First-home buyers warned about dodgy developers’ cancellations
There’s a worrying trend in off-the-plan property sales that could end up being tested in the Australian courts. The issue surrounds builders that sell units being constructed and take deposits from buyers but then cancel the contract to resell the homes at higher prices. reports that it leaves buyers without the home they expected and, especially in the hottest markets, high costs of a replacement. The story quotes a buyer who was kept waiting for the completion of his unit before being told the site had be rezoned. Although he was offered a discount on the price of one of the new units he would face a delay of around 18 months for completion. The disgruntled buyer, who did not want to be named, said the developers were “playing with people’s lives”. Christine Manolakos of conveyancing specialists CM Lawyers says she is hearing of one or two similar cases every week but says the use of cancellation clauses should be challenged but would need a barrister with class-action experience to do it.

“More new housing than in any other year” predicts Deloitte
Housing demand is outstripping supply in many markets but a partner at Deloitte Access Economics predicts it will improve. Michael Thomas told The Australian that there’s “strong likelihood that by the end of 2015 we’ll have seen more new housing built in Australia than in any prior year”. At the launch of the firm’s annual mortgage report Thomas also predicted that home prices will continue to rise although he noted that most places would not see the gains of Sydney and Melbourne. Other highlights of the report are lower mortgage defaults than ever before and many mortgages ahead of repayment schedules.
Source: The Australian

Commercial agents dismiss RBA suggestion

RBA governor Glenn Stevens’ suggestion that there is an upcoming slump in commercial property has been dismissed by some industry heavyweights. CBRE director Josh Cullen said the central bank is “disconnected with the market” and expects the sector to see strong growth in 2015. Meanwhile the chief executive of Dexus, Darren Steinberg, says that office leasing will show strong signs of improvement especially in Sydney and Melbourne.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Apple Watch app helps Australian homebuyers

The real estate industry could benefit from the forthcoming launch of the Apple Watch. That’s the hope of the property listings website owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. has launched a new app that will work with Apple’s newest piece of tech to help buyers find properties and also to allow agents to target potential clients directly to their wrist.
Source: News Corp Australia Network


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