Buying in times of uncertainty

There is so much change taking place in our world right now as we navigate our way through a new way of living as the COVID-19 global pandemic unfolds.

Our home is our castle and we are truly at bay, remaining cautious with concerns about job security, household income and our new stay-at-home lifestyle.

The property market is also changing and we are receiving a lot of questions from both sellers and potential buyers seeking advice on the current landscape.

With job losses on the immediate horizon and financial security at the top of minds around the country, it is difficult to look to the future and to make major decisions based on purchasing or selling.

Like a breath of fresh air, it is with welcome relief that many organisations are already starting to look forward to spring in the form of a light at the end of the tunnel, and this is the same in the property industry.

The cost of borrowing is lower than it has ever been; interest rates are at an all-time low and banks are continuing to lend. With stimulus packages coming into play over the coming weeks and month, it is likely that the property market will remain stable on the back of additional funds being put back into the economy.

So should you be selling or buying in the current market? First you need to understand what your rationale is for purchasing or selling. Is your decision a financial or emotional reaction?

For investors, sellers and buyers, this is a time to seek out opportunities and to research your local area. As a real estate agent, I can provide you with market insights and trends which are changing daily. Dependent on your needs, your local agent is a vital source of knowledge during uncertain financial times.

While coronavirus is making the community nervous, the supply and demand of property will always be there. While we may see a short period of disruption – like with all industries – the property market, which has an excellent foundation following a price growth in 2019, will still maintain its strong hold through this stormy ride.

Taking care of an historical home

There’s something fantastically dreamy about owning and potentially renovating your own slice of history. The fantasy of touching a worn bluestone corner, a much-loved timber bannister or simply becoming caretaker to over a century of stories can be a breathtaking opportunity.

Being on the cusp of the Goldfields run, the mid 1850s saw a huge growth in the township of Kyneton which quickly became the main agricultural centre of the state. Large bluestone flour mills were built to house the wheat, courthouses, churches and hotels serving as accommodation and eateries followed soon after.

Kyneton is rich in history and you can see this down most streets, in particular the iconic Piper Street which is home to the original Bank of NSW, now the Kyneton Museum positioned alongside many great preserved properties.

Bluestone buildings, old warehouses, faded ghost signs on the sides of buildings are just some of the fascinating indicators of times of the past.

Becoming an owner of an historical property can become a full-time job in itself. Heritage overlays, permits and restoration require research. A caretaker of an historical property doesn’t just invest money, but love and time.

The local historical society and the Victorian Archives can provide assistance when researching your historical home. These organisations can open up a treasure trove of information on your property which can assist with planning renovations or restorations. You could find photographs, articles on previous owners, plans, maps and more.

I meet many buyers or just curious property sleuths who are searching for their periodic home, perhaps a house with a story or something old that they are hoping to inject a fresh breath of life into.

Kyneton is a beautiful bluestone building country capital. Preservation is a role of passion and if you are looking to secure your own slice of the past, I can help you find your new historical adventure.

What does Climate Change mean for the property market?


*this article first appeared in the January 2020 Midland Express

As climate change makes extreme weather events increasingly frequent and severe, could the Australian property market take a hit?


A Climate Council study warns the value of Australian property could plunge over the next decade unless governments have the political will to deal with climate change.


The Climate Council report estimates $4 trillion could be wiped off economic growth over the next 80 years if carbon emissions do not fall.


The research estimates residential property value losses of $571 billion by 2030 related to increased extreme weather events, along with higher insurance premiums, particularly for those in bush fire prone and coastal areas. That would wipe approximately 9% of the total residential property value in Australia.


The report also indicates that these losses would not be evenly spread, as an estimated 6 % of property owners would bear the brunt of climate change risks, most likely through insurance costs.


Insurers, however, will continue to underwrite the risk at an individual property level. Where the risk is high, it will be reflected in the individual premium. Increasingly, Australians are going to struggle to pay for insurance. On current trends, by 2030 one in every 19 property owners faces the prospect of insurance premiums that will be effectively unaffordable if they are living in higher-risk areas.


Homebuyers can now find out whether climate change will hurt the value of the home they’re interested in by predicting the costs of various climate-related scenarios.


Online tools like VicPlan can generate a property report, including bushfire hazards, or the My Hazards App supports understanding weather-related and natural disaster risks that could potentially affect homes and businesses.


Real estate will always be a business of location. But as the climate change era marches on, buyers and sellers need to be aware of what risks might come with their investment.


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Buying before Christmas could be the best gift you give yourself

*this article first appeared in the December 2019 Midland Express

Many real estate agents close between the Christmas New Year period. It’s also a time of year where families are preoccupied with school holidays, Christmas celebrations and impending trips. Predictably, property sales start to slow down.

However, for the savvy property seller or buyer, there can be golden opportunities in the lead-up to Christmas. Many of buyers are picking up the pace of their property hunt because while most people are out celebrating and enjoying the festive season and not searching for property, the hunters have a greater opportunity to grab a bargain.

One of the advantages of buying in December is that some sellers might wish to wrap up a deal before the end of year. This might mean they are more open to offers, especially if you can move quickly and settle early. This can lead to a better price for the buyer and peace of mind for the seller moving into the new year. Another potential advantage for buyers is that there can be an opportunity to pick up residual stock, as other buyers drop out of the market.

By this point in the year, many buyers are likely to be experiencing buyer fatigue. They’ve likely been looking at property after property since at least spring and can become frustrated. This can work for or against the seller. Some buyers will end up withdrawing from the market, meaning there will be fewer potential buyers.

Many vendors are reluctant to compete with new stock that comes onto the market in the new year so the opportunity to sell before Christmas is another motivating factor.

There are more advantages then disadvantages for buyers and sellers during the December period, but the greatest opportunity lies in transitioning into a new year (and decade!) without the concerns that come with buying and selling

Richard Branson once said, “When you find yourself on the side of the majority, then you’re on the wrong side”. This is especially true of buying property at Christmas.

Merry Christmas.

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Why is the Kyneton market so strong?

*This article was originally published in the November 2019 Midland Express

If you live in Central Victoria, it won’t come as a surprise to you that the property market remains buoyant.

Over the decade, an influx of tree-changers and retiree downsizers have steadily moved into the area. With promises of a more affordable home, an engaging community lifestyle and proximity to Melbourne’s CBD, Kyneton has seen unprecedented growth over the last couple of years.

Prices in Kyneton have risen 12.7 per cent in over a year with median house prices sitting at $580,000 (the national median is around $485,00). The previous year saw a growth of 8.2 per cent.

While the demand for properties in Kyneton remaining high and with limited stock within the local township area for both sale and rent being available, agents are finding interest in areas like Malmsbury, Trentham and Taradale is becoming common.

But it isn’t just first home buyers moving into the community. A sophisticated creative class and professional community, along with couples and individuals who are at the end of their working careers who support the strength of the property market.

Rentals continue to be in hot demand in and around the Macedon Ranges. Tourists and weekenders who delight in the prospect of a move to the country often seek a rental opportunity to “try before they buy”. Add to that a burgeoning seasonal workforce requiring accommodation while working for agribusiness and livestock producers, the rental yield for investors is fantastic to say the least.

With limited stock and land releases in and around Kyneton, and the continued demand for housing, the Kyneton market does not look to be cooling any time soon.

Life in the country sure is sweet, but maybe more so for those considering a sale.

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