If you are looking for a real estate agent in the Inner West, look no further than Agency by Glenn Regan. The leading specialists in the Newtown real estate market should be your first port of call whether you are thinking of selling, buying or renting your property. The team at Agency By Glenn Regan also specialises in the surrounding areas of Enmore, Erskineville, St Peters, Sydenham, Tempe, Alexandria, Marrickville and Petersham. Call now on 9551 2111 for an informal chat about what is happening in the market.
Whether you’re starting out as a new landlord or you’re in the process of building a property portfolio, your ultimate aim is to make a profit. Here are some tips to help you get more money from your rental property.
Is your property in good shape? We know that tenants are prepared to pay more for a well-presented property that is properly maintained. Wear and tear is a normal part of tenants living in a property, and walls often bear the biggest grunt of this. It’s generally recommended to repaint your interior every three to four years. While doing your exit inspection, take note of things that will need to replaced, cleaned or fixed (paying specific attention to carpets, kitchen cabinets and showers).
Do you have dead space such as a large formal dining room or a huge master bedroom? Adding an extra bedroom can increase the value of a property when it comes to rentals as well as sales. This can be surprisingly simple and cost effective. Building a stud wall can be done relatively cheaply and quickly, and is a great investment. The increase in revenue you’d get from a 2-bedroom property, compared to the yield from a 3-bedroom property, is significant. If you’re letting a property out by-the-room, this strategy is a no-brainer, especially for the price of a simple stud wall.
Are you using sustainable solutions? Solar panels are an unlikely but clever way to make money from your rental property. They require an initial investment for the panels and installation, but they can create enough power to take care of your tenant and you can sell the excess back to the grid. The tenant benefits from reduced bills, so you could increase the rent by an extra $20 per week! These systems often have a warranty of 20 years or more, and you can recoup your initial investment within five years.
Are you making the most of the available tax concessions? This one’s obvious, but there are many inexperienced landlords who don’t take advantage of tax breaks. This is where working with a good property manager can come in handy.
There are countless ways to increase your rental yield, and many of these can also add value to your property in the long-term should you decide to sell in the future. Consult your real estate agent for the best advice for your property.
You may have heard the term “gentrification” when people talk about the real estate market of certain areas, like Waterloo, Surry Hills or Redfern. Gentrification is a process whereby more affluent people move to a previously undesirable area, usually bringing with them more businesses, restaurants/cafes and public services, and increasing the overall value of the local real estate. It’s great news for owners, who purchased a property at pre-gentrification prices and will have built up significant equity; and landlords, who will be able to increase rents. It’s also good time to buy for investors, who can look forward to increasing property values.
We’ve seen a lot of gentrification happening in Sydney over the last few decades, and the Inner West real estate market is a prime example. Once working class and home mostly to factory workers and students, most of the Inner West suburbs such as Newtown and Marrickville have become more chic, exclusive and “bohemian”. Not only have the house prices increased, but the influx of well-heeled professionals has also driven up rental prices. Other up and coming suburbs include Waterloo, Zetland and Alexandria, which were predominantly industrial areas that are now seeing lots of urban development.
To take most advantage of the gentrification process, it’s important to see the signs before prices start to rise. Some early signs of gentrification include:
- improved public transportation
- a rise in small, independent businesses
- new and trendy coffee shops
- increased focus on family-friendly facilities, like playgrounds and swimming pools
- influx of artists and local art galleries
- building plans for large urban developments
Of course, it’s important to remember it’s not always as simple as looking for an area that’s on the up and buying a house there. Gentrification is a long-term process and the area has to be improving consistently for prices to go up. Some development schemes can temporarily have a positive effect on house prices, but they won’t necessarily add lasting value.
Unfortunately, areas can also de-gentrify and this can have a significant impact on your resale value and rental income. If you have any concerns, discuss them with your real estate agent, who should be able to give you more insight into the changing nature of your suburb.
Australian real estate is hot property for overseas investors. People looking to emigrate are drawn here by our laidback culture and year-round sun. Of course, major cities of all countries attract the most real estate attention – and Sydney is no exception. Our city has a well-deserved reputation as a vibrant, world-class centre of culture. So, who’s buying, where are they coming from and what does that mean for you?
Traditionally, we’ve seen a large number of Brits flocking to Sydney. Many come for jobs or a better standard of living – and, of course, to escape the cold, wet, grey weather! But although Britain has been the source of the largest number of immigrants for many years, over the last few years it has been pushed to third position… with China and India at the top of the list. Overall, we’re seeing more and more Asian buyers looking to invest in Sydney. Neighbouring New Zealanders also continue to make up a large percentage of the immigrant population to Australia.
It isn’t just individuals starting a new life in Australia though, as an increasing number of overseas companies are scooping up properties in Sydney. More and more investors from countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and China have their sights set on Australia.
Why? In short, many overseas buyers perceive the Australian real estate market as a stable, safe place to invest their money. Compared to most countries, Australia’s economy has fared remarkable well during the Global Financial Crisis, and this economic resilience is a big selling point to international investors. The Australian Government’s foreign investment policy has been developed to further encourage investment in Australia. And the limited space and growing property demand in Sydney makes it an even wiser investment.
What does this mean for you as a seller? Two words: more buyers. Of course, it also means that you should work with a real estate agent who keeps potential overseas buyers in mind and includes them in your property’s marketing campaign.
Whether you’re moving home or selling an investment property, the money you get from the sale is something to look forward to – but what about the hidden costs?
There’s nothing worse than being unprepared for the hidden costs of selling your home. Doing some research before putting your property on the market means you’ll be able to budget for all the eventualities. Of course, it helps to have a bit of insider knowledge… so in this post, we’ll take a look at some of the most common hidden costs of selling your home.
Hidden Cost #1: Preparing your Home for the Market. If you’ve lived in your home for more than a few years – and particularly if you’ve had tenants for a while – your home probably needs some TLC to get it ready for the market. Your property needs to be well presented and have great curb appeal to get the best result come auction day. The same goes for repairs… because while you might have lived with that wonky kitchen cupboard door for years, your buyers won’t be so forgiving. And while this doesn’t have to cost thousands of dollars, paint and other DIY items can quickly add up. If you’re working with a good real estate agent, they’ll have some good advice on how to spruce up your property to get the most return on investment, so it’s wise to budget in some contingency money for this.
Hidden Cost #2: Marketing Fees. Marketing fees are unavoidable if you’re trying to sell your property. The cost can vary by thousands of dollars, largely depending on where your target audience is coming from. Although most buyers look at the internet nowadays to find their dream home, there are certain areas in Sydney where a lot of interest comes from print media. This is particularly true for areas with a strong local community and a loyal newspaper readership, like our local Inner West Courier. So how much should you spend on marketing? Well, I’ve heard agents telling a vendor that they should spend about one per cent of what their property is worth. I can assure you this isn’t necessary: we can show you a fantastic marketing campaign for as a little as a couple of thousand dollars!
Hidden Cost #3: Other fees. Of course, there are other fees to watch out for. You’ll need a sales contract in order to sell your home – and many vendors choose to work with a conveyancer or real estate solicitor to do the legal work for them. It is possible to do the “conveyancing” work yourself, but this is risky, because you do not have the same insurance options available as a licensed conveyancer or solicitor does. This means that if you make a mistake, you are responsible and there’s nowhere you can go for financial compensation. Also, don’t forget about your agent’s fees, although a trustworthy real estate agent will be up-front and transparent about this, so you will know what to expect. Agent’s fees in the Inner West are usually much the same. The industry standard is around 2.2% GST inclusive of the sale price. Don’t get caught up with the agent that quotes the lowest commission. Will they be working hard to obtain the best possible price for your property? Speak to your agent about incentives such as a sliding scale: the more the agent gets you, the more the agent gets paid.
When you first decide to sell, think ahead and try to calculate all potential expenses. This will also help you determine what reserve price to aim for.
After a weak period for housing prices in Australia, we’re looking ahead to 2013 and wondering what the next twelve months might have in store for us.
Bendigo Bank and the Real Estate Institute of Australia show that compared with Q2, house prices nationally fell by 0.6 percent in Q3 2012. However, it’s worth noting that other properties such as apartments fared better, with a rise of 1.2 percent during the quarter.
The forecast for house prices in 2013 is decidedly sunnier, with property values expected to rise. Some experts have predicted that prices may increase by as much as three to five percent. Even if that is an overly optimistic estimate, positive change is definitely on the cards. Sydney is still the most expensive city for real estate prices, with a median house price of $641,890, followed closely by Darwin ($568,300) and Melbourne ($530,000).
Cuts to interest rates mean that this is an optimal time for those looking to enter the market, which is also great news for sellers. After the Reserve Bank dropped their official cash rate by 0.25%, followed by the major banks dropping their variable rate by an average of 0.20%, our open homes doubled in attendees leading up to Christmas – packed with cashed-up buyers.
Inner West occupancy rates and rental prices continue to increase rapidly, which is great news for investors looking to buy-to-let. Last year, the average weekly rent rose by 8 percent from 2011, and similar price increases are expected this year.
Overall, evidence suggests that we’re beginning to see some slow but steady recovery in the housing market, with this trend expected to continue during the course of 2013. With low interest rates and affordable prices, now is the best time to enter the real estate game.