Buying the block: Why purchasing a unit block is a great investment


What could be better than investing in a residential apartment?

Er … how about buying the whole block?

Every year, a limited number of complete unit buildings come up for sale, sometimes containing a number of strata-titled apartments, but more often as part of a single-title, one landlord holding

They’ve usually been built in the late 1940s to early 1960s by post-war migrants to Australia who worked hard in their new land, saved their money and then wanted to invest in something solid that could provide a steady income. 

“When they come up for sale, the people attracted to them tend to be developers who might strata them and sell them off individually, or redevelop the site with a new building, or local investors who are cashed up and looking for quality assets,” says Alex Hart of Hart Estate Agents.

“A lot have been held for years by the same family in family trusts and are now in poor condition, rented out to backpackers. But some have been well looked after and offer a good yield and capital growth.”

Mr Hart is currently selling an art deco block of six two-bedroom apartments in Sydney’s Bondi Beach – with an annual income of $185,000 – at auction on March 2 on a price guide of around $5 million.

The 38 Simpson Street property is one of just 20-odd for sale across Greater Sydney, generally scattered around suburbs like Bondi, Maroubra, Rose Bay, Bellevue Hill and Manly. 

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Unit blocks make a great long term investment for those wanting a steady income with their property. Photo: Tammy Law

In Melbourne, there are also just over 20 unit blocks for sale, and in the Brisbane region, markedly more at over 50. 

“They were often built at a time when there were few council requirements and little legislation and handed down through the generations,” says Matthew Abboud of Brisbane’s Ray White Paddington, who’s selling a five-unit, 900-square-metre block at 47 Victoria Terrace, Annerley, for between $1500 and $1900 per square metre.

“You generally find them around Annerley, Hamilton, Chatswood, Nundah and Clayfield, and mostly the interest is from seasoned developers or investors from Brisbane, Sydney and expats in places like Hong Kong,” he says.

“They’re good for super funds with a net yield of four to six per cent.” 

Another in Melbourne, a 1970 seven-unit block at 10 Orange Grove, St Kilda East, is for auction on February 25 for $3.1 million to $3.4 million.

“Money in the bank is worth nothing, so these are good from a yield perspective,” says Leor Samuel of Gary Peer & Associates.

“And they tend to be solid brick, so well built.”

They can be an excellent investment, believes Sue Dahn of investment advisory Pitcher Partners.

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Property Investor- Bondi Block Photo: Supplied

Owning one block gives you decision-making sovereignty over all the units, and it’s easier then to renovate and value-add. 

“But it also means you have your assets in one location and if the area goes down, it’s a risk,” she says.

“It’s also indivisible; you can’t sell off just one apartment to help your cash flow, and dealing with tenants can be hard work.”

If you buy well, however, you can reap big dividends by changing the units to strata title ownership – after checking if it’s permitted – and selling them off, says David Morrell of buyers’ agents Morrell and Koren.

“But you’ve got to be a good truffle-hunter to find a good one.”

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Shakespeare outlasts plague in the great outdoors


Shakespearean plays outside during pandemics date back more than 400 years to – well, the Bard himself.

“In Shakespeare’s time, when plagues existed in London, performances were banned,” explained actor David Widdop, ahead of Ozacts’ A Feast of Shakespeare at Geelong Botanic Gardens.

“We’re kind of doing the same thing.”

Plagues swept through London in 1563, 1568-69, 1582 and 1592-93 carried by fleas on the backs of rats.

During the plague of 1592-93, Shakespeare’s heyday, the Crown ordered the complete closure of all London theatres.

The nobility fled London for the countryside and the Crown cancelled major events, much like today amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Half the companies would pack up and travel to the plague-free provinces, where they’d perform in market places, guild halls and the houses of the wealthy – anywhere they could find an opportunity,” Widdop said.

“If it was raining, they might find a nearby barn instead of the village square.

“What they would have understood was the difference between country areas and London, where theatre was banned, and people would be close together and in danger of catching the plague.”

More than four centuries later, Widdop is set to perform as six different characters from four different plays in two afternoon shows at Geelong Botanic Gardens next weekend.

“It’s really challenging and exciting,” he said.

“A lot of work is done by the change of costume, but then there’s the change of accents, character, all that sort of thing. I love the challenge of playing different characters.”

Widdop also changes his mannerisms as he moves from character to character.

“King Lear is quite old and getting towards the end of his life,” he said.

“On the other hand, Prospero is a quite energised and active sort of character.”

The long-time actor has played Shakespearean characters for a quarter of a century after graduating the National Institute of Dramatic Art in Sydney and teaching drama for decades at Federation University in Ballarat.

“Shakespeare holds a mirror up to human nature and gives the audience an experience of what it means to be human,” he said.

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Ten great spots to soak up the end of summer in Canberra and beyond




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Ten great spots to soak up the end of summer in Canberra and beyond




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Diversity key to keeping our state great




In the last chapter of the Business News’ Great for the State series, leaders from energy, mining, the arts and sport shared their insights on shaping the state’s future.

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Dan Carter: All Black great retires from professional rugby


Dan Carter won the World Cup in 2011 and 2015

New Zealand’s Dan Carter, who won two World Cups and is world rugby’s record points scorer, has announced his retirement from professional rugby.

The fly-half, 38, won the last of his 112 All Blacks caps with a man-of-the-match display in the 2015 World Cup final win over Australia.

He has since played for French club Racing 92 and Japan’s Kobelco Steelers.

The three-time world player of the year returned to New Zealand for a bbrief spell with the Auckland Blues in 2020.

In an emotional post on Instagram,external-link Carter wrote: “I’ve thought about this on so many occasions but today is the day and I am very grateful that I can do it on my terms. I’m officially retiring from professional rugby. A sport I’ve played 32 years which has helped shape me into the person I am today.

“I can’t thank everyone who has played a part in my journey enough, particularly you, the fans. I’m excited about my next chapter in life and what that will look like. For now, I’m sad to walk away from playing but the timing is right. Rugby will always be a part of my life.”

In an interview with the New Zealand Herald,external-link Carter said he had lost his motivation on his return home to play with the Blues in June 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The more I took time off the more I realised I didn’t want to play overseas and not having the drive to play here I knew in my mind the time was right,” he said.

Carter, who turned out for his childhood rugby club Southbridge in July, did not make an appearance for the Blues in Super Rugby Aotearoa last year.

His professional career started in 2002 and he has won three Super Rugby titles with the Crusaders and is the competition’s record scorer, as well as winning league titles in Japan and France.

Carter also won the World Cup in 2011, but missed the latter stages of the competition due to a groin injury.

His 1,598 points in international rugby are 352 ahead of England’s Jonny Wilkinson, who Carter memorably came up against and defeated in the 2005 British & Irish Lions series.

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Joseph Suaalii is already doing ‘what 10-year first-graders wish they could do’, says Sydney Roosters and Melbourne Storm great Cooper Cronk


“Latrell Mitchell had to bide his time a bit and jumped the queue with his physicality and ability, but the Roosters really looked after him in a lot of ways and reaped the rewards a few years down the track. I’d imagine they’ll do something similar with Joseph.”

The Roosters have made it know they will approach the ARL Commission about seeking an exemption for Suaalii to play in the NRL before he turns 18.

While there are still concerns whether Suaalii has the physical and mental maturity to handle playing against men, Cronk said: “Let’s be honest, 17-year-olds won’t be coming off the conveyor belt wanting to play every year.

Roosters young gun Joseph Suaalii.Credit:Roosters Digital

“There’s no age when you should or shouldn’t play. Look at what Cameron Smith did last year [at 37]. Age is just a number.

“But we also have to be careful to expose these young men to the rigours of NRL football and all of the things that go with it, including social media, which is big these days.”

Suaalii has already tried to put a shot on Sydney Roosters teammate Joey Manu and jokingly told him: “I’m going to take your spot”.

“The best thing about him is how humble he is off the field,” Manu said. “He’s nice to everybody. He’s still at school and does his homework before training.

“He’s really big for a 17-year-old. He’s been training mostly at centre, but he’s also spent a bit of time at fullback and on the wing. He can do all the positions.

“He keeps trying to tell me he’s going to take my spot, but I’m like, ‘Not yet buddy, not yet’.

“Hopefully he gets a few games this year. With injuries and Origin, hopefully he gets a run. I’m keen to see how he goes.

“He’s fast, fit and strong. He’s got good agility, he can step off both feet and has a good passing game – you can tell he’s from rugby union with his spiral passing. He can kick, too.”

Not afraid to stamp his authority, Suaalii put a big tackle on Manu, to which the Kiwi international said: “He got me, too. I was down for a bit.”

Suaalii was at the centre of a tug of war between Rugby Australia and South Sydney before the Roosters snuck under both their guards to pinch his services.

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Suaalii will play for the Roosters’ feeder team, North Sydney, at Seiffert Oval in Queanbeyan next Saturday afternoon.

Suaalii was named in Brad Fittler’s Emerging Blues squad despite having no NRL experience and has already popped up on the radar of Samoa, the country he is eligible to represent on the international stage, something that could happen this year before he is genuinely ready for the Kangaroos.

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AFL great Dane Swan reveals unconventional baby name, partner calls the shots


Collingwood great Dane Swan and partner Taylor Wilson have revealed their first child’s name after a week of of celebrating the birth of their son.

Swan had spoken publicly earlier this week to reveal details of the “surreal” 90-minute labour — and has now announced to the world the child has been bestowed with the name Tait Hale Wilson Swan.

Speaking on his Hump Day with Swanny and Friends Podcast, Swan admitted Wilson won the discussion about the first name.

She also appears to have won the discussion for the last-name, with Wilson’s name going ahead of the footy larrikin’s.

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“He’s a little champ, he’s going well,’’ Swan said.

“So Taylor won. His name is Tait Hale, which is my mum’s maiden name, Wilson Swan. So Tait Hale Wilson Swan.

“I had another (name) I liked. (I said) righto you can have this one, the next one I get final decision.

“I like Tait but it wasn’t my numero uno.”

Swan said earlier this week he struggled to assist at times during the birth process and was told to “p*** off” at one point when trying to help.

It came during a “wild labour” at the Epworth Hospital in Melbourne.

Swan and Wilson announced last year they were expecting, having been in a relationship since 2008 when she first appeared alongside Swan on the Brownlow Medal red carpet.

Swan, says he didn’t cry during the labour and was ready to joke about it on Monday.

“He’s good, mum and baby are healthy and happy,’’ he said in an interview with KIIS FM.

“It went really quickly actually, I didn’t get much of a chance to do anything. We had a heap of plans in place and pressure points in place to relieve the stress. I went to touch her once and she told me to p*** off pretty quickly.

“She delivered with just a midwife, she did it all natural without any drugs. She was pretty incredible.

He later said: “It was wild. It was surreal actually thinking that we’d made this little thing. “Especially the way he comes out and cutting the chord. Staring at him in his little bed, thinking we made him and he’s ours, is wild. I’m not sure it’s all sunk in yet”.

He said he was distracted during the birth by some NBA action on Saturday where he had some money invested on the result.

“It was the last week of my multi so I kind of had one eye on the Lakers and one eye on her.”

The couple have not bestowed a name upon their boy yet. The little cherub is going to need all the help he can get — based on Swan’s introduction to parenting.

“We’ve got his name for the next hopefully 90 years so probably a thing we should get around to talking about. We’ve kind of forgotten,” he said.

After three days in hospital Swan is already light-heartedly talking about looking for an exit.

“It honestly feels like I’m in hotel quarantine. There’s literally nothing to do so we just sit in a room and as the dad I’ve got absolutely nothing to do apart from sit here,” he said.

“I’m going a bit stir crazy and I don’t know how people quarantine for two weeks.

“I’ve been here for two nights and starting to go half mad.”

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Collingwood great Murray Weideman passes away


A stylish, athletic player, Weideman became more renowned for his physical brutality and attack on the man. He was a robust physical presence, able to hit packs hard for a mark and lay a shirtfront or a shepherd in a manner that made the opposition aware he was around.

“He was an inspiring leader and a great protector of his teammates,” teammate Thorold Merrett told the club website. “That dulled a lot of his own brilliant play but he was prepared to give up his own game to do it … we all benefited from it, but Murray suffered.”

He was Dermott Brereton before Dermott Brereton; players whose reputation for physical menace slightly overshadowed how very good they were as footballers. Both burst onto the scene as teenagers in premierships, played centre-half forward, had glamour and celebrity about them but were at core outstanding players.

Weideman’s reputation was forged not only in his 1953 premiership before he was yet an adult, in a season in which he started in the under-19s then moved through to the reserves before finally breaking into the seniors at the end of the year and holding his place through the finals – it was also built on his 1958 premiership effort.

Teammates carry Weideman off after Collingwood’s victory over Melbourne in the 1958 VFL grand final.Credit:The Age

That year Collingwood were underdogs but set about roughing up Melbourne in the grand final. Weideman set the tone. Collingwood won the flag in a victory remembered as the Victory of ’58.

Weideman’s football CV is imposing. Two-time premiership player, centre-half forward in Collingwood’s team of the century, a three-time Copeland Trophy winner, captain of the club for three years, he played for Victoria, and was inducted as a member of the AFL hall of fame.

But the CV only sketches at the figure of The Weed.

He was a showman on and off the field. He was recruited to wrestling, when that was a sport or entertainment in Melbourne. It was waning in interest at the time, and the injection of a sporting star from the game’s biggest club sought to address its slide.

He married a beauty queen and was a regular feature in the newspapers.

He coached Collingwood for two difficult years, culminating in a wooden spoon in 1976 after which Weideman was replaced by Tommy Hafey.

Weideman died on Wednesday night after a long illness. He was 85.

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NHL: Capitals’ Lundqvist ‘looking great’ six weeks after heart surgery



FILE PHOTO: July 13, 2020; Greenburgh, NY, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist during a NHL workout at the Madison Square Garden Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Nick Homler/New York Rangers via USA TODAY Sports/File Photo

February 18, 2021

(Reuters) – Washington Capitals goalie Henrik Lundqvist said on Wednesday his recovery from open heart surgery six weeks ago is going well and that he even felt good enough to go for a run.

The 38-year-old Swede, who enjoyed huge success with the New York Rangers before signing with the Capitals last October, previously announced he would sit out the entire NHL season due to a heart condition.

“The checkup with the doctor this morning reaffirmed what I’ve been feeling last few weeks, everything looking great,” Lundqvist wrote on Twitter. “It energized me so much I had to go out for a run (FYI, I’m not a runner) Today is a good day!”

The Rangers bought out the final year of Lundqvist’s contract in September, ending the Swede’s 15-season run as the face of the NHL’s most valuable franchise.

Lundqvist holds more than 50 Rangers franchise records, including the all-time mark for wins, appearances by a keeper, shutouts, playoff appearances and playoff wins.

Known as “The King”, Lundqvist won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s best goaltender for the 2011-12 season and was a finalist for the award in four other years.

Lundqvist, who helped Sweden claim the Olympic gold medal in 2006, has earned more career NHL wins (459) than any other non-North American born goalkeeper and reached the 400-win mark faster than any other in his position.

Lundqvist’s playing time with the Rangers decreased last season with the emergence of then-rookie Igor Shesterkin.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Pritha Sarkar)



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