Updated: Apr 17, 2019
Housing auction clearance rates are rebounding. Sydney held strong at 65.9 per cent over the weekend, down a percentage point from the previous week. Melbourne was sluggish at 53.4 per cent and Brisbane hit 42.9 per cent. Any investors picking up property on the weekend had perhaps been listening to Jonathan Philpot at HLB Mann Judd accountants. He’s quoted in the AFR today advising people who want to build wealth through property to pick up negatively-geared existing property before January 1. In the same article, financial adviser and property investment adviser Margaret Lomas goes on-record saying that new property is a bad idea for investors due to higher cost, and that new features “…rarely bring much additional rent return.” Round two of the Year of the Pork Barrel is heating up, with the federal budget being handed down tomorrow nightexpected to bring tax relief across the board. Labor is expected to let the Government pass any tax cuts it announces tomorrow night; we can expect to see a healthy slathering of one-upmanship over the coming days. Energy cost rebates were pitched over the weekend, as a first shot to alleviate living costs. Whatever happens with tax, economists are expecting rates to now be held for the remainder of calendar year 2019. Growth is a bigger problem than expected earlier in the year, housing prices continue to slide and global markets remain skittish. Bill Shorten’s Living Wage is still causing waves. The Institute of Public Affairs reckons it’ll cause a recession by threatening low-income workers’ jobs. One problem is that the fledgling policy is still pretty murky…this explainer from the SMH lays out the grey areas and problem points. Back to NSW pollie watch, and Gladys unveiled the returned Coalition government’s new cabinet over the weekend. The classically-trained Rob Stokes has been welcomed back as planning minister; he has also been given responsibility for the new public spaces role – which should be an interesting mix for anyone proposing Masterplanned projects with significant placemaking components in NSW in the near future. QLD developer, Devine has reported a $25.2 million loss by reckons it has the financial backing to see it through the next 12 months. Guess they won’t be taking the “rare ten-day holiday bonanza” afforded by the back-to-back Easter and Anzac Day holidays later this month.