Australia's new five speed property market

So remember how 2016 was meant to be the year the housing bubble started to seriously deflate? Well in the major city markets of Sydney and Melbourne little oxygen escaped with dwelling values rising more than 15 per cent and more than 13 per cent respectively.

The love affair with residential property doesn't appear to be over yet.

The yearly gains were boosted by a surge in prices over December after more modest gains in November - an outcome that few had anticipated.

With capital growth of still more than 10 per cent for 2016 calendar across the five biggest capital cities combined it's easy to see why investors demand for residential property remained strong - despite attempts by regulators to limit finance to cool demand and by banks to increase the cost of investor borrowing.

Factoring in gross rental yields and capital gains, CoreLogic calculates that housing as an asset class, earned a total annual return of 14.7 per cent based on the combined capital cities index results.

These returns would have been significantly higher for Sydney (19.2) and Melbourne (17.1). Putting this into perspective the average balanced superannuation fund earned around 7.2 per cent over the same period and the share market was up 7 per cent.


Five-speed market


The figures out paid to the Reserve Bank argument that the property market was experiencing a solid easing over the year and that its interest rate cuts it made during the year would not boost demand for housing.

But 2016 also crystallised the emergence of a five speed property market. Sydney was in top gear with Melbourne, Canberra and Hobart one shift down.

After that other capital cities, Brisbane and Adelaide registered healthy but more subdued growth of 3.6 per cent and 4.2 per cent respectively. And then there was Perth - down 4.3 per cent over the year.

Regional Australia limped along gaining 2.8 per cent across Australia but with patchy spots like Western Australia where mining towns home values sank like a stone.


Apartments struggling


The other aspect to the multi-dimensional property market is that the value gains in apartments were far weaker than in houses.

"Melbourne house values are up 15.1 per cent over the year compared with a 1.7 per cent rise in unit values, while Brisbane house values are 4.0 per cent higher over the year, with unit values falling by -0.2 per cent," CoreLogic said.

However the overall strong results for the year show that this housing cycle which began in 2012 is now longer and stronger than economists had expected.

The numbers show that since the global financial crisis residential property in Sydney has gone up by almost 98 per cent and in Melbourne by near 84 per cent.

The positive effects of this housing growth is that it has helped a construction sector pick up some of the slack caused by the end of the mining boom and it has undoubtedly contributed to the wealth effect of property owners and thus consumer confidence.

The average Sydney home owner say the value of their property rise by $10,000 each month, according to CoreLogic's Tim Lawless.


Affordability challenge


The most important negative effect is that it has locked so many would-be buyers out of the market as affordability levels are increasingly challenging.

And even for those that own their own homes the recent CoreLogic Housing Affordability Report shows Sydney dwelling prices were 8.3 times higher than annual household incomes and households were dedicating an average of 44.5 per cent of their income to service a mortgage (based on an 80 per cent loan to valuation ratio and the average discounted variable mortgage rate).

So how long can it last? The forecasters are now saying 2017 will be the year that the housing headwinds could get stronger. We are already seeing signs that banks are starting to increase interest rates on some loans but not yet for owner-occupiers.

But banks are quietly suggesting this will happen even in the absence of an official RBA rate rise. Some fresh supply in 2017 particularly in the apartment market will also place down downward pressure on prices.

None of this points to the property bubble bursting - but perhaps a bit more air will leak out in 2017 as growth in prices eases.


Originally sourced from the Sydney Morning Herald, written by Elizabeth Knight


Inside the Obama family's new Washington home


US President Barack Obama and his family will be moving to another house in Washington when they leave the White House in January at the end of his term.

Obama and his wife Michelle will buck tradition by renting a house in the US capital. Most former presidents have moved far away from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue at the end of their terms.

But the Obamas are staying in town so that their younger daughter Sasha can finish high school.

“We’re going to have to stay a couple of years in DC probably so Sasha can finish,” President Obama told reporters in March.

“Transferring someone in the middle of high school? Tough,” he said.

The 761sqm home the Obamas will rent in Belmont Road sold for $US5.2 million in 2014 and the estimated rent for the property is thought to be around $US22,000 a month.

The property is owned by former White House press secretary Joe Lockhart, who worked for Bill Clinton.

Built in 1928 the three-storey home has nine bedrooms, nine bathrooms, a large kitchen with stone benches, large living spaces plus as a well-manicured yard with an entertaining area.

The home has a separate ‘au pair suite’ which could become the home of Michelle Obama’s mother Marian Robinson, who has lived with the family at the White House.

The house is located in the upmarket neighbourhood of Kalorama, which has been home to several former US presidents including Woodrow Wilson, William Taft, Franklin Roosevelt.

The home has a gated courtyard and room for a watch house which is thought to be ideal for the secret service detail which Obama, like all other former presidents, carries with him once he leaves office.

The area is also to home to several diplomatic buildings in Embassy Row as well as residences for individual ambassadors including the French ambassador’s home in Kalorama Road.

The Australian embassy at 601 Massachusetts Avenue is just over four kilometres away from the new Obama residence.


Original article sourced from, written by Danielle Cahill

Sydney's Point Piper tops median value for houses in 2016


The eastern Sydney suburb of Point Piper topped the country in median value for houses in 2016, says CoreLogic in its list of Top Performing National Suburbs.

The suburb’s median value was $6,629,180 and there were 10 sales recorded.

Darling Point, another eastern suburb in the city, followed close behind with a median house value of $6,628,801, according to CoreLogic.

The Point Piper median came without the formal inclusion of the Altona sale as its price has emerged as $61.8 million, having previously been understood to be $60 million plus.

But as an example of the median, Property Observer found a five-bedroom house at 2 Wunulla Road, Point Piper (above) which was sold in March this year for $6,450,000 under the hammer.

Sydney dominated the top 10 list of suburbs with the highest median value with five of the top 6 spots. The only outsider was Melbourne’s Toorak.

The high median price was consistent with recent CoreLogic data, which showed dwelling values in Sydney and Melbourne are rising at more than 10 percent per annum.

The increase in home values has taken the total value of residential property nationally to $6.7 trillion at the end of October 2016, according to CoreLogic.

The most expensive house sale Property Observer found on RP Data was at 158 Wolseley Road. This seven-bedroom waterfront house from the 1890s sold in May 2016 for $21 million.

It was on the market for more than 300 days. To put things into perspective, the house last changed hands for jAnother high-value sale in 2016 was a five-bedroom house at 8 Wentworth Place, Point Piper (below) that changed hands in November for $9,100,000.

It last changed hands in November 1996 for $1.9 million.

The cheapest, still above $4.5 million, was a four-bed house at 4 Wolseley Road, Point Piper that sold for $4,550,000 in May.


Original article sourced from the Property Observer


Feature Properties


Sales Feature Property - 29 Samuel Terry Avenue, Kensignton


This gracious double-fronted early 1900s home has undergone an inspired transformation that retains the original fabric of the Federation residence while seamlessly fusing the old with the new. Designed to embrace the outdoors, an innovative glass-framed pavilion serves as a striking contrast to the traditional front of the home with a lush botanical feel and state-of-the-art kitchen creating a perfect environment for entertaining. Tucked away in a tree-lined avenue, this luxurious family home rests on a level 628sqm with grandly scaled interiors showcasing the visionary design skills of interior architects, Design Native.


For further information on this property, please contact James Ball 0410 740 349 or Clint Ballard 0411 426 600.


Rental Feature Property - 82 Liverpool Street, Dover Heights


Located in a sought after park-side address this fully furnished home is close to the coastal walk to Watsons Bay, Rose Bay village shops, prestigious schools, transportation, cafes, restaurants, Bondi Beach and other local amenities. The single level home offers effortless living with formal lounge & dining. Open plan family room/ study perfect for children or teenagers to retreat. Spacious kitchen with granite bench tops & dishwasher. Modern bathrooms, timber floors & ceiling fans throughout.

Rent per week: $2500


For any enquiries, please contact Matthew Wilson 0432 228 221.


Presenting the 10 most expensive listings in the U.S.


The luxury residential market may be experiencing a little bit of a slowdown here in New York City, but that hasn’t stopped billionaires around the country from listing their giant homes for equally gigantic prices. On occasion, these listings are snapped up quickly, as the Playboy mansion was earlier this year for $100 million. But often, they linger on the market for many, many months (or even years), until the owners finally budge and sell them for a significant discount.

In the meantime, we get to gawk at the listing photos. Below, the ten most expensive homes for sale in the country right now.


1. The Manor, Holmby Hills
Price: $200,000,000
Type/Size: 14 Bedrooms, 27 Bathrooms, 56,500 Square Feet
Address: 594 Mapleton Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90024
Current owner: Petra Blunt, previously owned by film/television producer Aaron Spelling
Details: The Manor in Holmby Hills is situated on a nearly five-acre lot and is one of the largest and arguably most impressive residences in Los Angeles. The French chateau-style home was designed in 1988 by James Langenheim & Associates. The current owner is Petra Blunt, who is the daughter of billionaire Formula One executive Bernie Ecclestone. She purchased the home in 2011 for $85 million, which at the time was the highest price ever paid for a home in the United States.

She then proceeded to carry out a lengthy renovation, hiring approximately 500 workers to construct a bowling alley, wine cellar, gym complete with massage and tanning rooms, a 7,000-square-foot master suite with a two-level closet, swimming pool, tennis court, and circular motor court with a fountain and enough space to park 100 cars.

2. Gemini
Price: $195,000,000
Type/Size: 33 Bedrooms, 47 Bathrooms, 62,873 Square Feet
Address: 2000 S Ocean Boulevard Manalapan, FL 33462
Current Owner: The late publishing executive William B. Ziff Jr. owned the home until his death in 2006. His family put it on the market in January 2016.
Details: The mansion comes with total privacy on Manalapan’s esteemed barrier island just south of Palm Beach. The property has five houses, including a 12-bedroom Mediterranean-style main residence designed during World War II, a seven-bedroom guest house, two seaside cottages, a property manager’s house, manager’s office, a PGA-standard golf practice area, regulation tennis court, half basketball court, playground, bird sanctuary, an indoor/outdoor pool room, Robinson Crusoe-style tree house and a garden with over 1,500 species of tropical trees and plants.

3. Great Island Road
Price: $175,000,000
Type/Size: 10 Bedrooms, 10 Bathrooms, 13,107 Square Feet
Address: Great Island Road, Darien, CT 06820
Current owner: Descendants of industrialist William Ziegler
Details: This property is a 63-acre waterfront island estate with East, South and West views of the Long Island Sound. The Italian stone manor house includes four fireplaces, a cabana, a guest house, views of a lighthouse, a secluded harbor in a hidden cove, a terrace, porch, French doors, considerable stable and equestrian facilities including a polo field and an indoor ring along with other dwellings, a beach house and a boathouse. It is located only minutes from Greenwich.

4. Le Palais Royal
Price: $159,000,000
Type/Size: 11 Bedrooms, 17 Bathrooms, 60,508 Square Feet
Address: 935 Hillsboro Mile, Hillsboro Beach, FL 33062
Current owner: Robert Pereira, the founder of Middlesex Corporation, a construction company
Details: As you can probably tell by its name, Le Palais Royal is a French-inspired palace that was modeled after the Palace of Versailles in France. It was first listed in 2014 for $139 million, but was taken off the market about a year later and returned in November 2015 with an asking price of $159 million. The palace has a 13-foot wrought-iron gate that is embellished with 22-karat gold-leafing; Versailles-esque waterfalls and a three-tier 26-foot fountain; a spacious salon with panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean; a fireplace; four Corinthian columns; elaborate hand-molded plaster and ceiling appliqués and five chandeliers.

Renovations are currently happening that will add structures to a smaller lot on the property. Here, there will be two 3,000-square-foot guest homes, a pool and an underground entertainment space with an ice-skating rink, go-kart track, bowling alley and nightclub.

5. Briar Patch
Price: $140,000,000
Type/Size: 10 Bedrooms, 9.5 Bathrooms, 10,300 Square Feet
Address: 90 Briar Patch Road East Hampton, NY 11937
Current owner: Education entrepreneur Chris Whittle
Details: The 11-acre Hamptons estate was listed in 2014 and is currently the most expensive home for sale in the Hamptons. The waterfront home is situated on Georgica Pond, which can be seen from the sizeable front porch. The property is composed of a 10,000-square-foot main house, in addition to a four-bedroom guest home. The main house was built in 1931 and recently underwent a two-and-a-half year renovation.

6. Il Palmetto
Price: $137,000,000
Type/Size: 10 Bedrooms, 14 Full Baths, 12 Partial Baths
Address: II Palmetto Palm Beach FL 33480
Current owner: Netscape Billionaire Jim Clark
Details: This house (and its infinity pool) is located on a 5.14-acre lot, which stretches from Lake Worth to the Atlantic Ocean. Built in the 1930s, the main house includes two elevators, a wine cellar made of carved limestone that can fit 20,000 bottles, and carved wood ceilings in the living and dining rooms. Clark purchased the home for $11 million in 1999.

7. Trophy Estate in Trousdale
Price: $135,000,000
Type/Size: 7 Bedrooms, 10 Bathrooms, 18,000 Square Feet
Address: 1187 N Hillcrest Rd,Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Current owner: Lebanese-British business mogul Gilbert Chagoury.
Details: This 2.5 acre property in Trousdale Estates is filled with decadent details, including gold leaf crown moldings, hand woven carpets, a swimming pool and 360-degree views of Los Angeles. Its current owner, Gilbert Chagoury, is a friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton, and has donated a considerable amount of money to the Clinton Foundation. After he purchased the estate for $15 million in 2000, he added Baccarat chandeliers and hand-woven carpets, which will be sold with the home according to the WSJ. The estate also has a giant pool overlooking the city and space to park up to 20 cars.

8. Rancho San Carlos
Price: $125,000,000
Type/Size: 12 Bedrooms, 10 Full Bathrooms, 3 Partial Bathrooms, 29,483 Square Feet
Address: 2500 E Valley Rd,Santa Barbara, CA 93108
Current owner: Jim Jackson
Details: This 237-acre estate is located in Montecito, where celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Ellen Degeneres and Jeff Bridges own homes. The property includes a 30,000-square-foot main house, 100 acres of citrus and avocado orchards, living rooms surrounded by a central courtyard, an underground badminton court, an English-style bar that can only be accessed through a secret door and upper terrace bedrooms. Charles H. Jackson Jr., a rancher, property investor, polo player and the grandnephew of U.S. President Chester A. Arthur and his wife Ann purchased the property nearly a century ago. It is now owned by Jim Jackson, Jackson Jr.’s grandson, who is selling Rancho San Carlos because his family is not able to maintain the estate. “It’s hard for us to let it go, but it’s too hard to keep,” he told the WSJ.

9. 834 Fifth Avenue #7/8A
Price: $96,000,000
Type/Size: 7 Bedrooms, 10 Bathrooms, 12,000+ Square Feet
Address: 834 5th Ave # 78A, New York, NY 10065
Current owner: Owned by the financier John Gutfreund until his death in March
Details: The most expensive listing in NYC is located on the seventh and eighth floors of one of the most exclusive co-ops buildings in the city. It has a wine cellar, a gallery, a “grand marble staircase” and an enormous master suite. It was initially listed for $120,000,000 in April of this year, but the asking price was brought down to $96,000,000 in September.

10. Pumpkin Key (Private island in the Florida Keys)
Price: $95,000,000
Type/Size: 3 Bedrooms, 3 Full Bathrooms, 1 Partial Bathroom, 2,942 Square Feet
Address: 10 Cannon Point, Key Largo, Monroe County, FL 33037
Current owner: Unknown
Details: Pumpkin Key is less than a 50-minute boat ride away from Miami. The 26-acre island includes a private beach, tennis courts that can also be helipads, a private airstrip, swimming pool, two cottages, and a boat captain’s apartment. The private marina has parking space for up to 20 boats.


Original article sourced from The Property Addict, written by Mary Elizabeth Andriotis

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