SNEAK PEEK: New addition to high-flying Whitsunday estate


A new house in one of the region’s high-flying estates has been given the tick of approval despite pushing above height limits.

The house will be built on an 800sq m vacant block in The Beacons, near Boathaven Beach and Port of Airlie.

The two-storey house has been designed by award-winning architect Chris Beckingham, who was the brains behind luxury resort qualia on Hamilton Island.

It will be made up of two separate pavilions connected by a gallery and large private garden area.

The house features two pavilions connected by a gallery. Picture: Supplied

The front pavilion boasts views over The Beacons with an office and double garage on the ground floor and two bedrooms with ensuites on the first floor.

The second pavilion faces out over the ocean with the main living area, kitchen and dining area on the ground floor.

A large terrace also lines the front of the second pavilion with direct access to the beach.

Another two bedrooms with ensuites will fill out the first floor.

The block of land earmarked for the house was sold in July 2020 for $1.5 million. Picture: Supplied

The block of land earmarked for the house was sold in July 2020 for $1.5 million. Picture: Supplied

Lining both sides of the gallery that adjoins the buildings is a garden with a narrow swimming pool on one side and a pergola on the other.

Plans for the house had to go before the council as the height of the pavilions was above the permitted height of 8.5m

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The house would stand 9.5m tall on the side of The Beacons and 8.8m tall on the beachfront side.

However, the applicants argued it should be approved because of the slanted terrain of the block and the fact the house would not obstruct the views of the neighbouring properties.

The council approved the plans this week, however a building works permit and plumbing and drainage works permit will need to be lodged before construction can begin.

The block of land earmarked for the house was sold in July 2020 for $1.5 million.



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Real estate market heats up in Perth with forecast 10 per cent jump in median house price


Perth’s property market is on the rise as reduced travel increases buyer activity, with expectations the median house price could grow by as much as 10 per cent during 2021.

According to data from the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA), December 2020 saw a jump of 42.5 per cent in house sales compared to December 2019.

REIWA president Damian Collins said reduced travel during December had allowed people to benefit from the favourable real estate market.

“Traditionally December experiences a reduction in the number of house sales due to buyers going away for the festive period,” he said.

“Yet this year we have seen a significant increase in buyer activity, which suggests that people are taking advantage of the market conditions whilst they are unable to travel.”

Perth’s average house price remained stable in December, sitting at $480,000, while REIWA data showed 45 per cent of suburbs saw an increase in property value during the month.

REIWA buyer activity rose significantly in December compared to the same time in 2019.(ABC News: Gian De Poloni)

Kelmscott saw the largest increase in its median sales price during December, jumping 6.2 per cent to $375,000.

Yokine followed with a 4.8 per cent increase to a median price of $650,000 house price average, while the median price in Wellard rose 4 per cent to $399,500.

“With listings for sale decreasing 16.5 per cent in December, it is only a matter of time before median prices start to increase,” Mr Collins said.

‘If they don’t buy, it may well be gone’

Ray White chief executive Mark Whiteman said both buyers and sellers could take advantage of the current market.

“At the moment, to buy a property, you would be paying interest rates that have never been this low before,” he said.

Mark standing in front of a sign with Ray White logo.
Ray White CEO Mark Whiteman says both buyers and sellers can take advantage of the market.(ABC News: Amy Johnston)

“Buyers have nearly every condition they need to buy — low rates, good prices, affordability of the established property market is very good.

“The only thing forcing them to make the decisions is if they don’t buy the property, it may well be gone.

“That’s the only thing making the purchase market difficult, is there is not the same amount of supply coming through.”

Mr Whiteman said the balance of power was starting to shift.

“We are seeing increased buyer demand, fewer properties available for them to choose from, and that’s really starting to throw the balance of power towards the seller,” he said.

An aerial view of Perth's skyline from Mount Lawley.
REIWA expects Perth property prices to increase by up to 10 per cent in 2021.(ABC News: Gian De Poloni)

“We are seeing record numbers of bidders at auctions which is a great litmus test for who is willing to buy.

“We have had five years of a poor market, so the sellers deserve to have a win.”

Investors likely to re-enter market

Mr Collins said Perth remained very favourable for investors, and he expected Perth’s median house price to rise by between 6 and 10 per cent during 2021.

“I would advise those who are thinking of about purchasing their first home, trading up or investing, to act soon before prices inevitably rise,” he said.

A mid shot of a man wearing a mauve tie, white shirt and navy blue blazer standing with a tree in the background.
REIWA president Damian Collins says Christmas is traditionally a quiet time of year for house sales.(ABC News: Jessica Warriner)

Mr Whiteman said the Perth market had shaped into an investor’s dream.

“Investors are having a look and realising it’s a cheap price to buy out, the interest rates are low, and there is every chance [they’re] going to get a tenant willing to pay a higher rent,” he said.

“Investors were reluctant to enter the declining market in the past five years. But we now have a rising market, we have full occupancy and investors will start to come back and create more stock for tenants.”

Rents set to continue increasing

There were 3,655 properties leased in Perth’s rental market in December, a 9 per cent increase on the previous month.

Cascading rooftops in a brand new housing development
Government stimulus measures are expected to create some relief in the next few years.(ABC News: Gian De Poloni)

Mr Collins said it was pleasing to see the rental market pick up in a time when activity traditionally slowed down.

“As we see the rental stock levels continue to remain low, we can expect rents to continue increasing, however we need to remember that rents are still a lot cheaper than they were in 2014,” he said.

Mr Whiteman said government stimulus measures were expected to create some relief in the next few years.

“We continue to see the decline in the amount of property on the market, but consider the fact the big property players are beginning to put more supply in place,” he said.

“The stimulus that drove the new home construction, which saw our local building industry swamped by inquiry to the point they couldn’t build anymore than what they could sign up.”

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Prince estate owes another $32m in tax after being undervalued by half, US officials say | Ents & Arts News


The estate of pop star Prince owes another $32.4 million (£23.7m) in taxes after his executors undervalued it by around 50%, US officials say.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) believes the singer-songwriter was worth $163.2 m (£119.3m) when he died, nearly double the $82.3m (£60.2m) valuation submitted by Comerica Bank & Trust, the estate’s administrator.

Documents filed in a US tax court show the discrepancy centres on Prince’s music publishing and recording interests.

Image:
Fans lay flowers and memorials at the nightclub where Prince got his start in Minneapolis Minnesota

Tax collectors are also demanding a $6.4m (£4.7m) fine, described as an “accuracy-related penalty”, citing a “substantial” undervaluation of assets, the documents show.

Estimates of Prince’s net worth have varied wildly from $100m (£73.1m) to $300m (£219.3m) since his death following a fentanyl overdose at the age of 57 in April 2016.

As the star did not leave a will, deciding what to do with his money has become one of the largest and most complicated probate court proceedings in the history of the US state of Minnesota.

Prince’s six sibling heirs have grown increasingly unhappy, particularly as the estate has doled out tens of millions of dollars to lawyers and consultants.

Comerica and its lawyers at Fredrikson & Byron in Minneapolis maintain their estate valuations are solid.

Comerica sued the IRS this summer in US Tax Court in Washington, DC, saying the agency’s calculations are riddled with errors.

Musician And Recording Artist Prince Dies At 57
Image:
Musician And Recording Artist Prince Dies At 57

“What we have here is a classic battle of the experts – the estate’s experts and the IRS’ experts,” said Dennis Patrick, an estate planning attorney at DeWitt LLP in Minneapolis who is not involved in the case.

Valuing a large estate, Mr Patrick added, “is way more of an art than a science”.

Comerica, a Dallas-based financial services giant, has asked the tax court to hold a trial.

That could lengthen the time needed to settle matters and generate more legal fees at the expense of Prince’s heirs, Mr Patrick said.

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Perth power couple’s Yallingup estate hits the market amidst South West property shortage


Di Bain and John Poynton.Credit:Matthew Tompsett

Mr Poynton said the listing was opportunistic after real estate agents started showing interest in the property.

“There has been this real COVID period pick-up which is partially catch up for a market that hasn’t done anything for a long time,” he said.

Mr Poynton said more people were realising the South West was an amazing region with its forests, beaches, restaurants and vineyards and were looking to buy.

The estate has been used for weddings and Mr Poynton said the property had a lot of infrastructure for anyone looking to run a business with facilities such as a commercial kitchen.

As a visitor to the region for close to 30 years, Mr Poynton said the couple would like to find another property in the area if the lodge sold.

Mack Hall Real Estate South West representative Mitch Thorson lives in the Margaret River region and says the demand for property in the region has been raging on since early 2020.

“What seemed like it was going to emerge as a trend back then has probably become more ongoing,” he said.

“It feels like it’s accelerating, now we’re in the rare position where probably for the first time since the global financial crisis we’ve got more buyers than sellers.

“The theory of supply and demand is now in favour of the seller.”

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Mr Thorson said to get new listing was becoming a bit of an issue but there was still plenty of interest from WA buyers.

“The general feedback I get is people are saying the Margaret River region is essentially the most bio-secure area in the world just about in terms of our positioning on COVID,” he said.

“Conversations are generally evolving around to something about the fact to do with biosecurity or they’ve realised Margaret River is just as nice as the South West of France or the Mediterranean and it’s just down the road.”

Properties which have sold in the past few months include a $3.5 million home on the vaunted St Alouarn Place with panoramic views of the Leeuwin Naturalist Ridge National Park, a $2.5 million riverbank home and a $1.86 million hill-top house with ocean and river mouth views.

Real Estate Institute WA vice president Joe White, who runs JMW Real Estate out of Dunsburough, said Margaret River and Dunsburough had been strong for sales but the interest had expanded to places like Augusta and Walpole.

“The small acreages around Bridgetown are selling well, even Collie has seen people buy holiday homes,” he said.

“When we get to February you’ll look back and say the market jumped five per cent in October, November and December.

“A place I appraised at $490,000 a year ago we sold at $545,000, so there is a 10 per cent jump in that.

“It can’t maintain this rate but I think the thing to recognise is we’re coming off a very low base for a very long time.”

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Mr White said there had been a six-year downturn but the bottom line now was there was a real shift happening of West Australians from the city to the regions.

“I think that will continue it’s people moving here to live, it’s not just holiday homes, it’s demographic change,” he said.

“That was happening before but it’s happening at twice the rate we thought it would have pre-COVID.”

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FBI visits real estate office where person of interest in Nashville explosion worked: reports


FBI agents investigating the Nashville motor home explosion have visited a real estate agency where a person of interest in the bombing had worked on computers, local media reported on Sunday.

Steve Fridrich, owner of Fridrich & Clark Realty in Nashville’s Green Hills neighbourhood, told the Tennessean newspaper he spoke with the agents late on Saturday about Anthony Q. Warner, 63, after the company told the FBI he had worked there.

According to public records, Warner had lived at a home in Antioch, southeast of Nashville, that was searched on Saturday by officials with the FBI and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives following the huge Christmas Day blast.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department confirmed that Warner is under investigation in the case.

Federal agents have said they are following up on more than 500 leads and are working to identify what appear to be human remains found in the wreckage.

WATCH | Nashville explosion wounds 3:

The CBC’s Derek Stoffel reports on the latest developments on the explosion that shook the largely deserted streets of downtown Nashville early Christmas morning. 1:31

The explosion in the heart of the U.S. country music capital injured three people and damaged more than 40 businesses, including an AT&T switching centre.

The attack, which damaged an AT&T building, has continued to wreak havoc on cellphone service, and police and hospital communications in several Southern states as the company worked to restore service.

Fridrich said that for four or five years, Warner had come into the office roughly once a month to provide computer consulting services, until this month — when Warner told the company in an email that he would no longer be working there. He gave no reason, Fridrich said.

“He seemed very personable to us. This is quite out of character I think,” he told the newspaper.

At a news conference on Sunday, five Nashville police officers who were on the scene early on Friday provided details of the dramatic moments around the explosion, when they scrambled to evacuate homes and buildings and called for a bomb squad, which was en route when the motor home blew up.

Nashville police officers Brenna Hosey, left, and Wells embrace after recounting the moments around the blast for reporters. (Mark Humphrey/The Associated Press)

Officer Amanda Topping said she initially parked their police car beside the RV while responding to the call before moving it once they heard the recording playing. Topping said she called her wife to let her know that “things were just really strange” as she helped guide people away from the RV.

That’s when she heard the announcement from the RV switch from a warning to playing the 1964 hit Downtown by Petula Clark. Moments later the explosion hit.

The officers, who were initially responding to reports of gunfire in the area, have been hailed as heroes by city leaders.

“This is going to tie us together forever, for the rest of my life,” Officer James Wells, who suffered some hearing loss due to the explosion, said at a news conference. “Christmas will never be the same.”

A person of interest in the case is believed to have been a consultant who used computers at a real estate office once a month. ‘He seemed very personable to us,’ the owner of Fridrich & Clark Realty told a Tennessee newspaper. (Harrison McClary/Reuters)



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Fair Trading fines 238 real estate agents in five years for underquoting


Underquoting can mean prospective buyers waste time and money on building and pest reports and solicitors’ fees investigating a property that was never in their price range.

One Sydney house hunter, who has been looking seriously for six months, said his experience was that underquoting was “endemic”.

“Just get their price and add on a minimum of $300,000,” he said. “Either they are incompetent or they know what they’re doing – take your pick!”

In another case a property in Newtown was advertised for auction with a price guide of $1.7 million, then withdrawn from auction and put up for sale with an asking price of $1.9 million.

However, whether this would be underquoting depends on what was written in the agency agreement – which Fair Trading has the power to inspect – or if the vendors’ instructions had changed.

The NSW legislation states that real estate agents must give the vendors a written price estimate in the agency agreement and when the property is advertised for auction they must use that number as the basis for the price guide given to prospective purchasers.

The legislation also requires agents to keep file notes of conversations with interested parties and bans certain phrases such as “offers above” or “offers over” or plus signs in marketing the property.

Real Estate Institute of NSW chief executive Tim McKibbin said the underquoting laws had “not provided the consumer with any additional level of comfort”.

“I just don’t understand what great consumer outcomes there are in banning certain words that agents can use – I find that quite bizarre,” Mr McKibbin said.

He added the administrative burden was “very difficult because agents use the car as their office”.

He said there were more allegations of underquoting when the market was on the rise.

“What’s actually happening there is that the prices the agent is quoting have been exceeded because the market is hot,” Mr McKibbin said.

“I don’t think the problem is anywhere near as big as it is portrayed … but I’m not for one minute suggesting it doesn’t happen.”

Lauren Goudy, a buyer’s agent at Rose & Jones who buys property all over Sydney, agreed what looked like underquoting was often not intentional, particularly given there was low market activity during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If they’re looking at the last six months, there’s not much to base [an estimate] on because there’s been such low stock levels and low numbers of transactions,” Ms Goudy said.

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Ms Goudy said the laws provided a framework for agents but she believed prospective buyers should be able to see the agency agreements between agent and vendor.

Bo Xiao, co-founder of Rising Tide Capital, which provides buyers’ agent services, said underquoting was less prevalent than it used to be.

“They want more people on site to create an atmosphere to push up the price but now with the law you can’t just quote something ridiculously low,” Mr Xiao said. “Two or three years ago, I saw agents underquote by $200,000 or $300,000 on a $1 million house but now I don’t see this.”

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The U.S. real estate markets that are poised for a post-pandemic boom in 2021


New York, N.Y., is a hell of a town — and in a post-COVID world, home buyers may also see it as a hell of a bargain.

Since COVID-19 emerged as a major concern in the first few months of 2020, the pandemic has upended the country’s housing market in many ways. At first, health concerns fueled the digitization of the home-buying process, with some people opting to purchase homes sight unseen apart from virtual tours.

The shift to remote working arrangements for people in white-collar jobs meant that households all across the country could rethink where they lived. This caused a surge in interest in vacation towns, as wealthier Americans opted to purchase second homes to wait out the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the prospect of living in close quarters for months on end while waiting out the pandemic, coupled with record-low mortgage rates, drove millennial households to leave their abodes in major cities for suburbs across the country.

Now, though, as Americans begin to receive the first doses of COVID-19 vaccines, there’s seemingly an end to the pandemic in sight. But just as the pandemic helped to fuel soaring demand among home-buyers, the return to normalcy could fuel property sales in certain parts of the country — but not all local housing markets will benefit equally from the end of the COVID era.

“The strong demographics that were fueling the housing
market pre-pandemic will remain in place post-pandemic, which should continue
to drive healthy home sales across the country,” said Ali Wolf, chief economist
at housing market research firm Zonda. “The markets I’m watching in the
vaccine-economy are those that were turbocharged solely due to COVID-19.”

Here are the parts of the country whose housing markets economists say could benefit from the end of the pandemic:

Expensive coastal markets like San Francisco and New York will become popular again

Some of the country’s most-expensive housing markets were already faltering before the pandemic began. In New York “prices have been falling now for the third year in a row,” Nancy Wu, an economist at Zillow
ZG,
-0.87%
subsidiary StreetEasy, told MarketWatch in August.

Even before COVID-19 prompted home buyers and renters to
reconsider their living arrangements in the name of comfort and affordability,
these markets were stagnating because they had simply become too expensive for
most people. On top of that, the pandemic took away much of the appeal of
big-city living.

“The pandemic shut down all the reasons people live in cities, whether that was the nightlife, cafés, live music, or information sharing at the office,” Wolf said.

But these markets could see a snap-back. Falling prices — especially when combined with low mortgage rates — make owning in the Big Apple or somewhere like San Jose, Calif., a more feasible proposition.

“Don’t write off the cities,” Wolf warned. “Places like New
York City, Los Angeles, and Miami are not dead.”

Newer tech hubs will be attractive to buyers

In its round-up of the top markets for 2021, Realtor.com identified a number of places across the country with burgeoning tech scenes (or markets that were close by). Sacramento, Calif., for instance, claimed the No. 1 spot because homes in the California capital are cheaper than San Francisco or San Jose. By being within a two-hour drive though, tech industry employees could feasibly commute to and from those locales.

Realtor.com’s ranking represents a fusion of markets that are popular now amid the pandemic and those that will be popular in the post-COVID world. Other growing tech hubs on Realtor.com’s list include places like Boise, Idaho, and Denver, which are more affordable than Silicon Valley.

“Affordability is attractive at all points in time,” said
Danielle Hale, chief economist at Realtor.com.

“The tech industry will continue to thrive, because even though we probably won’t be 100% remote, the way that many people are right now, remote work has been tested in this pandemic time period and is going to continue to be a feature of white-collar working life for the foreseeable future,” she added. “That’s going to position tech cities to do well.”

Smaller cities in the South and Sun Belt could thrive in a remote-working world

Many markets’ future will depend on whether remote-working
becomes the norm or simply a fluke of the pandemic.

Some employers, such as Twitter
TWTR,
-0.44%,
have suggested that they will let their staff work from home indefinitely. Should more companies follow their lead, that’s good news for less-populated cities with warmer climates, Wolf said, noting Tampa, Fla., Phoenix, Raleigh and Jacksonville, Fla., as examples.

“Pre-pandemic, house hunters had to juggle their affordable
housing needs with employment opportunities,” she said. “The shift to a more
flexible working environment enables markets with housing affordability, good
lifestyle, and a favorable climate to be even bigger magnets for newcomers,
even after the pandemic ends.”

These regions have also attracted attention from real-estate
investors — particularly those who are buying properties in states where they
don’t live.

“Out-of-state investors are gravitating toward a daisy chain
of often overlooked and out-of-the way markets stringing mostly across the
lower Midwest and Southeast,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president of market
economics at real-estate website Auction.com.

These investors have dominated in places like Memphis, Tenn.,
and Augusta, Ga. “Real estate investors on the frontlines of the housing market
are rushing to rural markets in anticipation of a population shift toward those
markets,” Blomquist added.

Where the jury is out: The Upper Midwest and Rust Belt

The National Association of Realtors put together its own list of the Top 10 markets it expects to thrive during and after COVID-19. The list included some of the usual suspects like Boise and Spokane, for instance.

But some of the other markets are located in parts of the
country that don’t frequently get tossed around as hot real-estate locales: Des
Moines, Iowa, Indianapolis and Madison, Wis.

“We anticipate you will see migration away from Western
cities or coastal cities,” the National Association of Realtors’ chief
economist Lawrence Yun said during a forecasting summit earlier this month. “People
have divergent opinions about which markets would do well.”

Which cities will see a housing boom will also depend on the diversity of their workforces. The economies in Midwestern and Rust Belt locales are still heavily dependent on sectors like manufacturing. These industries haven’t necessarily seen the same upheaval that sectors in cities like New York have thanks to the rise of remote working, but that doesn’t mean those places will grow in popularity following COVID.

“It’s the markets that lack job diversity and lifestyle that are the ones that are more likely to suffer in the coming years,” Wolf argued. A good example of this is Orlando: While the pandemic forced the city’s tourism sector to all but shut down for much of 2020, Central Florida’s housing market has remained strong.

That’s because under the surface, there’s more diversity in
employment in that part of the Sunshine State than many assume. “People
employed along the Space Coast, for example, are still working and are fueling
solid home sales in Orlando, especially among the higher price points,” Wolf
said.

That’s the same reason Houston has managed to weather the peaks and valleys of the oil market — while the petroleum industry is a major employer there, the city’s workforce is diverse enough to withstand those pressures.

But Midwestern and Rust Belt cities do have one big thing
going for them: They’re cheap.

“In this current environment, low mortgage rates are creating
opportunities, almost regardless of what’s going on with local economies,” Hale
said. “But if mortgage rates begin to rise, as we expect they will as the
economy bounces back, you might see that hurt higher-price markets more. And
since a lot of manufacturing is concentrated in areas where real-estate is
relatively affordable you might see those markets outperform.”



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Ariana Grande gets engaged to estate agent Dalton Gomez | Ents & Arts News


Ariana Grande has announced her engagement to estate agent boyfriend Dalton Gomez.

The 27-year-old posted a series of photos on Instagram showing her cuddling her fiance and showing off her ring.

A close-up of her tattooed left hand showed the ring to be two-stone with a large diamond set next to a pearl.

Next to the images, Grande wrote: “forever n then some”.

Kim Kardashian, Hailey Bieber and Milly Bobby Brown were among the stars to congratulate her on her engagement.

The singer’s mother – Joan Grande – also congratulated the couple on Twitter, saying she was excited to welcome Gomez to the family.

Grande has been dating the luxury property expert, who is also understood to be in his 20s, for around a year.

Image:
Grande performing with Gaga at the MTV Video Music Awards earlier this year

Gomez appeared with Grande in the lockdown video for her collaboration with Justin Bieber, Stuck With U, dancing with her in a bedroom.

The Thank U, Next singer was previously engaged to comedian and actor Pete Davidson, with the couple making the announcement in June 2018 after knowing each other for just a month.

However, after four months they called off the engagement and ended the relationship.

Grande released her sixth studio album – Positions – last month, topping the US and UK charts and giving her a number one in both countries with the lead single.

Subscribe to the Backstage podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker

Next week Netflix will release a behind-the-scenes movie of Grande’s Sweetener world tour, titled Excuse Me, I Love You.



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Regional real estate sales booming in South Australia as city slickers get out


Real estate agents across South Australia are reporting a boom in regional property demand, prompting some to utilise a sale-by-expressions-of-interest approach more typical to commercial properties.

Harcourts Adelaide Hills principal, Kim Shorland, told ABC Radio Adelaide they were experiencing “incredible” demand for residential properties, with most people coming from the city plains or the eastern seaboard.

It follows a wave of inquiries earlier this year, after the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in social restrictions across the country and people were directed to work from home if possible.

Ms Shorland said a recent open inspection on a small acreage cottage in Mylor attracted 300 people in half an hour, and several Adelaide Hills auctions had done “exceptionally well”.

But she said their preferred approach to sales under the circumstances was expressions of interest (EOI).

Known colloquially as a Dutch auction, it is when a property is advertised without a price and potential buyers are instead encouraged to do their research and provide their best and only offer in writing.

Ms Shorland said she was aware the approach “frustrated” a lot of people, but pointed out that agents were still able to give a value indication to potential buyers based on recent sales in an area.

“People are having such varied opinions on prices, so it’s in our owners’ best interests that we have an EOI,” she said.

“We’re seeing that price variance can be $300,000.

“If we put a price on a property, our owners are going to miss out on obtaining that highest price.”

Rolling green vineyards give way to a ridge of hills in the distance.
Many people from the city have been seeking a tree change to regional areas like McLaren Vale.(ABC Radio Adelaide: Malcolm Sutton)

Strengths and weaknesses

Real Estate Institute of South Australia board member, Victor Velgush, said the EOI approach was derived from commercial real estate where sophisticated buyers were given six weeks to do their due diligence and research, including estimates on leases, for example, before making an offer.

He said it started creeping into residential sales a few years ago, but the current boom was putting pressure on supply and it was becoming more prevalent.

“Agents are often a bit stumped about having to work out how to price a house … but like every method, it has its strengths and weaknesses,” Mr Velgush said.

He advised buyers to talk closely with agents to learn more about what terms the owner was looking for and to “try and become the favoured owner”.

“At the end of the day, however, all the agent does is put offers in front of the owner and they will decide,” Mr Velgush said.

The sun sets over a remote ocean bay with cliffs along the perimeter.
Yorke Peninsula, with attractions like Innes National park, has also experienced booming real estate.(ABC Radio Adelaide: Malcolm Sutton)

‘Manifestly unfair’

Some ABC Radio Adelaide listeners responding on the text line, however, said the approach was too disadvantageous to buyers:

EOI is manifestly unfair and should be banned! A successful buyer has no idea whether they have won by $1,000 or $100,000. No other sale process operates like this, and it is almost illegally one-sided. Auction is fair to all and achieves true market price. EOI results in inflated prices. — Mark

The EOI process lacks the level of transparency of an auction, and opens up the for agents to manipulate the process. You don’t actually know if there’s someone else close to your offer. — Anonymous

Property up here in the hills isn’t even being advertised. Real estate agents have waiting lists of people wanting to buy in God’s country in the nearby hills. Prices are high. — John

Offer what you are prepared to pay … Not too much complicated about that. — John

Mr Velgush said reports that some agents were selling a property off-market was his main concern.

“Why on Earth would you recommend to your client to sell off-market when the market is so strong?” he said.

“We should be selling on-market — in fact, if you get an offer off-market, make that person compete with all the people who want it.”

Close up of a sign advertising a house for sale.
Some properties have been selling before their sale signs have been erected.(ABC News: Sarah Motherwell)

Sea change widespread

Ray White Normanville principal, Scott Wenham, said they were “just about out of stock” in the seaside Fleurieu Peninsula town.

He said the average time on the market for property was usually about 120 days but in recent times it had reduced to between 15 and 20 days.

“We haven’t been very prevalent with opens [inspections] in our area because a lot of it has just been from buy-from-inspection, which shows intent before purchase, and things are selling before signs can even go up,” Mr Wenham said.

He said people from interstate had even been buying from virtual inspections without ever having seen a property for themselves.

High demand is also being experienced further afield, such as on Yorke Peninsula, where property manager Teresa Webb said sales had “gone through the roof”.

Rental interest, she said, was also exceptionally high.

“People are relocating and wanting to get out of the city and move to the country,” Ms Webb said.

Similar reports have also come from the Goolwa area.



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Melbourne real estate: The 2020 best performing suburbs revealed


59a Harmsworth Street fetched $1.33m in growth star Collingwood.


Collingwood has pipped a host of sea- and tree-change hot spots to be Melbourne’s best performing property market for houses this year.

The inner-north suburb defied the COVID-driven downturn to record an 11.9 per cent jump in value to a $1.2m median, CoreLogic’s Best of the Best report for 2020 found.

Nelson Alexander Fitzroy agent Mason Staver said Collingwood had stepped out of the shadow of desirable neighbour Fitzroy to become a property hot spot of its own right, with main shopping and eat street Smith Street edging out Brunswick Street as a “cultural hub”.

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1/3 Little Oxford Street, Collingwood, sold well above reserve for $1.515m.


“Collingwood is no longer a suburb where your money is going to take you further. It’s come into its own,” Mr Staver said.

He highlighted the February sales of 1/3 Little Oxford Street, $415,000 above reserve for $1.515m, and 99 Easey Street, about $200,000 above reserve for $1.215m.

Hot on Collingwood’s heels were a string of lifestyle havens, with affordable Mornington Peninsula suburbs Bittern and Crib Point notably recording gains above 9 per cent in the year to September 30.

Fellow southeastern spots Dingley Village, Dromana, Fingal and Balnarring joined leafy northeastern postcodes Research and North Warrandyte in the top 10.

29 Sandstone Island Circle, Bittern, achieved a $2m sale this year.


51 Tootal Road became Dingley Village’s first $2m home in December.


Advantage Property Consulting director Frank Valentic said this reflected a trend that had been amplified by the pandemic of Melburnians seeking sea and tree changes “as they no longer have to work from the CBD”.

He said the Peninsula market was “going gangbusters”. And even non-seaside southeastern postcodes, like Dingley Village, were booming as buyers were “priced out of suburbs closer to the beach”.

The suburb notched its first ever $2m residential sale this month, at 51 Tootal Road, while Mr Valentic also highlighted the “unbelievable” $1.402m transaction of 47 Kingswood Drive.

“We thought it would sell for circa $1.2m, but five families bid well above that,” he said.

CoreLogic also named Kingsville as Melbourne’s star unit market, with values soaring 16.6 per cent annually to a $520,063 median.

47 Kingswood Drive, Dingley Village, achieved an “unbelievable” sale.


Tarneit, West Footscray and Point Cook all notched double-digit growth, as well while several other unit markets in the west and northwest exceeded 9 per cent.

CoreLogic head of research Eliza Owen said the remarkable rises came despite Melbourne’s property market being hardest hit nationally by COVID-19, with house and unit values falling 5 per cent since March.

“This was not as big a downturn as consensus forecast at the beginning of the year,” she said.

“But the market has definitely felt the impact of extended lockdowns and the closure of international borders, as Melbourne has relied on a lot of housing demand from overseas migration.”

1 Bishop Street sold for $521,500 in standout unit suburb Kingsville.


The report found Toorak remained the city’s most expensive suburb for houses, with a median just above $4m, while Brighton took top spot for units at $1.12m.

Our cheapest postcodes were Melton, with a typical house costing $389,497, and Carlton, with a $316,026 unit median.

The Herald Sun revealed earlier this week that Melbourne buyers splashed more cash on houses in Brighton than any other suburb, at $651.55m, with Glen Waverley ($530.1m), Kew ($489.89m) and surprise packet Point Cook ($484.93m).

Melbourne CBD topped that list for units, with $517m spent.

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samantha.landy@news.com.au

MELBOURNE’S 2020 PROPERTY GROWTH STARS

Greatest annual median value growth

HOUSES

1. Collingwood: up 11.9% to $1,200,347

2. Bittern: up 9.7% to $746,653

3. Crib Point: up 9% to $653,251

4. Dingley Village: up 8.3% to $904,157

5. Dromana: up 7.4% to $758,402

6. Research: up 6.9% to $1,179,746

7. Fingal: up 6.7% to $1,138,201

8. Lalor: up 6.6% to $623,240

9. Balnarring: up 6.3% to $925,627

10. North Warrandyte: up 6.2% to $1,120,882

UNITS

1. Kingsville: up 16.6% to $520,063

2. Tarneit: up 12% to $441,614

3. West Footscray: up 11.5% to $507,373

4. Point Cook: up 10% to $505,456

5. Hadfield: up 9.9% to $568,056

6. Williamstown: up 9.7% to $692,483

7. Footscray: up 9.3% to $460,279

8. Westmeadows: up 9.1% to $459,613

9. Somerville: up 9.1% to $481,584

10. Maidstone: up 9% to $568,686

Source: CoreLogic, for year to September 30



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