Blog


What's driving the Australian renovation frenzy?


A bathroom renovation – or a trip to Paris and Rome? Taking the kids on a dream holiday to Disneyland – or new kitchen benchtops, splash-backs and cabinet doors?   Pre-COVID-19, many of us wouldn’t have thought twice before buying the tickets and packing our bags. Today, in the absence of that choice, we’re in the midst of a record renovation frenzy, with our spending up an estimated 10 per cent on even last year’s mega $37.5 billion cash splash, according to the Housing Industry Association (HIA).      We’re spending even more on renovating this year than we did last year. Photo: iStock   “This year is going to be another record renovation spend,” said HIA chief economist Tim Reardon. “It’s a lot to do with COVID and people seeking more living spaces and working from home and, because of the pandemic, not being able to move home as much.   “We also haven’t had as much househo...


The Aussie suburbs where million-dollar home values have catapulted


The number of Australian homes valued at a million dollars or more has skyrocketed over the past year, and while seven-figure price tags were once reserved for affluent, inner-city suburbs, a COVID-led lifestyle shift has caused prices in some lesser-known areas to surge.    New analysis of Australian property valuations from realestate.com.au shows many outer metropolitan and regional suburbs within commuting distance to capital cities experienced huge jumps in million-dollar home values in March 2021 compared to the previous year.   Major changes to the way people work on the back of COVID-19 shutdowns have driven Australia’s biggest regional shift in recent times, dramatically pushing up property prices in some areas, according to realestate.com.au economist Anne Flaherty.   “We’ve seen a big change in what buyers are looking for during COVID. We’ve seen very strong demand for properties in regional and scenic areas, driven...


Financial support, eviction protections urged for renters amid Sydney lockdown


Swift support and protections will be needed to help tenants through Sydney’s second lockdown. Photo: iStock   Sydney tenants are at risk of falling behind on their rent amid the city’s latest lockdown, with renters’ groups particularly concerned for how income losses will affect those already trying to pay off deferred rent from last year.   Swift financial support and protections will be needed to help tenants through Sydney’s second citywide lockdown, with renters now more vulnerable than they were last year – many casual workers already burning through savings to get through 2020.   Thousands of renters have already sought advice on the Tenants’ Union of New South Wales website, since Greater Sydney, the Central Coast, Blue Mountains and Wollongong went into lockdown on Saturday, said chief executive officer Leo Patterson Ross, with renters more likely to be in casual employment in hard-hi...


When is the best time to sell your home (statistically)?


New analysis of realestate.com.au data reveals that the end of the year is the best time to sell your property – but the benefits vary significantly by region.   Spring, autumn, summer or winter? It’s one of the biggest questions that plagues would-be sellers – when is the best time to sell my home?   Analysis isolating the effect of sale month from other features that affect price reveals that properties sold in November receive the highest average prices. Across Australia, sales in November have been almost 6% higher than those in January, the statistically cheapest month.   This suggests the end of the year is the best time to sell your home: October, November and December.     But where your property is matters. Time of sale matters the most in Sydney, Melbourne and in Hobart. In these cities, choosing the right time to sell can bring  higher sales prices of 10 per cent or more.       There are a few reas...


Australia still in a property boom as values rise by 2.2 per cent in just one month


Australia’s property boom has picked up pace again, with national housing values rising 2.2 per cent in May, new data shows.   House prices in Byron Bay are close to those of Sydney. Photo: BeyondImages   The latest Core Logic Home Value Index, released earlier this month, revealed the “extreme” results – including rises of more than 3 per cent in Sydney and Hobart in the space of just one month – and a bounce back from April when the market showed early signs of a slow-down.   Corelogic research director Tim Lawless said while the results were not as record-breaking as the peak in March, they were still impressive and spoke to the strength of the boom conditions. “We’re still seeing it’s not quite as rapid as it was in March, but 2.2 per cent is still extreme especially when you consider wages are rising by 1.5 per cent per annum,” Mr Lawless said.   Median house values were up...


A go-to guide to growing winter vegetables


This winter, a sun-doused balcony or courtyard could be the start of a cute and compact garden as well as an exciting and reliable source of daily greens.   Don’t be deterred by the cooler mornings setting in – cool-season annuals are good to go in the ground from late summer to the final weeks of autumn. The optimum planting time depends on your climate zone which, of course, determines the soil temperature below ground. This forms the foundation of what to plant and when.   Melbourne and Sydney have similar climate attributes, Brisbane is subtropical and inland regional areas around these coastal cities are obviously on the cooler side, thanks to those crispy frosts.   Learning what to plant and when takes time and curiosity, so grab a quality planting/sowing guide or, at least, check the back of the seed packet for a general guide.   The optimum planting time depends on your climate zone which, of course, determines the soil tempe...