In this issue:
A positive start to 2013
Francis Fusco, Director, Richardson & Wrench Circular Quay/City M: 0407 243 311
I am delighted to report that R&W Circular Quay/City has had an excellent start to 2013 with recent sales of properties in the $1m to $3m price range. This follows on from our great results in 2012 where we recorded one of the top five sales in the Sydney CBD and the second highest price in the Macquarie Street precinct. This was no small feat given the challenging market conditions but is evidence of our agency’s ability to identify and engage genuine buyers for premium residential property.
Last year, slow economic conditions impacted on the number of transactions and the time taken to sell properties. By the end of 2012, the Sydney city precinct had recorded 760 sales transactions, down 19% compared with 2011 sales. On a positive note however the drop in sales between 2011 and 2012 was significantly less than the 39% drop in 2010-2011.
Over the past two months, we have been pleased to see an increasing level of enquiry across most price ranges in the Sydney City and we look forward to this translating into an active sales environment in the future. Auction clearance rates are increasing and media reports are more positive than negative, in contrast with this time last year.
We are finding purchasers are no longer just browsing or keeping an eye on the market, they are moving forward to buy when they find a suitable property. Value for money remains a key concern for buyers and comparative pricing is essential to ensure a sale within a reasonable timeframe.
Lastly, I can report that in 2012 the Richardson&Wrench network raised $57,849 for the Starlight Foundation through fundraising. Our agency was proud to take part in the network’s fundraising efforts for such a worthy cause.
In the news
The Real Estate Institute of NSW (REINSW) has reported that the Sydney rental market eased in December, with data showing an overall vacancy rate of 1.9 per cent, up 0.1 per cent on November. The REINSW Vacancy Rate Survey in December 2012 saw an increase in rental accommodation across the Sydney metropolitan area compared with the previous month:
• Inner suburbs (0-10km from CBD) increased 0.1 to 1.8 per cent
• Middle suburbs (10-25km from CBD) increased 0.2 to 2.3 per cent
• Outer suburbs (more than 25 km from CBD) increased 0.2 to 1.8 per cent
Comparison of rental vacancy rates July to December, 2010–2012
Data source: Real Estate Institute of NSW www.reinsw.com.au
Increasing rate of tenancy complaints to CTTT
According to the latest Consumer, Trader & Tenancy Tribunal Annual Report, the complaint-handling body received 32,626 applications relating to tenancy disputes in 2011-2012, a 5% increase from the previous year. The majority of applications (74%) were made by landlords. The top complaint issues included termination for non-payment of rent (42%), rental bonds (14%) and termination for other reasons (13%).
These figures highlight the importance of engaging a property manager who can find you the right tenant for your property, undertake the relevant reference checks and deal with issues that may arise promptly and efficiently. To enquire about our professional property management services, phone Richardson&Wrench Circular Quay/City on (02) 9223 9119 or email email@example.com
New environmental plan for Sydney
The City of Sydney’s current Local Environmental Plan (LEP) and Development Control Plan (DCP) came into effect in December 2012. Key features of the LEP include strengthening the role of the CBD to Airport corridor, and support for existing floor space incentives for hotel and motel accommodation in the CBD. Of interest to city residents, the DCP also includes guidelines for the site at 1 Alfred St, Sydney.
Free guides to buying and selling
While there are strict rules and regulations governing the real estate industry, it is wise for consumers to undertake their own research when it comes to buying or selling a property. The Law Society of NSW has two free guides available for consumers with general information on buying and selling a property. The guides cover topics including contracts, conveyancing, methods of sale, stamp duty and different types of ownership.
RP Data reports capital gains increases
RP Data’s first end-of-quarter analysis for 2013 reported an increase of 3.4% in Sydney dwelling prices and an auction clearance rate nearing 70%. Overall, unit prices showed a 2.4% increase over the quarter with a total year-on-year return of 9.4% and a rental yield of 5%. The median price for units was $488,000 compared with $620,000 for houses (median prices are based on settled sales over the quarter).
Review of land valuation system
In 2012, the NSW Government commenced an inquiry into the Land Valuation System to investigate ‘the extent to which the current system delivers transparent, efficient, equitable and consistent outcomes’ for stakeholders. The need for such a review was highlighted later in the year by a court case where a mining company successfully challenged a land valuation by the NSW Valuer General, raising long-standing issues about the current system. A report on the inquiry is due to be made public in April 2013.