Friday, December 19, 2008

The year that was 2008...

January24-28    Australia play India in the first test match of the year finishing in a draw    
February6    Reserve Bank increases rates another .25% - 11th rise in 5 years
21-24    The V8 cars hit Adelaide for the Clipsal 500 with Jamie Whincup crossing the line 1st
27    Festival Fever sets in with the start of the Fringe
March5    Another .25% interest rate rise from the RBA
7-9    WOMAdelaide Festival in the Botanic Park
24     The Olympic torch begins its journey from Athens to Beijing
April 3    Making SA Proud at the National Real Estate Awards. Toop&Toop take home the Innovation title for the 3rd year in a row!
24-27    Variety SA’s inaugural V2 Classic Bike ride raises over $225,000 for our kids in need
May8    Toop’s 23rd Birthday sparks a time of renaissance for the business. Toop HQ on Kensington Road is officially opened as Ian                 Darbyshire is introduced as CEO and Mandy Wurth as General Manager of Sales.
June30     Another world first as Toop&Toop become Female FriendlyTM Accredited
July11    Apple iPhone launched in Australia
17    The ‘Wild Wild West’ takes over Penny’s Hill Winery as the Toop team celebrate our annual awards
August8    Beijing Olympics commence on the 8.08.08 with a spectacular ceremony
14    Who was the real girl singing in the opening ceremony? Beijings ‘lip- synching’ scandal is revealed!
September3    Some mortgage relief at last as the RBA drop rates .25%
15    US Market Crash hits headlines across the world as investment giant Lehman Brothers file for bankruptcy.
October8    RBA drops rates by 1% - the biggest single decrease since 1992
10    Real Estate Industry Awards of South Australia – Toop’s take home 8 awards plus 2 inductions into the inaugural Hall of Fame
29    Customer Service Awards announced with Toop&Toop named National Winner Australian Service Excellence Award Small Business
November5    Another rate cut, this time .75% and Barack Obama wins US Presidential Election
6    Toop&Toop support inaugural Adelaide Fashion Festival on Norwood Parade
8    350,000 locals celebrate the festive season at the 75th Adelaide Christmas Pageant
10    Free seminar gives clients ‘The inside Story’ - Toop&Toop with Bernie Lewis Home Loans
December2    Australians return home following a week long airport siege by anti-government demonstrators in Thailand
3    Just in time for Christmas, the RBA drop rates by a further 1%
18    Toop&Toop Client Christmas Party

Another rate cut... Just in time for Christmas!

Another rate cut... Just in time for Christmas! Home owners looking for some mortgage relief have had their wish come true this festive season.
Last Tuesday the Reserve Bank slashed interest rates a further 1% bringing the RBA’s cash rate to a 6 year low of 4.25%, and if economist’s predictions are right…it won’t be the last.
With all of the reduction flowing directly to mortgage holders, through most banks dropping the entire 1%, it has effectively doubled the real impact of the past 3 rate drops.
This additional ‘cash on hand’ for many home owners will not only inject confidence back into consumers but will also work to increase recreational spending this Christmas, boosting our local economy and providing a long awaited reprieve for many retail owners. When it comes to property these significant decreases have the potential to turn the real estate market around from the poor sale conditions experienced this spring.
For First Home Buyers with secure jobs the outlook in recent history has never been this good! The combination of increased Government hand outs, plummeting petrol prices, record low interest rates that continue to drop and a huge increase in available properties, are providing a fantastic opportunity for entry into the normally challenging housing market.
Cashed up Investors are also sitting pretty thanks to an increased demand for rental properties. With the metropolitan vacancy rate dropping to a very competitive 1.07% in September  plus a number of investment properties being put up for sale, tenants are finding it difficult to secure a home for the coming year. So if you’re a savvy investor snap up a property and place it on the rental market today to receive a steady return during 2009.
What’s to come in the New Year? Well to start with, the Reserve Bank is set to meet once more on the 3rd February 2009 and an additional rate drop of up to .75% is predicted to be passed down.
For more news as it happens in the world of real estate, keep an eye on ‘Theaddress’ and toop.com.au


Ian Darbyshire, CEO

 
www.toop.com.au <http://www.toop.com.au>

 
© Toop Real Estate Group

Friday, November 28, 2008

Preparing to launch into 2009

Preparing to launch into 2009 Can you believe that next week marks the beginning of the last month in 2008 and the first month of summer – how quickly has that happened!
While, like me, you’re probably just focusing on organizing your life up until Christmas and worrying about ‘the rest’ later, the fact is now is the time that you should be planning how you’re going to launch into 2009…especially if moving into a new home is on your agenda.
At the beginning of every year the Real Estate market kicks back in with a bang and in 2009 we believe it will be bigger than ever. Why do we think this? Well the number of properties on the market right now is a huge indicator. At the beginning of December 2007 The Advertiser were recording 1343 homes open for inspection, in 2008 the number of homes has more than doubled with 2717 being open on the 15th of November.
So, if you’re looking to sell your home in the New Year lets get the ball rolling now so you’re ready to hit the market after the holiday season.
Make a time with a professional Real Estate Sales Person to meet with you and view your property. As certain from them what areas of the home, if any, require maintenance or updating to stand your home in the best light when it comes to attracting prospective purchasers, and then set an action plan.
Put an agreement in place with your chosen Agency, decide on when you’re going to launch the property onto the market and prepare your home for photography in order for all your marketing to be in place on time.
Most importantly start discussing the price you want to advertise your property at. Your Sales Partner will advise you on this, but at the end of the day it’s your decision. Have a look at other properties for sale around your area and price your home at a realistic level. In this market we can’t stress how important it is to get your asking price aligned to buyers’ level, in the shortest time possible in order to achieve a sale. So be prepared that your Sales Partner will be having these discussions with you.
Preparing your property for sale takes time. If you’re looking for advice on how to go about this or what your property is worth, call Toop&Toop’s Client Concierge on 8332 8888 for a free market appraisal.

Mandy Wurth, General Manager-Sales
 
 
www.toop.com.au <http://www.toop.com.au>

 
© Toop Real Estate Group

Friday, November 21, 2008

Informing South Australians

Confidence… it affects and shapes the lives of every individual across the world. Whether you’re bullish or shy, reserved or the life of the party this element of our personalities can have a bigger impact than we think, and not just on a personal level.
When it comes to our economy consumer confidence has taken a nose dive, largely due to the ongoing headlines stemming from the US meltdown and sweeping across the globe. How do we turn this around and build confidence? Well, explaining the situation and building pro-active knowledge is a good place to start.
On Monday the 10th November Anthony Toop of Toop&Toop together with Mark Lewis of Bernie Lewis Home Loans presented “The Inside Story” Property and Finance seminar. Held at the Piccadilly Cinemas in North Adelaide, this free information evening provided 400 consumers with an insight into the current finance and property markets, arming them with useful tips on how to succeed in this economic climate.






An interactive panel formed by Mark Lewis and Vera Mortimer of Bernie Lewis Home Loans, Antonia Mercorella of Aventus Legal and Anthony Toop, Ian Darbyshire and Peter Veitch of Toop&Toop opened up an extensive question time with the group.
With Phil Harris on the roving mic, they were kept on their toes with a number of insightful and sometimes ‘curly’ questions that the attendees threw their way.
For those of you who attended, we hope you found the night beneficial and it gave you a greater understanding of our current economy.

Mandy Wurth, General Manager - Sales


http://www.toop.com.au


© Toop Real Estate Group

Are you maximising the return on your investment?

Are you maximising the return on your investment? Landlords can look forward to excellent returns on their investments in coming years as the high demand for rental properties continues to outstrip supply across Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney.
The current market is offering an ideal time for astute buyers to acquire investment properties.
With the rental market as tight as a drum, rents are being driven higher than we’ve seen for several years right across the board.  Industry forecasters are predicting this trend will continue well into the next decade, so now is the time to ensure you’re doing everything you can to maximise the return on your investment.
It’s well worth spending the time now to make sure that you are receiving the maximum return.  It’s amazing how even a relatively small saving in each of these areas can add up, resulting in more money in your pocket or a step towards buying you next investment property.
? Review your mortgage – call a mortgage broker to see if you are getting the best deal you can.
? Get the right rent – regular rent reviews are very important to make sure you are getting the right rent.  A Toop representative can advise you on the best return you can expect in the current market.
? Repairs versus Improvements – seek professional advice on the best way to claim deductions for repairs or improvements to your         investment property.
? Claim the right deductions – many investors don’t claim all their possible deductions - you could be missing out on thousands of             tax deductible dollars!
? Manage your risk – we strongly recommend landlord  protection insurance which is tax deductible.  This covers you against accidental damage, loss of rent, legal expense and public liability.
If you’d like to know more about the asset management Toop’s can provide to you as a landlord, call our award winning team today on 8362 8888.

Ian Darbyshire, CEO
 
www.toop.com.au <http://www.toop.com.au>
 
 
© Toop Real Estate Group

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Hall of Fame!

Hall of Fame! Definition: The group of people whose achievements in a particular field are at the highest level.

Why is it that we’re drawn to watching the Olympics, the AFL grand final, the ARIA’s or the Logies? While it might be because we like sport or we’re keeping an eye on the fashion, the true reason is because we want to witness the best of the best in action - the leaders in their specialist arena competing or practicing at the highest level.
When it comes to our day to day lives we continually strive to improve ourselves. Whether by completing tasks just that little bit quicker or by finding an hour for that one thing we never quite have time for. This is the same with a business.
At Toop&Toop we work on a daily basis to continually lift the level of service and quality of innovations we provide to our clients in our quest to be the best within our field.
At the 2008 Real Estate Industry Awards for Excellence a new category was launched to acknowledge those who have remained at the top of their field within this industry for the past 3 years…The Hall of Fame.
Toop&Toop, for Large Agency of the Year, along with Peter Veitch, as South Australian Sales Partner of the year, are proud to be the very first business and individual to be inducted into this inaugural guild. What an honor!
From here we’ll continue to build and develop our business in order to provide you, our clients, with the ultimate Real Estate experience.

Mandy Wurth, General Manager - Sales
 
 
www.toop.com.au <http://www.toop.com.au>

 
© Toop Real Estate Group

Thursday, October 16, 2008

First Home Owners Grant (FHOG) Confusion

Looks like the recent announcement by the Federal Government to increase the FHOG from $7,000 to $14,000 has had the desired effect with an marked increase in enquiries by first home buyers.

The confusion however seems to be with the SA State Governments extra $4,000 Grant.

So to clarify, First Home Buyers in SA will get a total of $18,000 to buy their first property, or $25,000 to Construct their first property.


That's gotta please GenY!



Post courtesy of

Paul Robertson.

Platinum
FINANCE SOLUTIONS

17 Melbourne Street
North Adelaide SA 5006

www.platinumfinancesolutions.com.au


© Toop Real Estate Group www.toop.com.au

Friday, October 10, 2008

It's all about the service!

It's all about the service! What defines the ultimate dining experience? Inviting surroundings, delicious food and top notch wines are a great start, but there is an additional element which can make or break your meal – the warm and friendly, or more often curt and distracted, waiting staff.
We’ve all had these experiences and it’s a well know fact that regardless of how good a meal or product is, if the customer service received is below standard we won’t be heading back to that business anytime soon!
Real Estate is no exception to this rule. We’re in the business of helping people to find the property that’s right for them – so for us, service is everything.
At Toop&Toop we’ve implemented a number of innovations to make house hunting that little bit easier and improve even further the service we provide to you, our clients. To begin with every home has its own home on toop.com.au so you can go directly to the source of information, regardless of whether you’re on your PC or Mobile eg www.26OldBelair.toop.com.au. By registering as a buyer or renter with VirtualAgentTM you’ll be informed of new properties that meet your criteria before they hit the market through SMS or email.
We’ve even implemented a system to help you plan your day of open inspections, PropertyNavTM will put the properties you want to see in order of inspection time and load the directions on how to get there directly into your navigation system.
With all these innovations, we still believe that classic people to people contact remains the strongest form of client service. So, for those of you who aren’t into technology and gadgets we’ve developed Client Concierge as your one stop shop when it comes to assistance and referrals to help you navigate the way through your Real Estate transaction.
One of our missions at Toop&Toop is to provide service to our clients of a standard unmatched in Real Estate. As our clients your experiences allow us to continually improve our services - without this we would be unable to grow and develop as a business. Your feedback is invaluable to us and we invite you to provide us with this. Just call Client Concierge on 8332 8888 to share your thoughts so that we can continue to strive to provide you with the ultimate Real Estate experience.

Anthony Toop, Managing Director

 
www.toop.com.au <http://www.toop.com.au>

 
© Toop Real Estate Group

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

**BREAKING NEWS - Reserve Bank announcement**

Moments ago the Reserve Bank announced a MASSIVE reduction to interest rates of 1.0% - this is the largest single rate reduction in over 16 years. Now it's a waiting game to see which Lenders will actually pass on either some or all of this rate reduction to their customers.


Info courtesy of Paul Robertson


Director


Platinum Finance Services


www.platinumfinancesolutions.com.au


www.toop.com.au


© Toop Real Estate Group

Friday, October 03, 2008

Bricks & Mortar Vs Wall Street...


Article By Mandy Wurth, General Manager - Sales

The nation and world’s economic situation is holding every media headline at the moment and is set to be for a number of months to come. However, every cloud has a silver lining – and for investors this one is yours!
The downturn in the US economy has impacted the countries stock & property markets, with a ripple effect being felt across the globe. It’s now been a month since we saw the Reserve Bank lower interest rates by a quarter of a percent providing some relief to home owners. Spring has seen the usual substantial increase in the number of properties for sale, however the ‘unknown’ in this market is continuing to keep buyers at bay.
An increased demand and in turn shortage of rental properties is also causing some ‘rental rage’ from frustrated tenants across the nation. Property Managers are receiving a number of applications per property with those below $300 per week being consistently in high demand. Last month the eastern states recorded a low vacancy rate of around 1.2% with our own state currently sitting at 1.23%.
All of these elements combined provide an opportune time for the astute investor to buy into the Real Estate market.
Our Sales Partners are finding an increase of quality investment properties becoming readily available throughout Adelaide’s central suburbs all within 10kms of the CBD. From Mile End across to Manningham, Payneham & Parkside these properties offer an ideal alternative to investing in the share market.
So, why not take a flick through the following pages to find your future investment.


Mandy Wurth, General Manager - Sales


www.toop.com.au <http://www.toop.com.au>


© Toop Real Estate Group

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Widening the community

Widening the community We work alongside our consumers every day, assisting them to find their ideal home whether they’re buying or renting. We like to think of ourselves as creating solutions for our clients housing problems!
At Toop&Toop we like to take our people relationships one step further and be a true part of our local communities. Last weekend saw the Toop team out and about across the coast, and it wasn’t just because of a glimmer of sunshine.
The staff at our Fleurieu office were ready to Rock ‘n’ Roll with the best of them, at the inaugural Rock’n Victor festival. This day of 1950’s fun at Warland Reserve, Victor Harbor hosted live bands, Hot Rod’s, Classic Cars and even a Harley Davidson or two, not to mention the constant twirls & twists of the Rock ‘n’ Roll dancers.
The Toop&Toop marquee played host to all festival goers including our clients, as we thanked them for their support during our first year of business on the Fleurieu. That’s right, we’ve turned 1 already!
While all this was happening down on the South Coast, closer to the city there was another Toop team limbering up for the challenge of their lives.
A group of keen and dedicated ‘Toopsters’ took part in the annual City to Bay Run… well walk really. They donned their Toop&Toop T-shirts and caps and set off enthusiastically for the 6k stroll from the city down to the hustle and bustle of Glenelg.
While they all triumphantly crossed the finishing line, this week has seen a few of our team feeling pain in a few joints & muscles they didn’t know they had!
So, if you didn’t happen to attend one of our open inspections last weekend it’s highly possible that you saw us out and about in your local community. That’s right, you never know where you’ll see a member of our Toop&Toop team next, but when you do, come and say ‘hi’.

Anthony Toop, Managing Director

 
www.toop.com.au <http://www.toop.com.au>

 
© Toop Real Estate Group

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Leading the way in Real Estate

Leading the way in Real Estate Individuals and companies within the Real Estate industry are continuing to lift the level of their service, standards and performance – striving to become the best of the best within this field.
How are these improvements measured? Through valuable customer feedback and industry recognition.
The South Australian Awards for Excellence in Real Estate acknowledge those who are leading the way in this field. Now in their fourth year, these commendations are highly sought after whether it’s for sales or property management, residential or commercial, being a finalist in these awards is a sensational accolade within itself.
This year Toop&Toop is proud to be recognised with a total of 9 finalist positions!
A huge congratulations to the individuals and entire Toop team for reaching finalist status in the following categories.
New Agency Office of the Year – Toop&Toop Fleurieu
South Australian Salesperson of the Year – Phil Harris
Local Residential Salesperson of the Year East/City – Alex McGregor-Reid
Property Management Agency Residential Large
Property Management Practitioner Residential – Sandra Gesuato
Innovation
Website of the Year
Corporate Marketing Campaign of the Year
Community Service – Anthony Toop
We are also the first company who will be inducted into the Excellence Awards Hall of Fame, not once… but twice, for winning a title a staggering three times! What an outstanding effort for:
Peter Veitch - South Australia Salesperson of the Year 2005, 2006 & 2007
Toop&Toop - Norwood Large Agency of the Year 2005, 2006 & 2007
Now we enter an intense interview process before the winners are announced at an award presentation of ‘Hollywood Glamour’ on Friday the 10th of October.
So stay tuned for the announcements of the 2008 South Australian Awards for Excellence in Real Estate.

Ian Darbyshire CEO
 
www.toop.com.au <http://www.toop.com.au>

 
© Toop Real Estate Group

Monday, September 15, 2008

Market update

Market update Having experienced a boom like market of growth for 7 years, the change to a ‘standard’ yet vastly unknown market has and continues to cause anxiety amongst many buyers and sellers.
Knowledge is everything – an overview of what is happening in the current market along with the forecast for the coming months, will help build your understanding of transacting property in the here and now.
Over the past 12 months we’ve seen Interest rates continue to climb, placing pressure on all home owners. Last week the Reserve Bank handed down a quarter of a percent interest rate cut with further rate cuts predicted – finally a little relief!
For the astute buyer, now is the time to purchase property. The banks have already adjusted down their fixed rates and the variable loans are set to follow, although these will take time to flow through.
With the warm weather beginning, both the Coastal & Hills regions will see a growth of activity with more buyers out and about.
The next four months provides Vendors with 10 good weeks of selling. Once the AFL finals are out of the way, the selling season begins from October well into Spring with late December being fairly quiet due to the festive season.
So with this in mind… Now is the time!
Whether you’re looking to buy or sell real estate, the beginning of Spring coupled with the downward turn of interest rates is providing a great opportunity for transacting property.
To discuss your real estate needs and what we can do for you in this market, call your local Toop&Toop office today.

Mandy Wurth, General Manager - Sales
 
www.toop.com.au <http://www.toop.com.au>

 
© Toop Real Estate Group

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Goodbye Winter... Hello Spring!

Goodbye Winter... Hello Spring! It’s still a little chilly outside, but according to the calendar Spring is officially here, the Footy season is drawing to a close and the Real Estate season…well it’s just getting started!

Traditionally Spring has always been the bumper season for selling and buying property. The combination of warmer weather, a bit of sunshine and lush gardens provide the perfect complementary backdrop for every home and entice buyers to get out and about to locate their dream purchase.

While the past twelve month’s has seen the growth of real estate dramatically slow from the boom we’ve experienced over recent years, the market has in no way ‘bottomed out’. The combination of inflation across the board and interest rate rises has resulted in many individuals putting parts of their lives ‘on hold’ while working through these difficult times.

However with interest rate cuts predicted for September, it appears as though properties will soon be back in reach for many and Spring this year will remain, as always, the month for Real Estate!

So, it’s time for you to finish off those few odd jobs about the house, contact your local Toop&Toop office for a free market appraisal and prepare to put your home on the market for all the buyers this Spring.

Mandy Wurth, Sales General Manager

 
www.toop.com.au <http://www.toop.com.au>

 
© Toop Real Estate Group

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Steps to get you to the finish line!

We know that selling your home can be a very stressful time. From deciding on a price you’re willing to accept to preparing the property for inspection and finally accepting an offer, this process can leave you feeling very drained. The problem is that the sale is just the beginning and the biggest job is yet to come… that’s right… the move!

At Toop&Toop we’ve put together a bit of checklist to assist you during this time and ensure no task is accidentally overlooked – here is your…
Countdown to Settlement

4 weeks to go
• Appoint a Conveyancer for the transaction of the property & notify your Sales Partner of their details.
• If you require finance for your own purchase, lodge your application immediately.

3 weeks to go
• Follow up with your broker or bank to check how your loan approval is going.

2 weeks to go
• Confirm the unconditional sale contract.
• Start packing & Book the removalists!
• Your Conveyancer will send you the Transfer of Land Documents to sign.

1 week to go
• Mortgage documents for purchase should be ready for signing with your financier.
• As the Vendor, Issue instructions regarding the method of payment of the sale’s net proceeds for after settlement has been completed.
• Confirm access arrangements to your new property with your sales partner in relation to collection of keys. Hand over of your property should be scheduled for the day of settlement by your Conveyancer, this generally occurs by 12 noon.
• Book final accounts for: Electricity, Gas, Telephone, Alarm Monitoring & Cable/Pay TV.

2 days to go
• Make sure you are completely packed and ready to move house – somehow it always takes longer than you think!
• Remove all rubbish and ensure we have a set of keys for hand over at our Toop&Toop office.
• Your Conveyancer will advise when settlement has been booked.

Settlement & Moving day
• Ensure that the property is completely vacated and cleaned by settlement time, and that all agreed fixtures & fittings remain in the property according to the contract.
• Organise for property keys to be available at Toop&Toop and instruct your Conveyancer to contact our office as soon as settlement has occurred to enable key release.
• Your pets may require special care – don’t forget it is a traumatic time for them as well.
It is a good idea to pack any small children’s toys or personal possessions separately, so they can be easily accessed upon arrival at your new home. This can ease the process of moving for them.

We hope this takes a little of the stress out of moving house – Good luck!

Mandy Wurth, Sales General Manager


http://www.toop.com.au


© Toop Real Estate Group

Friday, August 15, 2008

Buying at Auction? Don't forget to register!

Two weeks into the new legislation the Real Estate Industry is settling into this revised way of conducting business.

A couple of weeks ago I filled you in on how pricing has become more transparent under the new reform. Now allow me to give you the run down on the new Auction process.

To be honest, the fundamental structure of an Auction hasn’t changed that much. There’s still an Auctioneer, a Clerk to record bids and of course some excited consumers just itching to make that first bid! However there are some key differences that you need to know about if you’re thinking of buying at Auction.

1] To bid at Auction you must be registered!
- Prior to the Auction register as a bidder with the properties Sales Representative and collect your bidder number.
- Remember to bring a form of ID to the Auction. You cannot register to bid without this being sighted.
- You’ll be given the following Government forms to guide you through the purchase process:
R3    Buyers Information Notice
R4    Bidders Guide
R5    Collusive Practices
- At a Toop&Toop Auction you’ll receive a “Toop Guide” which includes your registration form, all the prescribed Government forms and your unique bidder number on the front and back covers for the Auction itself!

2] The Auction gets underway
- At the commencement of each Auction the Auctioneer will audibly announce the Auction Terms & Conditions. This process could take around 5 minutes so please be patient as it is a legal requirement that this is done.

3] Placing a Vendor Bid
- During the course of an Auction, the Auctioneer may exercise their right to make a bid on behalf of the Vendor.
- The Auctioneer is entitled to make 3 ‘Vendor Bids’ below the properties reserve price, and will disclose any such bid as it is made.

4] It’s time to Bid
- It’s important to note that only the individual who has registered can bid. For example if a couple attends an Auction and the wife registers to bid, the husband cannot then raise the bidder number. If this occurs, the Auctioneer will not accept the bid, so it’s a good idea for both individuals to register.
- When you’re ready to bid, raise your ‘Toop Guide’ in the air with the bidder number clearly showing to the Auctioneer.
- The Auctioneer will then announce your bidder number and the amount, clearly identifying who the bid is with at that point in time.
   
So now buying at Auction is even more transparent than ever. It may take you a few Auctions to get used to these changes, so why not attend a few near you to watch and get used to the process?

Happy Bidding!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Prepare to Spring into action!

It’s still a Wintery 15°c or so outside but with the shortest day of the year behind us, and a few Jonquils and Daffodils beginning to bob up around the place, it won’t be long until Spring is upon us in full bloom.

After a hot dry summer, gardens are now appearing lush and green, making homes even more inviting than ever for prospective purchasers – with this in mind now is the time to start preparing for the rush of buyers that the new season brings every year.

Start the ball rolling by looking at your home from a Purchaser’s point of view. Leave the property and then approach it once again as though viewing it at an open inspection for the first time. Be critical and when you’ve finished the inspection, write a list of the property’s pro’s and con’s.

Now the point of this exercise isn’t to make you all do major renovations – it’s to open your eyes and see the appealing aspects of your home and perhaps a few aspects that have been neglected. Often the smallest of tasks can have a huge impact on the overall presentation of the property. On the outside; look at cleaning out the gutters, removing any unhealthy plants and giving the garden a general grooming and once over. Inside the home look at the general presentation, a room can be instantly enlarged and lifted by simply de-cluttering and minimising the objects in it.

Next, find an Agency whose brand and marketing you want your property to be exposed within and then source the Sales Representative within that Agency who will best suit you and your property needs.

At Toop&Toop your Sales Partner will work alongside you in getting your property on the market at the appropriate time. We’ll also provide you with a visit from the skilled team at “Presenting Beautiful Homes” in order to ensure your home is at its best when the first buyer inspection takes place.

So, start getting ready to Spring into Action!

Call your local Toop&Toop office today to discuss the sale of your property and arrange a free market appraisal.

Ian Darbyshire, CEO

http://www.toop.com.au/


© Toop Real Estate Group

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Toops hit the gound running - with Google Street View!

Toop&Toop are first to integrate Google™ Maps’ latest technology Street View to allow customers to view properties we have on the market from street level!



Check it out on our website today!

http://www.streetview.toop.com.au/

Anthony Toop, Managing Director.


http://www.toop.com.au/


© Toop Real Estate Group

Friday, August 01, 2008

The Price is Right!

The Price is Right! Over quoting… Bait Advertising… these days are finally over!

On Monday the 28th June the Real Estate Industry Reform came into play - the biggest change our industry has seen for decades and one which was well overdue.

It’s in place to benefit you, the consumer, but in turn it will also develop the entire Real Estate body into a more straight forward and structured industry, which means we all win.

There are now strict legislative guidelines when it comes to marketing a property. Transparency and honesty are of key importance and pricing…well there is no flexibility, it just has to be right!

Up until now Sales Partners have always used comparative home sales to price property, this hasn’t changed. However some individuals in the industry used to choose to inflate or over quote prices, just to gain a listing, but now with the new legislation in place, there is no way this can happen.

Vendors, the ball is in your court more than ever. When placing a property on the market your Sales Partner will advise you of their estimate on the property, and then you have to make a decision on what price you’re willing to accept. The minimum price a property can be advertised at must be at a level that you as the seller is willing to accept. Changes to the quoted sale price must be in writing and penalties are significant if agents or owners attempt to work around this.
 
For buyers, this is fantastic news – finally you know that the price
is right!

Toop&Toop have a policy of providing buyers with a price on properties wherever possible, through a fixed price or range; however there will be times that property sellers may not wish or be able to do this despite the benefits.

Do not risk your property with an agency that is not serious about the legal implications of getting it wrong. When it comes to price, legislative compliance is paramount to Toop&Toop.
 
Anthony Toop, Managing Director

 
www.toop.com.au <http://www.toop.com.au>

 
© Toop Real Estate Group

Thursday, July 24, 2008

And the winner is...


Cowboys, Indians, Saloon Girls with a Cow thrown in set the scene for what proved to be a tremendous night of Wild West fun & frivolity at the Toop&Toop 2007/2008 Annual Awards.

Held at Penny’s Hill Winery in McLaren Vale, proceedings for the evening commenced with some whip cracking – just to help everyone get into the Wild West mood.

Our team has had a great year and the evening was spent acknowledging the cream of the crop within our own business.

In Property Management Nathan Moore was named Premier Lister, with Team Diamond taking out Top Team, Georgie Lucas named Solo-Property Management of the Year and Sandra Gesuato receiving the Property Manager Excellence Award.

For sales the commendations just kept flowing with the Top Sales Partners in each office announced as follows. For the Hills – Tom Bailey, Golden Grove – Len Allington, Port Adelaide – Dijana Sladic, Coast – David Ferrari, Central – Peter Veitch and Fleurieu – Rob Heaslip.

The night ended on a high with the announcement of the Jim Toop Rising Star, Nick Alvaro, Solo Sales Person of the Year, John Taylor, and then what they’d be waiting for all year…Toop&Toop’s Top 4 Sales Partners for 2007/2008.

Third Runner up – Kay Morris

Second Runner up – Alex McGregor-Reid

First Runner up – Phil Harris

And the Sales Partner of the Year – Peter Veitch

A huge congratulations to all our team on their fantastic efforts this year, we couldn’t do it without you! Also a big thank you to all the staff at Penny’s Hill Winery on their hospitality for the evening.

We’re now ready to meet the challenges of the new financial year and our team are buckling in for another exciting ride!

Ian Darbyshire, CEO

www.toop.com.au <http://www.toop.com.au>


© Toop Real Estate Group

Monday, July 21, 2008

Hotels have a Concierge- why shouldn't we?

Hotels have a Concierge- why shouldn't we? We know that selling a home can be a stressful time. While your Sales Partner will be at your side to give you guidance throughout the process, at Toop&Toop we’ve introduced a specialised division to provide you with extra support to help get you & your property prepared – first for sale and then for settlement.

Toop&Toop’s Client Concierge can help you to make the most of your life by giving you more time for the things you want to do; that means more time for you and your family.  Most importantly it means less stress!  Time is always of the essence, we all need more in our busy lives and an extra set of hands is a bonus.


Client Concierge can connect you with partners in finance, conveyancing, removalists - the list is endless. The services provided are tailored to suit your requirements, just tell us what you need to happen and we’ll do the rest. We can match you with one or many of our approved suppliers who will take care of your needs - you can make the call, or let our fingers do the walking!

You may want assistance around the home, such as painting, cleaning of gutters, rubbish removal, replacement of flyscreens, or just some door handles tightened – at Client Concierge no job is too big or small.  We eat, sleep and breathe property which allows us to provide an invaluable service to you, our clients.   

As people get older they may need extra support to manage the presentation and maintenance for the sale or even when purchasing a property where odd jobs maybe required.  Knowing that a senior relative has a reliable support service can give great peace of mind to family members, especially those living at a distance.

So to be proactive in this area Toop&Toop also provide a complementary home stylist consultant as part of our standard service - at no charge.  This service is provided by a third party - Presenting Beautiful Homes - and can extend to total project management of your move including packing and unpacking, utilising furniture and presentation of your property.

As we have said, we eat, sleep and breathe property, so we know all there is to know to make your life easy, all you need to do is give Client Concierge a call, and we will have the answers that you need and want!

Call us on (08) 8332 8888 or email us at
clientconcierge@toop.com.au

Anthony Toop, Managing Director
 
 
www.toop.com.au <http://www.toop.com.au>
 
 
© Toop Real Estate Group

Friday, July 11, 2008

Real Estate query? Ask Toopie - face to face!

Real Estate query? Ask Toopie - face to face! At Toop&Toop we’re used to change. Over the years our company has continually grown, evolved and adapted to changing markets. We lead the way in the eradication of dummy bidding, helped found the Golden Gavel Auctioneer Awards and after 23 years, continue to develop new innovations to aid consumers whether they’re buying or selling.

Now, as we embrace the new Real Estate Legislation, we’re well aware of the fact that you, as our clients, will want to know how this affects the industry as you know it. Will the process for selling a home be altered? How will buying at Auction work? Do I need to register to bid?

We’re here to answer all these questions, face to face…
well, almost!

With the internet being virtually a necessity today in all households and businesses, many of you would be a member of Facebook – or would have heard of it at least.

Facebook is an interactive communication site where individuals can set up their own page, post photos, bulletins of what they’re doing and utilise it as a tool to keep in touch with friends and family all across the world. In Adelaide alone over 170,000 people have their own personal pages on the Facebook site.

Well now Toop&Toop have page on Facebook! Here you can view up to date Real Estate news, video footage on the new legislation, information on our property navigation system ‘PropertyNavTM’ and most importantly, you can directly ask me any questions you may have on the current market – How cool is that!

At Toop&Toop we like to keep our clients well informed on all things Real Estate – so don’t hold back. Simply go to www.facebook.toop.com.au, have a browse and start firing me questions on the industry I know and love!

Anthony Toop, Managing Director

 
www.toop.com.au <http://www.toop.com.au>

 
© Toop Real Estate Group

Friday, June 27, 2008

The renaissance continues....

The renaissance continues.... Back in 2002 Labor Party Minister John Rau conducted an independent inquiry into the Real Estate Industry. Now, 6 years later we are seeing the introduction of The Statutes Amendment (Real Estate Industry Reform) Act 2007.

Put in place to protect you as the consumers, this new legislation will work to expose the minority of those in the industry who have been and continue to do, the wrong thing – Fantastic news for those of us who are transacting Real Estate ethically!

From the 1st of July 2008 you’ll be exposed to clear, totally realistic price indicators throughout the industry. No more “In excess of” or “Bidding starting from”. Properties will be marketed with a set price or a range which will be no larger than 10%. While great for Purchasers, the flip side of this is that Vendors will need to decide firmly on a price they’re happy to accept for their property prior to marketing their home – a sometimes very difficult decision to make.

Along with this, you’ll discover that from day one, Real Estate practitioners will be educating you on property transactions more than ever through the distribution of flyers at Appraisals, Open Inspections & Auctions.

At Toop&Toop we’re embracing these new changes.

This Act is set to provide clarity for consumers and practitioners alike across the whole of the Real Estate Industry – and we can’t wait.

If you’d like to know more about these changes, the Office of Consumer & Business Affairs has released a booklet called ‘On the House – Your Guide to Buying & Selling a home’. This is available to order online at www.ocba.sa.gov.au or simply drop into your local Toop&Toop office over the coming weeks, we’d be happy to provide you with one.

Ian Darbyshire, CEO
 
www.toop.com.au <http://www.toop.com.au>

 
© Toop Real Estate Group

Friday, June 20, 2008

Go green and help more than the environment!

Go green and help more than the environment! Everyone in the Nation is experiencing the impact of inflation and global warming. The weekly grocery bill is on the incline, partly due to drought, petrol prices continue to soar and interest rates don’t seem to be decreasing as yet! These rising costs associated with day to day life mean many households are beginning to feel some financial strain.

Earlier this year Australians joined forces for earth hour, in a bid to have a positive impact on our environment and global warming. Well now, why not help the environment and assist your wallet at the same time? It just makes sense.

By reducing your energy and water usage around the home you wont only be environmentally friendly…you’ll save money as well!!
 
Courtesy of Energy Australia, here are some green tips that you can put into action in your household.

The Seven Domestic Sins

1. Leaving appliances in standby mode
    Cost: $50 a year & 0.4 tonnes of carbon dioxide

2. Not using energy-efficient light bulbs
    Cost: $50 a year & 0.4 tonnes of carbon dioxide

3. Over heating or over cooling rooms
    Cost: $50 a year & 0.4 tonnes of carbon dioxide

4. Running a second fridge
    Cost: $200 a year & more than 1 tonnes of carbon dioxide

5. Washing clothes in hot water
    Cost: $40 a year & 0.3 tonnes of carbon dioxide

6. Not installing a low-flow shower head
    Cost: $100 a year on energy and water & 0.8 tonnes of
    carbon dioxide

7. Taking a long shower
    Cost: Up to $100 a year and 0.8 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

So why not try putting a few of these practices into action and help the environment and your budget – that way we all win!
Anthony Toop, Managing Director

 
www.toop.com.au <http://www.toop.com.au>

 
© Toop Real Estate Group

Friday, June 13, 2008

#1 in website hits

#1 in website hits If you’re searching the real estate market for an investment or your ideal home, the chances are that the internet has become your first point of call. Today, it seems, every business has a website and within the real estate industry it has become one of our most used marketing tools in matching properties to buyers.

Having won the Real Estate Institute of South Australia’s Website of the Year Award 3 years in a row – 2005, 2006 & 2007 - we at Toop&Toop can proudly say that our clients properties are being marketed on the best website in town!

Teamed with our own award winning website, Toop&Toop through realestate.com.au is providing sellers and purchasers with a first glimpse of all our properties as they hit the market.

Ranked as Australia’s number 1 collective real estate website, you will find that the majority of South Australian agents display the properties they are marketing on this hugely resourced site together with their individual company website - I know at Toop&Toop we certainly do, and for us and our vendors it’s proving a big success.

Realestate.com.au has just released the Top Agents in South Australia ranked by the ‘number of properties viewed per office’ during the month of April 2008. Toop&Toop Norwood has come out on top, ranked number 1 with a total of 190,845 viewings of our properties on the market! With these figures in hand, our clients can be assured that their homes are certainly attracting interest from the wider market.

The age of technology is here and what an asset it’s proving to be. So if you are looking to sell or buy, give us a call or jump onto the internet – we’re only too happy to help.

Anthony Toop, Managing Director

 
www.toop.com.au <http://www.toop.com.au>

 
© Toop Real Estate Group

Property vs Budget

Property vs Budget We all want a house that we’re proud to call our home – and over the years the benchmark of this first home has well and truly been raised from where it once was.

In 1976 I paid a whopping $19,000 for my first ‘bachelor pad’…a basic three bedroom, conventional cream brick home on a pretty little street in the top corner of Tea Tree Gully. I’d gone through the rigorous process of securing a home loan from the Hibernian Building Society, having to prove my ability to manage this loan by showing a consistent savings pattern. Compared to then, it seems to be much easier to secure a loan these days!

The fact is, when you look to buy your first home it’s always going to be a stretch regardless of interest rates. Inflation hits all areas of life, so although house prices now are much higher than in 1976, the flip side is that wages have also increased at a relevant rate.

7 years ago Adelaide’s property market reached an all time high with a median price of $158,900 in the December 2001 quarter – During this years March quarter we reached a median price of $362,100. An annual increase of almost $30,000 over the past 7 years! Great news when you’re an owner, a bit more of a stretch when you’re a purchaser…not to mention a first home buyer!

Last week the South Australian Government acknowledged this growing pain for first home buyers when they handed down the 2008/2009 State Budget. Those struggling to buy their first property have been thrown some life support in the form of an additional $4,000 grant, on top of the existing $7,000 grant in place. This gives those who are trying to get their foot in the door of the property market a total of $11,000 in assistance. It’s good to see that our state’s youth are being heard.

So while the market remains tight, there is a little relief for all of you out their searching for your first home.  

Anthony Toop, Managing Director

 
www.toop.com.au <http://www.toop.com.au>

 
© Toop Real Estate Group

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Introducing our new CEO...

Introducing our new CEO... Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Bellini, Raphael, Botticelli … great artists from a time when classic art was reborn and masterpieces were forged. The Renaissance.

As the real estate market changes, so do we. At Toop&Toop we’re entering a time of change and growth – our Renaissance era.

To lead the charge we’ve appointed an individual with 25 years of professional CEO, operational experience. I’d like to introduce our CEO, Ian Darbyshire.

Ian was born and raised in England. He finished school and studied Biochemistry. How does a bio chemist end up in Real Estate you ask? Well keep reading!

Ian’s first job after university was with a pharmaceutical company (ICI) where he got the computer bug (a good variety that is!). There was no turning back now. He was approached by Unigate Dairies to build a new computer system for their existing production as the Factory Manager and then grew the business by building a new dairy based plant. Six years later he was ready for the next challenge.

Little did we know that Ian has been in our lives for some time…true! We will never pour a drink from another juice, fizzy drink or other PET bottle without thinking of him. From 1985 Ian spent four years working for ST Ivel Ltd as the Factory Manager where he lead the team who made this bottle. The marketing tests were held in New Zealand, and with a few side trips to Australia – he knew he would one day live here.

In 1993 Ian was offered his first Managing Director role working for B.E.T. / Rentokil. Initially presented with a brief to ‘Close the Yorkshire Factory’ – by three years in he had turned this factory around to making a healthy profit and had grown the business by adding high value technology based services.

The years moved by and Ian became the CEO of Bennetts, and insurance broking business which he bought and ran as a family business. It has 24 branches with a sales team 300 strong. They implemented new systems to support the customer service experience while launching new products (loans, leisure and homecare).

On selling this business Ian joined Connaught Compliance Ltd as the Group MD (this is where the Real Estate comes into it!). Responsible for 80,000 customers and 3,500 employees, they specialized in engineering services, risk management and his team looked after rental properties ensuring they were maintained and compliant.

Now Ian, his wife Jacqui and daughter Megan have moved to Adelaide and will soon be joined by their son James.

It’s a big welcome to the whole of the Darbyshire family, and Ian we’re excited to have you on board with us here at Toop&Toop. We’re looking forward to our Renaissance!

Anthony Toop, Managing Director

 
www.toop.com.au <http://www.toop.com.au>

 
© Toop Real Estate Group

Friday, May 23, 2008

Adelaide - The next Perth?

Adelaide - The next Perth? Across the nation all eyes are coming to rest on Adelaide. Why? Because when it comes to the property market, Adelaide is in a strong position to see plenty of growth.


We are on track to be the next ‘Perth’

Back in 2001 Perth, who had always been undervalued by the rest of the nation, embarked on what was set to be the biggest real estate boom they’d ever experienced. A huge growth in mining caused an urgent necessity for skilled workers in Western Australia and resulted in an increased demand for property. Investors jumped on board, taking their returns from the increased commodity prices on the share market and putting them to work in the property market. In the space of 6 years Perth saw their median house price increase from $180,000 to $450,000, a huge rise of 150%!!


So how does Adelaide compare to Perth?

Adelaide has always been undervalued by the bigger cities and in recent weeks even regarded as ‘a back water’ by our eastern cousins! The facts are that our mining boom is just beginning and house prices in Roxby are already showing the effects of the increased demand. Strong Defence contracts in place is seeing increased growth flowing out from the region surrounding the Edinburgh RAAF Base, with a prime example being the immense re-development of Port Adelaide – the last major city undeveloped port in Australia. South Australia’s Agriculture and Aquaculture industries are also set to attract skilled workers and further the growth of the property market.

At this current point in time Adelaide is recording a median house price of around $360,000 – sitting in sixth position behind Sydney, Canberra, Perth, Brisbane and Darwin respectively. Although interest rates are currently holding the market tight, our Real Estate market remains in a fantastic position to be able to surge forward with continued growth and enter another boom time. For the next 3 to 6 months we’re predicting that the market will remain stable, but if rates drop hang onto your hats – we could be in for a great ride!

Anthony Toop, Managing Director

 
www.toop.com.au <http://www.toop.com.au>

 
© Toop Real Estate Group

Friday, May 16, 2008

The start of a new era!

The start of a new era! We’re 23! Last Thursday the 8th of May, the Toop team joined together for a “Hello, Goodbye & Happy Birthday” celebration.

Within an ever changing Real Estate market, we’ve experienced the highs and lows, booms and recessions and at all times Toop&Toop have remained a strong, successful family business.

Over the years our business has grown from being just 2, Sylvia & myself, working from our home in Toorak Gardens, to now – 23 years later – having six offices across the state and 135 professional, dedicated employees. Talk about a growth spurt!

Right now we navigate yet another turn in the market. The easy ‘boom’ days of selling are over for now, and the more challenging ones are approaching. With this turn Toop&Toop are forging ahead stronger than ever – it’s the start of another new era or, as we like to call it ‘Toop Chapter’.

We had a hectic 23rd birthday - we officially opened our new ‘home’ called HQ, celebrated our birthday, had a great ‘farewell’ for one of our most loved Toop family members and in the same breath, we ‘welcomed’ a person who’s name is synonymous within our industry for best of the best practices.

After being with us for the past 7 fantastic years, our CEO Karen Raffen is on the move. This month she has passed the baton over to our newly appointed General Manager of Sales, Mandy Wurth.

Now over the years you’ve learnt lots of bits and pieces about Karen, and although
it’s going to take a little bit of time for you all to get to know Mandy, allow me to provide you with a brief introduction to get things started…

As many people do, Mandy made her start in the workforce through the hospitality industry. Over 15 years she worked her way through the ranks from the day to day roles, through to the management of numerous specialised divisions. Mandy then moved on to co-own and run a couple of businesses before her passion for property compelled her to jump in and join the Real Estate industry. For 6 years she worked her way through the ranks of a family owned agency – experiencing Property Management and Sales first hand before taking over the reigns as the General Manager of Sales. For the last 2 years Mandy has held the position of General Manager & Business Coach for Lee Woodward’s dynamic training company, Prime Training. With a wealth of sales and industry knowledge, we know that Mandy will be a fantastic asset to the Toop&Toop team.

So to Karen – a huge thank you for your leadership over the years and all the best in your new ventures, you will be missed; and to Mandy - Welcome on board and hang on tight, it’s going to be an exciting ride!

With a new home, Toop HQ, and a new General Manager of Sales - there is nothing dull about life at Toop&Toop!

Anthony Toop, Managing Director

 
www.toop.com.au <http://www.toop.com.au>

 
© Toop Real Estate Group

Monday, May 12, 2008

Big kids & their bikes - What a Success!

Big kids & their bikes - What a Success! On the 24th of April we layered on our leathers, warmed up the engines of our Classic bikes and got ready to rumble – all in the name of our kids. What am I talking about? None other than Variety SA’s inaugural V2 Classic Bike Run.

After months of preparation and anticipation we set out from the Torrens Parade Ground on our 4 day trip to our final destination, Penola. With 32 riders on their classic bikes and the Gliderol bus full of rowdy volunteers and supporters, I think the towns literally heard us coming! We made our way through Robe, Mt Gambier, Port Fairy & Port Campbell gaining huge support from the locals and somehow managed to dodge the rain clouds along the way.

Although a lot of fun was had by all, the real reason we were all there was to raise money for SA’s kids in need, especially the Neo Natal Unit of the Women’s & Children’s Hospital – a cause very close to my own heart as well as others involved. Well, we certainly did just that! Entrants of this first time event managed to raise a whopping $225,139 - with $50,000 of this raised on the road during the four day event. That’s almost a quarter of a million dollars raised for our kids – how cool is that!

What happens to the money now? Well Variety SA have pledged $100,000 to the Mini Miracles fundraising initiative for the Neo Natal Unit of the Women’s & Children’s Hospital and the balance of the funds will be dispersed to inspire hope and enrich the lives of children in our community.

A great big thanks to all those involved in this massive event. To the board who
gave their time so generously, to the staff at Variety SA – The Children’s Charity whose expertise on all things fundraising is second to none, to all the volunteers and people we met along the way for their immense support and of course to the entrants who were willing to be a part history…let’s make the next one even bigger and better!

We’ve already had a large number of entrants indicate that they are ready to sign on for the 2009 V2 Classic with one entrant paying $5,000 in an auction for next year’s #1 bike tag.

So now it’s off with the leathers and back on with the suits for most – but don’t forget us because next year we’ll be looking for even more support as we get ready to rumble once more for our kids.

Anthony Toop, Managing Director

 
www.toop.com.au <http://www.toop.com.au>

 
© Toop Real Estate Group

Friday, May 02, 2008

Looking for a home with that little 'something extra'?

With a lot of challenging press out there regarding the property market we decided it was time to put a smile on your face and bring you something a little different… especially if you’re looking to buy.

If you’d like to live in something more exotic than a Villa, with more angles than a Tudor or more verandahs than a Bungalow, perhaps one of these quirky homes will take your fancy! These houses are more than a little out of the ordinary, and we’re sharing them with you courtesy of www.gadling.com.



Cactus House - The Netherlands
The balconies of the Cactus House apartment building in Rotterdam were designed to maximize outdoor gardening space for tenants.


Habitat 67 - Canada
These playful apartments in Montreal feature a unique building block design.



Gangster House - Russia
This soaring wooden tower in Archangelsk, Russia was built by local gangster Nikolai Sutyagin. He never quite got around to finishing its construction - he was jailed before the work was completed.


Cube Houses - The Netherlands
The Dutch seem to be building more than their fair share of interesting houses, as evidenced by these "cube houses" in Rotterdam. Architect Piet Blom intentionally tipped the houses 45 degrees on their side. Cutting edge? yes, but not good for those with vertigo.



Upside-Down House - Poland
This structure is not a mistake. The upside-down house really was built just as it looks. Designer Daniel Czapiewski created it as a critique of the "upside-down" nature of his country's former communist government. Located in Szymbark, Poland.


Although at Toop&Toop we don’t have any properties available that reflect these styles, we do have a range of gorgeous homes to suit every budget. So if you’re looking to buy logon to www.toop.com.au or give your local Toop&Toop office a call today!

Karen Raffen, CEO

http://www.toop.com.au

© Toop Real Estate Group

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Can sub prime happen here?

Can sub prime happen here? It’s fair to say that a lot of people in Australia don’t have an understanding of why the US market has taken such a severe downward spiral. While there has been much concern that the recent crash in the US market may cause a ripple effect through to the Australian property market, this is unlikely to be the case - according to this article from Australian Property Monitors.

The toll from the sub prime collapse is now estimated to be worth as much as half the value of the Australian economy’s GDP. In other words, the pain endured by the mortgage meltdown in the US may be upwards of $500 billion in credit losses. It is timely to ask what exactly is the US sub-prime crisis and can it happen here?

Early this decade US mortgage rates were about 3%. At the same time the US economy was booming. You don’t need three guesses to work out that property values shot up in line with an explosion of cheap and easy loans. Borrowers that once may have been knocked back because of poor credit history or serviceability (sub prime) now found willing lenders easily. US lenders with advanced risk appetites were falling over themselves to lend money.

Busy US lenders needed funds (liquidity). So they bundled mortgages together into securities (bonds) which are then graded by the ratings agencies so they can be priced and sold. This is called securitisation. The low grade bonds are called junk bonds, but companies called monolines could wrap these bonds in insurance to secure a better rating, effectively taking the junk out of junk bonds.

Super funds, banks and even local councils bought these bonds as investments which offered good cash flow. The original lender appeared to have no incentive to write good loans because they remained at arms length from the ultimate risk. No wonder then in that booming US economy non-bank lenders flushed with funds stopped adequately pricing risk into their loans. The market became so competitive that it appeared as if every man and his dog could successfully apply for a loan at low rates.

There was a sting the tail. Hapless US borrowers took out loans with ramping repayment schedules that would inevitability become too much to handle. For instance borrowers would take adjustable-rate mortgages (or ARMs) which only deferred the pain. Everyone assumed wrongly that property prices only ever go up. So when house prices started dropping, areas like Cleveland, Ohio went into meltdown. Massive corporate write offs reared their ugly head and credit standards began to tighten. Enter the credit crunch.

Personally I don’t think that an Australian version of the US sub prime woes will happen. There are significant differences for related Australian markets. On the surface, property markets look highly vulnerable as more mortgaged households stare down breaking point. Thankfully though, honeymoon rates and ARMs have not penetrated as deeply into our market as they have in the US. Our economy is in much better shape also as it is still expanding, buoyed along by a resources boom. The US economy, on the other hand, is retracting and rates are being slashed to prop up struggling local financial markets. Don’t get me wrong, Australians mortgage holders are exposed to the effects of rising interest rates and a slowing economy, but I would argue much less than our friends across the pacific.  (Written by: Michael McNamara – Australian Property Monitors)

With the market steady, feel free to contact any of our staff at Toop&Toop to assist you with your real estate needs.

Karen Raffen, CEO
 
www.toop.com.au <http://www.toop.com.au>

 
© Toop Real Estate Group

Thursday, April 17, 2008

PropertyNav... Just follow us

PropertyNav... Just follow us
We’re proud to be regarded as amongst the best in the Real Estate Industry, especially when it comes to innovation. As a lot of you would know, at Toop&Toop we like to keep ahead of the pack. Although we’ve only just recently returned from claiming the Australian Real Estate Institute Innovation award for the third year in a row, we’d like to introduce to you our latest innovation – another world first which will help you in your property search… PropertyNav.

If you’ve ever been in the market for a new home, whether buying or renting, you’d know that locating the property is part of the battle. PropertyNav works for you by providing step by step directions from your home to any of Toop&Toop’s properties in just a few easy steps.

When viewing properties on toop.com.au, you can enter your own address in the “My PropertyNav List” then once you find your dream home you’d like to view it’s a matter of simply clicking on the PropertyNav button for that home, selecting “Navigate” and you’re on your way!

Whether one or multiple properties are selected, you will be provided with a list of directions to assist in finding your way. To help cut down on petrol usage and time, PropertyNav can also generate a ‘best path’ scenario, arranging all the homes into the shortest possible route.

Not only can these step by step directions be printed out, they can also be downloaded into most portable car navigation units including Garmin, Navman and Tomtom - How convenient!

By combining Google Maps technology with point-of-interest file uploading to in-car navigation units, PropertyNav provides buyers and renters with accurate directions from location to destination.

Jump onto www.toop.com.au today and try it out, we’d love to hear your feedback.

PropertyNav…Just follow us!

Karen Raffen, CEO
 
www.toop.com.au <http://www.toop.com.au>

 
© Toop Real Estate Group

Friday, April 11, 2008

Toop's win Nationals 3 years in a row!


Well it wasn't the Logies, but the crowd was just as well presented as our TV stars when they converged on the Grand Hyatt in Melbourne last Thursday night.



From around the nation, the Real Estate industries "Cream of the Crop" met for the announcement of the prestigious 2008 Australian Real Estate Industry Awards Ð and what a night it turned out to be!



After South Australia had such a huge year at the national's in 2007, we headed over to Melbourne this year with low expectations knowing that competition would be fiercer than ever. We were right.



Across the whole of Australia agencies are lifting the bar in marketing, service & innovation Ð we're getting rid of the old 'used car' sales persona and presenting a new breed of Real Estate agents who work in line with the vendor and purchaser to achieve the best possible result, through the most efficient and effective means possible.



Toop&Toop are incredibly proud to have been finalists in the 2008 National Awards in four categoriesÉ Large Agency, Innovation, Sales Partner of the year (Peter Veitch) and Achievement (Troy Tyndall).

Peter Veitch, Helen Veitch, Sylvia Toop, Anthony Toop and Troy Tyndall


We're even more excited to be able to let you, our clients, know that for the 3rd year in a row Toop&Toop won the AREI Award for Innovation of the Year!!! Not only is it a huge feat to have held this title for three years running but we are also the only agency in Australia to have ever won this award!



A huge congratulations to the whole team at Toop's for making this happen, to Peter Veitch & Troy Tyndall for achieving finalist status in such highly contested awards, and a special thanks to our phenomenal IT department who manage to turn our sometimes "out there" ideas into reality.



Want to see our winning innovation, well jump onto the web and just .toop it!


Karen Raffen, CEO



http://www.toop.com.au/





© Toop Real Estate Group


Friday, April 04, 2008

Landlord's tax bonanza

Regardless of interest rate rises and changes in the market place, property continues to be a popular form of investment for a number of reasons. Secure investment in land, capital growth and one of the most important points for investorsÉnegative gearing.

For all of you who are investors, or thinking of becoming investors have a read of this recent article from Tim Colebatch of The Age. At Toop&Toop we aren't financial advisers and always recommend you seek advice from your accountant, however we think you'll agree that this is certainly an interesting read.

The popularity of negatively geared rental housing, and its cost to taxpayers, continues
to balloon.

More than a million Australians claimed they lost money on renting out homes in 2005-06, resulting in a collective tax break to them of $3.5 billion, the Australian Taxation Office has revealed. In the same year, only half a million people reported having made money on renting out property.

In most businesses, losing money is frowned on.

In this one, however, it has become the spirit of the game, with landlords writing off their claimed losses against tax, and effectively using the savings to subsidise their property investment.

On preliminary figures, the Tax Office says landlords reported $8.7 billion of rental losses in the year to June 2006. The final figures, on past practice, are likely to be higher than that Ñ
about $9.3 billion.

Seven years earlier, 650,000 landlords reported just $2.5 billion in losses. Since then, the losses have more than trebled, mounting by roughly 20% a year, while the number of landlords claiming them has risen 70%, as negative gearing has become an increasingly fashionable way to cut your
tax bill.

Assuming landlords were facing, on average, a marginal tax rate of 37.5 cents in the dollar, the tax they saved has escalated from about $1 billion seven years ago to $3.5 billion in 2005-06, and probably more like $5 billion a year now given interest rate
rises since.

The Productivity Commission, with tacit support from the Reserve Bank, urged the former Howard government to review the tax breaks for housing, arguing that they favoured investors over first-home buyers.

Former Reserve Bank governor Ian Macfarlane told MPs in 2002 that most investment in housing was "tax-driven", citing negative gearing and the low tax rate on capital gains.

But with a million investors now using the tax break, neither major party is prepared to take it from them. Treasurer Wayne Swan has repeatedly refused to reopen the issue, after the Hawke government dropped negative gearing in 1985 only to reinstate it in 1987, saying the move had driven up rents.

Tim Colebatch, The Age, 19th March 2008

If you are in the market for an investment property, give your local Toop&Toop office
a call.

Anthony Toop, Managing Director


www.toop.com.au

© Toop Real Estate Group