Multi-unit home sales increase
New figures from the Housing Industry Association show that sales of multi-unit homes increased in September, climbing 11 per cent from the previous month. While the overall rate of sales for the month is flat; and detached house sales have fallen; apartments and townhouses are in demand. HIA chief economist Harley Dale says: “The overall profile for new home sales is consistent with a healthy year for dwelling construction in 2014/15. It would be desirable to see that outcome in detached and low density construction in addition to the high rise sector.” The only area to see a monthly sales increase in detached properties was Queensland with a rise of 13.4 per cent. The biggest decline was in NSW with a drop of 9.9 per cent, although it was the only state to record quarterly gains.
 
Mirvac adds to those dismissing foreign investors’ influence
Mirvac Group is looking at a year of growth for 2015 driven by residential developments. The firm is planning to settle more than 2000 lots next year and has more than $1 billion of exchanged pre-sales. Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz told the Sydney Morning Herald that Mirvac Group’s data did not suggest any significant impact of foreign investors on the market.
 
Virtual open house viewings trialled in the ACT
If you are some way from Canberra but want to get a good look round a potential new home, then technology can make that possible. LJ Hooker Manuka is trialling the use of 3D cameras to allow distant potential buyers the chance to take a virtual tour of properties allowing them to judge the layout and scale of the property. Although it is only really cost effective for high-end properties the technology could become increasingly popular for marketing to interested parties in other states or overseas.
 
Mr Fluffy home owners facing tough choices
Those living in Mr Fluffy homes containing asbestos will have to make a tough choice in the coming months. New rules mean that owners will either have to sell their homes so that they can be safely demolished or they may be forced to seal up parts of the house that contains the hazardous material to ensure that no dust particles can contaminate the living space. The buy-back scheme would seem to be the preferred option as any owners that do not opt in to the scheme by June next year will have to cover the costs of any future removal themselves and will have to implement safety measures.
 

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