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How property search behaviour has changed during coronavirus crisis


  Demand for home offices, studios and granny flats have soared amid the coronavirus pandemic, as cooped-up house hunters seek out more space.   Separate areas in which to work and unwind became increasingly front of mind for renters and buyers in recent months, new Domain data shows, with searches for home offices more than doubling across several states.   House hunters were also increasingly on the lookout for balconies, gardens and courtyards and retreats, according to the keyword search data.   “That’s a result of being cooped up,” said Melbourne buyer’s advocate Cate Bakos. “We’ve had an enormous uptake of people wanting an extra room for a study or even having two studies, because if you’ve got two people working from home professionally and they’re both in a lot of video meetings it can be hard to work in the one space.”   Property hunters in Victoria, which has had the strictest s...


Rethinking your living arrangements because of COVID-19 crisis? Dont forget climate change


  Those rethinking their living situation during the coronavirus pandemic may be forgetting one crucial detail: climate change, experts warn.   The COVID-19-change has seen cooped-up city dwellers plan a move to the bush and beach, but new residents to these areas are at risk of getting stuck with a property that will become unsafe as the climate changes, Climate Risk director of science Karl Mallon says. “With sea-changes and tree-changes we need to think coastal inundation, bushfires and flooding,” Dr Mallon said. “If you grew up in one of those towns, you know where the flood zones are and how prevalent bushfires are, but if you move in you don’t. “It’s a known problem in the emergency management sector that the newbies are highly vulnerable because they don’t have the local knowledge.”   Dr Mallon has helped to develop tools to assess this risk. He says as climate change worsens, the risks will ...


Achieving a successful sale as pandemic and recession collide


    Before COVID-19 struck and the whole country went into physical distancing mode, the biggest challenge for the national property market was a glut of buyers and a scarcity of sellers.   As we emerge from the health crisis, the same conditions are apparent – but there is much more trepidation from buyers than there was previously.   As the country initially went into lockdown in mid-March there was a slump in search activity on realestate.com.au, but since the JobKeeper package and mortgage holidays have been announced there have been consistent week-on-week increases in the number of people searching for properties to buy.   As well as the high volume of general search activity, there has been a spike in serious buyer activity, which includes buyers who look at specific listings a number of times, look at the photos for a listing multiple times, save the property, share the property and/or make an enquiry with the agent.   ...


Three ways to take advantage of the coronavirus lockdown to prepare your house for sale


    Selling a house amid the coronavirus lockdown comes with some extra complications, but it’s not impossible.   Agents have adapted quickly to operate within the current legislation by offering private viewings. The most serious buyers are attending inspections and agents have more time to spend time with each potential buyer.   While the latest restrictions might mean some vendors put their plans on hold, other home owners don’t have the luxury of time.   Neville Katz, of Katz Vendor Advocates, has some clients who have to sell now including those who recently bought a new home and need to sell their old one, as well as separating couples and deceased estates. “People should just persevere trying to sell if they can get a reasonable price,” he said.   PS Property Advisory director and QLD spokesperson of the Real Estate Buyers Agents Association of Australia Scott McGeever says, even under normal circumst...


'Green shoots': early signs of recovery in housing market but risks remain


  Sydney’s housing market is showing early signs of recovery but not every city region will escape a fall in prices and some will emerge from the COVID-19 crisis faster, economists warned. Green shoots are beginning to emerge in parts of Sydney’s property market, suggesting doomsday predictions of a housing crash may have jumped the gun. Real estate experts said the same patterns that preceded prior housing market recoveries have been reoccurring over recent weeks. This included a rise in auction clearance rates, increased sales in the premium end of the market and a higher rate of sales inquiry.   The early signs of recovery pointed to a buffer for prices that would insulate the market from a collapse, although a return to pre-COVID-19 conditions could take years.   It comes as economists savaged recent predictions of a more than 30 per cent crash in values as “unrealistic” and failing to account for a major drop in listings, which has ...


Financial year end: It's time for property investors to think about depreciation allowances


  As financial year end approaches, many people will be considering end-of-financial year tax issues, so we believe this is a good time for investors to be thinking about depreciation on their asset.   It is important to know what you can and cannot claim as a tax deduction on an investment property. This is because the Taxation Office spends a great deal of time checking through investment property owners’ tax returns. There are some expenses you can’t claim. For instance these include stamp duty and legal costs associated with purchasing the property. Keep a record of these as they should be added to the property’s initial cost to determine a capital gain or loss when you eventually sell the property.   Tax deductions   If you have been thinking of making improvements to your investment property, it is worth remembering that repairs attract tax deductions against the year’s income. Ideally, you should not take action purely to...