Think Aussie housing has problems? Compare it to these rocky markets around the world

Australian home buyers are battling record-high mortgage debt and an affordability crisis, but are not alone.

In Victoria, legislation will be introduced this year to stamp out the scourge of underquoting. In Sydney, prices have dropped for the first time in three years, on the back of a boom, but a median-priced home is still out of reach of dual-income families.

But governments around the world have been confronted with real estate issues that make buying in Melbourne and Sydney’s property markets look like child’s play.

Here is how different cities have tackled competition, fairness and pricing in real estate.


New York, USA

The government introduced the Fair Housing Enforcement Program to flush out discrimination and ensure a level playing field for buyers of all ages, races, disabilities and economic positions.

Much as Consumer Affairs in Victoria is auditing results of auctions to identify suspected underquoting, the NYC governor’s office is sending dummy buyers into the market and analysing the results.

The testers, of varying appearance and financial situations, pretend to be looking to buy a home and document their treatment by agents. If discrimination is alleged, the agency is investigated and risks prosecution.


Vancouver, Canada

Suspected instances of “shadow flipping” – a term for when a property is resold multiple times, making profit each time for the agent – has recently been exposed.

A clause in selling contracts in Canada allows for a property to be sold again by the buyer before the settlement date.

The clause is there so buyers can back out, but some agents are abusing the system and are accused of hiking the price with each re-listing, pocketing higher commissions on every occasion. Some experts blame the practice, which is not illegal and exploits a loop hole, on pricing house-hunters out of the market.


Paris, France

To ease the housing shortage, the government is cracking down on Airbnb rentals.

Last months, officials raided apartments in the 1st and 6th arrondissements, following a similar sweep of Marais last year. The purpose was to find landlords who have been leasing their apartment, on short-term agreements, for more than the legal limit of 120 days a year.

Officials hope the audit will free up more properties for local renters who want to live in the capital – it’s a market that is difficult to get into. A recent survey found 44 per cent of Paris rentals on Airbnb are permanently available to holidaying tenants.


London, England

A new stamp duty regime was introduced in 2014, abolishing the “slab structure”, with sudden and sharp increases, which taxed properties by price band.

The aim was to ease the pinch of rising house prices for low and middle-income families by upping the levy for those buying luxury properties.

The government estimated that 98 per cent of home buyers in Britain would pay less stamp duty under the changes, and data showed that largely was achieved. Only those paying $1.8 million-plus for a home were hit with higher stamp duty.


Doha, Qatar

Since the country won the right to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the price of properties around the stadiums under construction – and neighbouring areas – has rocketed.

It hasn’t helped home owners – investors are building luxury properties, not family-friendly houses, in order to make the biggest windfall possible.

With soccer’s governing body in crisis and Cup voting under scrutiny, the situation was precarious – had Qatar been stripped of the event, amid a cloud of controversy, property prices around the new facilities would have plummeted.


Original article sourced from Domain News, written by Emily Power


Hugh Jackman splashes out on new beachside Bondi pad


Hugh  Jackman looks to be the new owner of a spectacular beachside pad in the Sydney suburb of Bondi.

The X-Men actor, who’s recently been spotted around Bondi Beach, has reportedly splashed out on a three-bedroom penthouse that looks directly out onto the ocean, according to The Daily Telegraph.

The penthouse, which sold for just under $6 million, is part of a new apartment complex designed by SJB Architects.


The large balcony, which connects to the living space inside, maximises the sweeping sea views.

The apartment is ideal for a celebrity with a direct lift into the apartment and two secure parking spots.

It’s also just one of six apartments in the entire complex.


But it’s not the first time Jackman and his wife Deborra-Lee Furness have dabbled in real estate in the past 12 months.

Last year they sold a two-bedroom apartment in Melbourne’s CBD, which they had owned for nearly 20 years.

They bought the home in 1997, when the Wolverine star was headlining Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard musical in Melbourne.

The Aussie actor also owns a sleek New York City bolthole, which is rumoured to have cost him $35 million about five years ago.

The triplex apartment in New York, which overlooks the Hudson River, is slightly larger than the Bondi pad, at a whopping 11,000 square metres that occupies three floors.


Originally sourced Domain News, written by Ingrid Fuary-Wagner


Feature Properties of the Month


13 Hooper Street, Randwick

We have selected the beautiful 13 Hooper Street, Randwick for our Sales Department feature property this month. For more information on this property, please contact James Ball 0410 740 349 or Shane Scicluna 0478 818 828. 


A brand new architect-designed renovation has transformed this Federation cottage into a stylish family haven on one of Randwick North's best streets. Just around the corner from Queens Park, the home spans three levels with a family focused layout featuring a choice of spacious indoor and outdoor living areas. Beautifully proportioned interiors blend classical elegance with high-end design and showcase exceptional attention to detail with custom finishes and a flexible floorplan perfectly suited to contemporary family living. Designed to embrace the outdoors, this private retreat is moments to Randwick North Village, Charing Cross Village, Clovelly Road cafes and top schools.


33/5 McKeon Street, Maroubra

From our Property Management deaprtment we have chosen 33/5 McKeon Street, Maroubra. A cute one bedroom apartmentby the sea. For further infomration on this property, or any leasing enquiries please contact Sabrina Aguisanda 0430 194 433.



Situated only 200m from the beach is a one bedroom apartment located on the second floor of a security building. This bright and modern apartment features open plan living and dining, north facing bedroom with built in robe, granite kitchen with gas stainless steel appliances, floating timber floors throughout, pristine bathroom with frameless shower and internal laundry. The building is well maintained and has lift facilities. This apartment combines peaceful living by the beach with a position close to local and city transport.

A Must Read from our Property Mangement Department


A renter’s guide: What to look for in a rental property


Choosing a home to rent can be a very personal decision and trying to decide if a rental property is suitable for you at an open for inspection can be difficult.

Especially when you consider how little time you have to look at it and with 15 or more other people viewing it at the same time too.

Avoid overlooking something as necessary as “will my fridge fit in the kitchen”, in the rush of an open house.

Make the most of what limited time you have to inspect a rental by referring to this simple checklist of practical areas to consider before signing a rental agreement.



Have a look for deadlocks, window locks and other security features. The level of security can make a huge impact on your insurance. Check before going to the inspection with your insurance company for what security features would make a positive or negative impact on your insurance policy.


Where can I store…

Storage can be expensive to buy if you don’t have enough of it, especially when you move house later on to a place where you no longer need it. Think about where you’ll store your bike, snowboard and book collection when not in use. Is there enough internal and external storage for all your important items? Also have a think about if there is enough pantry space, linen space and areas for you to store cumbersome cleaning items, like brooms and vacuum cleaners.



Some rental properties are likely to be rented just the way they are when you view them. If there is junk in a garden shed, or the garden needs weeding, ask the agent if it will be taken care of before moving in.


The hot & cold of it

Check the types of heating and cooling available. Find out which rooms it is available in and if it works. Should it not work, ask the agent if and when it will be fixed.


Measure the space

Measure with a tape measure the rooms. Ensure that not only will your prized designer dining table or antique bed fit in the room, but that you’ll actually be able to get it through the door.


Sparky & techy features

The location of the television antenna, powerpoints, telephone and Foxtel outlets can make a difference to the way you layout your furniture and electronics, such as computers and televisions. Make sure that you’re happy with the locations.


Will your white goods fit?

Check that there is space in the kitchen for your fridge, dishwasher and other appliances that you like to have out on the bench. See if your washing machine and dryer will fit in the laundry, or if they come with the property. If you like to drip dry your clothes and other items in the laundry, see that there is space.


Green thumb or not?

Have a look around outside in the garden and check what kind of maintainance is required. Ask whether it is expected you maintain the garden or if there is a gardener that comes around. If so, check what their duties are. If you happen to have a green thumb and want to set up a veggie garden, ask if it would okay to do so.


Are you a gas or electricity kind of person?

This really is a personal choice; some people prefer gas cooking others might like electric hot water. Whichever is your preference check what’s available and that your happy with it.

Other things to consider

  • Does the property have roller doors or shutters? Check to see if they are electronic or if you manually have to open and close them.
  • If there is car parking with the property check how many spaces. Have a look at the local parking signage, as you may require parking permits.
  • If in doubt about anything, ask the agent. Avoid making assumptions which may lead to a headache latter on.


Original source,


Local Events


Sydney Sailboat Expo

The Sydney Sailboat Expo will be held on the 9-10 April 2016 from 10am to 4pm at the International College of Management, Sydney in Manly! 
The Sydney Sailboat Expo is a meeting place for sailors, those interested in becoming sailors and the sailing trade industry catch up with each other and learn more about the sport of sailing. 


Anzac Day Dawn Service

The ANZAC Day dawn service at The Cenotaph in Sydney's Martin Place begins at 4.30am on Monday 25th April. Thousands gather in the pre-dawn darkness to honour fallen soldiers.
The dawn service includes a catafalque contingent, an Ode of Remembrance, Last Post bugle call, a minute's silence, a Reveille played on a bugle and the laying of wreaths.