Red Hill cottage sells for more than $1 million at auction


A crumbling cottage careening towards collapse has fetched more than $1 million at auction after 30 registered bidders gave up their Friday night to battle it out for the two-bedroom Red Hill abode.

Boasting a rickety fence that’s a good gust away from being kindling, a leaky roof and a salmon facade that could make even the fiercest home-flipper flee, the heritage house at 10 Jay Street attracted hundreds of home hunters throughout its two-week campaign.

A Sydney buyer splashed a reserve-smashing $1,000,080 sight unseen to win the unpolished prize. 

10 Jay Street, Red Hill QLD 4059

10 Jay Street, Red Hill QLD 4059

The jaw-dropping result comes hot on the heels of one of Brisbane’s strongest property quarters in decades, with selling agent Sonya Browne, of Ray White Paddington, saying the sheer level of interest in a home most cringed at showed the insatiable appetite for Brisbane properties.

“You couldn’t even rent this house out as it’s not structurally sound, so, the fact that we had so much interest tells me that there’s lots of buyers out there and not enough houses. It’s a bit of a frenzy right now,” Ms Browne said.

“And, this house just needed so much work. A lot looked at it and said it was just too much as it had a roof that needed replacing, the whole back deck had to come off, the fence was leaning and it was on a narrow street with nowhere to park,” she said.

10 Jay Street, Red Hill
10 Jay Street, Red Hill

“Yet people lined up (for it). At the auction I had five bidders on the phone, and, I think 10 people bid up to $800,000 and then it was down to four people until $1 million — and the reserve was $700,000.”

Ms Browne said the home, on a modest 417-square-metre block, is protected from being bulldozed and will require extensive renovations before it’s safe to occupy.

“A year ago people would have said ‘yeah-no’ [to a house like this]. But now they’re thinking ‘we’ll put our hand up’,” she said.

10 Jay Street, Red Hill
10 Jay Street, Red Hill

Across the city a reported 52 auctions were held at the weekend with 46 selling under the hammer to continue the Queensland capital’s hot auction streak and soaring clearance rates. 

Almost $22 million in property was transacted and although the median sale price was a modest $766,000, more than a handful of homes fetched over $1 million.

Damon Warat, of Ray White Ascot, clocked one of the highest recorded sales on Saturday after he sold a dated brick abode in a top city pocket for almost $2 million.

Mr Warat said the four-bedroom, two-bathroom home at 49 Hipwood Road, Hamilton, had a reserve of $1.5 million, which was quickly smashed by the 13 bidders.

49 Hipwood Road, Hamilton QLD 4007

49 Hipwood Road, Hamilton QLD 4007

“We started at $1 million and it climbed pretty quickly to $1.6 million, then two bidders (both locals) battled it out to $1.96 million,” Mr Warat said.

“The owners were thrilled. They [the family] have owned it for over 120 years so they were very happy.”

Farther out of the city Glenn Bool, of Place Estate Agents Bulimba, sold a modest, three-bedroom brick home in the quiet suburb of Tingalpa for $603,000 – a price he said was at least $100,000 more than it would have fetched a year ago.

Perched on a 450-square-metre block at 59 Torquay Crescent, the property attracted seven registered bidders and a crowd of almost 50 before an investor forked out a reserve-smashing bid in a move Mr Bool said revealed just how hot the underrated city patch had become.

59 Torquay Crescent, Tingalpa QLD 4173

59 Torquay Crescent, Tingalpa QLD 4173

“This is an amazing result for the area. That would have sold for mid-to-high $400,000s 12 months ago. But we are seeing a big push into this part of Brisbane and that’s because buyers are priced out of places like Bulimba and Murarrie,” he said.

“People are saying they want to get as close to the city as possible and Tingalpa is that next suburb. We noticed this shift during COVID and then it (buyer activity) started to skyrocket. It’s now gaining momentum each week.

“While it’s hard to say what will happen going forward what I can say is we are not seeing on the coalface any sign of it slowing and that Belmont strip (including Tingalpa), it’s halfway between Moreton Bay and the city and it’s finally being recognised as a good place to live.”

During the auction Mr Bool said a first-home buyer and an investor came down to the wire with both battling it out through $1000 bids until the young home-hunter was forced to bow out.

On the other side of the city in Upper Mount Gravatt, Ray White Springwood agent Lindsay Battley sold 86 Zetland Street for $840,000, after 28 registered bidders flooded the auction. A young family secured the reserve-smashing winning bid.

86 Zetland Street, Upper Mount Gravatt QLD 4122

86 Zetland Street, Upper Mount Gravatt QLD 4122

“My sellers were a 92-year-old couple who could not believe the result, and were quite emotional about how many people wanted to buy their home,” Mr Battley said.

“This home was a blank canvas, which meant it attracted a range of different buyers, particularly those entry level buyers. It is ripe for renovation and in a good pocket.”

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Whiting and bream red hot across the region


Starting local, across the Corio Bay inner harbour there were some good bread and butter fishing for some anglers.

Calamari remain in good numbers in closer and the average size seems to have jumped up a little bit, which is nice.

Natural colours are working the best, with size 3.0 jigs proving perfect.

Barwon Heads and Ocean Grove saw large numbers of locals and tourists soak up the sun along the river while catching a fish or two.

The river provided some hot action from the front of the system all the way up to the sheep wash with trevally, salmon and King George whiting all through that stretch.

Fishing either side of the high tide has been the ideal time to fish with baits such as pipi or chicken on a running sinker rig working a treat.

Offshore, Barwon Heads has still seen a few tuna reports get around.

The bite has definitely shown some sign in slowing down over the past week, however some persistent anglers are still finding the odd fish here and there.

The bottom fishing off Ocean Grove has been quite productive over the past week with anglers finding large numbers of some of the best table fish including flathead, snapper and gummy shark. Drifting in 50 metres has been a good depth to start looking, with squid on a paternoster rig.

The South West estuaries have continued to fish well for bream and perch over the long weekend.

Curdies River was a popular location for some anglers with most finding some solid bream, to 40 centimetres, and perch to about 35 centimteres.

Early mornings had a good surface bite on offer with bent minnows working very well. As the day goes on working the edges with vibes was very effective.

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Red Hill hold on for thriller win


MNFL – DIVISION ONE

IN a split round to kick off the 2021 season, Red Hill have held off Dromana for a one point win.

Red Hill were 20 points up at three quarter time, but Dromana made a last quarter charge and nearly clinched it.

Dromana kicked four goals to one in the last to fall just short.

Sam Fowler slotted three goals for Dromana, while Jonathon Ross and Christopher Irving scored two each for Red Hill.

It was a bad day for Edithvale-Aspendale as they were smashed by Bonbeach by over 100 points.

Playing away from home, they were only nine points down at quarter time, but it was all downhill from there.

The fourth quarter was pure humiliation, as Edithvale-Aspendale put on just one point against Bonbeach’s 51 points.

Trent Dennis-Lane was the best for Bonbeach, slotting seven goals for the day. Jack Sullivan booted four, and David Armitage, Michael Turville, Justin Bennett and Tyson Murray slotted two each.

Michael Meehan was the best for Edithvale-Aspendale with three majors.

It was a worrying start to the season for Sorrento, being beaten soundly by  Rosebud.

After a strong first quarter where Rosebud kicked four goals to one, Sorrento were never in it, and went down by 55 points in the end.

Straight kicking was an issue for the Sharks with only two majors for the day (James Hallahan and Nick Corp) and nine minor scores.

The best kicking of the day for Rosebud was Jai Nanscawen with four goals.

The round completes on the weekend with Frankston YCW taking on Pines and Frankston Bombers up against Mt Eliza.

First published in the Frankston Times – 6 April 2021

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Central Australia sees first signs of recovery as tourists flock to the Red Centre




The area is becoming such a popular destination there’s concern there may not be enough staff to cater for the influx of travellers. Isabel Moussalli reports.

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A hundred shades of growing green (and a few red leaves too)




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Ontario budget sees years of red ink to come, as Ford government targets expansion over austerity


Ontario will not balance its budget again until 2029-30, when its ‘recovery plan’ projects a $900-million surplus

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The Ontario government may not run a balanced budget for nearly another decade, at least according to Premier Doug Ford’s latest financial blueprint, as the economic and fiscal effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Canada’s most populous province are set to linger for years.

Ontario’s 2021 budget, tabled Wednesday at Queen’s Park by Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy, forecasts the provincial government will run a $33.1-billion deficit for its coming fiscal year, following a $38.5-billion shortfall for its 2020-21, which ends March 31.

The province then projects a deficit of $27.7 billion in 2022-23 and $20.2 billion in 2023-24. A return to a “pre-COVID-19 deficit” won’t happen until 2027-28 under the province’s planning projections, which also show Ontario will not balance its budget again until 2029-30, when its “recovery plan” projects a $900-million surplus.

“Significant uncertainty still remains about future economic growth, which may impact these projections further,” the budget states.

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Bethlenfalvy and Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government say they are counting on economic growth to help keep the province’s finances sustainable, rather than trying to do so by hiking taxes or slashing public services.

The budget includes scenarios for both faster and slower growth, but its baseline planning projections show Ontario’s real gross domestic product contracted by an estimated 5.7 per cent in 2020. The same forecast predicts the economy will grow by four per cent in 2021, 4.3 per cent in 2022, 2.5 per cent in 2023 and two per cent in 2024.

Ontario Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy.
Ontario Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy. Photo by Christopher Katsarov/The Canadian Press files

Yet the considerable deficits that the province will run for the foreseeable future are further signs of the severe toll that COVID-19 has taken on government finances. The arrival of the pandemic has prompted the public-sector to ratchet up spending to support people and businesses at a time when tax revenues are also under pressure, creating significant shortfalls that governments are bridging with debt.

Future governments may find their finances facing greater scrutiny and criticism as borrowing costs increase. For the moment, though, Ontario is focused on fighting the pandemic, not the deficit.

“As the pandemic has continued to unfold, people have been very clear that they expect us to focus on two vital priorities,” Bethlenfalvy, a former co-president at credit-rating agency at DBRS Ltd., which is now DBRS Morningstar, told reporters. “First and foremost, they expect us to protect people’s health. And second, they expect us to protect our economy. That is exactly what this budget does.”

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Commitments in the 2021 budget, the province says, will help add another $6.1 billion to its plan to fight COVID-19, pushing the projected total for the response to $51 billion over four years. Among other spending items, there is more than $1 billion earmarked to support the province’s vaccination campaign and more than $3.7 billion that’s to be spent over two years on a “comprehensive” COVID-19 testing strategy.

Ontario parents will get a third round of the province’s COVID-19 child-benefit payments, which will be doubled this time around to $400 per child and to $500 per child with special needs. A temporary 20 per cent enhancement to a child-care tax credit this year is proposed as well, boosting the average level of support for a family to $1,500 from about $1,250. Another $2.8 billion is being set aside to improve internet connectivity in the province.

Also in the budget is a new jobs-training tax credit for 2021, which would provide up to $2,000 per person for 50 per cent of eligible costs. A second round of small-business support grants are to be automatically sent out as well, providing firms with an additional $10,000 to $20,000 in support.

To try to attract new business investment, the Ontario government is committing $400 million over four years to create a fund that will support its new agency, Invest Ontario, and try to spur spending in the advanced manufacturing, technology and life sciences sectors.

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Still, the province’s net debt is predicted to hit $439.8 billion this year, with its net debt-to-GDP ratio forecast to rise to 47.1 per cent in 2020-21, up from 39.6 per cent for the prior year. Net debt-to-GDP will then climb to 48.8 per cent for 2021-22, although Ford’s government says it is aiming to slow the rate of the ratio’s increase and to try to keep it from exceeding 50.5 per cent over the medium term.

Borrowing costs will climb higher, with interest on debt as a percentage of revenue to reach 9.8 per cent for 2027-28. Interest on debt expense is still Ontario’s fourth-largest one following health care, education and social services, the budget noted, and is set to rise from $12.5 billion in 2020-21 to $14.6 billion by 2023-24.

“We’ve got a war against an invisible enemy,” Bethlenfalvy said when asked by the media about the red ink. “This is what responsible governments do.”

Ontario’s total spending will fall by approximately $4.2 billion this year, to $186.1 billion, and hover around that level for the following two years, according to the budget. That prompted comments from the opposition that the Ford government is not spending enough.

“This budget doesn’t even mention the third wave, let alone help people through it,” Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath told reporters.

However, the government doubling the small-business support grants was “hugely welcome,” said Rocco Rossi, president and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, as firms aren’t looking to take on more debt to survive.

Rossi also gave the Ford government credit for providing as much financial guidance as they have.

“Unless you know the exact date that the pandemic ends, you can’t give absolute certainty on the numbers,” he added. “But there are real programs to help us confront the pandemic for some time and build some key foundation stones for a strong recovery.”

• Email: gzochodne@nationalpost.com | Twitter:

In-depth reporting on the innovation economy from The Logic, brought to you in partnership with the Financial Post.

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LFW: Kiara Advani and Kartik Aaryan turn showstoppers for Manish Malhotra, Hina Khan dazzles at red carpet; see photos


Before the release of Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2, actors Kiara Advani and Kartik Aaryan gave a glimpse of their striking chemistry as they walked the ramp for designer Manish Malhotra at the ongoing Lakme Fashion Week on Saturday. While Kiara wore a blingy silver lehenga choli, Kartik opted for a black Indo-Western suit for the show that featured Manish’s new collection, Nooraniyat.

From walking hand-in-hand to Kartik taking care of Kiara’s long, flowy skirt as she was posing for the cameras, the actors displayed comfort and camaraderie on the LFW stage.

Kiara Advani and Kartik Aaryan were the perfect partners at the Lakme Fashion Week. (Photo: Kiara Advani/Instagram)
kiara advani kartik aaryan manish malhotra lfw Kiara Advani and Kartik Aaryan walked the ramp for Manish Malhotra, who is one of Bollywood’s go-to designers. (Photo: Kiara Advani/Instagram)
kiara advani kartik aaryan lfw Kiara Advani cannot resist a pout as she poses with Kartik Aaryan and Manish Malhotra at the Lakme Fashion Week. (Photo: Kiara Advani/Instagram)

Kiara and Kartik are currently shooting for the sequel to Akshay Kumar-Vidya Balan 2007 hit Bhool Bhulaiyaa. The film also stars Tabu. Being helmed by Anees Bazmee, Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 will arrive in theatres on November 19. Apart from these two stars, another actor that dazzled the LFW red carpet was Hina Khan, who was one of the guests for the Manish Malhotra show.

Dressed in a pastel lehenga from the designer’s latest collection, Hina looked no less than a showstopper. The actor took to Instagram to post two pictures with the designer, congratulating him for his show. “What a Spectacular show..Thank you for having me @manishmalhotra05. Wearing this gorgeous outfit from his new collection ‘NOORANIYAT’ by @manishmalhotra05,” Hina wrote, captioning the photos. Among other attendees for the ace designer’s show were actors Karan Tacker, Shreya Chadhry and Pearl Puri.



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New home prices shooting up alongside resale as real estate market stays red hot


Homeowners’ replacement cost index sees biggest yearly gain since February 2007

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New home prices are climbing higher alongside those of existing residential properties, yet another indication of the kind of frenzied activity that has recently been taking place in Canada’s red-hot housing market.

In announcing Consumer Price Index figures on Wednesday, Statistics Canada reported the homeowners’ replacement cost index, which is tied to the price of new homes, rose seven per cent year-over-year in February.

It was the biggest yearly gain since February 2007, StatsCan said, “as higher building costs, low interest rates and strong demand for homes with more space continued to push prices for new housing higher.”

The gains for the replacement index have been steadily growing over the past year, from a 0.1 per cent year-over-year increase in February 2020, to two per cent last August, to 5.8 per cent in January.

Furthermore, the latest rise for the replacement index follows StatsCan reporting that the price for new housing was up 5.4 per cent in January compared to a year earlier, which was the largest increase since March 2008. It also comes after the Canadian Real Estate Association announced national home sales set another all-time record in February, with the actual average price rising 25 per cent on a year-over-year basis.

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“We can point to things like rising lumber prices and whatnot, but the reality is if you didn’t have a strong resale market, then new home prices wouldn’t be doing anything like this,” Bank of Montreal chief economist Doug Porter said in an interview.

The latest figures are also further proof of intense demand in Canada’s housing market that has yet to show any sign of dying down, whether it is for new or existing residential real estate. Driving it are low mortgage rates, increased household savings and a COVID-19-driven desire for more room.

“Moreover, a ‘fear of missing out’ is likely influencing many markets and could lead to exuberance in some places,” predicted Alberta Central chief economist Charles St-Arnaud in a report earlier this week. “These factors are likely to continue to support the housing market for some time.”

Policymakers have started to take note of the situation, particularly the Bank of Canada. Mortgage rates have also begun ticking up lately in line with rising bond yields, which might begin to weigh on demand for housing.

Still, Statistics Canada reported on Wednesday that its mortgage interest cost index dropped 5.4 per cent year-over-year in February, which followed a decline of 4.3 per cent in January, as Canadians locked in loan rates at historically low levels. StatsCan added that rent prices across Canada were up 0.1 per cent in February.

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“Falling mortgage interest costs were again more than offset by higher homeowners’ replacement costs, which have been rising alongside home prices,” Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce economist Royce Mendes wrote in a note to clients. “That dynamic should continue as house prices have continued to advance even as interest rates (have) begun to rise.”

Mortgage-related price pressures could start to ratchet up again as rates rise, although it may not cause an immediate surge in StatsCan’s index. After all, not everyone is renewing or taking out a mortgage at the exact same time.

“This is something that doesn’t necessarily turn quickly, but I suspect we’re very close to seeing the lows on this and that it’s likely to head higher in coming months,” BMO’s Porter said.

• Email: gzochodne@postmedia.com | Twitter:

In-depth reporting on the innovation economy from The Logic, brought to you in partnership with the Financial Post.

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Travel news latest: Four more countries added to UK ‘red list’



While its idyllic island of Zanzibar is packed with Russian tourists, Tanzania faces a Covid conundrum with a mysteriously absent president, writes Sarah Marshall.

Although many airlines will only carry travellers with a negative PCR test, Tanzania has no official requirements. Enticed by the promise of easy entry, guaranteed sunshine and slashed resort rates, a new type of tourist is appearing.

Several times a week, direct scheduled and charter flights from Moscow bring coachloads of Russian holidaymakers to Zanzibar. 

Response from locals is mixed. “Some arrive with a beer in each hand,” one guide joked to me. “But they keep us busy; we are grateful for that,” he quickly added.

Reports from other hoteliers I met were less favourable. One manager of a boutique beach resort in the north complained of non-guests trespassing onto the property and leaping into the pool; another, based in Stone Town, was concerned by the number of skimpy dressers walking through the historic streets of what is still a predominantly conservative Muslim society. 

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F1 2021 testing: Valtteri Bottas Max Verstappen sledge, Mercedes, red Bull news


Max Verstappen appeared to have Mercedes looking over their shoulders after the Formula 1 pre-season testing weekend in Bahrain — but if star driver Valtteri Bottas is nervous, he isn’t showing it.

Verstappen upstaged the surprisingly slow and inconsistent world champions to set the fastest time on the final day of testingin a dominant display that has some commentators hopeful that the all-conquering Mercedes will be challenged in 2021.

Mercedes had technical issues across the weekend and left their W12 Mercedes in the garage for large stretches across the testing windows, completing the fewest laps out of all the teams.

Stream Every Practice, Qualifier & Race of the 2021 FIA Formula One World Championship™ Live & On-Demand on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try 14-Days Free Now >

Dan does it again on day two in Bahrain

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