Reserve Bank of Australia looking more closely at foreign investment
Foreign investment value in residential property has risen from $6 billion annually in the 1990s to more than $17bn in 2012-13. But it remains a tiny, tiny portion of the total market – just 1 per cent of both new and established dwellings in 2012-13. It may rise over the next couple of years – maybe – barring another international financial catastrophe. But the effect appears localised. About four-fifths of the total value of foreign residential investment approvals occur in NSW and Victoria. Read the full story here.
 
Doubt cast over Aussie first-home buyer stats 
Michael Matusik, a property development advisor, questions ABS statistics released yesterday showing first-time home buying at a 23-year low. He believes some first-time homebuyers have been undercounted because they’re not all buying newly constructed housing, nor are they all claiming first-time homebuying credits. Matusik pegs the current rate at historical averages around 35 per cent of the market. He may be cheerleading a bit – he makes no hard estimate of how ABS might have changed its measurement criteria, and only hints at how buying patterns may have changed over time to skew studies. Read the full story here.
 
Market analyst lowers Sydney real estate growth projections for 2014
Real estate agent and prognosticator John McGrath forecasted in January that Sydney’s price growth would be around 10 per cent this year. He's had a slight change of heart and now cut it to 5 to 8 per cent. Sydney is up by about 3 per cent for the year, leaving it only 2 to 5 points to grow in six months. He describes the two-year gain of about 20 per cent as “significant – yet sustainable” … assuming it gets there. “It’s also 100% expected that after big price growth in 2013 and a strong start to 2014 in markets like Sydney, activity has to cool at some point. The question is whether we are there yet.” Read the full story here.
 
The cost of No: Suburban Sydney development site back on the market after permit failure
A 3.5ha Warriewood development site will go on the auction block after a billionaire developer’s plan for high-density apartments runs afoul of the NSW Department of Planning and the Pittwater Council. Harry Triguboff of Meriton Apartments bought the land five years ago for $5 million with plans to build 280 units there. It has since been rezoned to permit no more than 84, with high hurdles for approval. He plans to offer the property for $25 million plus GST. Read the full story here.
 
Sale of the week: a Bedfordale man cave
It’s the reproduction ZZ Top Eliminator car on the doors to the fully-stocked bar with beer on tap that puts this 4000sq m house over the top. The home in Camfield Heights Estate overlooks native bushland 40km south of Perth. It’ a party palace built to satisfy male toyland paradise, with a pool room and a theatre room, its own bathroom in the bar, Foxtel TV with surround sound and a slow-combustion wood heater, decked out like a racecar garage. Read the full story here. 

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