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May 13, 2024

Brisbane CoreLogic RP Data Market Update May 2024

May 2, 2024

Empowering the next generation

As a parent, you want to ensure your children are equipped with the knowledge and skills to navigate the complex world of real estate. This however can be a daunting task even for seasoned investors. For our younger generations, understanding these complexities from an early age is crucial to making informed decisions when purchasing their first home. In this article, we offer ten practical tips for parents to cultivate real estate literacy in their children, laying a foundation of knowledge that can greatly enhance their ability to make savvy financial decisions in adulthood. Additionally, we include pertinent advice for Aboriginal families, highlighting specific government programs aimed at facilitating property ownership.   Introduction to Property Ownership Begin by demystifying property ownership. Explain the types of properties—such as residential, commercial, and land—and the concepts of buying, selling, and leasing. Games like Monopoly offer a fun, interactive way to introduce these ideas, illustrating how properties can be bought and traded, and the financial responsibilities of ownership such as paying taxes and managing mortgages. Real-World Learning Use daily activities to discuss real estate fundamentals. A simple drive around the neighbourhood can be an opportunity to talk about various property types, the roles of real estate agents, and even why certain areas are more desirable than others. Observing different neighbourhoods and discussing what might make one more appealing than another (such as schools, parks, and transport) helps children understand market dynamics. Leveraging Technology Encourage the use of technology to explore real estate further. Many Australian real estate websites provide interactive maps, price histories, and detailed analyses of market trends. For older children, following these trends can provide insights into how real estate markets operate and fluctuate over time. Financial Literacy Fundamentals A solid understanding of financial basics is key to managing real estate transactions. Educate your children about savings, the importance of good credit, how loans work, and the impact of interest rates on repayments. Practical exercises like setting up a savings account or budgeting for a small purchase can provide hands-on experience with financial concepts. Hands-On Property Visits Experience is a great teacher. Taking children to open homes or auctions can demystify the process of buying a house. Discussing features that affect a property’s value, such as its state of repair, its layout, and extra amenities, can provide deeper insights into what factors are considered in real estate pricing. The Value of Earning Encouraging children to earn money through allowances or part-time jobs teaches them the value of money—a lesson that is directly translatable to understanding the significant financial commitment involved in buying property. Managing their own money can help them appreciate the effort required to save for a deposit on a home. Understanding Government Support It is vital to educate both yourself and your children about the assistance available from government sources for first-time homebuyers. The First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) is a national scheme, but specifics vary by state. Additionally, the First Home Super Saver Scheme allows future homeowners to save for a deposit inside their superannuation fund, benefiting from the concessional tax treatment. Tailored Advice for Aboriginal Families For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families, the Indigenous Home Ownership Program offers significant support. This includes low deposit requirements and potentially reduced interest rates, aimed at making home ownership more accessible. Families should also explore state-based initiatives that provide additional benefits. Community Engagement Participating in community programs can enrich children’s understanding of real estate. Many local councils and community organizations run programs and workshops about property investment and financial management. These programs are often tailored to different age groups and can provide valuable practical knowledge and networking opportunities. Goal Setting Finally, assist your children in setting achievable, long-term real estate goals. Whether it's saving for a deposit by a certain age or understanding the steps involved in buying a home, having a clear goal can motivate young people to learn more and engage deeply with the subject of real estate. Through early education about real estate principles, parents can empower their children with the knowledge needed to navigate the property market confidently. This is particularly crucial for young Aboriginal individuals, who may benefit from specific governmental programs designed to facilitate access to home ownership. By providing these educational foundations, parents ensure that their children are prepared not just to purchase property, but to make informed, strategic decisions that will benefit them financially in the long term. Further Resources: For more detailed information about real estate education and financial assistance for first-time home buyers, parents and young adults are encouraged to visit the official websites of the Australian Government’s Department of Housing and various state real estate federations. These platforms offer comprehensive guides, application details for grants and loans, and additional resources specifically designed to aid first home buyers and investors in the Australian property market. However, don’t forget to explore First National Real Estate’s First Home Buyer Financial Assistance Guide and you’re always welcome to drop by any First National Real Estate office or open home inspection to ask questions and have a chat.

Apr 16, 2024

Brisbane CoreLogic RP Data Market Update April 2024

Mar 15, 2024

Brisbane CoreLogic RP Data Market Update March 2024

Feb 9, 2024

Brisbane CoreLogic RP Data Market Update February 2024

Feb 8, 2024

Financial planning tips for a stable & successful 2024!

The start of a new year always signifies an opportunity to reassess, refresh and make the coming year your best yet. But sometimes, lost between new gym memberships and healthy eating vows, one particular area of your life may be overlooked: financial wellness. Last year was an unpleasant cocktail of interest rate hikes, rises in the cost of living, inflation, and ongoing turbulence in the property sector. And with these factors predicted to hang around throughout much of 2024, your best defence is being prepared. Ready to become a master of your financial destiny? We have ten tips for navigating the new year with newfound financial confidence. Check in with your current financial wellbeing Before you do anything, understand what financial wellbeing looks like, how you performed against your 2023 goals (if you had some) and where you are sitting currently. According to research from the University of Melbourne and CommBank, financial wellbeing is defined as the ability to: Meet your financial obligations, e.g. pay bills and expenses. Freely make choices that allow you to enjoy life, e.g. take regular holidays. Control your finances, e.g. avoid unnecessary fees and charges. Feel secure about your future obligations, e.g. make choices that enable you to put away money for the future. If you’re unsure where you sit, take this 5-minute quiz and find out your financial wellbeing score. Set goals for the year ahead Armed with the knowledge of where you currently stand and where you could have done better in 2023, it’s time to set some goals for a prosperous year ahead. It can be helpful to break your goal setting into short-term goals (0-12 months), mid-term goals (1-5 years) and longer-term goals (5+ years) – with the short and mid-term goals acting as milestones towards achieving your longer-term goals. This can include short-term goals of sticking to a budget to increase your savings, enabling you to reach longer-term goals like a big overseas holiday, buying a first home, or even saving for retirement. If you’re already equipped with well-established goals, look at ways to get them working harder – you might be able to check them off sooner than you think. Break up with debt Debts come in all shapes and sizes, with varying terms, interest rates and intricacies. While it’s not always possible to completely end a relationship with debt (mortgages, we’re looking at you), minimising these and shopping around for better terms can significantly impact your financial wellbeing. Get in the habit of checking that your bank or financial institution is still giving you the best possible deal. If you’ve built up equity in a property, it might be worth a valuation to ensure you’re receiving a competitive rate. Your local real estate agent can provide a free property valuation to give you an idea – but you’ll need one from the bank, too. Make clearing debts a top priority, and put strategies in place to help you get them under control – it’ll minimise financial stress, improve your credit score, and overall, set you on the path to financial freedom. Don’t neglect your paperwork While keeping meticulous financial records may be dull, you won’t regret it come tax time – particularly if it leads to savings. For business owners, this includes tracking and claiming expenses, depreciation, and deductions on charitable donations. Both business owners and individuals will also benefit from filing and paying their taxes on time, avoiding penalties. It’s helpful to have a good accountant on your side; they’re experts in tax reduction strategies that ensure you’re paying your fair share while maximising your take-home income. Having a tight handle on ongoing expenses throughout the year also gives you more visibility into any financial sinkholes that could be avoided. Be prepared with an emergency fund Life can be unpredictable, so having a financial safety net is a smart way to protect yourself from unforeseen, life-altering changes. These can be anything from major employment changes to health issues, unexpected relocation, or stumping up for a new car. Most financial advisors recommend saving three to six months’ worth of cover for essential living expenses – which can seem like a lot – so start small and build it from there. Here’s how: Set your target. Include it in your budget. Set up an automatic payment going to your emergency fund. Redirect a portion of any bonuses or windfalls into the fund. Watch it grow. Adopt a budgeting strategy to suit One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to managing finances, and you’ll quickly discover some strategies that gel for you and some that repel. A solid strategy that resonates can help you save money, reduce expenses, and maximise your income. Some popular budgeting strategies to try are: The 50/30/20 rule – this budgeting method gives you a loose guideline for how much of your income to spend and save. It loosely means that 50% of your income should go to your needs, 20% to savings, and 30% to your wants. The envelope method – as the name suggests, with this strategy, you keep cold-hard cash in different envelopes for each budget category. It’s great if you are a chronic over spender on things like takeaways or eating out, as physically seeing the money will make you think twice. Pay yourself first – this strategy works by prioritising savings. When money comes in, your first action is to set aside savings and ‘pay yourself.’ This works well if you have a large long-term goal, like purchasing a home or retiring. Conduct an insurance review Most of us set and forget insurance policies, but with money flying out to cover our cars, pets, homes, health, life and more, regularly reviewing these can save you money and from being caught out too. If you’ve moved house, accumulated more stuff, gotten married, or started a family since you took out insurance, chances are you don’t have the cover you need. Failing to review your insurance regularly can result in having too much or too little coverage. Too much cover means you’ll be overpaying for something you don’t need, while the latter could mean you’re not supported should you need access to insurance. Invest in your future From term deposits to shares to property investment and managed funds, working towards having money invested is a positive step towards long-term financial stability. It’s essential for the investments you choose to fit with your financial goals and match your desired time frame and tolerance for risk. When done well, investments can provide additional income and opportunities to grow your wealth over the long term. It’s essential to regularly review any investments and adapt to market changes when necessary. Not sure how to invest? Find out which are the right investments for you. Call on a professional Perhaps the most valuable and important tip of them all is not to shy away from seeking expert advice. From accountants to financial advisers, mentors, mortgage brokers, and property experts, you’ll find they have something different to offer depending on your situation or goals. These industry professionals are not only well-versed in navigating the quirks of their respective sectors but are armed with up-to-date knowledge and the experience of being immersed in the industry daily. If you’re considering property investment, you’ll find a wealth of knowledge among your local First National Real Estate team. Often living within the community, they work in, you’ll benefit from local knowledge and a genuine desire to help you achieve your property goals. Don’t stop learning In the words of the wise Albert Einstein, “Once you stop learning, you start dying.” This rings true when it comes to achieving financial success, as a constantly changing financial landscape provides businesses and individuals with new opportunities and threats. It pays to keep informed about financial regulations, global financial trends, political and economic shifts, and the impacts these can have. By consciously dedicating yourself to ongoing financial literacy, you’ll become more adaptable, increase your ability to identify and seize opportunities and be more well-placed to achieve your financial goals. Financial success doesn’t happen by chance Aside from relying on a big Lotto win, effective financial planning is a lifelong commitment. It requires regular review and adjustment to ensure it continues to align with your life as it evolves and a thorough understanding of your long-term financial goals. If investment properties or purchasing your first home is part of your long-term financial plan, reach out to your local First National Real Estate agent for expert advice and the best in local knowledge. Remember, if your financial wellbeing is weighing you down, you can seek help at Beyond Blue.

Feb 8, 2024

Housing Upswing as Values Lift 0.4%

Australia’s housing upswing continued through the first month of 2024 with CoreLogic’s national Home Value Index (HVI) rising 0.4% in January. Up from the 0.3% increases seen in November and December, this marks the 12th straight month of value rises. Beneath the headline result, housing market performance remains diverse around the country. Three capitals recorded a subtle decline over the month (Melbourne -0.1%, Hobart -0.7% and Canberra -0.2%), while, Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane values continued to rise at the monthly rate of 1% or more. CoreLogic’s research director, Tim Lawless, identified Perth as a stand out among the capital cities for a persistently rapid rate of capital gains. “Perth home values rose a further 1.6% in January, on par with the city’s growth trend in November and December and only slightly lower than the recent high of 1.8% recorded in October. The western capital continues to see housing demand outweigh supply, helping to push values 16.7% higher over the past 12 months. Despite that, housing prices remain relatively affordable compared with most capital cities, with the median dwelling value sitting just under $677,000.” Australians Prepared to Pay Premium for Houses Over Units House values have continued rising at a faster rate relative to unit values in January, with the gap between the median capital city house and unit values rising to a record high of 45.2% in January. Across the combined capitals, detached housing values rose by half a percent over the month, adding the equivalent of around $4,800 to the median house value while units increased a smaller 0.1%, equivalent to a $900 lift. Regional Markets Strengthen Regional markets are now showing a stronger trend in value growth relative to the capital cities. The combined regional index rose 1.2% over the rolling quarter compared with a 1.0% rise across the combined capitals index. “While both the combined capitals and combined regional markets are losing momentum in the pace of value growth, the capital city trend has slowed more sharply, mostly due to the flattening of growth conditions in Melbourne and Sydney,” Mr Lawless said. “Across the other states, regional WA, SA and Queensland continue to record a slower pace of growth relative to their capital city counterparts; these are also the three regional markets where dwelling values are at record highs.” Choice of Properties Improving Despite worsening housing affordability, the volume of home sales has held slightly above average over the past three months. CoreLogic estimates there were 115,241 dwellings sold over the three months ending January; 11.9% higher than the same period last year and 0.5% above the previous five-year average for this time of the year. Monthly Change in Capital City Home Values

Jan 22, 2024

Find your fit – how to choose the best local real estate agent

Buying or selling a home is a big deal; it’s often one of the most significant transactions you’ll make, and you shouldn’t tackle it alone. The real estate industry can be complex and awash with intricacies – so having the right agent in your corner to support you can make all the difference. But how do you find the right one when they’re all waving you their way? It’s a combination of doing your research upfront, understanding the benefits of choosing a local agent, and asking the right questions once you’ve narrowed it down. Add a little bit of intuition to the equation, and you’re well on your way. Here, we guide you through the process. Canvas the crowds, consult your computer Like most things in life, researching and shortlisting is your best friend, and we recommend getting started with this as close to home as possible. Here’s what to consider when researching: Recommendations – canvas all your local connections for referrals or recommendations – you’ll be surprised at what you uncover. Relevant experience – overall industry experience is important, and so is specialisation – for instance, are you buying/selling residential, commercial, an investment or a luxury home? Testimonials and credentials – check any online reviews or testimonials, and ensure the agent has the necessary licensing and credentials to operate in your area.   Look to local From knowledge of location-specific market trends to well-established networks, connections, and insight, there are plenty of reasons why choosing a local agent who lives in your neighbourhood is advantageous. You’ll benefit from: Greater market insights – with an in-depth knowledge of the local market, you’ll have essential information like recent sales, current inventory, and neighbourhood trends at your fingertips. Valuable connections – established agents can come with a broad network of complementary connections you can leverage. This includes professionals such as mortgage brokers, surveyors, and property lawyers. Established network – a good local agent will be well-connected within the community. This means they may have access to homes or buyers that aren’t currently active but are soon to be or able to be influenced.   Ask the right questions When meeting with your shortlisted group of potential local agents, asking the right questions upfront can make the process smooth, transparent, and stress-free. It’ll also help with setting clear expectations from the outset. Arm yourself with these crucial questions: Tech, tools and targeting – find out what valuable digital tools, like Your Patch and offline platforms they use for marketing and communication. Ask for a detailed run-down on their marketing and advertising plans – presenting a property at its best can make a huge difference to the end result. Results, results, results – request information about their track record, including successful negotiation outcomes, average time listings are on the market and the number of properties they’ve sold. Costs and contracts – fee structures and contract clauses vary between agencies, so get clear on the ins and outs. Make sure you fully understand all the details, and if in doubt, consult your property lawyer. Team? Solo? Availability? – ask whether the agent works as part of a team (and how this structure works) or if they will be your sole point of contact. Ensure you understand how accessible they will (or won’t) be. Up-to-date knowledge – the real estate industry moves at a fast pace, so it’s essential to partner with an agent that keeps up to date with local, industry and regulatory changes. This includes foresight into up-and-coming local developments, REIA updates, and relevant state policies. Talk details – if you’re selling, discuss the methods of sale they recommend, how they conduct open homes, their availability for viewings outside of these, and their negotiation strategies. Ensure that their strategies align with your goals and expectations. Get it all on the table – no one likes conflict, and while taking all possible steps to avoid it should be a priority, it’s important to discuss how the agent approaches conflict resolution. It’s also the perfect time to discuss any contract terms and conditions.   Don’t dismiss your intuition Now that you’ve got the crucial questions and research out of the way, you’ve likely narrowed it down to a couple of agents that tick all the boxes. But when you’re talking about one of the biggest transactions of your life, it pays to run it by your intuition. While for us logical folk, that might sound a bit airy fairy, the origin of those ‘gut feelings’ is usually our very analytical brain. Think about: First impressions – while real estate agents have a busy job, if they bustle into the room stressed out and 10 minutes late, this could set the tone for the experience ahead. An agent who can remain calm, cool, and collected under pressure is a real asset. Choosing communication styles that align – pay attention to the agent’s communication style. You want someone responsive, who listens to your needs, makes you feel comfortable, whom you can trust, and communicates effectively. Presence of red flags – are they hesitant to provide references? Have they promised information that they haven’t supplied? Take note of any early warning signs that may lead to a lack of transparency. Quality of their follow-up (or lack thereof) – did they follow up on your meeting promptly and effectively or leave you hanging? If all you hear is crickets, you probably haven’t found your perfect agent match. Viewing them in action – head along (or send a friend) to an open home the agent is hosting. This will give you a feel for how they engage with potential buyers and present a home. Buying or selling a home is a partnership – and it’s one that extends beyond the transaction Finding an agent that aligns with your objective, goals, and personal values isn’t necessarily a quick process, but it’s one that’s worth investing in. It’ll save you from headaches further down the track, and often, once you’ve found the right local real estate agent, they’ll become a trusted advisor that you continue to partner with throughout your home ownership journey.\ Don’t underestimate the value of choosing a local agent, too. Partnering with someone who lives and works in the area will provide you with crucial insight into the local community, local property market and real immediate prospects that simply can’t be found browsing online. And when it comes to the crunch, having someone who is available and just around the corner means your local agent will always be in the right place at the right time! First National Real Estate is a team of qualified and committed agents based out of over 300 owner-operated offices throughout Australia and New Zealand. It’s a team that shares the same values, that lives in your neighbourhood, and that is committed to delivering local service backed by the power of the First National Real Estate brand. Find your local agent now.