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I read an article today on the Domain blog in Australia (owned by Fairfax Media) and I cannot believe the total rubbish it conveyed to people. I am so disappointed that I feel forced to discuss it. We can all recognize that someone has done well for themselves – we can praise and applaud that – well done John McGrath – to a point. We can also recognize when they have said something that is too hard to comprehend. So much as to make it simply unbelievable and it has to be discussed.

In a world that is missing realism at times and where the base expectations of the population are set according to media, lies – half-truths at best it is important to point out what is totally ridiculous. Not only do people feel inadequate but they lose sight of reality, feel unsuccessful and like in this case downright ill-informed.

John McGrath, founder of McGrath Estate Agents, stated in a recent blog that property in Australia fell into one of three bands. The Lower End (below $750,000), the mid range ($750,000-$3 million) and the upper end ($3 million to $30 million).

The pure facts are these. Anyone kidding themselves to think that $3m is mid-priced is either lying or living in a fantasy land. The facts are simple – 3.65% of all residential property in Australia in 2007 sold at or above $1million. In other words 96.35% of residential property sold was sold at or less than $1 million. $3 million is NOT mid priced – not in Sydney, not in Regional Australia – not anywhere in Australia. The information is so poor that it needs to be quickly corrected.

I’m not questioning that John McGrath has done well for himself over the years – but that simply does not excuse information that is blatantly incorrect. Since John McGrath has become a franchise agency, seeking to compete with the likes of LJ Hooker and Ray White, it is laughable that he should set such benchmarks given that the majority of the properties for sale through his franchise offices in New South Wales are of “the lower end”.  I’m sure this isn’t the message his agents are conveying to their clients.

Why point this out? Simply people are given so much information that cannot be backed up by evidence and those that are unaware of the reality can at times feel inadequate. What do you need to do to be successful? What have you done wrong? How can you possibly achieve that? The reality is very different to the perception.

I am disappointed that John McGrath would publicly say something that is simply wrong – he is smarter than that and it concerns me that many people will read his material and question themselves thinking he is telling the truth – Shame on you John McGrath.

Michael Marquette

FYI: Read related articles on Luxury Homes; Buying Real Estate; and Michael Marquette

With news that Germany is now officially in recession, is the domino effect in full swing?  Can Australia resist – maybe, maybe not – hopefully New South Wales is not the trendsetter.  As the only Australian state in recession, the hapless State government has decided that the best way to stimulate growth and kick-start the economy is…wait for it…put up taxes and hit families and small businesses hard.  What planet are they on?

In this issue of our e-mag we’ve tried hard to balance the heavy and light-hearted to keep things running smoothly for you.  We haven’t sugar-coated the bad news, but we’ve made sure there’s some luxury and fun included.

It’s no secret that Barack Obama utilized the internet and social networking massively during his election campaign.  We note that Australia’s political leaders have taken this onboard too, meaning that as well as Facebook and MySpace, you can now follow Kevin Rudd on Twitter and also Liberal leader, Malcolm Turnbull.  See for yourself by clicking on the links, and don’t forget you can follow the Marquette Turner team too (see the bottom of this email for the links, and also more information).

Keep checking our blog to stay informed on life and its luxuries – it’s updated many times a day.  You can check out the Nov 14 e-mag, or browse through our blog right here, right now.

Enjoy!

Michael Marquette & Simon Turner

“A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have” Thomas Jefferson

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Here are the auction clearance rates for Australian capital cities, for the weekend ending Nov 02, 2008.

Source: RP Data

FYI: See more articles on Auction Clearance Rates, Real Estate and The Auction Strategy

The week ahead will be momentous for numerous reasons: The US Presidential Election will reach it’s crescendo, the Melbourne Cup will be run and the Reserve Bank will have, we suspect, reduced Australian interest rates further.

As I sit in the London sun – I kid you not – it’s worth remembering that no race is over ’til it’s over, and one must never misjudge the finish line.

Stay in the race by reading our 31 Oct 08 e-magazine, or browse through our blog.  Be ready…stay steady.

Regards,
Simon Turner

It is time to speak out loudly about what is happening in Sydney’s real estate market.   Clearly it does vary from suburb to suburb and looking at the Luxury end of the market there has been a slight reduction in price in some areas. Properties at the very top end (over $10M) are holding their price. It has been quoted that the share market collapse, job losses and the disappearance of assets is having an impact on housing prices in Australia with some people being forced to market their properties.

It is vital to understand that Australia is a prosperous nation which is not in recession or even close to a recession. Australia is continuing to grow (at a reduced forecast of around 2%), unemployment is very low, inflationary conditions are improving and the Australian Banks seem to have buffered themselves to a large extent from the mess that many other Banks around the world succumbed to.

This is not the carnage the press would like us to believe. Sales volumes are down and some people are choosing to sell and others need to sell (not terribly different to any other time) – If people can sell, they will.  If they can’t, they will weather the storm.

Some real estate agents (I will not name them) have been quoted in Newspapers as saying that they have reduced prices on properties from $1.5m through to $6.5M.  The question which needs to be asked here is, “By how much were these properties overpriced by the real estate agent initially?” Many agents and vendors over price property (Again I ask what has changed?). In any market overpriced property needs to have price reductions and this is true of any period in time.

Earlier in the week Michael Marquette stated: “Real estate is the logical asset class at the moment. In a difficult time on the stock market it has been consistently proven that people turn to property. Australian property will be attractive to people overseas like never before. The country is holding together, real estate has not collapsed and our lower dollar makes for some excellent buying opportunities for people living in countries like the UK and the United States. I believe a lot of American money will be attracted to Australia and it makes sense that it is invested in property”.

Christine Watson

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