For the first time since December 2012 the Reserve Bank of Australia have cut our national cash rate by .25 per cent. Interest rates currently stand at 2.75 per cent, setting a 50-year record low for the Australian cash rate. Compared with many other nations, interest rates in Australia are still considerably stable (and high). Economists view May’s rate-cut announcement as unexpected – yet they are a welcome relief for a number of local industries who have seen their returns drop or stall quarter-on-quarter. Today’s Chisholm & Gamon blog takes a look at motivation behind the RBA’s May decision – and how this change may affect home owners and mortgagees.
The decision to drop interest rates has been welcomed by the Australian public, as is generally the case whenever an extra amount of disposable income becomes available in a household’s budget. The RBA hopes May’s rate cut will provide the ‘breathing room’ to encourage domestic spending and a subsequent boost in the economy. The property market is one industry sure to see increased demand and competition, with many first home owners now taking advantage of fixed rate opportunities when rates are at record lows.
The effect of rate cuts over the past 18 months is beginning to slowly filter into the national economy. Experts believe the effects of prior interest rate cuts have taken longer to ‘flow down’ into the wider economy than expected – which is further motivation for May’s discount. Slow growth in almost all national industries has continued in 2013, and interest rate cuts are primarily seen as a way to stimulate the consumer into spending, the investor into investing, and the business owner into further employment. Unemployment rates are also expected to drop due to May’s rate cuts.
The RBA have continued to take note of the international economic climate, identifying that China is stable and America continues to slowly improve. Despite growing global stability, further rate cuts may be on the horizon with a federal election coming in September. The RBA will continue their conservative monetary policies – as it is desirable to leave room for movement to adapt to any economic unpredictability in future.
The final word on the May monetary announcement is that prospective property buyers should consider making a move. Favorably low interest rates simply won’t be available to forever – they’re merely a short-term strategy for greater economic prosperity. If buying is on your agenda – the ball is in your court.
While IKEA may have a monopoly on the no-fuss furniture market (if you’re handy with an allen key), there are some new and interesting new product in the home furnishing industry that challenge traditional décor concepts. New design methods embrace sustainable materials in the fabrication of bookcases, chairs and storage. Today’s Chisholm & Gamon post takes a look at the ins and outs of these innovative new furnishing materials – beware that you may find yourself re-decorating after reading our blog!
There are a number of new age materials finding their way into homes as contemporary versions of traditional furniture. While many of us are well-acquainted with a wooden dinner table or metal-framed chair, there are some who are using alternative eco friendly materials in furniture construction with bamboo, cork, cardboard and even paper.
While serving as a tasty treat for Pandas, bamboo is also a very sturdy building material that has been used for many years in Asia for a range of purposes. If you wander around a construction site in China you will notice that scaffolding is often made from bamboo! Highly durable and resistant to weather and temperature changes, bamboo is a perfect material for outdoor furniture exposed to the elements. Bamboo is also beneficial for the environment as it takes the pressure off our depleting forests – a truly sustainable, fast-harvest material.
Another highly weather-resistant material that ticks all the boxes is cork. As well as being recyclable and reasonably inexpensive, cork is resilient to water, mold and fire. A piece of furniture made from this distinctive material would make for a very interesting feature piece. The eco friendly factor? Cork trees can be stripped and remain healthy.
Paper and cardboard are materials that are probably the hardest to conceive as items of furniture. While the concept of paper seating may not be for everyone, there is no doubt that using recycled paper goods offers great flexibility in form plus convenience and recyclability. After a feature piece in a stunning shape for your lounge room? Look to Karton in Fitzroy, who specialize in furniture crafted from unusual materials.
Last week the Reserve Bank of Australia released their monetary policy report for April 2013. Interest rates are left unchanged, remaining at a competitively low 3 per cent. The RBA’s decision means that Australians will benefit from another month with a record low cash rate. Since the 0.25 per cent reduction in December 2012, the cash rate has remained unchanged. How might things alter in future? International economies and domestic spending will surely influence decisions throughout the remainder of 2013. C&G report.
As noted by Governor Glenn Stevens in previous months, the RBA’s most recent decision has been heavily influenced by the economic circumstances of China, the USA and Europe. Europe continues to operate in a recession-like environment without any promising signs for change in the near future. Italy, Greece, Spain and Cyprus are far from robust members of the EU currently. It’s not all bad news however – America has shown slow, consistent economic improvement. China is the envy of all nations, continuing to show signs of unprecedented growth. Since March, there haven’t been many ‘status changes’ to economies globally.
Internally, there have been some changes to the spending habits of Australians, including moderate growth in private consumption. A return to the vibrant consumer confidence and purchase of luxury goods experienced pre-GFC is not likely in the short term, however – with spending on-par with 2012’s records to date. The property market is steadily displaying signs of growth with rising dwelling prices and high rental yields. In relation to foreign trade, the export and mining industries continue to prosper.
While it seems like this economic news is similar to that reported in the past, RBA Governor Glenn Stevens notes that interest rate cuts in 2012 have had the desired effect. The outlook for Australia’s economy is generally positive with healthy employment rates, a strong dollar and expected further growth in the coming years.
Economic commentators are not expecting an interest rate change next month. With inflation close to the middle of the RBA’s target range, there is a chance rate cuts may be made later in the year – providing that there are no major incidences in exterior global economies.
We’ve all seen the multitude of popular renovation shows on television, where a few coats of paint and some well-placed interior decor transforms a home from ordinary to extraordinary. Occasionally, these mini-renos can also add to the bottom line value of a residence too. If you are considering selling your home in the near future, you may be interested in today’s Chisholm & Gamon blog which focuses to getting your home ‘sale ready’. With the market currently presenting a highly competitive environment, it is important your property is immediately impressive, making a lasting impression on potential buyers. When considering a mini-makeover, keep top of mind that the amount you outlay must bring equal or greater returns when it comes to sale price. It is easy to overspend when plotting to maximize home-value, so be sure to consult your C&G sales agent for advice.
Freshen Tired Areas
Prior to sale, consider the areas of your home which carry greatest ‘traffic’ and have the most wear and tear. It’s a great idea to give your property a fresh coat of paint in these areas – if you can afford it, consider repainting the home to give it a super-clean feeling. Repainting your home will get rid of any scuffmarks, in addition to giving the space a contemporary feel. Note: old wallpaper or 90’s feature walls may be more of a hindrance than a help! If you own a weatherboard home, a coat of paint will give the house a vibrant new look – even a touch-up on window sills or wooden posts will create a uniform look. If you’ve a dusty brick veneer, a high-pressure hose can do wonders in restoring the bricks to their original lustre.
Trends: Before and After
Tidy the Yard
A neat and tidy garden can be a very attractive selling point for time-poor buyers. Some have been known to buy a property simply because they were so besotted by its manicured garden! While we don’t suggest you attempt to grow prize winning roses, it wouldn’t hurt to plant some low cost pretty seasonal plants in display areas. A great tip is to cut lawns close to inspection times – the smell of freshly cut grass helps prospective buyers to feel cosy at the home. Lawn not so flash? Mulch will neaten up garden beds substantially.
Clear the Clutter
It is well known that houses are more appealing when interior spaces are clutter and mess-free. While you may think your little one’s painting is cute – it’s best to put away distracting elements like toys, unnecessary trinkets and technology when trying to sell your home. Many sales agents will advise the use of hire furniture for open house inspections in order to make the space more presentable and aspirational. Other areas where first impressions count are ‘wet’ zones – bathrooms and kitchens. These spaces must be pleasant-smelling, and should be free of mould and mess.
It is most people’s worst nightmare: you buy your dream house or holiday home on a lush hillside overlooking the ocean, then your new neighbours decide to build their dream home and block parts of your view. So what is the law when it comes to a shared outlook?
The general advice most town planners give to home owners is that no one has a legal right to a view. The basis for most Victorian Civil Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) decisions (and there have been many) on the matter usually boils down to is the view sought to be protected by an existing resident or for a property an important part of the amenity of that property. And if applicable, does the new development proposal provide for a judicious sharing of views taking into consideration site conditions, constraints and the distance between properties and point of interest.
However, the interpretation of ‘reasonable’ is subjective, plus there is no measurable assessment tool in the planning scheme to provide further direction. Therefore, anyone considering buying property with the aim to develop with views or to simply reside and enjoy the existing view should first consider if the view can be easily removed by new buildings or planting of vegetation in the future.