Author Archives: Terry Hansen

airport

Construction on Western Sydney Airport is now underway!

Construction has officially kicked off at the Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison turning the first sod on the ground-breaking project earlier this week.

Sydney’s second airport is due to open in 2026, providing a full service airport with a site that is almost twice the size of the Kingsford Smith Airport.

The initial earthworks phase of construction will be no easy task. Expected to take until the end of 2019, it will involve moving around 1.8 million cubic metres of earth, which is the equivalent of about 720 Olympic swimming pools.

According to Western Sydney Airport Chief Executive, Graham Millett the difference between the highest and lowest points of the site is the equivalent of a 12-storey building

“These initial earthworks will help prepare the ground for eventual runway and terminal construction,” Mr Millett said.

Major earthworks will begin next year and will prove an even greater challenge. They will involve shifting 22 million cubic metres of earth, more than three times the amount moved to build the nearby, 41-kilometre M7 motorway.

“Building Western Sydney Airport is one of the biggest earthmoving challenges in Australian history,” Mr Millett said.

A new era for the west

Once complete the airport will cater to international, domestic, regional and freight flights. The freight flights will open up new possibilities for Australian exporters, and help to tackle the nation’s growing freight task.

Around 11,000 jobs will be created over the course of the airport’s construction, with at least one-third of these to come from Western Sydney.  The airport will also help support more than 20,000 direct and indirect jobs five years after it opens.

“Western Sydney Airport will generate prosperity in the region – our local employment target means that starts now,” Mr Millett said.

Visit www.wsaco.com.au to stay up to date with the latest airport news.

renovating

How to get started on your renovation

Many people buy their homes with plans to renovate at some point, however it’s hard to know where to get started.

The problem with a lot of building work is that one thing normally needs to precede another so while you might want to rip into the kitchen and put in a new one it may mean that you also need to knock out walls, re-do floors, or a plethora of other things that you aren’t ready to tackle yet.

So, where do you begin and how do you stop yourself from getting carried away to the point where you want to replace the entire house?

  1. Define your goals

It’s best to decide from the outset why you are doing a renovation and what you hope to achieve. Do you just want a simple cosmetic renovation to improve the property’s value? Or are you looking at turning the property into your dream ‘forever’ home?

How long you plan to be at the property may also help you work out what you may like to do at the property. If you intend to stay at the property long into the future then you may be able to do renovations in stages so you don’t have to focus on doing too much at once.

  1. Decide on a budget

You can’t move ahead with any renovation plans unless you have the budget to back it up. Your budget will largely help dictate what you can and can’t do. If you only have a small budget then you may need to focus on doing just minor improvements or on projects you can DIY.

  1. Approach builders and trades

Once you have spent some time thinking about what you want and how much you have to spend it is a good time to start talking to the experts so you can get quotes and compare them.

If you decide not to use a builder or someone who can project manage your renovations for you then make sure you check that each of your trades are licensed and that they are carrying out the work that needs to be done in the correct order.

  1. Refine your plans

After talking to a number of different property experts you might find that your plans evolve. This may be because your plans are more expensive than you initially thought or for a variety of other reasons.

Don’t be afraid of talking to people to see if there are ways you can reduce costs though. You may be able to do some of the work yourself to cut down on labour costs, or you may be able to save by using cheaper materials.

  1. Get started!

Once you know what you’re doing and have worked out how to get there, then it’s time to get going! The sooner you start your renovations the sooner you can finish. It can be scary when you first start pulling a house apart to make way for the new, but it will all be worth it in the long run and hopefully you end up with the home that you dreamed of.

property

Tips to avoid reselling at a loss

You may have seen record house prices in your neighbourhood just a year or two ago and figured that your property is still worth just as much or more today, however if you live in area where property prices are cooling then this may not be the case.

While the vast majority of homes across Australia (89.8%) resold for a profit during the second quarter of 2018 according to the latest CoreLogic Pain and Gain Report, the proportion of profit making resales was at it lowest level since October 2013.

During the first quarter of this year 90.1% of properties resold for a profit, this was down from the previous year when 91.1% saw a profit.

With the Sydney and Melbourne property markets continuing to show signs of slowing down the number of profit making resales may continue to decline, however there are things that property owners can do to try and avoid this.

Add value

If property prices haven’t grown, or have gone backwards, in your neighbourhood since you bought your property then you may find it difficult to get a good price, unless you show that you have added value in some way.

Buyers now have the ability to look at past listing photos online and will use these to see if you have made any changes to the property.

Look at making cosmetic changes that can help show how the property has improved. Painting is a simple and effective option, as is improving the property’s street appeal or doing up the kitchen or bathroom.

Be clever about marketing

First of all you should engage a local real estate expert who can give you an honest opinion about your selling options and what you should do. They will be able to provide you with the right advice and guide you on how to best market your property to get the attention of buyers.

Keep in mind that when there are less buyers in the market you will need to do more to wow them so you may need to think about things such as styling your property, getting professional photographs or utilising social media, but its best to discuss what is right for your property with your agent.

Should you hold out?

The property market is constantly going through cycles and when prices are cooling it can be best to hold onto your property until the market recovers.

However, if you intend to buy again in the same market then reselling at a loss may not be too bad. You may be able to purchase your next home at a discounted price, which will be able to help offset any losses.

Want advice about what is going on with prices in your neighbourhood? Contact Professionals Outer Western Sydney.

marsden park north

Marsden Park North Masterplan released

The NSW government has released its plans for Sydney’s newest suburb, Marsden Park North, and the community is being encouraged to have their say.

The draft masterplan for the suburb shows that there are 6,200 new homes to be built in the precinct over the next 20 years.

The suburb, located approximately 12 kilometres from the Blacktown CBD, will offer a range of housing choices in a bid to help support Sydney’s fast growing population.

Minister for Planning and Housing, Anthony Roberts, said highlights of the plan include the provision of three new local centres, a new primary school and new pedestrian paths and cycleways to access environmental conservation areas, new playing fields and open space.

“Three new local centres throughout the Marsden Park North precinct, along with the commercial area along Richmond Road, will provide the community with shops, cafes, community facilities and local jobs,” Mr Roberts said.

“Residents will benefit from thirteen brand new playing fields and more useable open space proposed for the area.

“The new playing fields, public parks and the local centres will be easily accessible via new pathways and cycleways”.

Mr Roberts also said the new precinct will be easily accessed due to new road upgrades and the Sydney Metro Northwest.

Upgrades of Richmond Road, Garfield Road, Schofields Road and Bandon Road are planned.

Member for Riverstone, Kevin Conolly, said: “Residents will also have access to the new Sydney Metro Northwest at Tallawong Station as well as existing Schofields and Riverstone Railway Stations.

“The new development precinct will eventually become part of the proposed new suburbs of Angus, Marsden Park and Vineyard”.

Have your say

The Marsden Park North Masterplan is currently on exhibition. The community is invited to have a say until October 26.

Further information can be found at http://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/marsdenparknorth.

 

Image via http://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/

house

How to buy a property sight unseen

Buying sight unseen generally isn’t a recommended approach when it comes to property, however for those without other options there are ways to minimise its risks.

There’s no questioning that it’s best to see a property in person before making a purchase if you can, but if you see an opportunity you don’t want to miss out on and you can’t visit the property in person then there are a few things you should do.

Utilise technology

Luckily, there are a variety of online tools that are making it easier than ever to find out about properties without having to step a foot inside.

There is listing photos, floor plans, online property reports, Google street view and, depending on the property, there may even be virtual walkthroughs available.

Find out as much as you can online to help you decide whether a property is right for you, but also be mindful that not everything online is always what it seems, so don’t use online research alone.

Find someone to inspect the property on your behalf

If you can’t inspect the property yourself then find someone else who can, whether it’s a buyer’s agent or a trusted friend. It’s always a good idea to get a second or third opinion on a property and have somebody on the ground that can take photos or videos for you.

Get an independent valuation and building and pest report done

While you should always aim to get an independent valuation and building and pest inspection carried out before buying, it’s especially important if you haven’t been able to see a property in person.

A building and pest inspection in particular will help ensure that there are no nasty surprises after you buy.

Be wary with established properties

If you’re purchasing off the plan then there won’t be much to see before buying anyhow.

When you’re buying brand new there shouldn’t be too many hidden surprises, and any issues with the property itself will hopefully be covered under warranties. Just make sure you’re fully aware when in these circumstances of everything that is included.

When it comes to an established property on the other hand, you often don’t know what you’re getting and it can be harder to tell the quality of the building without seeing it in person, so you really need to do a lot more research and have a trusted person who can see the property for you.

Always do as much research as possible

When it comes to any property, sight unseen or not, you should always carry out your own due diligence and ensure that it’s the right purchase for you. Every situation is different so only you will know whether or not buying sight unseen is a necessary risk for you.

If you would like to discuss buying any properties in outer western Sydney then get in touch with one of the team at Professionals Outer Western Sydney.

property prices

Do you understand property yield?

One of the first things you need to consider before purchasing an investment property is what your return on investment is going to be, or in other terms your yield.

What is yield?

Your yield is the measure of the future income of your investment and is worked out as a percentage based on a property’s cost, annual income and running costs. A property’s yield does not take into account capital growth.

You can quickly work out the gross yield of a property using the following formula:

Gross yield = annual rental income (weekly rental x 52) / property value x 100.

For a more accurate estimate of yield, i.e. one that takes into account expenses such as management fees and maintenance costs, it’s best to calculate a property’s net yield.

Net yield = annual rental income (weekly rental x 52) – expenses / property value x 100.

Net yield is generally more useful when doing your sums on a property, however it’s worth keeping in mind that it’s very difficult to accurately assess all expenses a property may have.

Yield vs. capital gains

One of the age-old property investment questions is whether to favour high yields or strong capital growth. Ideally a property would have both, however often investors need to decide which is more important to them.

Strangely enough, often a higher percentage return on investment is obtained from the lessor money spent. Higher long term capital gain opportunities however are more commonly from properties that show a lessor percentage return on investment, requiring a greater weekly / monthly contribution from the investor to hold on to it.

It is possible to have a property with high capital gain percentage and rental yields, but it is very rare.

It is up to each individual to work out what may work for them. A lot of people think that capital gains are king, however if a property is costly to hold onto it can place an investor under a lot of undue financial stress.

A higher yield can help an investor pay down their loan faster and can be useful in that it helps an investment property essentially pay for itself.

So which is the better investment? There is no accurate answer. Each investor needs to weigh up their objectives and how much risk they are willing to take on.

If you need any help we are certainly happy to discuss in the hope that we can assist you in determining what may be best for you.

airplane

Have your say on the Western Sydney Aerotropolis

The initial planning documents for the Western Sydney Aerotropolis have been released and the local community is being invited to have their say.

The documents include rezoning of 11,200-hectares of land around the Western Sydney Airport, to take advantage of the new economic opportunities it will bring to the region.

There are plans for nine new precincts, three of which will be the focus of initial planning and provide the impetus for the area’s growth. They include the “Aerotropolis Core” and the “Northern Gateway” precincts, located at the centre of the Aerotropolis, and the “South Creek” precinct, which will act as a green spine through the area.

These initial precincts will benefit from several key pieces of transport infrastructure already in the pipeline, particularly the North–South Rail Link, which will provide a link from St Marys to the Aerotropolis Core via the Western Sydney Airport.

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment’s executive director of Western Sydney and Aerotropolis activation, Brett Whitworth has said that the Aerotropolis will be a “catalyst for growth in Western Sydney” and will provide “the potential to provide up to 60,000 homes and contribute to 200,000 new jobs”.

“The Aerotropolis will be Sydney’s newest economic hub, helping to realise the vision of a 30-minute city, where people live close to jobs, schools, health and cultural amenities,” he said.

“Innovative planning for the land surrounding Sydney’s new 24-hour airport is critical to its success.

“Our department, working collaboratively with our city deal partners, wants to ensure the community has plenty of opportunity to help determine how we deliver a resilient and vibrant Aerotropolis.”

The first stage Land Use Infrastructure Implementation Plan is on exhibition now until October 12.

Those interested in learning more about the plans can head to a community drop-in session at the Bringelly Community Centre on September 15 from 10am to 1pm. This will provide people with a chance to chat about the plans with expert planners.

The plans can also be viewed online at planning.nsw.gov.au/aerotropolis where you can provide your feedback.

house

Why spring 2018 is a great time to buy a home

With the property market starting to head downwards and interest rates on the move upwards you could be forgiven for thinking that now isn’t the best time to buy, but we are actually in a very favourable market for buyers.

Here’s why.

Weaker property markets

After years of strong property demand in cities like Sydney and Melbourne things are finally starting to turn around for buyers. Sellers have definitely had the upper hand in property negotiations over the last few years, which has kept a lot of buyers on the sidelines.

Now that prices are starting to ease in some areas and there is less competition around, it should be a lot easier for those buyers who are in the market to snag the properties they set their eyes on.

Lots of spring sellers

It may not always hold true, but in general more homes tend to come onto the market during spring, which is great news for those looking to buy. There should be a larger choice of properties available up until Christmas when things are likely to slow down a little.

This gives buyers options and may make it easier to find the particular property they are looking for.

First home buyer incentives

It’s a particularly great time to get into the market if you’re a first home buyer. Both the NSW and Victorian governments introduced stamp duty discounts for first home buyers in July 2017, which can provide significant savings.

First home buyers can also take advantage of grants and the federal government’s First Home Super Saver Scheme, this allows first time buyers to make extra contributions into their super account to help them save for a home faster.

Competitive home loan deals 

While many banks are lifting their interest rates it’s important to remember that they still sit at some of the lowest levels we have seen in recent history. Plus, many banks offer up special deals over spring to entice new customers. It’s well worth shopping around to see what you can find. If you need any help finding the right home loan deal for you then you can contact Professionals Finance for assistance.

house

More interest rate rises from the big banks

The Reserve Bank may have kept the official cash rate on hold at their September meeting for the 25th consecutive month, but the same certainly can’t be said for the major banks. 

Westpac was the first of the major banks to lift their variable rates for both owner occupiers and investors (by 14 basis points) and now they have been followed by both ANZ and CommBank.

ANZ have announced that they will be lifting their variable rates for home buyers and investors by 16 basis points, taking effect from September 27, 2018.

CommBank have also said that they will be hiking their rates, by 15 basis points, from October 4, 2018.

All of the banks have cited increased funding costs as the reason behind the rate hikes.

Will we see more rate hikes?

CoreLogic research head Tim Lawless believes that the cash rate will remain on hold until at least January 2020 and that there may even be the possibility of a lower cash rate. However as we have seen the banks can and are raising their rates independently of Reserve Bank movements.

But Lawless says that the home loan market will remain competitive.

“Despite the outlook for a stable cash rate, but slightly higher mortgage rates, we can expect lenders to remain hyper competitive, particularly for high quality borrowers – those with large deposits, lower debt to income ratios and a strong credit history,” Lawless said.

“Even with mortgage rates starting to edge higher, from a historical perspective, rates remain extremely low which will continue to support housing demand. No doubt borrowers will be applying pressure on their lenders to ensure they are on the lowest rate possible.”

blacktown uni

New university could transform Blacktown

Blacktown City’s plans for a university are one step closer to being realised with the council calling for expressions of interest from universities to establish a campus in the Blacktown CBD.

A new university will help cater to Western Sydney’s rapidly growing population and is part of council’s plans to transform Blacktown into an education, residential and retail hub.

It’s estimated that by 2036 half of Sydney’s population will live in Western Sydney. At present however only 18 per cent of university places are in the Greater Sydney region.

According to Blacktown Mayor Stephen Bali MP, “There are 54,000 higher education students living within 30 minutes of Blacktown. There are 18,000 talented university students living in Blacktown City – but currently they all have to travel long distances to attend their courses.”

“Imagine how great it would be for today’s Year 7 school students to have an opportunity to study at a University right here in Blacktown when they complete their HSC,” Mayor Bali said.

A Blacktown University would open up a lot of doors for local young people and businesses and would be a great asset to the entire region.

It is understood that the project has already attracted a lot of interest.

“The EOI process ensures there is proper governance in place and that all potential University partners are treated in a fair and equitable way,” Mayor Bali said.

“A university campus in Blacktown is obviously needed, but for it to be successful it will have to collaborate with Council, our community and local businesses so it can meet the needs of our diverse community.”

Local businesses have put their support behind the project with Greater Blacktown Business Chamber, Vitex, and Sydney Business Park, all agreeing to partner with Blacktown City Council in moving forward with the concept of a university campus situated in the Blacktown CBD.

The EOI documentation was officially released on 5 September and will close on 5 December 2018.

Council will then work through the submissions and it is expected that they will announce the successful bid in early 2019.

 

Image via https://www.blacktown.nsw.gov.au/