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Two of Perth’s western suburbs are all that stood between a total eastern states domination of Australia’s premium property markets last year.

Figures released by property analysts RP Data show Nedlands and Cottesloe as the only two non-Sydney or Melbourne suburbs to make the top 20 areas for $1 million-plus house sales last year.

The recovery from the global financial crisis showed in the figures.

There were 122 such sales in Nedlands, placing it 10th nationally, while Cottesloe (15th) clocked up 106 settlements.

The number of sales in Nedlands was a record for the suburb, six higher than in 2007 and almost double that of 2008.

But Cottesloe, while recording an almost 50 per cent increase on the previous year, was 15 short of its 2007 record.

Meanwhile, the seemingly never-ending building of apartment buildings in Earth Perth saw it top the state for sales of $1m-plus units.

The suburb shared the honour with South Perth. Both had 33 sales, placing them 17th nationally.

The number of East Perth sales was also a record for the suburb, beating the previous best of 32, in 2007.

That year, there were a record 52 $1m-plus unit sales in South Perth.

The inner-city Sydney suburb of Pyrmont topped the list, with 95 units sold, while just a few kilometres north, Mosman led the country for house sales, with 271 recorded.

RP Data national research director Tim Lawless said premium property markets generally provided stronger capital gains, mainly due to “inherently tight supply”.

However, they could be tricky for investors because rental yields were much lower, leading to cash flow issues.

Source  :  www.watoday.com.au

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Homeowners face finding another $50 a month to pay the mortgage, with the Reserve Bank tipped to lift official interest rates again today as it battles to dampen house prices and keep inflation pressures at bay.

A quarter percentage point rise this afternoon would mean official rates would have climbed 1.25 percentage points since October, adding more than $240 to the monthly repayments on a $300,000 mortgage.

It would be the biggest run of increases in a 12-month period since the Reserve took the official cash rate from 5 per cent to 6.25 per cent between November 1999 and August 2000.

But the decision could be a close call, with signs of softness in the retail and building sectors lifting expectations the Reserve may wait at least another month before moving in the week before Treasurer Wayne Swan hands down the Federal Budget.

At least mortgage holders may be saved from a “super-sized” lift to their repayments, with the NAB yesterday saying it would not increase its rates more than any move in the official cash rate. Its recent policy of matching rate rises had led to more customers.

That prompted Mr Swan to challenge other major banks to follow NAB’s lead.

TD Securities senior strategist Annette Beacher expects the Reserve board to hold rates today.

But Macquarie Bank rate strategist Rory Robertson said the chance of a rate rise was about 80 per cent.

“Interest rates here remain unusually low, our jobs market is strengthening, China and bulk-commodity prices are booming, so, too, local home prices, and the world’s biggest economy increasingly is getting back on its feet,” he said.

A new survey from Dun and Bradstreet of business executives out today shows sales, growth, employment and capital investment expectations all rising. 

Source  :  www.thewest.com.au

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Retailers are boosting staff numbers in anticipation of an improvement in consumer spending, according to the Australian Retailers Association.                 retail

The industry group’s executive director, Richard Evans, said surveys of association members showed a 12 per cent jump in employment for small and medium-sized retailers this month, painting a much more positive picture than figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics earlier this month.

The number of people employed in the retail sector fell by less than 0.1 per cent last month compared with February, on a seasonally adjusted basis, but the ABS also reported an increase in underutilisation—the proportion of the workforce that is either unemployed or not working as many hours as it would like.

The rate of underutilisation among female workers was 9.1per cent last month, compared with 6.4 per cent for men, which the ABS attributed to the larger proportion of women working in industries with high levels of casual employment, such as retail.

However, Mr Evans said most retailers were holding on to skilled staff in preparation for rising demand, with 68 per cent reporting no change in employment levels in the past quarter.

“A further 16 per cent of retailers actually increased their number of staff during the same period,” he said.

“Retailing works in cycles, and although the sector has experienced a downturn, good retailers are doing their best to hold on to skilled staff as consumer confidence continues to grow and a new type of consumer emerges.”

The same trend was in play among the bigger retailers, with David Jones boosting staffing levels around the Mother’s Day shopping period after the delivery of the federal government’s fiscal stimulus package in April led to a sharp rebound in sales.

Mr Evans said the stimulus package and lower interest rates meant most consumers had more cash available to spend, but “negative and fear-filled commentary” had fuelled a tendency among consumers to cut discretionary spending in favour of saving or paying off debt.

This meant shoppers would be in a better position to spend when confidence picks up again—with the ARA forecasting an improvement as soon as the September quarter.

Source  :  www.careerone.com.au

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500_cabrio1FIAT HAS ANNOUNCED that the convertible version of its ever-so-fashionable 500 will be landing on Australian shores in the middle of next year; roughly a year after the car’s   European sales debut.

Exact specifications and pricing won’t be announced until the car’s local launch, but given the convertible packs the same mechanical hardware as its be-roofed stablemate, odds are high engine choices will be shared with the tin-top Fiat 500.

That means a 55kW 1.3 litre diesel, 51kW 1.2 litre petrol and 74kW 1.4 litre petrol should be offered, while a fuel-saving start-stop system will also feature on the 500C’s spec sheet.

But for many buyers it won’t be the engine line-up or economy rating that will be the 500C’s real drawcard. It’s all about looks, and in that department the diminutive Fiat ragtop doesn’t disappoint.

Source  :  www.themotorreport.com.au

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block of landI WAS at the Mandurah City Soccer Club as a sponsor recently and, after a conversation with some members, it was apparent there is some confusion regarding building a new home, what is included, what to look for in selecting a block and the process.

With constant changes in the Building Codes of Australia (BCA), you cannot afford to take anything for granted.

I will try to shed some light on the process in future columns, to be published in the Mandurah Coastal Times.

I have extensive experience in the building industry. I started as an apprentice carpenter and sub-contractor. From there, I ran my own building firm and then went into sales and management for one of the largest building companies in WA.

My wife and I relocated to Mandurah six years ago. and I currently work for Danmar Homes as Peel regional manager.

I look forward to this column being of some assistance to all prospective new home buyers. Now for some quick tips:

Firstly, always select a builder before you purchase a block.

Ask if the builder builds to the standards of BCA. Their advice can save a lot of money and frustration.     

If you start right, the chances of problems down the track are limited.                                                                         

My next column will deal with the advantages of house-and-land packages.

To ask Barry a question, phone 9534 8844 or email barry.dye@danmar|homes.com

 

www.inmycommunity.com.au

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