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The quarterly St.George-Melbourne Institute Household Financial Conditions Report reveals the biggest annual improvement in financial conditions for Australian households since the survey first launched nearly 20 years ago. Keep Reading →

KEY maths concepts such as multiplication, division and simplifying fractions are taught to students in Singapore at least one year earlier than in Australia, with Singapore schools spending more time on solving non-routine problems.

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At its meeting today, the Board decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 2.5 per cent. The Board will continue to assess the outlook and adjust policy as needed to foster sustainable growth in demand and inflation outcomes consistent with the target.

Looking ahead, continued accommodative monetary policy should provide support to demand, and help growth to strengthen over time. On present indications, the most prudent course is likely to be a period of stability in interest rates.

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I don’t have a crystal ball and I’m not an economist, but it appears that there are many indicators to suggest that interest rates are likely to remain low for a while.

What happens in a low interest rate environment?

Low interest rates encourage homebuyers and investors into the property market and also allow current homeowners to pay off their mortgages more quickly.

We all know that the property market isn’t the same across the country. Some areas will flourish and others will languish, so research is the key to a good purchase.

With a mixture of:
low interest rates,
strong population growth,
job stability,
affordability and
increasing confidence

We may see more people being involved in property this year.
Is the market only for investors?

While astute investors are aware of good buying signs and are always on the lookout for a glimpse of a new property cycle they will take advantage of the current market.

The latest auction results and buying patterns indicate that there are many upgraders moving into bigger homes and many families and first home owners who have jumped back into the renovating cycle.

If you’re a potential first home buyer you may as well face the fact that getting your foot into the property market isn’t going to become any cheaper.

Our strong population growth will continue to provide the demand for residential property. Over the next 10 years, our now Gen Y’s will become our growing 30-somethings who will be working hard, paying good taxes, establishing their families and continuing to drive the demand for housing.

The property optimists that I know – who have stood the test of time and have held for the long term – very rarely look back in a 10 to 15 year period and say their property decreased in value.

There are no risk free investments, including property, however if you follow the basic rules of investing in property MOST of us can look back with good fortune.

It certainly has been an interesting decade for the property market and, while there are no promises, it would certainly appear that now would be a great time to consider your first, or next, investment property.

If you want to discuss your property portfolio potential and you believe you are a Property Optimist we welcome your call.

If you think you are a PP and want to become a PO, of course we welcome your call as well.

We hope we have given you some food for thought. These conditions won’t last and we take that into consideration with our recommended guidance for you.

We look forward to hearing from you to discuss your views on the property market this year.

Disclaimer: This article is generic in nature. All finance and investment decisions should be considered wisely and based on your personal and financial circumstances. Seek proper advice before committing to any course of investment action. This is not deemed as advice. © 2014

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Home values across the combined capital cities increased by 1.2 per cent in January 2014 according to the RP Data-Rismark Home Value Index. The rate of value growth over the month was slightly slower than the 1.4 per cent increase in December 2013 and highlights that housing market momentum from late 2013 has been carried in to early 2014.

Over January, each capital city experienced a rise in values except for Adelaide where they were unchanged and in Perth and Darwin where values fell. Over the three months to January 2014 combined capital city home values increased by 2.7 per cent. Over this period, home values have increased across each of the eight capital cities.

Combined capital city home values have increased by 9.8 per cent over the 12 months to January 2014. Over the year every capital city apart from Hobart (-0.2 per cent) has recorded a lift in dwelling values. Sydney (13.4%) and Melbourne (11.9%) have been the primary driver of capital gains over the current growth cycle. Value growth has been more moderate in Perth (6.9%), Darwin (4.6%) and Brisbane (3.8%) and significantly lower in Canberra (2.7%) and Adelaide (2.5%). Although the headline figures for capital growth are strong, the individual city-based data shows that the headline figure is largely being driven by strong growth in the two largest capital cities.

Breaking the results down into houses and units, it shows that annual value growth for houses has been stronger (10.1%) than that for units (8.0%).

The trend where houses are recording higher capital gains compared with unit markets is evident across every capital city except Perth over the past year. It will be interesting to see whether this trend is replicated in 2014 given that, based on median selling prices, units are $95,000 more affordable across the combined capital cities and as much as $214,500 more affordable in Sydney.

Australia’s population is expected to rise dramatically. It is expected to double by the year 2075, highlighting the need for housing development, Keep Reading →

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