The ‘Bright Red Apple’ of Real Estate!

By Angelo Lambropoulos Brain

Take an everyday object that you know exists, say a ‘Bright Red Apple’. You’d know the red apple exists because you’d have a visual sense of it. In this case it would be bright red and roundish in shape – (Sight). You’d also have a tactile sense of the apple if you picked it up, you’d get a sense of the weight, size, shape and texture of the apple through holding it – (Feel). There could be a sense of a sound associated with the apple, such as when a bite is taken out of it and you hear the “scrunch” (Sound). The apple would (Taste) a certain way and have it’s own particular “fruity” scent – (Smell).

It would therefore be fair to say that each of the five senses (Sight, Feel, Sound, Taste and Smell) would all result in you being 100% certain the red apple exists The same five senses all result in you being 100% certain everything in your life exists; including your own body.

Exactly what is the SUBSTANCE (the “stuff”) of the red apple? What is the SUBSTANCE of any object that exists? The entire basis on which you would say an apple exists, is by way of your five senses. In other words, your entire “evidence” that the red apple exists would be by way of sensations.

Now ask yourself this, what SUBSTANCE makes up the apple itself? What does the apple consist of, apart from your five senses?… 

… When you think of what an apple is, separate from the five sensations – what happens? The only answer that remains is; THERE ISN’T ANYTHING! Only those five sensations exist – Try this question on everything else in the world that exists, it’s mind blowing stuff.

Let’s now take this a step further; If you couldn’t see your body, you couldn’t feel your body (internally or externally),you couldn’t hear anything going on in your body or the noises your body makes, you couldn’t taste anything in your mouth and you couldn’t smell anything on your body (hair, skin and breath) – then how would you know you exist?

What evidence would you have? What evidence could you “take” into a court of law? You wouldn’t have any evidence right? YOU only exist because you sense that you exist. Take away all of those five senses and you no longer exist. The “apple” and your “body” as separate solid objects haven’t gone anywhere. They were never “out there” as separate solid objects in the first place.

Now, this is where I get to the point… 

… As weird or as mind bending as this may seem – the only conclusion we are left with (after the five senses are stripped away) is that nothing “out there” exists. The ONLY “thing” that exists “out there” is our mental sensations, everything else is purely an illusion. Simply said: NOTHING IS SEPARATE FROM OUR SENSATIONS. “Things” are our sensations.

If you are completely okay with what this message is pointing toward, you will find this is very GOOD NEWS. Think about it, if nothing exists outside of your sensations, that means all of your life is not happening to you; IT’S COMING FROM YOU. Therefore, you hold the power within you to totally transform every aspect of your life. Everything is possible for you because it’s already “inside” of you and being out-projected from you.

In relation to real estate, please sit back and really think about my following statement; “I believe ‘real estate buyers’ are more likely to pay top dollar for properties because their five senses tell them to, leading them to an ’emotional decision’. I’m yet to see evidence suggesting it’s an agent’s ‘negotiation skills’  generating ‘record sale prices.’ I’m also yet to see formal qualifications for the self-proclaimed title of ‘negotiation experts’ . I believe ego is distorting the cold hard truth – the agent should be thanking the house for making them look good. Don’t be fooled, it’s your house (the “object”) that really does all the hard work!… It’s YOUR house that has hit the ‘senses’ of the buyers; NOT the agent!” Think about how this example applies to everyday life and the choices you make and that others make for you… I think you’ll be ‘alarmingly’ suprised.

The lying agent will often resort to manipulating your emotional desires to have you chose them over their arch enemy – the honest agent, taking away from their lack of skill and knowledge in which the neocortex part of your brain has unconsciously succumbed to a lying agents illogical accusations, bypassing rationale all in the name of striking a so called honest and professional ’emotional’ relationship with you, an infamous lure for the unsuspecting home-seller… ‘the agents lack of respect for logic, so they can best help themselves at the consumers expense; your money, your emotions’.

We must understand that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, whilst you may believe your property is perfect, there will be those who will share opposing views and beliefs. That is not to say that either person is right or wrong, it’s merely a matter of perceptions. So, if an agent is trying to tell you to lower your price to meet the market, tell them to zip it. There job is to focus on finding a buyer (who shares similar ‘senses’ as you – NOT the agent, NOT the market) that is willing to pay the highest amount possible to secure your property.

It doesn’t take a Harvard University Professor to understand that ‘real estate buyers’ cannot be generalised to suit everyone, it’s absurd to think of such, it’s a broad ‘assumption’ with absolutely no ‘facts’ to support such a claim. The fact of the matter is as follows; NO TWO BUYERS ARE THE SAME, THE RIGHT BUYER IS OUT THERE, THE AGENT JUST HAS NO IDEA HOW TO FIND THEM; having said that, I would strongly suggest you don’t accept a lower price to meet the ‘market’ (another generalised term). Alternatively, ask the agent to find the right buyer, for the right result; or find someone else that can actually honour a promise.

Consider the following question so we can take a good hard look at the human belief system and the five senses in real estate, I strongly urge you please think long and hard for your partners sake – for those of you that are married or in a serious relationship;

question – “Why did you end up with your partner?” Does that perfume on a romantic date trigger engaging memories perhaps?… They do say that ‘smell’ is the most ‘influential’ sense of them all. Are you feeling an extreme sense of joy and remembrance, blank minded perhaps? Do words serve as nothing other than an injustice to such a monumental occassion? 

Answer: You may or may not be suprised to find that you are… ummm… ‘literally lost for words?’ If so, that is perfectly normal. Love has nothing to do with the neocortex part of the brain (logic), it’s all part of the limbic brain (emotion). Reality being, you fell in love because it just ‘felt right’, I can assure you it wasn’t an analytic decision. That being said, are you in a contract with your agent because it ‘just felt right’ or were you misled into believing it just felt right?

Logic will always take a back seat to emotion when you are looking to buy ‘the home of your dreams,’ or sell the home that ‘created many fond memories’. Keep a close eye on the agents trying to pull the ’emotion’ bluff all in the name of ‘logic’ – the one’s that want to be your best friends for money and don’t want to know of you otherwise. There is no shame in asking for a second or third opinion, it simply is the right thing to do; the more knowledge, the better – look out for ‘guilt trips’. The key here, is to understand the two fundamental concepts of “the five senses” and “human behaviour”, know when you are being deceived and know when you are being nurtured.

Emotional understandings should only ever belong to those who have a special place in your heart, your loved ones, the ones that care; not those who have a vested interest in your finances …Oh and one more thing, if any of your senses were stimulated by thinking of an answer to my above question ‘Why did you end up with your partner?’, I’ll have you know that you just let a stranger (me) take control of your emotions; my question to you is, WHY? I hope this article can help make a difference for all the right reasons in your life.

… Mind your mind my fellow readers, it’s far more important and vulnerable than some of you are led to believe – ask for facts, not stories – YOU ARE THE SUBSTANCE OF ALL GREAT THINGS, don’t be the object of somebody else’s substance, especially when it’s your money being gambled. Take care my friends, stay safe!

Blacktown – One of the National Top 10 Best Buys 2013!

By Terry Ryder – www.hotspotting.com.au

hotspottingLOGO

BLACKTOWN  (NSW – Western suburbs of Sydney)

Key Influences Cheapies with Prospects, Transport Infrastructure, Education-Medical Highlights Fastest-growing LGA in NSW; affordable houses; access to M7, M2 and M4; train links to Parramatta, Sydney CBD; upgrade of parking at train stations; $230mil Richmond Line duplication; upgrade of Richmond Road; employment nodes; $120mil Hewlett-Packard facility; rent demand from hospital/education precincts; low vacancies; CBD renewal; $115 million Wet ‘n Wild; $325 million hospital upgrade; town planning changes.Typical houses $380,000 Blacktown, $425,000 Seven Hills, $440,000 Quakers Hill, $370,000 Doonside, $394,000 Marayong. Typical units $291,000 Blacktown, $413,000 Quakers Hill.

Several years ago we included Blacktown in our No Go Zones report. Values were falling, there had been no growth since 2004 and the area had myriad problems. Things have changed and today some locations in the Blacktown City municipality present good prospects for property investors.

The area grew in popularity in 2009, with lower-end buyers targeting it as an affordable area with good transport links, and there was steady price growth in 2010. This continued in 2011, at a time when many city markets flat-lined or fell, and there has been further moderate growth in 2012.The upgrades to road and rail infrastructure in the Blacktown area add to its appeal. There is also business expansion in the region, upgrades for Blacktown and Mt Druitt Hospitals, and development of a water theme park. Also significant is the NBN rollout providing high-speed broadband connection to new estates.
Blacktown’s prospects for investors may be enhanced by town planning changes currently being reviewed.

Location

The Blacktown City local government area (LGA) sits in the western suburbs of Sydney, about 35km from the Sydney CBD and around 12km from Parramatta.

Population and demographics

Blacktown City is the most populous Local Government Area (LGA) in New South Wales, with 312,500 residents, according to 2011 Census data. The population grew 1.9% in 2007, 2.2% in 2008, 2.3% in 2009, 2.6% in 2010 and 1.9% in 2011, well above average for NSW. Blacktown City has added at least 6,000 to its population every year for the past four years – and has added more to its population than any other municipality in NSW in most of those years. Projections from the NSW Department of Planning suggest the LGA population will grow to 370,000 by 2022 and to 475,000 by 2036.

Blacktown City has an above-average component of kids (24% of the resident population, compared to the 17% Sydney average) and is below average for retirees. It was reported in 2012 that Blacktown was, once again, the No.1 place in NSW for new babies.
Westpoint Blacktown, recently expanded by 42,000m2 of retail space, is part of the amenity of Blacktown. In Blacktown City, 58% of residents are Australian-born. Other countries of birth include the Philippines (6.5%), India (5%), New Zealand (2.5%), Fiji (2%) and England (2%).This is mortgage belt territory: around 44% (well above average) have mortgages, 23% own their homes outright and 30% rent.

Economy and amenities

Australian Property Investor says of the Blacktown area: “The area is well-equipped with good facilities, including public transport, shopping centres and several employment nodes. Upgrades in transport infrastructure have made access into the City better, as well as to other parts of Sydney. “The proximity to Parramatta, Sydney’s second biggest city centre, is also a drawcard, as is the development of the Norwest Business Park in nearby Bella Vista.” Transport connections are key features of this area. There is ready access to the M7 Westlink, the M4 Western Motorway and the M2 Hills Motorway. Key suburbs have train stations with rail links to Parramatta and the Sydney CBD. The Blacktown LGA has 10 stations on two key rail lines, the Main Western and Richmond lines. Major commercial precincts (which rate as sub-regional centres) are located at Blacktown and Mount Druitt, while there are district centres in Seven Hills, Quakers Hill, Riverstone and Plumpton. A $350 million upgrade of Westpoint Blacktown in 2006 added 42,000m2 of retail space. There are 12 industrial estates, comprising 786 hectares of
developed land and 380 hectares for future development. There are two public hospitals at Blacktown and Mount Druitt, plus a private hospital at Minchinbury. There are also four
community health centres. The LGA has around 100 primary and secondary schools plus three technical colleges and the University of Western Sydney. Blacktown City is one of the major population growth areas of metropolitan Sydney. The number of new dwellings approved has increased from 1,276 in FY2005 and 1,248 in FY2006 to 1,648 in FY2008, 1,522 in FY2009, 1,957 in FY2010, 1,404 in FY2011 and 1,415 in FY2012.Proximity to employment nodes like the Parramatta CBD and the industrial estates clustered around
the M7/M4 intersection is important, as are good transport connections. About 60% of Blacktown City residents work outside the City, including 11% in Parramatta, 9% in the Sydney CBD, 6% in Baulkham Hills and 4% in Penrith. Quakers Hill Public School is one of 100 primary and secondary schools in Blacktown City. Proximity to the Parramatta CBD is a key feature for the suburbs of Blacktown City.

Property profile

The Blacktown area grew in popularity in 2009, with the rise in activity by first-home buyers. NSW Government figures show that this buying action was concentrated largely on the western suburbs and particularly in Blacktown City. There was a 37% increase in first-time buyers in the suburb of Blacktown and a 35% increase in Blacktown North, the highest rises in metropolitan Sydney. The solid market performance continued in 2010, 2011 and 2012, with median prices growing in the past 12 months – including 8-9% growth in Doonside and Marayong. The suburbs profiled here tend to be dominated by houses built in the 70s and 80s, and provide a higher degree of affordability than neighbouring areas such as Baulkham Hills. The suburb of Blacktown is a highly active property market, with 589 house sales and 196 unit sales in the past 12 months, making it one of Sydney’s most popular suburbs. The Blacktown postcode was the third most popular area in NSW for first-home buyers in the 12 months to February 2013. It is also the third most popular postcode in NSW for first-time buyers since July 2000. Blacktown saw major median price growth for houses from 2002 to 2004, and then prices fell from 2005 to 2008, with a return to (moderate) growth from 2009 to 2012. There is a similar pattern for units. Current median prices, according to APM, are $380,000 for houses (up 3% over 12 months) and $290,000 for units (up 3%). Blacktown’s long-term capital growth average is not so impressive but is in keeping with the general performance of Sydney in the past
10 years. APM indicates that typical yields are 5.4% for houses and 6.8% for units.
Quakers Hill is a busy place for home sales, with 366 houses and 42 units sold in the past 12 months. It ranks No. 12 in NSW for firsthome buyers since 1 July 2000. Quakers Hill saw big price growth in 2002 and 2003, falling values in 2005 and 2006, small growth in 2007, fairly neutral price trends in 2008, small growth in 2009 and a stronger performance in 2010 and 2011. In the past 12 months the median price grew 3%. Median prices are $440,000 for houses and $413,000 for units. The long-term capital growth average is 3-4% for houses and units, but likely to improve with rising interest from budget home-buyers and investors. APM indicates typical yields are 5.2% for houses and 5.6% for units.
Australian Property Investor magazine in 2012 named Quakers Hill as “one of the best suburban prospects for capital growth in the Sydney area”. Brick-and-tile houses costing $350,000 to $450,000 are standard homes in Quakers Hill.

Seven Hills has a house median price of $425,000 according to APM. The long-term capital growth average is 4%, with rental yields of 5.2%. An encouraging aspect for property investors is the low level of vacancies. The vacancy rate for postcode 2148 (Blacktown and neighbours) is 1.6% and has been consistently below 2% for five
years, according to sqmresearch.com.au. The vacancy rate for postcode 2147 (Seven Hills and Lalor Park) is 1.1% and has been below 2% for the past four years. The vacancy rate for postcode 2763 (Quakers Hill and Acacia Gardens) is 1.7% and has been below 2% for the past four years.

Blacktown was called “Sydney’s best selling suburb, a real estate jewel in the heart of Sydney’s west” by the Herald Sun in February 2012. The article pointed out property sales in Blacktown had remained strong while in many other areas the market was stagnant or in a slump. Real estate agent Starr Partners Blacktown director Daniel Formosa said at the time his office was fielding 300 inquiries a week from buyers looking for 3 or 4- bedroom homes, with demand far outweighing supply. “Good clad homes in the range of $350,000 to $420,000 and well-presented brick homes between $380,000 and $450,000 are the average,” he said. SQM Research founder Louis Christopher said there were several reasons why Blacktown was a suburb to watch. “Firstly, it’s a railway suburb, it’s close to the orbital link and the M7 and of course it is affordable,” he said. Christopher said that as Sydney’s middle-income demographic started to move west to purchase larger affordable houses, Blacktown and surrounds would gain popularity. There are potential value-adding opportunities for investors in changes to the Blacktown City town plan, which is currently in draft form. Included in the draft plan are areas where property owners can
add a second attached dwelling and others where a second detached dwelling can be built.

The Draft Blacktown Local Environmental Plan 2013 has been placed on public exhibition until 19 April. The Draft LEP updates land zonings and development controls currently contained in the Blacktown LEP 1988, which has been amended over 200 times. The council says it expects to have to accommodate 44,000 new dwellings in the City of Blacktown by 2036.

Future Prospects

The Blacktown precinct fits our definition of a future hotspot for the reasons outlined below. In recent years, Blacktown has been likewise branded a hotspot according to the definition applied by the Housing Industry Association (HIA). The HIA has listed Blacktown as a hotspot in its HIA-JELD-WEN Population and Residential Building Hotspots report. The report defines a hotspot as a local area where population growth exceeds the national rate and where the value of residential building exceeds $100 million. Blacktown’s growth prospects are enhanced by the attitude of its council, which shows lots of energy and ambition in advancing the area’s amenities and employment potential. Former Mayor Alan
Pendleton said in 2011 that Blacktown “stands ready to build another city to cope with a near doubling of population over the next 25 years”. Pendleton told The Australian that Blacktown would probably welcome another 200,000 residents, on top of the 300,000-plus current population. “We’ve certainly got the space to house a lot more people, provided the infrastructure comes,” he said.

– Council and proposed CBD
Pendleton unveiled a plan for a new CBD in August 2012. The council wanted to set aside 17ha foroffice space within a traditional CBD setting. The zoning shakeup would pave the way for Blacktown to become Sydney’s newest CBD, with office blocks up to 18 storeys high, a new business park and a program to generate investment. The plan aimed to boost the area’s employment capacity from 5,000 to 40,000 and help tackle the region’s unemployment rate, which is above average. Pendleton said Blacktown’s labour force would drive a diverse economy, including engineering, finance, property, administration, health, information technology and communication, sales and business development.
In June 2012 Pendleton called on the NSW Premier to “restore democracy to local communities” over new developments. Pendleton was disappointed in the decision by the Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) to approve a mixed-use development at Kellyville Ridge despite objections from the surrounding community and the unanimous rejection of the development by the council. Universal Property Group and Blacktown Council are involved in a legal dispute over the developer taking a series of failed development applications to the Land and Environment Court, the Blacktown Advocate reported in September 2012. The developer has $70 million in projects on hold in Blacktown, of which a $30 million, 20-storey mixed development is the largest. In September 2012, Liberal Len Robinson was elected mayor of Blacktown City Council.

Commercial developments

Construction of the $115 million Wet n’ Wild Sydney project at Prospect started in September 2012. The water theme park, just off the M4 Motorway on land leased by the Western Sydney Parklands Trust, includes 42 Technicolor slides and will feature a fake
beach, complete with 10-foot waves where surfing and body boarding is allowed. NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell said Wet n’ Wild Sydney would be a world-class attraction. “It is
anticipated that 900,000 people will visit the park every year, including 175,000 people from
interstate and overseas,” he said. The park, which is being built by Village Roadshow, will create 300 construction jobs and 300 permanent jobs. In October 2012, about 50,000 people had registered to buy tickets to the park – well ahead of its scheduled opening in December 2013. The park is expected to generate $500 million in economic activity for the local economy and anchor a clustering effect for associated tourism-related businesses.
The Blacktown precinct is a central industrial hub which has benefited from the opening of the Westlink M7. Major industrial users are attracted to the area for its flexible heavy industrial zoning, close proximity to major arterial road networks and its accessibility to a large pool of skilled labour. Recent leases in the area include 12,000m2 to Linfox and 4,000m2 to M3 Logistics. Another example of business expansion in the area was the 2010 announcement that Hewlett- Packard Australia planned to invest $120 million in a new facility at Eastern Creek. HP started construction in 2011 of a data centre complex on its 13-hectare site with the potential for a second centre at the same location in future. The facility, at the corner of Roberts Road and Capicure Drive in the M7 business hub, created 200 construction jobs, with work completed late in 2011. This is part of a leading employment precinct for Sydney. The Western Sydney Employment Area covers 2,200 hectares around the intersection of the M4 and M7 at Eastern Creek. It has room for
40,000 workers and, as businesses open, more people will make the sprawling site their destination. It was reported in July 2011 that work had started on the Erskine Park Link Road to funnel the workforce on to the M4 and M7. A project update in July 2012 revealed that the concept design for the widening proposal was complete and detailed design work and consultation with adjoining landowners had commenced.

Transport

Richmond Road, a significant arterial route stretching from central Blacktown to the north-west, is undergoing a major upgrade. Work started in February 2013 on the $46 million first stage at Marsden Park. It will duplicate a 2km section to create a fourlane
roadway. Work on stage two is expected to start in mid-2014 and be completed in FY2016. The key suburbs of Blacktown City received a boost from
improved parking infrastructure at the train stations at Blacktown, Quakers Hill and Seven Hills. The Transport Infrastructure Development Corporation has provided 747 extra parking spaces at Seven Hills station, 500 more at Blacktown station and 210 spaces at Quakers Hill station. Blacktown City Council said it had been lobbying for more car parks for 15 years, especially at Blacktown station – which is the second busiest rail facility after Central Station. The $25 million development of Seven Hills Commuter Car Park was completed in March 2011. Previously, commuters were forced to park along the roadside in nearby streets as the old multistorey car park filled quickly. Many were subsequently fined for illegal parking by Blacktown Council. All the new car parking spaces are free, untimed and available 24-seven. The Quakers Hill facility and Blacktown upgrade have also been completed. The $42 million Blacktown car park at First Avenue opened in July 2011, with 500 spaces over four levels, a pedestrian link to Humphries Lane, and an area to park bicycles. In addition to the upgraded station facilities, new track is being laid between Quakers Hill and the new Schofields station as part of Stage 1 of the $230 million Richmond Line Duplication project to increase peak hour train services for passengers. Works include an additional 3.1km of track between Quakers Hill and Schofields, overhead wiring and signalling works and a new Schofields Station to be relocated 800 metres closer to Quakers Hill. We believe affordable suburbs with train links to key jobs nodes (such as the Parramatta CBD and the Sydney CBD) have good prospects for capital growth – and the improved parking access for commuters will encourage public transport usage and improve the appeal of these suburbs. This is particularly relevant given the status of Sydney as the fourth most expensive city in the world for CBD parking (according to a global survey by Colliers International). Hotspotting research in Sydney, as well as in Brisbane and Perth, shows that suburbs with commuter rail links have higher capital growth rates (on average) that suburbs without train stations. A major upgrade of parking facilities at Blacktown Station will boost the area’s appeal, with rail connections a key feature. (Photo Michael Hendy)

Education and Health

We like the prospects for Quakers Hill because it has a ready pool of rental demand from the neighbouring education precinct including the University of Western Sydney (Blacktown campus) and Western Sydney Institute of TAFE. Quakers Hill is also surrounded by new housing estates at Kellyville Ridge and Stonecutters Ridge, which tends to lift values in the established suburbs nearby (where homes are cheaper than the new master-planned product).The Quakers Hill nursing home, destroyed by fire in 2011, is being rebuilt in a $25 million project, according to an announcement in February 2013. The new facility will be three times bigger than the previous one, with 79 single rooms and 24 double rooms, plus a dementia wing for up to 127 residents. Its construction will create 150 jobs and the completed facility will employ 130 staff. Blacktown’s appeal includes the combination of educational and medical complexes which translates into strong rental demand. The suburb of Blacktown includes the Blacktown District Hospital and a
TAFE NSW campus, as well as the intersection of two major train lines, the Westpoint and Centro shopping centres, the Ashlar Gold Club and lots of schools and colleges.
The Blacktown District Hospital is undergoing a $325 million re-development. The addition of a new building and refurbishment of existing facilities will add 180 beds. There will be a mental health centre as well as a dedicated cancer centre and a 600-space multi-level car park. The State Government announced in March 2013 that major contracts had been awarded for works at Blacktown Hospital and also at Mount Druitt Hospital. Work on the 20-bed sub-acute mental health unit at Blacktown Hospital would be carried out by ADCO Construction. The Government said the expanded and upgraded sterilising services department at the Blacktown medical campus had been finished and would sterilize 11,000 instrument trays a month.

Property developments

Major property developments include the Bunya community housing project at Doonside. This Landcom development won the Urban Development Institute of Australia’s Best Concept Plan award in 2008, featuring innovative eco-medians for managing stormwater runoff and preserving a historic heritage park site. The Bunya Display Home Village of eight designs from four builders opened in August 2011. Allcastle Homes, Champion Homes, Eden Brae Homes and Wisdom Homes displayed homes built to Landcom design specifications. In 2011 Landcom received development approval to build an 800m2 Community Resource Hub in Bunya, 500m from Doonside Railway Station. It included meeting rooms, community garden and commercial kitchen. Landcom said in March 2013 that over 1,000 people had visited the Bunya sales centre in January and February. It said it had received 500 inquiries for a new land release of 59 home sites in late February. Two business hubs are being planned in western Sydney, including one at Blacktown, creating 1,000-plus jobs. The Blacktown site – between two major arterial roads, the Great Western Highway and the M7 at Eastern Creek – is proposed for retail businesses. The Western Sydney Parklands Trust applied for the creation of two commercial hubs to attract over $200 million in private capital investment. The construction phase will create 750 jobs. Australand has applied to the Blacktown council to redevelop the former Ashlar Golf Course with up to 1,200 homes. Councillors in February 2013 decided to inspect a similar development in Lidcombe before making a decision.

NBN rollout

The rollout of the NBN is under way. In October 2011, The Blacktown Advocate reported 11,000 premises in Blacktown would have access to the NBN by 2013. Bunya Estate would be the first residential development in Australia fully-equipped and connected to the National Broadband Network (NBN). According to Landcom the “digital homes of the future” allow high definition TVs, Internet television and movie services, gaming and telecommute conferencing to be used simultaneously. It enabled residents to participate in the digital community with access to business and job opportunities not available without the NBN connection. NBN Co announced in October 2012 that construction of the network links to 2,800 premises in east Blacktown and Seven Hills has begun and would be completed by October 2013.

APM’s Andrew Wilson’s top 2013 Sydney suburb picks showing growth led by multi-cultural Fairfield

By Larry Schlesinger – Wednesday, 31 July 2013

increase-graph

Six out of the 10 suburbs picked by Australian Pro
perty Monitors senior economist Andrew Wilson as offering the best prospects for price growth have already beaten inflation over the first six months of the year.

Wilson picked Fairfield, Blacktown, St Ives, Rooty Hill, Lethbridge Park, Macquarie Fields, Doonside, Punchbowl, Ingleburn and Kingswood at the start of 2013 as his detached housing hotspots.

Apart from wealthy upper north shore enclave of St Ives, popular with South African expats, where the median house price is above $1 million, the nine other suburbs are all traditional “battler” locations in the western outer ring of the Sydney metropolitan region with Ingleburn, 44 kilometres south of the CBD, the furthest away.

They all have median prices well below the Sydney median house price of $673,000.

To date, the top performer has been Fairfield, 29 kilometres west of the city where the median house price has risen 12.1% to $474,000, followed by Blacktown (9.2%) and St Ives (5.8%).

The others recording price growth above inflation – currently at 2.6%  – are Rooty Hill, Lethbridge Park Macquarie Fields

APM_HOUSES1

Fairfield is a multi-cultural suburb with large Vietnamese, Arabic and Chinese communities. Just over a third (37.5%) of Fairfield’s 39,515 residents were born in Australia with 16% born in Iraq, according to the 2011 census. Vietnamese is the most commonly spoken language in Fairfield outside of English.

Homeownership is relatively high in Fairfield with just 30% of residents renting compared with 40% who rent across NSW.

However, Fairfield along with Lethbridge Park are among the most socially disadvantaged suburbs in Sydney, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Recent sales below $500,000 in Fairfield include a 1960s built weatherboard house with two-bedrooms at 61 Crosby Crescent, which sold for $432,000 at auction on July 6 through Stephen Jurinic of Pretti Real Estate – Fairfield Heights. It was listed with expectations above $390,000. RP Data records show it last sold for $112,000 in 1995 – annual growth of nearly 8%.

Another recent sale was a renovated six bedroom house at 462 The Horsley Drive Fairfield also built in the 1960s within walking distance to the Fairfield CBD.

It sold for $485,000 through Muhammad Mushtaq of Ray White – Fairfield having last sold for $312,000 in June 2012. RP Data photographs show the house partially gutted and surrounded by fencing, prior to its renovation.

It currently rents for $550 per week – a gross yield of around 5.9%.

Property Observer reported earlier this month that Fairfield mansion with granny flat fetched a $1.117 million suburb record price in Sydney weekend auctions. The McMansion has seven bedrooms and a two-bedroom granny flat.Wilson wrote recently in the Fairfax-owned Sun Herald that APM “relative affordability” of suburbs like Fairfield and Blacktown compared with the rest of Sydney was the reasons they were popular

“Because Sydney is the most expensive city in Australia, there is always that drive at the bottom of the market for budget-priced properties,” Wilson said.

Top 10 Ranking Suburbs in NSW

Freshwater has maintained its popularity and position in the top five for the last six months, moving into the hotly contested top position for the first time this quarter. Demand for property in Stanmore has increased significantly over the last three months moving suburb from ninth position for second.

There are six suburbs – Thornleigh, Cherrybrook, Crows Nest, Winston Hills, Frenchs Forest and West Ryde – that are newcomers to the list this quarter.

  1. Freshwater
  2. Pay-attention1Stanmore
  3. Thornleigh
  4. Cherrybrook
  5. Pennant Hills
  6. Wollstonecraft
  7. Crows Nest
  8. Winston Hills
  9. Frenchs Forest 
  10. West Ryde

There is Always Another Way, a Better Way, Your Way!

Angelo Lambropoulos – Director, ScanMe Realty

Personally, I wouldn’t pay for upfront marketing when selling my house, I wouldn’t want unqualified buyers entering my home, I wouldn’t accept ’market forces‘ as an excuse to justify poor results and I certainly wouldn’t like being lied to, especially when I’m trying to realise the true value of my major asset, the family home.

Angelo Lambropoulos
Angelo Lambropoulos

For many years now, Real Estate Agents’ involvement has often left the unsuspecting consumer angry and frustrated. It’s actually quite fascinating to see that technology, information and marketing methods have evolved, yet there is no direct correlation between client satisfaction and real estate marketing.

The following points have been put together to provide you with further knowledge and information about selling real estate. I sincerely hope you find them both useful and insightful.

• According to the Roy Morgan Image of Professions Survey 2012, real estate agents were ranked among the least trusted professionals in Australia. Let it be known, this has been a persistent trend over the course of the past 30 years. In order to best protect yourself, it’s imperative you ask something like the following question when interviewing an agent; “Will you please honour your professional reputation by signing an ‘agents service guarantee’, not just a standard real estate agency agreement?” Consumers, this is the ‘ace up your sleeve’, this is the key to separating the good from the bad. Be very weary of the agents that try to word around such a fair compromise. Be strong and stay firm, there are plenty more agents around!

• Recent statistics clearly show that 50% of buyers don’t even bother looking at a property that has no price guide. They are simply turned off because they feel as though they will be wasting their time with the agent as they wouldn’t know where they stood at the beginning of the negotiation process. Now here are another couple of questions to ask the agent, “What would you offer for a property that has a ‘Just Listed’ (no price) tag on it? Why would you consider this house over the competition? How can you conduct an ethical negotiation process with no price point?” In my opinion, it’s nothing other than sheer unprofessionalism and incompetence. How would you go about it if you were thinking to buy a house with no price indicator?

• 92% of buyers use the internet as a primary source for researching property. So my question raised by this fact would be, “Why do consumers have to pay for upfront marketing fees?” Well, my answer is simple; agents want to promote themselves at your expense. If they truly care about you, ask them to pay for the marketing. If they are so confident they will be able to sell your property, the expense will be more than compensated on payment of the agent’s lucrative selling fee once your property has successfully sold. You shouldn’t have to pay up-front for no result down the track. Here is some food for thought. Would you attend a fancy restaurant in which you have paid a huge sum of money upfront only to find out that you didn’t qualify for a meal, I can assure you that wouldn’t be a great customer experience either. How would you feel? Annoyed? Frustrated? Angry? … Refund? Give this analogy long hard consideration before selling your property with an agent.

• Do ’open-houses’ consistently create buyer competition in order to achieve the highest possible sale price for your property? … o! A professional agent will devote his/her time and effort to those seriously interested in purchasing your property. Ask the open-house agent, “What about the buyer database you were telling me about? I’m confused, I thought you had a great buyer database, great marketing campaigns, great recognition within the community and a great pricing strategy… I can open my own house, what am I paying you for?” I’ve never known a professional sales person to sit and wait for a result; I’ve always known that a real professional will pro-actively use their skill and knowledge to create a great result! This will come as a shock to the Real Estate system. I strongly urge you attend some open-houses and see how you are treated as a potential buyer. Then ask yourself, is this how you want your house to be sold?

If you are ever unsure or uncertain, make sure you seek independent financial and legal advice. There may just be alternative, perhaps better ways to sell your home!

Stay safe and enjoy ‘happy days’ in the real estate market!

 

The Psychology of Price

Angelo Lambropoulos
Angelo Lambropoulos

Angelo Lambropoulos – Director, ScanMe Realty

Should you set the price high, expecting buyers to bargain you down? Or should you start low to attract a lot of attention, expecting buyers to push the price up?

With so many competing properties for sale, yours has to pop out immediately as good value or buyers will move on with no intent of returning. You get one first shot at your home’s debut, it must be nothing short of ‘perfect’.

The amount of traffic that a listing (home for sale) gets in its first week is five to seven times what it gets in its following weeks. As an example, if you were advised to initially ‘test the market’ in order to lower the price later, it’s bound to be noticed for the wrong reasons – that discounted price adjustment (later) has therefore been broadcast to a much smaller audience of buyers, and will also portray an unfortunate poor perception (the ‘market’ starting to classify the home as ‘damaged’), when the actual fact of the matter is ‘poor strategic marketing’.

A home sellers job is seemingly simple one would think? You analyse the competition thoroughly, you know the prices of the properties that have recently sold in your neighbourhood, you know of similarities/differences from your home, and you also know the current competition. All that’s needed is to now price it right and make a sale, which should seem a fairly straight forward process, right? Wrong! Science proves us otherwise; as humans we tend to let our emotions and attachments get in the way, a perfectly normal psychological characteristic.

Home sellers and purchases are often loaded with an illogic and irrationality (which I once again reiterate, is perfectly normal) commonly known as the ‘endowment effect.’ This is where the tendency for things, even little things become worth more in our eyes once we own them; in short, humans by nature have a tendency to cling on to things.

Readers: Would you agree, that the pain of a loss is two to three times greater than the joy of an equivalent gain? In other words, how would you emotionally respond to receiving less than what you had initially paid for something? Think about this, honestly! I’d be interested to hear your feedback.

Here’s a quick snapshot of 5 quick expert pricing tips to help you gain the upper hand in whatever market it is you decide to sell.

Tips:

1. Identify your home’s true value; this takes ‘skill’. The first step is imperative. You must have a price on your home; test the market at your own risk.

2. What would you do as a buyer? Would you buy a property that is over-priced, would you look at a property that has no price point; or would you prefer to look at a property listed at ‘fair market price?’

3. Time or Money? – Decide on how quickly you need to sell.

4. Discount Danger – Make no mistake, putting a low dollar value on your home is encouraging the ‘wrong buyers’.

5. Price adjustments – If your property has been on the market for months, a slight price adjustment will do you no favours. You must bite the bullet, making the price adjustment ‘substantial’ – this is dependent upon the property and the psychological implications of the price.

If your agent of choice ever comes back telling you “it’s a tough market out there”, I would highly recommend you politely ask them: What do they know of pricing psychology? Hopefully they will soon understand the ‘market’ doesn’t always have to take the fall, an agent should soon open their eyes and start to realise that buyers and sellers may not be the only ones suffering the ‘endowment effect’, it may very well be the agent’s narrow-minded egotistical approach (old habits) getting in between the sale?

I can’t wait to see what the future holds for real estate, I don’t think it will be much longer until real estate consumers may soon be presented with a nice little alternative… ‘Transparency’ perhaps?

Upon conclusion, it is imperative you conduct your own research so you are best prepared for any feedback and/or excuses you may be hit with, selling a property isn’t as hard as you may think. Don’t be scared to ask questions; seek solutions, not excuses – it’s your right as a home-seller.

ScanMe Realty is All About You…

Angelo Lambropoulos

…Do you share our Vision?

Angelo Lambropoulos
Angelo Lambropoulos

“Everything we do, we believe in challenging the present state of affairs. We believe in questioning conformity to best serve you.
The way we challenge conformity is by pledging an unrivalled level of client satisfaction by continually evolving the customer experience. Our business model is professionally structured to positively nurture your emotions.
Whilst we specialise in residential property sales, the core of our existence is a promise to best serve our clients; it’s about giving you the knowledge, freedom and clarity we would expect if we were in your position.

… We do what we do because we care!”

Why… should you choose ScanMe Realty?
If you believe what we believe, and you believe that our service can help you, then we’re right for you. If you don’t believe what we believe, and you don’t believe our service is effective, then we’re not better. It really is that simple!

ScanMe Realty’s business model has been designed, and will forever evolve from the hearts of our consumers. We stand by our promise, offering an unrivalled level of client satisfaction. We come to work to inspire people to do the things that inspire them by thinking differently.

We ask you at least give yourselves a chance to see how we can best help you, there may also be other alternatives before you consider selling your property.

We give our people the chance to make a decision based on what’s right for them, not us. You be the judge!

How… does ScanMe Realty get me the best results?

Well that’s actually quite simple. We are not in the business of selling houses, we are in the business of enriching people’s lives. Anyone can sell a house, whilst only a select few can leave a positive and lasting impression, as well as maximising your financial return.

We take great pride in helping people move on with their lives. We don’t believe in charging our clients for poor results, poor customer service and upfront marketing fees. We will do whatever it takes to leave you happily satisfied, ‘Whatever’ in every sense of the term.

Correct us if were wrong, but don’t you deserve the right advice prior to selling your property? At ScanMe, we are about educating – people just happen to sell with us because they chose too; we provide the facts, ‘You’ control the decision!
We believe it’s only fair to deliver what we would expect if we were in your position.

What… makes ScanMe Realty different?

• We will not lock you in for an industry standard 3 month agency agreement.
• We will never compromise our clients’ best interests. We are here to help you!
• We are not confined by franchise boundaries.
• We are creative, methodical and clinical with our marketing campaigns.
• We provide ‘Client Feedback Forms’ to constantly evolve our customer service standards. We listen!
• Legal documentation to adequately protect you from financial harm.
• We will prove every so called ‘local area specialist and buyer database theory’ wrong.
• We will work with you to show you how-to-sell your own home (if you’re interested).
• Everything we do is ‘black & white.’ This is just a glimpse of why…
“…we have a 100% Sold clearance rate, more importantly; satisfied customers.”

“We do what we do because we care”…

We wouldn’t pay for poor results, so why should you? This is why we believe ScanMe Realty is the consumers’ choice, we are constantly addressing everyday concerns from your perspective.

What’s the secret you ask? Our approach focuses on nurturing your financial and emotional well-being. We are passionate about what we believe as we sincerely hope you are too. We empower you with ‘peace of mind’ and ‘clarity.’ At ScanMe Realty, we believe home is where the heart is; “Real estate is not a game; it’s your family’s life! Best save the games for the kids!”