Pools more popular than a waterfront location when looking up property online

Swimming pools are among the most popular feature looked up by buyers when searching for property online, according to latest data.

A list of keyword released by realestate.com.au found pools ranked higher than a granny flat, a duplex and even a beach or waterfront location. It accounts for around 10 percent of searches on the property website compared to just one percent for recorded for those looking for a view.

Derek Taylor, acting State Manager NSW for realestate.com.au, said while location, number of bedrooms and bathrooms are the most important criteria when house-hunting, pools are also in demand. It also crosses many different markets and affordability, making it popular with a wider audience.

````It also goes hand in hand with our lifestyle and culture — people enjoy being by the water whether the ocean or pool,’’ he said. Australia has the highest rates of pool ownership in the world per capitia, around 1.2 million households.

Mr Taylor believes pools can be help sell a property, especially when comparing two similar homes. Professional photos are often used as the ``hero’ image when marketing a home online, particularly over the summer months, he said.


Even in beachside suburbs such as Coogee, pools are still considered a desirable feature. Clint Ballard from Ballard Property Double Bay said it can mean a ``sale’ or ``no sale’, particularly for families.

````People just love pools, it keeps the kids entertained,’’ he said.

````While you can add a pool, it can mean having to crane it in over the house - so many people will just choose to move instead.’’


Pools are also popular in areas such as The Hills where there is a large number of families, say local agents. In suburbs such as Bella Vista, there is an expectation among buyers that most homes will have a pool and it will be heated, according to agent Peter Iann from Ray White Castle Hill Among his listings is 15 De Villiers Rise which has an automated self cleaning pool with swim jets and water feature.

It is also centrally located in the middle of an outdoor terrace but also partly covered.

````It would be one of the more high end pools in the area,’’ Mr Iann said. ````Pools pretty much look after themselves these days and they add to the atmosphere of a property.’’ Some pools have been designed to rival even a five star resort with professional landscaping, outdoor kitchens and alfresco areas. Among them, 2 Aston Rd, Kenthurst which boasts a 13m heated pool, a glass sided spa, a wading area and waterfalls. It has been listed on the market for $6.8m through McGrath Rouse Hill. ````It is just breath-taking luxury _ it is not your average pool,’’ said agent Melly Yan. ````Everyone who comes to inspect the property just think it is beautiful.’’


Original article sourced from the Herald Sun


Ian Thorpe gets offer in LA


Olympic swimming legend Ian Thorpe, the five-time gold medalist, has an offer on his Hollywood hillside home.It came on its latest attempt at a sale.

The organic-themed two bedroom Laurel Canyon home came with a listing price of $US950,000. Now its US listing site suggests the agent was 'accepting back up offers', in case the current offer fails to proceed to escrow.

Thorpe paid $US879,000 for the Hollywood treetop escape in 2006 upon his initial retirement. He tried to sell it in 2013 with a $US999,000 price tag. It dates back to the 1960s as an artist retreat originally owned by actor John Compton. It sits high above the trees with two bedrooms, one bathroom, a breezy living area and kitchen and a wood-panelled office. All with views across the canyon.

The only hint of Thorpe's ownership is what looks like a framed photo of him in the pool hung up on the wall in the foyer. Nicknamed the Thorpedo, Thorpe is one of Australia's most decorated Olympians, securing five gold medals in the 2000 and 2004 Olympic games.  The property served as one of his overseas home bases as he tried to get back into competitive swimming before the 2012 London Olympics, however he failed in the trials.

His sale comes ahead of the touted exodus of Aussie expats and disillusioned Americans looking to pull up their American roots after Donald Trump was made President elect. Since the Trump vote, daily property searches for Sydney property from US IP addresses on realestate.com.au have jumped by more than 300 percent. Sydney has been the most searched for city, ahead of Melbourne and Adelaide. Most of the searches came from California and New York, both Hillary Clinton strongholds. Quick exits from the still troubled US property markets won't however be easy. 

Singer Delta Goodrem's Hollywood Hills home comes with reduced hopes. She first listed back in March for $US4.199 million ($AUD5.74 million), but the asking price has now been reduced to $US3.68 million. The multi-award winning singer bought the five bedroom, four bathroom home for a reported $AUD2.3 million in 2010. Located just 10 kilometres from the Hollywood sign, her house features her very own music room completed with a piano and drum kit. It offers views that stretch from the mountains to LA's city lights.


Original article  sourced from the Property Observer, written by Jonathan Chancellor 



Toga announces luxury development in Double Bay


Leading Australian property developer TOGA has today announced a luxury mixed-use development positioned on one of Double Bay’s premier boulevards.

The site at 16-18 Cross Street will be developed into THE HUNTER; a $50-million 13-apartment boutique-style development located opposite the iconic InterContinental Hotel.

Designed by Sydney-based architects JPRA, THE HUNTER will integrate luxury features typically exclusive to freestanding homes to form a new benchmark of apartment living in the bayside area.

THE HUNTER will begin sales in November.

At its base, THE HUNTER will be anchored by a ground-floor retail precinct set to provide sophisticated cafes, restaurants and wine bars for the suburb’s dining aficionados; a nod to Double Bay’s European character.

TOGA Chief Executive of Development and Construction Fabrizio Perilli said THE HUNTER would make an architectural statement and debut a new standard of living on Cross Street.

“THE HUNTER will create a luxurious haven for affluent purchasers looking to maintain a low profile yet live lavishly in the heart of Double Bay”, Mr Perilli said.

“Our vision for THE HUNTER is to create luxury apartment living akin to the style of urban living preferred in Paris, London or New York,” he said.   

“We worked with award-winning architects to deliver a unique design that integrates bespoke crafted finishes into each carefully-articulated residence.

With a 53-year track-record in residential, retail and hotels, our desire is to create a gold standard of living that we can hang our hat on for the next 50 years,” Mr Perilli said.

The contemporary terraced facade will feature playful planting and shuttered balconies above the retail precinct to create a European-inspired connection between the private and public domain.

“THE HUNTER will enhance the urban fabric of Double Bay’s north precinct as well as meet the future needs of the community by adding diversity to the suburb’s dining scene,” Mr Perilli added.

By balancing the suburb’s retail offering, THE HUNTER’s retail precinct was conceived to restore equilibrium to Double Bay following the Kiaora Lands redevelopment which has concentrated the suburb’s foot-traffic to the south of New South Head Road.

THE HUNTER will also feature a penthouse on the top-floor; set to sprawl a generous 333sqms and offer north-facing district views. 

TOGA General Manager of Sales, Marketing and Property Management Alex Adams said THE HUNTER would unlock a new level of prestige within Double Bay’s tightly held enclave.

The six-storey development will include a mix of one, two and three bedroom apartments.

“The scarcity of luxury new residences in the heart of Double Bay defines the exclusivity of this opportunity,” Mr Adams said.

“We have every confidence that THE HUNTER will occupy a sweet spot in Double Bay’s market and address the gap between luxury freestanding homes and more mid-tier apartment residences.

THE HUNTER will be a personalised address for a handful of buyers seeking apartment living endowed in prestige, exclusivity and privacy,” Mr Adams said.

“We expect the development to be popular with discerning downsizers,” he added.

Located at 16-18 Cross Street, THE HUNTER will be located less than four kilometres from the Sydney CBD and a short walk from the heart of Double Bay including parkland at the water’s edge, ferry transport and Edgecliff station. 

The announcement follows a year of success for TOGA including the sell-out of all 192-apartments at its $160 million tower One Twenty Macquarie in Macquarie Park and the one-stage delivery of the 448-apartment Highpoint Hurstville masterplan located in Southern Sydney. 

The retail activation at THE HUNTER’s ground-level will be benchmarked by the calibre of TOGA’s other retail successes including The Hub at Bondi Beach which is tenanted by renowned restaurants including A Tavola, Da Orazio, Gelato Messina, Papa Pasticceria, China Diner, Bills and more.

Construction at THE HUNTER is scheduled to commence in mid-2017 with completion expected in early-2019.


Original article sourced from the MP Report



November Feature Properties


Sales Feature Property – 37a Caledonia Street, Paddington


Considered design, a timeless natural palette and unexpectedly spacious layout combine in this Paddington terrace to create a luxurious family haven between Oxford Street's retail hub and Woollahra village. Designed to take full advantage of its northerly aspect, sunlight streams into the interiors with a central courtyard creating a dramatic focal point and defining the two living zones. Spread over three levels, the 6m fronted home features internal access to double garaging and is a short walk to cosmopolitan village life, schools and Centennial Park.


For more information on this property, please contact Mark Lowe 0403 136 530 or Ryan Smith 0413 811 013.



Rental Feature Property – 40 Carr Street, Coogee


Combined creativity has brought out this stunning home with a prominence on indoor and outdoor areas flowing seamlessly together. All living areas face due north with Bi Fold Cedar Doors and remote external shutters creating plenty of adjustable light throughout the year, including flawless light features from designers Adam Cruickshank and Christopher Boots.

The wealth of modern and fresh materials used to design this masterpiece blend together to create a wonderful ambience rarely found in modern homes today. Spanning over three levels this near new home is ideal for families. With four bedrooms, three bathrooms, powder room, two large living areas, and two lock up garages with side drive access to accommodate up to four vehicles in total.

The top level also referred to as the adults retreat boasts a large master bedroom with balcony, Carrara marble throughout, dressing room and large walk in wardrobe with shoe closet.


Rent per week: $3,500


Please contact Helena Colnaric 0418 808 778 for more information or an inspection. 



Agents to face new laws and requirements in 2017


Agents in New South Wales will face a raft of new educational requirements, increased fraud prevention measures and greater scrutiny after the government released its reform paper, which aims to “strengthen industry standards and better protect consumers”.

The NSW government over the weekend released its Real Estate and Property Services Industry Reform Paper which has a strong focus on raising training standards, increasing transparency and accountability, and strengthening trust account processes.

Key reforms include:

  • Increasing the certificate of registration qualification from the current four units of competency to seven units;
  • A mandatory practical experience component for certificate holders and licensees;
  • The creation of a new licence category of ‘licensee in-charge’. These agents will be required to oversee trust accounts, properly supervise agents and ensure the agency remains compliant with the law. Applicants will need two years’ practical experience and the completion of a diploma-level of qualification;
  • New fraud prevention measures which will require agents to transfer rental income out of trust accounts at the end of each month; and
  • Giving NSW Fair Trading greater investigative powers to tackle rogue agents.

Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Victor Dominello said consumers needed greater protections and these proposed new laws would be a significant change.

“Purchasing or selling a property is often a life-changing decision and consumers need certainty that suitably qualified agents are managing this process,” Mr Dominello said.

“This is the most significant review in 20 years and the profile of the property sector has changed considerably over that period. We need modern laws that reflect these changes and improve consumer confidence.”

REINSW president John Cunningham said the reforms were a giant step forward for the profession. He said the institute had been lobbying the government to take action for some time.

“For too long, people have been able to enter the profession with a minimum level of education that is totally inadequate for the important role real estate professionals play in people’s lives,” Mr Cunningham said.

The reforms follow extensive public consultation and collaboration with industry stakeholders, the minister’s department said. 

Mr Cunningham said the REINSW will be making a submission of support for all the reforms.

“We encourage the public and other industry bodies to get behind these reforms which will undoubtedly help improve what is the most significant industry in the NSW economy.”

Legislation to implement the reforms is expected to be introduced to parliament in the first half of 2017.


Original article sourced from REB, written by Vivienne Kelly


Local Events


The Lights of Christmas – St Mary’s Cathedral


Celebrate the joy of Christmas at The Lights of Christmas at St Mary’s Cathedral. The theme for 2016, is ‘Joy to the World’ and will feature an extraordinary animation of the timeless Christmas tale. The event will run from 8th December until 25th December, including Christmas night. The light show will begin just after dusk and ending just after midnight.

For more information, please visit  http://lightsofchristmas.com.au/



Carriageworks Twilight Christmas Markets


The Carriageworks Christmas Markets are back! Giving you the opportunity to buy fresh seasonal produce and gifts only two days before Christmas. The fresh produce includes turkeys, seafood, hams, fresh fruit and chesses. The markets will be held on 23rd December 4 – 9pm. You will be able to find more details at http://carriageworks.com.au/events/carriageworks-christmas-market/