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Accelerating Dreams of Property Ownership since 1992

Busy month for property news!

Over the last month we have had a Federal budget and a State budget. In this months newsletter we summaries the changes, provide our normal property insights and our tip of the month is focused on depreciation schedules for our investors.
 
We also would like to advise that Buyers Advocate is moving. After 15 years in Hawthorn we have purchased an office in Kew. We will be moving on the 12th June 2023. All contact numbers, emails and our high service standards will remain the same.
 
We hope you enjoy this months newsletter.
 
Budget impact on property
 
Federal Budget

 
Amid a national rental crisis, fast recovering population growth, and constrained housing supply, measures to address the housing shortage and worsening affordability featured prominently in this year’s budget.
 
Increased assistance payments for low-income renters, measures to boost rental supply and measures to increase construction of social and affordable rental housing are the big-ticket items. 
 
The only sustainable solution to the rental crisis is increasing rental supply.
 
Building approvals have fallen sharply over the past year are now sitting at decade lows, led by a significant 46% year-on-year drop in approvals for private sector apartments, especially larger builds. 
 
Industry challenges, higher construction costs and labour shortages are set to see growth in the supply of new rentals remain limited, at a time when there is already a severe shortage of available rentals. 
 
An increase to the available pool of long-term rentals could come from increased activity from both small and large-scale investment. 
 
Last year’s budget announcement, the Housing Accord aims to build one million, new, well-located homes over 5 years from 2024.
 
This budget aims to help achieve this by incentivising an increase in the supply of rental housing by reducing barriers to entry and tax disincentives for large scale investment via the build-to-rent sector. 
 
Build-to-rent is a real estate development model where a property is constructed specifically for the purpose of renting it out, often with long-term leases and professional property management.
 
The budget states industry estimates that cutting taxes on build-to-rent developments could lead to an increase of 150,000 new rental properties over the next 10 years.
 
The government also announced an extra $2 billion to lower the cost of construction of social and affordable dwellings.
 
The government has also expanded the eligibility criteria for the First Home Guarantee, and the Regional First Home Buyer Guarantee.
 
Victorian State Budget
 
One of the key pieces in Victoria’s State Budget announced recently, was an increase in land tax on investment property. The existing land tax structure will be adjusted to catch more property investors, secondary property owners (holiday homes) and increase the take from those already paying it.
 
Land tax is assessed on a multiple holding basis within each state so if you own multiple properties that attract land tax in Victoria, the amount is assessed on the total land value.
From 1st Jan 2024, the land tax free threshold will drop from $300,000 to $50,000. Also, if the land value of your investment property is already over $300,000, you will pay a higher amount of land tax.
 
Also, the absentee investors (foreign owner) surcharge is increasing from 2% to 4%.
 
For land values over $300,000, land tax is calculated on a sliding scale where the existing land tax will increase by an additional $975 plus 0.1% of the land value over $300,000.
 
Property investors incurring a new or additional land tax will need to decide if they,
1.           Pass on the extra cost to renters
2.           Absorb the cost or
3.           Something in between.
 
At a broader market level, the additional tax will make some investment owners think about selling. It will also discourage potential investors to buy. Consequently, it will reduce the total pool of rental property available. Consequently, market rents will be pushed higher, regardless of investors decision to pass on the increase or not. Supply and demand is a much more powerful market force.
 
Whist in may seem unfair, it is inevitable renters will pay most of this tax by way of higher rent. Given the rental market is already tight and living costs are rising, this extra cost that will hit renters pockets is very unfortunate and (I assume) an unintended consequence of the impost intended for investment owners.
 
In better news for commercial property investors the stamp duty is being abolished and replaced with an annual property tax.
 
The first purchaser of a commercial property after 1 July 2024, will be able to choose to either pay the property’s final stamp duty liability as an upfront lump sum, or pay fixed instalments over 10 years equal to stamp duty and interest with a government-facilitated transition loan.
 
Once a property enters the new system (being sold after 1 July 2024), stamp duty will no longer be payable on a transaction and the new annual property tax will be payable from 10 years after the transaction. The annual tax will be set at a flat 1 per cent of the property’s unimproved land value.
 
These arrangements will not apply to the current owner of any commercial property purchased prior to 1 July 2024.

Insights

Source: Corelogic May 2023

According to CoreLogic’s Research Director, Tim Lawless, it is becoming increasingly clear the housing market has moved through an inflection point. “Not only are we seeing housing values stabilising or rising across most areas of the country, a number of other indicators are confirming the positive shift. Auction clearance rates are holding slightly above the long run average, sentiment has lifted and home sales are trending around the previous five-year average,” he said.

The more positive trend in housing values comes amid a worsening imbalance between supply and demand. “A significant lift in net overseas migration has run headlong into a lack of housing supply. While overseas migration would normally have a more direct correlation with rental demand, with vacancy rates holding around 1% in most cities, it’s reasonable to assume more people are fast tracking a purchasing decision simply because they can’t find rental accommodation,” Mr Lawless said.

Each month the CoreLogic Research team puts together a Housing Chart Pack, with all the latest stats, facts and figures on the residential property market, such as the combined value of residential real estate, sales volumes, and the trend in new listings.

Here are this month’s highlights*:

  • National home values rose 1% in the three months to April. This marks the first quarterly lift in home values since May 2022.
     
  • The combined capital cities dwelling market value rose 0.7% in the month of April, following a 0.8% lift in March. This takes dwelling values 1.4% higher from a trough in February this year.
     
  • The high end of the Sydney housing market is currently leading capital growth, up 4.0% for the three months to April.
     
  • The number of sales trended seasonally lower through April, with CoreLogic estimating 35,398 sales in the month nationally. However, sales are fairly on-par with what is typically observed this time of year.
     
  • The amount of time it takes to sell property is starting to pivot. Median days on market nationally is down to 33 in the three months to April. This has fallen from 37 days in the three months to February.
     
  • At the median level, vendors are now offering less of a discount on their property across the combined capital cities market. The median vendor discount across the combined capital cities has eased from -4.35% in the September quarter of 2022, to -3.88% in the three months to April 2023.
     
  • In the four weeks to 7 May 2023, the volume of new listings totalled 31,356 nationally. New listings have seen a slight uptick following a string of public holidays, but are likely to trend seasonally lower through the cooler months of the year.
     
  • The combined capital cities clearance rate averaged 65.2% in the four weeks ending 30 April 2023. While this was a much stronger result than in the final weeks of 2022 (averaging 55.1%), the combined clearance rate average did drop slightly on the previous four-week period (65.4%).
     
  • Annual growth in rent values held steady on the previous month, at 10.1%. Across the combined capital cities, rent values rose 11.7% in the past 12 months, which was the highest annual increase on record.
     
  • Gross rent yields were fairly steady over the month at 3.9%, however yields have risen from 3.2% in the same month last year. Gross rent yields in April were highest in resource-based markets of Darwin, regional NT and regional WA.
     
  • New housing finance secured totaled $24.0 billion in March, posting a strong monthly increase of 4.9% nationally. This is the first monthly rise since January last year, and follows more positive data flows on home values and sales volumes through March.
     
  • The value of first home buyer finance rose 12.3% through March. First home buyer finance accounted for 24.7% of owner-occupier finance in the month, which is above the decade average of 23.7%.

Property Management Update 

Annual growth in rent values held steady on the previous month, at 10.1%. Across the combined capital cities, rent values rose 11.7% in the past 12 months, which was the highest annual increase on record.

Gross rent yields were fairly steady over the month at 3.9%, however yields have risen from 3.2% in the same month last year. Gross rent yields in April were highest in resource-based markets of Darwin, regional NT and regional WA.

Source: Core Logic

End of Financial Year is fast approaching, if your property manager has advised you of any maintenance items that need to be addressed, now is a good time to have it attended to.

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT TIP FOR RESIDENTIAL RENTAL PROVIDERS & RENTERS

As the cold weather sets in, removing dampness and humidity in your home is the key to stopping mould.  Here are some handy hints:-

Mould prevention tips
Reduce moisture:

  • Use a lid on saucepans to keep the steam inside.
  • Use exhaust fans where possible
  • Dry your washing outside if possible.

Ventilate:

  • Open windows/doors to outside and air all rooms regularly.
  • When it’s a sunny day, open blinds & curtains to allow as much sunlight as possible
  • When it’s wet or humid, consider putting the air conditioner on a dry cycle.

Bathroom:

  • When showering, always use the exhaust fan and keep the door closed. If you don’t have an exhaust fan, open the window.
  • Exhaust fan should be left on for 15-20 minutes after showering with the door closed.

Laundry:

  • Have your exhaust fan on while using your washing machine and dryer. If you don’t have an exhaust fan, open a window / door.

Bedrooms & living rooms:

  • Move furniture away from the walls slightly to leave room for airflow.
  • Use absorbent beads to soak up extra moisture in wardrobes and other areas.
  • Reduce the number of indoor plants as they can cause for mould growth.

If you are unhappy with the level of service you are receiving from your current Property Manager, have a chat to Rachel or Liz. It may be time for a change. If you would like a confidential chat, please contact us (03) 9818 4499.

Property Purchases

Although supply has been very low, we have continued to deliver great results for our clients. Here are a few below:

Downsizer- South Melbourne 

Purchased at auction for a lovely family, helping their mother to downsize to a well-suited home only a short distance to the daughter. Competing against another buyer who was equally emotionally invested in the property; it was a great outcome to secure this beautiful home.

SMSF Investment Glenroy

We were able to secure a great investment property for a client without the normal competition. The vendors had a genuine reason to sell early in the campaign so we swooped and manage to buy the property before the first open. We also were able to buy subject to a building inspection in the 3 day cooling off period which was completed over the weekend to give our client complete piece of mind. A great result and one that could not be achieved without our agency relationships which gave us valuable information and insights to act quickly.

 1st Time Investor Glenroy

A chilly wind whipped through Glenroy at the commencement of this Auction, with a crowd of 25 people standing in the driveway, of this block of 4 villa units. A quick, Buyer’s Advocate bid of half a million dollars was the opener followed by $510,000 from a consumer and a further $540,000 bid from another advocate, spending their clients money on a whim, with clearly no strategy in mind. At this stage we had stopped bidding to see where the other two, would go. With the consumer ceasing at $555,000, we came back in at $560,000 where the property was announced “on the market”.  Solid quick return bidding then occurred between us and the other Advocate. Strategy, experience, and planning won out, when the other Advocate said he was out on the bid of Buyers Advocate at $575,000, to then bid once more to $576,000. We swooped in with once final last bid of $577,000, to win the keys.  

Tip Of The Month: 

June 30 is almost here! Complete your tax depreciation schedule!

A Tax Depreciation Schedule is a document prepared by an ATO compliant Quantity Surveyor that outlines the depreciation allowances a property investor is entitled, and enables your accountant to maximise tax benefits accordingly.

Put simply, if you own an investment property you are entitled to claim property depreciations and allowances on all eligible capital asset and plant items for that property.

Thousands of dollars in taxable deductions could be available, and a common misconception is that depreciation schedules are restricted to new properties. Not so… all buildings irrespective of age attract depreciation allowances, including any renovations and improvements made to the property.

So make certain you have a depreciation schedule completed in readiness for EOFY.

How to prep for an auction

Fill in the form below and one of our friendly team members will get in touch. Or, if you prefer, you can call us directly on(03) 9818 4499