No Comments

What’s in store for Melbourne after the elections?

In the recent Victorian State Election, the Labor government led by Premier Daniel Andrews won a second four-year term, defeating the Liberal opposition by an increased majority of 52 seats. To be sure, Labor has grand plans for Victoria lining up to be executed, but investors will be more concerned about what’s in store for the property market. In their election manifesto, Labor had major plans for housing as well as transport and infrastructure. Let’s take a look.

Housing and Planning

Apartments in Melbourne set to reach the next level. Source: Financial Review
Apartments in Melbourne set to reach the next level. Source: Financial Review

Labor plans to improve the housing market in Victoria generally and to also put it on par with the Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET), the party’s primary focus for the environment. These efforts are to advance the quality and sustainability of the residential property in Victoria and forge a better standard of living.

Labor has promised that apartment buildings will be subject to a range of tougher standards such as mandatory green space, installation of sun protection and safe cladding. This is particularly important in consideration of the property boom in Melbourne’s inner city, with its rapid growth of high rise apartments. This suggests that there may be increased costs for future developments, in order to comply with these standards.

There also will be subsidies for rooftop solar panels on 700,000 homes, including a plan to allow the government to share costs with tenants and landlords for solar panel installation on rental properties. This will make buildings more energy efficient.

Transport and Infrastructure

Transport links in Victoria is in for a huge transformation. Source: Herald Sun
Transport links in Victoria are in for a huge transformation. Source: Herald Sun

Labor has a solid record for transport and infrastructure projects. Having already more than $60bn of rail and road projects in the pipeline, the party has further pledged to provide “the biggest transformation of public transport in Australian history”, which is to complete a $50bn suburban underground rail loop including 12 new underground stations.  This is set to complete in 2050.

Additionally, Labor has fulfilled their previous promise to remove 50 of the most dangerous level crossings over eight years, improving safety and efficiency. The revised promise is for 75 to be gone by 2025, and the good news is that they are ahead of schedule, having already removed a total of 29 this term.

Many of Labor’s big projects are either already underway or have start dates including the $11bn Metro Tunnel project, the North East Link and the West Gate tunnel. Work on the long-awaited rail link to the airport will begin by 2022, and $100m has been allocated for planning towards fast trains to Geelong and Ballarat. Upgrades for the arterial roads and country rail lines are also part of Labor’s manifesto.

What’s in it for Investors?

The re-election of Labor is great news for the property investment in Victoria, especially urban Melbourne. The party’s housing and planning manifesto gives good sustainability that would catalyze the housing market.

The transport and infrastructure manifesto has high potentials to increase job demand. Melbourne has overtaken Sydney as the best place to find a job in Australia according to the Commsec’s quarterly State of the States report, which would only fortify its population growth. Added to this is the increased accessibility for residents living in the suburbs to work in the city, making Melbourne a top choice for anyone looking for a home.

This gives investors promising opportunities with good potential for capital growth and good rental yields, both of which is the highlight of any investment prospect.

Interested in getting in to the Melbourne property market and benefitting from its low vacancy rate and future development plans? Give us a call at (+65) 3163 8343 (Singapore), 03-2162 2260 (Malaysia), or email us at info@csiprop.com!

Article by Lydia Devadas; Edited by Ian Choong

Sources:

  • https://www.news.com.au/national/politics/australian-politics-live-tuesday-november-27/news-story/9bd4e3ca763cb24fc3c83e0b9eaea33f
  • https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/nov/24/labor-secures-stunning-victory-in-victorian-election-as-voters-reject-fear
  • https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/nov/20/victorian-election-what-the-parties-are-promising
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2018_Victorian_state_election
  • Image Credit: https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/state-politics/victorian-state-election-2018-live-coverage-daniel-andrews-pleads-for-stable-majority/news-story/bd299031c2325f4401a499ff14a33c1f

 

No Comments

Victoria Smashes NSW for the Second Time in a Row

Once again, Victoria has overtaken New South Wales (NSW) as the state with the strongest overall economic performance rankings in Australia.

Margin lender CommSec’s latest quarterly (Oct 2018) State of the States report has revealed that Victoria has come out top in several key indicators, namely economic growth, employment, construction activity and population growth. This is the first time that Melbourne has beaten Sydney as the best place to find a job in Australia, with trend unemployment rate at its lowest in a decade.

Victoria has a promising employment market
Victoria has a promising employment market

The unemployment rate in Victoria stands at 4.7%, approximately 17.4% lower than the decade average. Victoria’s employment rate, however, is well above (13%) the decade average, making it the best state to secure a job across Australia.

Apart from the employment rate, Victoria was also ranked first in construction activity. This is the second time that Melbourne has beaten Sydney to the top spot in this sector.

The increasing construction activity gives good investment prospect
The increasing construction activity gives a good investment prospect. Image Credit: Mail Online

Victoria retained top spot with construction work done almost 39% above its decade average.

NSW construction was next strongest at 31.4% followed by South Australia, up 25.3%. Construction work done in these states were at record highs in the June quarter.

Victoria also topped the ranking for the second consecutive time as the state with the highest economic growth. Last quarter, it knocked NSW off its perch for the first time in a decade.

Victoria leads the way in economic growth.
Victoria leads the way in economic growth.

Economic activity in Victoria in the June quarter was 26.7% above the decade average level, ahead of NSW at 25.7%.

Victoria the clear winner
Victoria emerged the clear winner in CommSec’s latest quarterly economic rankings. Image Credit: CommSec State of the States Report (Oct 2018)

When looking across growth rates for the states and territories, it is clear that Victoria had exceeded the national average in all of the eight indicators measured, albeit by a narrow margin.

Last quarter, Victoria remained just ahead of NSW with strong economic strength, population growth, construction and investment activity.

Investment Prospect

The strong quarterly performance augurs well for Victoria.

Investors can look forward to leveraging upon these promising aspects of Melbourne, using it as a guide to future investments that could result in good rental yield and capital appreciation.  

By Lydia Devadas
Edited by Vivienne Pal

Source:

 

Register your Interest

No Comments

What Does the UK Budget Have in Store for Property Investors?

The UK Autumn Budget proved that despite the government’s latest initiatives in addressing housing affordability for first home buyers, landlords remain pivotal to the supply of housing in the UK.

At a glance, the Autumn Budget (Oct 29) had good news for first-time house buyers in the reduction of stamp duty on jointly-owned property. The relief applies to homes of up to £500,000 and is in addition to the first-time buyer stamp duty exemption announced last year.

The Chancellor also declared that the government would allocate £500m for the Housing Infrastructure Fund to enable a further 650,000 homes to be built. This is on top of the previous pledge of 300,000 homes per year, on average, to raise housing supply by the mid-2020s.

Alongside the newly announced stamp duty relief for first home buyers, this is a laudable measure to alleviate housing unaffordability, yet there remains a lack in optimism where the issue of housing supply is concerned.

Landlords & Private Rental Sector: A Necessity to Solve UK Housing Woes

Historically, the UK has been plagued by a chronic shortage of housing. Not only had the government failed to meet its previous target of building 240,000 homes by 2016 (a target set in 2007), it had also changed Housing Ministers 16 times — more than 20 times faster than the average UK homeowner moves houses!

A research by Heriot-Watt University shows that the undersupply has become even more critical: England alone faces a backlog of 4 million houses.

UK house price and rental forecast 2018-2021 (CBRE)
UK house price and rental forecast 2018-2021 (CBRE)

More houses are needed to address homelessness as well as skyrocketing house prices and rents. And this is where the private rental sector comes in. Not only are landlords pivotal in ensuring the supply of rental housing for the growing number of young people unable to afford their own homes, they also provide flexibility for millennials who prefer to rent.

New research has shown that UK property remains a lucrative investment with 88% of landlords able to gain a profit, as the imbalance in supply and demand continue to drive rental prices.

Updated Incentives/Exemptions for Landlords

Investors and landlords can look forward to the following updates moving forward:

(a) PERSONAL ALLOWANCE

Landlords can claim an increased personal allowance amount of £12,500 off their taxes in 2019/20. The personal allowance is currently at £11,850.

(b) CGT ANNUAL EXEMPTION

The Capital Gains Tax (CGT) annual exemption will be increased from £11,700 in 2018/19 to £12,000 in 2019/20.

Potential SDLT surcharge

Some weeks ago, Prime Minister Theresa May announced the possibility of a Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) surcharge of 1% – 3% to be imposed on overseas landlords/ property buyers from Jan 2019.

The government has now revealed that it will propose a surcharge amounting to only 1% during the Budget, and that a consultation on the surcharge will be published in January. Stay tuned as we continue to monitor the news and provide updates in due course.

Interested to invest in UK property and be a landlord? Invest before the foreigner SDLT surcharge kicks in in 2019! Call us and make that smart choice today at (+65) 3163 8343 (Singapore), 03-2162 2260 (Malaysia). Or, email us at info@csiprop.com!

Find out more about Arden Gate, our latest Birmingham residential investment property in the Midlands. Birmingham has been voted the UK's fastest-growing city by PwC. Come meet our developer rep and learn about Birmingham's bullish property market.

Find out more about Arden Gate, our latest Birmingham residential investment property in the Midlands. Birmingham has been voted one of the UK’s fastest-growing city by PwC. Come meet our developer rep and learn about Birmingham’s bullish property market.

By Lydia Devadas
Edits & additions by Vivienne Pal

Source:

No Comments

Millennials Loss in Home Ownership A Landlord’s Gain?

Home ownership, especially among the young, in the UK has declined significantly compared to a decade ago. As the name suggests, Generation Rent is growing, now more than ever before.

Today, 40% of young adults are unable to afford one of the cheapest homes in their area even with a 10% deposit.

For 25- to 34-year-olds earning between £22,200 and £30,600 per year, home ownership fell to just 27% in 2016 from 65% two decades ago. This is an indication of home ownership collapse over the past 20 years especially among those from the middle-income range.

Back in 2016, data by the Office for National Statistics had highlighted that the number of homeowners in the 22- to 29-year-old age group stood at 37% in 2008 compared to just 27% over the last 10 years. This drop in homeownership among young adults has several contributing factors.

The drop in homeownership among young adults. Image credit: IFS
The drop in homeownership among young adults. Image credit: IFS

Disparity in House Price Growth vs Income Growth

Rising house prices relative to income growth has robbed the younger generation of the ability to buy their own home, while the increase in rental rates has made it almost impossible to save for a deposit.

House prices have risen around 7 times faster compared to wages over the last two decades. New research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) reveals that since 1997, the average property price has risen by 173% in England after adjusting for inflation, and by 253% in London. Meanwhile, rental cost has risen from an average of £140 a week to £200 a week in England.

The expanding disproportion between income rate and ever-growing house prices is resulting in a severe unaffordability crisis among young adults.

Income versus house price growth Source: IFS, Image Credit: The Sun
Income versus house price growth Source: IFS, Image Credit: The Sun

According to a report by the Sun, back in 1995/96, 2 in 3 (65%) of 25- to 34-year-olds from the middle-income bracket were homeowners.

But by 2015/16, the number plummeted to just 27% where only 1 out 4 of this group owned their own home.

At the time,  average house prices were a staggering 152% higher than they were 20 years earlier after adjusting for inflation. Meanwhile,  the nett family income of those aged 25-34 increased by only 22% over the same period, causing a relentless imbalance between household incomes and house price growth.

A Preference for Experience-focused Living

Another notable factor is the youngsters’ preference for an experience-focused living.

Millennials prefer living amongst a like-minded community. For many, renting a house enables them to live close to the city centre — which also happens to be where they prefer working — and be part of a community that possesses similar lifestyle practices. This aspect seems to have taken the priority seat compared to being able to buy a house.

Purchasing a property near the city centre is close to impossible due to exorbitant prices, hence, renting becomes the next best option.

An Opportunity for Investment

This drop in home ownership and high demand for rental properties amongst the millennials signifies a huge shift for the UK’s rental and investment sector, offering opportunities for investment returns. In Manchester alone, one of the fastest-growing cities in UK, an estimated 11,000 new jobs are forecasted to increase by 2022, yet only 4,000 new properties in the city centre are expected to be built by then.

The lack of supply in residential properties alongside growing job opportunities increases the demand for rental properties which, reciprocally, opens the gateway for investment. In September 2018, the UK government and Barclays Bank announced a new £1 billion loan fund to drive construction levels in the country’s property sector, with a focus on providing greater numbers of purpose-built rental property in key markets.

The ever-growing rental market promising capital growth and rental income clearly opens an array of investment opportunities for investors looking to spend their money wisely.

By Lydia Devadas 
Edited by Vivienne Pal

  • https://www.ifs.org.uk/uploads/publications/bns/BN224.pdf
  • https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/housing/articles/homeownershipdownandrentingupforfirsttimeinacentury/2015-06-19
  • https://www.bbc.com/news/business-45776289
  • https://www.theguardian.com/money/2018/apr/17/one-in-three-uk-millennials-will-never-own-a-home-report
  • csiprop.com/investors-can-look-forward-to-uk-rents-increase-of-15/
  • https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/5590859/one-in-four-middle-earners-own-home-ifs-report/
  • csiprop.com/manchester-top-10-in-the-world-for-fdi/
  • https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-housing-barclays/barclays-and-uk-government-launch-1-billion-pound-house-building-fund-idUKKCN1LR2P1
  • Image Source: https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/05/01/shocking-uk-renting-facts_n_5246159.html

 

No Comments

UK Landlords Still Making a Profit, Survey Finds

The UK rental sector is buoyant with demand for rental properties increasing and landlords making a profit. By region, the Northwest has shown the highest yields to date.

88% of landlords in the UK made a profit in the last three months (July – Sept), research by BM Solutions found.

The buy-to-let arm of Lloyds Banking Group did a survey of 700 landlords in the UK, finding further that landlords who reported a loss were a mere 4% of those surveyed, with the remaining 8% breaking even.

This is positive news for property investors, one that is buffered by the undersupply of housing in the UK.  

BM Solutions head Phil Rickards said, “Despite many recent challenges to the buy-to-let market, it’s encouraging that more landlords have made a profit from their buy-to-let properties this quarter, and that landlords are feeling slightly more upbeat when it comes to the near-term prospects for rental yields, the UK private rental sector and their own letting business compared to (the same quarter) last year.”

Average rental yields in Q3 2018 were still at a high of 5.9%, albeit not at the record levels seen last quarter at 6.2% – the highest since Q4 2014.

By region, yields in the Northwest were the highest at 6.7%, while the lowest yields were found in Scotland at 4.9%. Central London was at 5.3%.

Tenant demand had increased to the highest level recorded since Q2 2017. The proportion of landlords reporting a drop in tenant demand is now at its lowest point since the end of 2016, falling 8% from the last quarter.

Mr Rickards said, “For those speculating about the future of buy-to-let, the figures supporting tenant demand should help to dispel this myth. Considering the much talked about shortage of housing supply, it is vital that we continue to support a healthy private rental sector and with tenant demand scores improving, or remaining stable across all UK regions, it is clear that the private rental sector still has a very important part to play.”

A third of landlords surveyed raised rents over the past 12 months, representing a slight increase from Q2. There was also an increase in the proportion planning to increase rents in the next six months, reaching 27% from 24%. More landlords are also seeing rents rising in the areas where they let properties, with an increase of 9% from Q2.

Even in the capital, where house price growth has seen better days, demand for residential property continues to rise.

Residential letting specialists Benham & Reeves says that the last quarter has been the busiest in their history. Q3 2018 had a 22.1% increase in transaction volumes compared to 2017 Y-O-Y.

The agency said in a statement: “We now have 22 applicants per property, compared with 16 at the same time last year, a sure sign that the world’s capital, London, shows no sign of lessening in popularity in terms of where to live.

“It’s been a staggering three months when you consider how much the London property market has been in the news, in addition to fears around Brexit continuing to make the headlines. This has not impacted on the appetite for London rentals, however. From small units to large, from new-build apartments to period, basement properties, demand has been high across the board, and at every price point.”

Interested in being a UK landlord and benefitting from the intense demand for housing there? Come check out our latest investment in the Northwest and find out how you can get amazing yields. Give us a call at (+65) 3163 8343 (Singapore), 03-2162 2260 (Malaysia), or email us at info@csiprop.com!

By Ian Choong; Edits by Vivienne Pal

Sources:

  • http://www.propertyreporter.co.uk/landlords/record-number-of-landlords-make-profit-in-q3.html
  • https://www.mortgagestrategy.co.uk/record-proportion-of-landlords-make-profit-bm-solutions/
  • http://www.propertyreporter.co.uk/landlords/could-average-rents-in-the-north-west-be-about-to-soar.html
  • Featured image: expatriates.co.uk
No Comments

Perth Property Prices to Increase in Jan 2019

These next two months will be the last for foreign investors to make substantial savings on Perth property purchases. Come Jan 2019, Western Australia will join the rest of the country in imposing a stamp duty surcharge on foreign property buyers in the state.

 

Earlier this year, the Western Australia (WA) government announced that foreign buyers of residential property in the state will have to pay a stamp duty surcharge of 7%. WA is the last state in the country to impose a stamp duty surcharge on foreign property buyers.

The tax will be in force from 1st Jan 2019, and brings WA into line with the rest of Australia in imposing a foreign purchaser duty surcharge. This surcharge is now imposed by the six Australian states and the ACT at varying rates and scope.

Current additional stamp duty rates for foreign buyers in the Australian states
Current additional stamp duty rates for foreign buyers in the Australian states.

Australian citizens, Permanent Residents and special category visa holders do not need to pay this tax.

Corporations and trusts are not exempted as long as foreign interests in the entity exceed 50%.

Residential developments with 10 or more lots are excluded from the tax.

Cost breakdown of a WA property valued at A$500,000
Cost breakdown of a WA property valued at A$500,000

Industry players like the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA) have opposed the tax. Its outgoing President, Hayden Groves said the tax will cause an upward pressure on rental prices.

A turn for the better

Perth’s median house price for September was at $505,000, 1% lower compared to last year YOY. Comparatively, 3 years ago the median house price was declining at a more significant pace, recording a 4.2% decline between September 2015 and September 2014.

Although prices in Perth remain soft, the decline of house prices has slowed, which is good news and an indicator that prices are starting to bottom out. Improved affordability in the Perth housing market presents investors with an excellent opportunity to get in before the additional stamp duty kicks in on Jan 1st, 2019 and prices start to rise again.

Incoming REIWA president Damian Collins said that in this quarter leasing activity was up, median rents remained stable, stock levels had reduced, average leasing times were quicker and the vacancy rate had plummeted to its lowest level in more than four years.

Perth’s vacancy rate declined to 3.9% during the September 2018 quarter – the lowest level Perth has experienced since the March 2014 quarter.

Located on Murray Str, in the heart of Perth city, NV is within 1 minute reach of top designer brands (King's Str) and a vibrant F&B & lifestyle area (Shafto Ln). NV boasts top notch lifestyle amenities and a trophy property in this growing city. NV will be envy of all. INVEST NOW BEFORE STAMP DUTY INCREASE OF 7% ON 1 JAN 2019.
Located on Murray Str, in the heart of Perth city, NV is within 1 minute reach of top designer brands (King’s Str) and a vibrant F&B & lifestyle area (Shafto Ln). NV boasts top notch lifestyle amenities and is a trophy property in this growing city. NV will be envy of all. INVEST NOW BEFORE STAMP DUTY INCREASE OF 7% ON 1 JAN 2019.

Mr Collins said, “With all key market indicators improving during the September quarter, Perth’s vacancy rate has now fallen below the 10 year average.

“The rental sector is really leading the charge in the Perth property market recovery. The September 2018 quarter results are very encouraging and should provide landlords and investors with a lot of confidence.”

Interested in to get into the Perth property market before the 7% tax kicks in? One of the latest developments in the city’s prime CBD (central business district), NV Apartments, has a superb location with a whole host of luxurious amenities, from just A$313,000. Act quickly and give us a call at (+65) 3163 8343 (Singapore), 03-2162 2260 (Malaysia), or email us at info@csiprop.com.

By Ian Choong
Edited by Vivienne Pal

Sources:

  • https://reiwa.com.au/about-us/news/perth-rental-market-has-strong-september-quarter/
  • http://www.ironfish.com.au/blog/2018/06/06/foreign-investors-consider-western-australia/
  • https://reiwa.com.au/about-us/news/foreign-buyer-surcharge-sends-wrong-message-to-vital-skilled-migrants/
  • Featured image: Nomads Hostels

Register your Interest