Scam artist targets Perth renters
Police did not identify the Perth man they arrested on 10 counts of fraud earlier this week, but they are asking the public for help identifying other victims of the unit rental scam. The man allegedly posted advertisements in the rental section of real estate sites for apartments on Fitzgerald Street and Kings Park Road for leases that were false. The man conned at least eight people out of $30,000 after collecting bond and two weeks rent on the units from unsuspecting renters. The man was targeting international visitors to Perth. Police charged him with 10 counts of gaining a benefit by fraud, seven counts of forgery and three counts of stealing. Read the full story here.

Gardener to sell inherited $50 million Tukurua mansion
Ted Smith inherited Cottesloe’s historic “Tukurua” from landlord Dorothea Cass 20 years ago. Now he plans to sell it, expecting to fetch $50 million. The two had been friends for decades before her death. Western Australia’s first attorney-general, Sir Septimus Burt, built Tukurua in 1896 as a summer residence. Cass' parents bought it as a bed-and-breakfast before leaving it to their daughter. Smith has been restoring it for the last 20 years, and appears to have raised the value of the 10 bedroom, six bath mansion from $4 million when he acquired it to its present value. Read the full story here.

Building approvals rebounded in July
July approvals rebounded after a fall in June, rising 1.4 per cent for the month. June approvals showed a dip of 1 per cent, according to recent seasonally-adjusted figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Notably, the value of those July approvals is more than $5 billion, compared to $4.5 billion in June. This implies a surge in high-end development. Victoria led approvals at 4247 dwellings for July. Read the full story here.

Banks under fire for last-minute changes to mortgage settlements
A six-year-long fight between NAB and a borrower struck by a last-minute charge of $24,000 to settle a loan payout may reach the High Court. The practice by some banks of delaying a final figure for loan settlement to the last possible moment, only to add charges or fees as an “economic adjustment” at the end, has long frustrated mortgage brokers and real estate agents. The Victorian County Court and the Supreme Court's Court of Appeal found in favour of NAB in the dispute, but the borrower intends to appeal to the High Court. Read the full story here.

Morry Schwartz launching a new online residential property publication
Schwartz publishes The Monthly, Quarterly Essay, The Saturday Paper, and soon a new yet-to-be-named publication targeting the residential property market, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne. While Schwartz owns, the new site will not incorporate homepage's listings, but may provide content to bulk up other sites. Schwartz's efforts come as Eric Beecher is looking to offload three-year-old news site Property Observer. (Schwartz says he's not a buyer.) Meanwhile, Fairfax earned regulatory approval this week for its takeover of Canberra online real estate business All Homes. Read the full story here.

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