Monday, November 24, 2008

The median Perth house price is now $435,000, compared with $472,000 nine months ago.

House prices, sales fall as gloom continues

Amanda O'Brien and Maurice Dunlevy

November 24, 2008 05:16am

THE once booming Perth property market has recorded its third consecutive quarterly fall in the median house price - a phenomenon not seen in 25 years.
read more here

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Home Loans and Pre-Approvals - where do you start?

That is a question that this homebuyer is wondering for the last two weeks since the announcement was made that the first home buyer grant has been tripled in some cases.

I dont want
1. Pushy mortgage brokers
2. Biased opinions of what's best for me when it's what is best for the mortgage broker
3. Recommendations from a friend who gets a movie voucher for baiting me to their broker
4. Bank that doesn't care about me
5. Asking for advice and in return being tricked into signing on the dotted line.

Is there a mortgage broker out there like that?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

WA Government Wants a Smaller Piece of your House

The WA Government has revised the "shared equity" program in which it helps low income earners buy a house during the housing affordability crisis. With interest falling and house prices down 10% from last year, there are new changes to this program to make it harder for people to apply.

Now, the government is only willing to buy 25% of your house, rather than 40%. The maximum price for the house is now $355,000 and single people seeking to access the scheme must now earn less than $50,000 a year to be eligible. The threshold for couples has been capped at $60,000 and at $70,000 for families.

So this scheme doesn't help this homebuyer.. anyone out there benefitting?


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

$426,000 is your average Perth Home now..

Nine months later... the Perth housing market has dropped 10% since December last year. The average house is now only $426k. Properties greater than $500k dropped 3% in the last quarter and it looks like the bleeding continues for the WA housing market.

Some factors that may show a change in fortunes in this current quarter:
  • Increased first home buyer grants by the Federal government yesterday. $14k for those looking for an existing home and $21k kickstart for those buying a new place.
  • No stamp duty for first home buyers up to $500k house in WA
  • Drop in RBA interest rate by 1% only one week ago.
  • Continuing healthy WA jobs market
These factors may affect the demand for housing in the coming month. If you have come across this blog in your search for a home in Perth, leave a comment. Whether you are a first homebuyer or UK tourist, or a Singaporean taking advantage of our low dollar... we'd like to hear from you.

$21,000 Incentive not good enough for First Home buyer Grant

The Rudd government has offered an extra $7000 for first homebuyers buying an established home and an extra $14,000 for those interested in buying a new home. Some articles have already slammed this idea as being inflationary to the housing industry, creating a bubble that will burst on the 30th of June 2009.

For a first home buyer in the Perth market, it will be interesting to see how the market reacts to this incentive. This weekend, either people will be rushing out to buy a house or maybe there will be no real effect. Personally, I am considering talking to a home loan broker or asking about a mortgage - not sure where to start. Perhaps a smart home loan broker will advertise on Facebook sometime soon... i would.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

WA not the place to build a house

The Housing Industry Association has again revised down its outlook for WA housing starts this year, predicting a 12 per cent drop during 2008-09, according to its market outlook report released today.

The agency was previously forecasting a 3 per cent decline in new home starts, but revised its position to account for interest rate rises, higher petrol prices, share market volatility and the global credit crunch.

It now estimates that 18,700 new homes will be built this financial year, which would lead to a shortfall of 10,000 dwellings.

Housing leases has dropped 21% from the figure last year!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

WA Home Loan Approvals drop 25% since January

Who wants a mortgage in WA? Perth is currently in Real Estate recession. Today's article said that home-loan approvals fell more than expected in June. Interest rates being the highest in 10 years has scared buyers out of the real estate market, making it more and more likely that the interest rates will fall soon.

The number of home loans, seasonally adjusted, dropped 3.7% in June from the previous month, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

"It's another sizeable negative number," said economist Matt Robinson of Moody's Economy.com, adding that home financing is now down by 25% since January.

Read more here

This homebuyer is holding his ground... and encouraging others to do the same :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Perth House Prices continue to fall another $14,000

From REIWA announcement:

Data released today by the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia show that the Perth median
house price has dropped a further $14,000 since March, while the rental vacancy rate has returned to normal for the first time in several years. REIWA's preliminary results for the June quarter show a 3 per cent fall in median price, pulling the metropolitan median down from $460,000 in March to around $446,000.

You can read more about it here

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

House search status: nothing

Happy Financial Year! Here's hoping the situation gets happier for home buyers as we celebrate a new year with cuts in stamp duty, reduced taxes and a baby bonus increase (not that I'm expecting). However, in the last five months of the last financial year, we have seen a dramatic increase in fuel prices, child care costs and the interest rate has gone up 0.5% as well.

Every time i visit a friend's newly purchased home, I inevitably come home and log on to RealEstate.com.au to check out what their area is getting. I've come to realise that probably the single most influential factor in home buyers are the people around them. That's how the mortgage brokers get business. People who buy a house are inevitably going to tell everyone within earshot (or facebook-shot) that they have just purchased a new home. After the usual questions of how much and where did you buy, the topic of which mortgage broker/bank did you go with?

Also the location where someone has chosen is also a factor. Some people choose Mt Lawley for the closeness to cafes, restaurants and a direct road into the city. Others prefer a new house away from the city centre, citing the proximity to schools and nicer houses as their reasons. Some are going with units in North Perth or Subiaco for investment purposes. For every person you talk to, your circle of knowledge about real estate and how that whole industry works is broadened. You're that 2c wiser. So a tip from someone who still hasn't bought a house, talk to everyone. People love to show off what they know. Some might even help you look for your house taking the ??? out of househunting.

With the passing of 30 June 2008, new stamp duty rates and REIWA cheering on how great things look despite everyone else predicting downturns... its Game On.. Round 2.

Perth Homeowners Urged to Sell, Sell, Sell

Things are about to get worse... that is the clear and unequivocal warning from Wizard Home Loans founder Mark Bouris has been quoted saying recently. People already struggling to repay their mortgages should look to sell their homes and downgrade before its too late. There are various factors that were outlined by Mr Bouris.

1. Interest rates are not falling anytime soon. The inflation effect on petrol and food etc will inevitably cause the RBA to consider slowing the economy through increased interest rates.

2. Refinancing fixed interest rates people who are on fixed interest rates are soon going to come out of their fixed interest rates and will have to find repayments worth 30% more than what they have been paying. This will no doubt shock many Australian homeowners who may have gotten into a pattern of expenditure that reflects their interest repayments and may find it hard to adjust.

3. Rising cost of living Even without the change in interest rates, people would already notice on FuelWatch that the petrol prices have gone up significantly.

You can read the article here

Meanwhile, the Housing Industry Association of Australia has said that demand for new homes has dropped 5% in May across Australia.
The largest decline in home sales took place in New South Wales, with a fall of 9.4 percent in May. Sales also fell dramatically in Victoria by 6.8 and 4.9 percent in Western Australia. This could be due to buyers waiting for the change in stamp duty which will drop stamp duty by 15% after 30 June.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Buying a house in Perth is getting cheaper..

It seems that the price for houses in Perth continues to fall.. most recently a report from RP Data and Rismark International shows Perth house prices dropped about 3 per cent on average during the first five months of the year, and dwelling values slid 1.2 per cent in the 12 months to May. Around the country, dwelling values rose 7.1 per cent in the same period, while house prices remained steady in the five months to May.

If you want a house in Perth, the median price is now just under $500k at $498,329, with Sydney ($570,803) and Canberra ($499,422) topping Perth. Both Sydney and Canberrra prices have risen nearly 2 per cent during the year.

Something may change come tomorrow as stamp duty is abolished on 30 June 2008. This may give rise to a rally in house prices in Perth.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

How Much is a Typical Average House on Sale in Perth?

According to recent statistics, the median house price in Perth is now $460,000, down $14,000 since the $474k record in December 2007. This is good news for house hunters but there is a question about how long this buyers market will continue. Rob Druitt, ever the cheerleader for rising house prices, believes that houses will start heading up once the new stamp duty laws kick in July and that many potential house buyers are sitting on the sidelines waiting for the right time. True.

However, there is also much talk about the possibility of interest rates going up to even double digits in the coming months! This will affect confidence in the real estate market as buyers think twice about tying themselves down to an interest of 10% upwards! We are talking about Generation Y who would continue to try live a comfortable life, even if it means rent or stay at home with mum and dad. Any reason to maintain status quo will be good enough. So how will the coming year wash up? I believe the house prices will continue to flatten out for the rest of 2008. But who am I but a man without a house :)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Perth houses drop most in Real Estate last year

From a recent survey... Perth house prices have dropped 1.1% over the past year, more than any other city in Australia.

CityMedianChange % (qtr)Change % (year)
Sydney$554,000-0.35.9
Perth$460,000-2.5-1.1
Canberra$445,000-6.86
Melbourne$432,500-8.413.7
Darwin$420,000 1.87.7
Adelaide$362,100 219.1
Hobart$335,000 1.513.9

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Perth Bed and Breakfasts

A Deloitte world survey has come up with a very surprising result about Hotel Occupancy rates. Apparently Perth has the highest hotel occupancy rate in the world! This has resulted in the Tourism industry asking WA homeowners to start up Bed and Breakfasts to cater for the increase in demand. Another option to consider when looking for a house investment or a means to get a little extra cash on the side when the mortgage gets tough.

WA homeowners called on to host tourists

21st May 2008, 6:15 WST

The Tourism industry has turned to Perth homeowners to host paying guests as demand for hotel rooms in the booming city exceeds availabilty.

Strong competition for rooms in the CBD means owners in the "right" suburbs could boost their incomes by opening bed-and-breakfasts, real estate boss Andrew Moore said.

More here

Monday, May 12, 2008

Unlucky 13 suburbs in Australia for investment

According to this news article, the following are the 13 worst places to invest in Australia. Real Estate is not an exact science and past trends dont necessarily indicate future performance but for what its worth, here's the list:

* Bankstown, western Sydney, NSW
* Blacktown, western Sydney, NSW
* Darwin, northern suburbs, NT
* Dinmore, Brisbane, Qld
* Esperance, southeast, WA
* Giru, north Qld
* Kalgoorlie, outback WA
* Katherine, outback NT
* Lyndhurst, Melbourne, Vic
* Mount Isa, western Qld
* Parramatta, western Sydney, NSW
* Shepparton, northern Vic
* Sunshine Coast, Qld

A Bank Stalks a Dragon: Australian homebuyers lament and shareholders rejoice

What do you think happens when one bank controls 25% of the home loan market in Australia? We are about to find out if Westpac is successful in taking over St George Bank. For those looking for a house in Australia, this could potentially be poisonous to the competitiveness of the Australian bank industry.

In Australia, there is a four pillar policy which effectively disallows the big four banks from merging with one another in order to ensure there is enough competition. However, they are free to consider smaller competitors but ultimately the Government does have a say on the matter and the country should be hoping that this recent merger proposal will be enough to awaken the new Labor treasurer. He has been often criticised for not being strong enough to stand up against the banks so it will be interesting to see how things pan out in the coming weeks.

Here is a recent article that appeared on the ABC News website:

Westpac St George merger will reduce Competition: Choice

Consumer advocates are concerned a proposed merger between Westpac and St George Bank would reduce competition in the banking sector.

If successful, the merger would be the biggest in Australian banking history, making Westpac the nation's dominant home lender with a 25 per cent market share and a 10-million strong customer base.

Shares in the two banks have been suspended this morning on the Australian Stock Exchange.

The offer comes little more than three months after Gail Kelly jumped ship from St George to become chief executive at Australia's fourth biggest bank.

(Extract from this article)

Sydney House Prices Bubble Bursts

HOUSE prices in some parts of Sydney have almost halved as battling borrowers struggle to keep up with increasing interest rates.

Rising interest rates, both from the Reserve Bank and those imposed independently by the banks, have been blamed for tipping the market over the edge and "pricking the house-price bubble".

Property auction clearances remained flat over the weekend too, with rates slipping below 50 per cent in Sydney and Brisbane.

Read more here: http://www.news.com.au/business/money/story/0,25479,23681230-5013951,00.html


According to the article, Parramatta, Merrylands and Punchbowl are the worst hit suburbs, losing over $100k on the sale of the property compared to their purchase price. It seems that the reason for the price drop is the over confidence buyers had in the property market. This is quite common as everyone sees the chart pointing 45-75 degrees towards lotsa money and forget that prices CAN come down (yes, even in real estate). Predictions are that it can only get worse with the increases in interest rates as well as the increases coming from inflation. Depending on the Federal Budget this could get worse.



Friday, May 2, 2008

How much was that housey in the window... yesterday?

There are realestate websites all over the place. They tell you how much the houses are right now but have u ever wondered how much they were before? That sort of information I thought was impossible to find. Then after googling my street, i found http://www.oldlistings.com.au/ ! What an awesome idea! They list all these houses that were on the market, when they were listed and how much they were listed at. If the house stayed on the market and relisted, they tell you how much was the first and second prices!

Not only that, you can also have a look at ANY street in that suburb for a more filtered search. Check it out. It seems to have listings from around the country. it seems quite comprehensive but if anyone else knows more (or a rep from oldlistings.com.au appears) feel free to shed more light. This has made real estate research more interesting... now to check out an example in Perth, let's go for a street in Mount Lawley http://www.oldlistings.com.au/real-estate/WA/Mount+Lawley/6050/buy/1/WEST

House prices on realestate.com.au vs First National

I noticed a house on sale at the First National website as selling from $425,000. Later I was looking at realestate.com.au and saw the same house at $435000-$445,000. I mention this here because many newbies like me are wandering into a market which we are not familiar with. We may know where to get the best Indian food in Perth or where is the cheapest place to get petrol (www.fuelwatch.wa.gov.au if you were wondering) but when it comes to house prices.. its another ball game. Sure we may save $3 at the petrol station with our fuel voucher but if you muck THIS decision up, it could cost you $25,000!

I can say that I am just sussing the market now to see what GAMES people play and this is one of them. Some will say it is because one is more updated than the other. What other tricks have you seen or do you know about? If you are a real estate agent with a conscience, but a reputation to uphold, feel free to post anonymously :) My Generation thank you.

Monday, April 14, 2008

WA leading in pull out of real estate

Good news for fellow homebuyers. The Perth market dropped 11.6% in Feb 2008 with South Australia dropping by 7.4, Queensland 4.2, NSW 3.9, the ACT 3.1 and Victoria 2.1 per cent.

According to the Master Builders Association, the drop in home lending in February is the beginning of further falls to come. Hopefully house prices will fall accordingly too.. sorry guys with houses, Generation Y desperation means your loss is our gain.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Look up Perth Bus Train timetable on Google Transit

Perth will be the first city in Australia to be mapped out by a website called Google Transit which overlays Google Maps with the public transport system in Perth. Effectively, you will be able to look up your location and your destination and Google transit will tell you which buses and trains you can catch to get there. For example, look up Fremantle to Subiaco and it will show you the route, the times of each bus arriving at your bus stop and the connecting train to get there (if necessary). This website will be available within weeks according to the news article here.

Keep an eye out at http://www.google.com/transit and wait for PERTH to appear on the list.


Taken from www.lifehacker.com.au this is what it will look like.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

House market downturn spreads - news.com.au

"The central bank today said the housing market has softened, with the top end as well as the lower end of the market now being hurt by higher interest rates after strong growth in prices in 2007."

More from this article here

Perth prices only went up 1.1% during 2007. There are also predictions that as soon as the US economic woes spread to Australia in terms of job losses, housing prices will fall. An expert last night on Lateline on ABC said that the reason house prices have not dropped are because this generation of Australians (thats us, naughty, cocky Generation Y) have never seen a proper recession and never seen house prices drop. Gearing themselves up for a home loan which requires 40% of their income to service does not phase us.. and that is the problem.

As soon as reality hits, prices will probably plummet.

For the time being its good to sit tight, avoid the share market, invest in a bankwest Telenet saver account (and get the $40 cashback ) and earn a guaranteed 7.75% interest until house prices drop.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

22 Perth suburbs $1m average price for home

PERTH is fast becoming the million-dollar city, with 22 suburbs reaching a median house price of $1 million or more, according to Landgate.

Most of the million-dollar suburbs are by the river or ocean and in the western suburbs. Jones Ballard Property Group director Shaun Yeo said lifestyle continued to drive the upper end of the Perth housing market.

"The growing demand for riverside suburbs by property buyers is underlined by the fact that the latest figures from Landgate for the past calendar year show the median house price in South Perth surged by just over 25 per cent,'' he said.

"This is during a period when the overall median Perth house price rose by 15 per cent.''
Agents say rising interest rates are having little impact on prices in riverside suburbs.

"Generally, the property buyers in these suburbs are in very well-paid employment or own businesses,'' Mr Yeo said.

Real Estate Institute of WA president Rob Druitt said he was not surprised by the high number of suburbs with a median of $1 million, considering Perth's growth in capital value in recent years.

"Perth is maturing and the economy is strong,'' he said. ``The top end of the market is strong and I expect that to continue.''

Brendon Ptolomey, Perth director of valuation firm Herron Todd White, said buyers continued to show preference for coastal locations such as Cottesloe, South Fremantle, Trigg, Sorrento and Hillarys.

Often when you look at the pictures of some houses selling for $1m or more, you start to wonder what happened to Perth.
And there is REIWA ramping up the housing boom as always... thanks REIWA, I'll remember you when I am living in a box under the Narrows Bridge.

The problem with the boom is that if you are not riding it, you are going to get drowned by it. As existing Gen X and Gen Y homebuyers in Perth struggle to put the money together, the increased interest in Perth overseas and over east is making the prospect of finding a house harder. Maybe I should just focus on growing what little I have for now and leave hunting for later..


Perth suburbs $1m average price for home

PERTH is fast becoming the million-dollar city, with 22 suburbs reaching a median house price of $1 million or more, according to Landgate.
 
Most of the million-dollar suburbs are by the river or ocean and in the western suburbs.
Jones Ballard Property Group director Shaun Yeo said lifestyle continued to drive the upper end of the Perth housing market.

"The growing demand for riverside suburbs by property buyers is underlined by the fact that the latest figures from Landgate for the past calendar year show the median house price in South Perth surged by just over 25 per cent,'' he said.

"This is during a period when the overall median Perth house price rose by 15 per cent.''
Agents say rising interest rates are having little impact on prices in riverside suburbs.

"Generally, the property buyers in these suburbs are in very well-paid employment or own businesses,'' Mr Yeo said.

Real Estate Institute of WA president Rob Druitt said he was not surprised by the high number of suburbs with a median of $1 million, considering Perth's growth in capital value in recent years.

"Perth is maturing and the economy is strong,'' he said. ``The top end of the market is strong and I expect that to continue.''

Brendon Ptolomey, Perth director of valuation firm Herron Todd White, said buyers continued to show preference for coastal locations such as Cottesloe, South Fremantle, Trigg, Sorrento and Hillarys.
 
 
Often when you look at the pictures of some houses selling for $1m or more, you start to wonder what happened to Perth. The problem with the boom is that if you are not riding it, you are going to get drowned by it. As existing Gen X and Gen Y homebuyers in Perth struggle to put the money together, the increased interest in Perth overseas and over east is making the prospect of finding a house harder. Maybe I should just focus on growing what little I have for now and leave hunting for later..

Perth top destination for Interstaters

A new poll has revealed one in five Sydney residents is considering moving to another city, with Western Australia one of the most popular destinations.

The latest AC Nielsen poll found 21 per cent of people surveyed in Sydney are thinking of moving to another city.

The poll conducted in February cited interstate job opportunities as the main motivation.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics data for 2007 showed 500 people move to WA from interstate every day.

The Chief Economist at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, John Nicolau, says the resources boom means WA needs more workers.

"When we look at our labour needs over the next 10 years we estimate we will need another 400,000 people in this state," he said.

ABS data also found young people were attracted by the mining industry in Western Australia, which has grown by 75 percent in the last ten years.

This article was taken from http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/03/03/2178306.htm

What is scary is that every day, 500 people are moving to WA from interstate! Where are they looking for a house? Where are they staying? If you just do a www.blogsearch.google.com on PERTH for the last week, you can get an insight from some of the people that have just landed in paradise. Perth is growing but the housing situation still stands as a problem that doesn't seem to be improving.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Perth Waterfront good for finding my new home?

Probably if I wanted to live in an apartment in the future, the Perth Waterfront project would be good. For those that don't know, the state government has come up with a plan to redevelop Perth's barren waterfront with a project that will look a little like this (details can be found at www.perthwaterfront.com.au). The project will probably inspire more apartments to be build inner city and with Burswood Entertainment Complex doing their own exciting work on the East of Perth, it could be a very exciting time for Perth in the future. No doubt this will increase investment in real estate in Perth and hopefully, the availability of property for first homebuyers. In the meantime we will continue to live the life of a spoilt Generation Y Perth young adult and look forward to sipping lattes on the Perth Waterfront wishing we had a home to go back to.


Housing Boom from Perth to Mandurah train line

The southern suburbs rail line has really changed the Real Estate market in Perth. Already all the suburbs sitting on either side of the kwinana freeway are averaging about $500k or more. One amazing thing about the new Perth to Mandurah rail line is that the train stops right under the Perth City Mall. It takes literally one minute to walk off the train and into the mall!
The new tagging system with the trains has made catching transport much easier, with people having the option of having their cards automatically topped up from their bank account when credit is running low for example. Also, the old system requiring ONLY coins was ridiculous. If you wanted to catch a train in a suburban station and you didnt have coins, you couldnt catch the train! Also, since you dont need to take out the ticket each time you validate it, there is less chance that you will lose your ticket home. I would definitely consider getting a place near the train line when I look for a place. The only problem with the system now is that criminals from other parts of the city have better access to the southern suburbs via the train system. However, the Premier of WA Alan Carpenter recently announced that vandals may be banned from the train systems. I hope this also includes burglars! The whole rail network is watched by CCTV so it is becoming a safer means of transport. More details about the SmartRider tagging system here and the
Suburbs to watch: In the southern suburbs, Cockburn seems to be developing into a Subiaco type suburb taking advantage of the train station and creating Cockburn Central right next to Gateway Shopping Centre which is already flourishing with a recent extension. As reported by www.news.com.au, Leeming is another suburb worth watching. See the article here

Is Perth safe? Crime in Perth

What is it that makes a house a home? One thiing I believe is feeling safe in the area that you live. To me it doesnt make sense buying a place in an area where you can't sit outside in your backyard without a genuine fear that someone will suddenly jump over the fence. Crime in Perth seems to be a big issue with WA being the capital for home burglaries. Car theft is quite prevalent but definitely not as much as smash and grab crimes. One thing I believe is an essential is to check out the crime stats for an area before moving in.

On crime in Perth, here are some incidents I have heard from people first hand (not in the news) or where I was the victim.
- One person has had their car window smashed in five times
- Three occasions where I have seen where at least three cars had their windows smashed in
- Car broken into two times (no window smashed)
- Break and enter into a house while occupants still sleeping.
- Break and enter where occupant was punched in the face
- Break and enter where occupant was at gunpoint
- Brick thrown into the window for no apparent reason


Real Estate Agents in Perth

Who have you used for your Real Estate agents in Perth? There are so many and one that has recently seemed to come out of nowhere is FRUIT. What a name for a real estate agency! Fruit seems to advertise heavily in the community newspapers unlike the big hitters like The Professionals and LJ Hooker (actually havent seen many of these around recently) and ... i can't think of another one. Come to think of it, much of the houses in the southern suburbs near rich Applecross seem to be sold by Fruit.. not sure why.
One thing that scares a homebuyer is the pressure and gimmicks that we suspect real estate agents are always up to. To be on top of the game, maybe you can share what bad or good experiences you have had with real estate agents in Perth? If you are a real estate agent yourself, maybe its not bad idea to leave a comment to tell us a few things your colleagues have been known to do. Maybe you will earn the trust of first homebuyers' out there like me. Who's first and in touch with the market?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Pre-Approvals first step towards a home

I heard that one of the first steps to take is getting a pre-approval. Getting a home loan is probably one of the most daunting tasks that a first homebuyer faces because you dont know whether the 25, 30 or 45 year marriage to the bank is going to be a good one or not. Sure, you can switch around but there has been a lot of talk about the costs of switching from one mortgage provider to another.

I’m told that the closest person to a friend in this process is a mortgage broker. Even then, many of them receive commission from banks etc for recommending them to you. They do disclose how much they get from the banks but even so, it makes you that much more wary knowing that he is being rewarded for his work. One thing I have noticed though is that because the industry is awash with such scepticism, a mortgage broker should do their best to win customers by word of mouth. If I were a mortgage broker, it may make sense to take the relationship one step further than offering movie tickets to anyone who refers them to someone else. Anyway.. this step is not for me just yet, I need to learn more general stuff about buying a house and hey, Perth property market is dropping so let’s just wait and see how low we can go.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Apartment, Villa, Townhouse or House?

The hardest thing about finding a house is starting. There are decisions you have to make such as what KIND of house do you want to live in? From what little I know, here are the issues

Apartments - are great for security, only people in your building can get in. There are not so many opportunistic criminals jumping the fence into your backyard when you live and the 18th floor of a residential apartment. However, there's the issue of privacy. You'll know when your neighbours shower, when they leave, and they'll know when you argued with your wife last night.

From an investment point of view, most apartments don't go up as much as houses because its the land that actually goes up, and when you ahve 100 people living on the same plot of land, any increase in value gets divided over 100. Northbridge, City and East Perth are squeezing in apartment buildings and you can get older ones in North Perth and other surrounding suburbs.

Villas / Townhouses - Heaps of these in places like subiaco, Mt Lawley, Leederville, Fremantle, and now in richer suburbs like Applecross and Mt Pleasant. Its the cheapest way to invest in (a fraction of) land. However, its not quite owning your own land. There are strata fees sometimes to be paid and your neighbours are just one step away from your half a house.

Houses - Great for families. But who can afford one now? Average house now in Perth is about $515k! You have the satisfaction of having your own piece of land and house but you also have to look after the garden, mend the fence and don't even mention the loan and mortgage repayments that will come with a fully fledged house.


Anyway, I cant decide whether I can be bothered looking after a house or whether the concerns about privacy will override laziness. :) Then there is the issue of raising a family. Many people think that getting an apartment etc and then upgrading to a house. Is it a factor is stamp duty going to up the price of such an upgrade?

So at the moment .. not sure what I want.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Perth... the paradise we never realised until now

The problem with living in paradise is that you dont realise it is paradise until it is too late. I am like many of the other first home buyers in Perth who are looking for a home. Like many others who grew up in Perth, we never realised that our home was so good. While we were plotting to leave the most isolated english speaking city in the world, there were thousands around the world plotting how they would get in.

The result? A housing boom that we've realised only too late!! I'm keeping this blog as I search for my home in Perth. I dont know where it is yet. I dont know when I will get it. I dont even know what the path is to a new home! Another wayward Generation Y who thought he'd get his house by working hard and saving for a deposit only to watch the world rush past and snap up all the houses in metropolitan perth. At this rate, this Gen Y may have to live in Mandurah... not that there is anything wrong with that! If you stumbled upon this blog and you are in the same boat, hop in and let's see where the current takes us.

21st February 2008. The journey begins.

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