What does the ‘unbelievable’ boost in employment mean for the property market?

Some surprising set of news last week as the Labour Force data showed total employment leaping by an outlandish 121,000 in the month of August, the greatest net gain in the history of the data series which runs all the way back to 1978.

Most of the gains were of the part-time nature, reported full-time employment increased by 14,300 and part-time employment by 106,700.

Of course, the data represents only a survey and therefore the results are necessarily volatile and should not be taken too literally. The huge variance against expectations will do little to enhance the credibility of the survey’s accuracy.

Nevertheless, such a large gain in employment must be reflective of at least some good news in the economy.

Read more here

The RBA has continued its ‘wait and see’ approach leaving interest rates unchanged, at the record low of 2.50%, during its August meeting.

The Reserve Bank of Australia’s decision to keep a “wait and see” approach to interest rates is good news in the lead up to the busy spring selling season, according to the nation’s biggest real estate network LJ Hooker.

Chief Executive Officer, Grant Harrod said today’s announcement to leave the cash rate unchanged at a historic 2.5 percent will keep mortgage repayments affordable and investor demand strong.

“It’s a finely balanced domestic economy that has made the RBA reluctant to shift its current ‘neutral’ monetary policy position,” he said.

“It now looks likely interest rates will remain on hold for the rest of the year, barring any unforeseen events and it should boost consumer confidence as we approach spring.

“There is some speculation rates could be dropped even further if the Australian dollar remains high.”

Read more here

Darren Palmer remains ambassador for myLJHooker.

In a coup for LJ Hooker The Block’s Darren Palmer has re-signed as ambassador for myLjhooker.com for another 12 months.

Mr Palmer who came on as the face for Australia’s leading property library last year has committed to work with the brand until the end of 2015.

“I am extremely happy to be working with LJ Hooker. I love real estate and really enjoy providing information around improving a client’s home from my personal experiences,” Mr Palmer said.

“I am so impressed with the way LJ Hooker are helping and educating their customers through myLJHooker, and it is a real honour for me to be part of this great network.”

According to Marcus Freeman, director of myLJHooker the re-signing of Darren Palmer is a real coup for the brand and is a testament to the quality of property library.

“There is a new Block TV series hitting our TV screens on Channel 9 in the coming months, and Darren will also be central to future marketing campaigns that are currently in the works”, said Marcus Freeman, Director of myLJHooker.

“A huge congratulations goes out to all the offices who have embraced Darren and the new myLJHooker…the results have been brilliant!”, he said.

Enjoy Darren’s exclusive articles every month here and don’t forget The Block: Glasshouse starts Sunday 6.30pm on Channel 9.


Can cosmetic renovations really make money? Q&A with Cherie Barber

A portion of property investing is often related to creating equity in a property – through developments, subdivisions and even renovations.

It’s unsurprising, especially with shows such as The Block and House Rules, that renovating is a much discussed aspect of real estate for both home owners looking to improve their properties, and investors looking for bang for their buck.

Property Observer’s Tuesday Q&A is with Renovating for Profit’s Cherie Barber,  where they ask about essential renovation skills, the experts you can’t do without and whether you can really make money from a quick cosmetic fix up.

Interview here.


Can cosmetic renovations really make money? Q&A with Cherie Barber


The Reserve Bank of Australia’s decision to keep interest rates at historic lows today is unsurprising as it tries to balances the economy, according to leading real estate network LJ Hooker.

LJ Hooker’s Chief Executive Officer, Grant Harrod, said the start of a new financial year, combined with the traditionally quieter winter market, made any immediate changes unlikely.

“The continued stability of rates will give buyers extra confidence, even with speculation an increase will eventually come,’’ he said.

“We have seen property price growth soften as the market heads into winter but, even still, demand is strong as seen in the volume of sales and auction clearance rates around Australia’s various markets.’’

LJ Hooker National Research Manager Mathew Tiller said local inflation remains within its target band of two to three percent while unemployment levels remain stable at 5.8% despite concerns about the retail and mining sectors.

International economies, however, could start to have an impact here and possibly lead to even lower mortgages.

“In the US and EU, rates are set at close to zero and are not expected to move till mid-2015, while the risk of deflation in Europe has seen the European Central Bank introduce negative interest rates for bank deposits,” Mr Tiller said.

“Major lenders here may look to tap into this cheap source of debt.”

Mr Harrod said the driver behind the ongoing decision to keep interest rates stable at its historic low of 2.5% is the consistent balance of the economy in the wake of the offset in mining and resources investment.

“The ongoing lack of housing stock is continuing to keep the market buoyant and demand remains in place across all price points,” Mr Harrod said.

“Demand is particularly strong from investors looking for off-the-plan apartments in major CBD locations.”

An apartment with no bedroom listed for $2.6M

It has a walk-in wardrobe and separate kitchen, but $2.6 million doesn’t stretch far enough to get a separate bedroom in this apartment.

The 87sqm apartment on West 12th Street, in the West Village New York only has three rooms — a grand room, which has a bed in one corner and lounge area, a bathroom and a kitchen.

While there is no separate bedroom in the apartment which costs more than $30,000 a square metre, there is a substantial walk-in wardrobe.

To put it in perspective at Kurraba Rd, Neutral Bay in Sydney a three-bedroom apartment is listed for offers over $2.55 million.

Read the full article here: Daily Telegraph


The End of Financial Year.

The end of financial year is a rare chance for property investors to try and claim back some hard earned capital from the tax man. As such, today we discuss tax depreciation…

What is tax depreciation?

As an investment property owner you’re entitled to claim depreciation on your property and its fixtures & fittings. Claiming depreciation is a significant tax benefit, and one which many investors are unaware of. Depreciation is a non-cash deduction – you do not need to spend any money to claim it.

What is property depreciation?

As a building gets older and items within it wear out, they depreciate in value. The ATO allows investors to claim a rental & investment property depreciation deduction related to the building and plant and equipment items contained within it. There are more than 1,500 items identified by the ATO as depreciable assets.

How do you claim these deductions?

In order to claim depreciation deductions, enlist a Quantity Surveyor to complete a comprehensive, personalised tax depreciation schedule. A depreciation schedule outlines the deductions available on a specific property for the life of the property and is used by your accountant when preparing a tax return.

To learn more about what depreciable items you may be able to claim, click here.

To organise a depreciation schedule from our friends at BMT Tax Depreciation Quantity Surveyors, click here.

Premier Mike Baird announces upgrades to Spit and Military Road.

The announcement by Premier Mike Baird, (a Northern Beaches local), about upgrading the infamously congested Spit and Military Road would have provided great relief for the Lower North Shore community.
For many years the peak hour commute from Manly to Sydney’s CBD has been a time consuming nightmare across Spit Bridge, through Neutral Bay and then over the Harbour Bridge. In the new budget it is understood there are plans to create a vehicle tunnel and an above-ground “rapid bus transit” to relieve the bumper to bumper traffic.

Click the image below to view the full SMH article.

Military Road - SMH

Abode Magazine – Edition 2, 2014


Welcome to edition 2 of our Abode Magazine ~ proudly brought to you by LJ Hooker Mosman.

Within this issue of our Abode we recap on the 2013 property market, discuss selling strategies for the upcoming Winter months & showcase our current listings within the Lower North Shore. The magazine also introduces our department specialists:






We have 5,000 copies being distributed to local homes, cafes, ferry wharves and businesses around the Lower North Shore so make sure you grab yourself a copy. Alternatively, if you would like one sent to you via post, please let our office know and we will organise this for you. We also have a digital version which you can easily read online.

LJ Hooker Mosman.