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Perth properties are being sold quicker than any other state capital, new figures show.

Research from property analysts RP Data and Rismark International shows it took 24 days to sell a house in November and two days fewer for units.

The time taken to sell a unit was the quickest in Australia, while only in Canberra (23 days) were houses sold quicker.

The average price for houses and units in the metropolitan area at the end of November was $460,000.

While that was a drop of 1.09 per cent on October, making Perth the only city where prices fell, it was still an increase of 6.47 per cent on the start of the year and a 5.87 per cent rise on the same time in 2008.

The average house price was $485,000, down 1.11 per cent on October, but up 5.94 per cent since the start of 2009, while units dropped 1 per cent on October, but rose 8.55 per cent in 2009, to average $385,000.

The news was not all good for homeowners. Landlords found rental yields dropping, to 3.94 per cent for houses and 4.41 per cent for units, both down 0.04 of a percentage point on October.

Rismark managing director Christopher Joye said the key drivers in the market in the latter half of 2009 were upgraders and investors, and this was expected to continue this year.

Once mortgage rates “normalised” to between 7 per cent and 8 per cent, price growth would drop back. As many borrowers did not reduce mortgage payments when rates fell, they should be well placed to absorb rises.

Source  :  www.watoday.com.au

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A SPECIALIST integrity unit has been formed inside the Department of Immigration to deal with widespread fraud in the working holiday visa program, on which industries such as fruit growing depend.

More than 200 internet advertisements have been found offering to buy or sell documents allowing backpackers to claim they had worked in rural jobs without them leaving Sydney, and thus extend their working holiday visas. The standard fee is $400. So far, 64 visas have been cancelled over the fraud and at least 19 more are being reviewed.

One man, an Irish national, has been convicted of fraud. ”There’s been more than 100 fraudulent claims identified this financial year,” a spokeswoman for the department said. ”The answer is we don’t know [the full extent of the fraud]. At this stage it’s too early to determine and we will be looking at it over the next six months.”

The working holiday visa (subclass 417) allows people to extend their stay in Australia by a year if they can prove they have worked in a rural area for three months. Applications are lodged online but have been abused by people selling Australian business numbers linked to farms so backpackers can falsely claim they worked on farms.

”Second year visas for sale,” one ad read. ”Will email completed 1263 form and add your details to my books so you can gain second year visa with ease.”

Another ad offering similar services, posted on the Gumtree website on Saturday, had received more than 2000 hits by last night. Unlike visa scams targeting international students, mainly Indians, this fraud is used mainly by European visitors.

One backpacker told the Herald he had been offered the false documentation as soon as be arrived in Australia, by people staying at the same hostel.

”People told me about buying the documents – getting the numbers to put in,” he said. ”When I arrived here people said you can go there [to a farm] or you can buy. Everyone knows about it. It’s easy. All the people who are here know about that.”

The federal Opposition spokeswoman on immigration, Sharman Stone, said the widespread fraud reflected under-resourcing of the department.

Source  :  www.smh.com.au

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AUSTRALIA has delivered a blunt message to India that it is selling education, not visas, even as the Rudd government deploys its most senior ministers to patch up relations damaged over a series of Indian student assaults.

Trade Minister Simon Crean, whose visit to India this week overlaps that of Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard, outlined to the Confederation of Indian Industry yesterday federal government measures to crack down on shonky education and training providers in Australia.

But he said the crackdown could be successful only if similar action were taken in India to close down shonky education and immigration agents running scams to secure permanent Australian residency through student visas.

“Let’s be clear, we are offering a quality education in a safe environment,” Mr Crean said yesterday. “The quality of our education is what we are promoting, not the visa attached to it.

“For this to succeed, we also need the co-operation of the Indian government. The fact that politicians in both countries have been forced to focus on the issue improves the odds of coming up with a better system.”

Ms Gillard is understood to have delivered a similar message during meetings with Indian Human Resources Development Minister Kapil Sibal and, late on Tuesday night, with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, where greater engagement between the two countries on defence, energy and climate change were also discussed.

Mr Crean denied Australia’s international education industry needed to be remarketed in India, despite the fact it is widely seen — and in some areas promoted — as a pathway to permanent residency.

But he conceded better co-operation between Australian government agencies was also needed to help stem student visa abuses.

What the student issue has done is shed a light on the importance of interaction between Austrade, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and those that market our services in the Department of Education, Employment and Work Relations in the protection of our brand,” he said yesterday.

In just eight days, India will have hosted three of Australia’s most senior politicians, Mr Crean, Ms Gillard and Wayne Swan.

By the end of the year, a total of eight Australian ministers will have graced Indian soil.

The ministerial offensive is aimed at patching bilateral relations, damaged by a recent series of attacks on Indian students in Australia, as well as building trade relations with the emerging Asian superpower.

Mr Crean, who is in India for a two-day meeting of G20 trade ministers ahead of the next Doha round of WTO talks in Pittsburgh later this month, said Australia’s trade relationship with India had historically been “underdone”.

The ministerial visits — which will culminate in a tour by Kevin Rudd later this year — were designed to correct that.

“We understand the fundamental importance of India to our future, just as we do China and the rest of Asia. This is going to be the fastest-growing region in the world for the next couple of decades, it is the place to be,” he said. “Australia fortunately positioned itself for that a couple of decades ago but we have to renew the effort.

“Obviously, if there is a hiccup in the relationship, as there has been here over student safety, of course we have to address it. Visits here are an important part of that.”

Canberra hopes that a successful culmination of the Doha talks — aimed at reducing international trade barriers — will help accelerate free trade agreement negotiations between Australia and India, still at the feasibility stage.

It was also concentrating on building trade ties in infrastructure and energy security areas, with particular focus on investments in gas and coal.

Mr Crean denied that Australia’s refusal to sell uranium to India — a non-signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty — would hurt the progress of the talks, despite Mr Singh again raising the issue during his meeting with Ms Gillard.

Source  :  The Australian

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Get your visa, get registered and get in line for once-in-a-generation fares.                                                                            surf

To be in with a chance to become a £10 Pom you need to follow these simple steps and you’ll soon be on your way.

1. Get yourself a Working Holiday Visa
The £10 Pom fares are intended for people who are serious about having one hell of an adventure on a working holiday in Australia, so you will need to have a Working Holiday Visa to be eligible. You can apply for a visa at any of STA Travel’s 44 branches, or click here to buy it online.
Eligibility: You must be a UK passport holder aged between 18 and 30 years old inclusive.

A working holiday visa allows you to live and work in Australia for a period of 12 months. You can work for one employer for a maximum of 6 months, so it gives you time to travel around Australia topping up your funds as you go.

There are all sorts of jobs available so you will definitely find something to suit you. Click here to see what kind of roles are on offer right now.

To make it even easier for you to get your working holiday visa sorted in time we’ll also be sending our Mobile Visa Van around the country throughout July. Click here for schedule and pics!

2. Register online
It’s not essential to register online, but we suggest that you do. It means that you’ll be eligible for one of the 5 extra ‘golden tickets’ to be drawn once the first 145 £10 fares are sold out.
Click here to register now.

You’ll also get some exclusive gifts when you book with us on the 5th August whilst stocks last. Be first in the queue to get your hands on the newly released Rough Guide worth £16.99! 
Click here for more info on the exclusive gifts.
 
3. Get to one of our selected promotional branches by 8am on Wednesday 5th August.
There will be eight special STA Travel branches around the country selling the £10 fares on the day. They will be the only branches where you can get them and once they’re gone, they’re gone. So line up, camp out, rent a flat next-door … do whatever it takes to make sure you get there before they are sold out.

The branches are:

Belfast, 92/94 Botanic Avenue BT7 1JR
Birmingham High St, 222-224 Corporation Street B4 6QB
Bristol, 43 Queens Road BS8 1QQ
Glasgow, 122 George Street G1 1RF
Leeds, 88 Vicar Lane LS1 7JH
London Victoria, 52 Grosvenor Gardens SW1W 0AG
Manchester, Albert Square 86 Cross Street M2 4LA
Southampton, 6-8 Civic Centre Road SO14 7FL

Source  :  www.statravel.co.uk

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Morley is set to get a revamp – with the $50 million Coventry Square development now out for public comment.                                      

“This is a great step forward for us,” said Greg Poland, the principal of The Strzelecki Group development company that plans to build the project.

“Once the six-week public consultation period has finished we can then start transforming the old Coventry’s warehouse into the ultimate tourist and shopping precinct.”

As well as being built in the heart of Morley – beside the Centro Galleria shopping mall – Coventry Square will be a major part of the new town centre for the City of Bayswater.

If approved, the development will house more than 200 specialty stores, selling everything from fashion, to local arts and crafts.

Mr Poland said the development would include restaurants, cafes, a microbrewery and a fresh food section dedicated to organic produce.

“At a time when the economy is slowing down, Coventry Square will be a real shot in the arm for Morley and the City of Bayswater by creating hundreds of new small businesses and jobs for about 1000 people,” he said.

The Strzelecki Group hopes to open Coventry Square in April next year.

Source  :   www.watoday.com.au

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WHILE the plunge in western suburbs property prices is common knowledge, at least one prominent millionaire is willing to test the waters.

 

Eileen Bond, ex-wife of businessman Alan Bond, wants to sell one of her plush Peppermint Grove homes.  eileen
The View St mansion, which is on the market for $6.35 million, has been used as a guesthouse for “Big Red’s” family and friends since she moved to Leake St to live behind her daughter, Jody, three years ago.

Real estate agent William Porteous said Ms Bond was downsizing and looking for something more practical.

Her daughter lives in another part of Peppermint Grove and so she bought a house directly behind her daughter’s which is just more practical for their day-to-day lives,” he said.

Jody Fewster lives with her husband, Damian, and their two sons, aged six and 10.

Ms Fewster said they had always been a close family.

We even lived in View St with her for a short time when we first came back from Sydney; it’s a fantastic house, she said.

Ms Fewster said her house was attached to her mother’s through an adjoining room and gymnasium.

We love having mum here, we have a ready-made babysitter, she said. Ms Fewster said the View St home held precious family memories.

I really miss the tennis court there, she said. At Christmas we’d all be out there playing cricket under the lights.

The classic Italianate residence has four bedrooms and four bathrooms, and a marble ensuite to the master bedroom.

It also has a swimming pool and a two-storey foyer, and is on a 1500sqm block.

Source  :  www.news.com.au

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FORMER politician and tennis ace Arthur Marshall is selling his Mandurah canal home to move back to the city.  mandaruh house

The one-time TV sports commentator and father of Channel 9 newsreader Dixie Marshall said his house of 10 years was “on the best block on the canal” because of its dual water views.

“From a canal’s point of view it is on what is called a T-junction. You look right, left and ahead and all you have are water views,” he said.

With an estuary to the west and the canal to the east, every room in the home has a water view.

Two studies, a bedroom and the open-plan lounge, dining and kitchen are on the ground floor.

Tall windows reach to the second storey, allowing breathtaking water views. A wide entertaining area leads to a private jetty.

There are three bedrooms upstairs, including the master with ensuite, walk-in robe and balcony overlooking the canal.

The other bedrooms have built-in robes and a shared main bathroom.

A lounge with a balcony makes it ideal for guests or a teenagers’ retreat.

“I asked the architect to make it feel like you were on a ship and when sitting in the lounge upstairs, it is just like it, with water everywhere,” Mr Marshall said.
The home has airconditioning, an alarm and double lock-up garage.

“One of the best things is the huge reserve next to the house,” Mr Marshall said. “Not only is it great to kick a footy with the grandkids and go for a walk, but it allows for plenty of visitor parking.”

72a Waterside Drive, Dudley Park
$1.95 million
Four-bedroom, two-bathroom canal home with water views, open-plan living area, upstairs lounge and private jetty.
Agent: Peter Lindsay 0429421942, Elders Real Estate Mandurah 95359111

www.news.com.au

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