Foreign buyers tempted by lower dollar
The lower value of the Aussie is making property here even more affordable to foreign investors and those looking to settle in Australia. Owners of higher value homes are especially pleased with their ability to tempt buyers from overseas. While Chinese investors have been keen to put their money into the Australian housing market rather than the shaky market at home, those from further afield are more concerned with what their cash can buy them. The state of the Australian dollar has fuelled increased interest from European buyers. The downside of course is the effect that has on the market here and with Australian buyers not having the same exchange rate benefit it is likely to increase calls for more control over foreign purchase of property. 

Homeowners have better financial stability
A new report suggests that those Australians who are homeowners are in a stronger financial position than those who are not. The St George-Melbourne Institute Household Financial Conditions Report shows that in the last three months of 2014 those who own their homes, including those with a mortgage, have benefitted from the strong growth in house prices. The report also shows a better level of savings and debt clearance among households with just 2.2 per cent of respondents without any savings and 46.5 per cent now being debt free, that’s the highest since September 2008. Among renters there was a larger decline in financial stability. 

Realtors predicting more hot activity at the auctions
After the traditional slow down at the end of one year and the start of the next, Australian property auctions will start to fire up again over the coming weeks. Mid to late February is usually a prime time for the auctions as the market picks up and realtors are predicting that this year will continue the momentum of 2014. There was a taste of things to come over Australia Day weekend with The Event taking place at Ray White Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast. The annual event saw 58 of the 99 properties available being snapped up making a clearance rate of 60 per cent. 

Trying to sell? Get a dog
They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but realtors are never too old to learn new techniques to increase sales. Re/Max United Vision agent Tracey Ashley has found that using her dog in listings photos for her clients has helped increase interest in the properties. Tiffany, a 4-year-old Shihtzu-Cavalier cross has been deployed to add interest to pictures of homes that are otherwise empty. Ashley told that buyers have responded well with some of the properties getting twice the amount of views online as similar homes. While it’s a tactic that may not work for every home it certainly encourages ‘paws’ for thought.

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