British Buyers Keen On Australian Real Estate

British buyersOnline searches for property in Australia have more than doubled over the last two months as increasing numbers of Brits head to the web to search for property in warmer climates.

According to research from a leading overseas property website, searches for Property In Australia increased by a staggering 114 per cent whilst searches for New Zealand Property rose by 91 per cent.

Increasing numbers looking for Australian Property

Robin Wilson, head of the website that undertook the research, said: “We always see a pick-up in January and February of ‘dreamers’ visiting the site.

“But nothing on this scale before. It is also noticeable that searches for white-village properties in countries like Spain and Portugal are down on previous years. People seem to be moving towards wanting more authentic destinations.

“I suspect when we review this month’s figures searches….those for Australia may well be up again after a series of TV programmes on relocating there.”

Top Australian Property Locations

Sydney Melbourne Perth Brisbane Gold Coast Adelaide Cairns Darwin

Story source:

Tags: investment, news, overseas buyers, property, real estate

Posted in News

Australian domain names hit 2 million

domain namesWHEN Lloyd Borrett set up a website in the mid-1990s for a local computer company, he had to move overseas to find a suitable domain name – well before it was fashionable to do so.

The restrictions on Australian domain names meant that he could not reserve for Expert, an IT business later acquired by Indian outsourcer Infosys for $31 million. Similar generic names such as or were not for sale.

”Basically, any word in the dictionary was excluded,” said Mr Borrett, who now works for anti-virus and security company AVG . ”So I went to Norfolk Island instead and registered because they had just opened up a registry there.”

The Australian rules were gradually relaxed and the trade in domain names ending in .au has boomed.

Last night, total registrations on Australia’s country-code top-level domain reached 2 million, indicating that Australian businesses, which make up almost 86 per cent of .au domain names, prefer local internet real estate. Almost a quarter of a million .au domains have been sold this financial year.

The domain registry manager, AusRegistry, was not able to identify the exact holder of the 2 millionth domain name because the total includes new registrations and those that lapse in what is effectively a five steps forward-two steps back motion.

The milestone does not mean there are 2 million Australian websites, because many of the .au domains registered are inactive, or are used to redirect web traffic to other sites. Also, many Australian residents, companies or organisations maintain websites on the global generic top-level domains such as .com, .net, .org or .info. There are more than 93 million domains registered on the .com top-level domain alone.

Germany manages the largest country-code top-level domain, with 14.1 million, followed by Britain with 9 million registrations.

Australia’s tight rules for domain name registration were devised by a University of Melbourne computer engineer and lawyer, Robert Elz, who connected Australia to the internet in late 1989.

Mr Elz, an academic who now lives in Thailand, later handed over the management of Australian domains to a university spinoff company, Melbourne IT, which later listed on the ASX and continues as an internet services and hosting company.

The boom period of the internet in the late 1990s featured accusations of cybersquatting on domain names, especially in the .com name space, but Australia was largely immune from those difficulties because of Mr Elz’s rules.

Australian businesses on the web were perceived as trustworthy and still are, said Glenn Gore, the chief technology officer at Melbourne IT.

”It was good for business in how people trust those companies using a address,” Mr Gore said.

”If it ends in, you know that it was not some fly-by-night operation. There has to be a real business behind it.”

This did not mean Australian domain name policies were without controversy. Many webmasters complained of high costs to register an internet name and third-party resellers of domains were frustrated by the rules.

Mr Elz handed over policy and regulation to a new domain name authority, Australian Domain Administration Ltd, known as auDA, and in 2002, AusRegistry won a tender to manage a fully independent registry of .au domain names.

Over the past decade, the auDA board has gradually relaxed the controls of internet name management and sales in Australia while still maintaining the integrity of the system.

”The biggest reform milestone was introducing the new registry in 2002, said Paul Szyndler, auDA’s general manager of public affairs.

From then on, anybody could set up a business to sell the domain names and the competition led to large price falls for those setting up websites.

Story by Glenn Mulcaster

Tags: domains, internet, marketing, news, research

CoreLogic to buy Australian real estate info firm

RP DataCoreLogic, a data aggregator, said Tuesday that it has struck an agreement to buy an Australian company called RP Data Ltd.

CoreLogic collects data on such varied topics as mortgage applications, criminal cases, payday lending and tax records and sells that data and its services to businesses and the government. The company valued its deal for RP Data at AU$194 million, which at exchange rates at the time of the announcement translates to about $191 million.

CoreLogic already owns 40 percent of RP Data, which collects property data in Australia and New Zealand. The deal announced Tuesday would be for the remaining stake at a price of AU$1.65 per share, plus the assumption of AU$45 million in debt.

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of this year.

RP Data is based in Brisbane, Australia. CoreLogic was part of First American Corp. until January, when it was spun off as a separate, publicly traded company with more than 10,000 employees and $2 billion in annual revenue.

Story by The Associated Press

Tags: marketing, news, property, real estate, research

Big-Name Bidders Line Up to Buy Australian Firm’s 712 Shopping Centers

CentroLooks like 2011 could turn out to be the Year of the Big Deal. 
In the latest fast-moving drama, at least six major firms have submitted bids to buy 600 U.S. shopping centers and 112 international malls from Melbourne, Australia-based Centro Properties Group, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Centro has a debt load of $18.4 billion.  Its creditors are marking time before forcing the company to file for bankruptcy, according to various sources in a position to know.

Centro also owns 112 malls in Australia and New Zealand.

Bidders include:

Blackstone Group LP of New York, NY.  Bid undisclosed so far. Consortium led by U.S. real-estate investor NRDC Equity Partners LLC and Australian investor Lend Lease Corp.  Bid, $16 billion-plus for all of Centro’s properties. Tel Aviv-based Gazit Globe Ltd. teamed with Colonial First State Global Asset Management of Sydney, Australia for Centro’s Australian and New Zealand properties. Bid, $7.3 billion. Gazit’s U.S. affiliate Equity One Inc. (EQY: News ) of North Miami Beach, FL, chaired by Chaim Katzman, teamed with Apollo Global Management LLC of New York, NY for Centro’s U.S. operations. Bid undetermined. Charter Hall Retail REIT, also based in Melbourne, wants to buy only  pieces of Centro’s Australian and U.S. assets.  Bid undisclosed.

Centro’s debt was amassed during the boom years as former CEO Andrew Scott went on a buying spree that made company one of the world’s largest retail landlords. Centro’s U.S. portfolio carries debt of $8.1 billion.

Scott, who was ousted in early 2008, purchased several properties including  including New Plan Excel Realty Trust, Kramont Real Estate Trust and Heritage Property Investment Trust Inc.
Centro’s U.S. properties consist of strip malls and other neighbourhood shopping centres anchored by grocers or discount retailers, like TJX Cos.’ TJ Maxx and Marshalls and Kroger Co.

Centro valued its U.S. portfolio at $9.5 billion at the end of its fiscal year on June 30.  Brooksville Square Shopping Centre in Brooksville, FL is one of Centro’s U.S. properties.
Centro is being advised by UBS AG, Moelis & Co. and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. 

Story source: Alex Finkelstein

Tags: commercial, investment, news, property, real estate, research, shopping

Big Changes Ahead for Australian Real Estate

Aust Real EstateFalling house prices and the way Australians buy and sell property could be the feature of the Australian housing market for 2011 according experts and new statistics.

Australian property prices dropped by 0.2% in November after the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) decided to raise interest rates. The Australian property market has seen steady house price gains as demand increased from immigrants and Australians moving up the property ladder

Head of SQM Research Louis Christopher also says the figures indicate the first half of 2011 will see the property market enter a “downturn” that, if left unabated, could see the RBA even reduce interest rates.

“I think we’re going into a downturn here nationwide, and that may spread to Sydney as well. And this could move to a point where the RBA could consider cutting interest rates if it continues,” he says.

The Australian property market will see some new challenges

Experts predict that new home sales to remain weak during 2011 as interest rate hike remains imminentAuctions market slow as experts predict more private sales in new year$850 million Gold Coast property project in receivershipIncrease in property listings will put downward price pressure in early 2011

Australia had been singled out as one of the top-performing overseas property markets during 2010 – alongside Canada, France, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK – thanks to a combination of a high rate of demand matched by “low unemployment rates and tight supply … all of which added to the upward pressure on prices

The fact that Australian housing market may be subject to over supply and house price declines could make for ideal conditions for overseas buyers seeking to move or invest in Australian real estate.

Author Nicholas Marr

Tags: economy, finance, housing, news, property, real estate, research

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