBA Governor Glenn Stevens nominated a number of reasons for leaving rates on hold, including forecasts of below average global growth. While Europe remains in recession, the United States is experiencing a moderate expansion and growth in China has stabilised at a fairly robust pace, said Mr Stevens.

    Mr Stevens added that on the local real estate front, Recent information suggests that moderate growth in private consumption spending is occurring, while dwelling investment is slowly increasing, with rising dwelling prices and high rental yields.

    This is supported by statistics from the RP Data Rismark Home Value Index Release, which reported that property values across the combined capital cities of Australia recorded a 2.8% rise over the March quarter, taking the cumulative capital gain to 4.7% since the market bottomed in May last year.

    According to Rismarks Ben S