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Fisk & Nagle

Will Real Estate Property Momentum Continue in 2014?

The combination of low interest rates, foreign buyers, upgrader enthusiasm and investor momentum saw 2013 emerge from its property holding pattern and the market become reinvigorated.

RP Data analyst Cameron Kusher said he believes momentum in property will continue into the new year, propelled by investors and upgraders.

He also believes values will climb further, though not as sharply in 2014. Another of his predictions is that gross rental yields in Sydney and Melbourne will continue the decline they commenced in latter 2013, leading investors to look at alternative growth zones. These are good tidings for the Far South Coast of NSW.  The last few months of the year had seen keen interest in the area, with properties that were priced right being snapped up, some as soon as they came on the market.

However, Mr. Kusher issued a warning about other economic wild cards, like the unemployment rate, stating  “If it reaches 6.25% it will be the nation’s highest unemployment rate since September 2002. If people start to become nervous about their job security it is likely to result in a lower level of demand for housing.”

Rates are at their lowest levels since the 1960s and inflation is currently at 2.2%.  Keep in mind that the Australian interest rates don’t operate in a bubble – they respond to what’s happening in the global economy. The recent fall of the Australian dollar of 2.5 cents against the U.S. dollar as a result of the U.S. winding back its stimulus is a reminder that inflation could increase if the dollar keeps falling and the cost of imports increase. If inflation increases we could see a rise in interest rates.   The all important question now is whether the RBA will increase or decrease rates, or leave them as is in the new year.

With keen interest from both local buyers and those from interstate in Merimbula, Bega, Tura Beach, Eden and Cooma and the current low interest rates together with confidence in the real estate market, vendors should not delay listing their properties for sale.  Now is a prime time to sell.

Yield The Golden Word When Buying an Investment Property

There’s no doubt that yield is the golden word for investors.  Other things may come into play, such as lifestyle or infrastructure potential, such as the Bega Hospital and Eden Wharf developments, but the income return on the property is usually the major concern for the purchaser.  The Sydney market has been hot for investment properties to the extent that Investors are crowding each other out, resulting in a slight drop in yields.  That gives regional towns on the South Coast and Monaro such as Bega, Merimbula, Tura Beach, Eden and Cooma the inside track for investors looking for positive returns.

Yield is generally calculated annually as a percentage.  It is based on the asset price or market value of a property. The gross yield is the income (i.e. rent) derived from the investment before expenses are taken out.  The net yield is the income less expenses. These expenses could include stamp duty, legal fees, pest and building inspections, repairs and maintenance, property management fees, insurance, rates, strata management fees.

The yield is stated as a percentage and is worked out as –
Gross yield = annual rental income / property value x 100
Net yield = annual rental income – annual expenses / property value x 100

The return or total return includes capital gains. It is quoted as a percentage and is retrospective, based on the gain or loss of the investment during a particular period.

Increasing housing demand drives property prices up and this can affect the yield of an investment. The more prices go up, the lower the percentage between rents (income) to property value. According to Australian Property Monitor’s figures for the September quarter, this is exactly what is happening in Sydney right now. With the current low interest rates many investors are considering purchasing property for negative gearing. Purchasers should ask the right questions of Real Estate Agents to ensure they know the likely net yield on a property before they purchase.

Fisk and Nagle Real Estate Tips- Kitchen: Most Popular Room in the House?

Over the years, the Australian kitchen has transformed into the core of the house for snacking, eating, gathering, and talking. The small, basic kitchens have been replaced with larger ones with many amenities like islands, multiple sinks, fancy lighting, large fridges and wonderful appliances. What’s desirable? A warm, sociable kitchen.

Before electricity, family kitchens where large but simple. They featured a heat source for cooking and a built in sink without running water. It was where family members performed chores and socialised with each other.

Then, timesaving devices where introduced and fewer people were needed to prepare a meal. There was a loss in social importance of the kitchen. In many cases, the other rooms of the house had become popular, often because the kitchen was too small.

Builders have now changed their plans, as they have realised the importance of the kitchen. Plans have incorporated kitchens as a social room again. Consider how many times you enter your kitchen today. For most families, the kitchen serves as a central hub of the home. Everyone seems to gather around the kitchen!

Preparing Your House For Sale #4- The Room that Sells

The kitchen is the one room that can make or break a sale. It is usually the most expensive room in any house, so if you are selling your home prospective buyers don’t want to see a kitchen that needs a total upgrade. This doesn’t’ necessarily mean a total re-fit, there are some small things you can do to make your kitchen more appealing to buyers.

If you have more on your kitchn benches than in the cupboards you need to clear the clutter. A fresh coat of paint can work wonders in a drab kitchen, especially if cooking splatters have become a feature! Don’t forget your worn tiles – a little primer and paint can make a huge difference.

Buyers know just how expensive a new oven or dishwasher can be, so they may shy away from your house if they think they will need to spend up big on replacements for these appliances. If your appliances are out of date, consider replacing them. It may be a worthwhile investment.

Swapping cabinet doors can give your kitchen a whole new look. If entirely new doors are outside your budget you can make a huge difference by simply replacing the handles of your cupboads and drawers.

Being a task room, the lighting in a kitchen is something buyers will take careful note of. A good idea is to install fluorescent or spot lights under top cupboard to provide light for the benchtop work area.

Manypeople think that replacing a scratched and stained benchtop is just too costly, but not all benchtop materials are that expensive. This small investment could save your sale!

If your kitchen floor is a little worse for wear, lift the lino and if you have them, polish the floorboards udnerneath. Otherwise lay vinyl flooring, which is easy to clean. Alternatively you may like to use tiles for a contemporary cool feeling

Auctions Get Lower Prices

Despite the booms in many areas, thousands of home sellers are turning their backs on auctions and benefiting. But there are still thousands of sellers who don’t realise, until it’s too late, what happens to them at auction.
They get a LOWER price, that’s what happens.

This is why:

1. The starting price: It seems as if the price goes up at auctions. But that’s only because it starts low. One of the basic principles of price negotiation is to always start high.

2. Reserve price: The reserve price is the price at which the home can be sold. It’s the lowest price a seller is prepared to accept. And that becomes the central focus of the auction. If you are trying to get the highest price, do NOT make your lowest price the main focus of the sale.

3. Deception: To persuade sellers to auction their homes, agents will talk about high prices. And then to get buyers to come to the auction, the same agents will talk about low prices. Most times both the seller and the buyer are deceived.

We pride ourselves on being upfront. If it comes down to being honest and losing a sale or property then we’ll choose the latter. We believe in mutual trust, respect and plain old fashioned service. Our team is what sets us apart from our competitors and are the face of our business.

Open Houses Don’t Work

Open Houses have been a tradition in real estate and continue to be popular even if they are not necessary, don’t work and pose a risk.

Prior to the computer era, real estate agents used Open Houses to showcase sellers’ homes. Technology has entirely changed the way properties are marketed, and our website provides considerable information about homes for sale and rent, our staff and the area.

Primarily, real estate agents hold Open Houses for the perceived benefit of the seller. There is still the misconception among agents and sellers that an Open House represents a viable marketing tool. Most serious buyers now search the internet for possible homes and then connect with a real estate agent they have found through a website.

Almost anyone, except really serious buyers, goes to Open Houses. Generally, first on the list are neighbours. Real estate agents rarely consider the dangers to themselves and the seller until something bad happens or an item goes missing.

The most effective and efficient procedure for the buyer to see a home is to first meet the agent at the office. This enables the agent to do some screening to ensure that the individual is a serious buyer and is qualified to purchase in a specific price range; to discuss the needs and wants of the buyer; to incorporate additional homes that may be of interest and then, to make appointments for viewing of homes.

Open Houses are ineffective marketing tools and should be discontinued. The risks far outweigh the benefits for both the seller and the real estate agent.

The Selling Season is Here!

With the arrival of Spring the real estate market on the Far South Coast is set to blossom in a big way. Spring is traditionally referred to as ‘the Selling Season’, and this is with good reason.

The arrival of warmer weather heralds a marked increase in the number of buyers looking for that special property to enable them to move into their new home before Christmas and in plenty of time for the start of the new school year.

Gardens are looking their absolute best and sellers are able to present their properties well so that the first impression a potential buyer gets is a very favourable one.

A good idea is to try to judge your own home by seeing it through the eyes of a potential buyer. Try hard to pick faults. It is better for you to find them and fix them rather than have a buyer reject your property or offer you less because of them.

There are also lots of little things you can do inside your home to give it extra appeal. A few minor touch-ups can make the difference of thousands of dollars in your final selling price.

If you are considering taking advantage of the Spring Real Estate season, the first thing you need to do is find out what your property is worth in the current market.

Fisk & Nagle First Choice Real Estate offers free market appraisals to all homeowners, without risk or obligation.

Why Use Property Management?

In today’s challenging times, property owners can’t afford NOT to have professional property management watching out for their investment and maintaining the value of their asset. Property management services are affordable. When weighing your options and making the decision of whether you will manage your investment portfolio yourself or hire a property manager, there are many things to consider.

• You should consider the time and energy you will expend to manage, maintain, market, and lease your building over the duration of ownership.

• Also consider the time it will take you to research and educate yourself to stay current with changing laws.

• Think about the hours spent fielding tenant calls.

• Don’t forget doing regular and frequent property inspections.

• And to build in time for building and maintaining relationships with your tenants!

Ask yourself, “what is my time worth to me?”
Call our property managers if you want help to make a profit, while maintaining the value of your asset.

GottaGetaway Holiday Accommodation on track for record December

The GottaGetaway and Getaway Merimbula Holiday Accommodation division of the Fisk & Nagle entity is on track to achieve record bookings for the month of December.

The concern regarding the global economy is not affecting Australian’s desire to maintain their Christmas break or annual beach holiday. The local Merimbula, Pambula Beach and more recently Tura Beach areas have always been a favourite holiday area for many living in the states of Victoria and the ACT. This year has proven no different with GottaGetaway experiencing record bookings for December with two months of bookings remaining. January is on track to be a bumper month as well with bookings flowing in regularly at present. Getaway staff expect booking enquiry level to increase sharply after the September/ October school holidays and potential guests are advised to book early rather than be disappointed.

Principal and Managing Director, Don Peterson attributes the growth  to the introduction of an online booking system three years ago. Eighty percent of holiday guests research and book their holidays and holiday accommodation online. This is only expected to  increase in the future. Guests do their research from the comfort of their homes over a period of days. ‘Once they have made their decision – they want to make their booking now whether that be at 6am in the morning or 10pm at night’ says Peterson. The GottaGetaway website which is powered by the ontime online booking system Yes Book It, offers guests the option of booking and paying for their accommodation 24 hours a day. GottaGetaway’s market positioning is further strengthened by a Merimbula office front and two full time booking staff members. ‘Guests can call our office direct’, says Peterson, ‘and talk to a trained staff member that knows the properties and area well.’

This Christmas season, Christmas day and Boxing day has fallen early in the week which has challenged the traditional Saturday to Saturday seven day holiday booking. GottaGetaway has addressed this issue by increasing flexibility of arrival dates. Guests are able to book their holiday on a variety of days and as the season approaches, the length of booking  required will also become more flexible. ‘Gaps’ in the calendar will be offerred as specials and potential guests who are only able to snatch a couple of days break are advised to visit the www.gottagetaway.com.au website regularly to take advantage of these specials. A further option is to join the GottaGetaway newsletter subscription service which will notify interested parties of impending specials.

GottaGetaway has secured a place in the Merimbula holiday accommodation sector as a dynamic market leader. ‘Heads in Beds’ is what it is all about’ says Peterson. To achieve that, holiday accommodation providers must be flexible in order to meet the needs of guests. Enforcing inflexible seven day bookings from Saturday to Saturday does not meet the market and providers are selling themselves short. Identifying and meeting the market are the requirements of successful business which in turn promotes the local tourism sector and supports the local economy.’

The new Fisk & Nagle Website

We’ve been working hard over the past few months to put together a new Fisk & Nagle real estate website. Have a play around the website and feel free to post any comments about the site including feedback on anything we can do better.