New Federal Budget Changes: Unfair on residential investors or evening out the field?

*This article first appeared in the Midland Express in September 2017

The 2017 Federal Budget announced changes to how depreciation can be claimed on residential properties which could potentially cost some investors tens of thousands of dollars. Some experts claim that these changes while potentially having a negative effect on housing affordability despite these changes being designed to do the opposite.

The measures, announced on budget night, read as follows:

From July 1, 2017, the Government will limit plant and equipment depreciation deductions to outlays actually incurred by investors in residential real estate properties. Plant and equipment items are usually mechanical fixtures or those which can be ‘easily’ removed from a property such as dishwashers and ceiling fans.”

The government expects the changes will save Australia $260 million.

What this means is that the investor can only claim on things that they purchased themselves such as dishwashers, fans or other fixtures, a deduction only possible if they presumably purchased the property new.

But Is this such a big deal?

Investment experts suggest that the impacts to the market might have broader implications then just hitting the pocket of the investor. With investors needing to recoup their costs somehow, the price to recover their expenses will inevitably be passed on to the tenant, all which continues to impact on affordability.

We might see investors now holding onto a property for longer, because they know they won’t get depreciation on their next property.

It is yet to be seen whether these tax changes act as a deterrent for investors but the bigger question for government is what is being done about the supply issue.

For more on real estate and property, visit

My top 5 tips for selling your house in autumn

So we’ve already talked about how autumn is one of the best times to sell your house. So now what?

Here are my top sure-fire tips to help you sell your house this autumn.

1. Make sure your garden is looking its best.
Rake the leaves a few times a week to ensure that the garden looks its best for inspection days. If you can, buy some mature autumn flowering shrubs to plant near entryways to greet potential buyers. Pay attention to your outdoor living space just as you would the interiors. Autumn is the perfect time to showcase the exterior of your home because we all know that first impressions go a long way.

2. Commence the de-clutter
This may seem like an obvious one but you’ll be surprised at how many people still don’t understand the value in getting rid of the junk. Mail stacks on the bench, shoes in the hallway, kids paintings on the fridge – it’s time to tidy the house and keep it like that until the home is sold. And while you are at it, try depersonalising the house as much as you can. Buyers want to imagine living in the house however seeing photographs of you on every wall and hard surface might stop them from doing that.

3. Little fixer-uppers count
You may not have the budget to completely renovate the bathroom before you put the house on the market, but the little fix-it jobs around the house can make all the difference. Tighten loose door handles, remove excess hooks from walls and patch them, repair the leaking tap, put new cushion covers on the couch. All of these small things can amount to a large impression.

4. Ditch the bulk – if you can!
Your furniture should fit the scale of the room. That bulky desk that used to belong to grandma might have sentimental value, but its size might de-value the sale price of your house. Put the bulky furniture in storage for the selling period and give your home spacious flow.

4. Let there be light!
Before the gloom of winter hits, make the most of the autumn light. Open all of the windows and let the natural light stream in. If there are dim areas in your home, place a floor or table lamp in those areas to brighten up the space. Inviting people in to a well light home helps them feel at ease and welcome.

So if you are planning on selling your home, take advantage of the magical autumn months. This could be your season.

Is autumn really the best time to sell?

It is true that spring is traditionally a very busy time for in the real estate industry.

Predictably, after the drawn out gloom of winter we presume that there are plenty of buyers out there wanting to snap up a sunshine dappled home to call their own.

The reality is that spring doesn’t always produce fresh stock or enthusiastic homebuyers. We often see an oversupply of stock which is disappointing for the seller.

But not many people realize that you are actually more likely to sell your home in the autumn months.

It is important to remember that the real estate market is impacted by many influences – interest rates, supply and demand and the general state of the economy all come into play with the market.

Many agents find that they are more successful in converting a sale during autumn then they are in the spring months. And it may come down to the quality of the listing and not the quantity.

Think about it this way.

Many people take a long, extended break over the Christmas period. This is generally a time of personal reflection and goal setting for the coming year. A fresh mindset assists a buyer when it comes to taking the plunge.

It is also a time when a seller can take advantage of the warmer months and finalise some of their renovations and prepare their home for a sale.

An ideal time to list a home is in late summer ready for the autumn buyers, and before the Easter holiday breaks. When your home is prepped and your garden is still green from the warmer months, this is the optimal time to play on your asset and convert it into a sale.

And autumn is such a magical time in the Kyneton region. Think about the majestic oaks and their changing colour! Who hasn’t delighted in their beauty of Kyneton at this time of year.

So if you have found yourself dreaming about selling a new home over the holiday period, now is the time to act!

For more on how to prepare your home for sale in the Autumn months, head on over to and I’ll give you some tips on how you can get the most out of your property.

Kyneton property market has bloomed in spring

If you were looking to buy property in Kyneton over winter, you will have noticed there has not been a lot of opportunity. However, spring is here, and has brought with it new property listings, and great opportunities to buy in the local area.

While there is always a demand for property in Kyneton, during June, July and August this year, buyers lacked choice as relatively few properties were placed on the market.

Spring has seen a revival in the local property market, with more properties being listed, providing many new opportunities for potential buyers.

With interest rates at an all-time low, first home-owners, and investors are in good positions to take advantage of the new properties on the market.

It is also a good time for local buyers who are looking at upsizing, or downsizing, but haven’t been able to find their ideal property and streetscape.

The properties in most demand at the moment are renovated or unrenovated early 1900s weatherboards, and Californian bungalow style homes within walking distance to the main streets and cafes.

The house pictured above is a 1890s period home in Mair street is a great example of the type of properties that are currently available. This particular home was put on the market in October 14th, and sold on October 17th.

If you have been looking for that ideal home in Kyneton but haven’t been able to find it, now may be the time to get back in touch with the local real estate agents to see what new properties have come on the market. You may be pleasantly surprised!

Jennifer Pearce – Raine & Horne

Read more > “Kyneton property market has bloomed in spring”