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Today in property: property spot blacklist, developers behaving badly, will NGT hit rental rates?

The ABC has released a list of the suburbs across Australia that lenders deem the most risky for property, complete with heat maps broken down by postcode. Sydney's middle and outer rings, and Melbournes north-east and south-east fringes are listed as high-risk areas.

Banks are apparently asking borrowers to stump up (for example) higher deposits for purchases in these areas. Saving that money is only getting harder according to CLSA banking analyst Brian Johnson, who is on record saying any future Reserve Bank cuts will mean savers will be better off hoarding their money under a mattress.

Today's news includes a litany of property developers behaving badly. Sydney's Merhis Group of companies has been accused by ASIC of phoenixing activity; it has apartment projects in Bankstown and Parramatta.

Another bell-ringer today is the Victorian government's Places Victoria, which developed a 199-unit Melbourne apartment building using combustible cladding - an error that will cost unit holders approximately half a million to fix.

Not everyone in the property game is suffering right now. JLL Australia is on-track for a 10 per cent lift after nine straight years of growth, thanks to its facilities management and office leasing businesses. Toga Group has also lodged to build a $130 million, 270-unit resi project in Marrickville.

Grocon and Lendlease are now in a two-horse race to build mixed-use towers above the planned Pitt Street, Sydney metro station, with Brookfield stepping away from their bid. No love lost between these two; they're already head-to-head over another over-station development at the $5 billion Central Barangaroo project.

Developer, Steller has let 76 people go on its Continental Hotel project on the Mornington Peninsula, as it seeks funding to continue the project. That's a drop in the ocean compared to estimates by MyHousingMarket that more than 15,000 real estate agents have left the industry since the market peak in 2017.

That won't be an issue for Purplebrick Australia agents; founder, Colin Sacks has offered to hire them all - and take their listings as well, of course. We heard yesterday that Purplebricks is closing its Australian operations, which Upside Realty CEO, Adam Rigby said was inevitable - mainly because you can't expect vendors to pay your fee whether you sell their home or not.

Our Reserve Bank may have held rates this week, but New Zealand's bit the bullet and dropped rates yesterday. Today's coverage is quoting pundits treating it as another example of New Zealand taking action where Australia continues to sit on its hands. The AFR's William McInnes is calling on the RBA today "to cool its perennial optimism."

Back to the ABC, which has run a fact check on statements made during the final leaders' debate of the election campaign - including the Coalition claim that changes to negative gearing will force up rental rates. Spoiler alert: the RMIT ABC Fact Checkers reckon this is a furphy.

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