Thursday, November 26, 2009

IS IT WAR???

A national showdown between the real estate industry and public portals such as realestate.com.au and Domain.com.au seems almost inevitable now as the race for on line dominance goes to a new level.


Actually outright war is possible.
Actually outright war is probably more likely as the greatest fear of an entire industry starts to become a reality. The power of public portals and their ability to capture data is on the cusp of changing all the rules and the age old promise that only real estate agents will have access to advertise on them has been circumnavigated, but who really is being fooled??



A company called “My Home is For Sale” now boasts “We are an online real estate agency that offers vendors 95% of typical selling costs if the owner is prepared to hold an open inspection.” Then it goes on to brag about advertising on “all the top industry sites” in an ad and names the two above.



So what is the inside story on this. Well my guess is that because the REI’s are all getting back on track and rebuilding their own web sites the gloves are off. In Adelaide we have seen REISA adopt www.realestateview.com.au as it’s preferred member web site and this is owned by agents and pretty much is imported from REIV (Victoria’s REI).



My assessment is that because realestate.com.au has put up it’s rates to such an extent, that decisions by agents and sellers have to be made about online verses paper advertising. It was never an issue because online was so cheap. As you can see with the weekend press, we still get amazing results from the press and we have found that it is becoming like TV and Radio, they both play a very important role at different times in the sale. We previously reported what was happening in the USA with online and explained that consumers are ultimately driving the agenda by wanting their marketing done cheaply.



So what are my thoughts? I think real estate agents are at cross roads. In the USA the winners are the heavily resources “FULL SERVICE” agents (franchise and Independent) on the one hand, and then the cheap virtually sell yourself partial service agents on the other. Fewer sit in the middle, and full service highly resourced independent agents are where Toop&Toop have focussed in our USA studies as they are flourishing (and commanding 5 to 6% fees!!!!!). Toop&Toop have used technology to keep client fees competitive even when comparing apples and oranges but what is clear, the discount based agencies are weak and disappearing. These “sell yourself” agencies are staring to take over that discount partial service part of the market.



No private seller can have the power and reach of what we do at Toop&Toop, and the laws are now so complex that private sellers will have to spend a fortune covering them against getting sued. Most normal mums and dads buyers do not like the negotiation process and really have no idea on such large transactions.



Personally bring it on, let the consumer pick what they are after. The only losers here are the agents that don’t really offer much. Sellers who want to save a few dollars are no different to the white collar person who thinks they are a carpenter or bricky and invariably end up realising that hopefully before it costs them tens of thousands of dollars.



With online, well as you know, we set our own agenda at Toop&Toop…be sure to see last Wednesday’s ToopTV available now on line and on pod cast. We had a sensational interview with Brenton Eden, the State co-ordinator for CFS about fire proofing your property. This coming Wednesday at 1 pm tune in live and interactive and hear how to chop off the back of your block, and how to deal with boundary disputes. Email us now with your questions on www.asktoopie.toop.com.au!



Remember all the reports available at www.insidestory.toop.com.au.



Anthony Toop, Managing Director.


www.toop.com.au


© Toop Real Estate Group

Thursday, November 19, 2009

RBA stresses no timetable for rate hikes: CommSec

InsideStory subscribers



This CommSec report talks about interest rates so I guess it will be of interest to all property owners.

CommSec Report - Ecomonic Insights (pdf)


Don’t forget to go to toop.tv and check out our weekly real estate show/program. We are improving it every week and the content is starting to really become valuable. Next Wednesday we have a segment on protecting your asset and your lives in the bushfire season.



Any topics that you are interested in please let me know, and we can answer any questions live and interactive or by email on Wednesdays, which is available on Thursday by way of pod cast or in our archive of shows.



Some great new on line innovations yet to be announced this year!!



Stay out of the heat,




Anthony Toop, Managing Director.


www.toop.com.au


© Toop Real Estate Group

Cost of Renting = Cost of Owning: RPData

InsideStory Subscribers,

This is an awesome report that I have sat on for too long and I have only just got a chance to read. I apologise for being a week getting it to you but frankly this is one excellent report you may want to keep in your files, especially if you love property.

RPData - Nov12 (pdf)

I must get the guys from RP Data to come onto ToopTV again and talk to this, we had Tim Lawless 3 weeks ago giving us an update on the state of the market..

Next weeks ToopTV is a pretty full show but let’s see what we can do, be sure to send any questions through to me and we will get all the answers for you.

Anthony Toop, Managing Director.


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


© Toop Real Estate Group

Jobs, jobs and more jobs: CommSec Report

Dear InsideStory subscriber



We have run our Saturday InsideStory article off the back of this report, and the relivance of Jobs to property owners.



Have a read of my article to see the importance of this information. In a nut shell, no jobs, no confidence…No Confidence, no demand for property.



Regards



Toopie





Important Information
The summary and attached report has been prepared without taking account of the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular individual. For this reason, any individual should, before acting on the information in this report, consider the appropriateness of the information, having regard to the individual’s objectives, financial situation and needs and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice. In the case of certain securities Commonwealth Bank of Australia is or may be the only market maker.


Jobs, jobs and more jobs
Labour Force
· A solid increase in employment has put another rate hike a step closer. Employment rose by 24,500 in October. Part time jobs rose by 21,500 while full-time jobs rose by 2,900.
· The unemployment rate rose from 5.7 per cent to 5.8 per cent. CommSec expects the unemployment rate to peak at around 6 – a far better result than in previous downturns.
· Aggregate hours worked fell by 0.1 per cent in October and hours were down by just 1.4 per cent over the year.
What does it all mean?
· Australia is truly living up to its mantle as the wonder from down-under. Overall 24,500 jobs were created in October – a phenomenal result considering that in September the domestic labour market recorded the best job gains in two years.
· The latest round of employment data highlights the underlying resilience of the domestic labour market. And while the gains have been mostly in part-time employment, it is clearly encouraging, and suggests that full time employment should rebound in coming months as the economic recovery gains traction.
· Interestingly the unemployment rate has remained persistently sticky in recent months, hovering at just 5.8 per cent. As we have stated over the past few months the peak in unemployment is just around the corner. And the latest data has added more weight to that view. The jobless rate looks like peaking at around six per cent
· A key forward indicator that highlights the improvement in labour market conditions is that hours worked aren’t being cut to the same extent as earlier in the year. Also an important point to note is that not only is the jobless rate far lower than in previous downturns but the participation rate is far higher, even despite the marginal fall in the latest month. In other words more people are holding onto jobs compared with previous downturns.
· Last week’s Reserve Bank monetary policy statement hinted at the improvement in labour market conditions and the employment sub index in business survey earlier this week confirmed that business are back in the early stages of re-hiring. As the economic recovery improves and business capital expenditure plans are brought back, employers will have confidence to start hiring again.
· Importantly the improvement in job security will not be lost on consumers. Less fear about losing their jobs will no doubt see a pickup in retail spending and overall economic activity – in effect a self fulfilling prophecy and clearly another reason why the Reserve Bank believes that a return to trend growth is on the cards.
· It appears almost certain that the Reserve Bank will break tradition and raise rates for the third consecutive month in December. The Reserve Bank does have the option of not raising rates, however the data over the last couple of weeks has been surprising strong. Keep in mind that the Reserve Bank does not hold its next meeting till February, so it may just be that the central bank raises rates in December and takes a well deserved break over Christmas.





Anthony Toop, Managing Director.


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


© Toop Real Estate Group

Heatwave, Jobs and Rates.

Heatwave... still rolls on. I had a theory that internet enquiries would go through the roof with buyers electing to do their research from air conditioned comfort... not the case. The internet stats are HUGE & growing, but no actual hot weather spike. We did also discovered that the FHOG wind back on October 1st had no impact on web traffic.
Gardens; a sigh of relief as commonsense prevails on watering restrictions, well done Pollies, you got it right & headed off a tragedy for our housing environment.

An 8% lift in the number of open inspections advertised last weekend remains a whopping 40+% below last spring! The heatwave may be effecting numbers but my guess is that last weekend’s additional 115 opens are a result of the hectic pace of sales beginning to slow over the past week.

A reminder that the first home owners boost (FHOB) finishes at year end & that rates are widely tipped to be going up for the 3rd consecutive month in December! Given the Reserve Bank do not meet in January it seems almost inevitable that we’ll see another 0.25% rise (or approx $21 per month per $100,000) in December. This represents $14 per week for the average housing loan.

We have previously talked a lot about CONFIDENCE being the big driver of the property market. Confidence is directly impacted by job security. No job, no money, no confidence, & so the latest news on employment is important.

This week we posted CommSec’s report headed JOBS, JOBS & more JOBS. Here are some excerpts from the report.

- A solid increase in employment has put another rate hike a step closer, with 24,500 new jobs created in October.
- The unemployment rate rose from 5.7% to 5.8%. CommSec expects the unemployment rate to peak at around 6% a far better result than in previous downturns.
- Importantly the improvement in job security will not be lost on consumers. Less fear about losing their jobs...
- It appears almost certain that the Reserve Bank will break tradition & raise rates for the third consecutive month in December.

Interest rates remain at historic lows, unemployment is peaking & there is a shortage of property... mmmm, have to say these are good symptoms for real estate. Rob Chapman MD of Bank SA released their Trends report this week stating “SA has the lowest debt to income ratio of any mainland state”.

We have always recognised that we are a conservative lot; well our conservatism has given us a payback it would seem.

Week in Summary... the heat has impacted open numbers; sales remain strong; prices are stable; overpriced property is not selling; multiple offers are common; off market sales are strong; time is running out to list & sell in 2009!

Don’t forget Wednesday live & interactive www.toop.tv, with podcast available Thursday. This week Mark Lewis gave his InsideStory into finance, plus we had great footage in ‘Behind the Blinds’. If you have any real estate questions send them to www.asktoopie.toop.com.au & we will reply live each week.


Anthony Toop, Managing Director.


www.toop.com.au


© Toop Real Estate Group

Friday, November 13, 2009

One in a 100 years!

Spring Heatwave!!

One in a 100 years!

The spring heatwave had a cooling effect on the market over the past week, with attendances down at inspections and the edge being taken off buyers. We will never know if this “cooling” of attendances relates to last week's interest rate rise, but I doubt it. Whenever we have a sudden burst of unpleasantly hot weather at the start of the summer season, people seem to get tired and can become challenging, however we remain confident the selling season will run strong until Christmas. The reason for this confidence relates to the unseasonable lack of new properties hitting the market, combined with the high pace of sales this spring.
As you may know, Toop&Toop run a sophisticated database and have essentially created publishing software. This enables us to directly communicate, via various mediums, with buyers, sellers and renters. As a result, we know exactly what is happening with the market. Here are some interesting statistics to consider on the number of new buyers entering the market;

1. November 09 tracking 11% above November last year

2. October 09 statistically equal to October 08

3. September 09, 20% more new buyers than September 08

4. August 09, 13% less registrations compared to August 08.

Now some more trivia.

In the first 4 weeks of going to air Toop.TV has had viewers from 7 countries and 11 cities around Australia... not bad for a brand new real estate program. China has been the standout with 11 viewers tuning in to watch the show. Our sellers get their property in front of these international viewers in a very impressive way! Remember www.Toop.TV is live every Wednesday at 1pm, available 24/7 for viewing online plus downloadable as a pod cast. The show is really starting to bed in now. We are ensuring we have plenty of great news plus newly listed, pre-release properties for you.

It has been remarkable to see how consistent the buyer numbers have remained through out the GFC; currently the total registered active buyers are holding firm within a few % and as of Wednesday this week they totalled 9900. The number of open inspections actually fell last weekend... which is unheard of at this time of the year. As we mentioned last week, if you intend selling this year you really need to list your property NOW.

More innovative online products are on the way, stay tuned for some “serious fun” when looking for property with Toop&Toop. With iphone.toop.com.au and these new products, we are putting fun into buying SA property.
Be sure you register for Toop.TV reminders, for InsideStory and copies of this weekend’s ad 2 days early as well as lots of new property information. To receive any of these log onto www.register.toop.com.au

Anthony Toop, Managing Director.


www.toop.com.au


© Toop Real Estate Group

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

CommSec Research: RBA warns housing supply threatens prosperity

Dear InsideStory Subscriber


“…..if the constraints to housing supply are not addressed by governments and lenders then economic prosperity will be threatened….” Says CommSec.

CommSec Report - Ecomonic Insights (pdf)

Sorry about the delay posting this report but it is a good read and CommSec are pretty much on the ball. Do not forget to go to www.toop.tv and see the latest episode of Behind the Blinds and SA’s Finest, a property being launched next week in Unley Park.

Regards



Anthony Toop, Managing Director.


www.toop.com.au


© Toop Real Estate Group

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Favourite home: RBA lifts rates by 25 basis points

Melbourne Cup saw another rate rise from the Reserve Bank of 25 basis points - lower than the expected 50 basis point rise, which is good news for home owners.
Here's what the team at CommSec had to say...

CommSec Report - Ecomonic Insights (pdf)



Anthony Toop, Managing Director.


www.toop.com.au


© Toop Real Estate Group

Monday, November 02, 2009

Reality Check

InsideStory subscribers



Here we go with the latest CommSec report, and this is the first report in weeks with a negative tone.



It is short and a quick read.


CommSec Report - Ecomonic Insights (pdf)


Regards



Anthony Toop, Managing Director.


www.toop.com.au


© Toop Real Estate Group