Building approvals increased in November says ABS
The number of dwellings approved rose 0.2 per cent in November 2014, in trend terms, and has risen for six months according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Approvals for private sector houses fell 0.3 per cent with South Australia and WA down the most (0.7 per cent), followed by New South Wales (0.5 per cent). Approvals rose in Victoria and Queensland (0.2 per cent). The value of total building approved fell 0.7 per cent in November, in trend terms, and has fallen for 12 months. The value of residential building fell 0.5 per cent while non-residential building fell 1.0 per cent in trend terms.

Investors find returns are slowing
Investors are getting lower rental growth on their properties than they have done for a decade according to figures from CoreLogic RP Data. The quarterly review of the rental market shows that rents in the capitals increased by just 1.8 per cent in 2014, although there were some areas doing better than others. Owners of houses in Hobart were able to charge an extra 5.4 per cent on average but in Perth rents went down by 2.2 per cent on average. For apartments Hobart and Brisbane were the only capital cities to see rents increase. Analysts expect only moderate rental rises in the coming months.

Law firm warning over property scheme
A prominent Australian law firm is warning clients over a property scheme which had advised investors to seek its representation. Slater & Gordon has given the advice following an investigation that showed that scheme may be linked to the family of the infamous property spruiker Henry Kaye. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the law firm has written to clients advising them that they may have been misled by the scheme organisers and may have overpaid. Slater & Gordon previously led action against Kaye when his property empire collapsed and there is no suggestion that the firm were aware of his involvement in this scheme.

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