Thursday, May 18, 2017

Property Investors… Is it worth staying in the race?

Today there are three million residential property investors across Australia, and following the recent Federal budget announcement it seems many are feeling hard-done-by. 

The budget announced that tax deductions for travel expenses relating to your investment property will no longer be available. Depreciation deductions are also being limited to new items and new properties only. Property investors can still however, make a building write-off at typically 2.5% of the building cost each year. 

The general consensus among investors appears to be that property investment conditions are less favourable now, compared to three years ago. Interestingly, despite these new conditions, experts are still saying that when looking at the returns of alternative investment opportunities, property continues to lead the pack. 

So overall, how is the property market performing?

Adelaide and Hobart topped the charts with the largest growth in median house price in April, followed by Brisbane then Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Canberra (CoreLogic RPData).

This latest report confirms what Team Toop 
has been feeling for a number of months. Adelaide is the steady performer, and as things slow on the eastern seaboard, we are becoming an increasingly popular option for buyers and investors.

What's causing Sydney and Melbourne to slow?

The investment landscape has changed. With higher cost of debt, and stricter lending and servicing conditions imposed on investors, the amount of investment activity over recent months has softened. Remarkably, investors make up over 50% of new mortgage demand in Sydney and Melbourne. This is huge. If investor activity starts to pull back, the level of activity and competition in the market follows.

Sydney and Melbourne are also experiencing significant urban sprawl. Speaking with local Real Estate Agents in Victoria, Melbourne is seeing more and more people moving out of the metropolitan CBD area to places such as Werribee, for pure reasons of affordability. Ten years ago the landscape from Melbourne to Geelong was essentially farmland. With up to ten housing developments on the go at any one time, the urban sprawl is very apparent, adding 
a big injection of property to the market.

So investors, is it worth remaining in the property race?

We believe yes... but looking at the specific city and suburb you purchase in is extremely important. 

Metropolitan Adelaide and Hobart remains somewhat immune to the full effects of these changing investment conditions. Affordability is still our biggest drawcard.

Adelaide is continuing to establish itself as an attractive option for investors across the country. As the tortoise and hare tale goes, slow and steady wins the race... and it's exciting to see Adelaide take its stride.



Thursday, May 11, 2017

TEAM. Together everyone achieves more.

This past week has been a unique one for Team Toop. One that has enabled us to experience our strength as a team and see just how important and valuable teamwork is within a real estate business in today's world.

On Tuesday, Toop&Toop took our annual award winners on a conference to the Pacific Islands. This conference gave us the chance to bring some of our best minds together, from across all departments of the business and in all areas of real estate, to workshop ideas, strategies and goals. Amongst the group, were our top performers in Sales, Property Investment, Marketing, IT, Administration and Customer Service.

During the conference, together we combined our knowledge and experience to tackle industry-wide challenges, creating strategies and plans to increase customers' experience with real estate. The discussions and ideas generated throughout the week have been phenomenal, with the outcomes being immediately implemented.

Teamwork is a word that can be easily thrown around, yet can be very rare to actually see in action. In my opinion, true teamwork always stems from the deepest part of a business's culture. The culture enriched in Toop&Toop has been built from Anthony and Sylvia Toop's unshakable teamwork for over 32 years.

The power of teamwork specifically in real estate is vital and cannot be overlooked, as it ultimately impacts our customers' experience. In an industry that appears to be built on the success of individuals, if a strong team structure does not support it, the client ultimately loses out.

Team Toop's unique tools such as instant and accurate reporting on buyer groups, and personalised client reports immediately after open inspections, are only made possible from this team culture. Collaborating and sharing information allows our team to provide clients with important details such as who came through their property and their thoughts - even down to the detail of how many times they have been to the home and what other Toop&Toop properties the buyers have visited.

This week has been incredibly rewarding and we were able to achieve more than we ever thought possible, both at home in the property market and abroad. Our team has been communicating with 92 brand new buyers who have entered the market this week alone, as well as continuing to work with our 8,753 registered buyers still looking for property.

At our conference there was some serious brainstorming and workshopping, and we are excited about the ideas we have coming soon! On top of a fantastic trip, we also celebrated our 32nd year in business with our entire team this week, something very special to us.

Congratulations on a huge and very productive week Team Toop! And to our future clients, we can't wait to demonstrate what our team has in store for you.



Thursday, May 04, 2017

Too many cooks in the kitchen?

It is common for investors to purchase units, townhouses or apartments as these types 
of properties offer quality rental returns, with little to no upkeep.

However, what this does mean is there is often another party involved with the management of the property... Body Corporate.

Property Managers work very closely with these bodies and it works well... most of the time.

What can be challenging, for everyone involved, is the extra steps in the process when something goes wrong at the property. Three parties are involved - the Agent/Landlord, the Tenant and the Strata Manager, and they are all trying to fix the issue. Often it is the Presiding Officer who must give the approval for works, not the Strata Manager - adding yet another person to the mix. All parties have the best intentions to resolve the issue, but it is the convoluted process, and uncertainty around responsibilities, that often delays the process.

As the saying goes, too many cooks in the kitchen spoils the broth.

What is the impact on Landlords?

If there are significant delays, and a Tenant wishes to claim compensation, it is the Landlord that can find themselves in the Tribunal, not the Body Corporate. If it is identified that the delay was caused by the Body Corporate, not the Agent or Landlord, then the Landlord is left to initiate a separate claim against the Body Corporate, this time in the Magistrates Court. Currently in South Australia there is no government agency to oversee or resolve disputes with strata and community titles.

Just this week, there have been two stark examples where the Landlords have been disadvantaged for reasons that are completely out of their control. We are seeking clarification on the Tribunal ruling as well as confirming 
the responsibility for the Body Corporate to meet deadlines for important works.

Reviewing the current Body Corporate framework is something that is being looked at across the country. Late last year NSW introduced 90 new strata laws to benefit Owners, Tenants and Property Managers, to help streamline processes and 'bring the laws in-line with current thinking'.

From what our team are seeing, we believe Landlords could benefit greatly from having the framework looked at. There has got to be a better way for all parties to work together and achieve a favourable result for the Owner of the property. In the meantime, we have put our Innovation Lab to work to see if they can come 
up with a solution for this industry issue.

We believe small changes could go a long 
way and help ensure a fair outcome is achieved 
for Landlords here in our state.