A new normal for Sydney residential market

After the frenzy of the past two years the residential off-the-plan property market in Sydney has returned to a “new normal” says David Milton, Managing Director of CBRE.

While sales enquiries are up 11% since January last year, sales volume has dropped by 22% over the same period, as buyers are increasingly shopping around and taking more time to decide on a property and settle. 

“Supply in Sydney has peaked,” David says. “And what we’re seeing is people being more particular about what they buy.

“This is reflected in our enquiry conversion rate – to the end of May this year we had 20,569 net new enquiries and 990 sales. With 16 projects settled this year and 99% settlement rate I’m confident 2016 will be a good year for our residential, although with a more natural pace than previous years.” 

“Banks tightening lending for investors and the FIRB buyer restriction are also having an impact,” David says. “For example the percentage of sales to investors has dropped from 60% to 51% of total sales and the percentage of owner occupier purchases has increased by 12% in the past 12 months.”

The larger number of owner occupier buyers this year will drive demand and price increases for high-end apartments, according to David. “We have some exceptional prestige apartments launched this year including The Hensley in Potts Point selling for up to $32,000 per square metre, Essence in Double Bay nearly $33,000 per square metre and Iconic in Waterloo in excess of $25,000 per square metre.”

Although the cost of buying property in Australia has increased for foreign buyers and lending is more restricted, David does not foresee a long-term impact on demand from these buyers.

“There are some short term settlement issues with FIRB buyers, but longer-term they will find a solution. Offshore funded sales will continue to account for a significant part of the market,” he says. 

The way people approach and research buying a property is also evolving. While online has long been dominant method of buyer enquiry, social media is playing an increasingly significant role in settlements.

“Digital word of mouth and photo sharing via social media sites like Facebook and Twitter can have a huge impact on sales and developer reputation,” David says.

“I think you’ll find in the future, developers who don’t have a sophisticated social media and marketing strategy will suffer. WeChat is a crucial channel for the Chinese market and developers here need to have a strong and positive presence on this network.”


Original article sourced from MP Group International


Johnny Deep relists French Village for $55 millin, more than doubling the price


Johnny Depp is relisting his compound in the South of France for €50 million, or about $55.5 million—more than double its previous asking price.

The actor’s estate, a former village with more than a dozen buildings, first went on the market in June of 2015 with Côte d’Azur Sotheby’s International Realty for roughly $26 million. The listing was taken off the market after a few months, and is now being relisted with Rick Hilton of Hilton & Hyland and Michaël Zingraf of France-based Michaël Zingraf Real Estate. Both firms are exclusive affiliates of Christie’s International Real Estate: Mr. Depp sold eight works by artist Jean-Michel Basquiat through Christie’s for a total of $14.6 million in June. The actor is in the midst of a highly publicized divorce from actress Amber Heard.

Mr. Hilton said the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star thinks the property was priced too low. “Mr. Depp feels that €50 million is the appropriate price for this asset,” he said, adding that the property is ideal for a buyer seeking privacy and that several billionaires have expressed interest in the estate.

Alexander Kraft, CEO of Sotheby’s International Realty France, said the original price was already “ambitious” considering the “rustic” nature of the property and its location—roughly 17 miles outside the French Riviera resort town of Saint-Tropez.

In an interview conducted around the time the property was previously listed, Mr. Kraft said Mr. Depp had spent extensive time at the property with his two children and former partner, French singer and actress Vanessa Paradis.

According to Mr. Hilton, Mr. Depp purchased the roughly 37-acre parcel around 2000 and spent approximately $10 million restoring and updating its buildings. The estate centers around a village square, with a church Mr. Depp converted into a guesthouse; a former confessional is now a wardrobe. There is also a restaurant with a full professional kitchen, a laundry building and a garage, all made to look like local businesses.

The main house measures about 4,300 square feet, with five bedrooms and an art studio. A wine cave has a “Pirates of the Caribbean” motif, with skulls and brightly coloured scarves. There are also several cottages that are used for guests, as well as a covered wagon that Mr. Depp outfitted with a bathroom and kitchen. There are two swimming pools, as well as a gym and a skate park that Mr. Depp built for his son.


Original article sourced from The Wall Street Journal, written by Candace Taylor



Feature Properties of the month


Sales Feature Property - 106 Glenmore Road, Paddington


Unquestionably one of Paddington's most unique, substantial and prestigious residences, this newly completed masterpiece is set on an unusually generous 321sqm double-fronted dual-access block, no expense has been spared in the creation of unbridled luxury and comfort. Spanning three colossal levels with an internal living space of 431sqm, it's graced with multiple entertaining zones, a cinema, lift and rare four car garaging. It's surrounded by an array of wonderful galleries with the renowned boutiques of The Intersection mere moments away.


For more information on this property, please contact Mark Lowe on 0403 136 530 or Clint Ballard on 0411 426 600.



Property Management Feature Property - 3/54 Buckingham Street, Surry Hills


Capturing the essence of urban glamour, this industrial chic penthouse has been crafted to create a private inner city haven that's perfectly in tune with its dynamic surrounds. Two levels of living and entertaining space look out over the city surrounds with the upper level capturing views over Prince Alfred Park to the historic grounds of Sydney University. The crowning glory of 'The Buckingham', an acclaimed conversion of four private residences, natural light floods the 159sqm of living space with floor to ceiling glass, rare dual perspectives and views that come alive at night.

Rent per week: $1400

For an inspection or information on this property, please contact our leasing consultant Christy Nochar on 0424 753 307. 



Property Management - 8 tips for a winning rental application


Depending on where you live and what your budget is, the rental market in Australia can be pretty brutal.


If you show up to a rental inspection with fifty other people, you can’t afford to be cavalier about your application. If an agent is trying to choose between you and another application and they have their bond, first month’s rent and a list of perfect references you need to match them and top them.


Here are eight things to consider when submitting a rental application.


1. Make sure you have all the correct documentation


The real estate agent should provide you with a list of documents that you need to bring but it can’t hurt to be over prepared. In most instances you’ll need references, the completed application form, pet references if applicable, pay slips or proof of employment, photo ID and a cover letter. Make sure you have all of these documents copied and ready to submit to the agent because they aren’t going wait around while you duck to the newsagent to make a photocopy of your passport. Have everything copied, certified if necessary and organised into a folder that you can hand to the real estate agent on the day.


2. Save time & apply online


Forget printing, scanning, photocopying, stamping and walking to the postbox – fill in a single form that gets automatically emailed to the property manager.


Apply for as many properties as you like with one simple online form.

The best bit? Once you’ve filled in your details once you can apply for as many properties as you like – halving the amount of time you spend on each individual application.

Sending your applications online also means you can manage them on the go from any device.


3. Get your housemates into gear


Your housemates don’t have to attend the property inspection (although this is preferable) but you need to get their full and completed application and references. If you have a complete set of documentation for all members of the household you’ve got a better chance of being on the top of the pile.


Apply online straight after the inspection, and you can bypass the pile altogether. You’ll be sure your information won’t get lost or cast aside. Agents will be unlikely to waste their time chasing people for important information.


4. Be on time


This is a general courtesy rule but one that is applicable to all professions. Holding an open house is quite stressful and usually agents work solo in circumstances like this, so they’re very busy on the day. If you’re ready and waiting when they arrive they might remember when the time comes to choose a tenant.

Arrive early to the open house to make an impression.


5. Make your application as uncomplicated as possible


Only submit the necessary documents. It’s fine to have any additional documents you think you might need on hand, but only submit what the agent asks for. The 1Form application is the easiest way to consolidate the information that agents really need.


6. Be presentable at the inspection


You don’t have to wear a suit but it’s important to look presentable. It shows you’re keen to secure the property and that you’re taking the application process seriously. If you show up looking like you mean business, you could increase your chances of success.


7. Be reasonable & pleasant on the day of the inspection


Be pleasant – not pushy – to get in the agent’s good books.

If you’re the only people applying to live in the property, this could give you a little extra power to ask for repairs to the property or a reduction in rent. However, if you’re up against another dozen people who are also applying, you’re not in a position to bargain or be demanding. Being pleasant rather than pushy can put you in the good graces of the agent.


8. Follow up


If you’ve submitted an application and you haven’t heard anything 48 hours later, do send a follow up to the agent. Let them know you’re very interested in the property and that you’re happy to provide any additional information or references they might need. They may well be trying to decide between your application and another candidate and if they receive a pleasant message from you, it might just put you at the top of their list.


Original article sourced from Realestate.com.au, written by Carly Jacobs


From just-liveable dump’ to dream home: see this beach house’s beautiful transformation


Scott Simpson and his family had been living in Sydney’s ever-popular Coogee, when they were first drawn slightly south to the beachside suburb of Maroubra. “Maroubra offered good value for money. It had all the amenities we need, close to the kids’ schools, shops, transport, etc. It is a short distance to the freeway heading north or south so it’s very convenient,” says Scott.


The family of four (plus two dogs) felt that they had outgrown their first Maroubra home of two years when they started to sniff around for a new “forever” house, wishing to remain in the area. “We kept our eye on the market for around six to 12 months but only got serious once we sold our last house … from the sale of our last home to purchasing this home was around three weeks – so it was relatively fast,” Scott explains.


The Simpsons’ house-hunting strategy was always with the view to doing a major renovation or rebuild. “We had looked at homes that had been renovated and there were always things we would have changed,” says Scott. “In some cases it was possible to make these changes but others we couldn’t, so ultimately we decided that we would build to get exactly what we wanted.”


Describing their newly purchased home as a “just-liveable dump” complete with 70s shag pile carpet, barely two bedrooms and an original kitchen, the Simpsons knew that it was certainly not a home for their growing family of four.


The Simpsons wanted to create a home that was modern and practical and a place where they could entertain. “We also wanted a home that allowed the kids to have their own space and that would be big enough as they grow older,” says Scott.  “We had a good idea of what we wanted to have in the home and to a certain extent how we wanted it laid out, what we needed help with was dimensions of rooms and creating a practical home.”


Mark Wilson, of Danette Architecture, was engaged to help design the home, and for the internal living areas an interior designer was used.  “Engaging a good architect who we felt comfortable with was really important. We didn’t have any ideas as to how we could tie our home in with the adjoining semi whilst creating our own home. This is where the architect was excellent. He understood our tastes and gave us good ideas,” reflects Scott. “Lighting was another aspect of the home where the architect was very helpful. The LED strip lighting in the bulkhead around the living area is great. These lights provide plenty of light for us to watch TV and move around the living area but are soft and gentle at the same time.”


The site was an awkward shape, with a narrow street frontage, increasing in width to the rear of the property, due to an angled internal shared wall with the neighbours. The biggest challenge the family faced was the home being semi-detached. The neighbours had already put a second storey on so the Simpsons had to work in with that house. “Council were also a small obstacle,” says Scott. “The initial design of the front of the home was set further forward which was rejected by council, so we had to make a few tweaks to set the second level back in line with the neighbouring home.”


The whole project was 22 months duration from start to finish, and 16 months from the initial engagement of the architect to the builder starting. The house was almost completely knocked down with only two original walls remaining.


The house went from a very small two-bedroom, one-bathroom semi to a four-bedroom, three-bathroom house with large open-plan living and a smaller second living area. Key design aspects such as acoustic and visual privacy, fire separation from the neighbouring properties, a thermally insulated residence and maximisation of sunlight were all considered. Recessed window and opening reveals were achieved in the design, similar to brickwork, to provide depth to the facade and architectural interest.  The roof design, by using a timber framework to replicate the existing pitch of the dwelling, created high ceilings on the first floor and accommodates the tricky removal of stormwater on a long thin roof.


Not able to identify any one feature as his favourite, Scott is most proud of the fact that they ultimately achieved exactly what they set out to do: “To create a modern family home that we love to come home to, enjoy entertaining in and a place where the kids and their friends want to spend time in.”


Original article sourced from Domain News, written by Amber Creswell Bell





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Archibald Prize

Australia’s  favourite portrait prize – The annual Archibald Prize is judged by the trustees of the Art Gallery of NSW and awarded to the best portrait painting. The event is held at the Art Gallery of NSW from 16th July through to 9th October. For tickets, visit http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/exhibitions/archibald-wynne-sulman-prizes-2016/