Wednesday, 22 July 2015

The quarter that was...

This quarter has seen continued strength in the local property market, although we have experienced a slight shift in buyer interest, Fuelling the ongoing  fire that is the Sydney property market, the Reserve Bank's decision to hold interest rates at a record-low 2.0%, has caused the banks to take coool-off measures into their own hands. A move which over the next quarter, will continue to lock-out first home buyer an gradually deflate investor interest.

Heading into a new quarter APRA's pressure on the big four banks to reduce capital investment below the 10% and increase mortgage capital levels has seen Westpac's recent announcement of an increase to its minimum deposit to 20% to curb investor growth. This is a disheartening move for first-home buyers with a study by comparative website Mozo supporting that an average of 10 years will be needed by first-home buyers to save for a 20% looks like the 'kids' will be living at home for a while.

Globally, the Greek debt crisis and Chinese stock market crash are also factors driving down the gradual relaxation of investor interest with the ASX 200 falling by 0.6% to recover, in the roll over to the new financial year.

The changing economics of the property market has seen and influx of properties to the market in the lead up to the end of the financial year, with investors taking advantage of the capital gains tax delay. The increase of supply will soften proces slightly which is a positive sign for buyers, however with the increasing desirability of the Macarthur area spiralling buyer interest into a frenzy, vendors should not be deterred from cashing in on their property while the market is red-hot.

Named within the top 10 growth regions of Sydney by, Macarthur is a major growth hub. The area offers not only rail corridor access, but also connection to the Sydney Motorways and airports with plans for Badgerys Creek airport a welcomed convenience to the south-west. Encourage by ongoing planned infrastructure in the Macarthur region and upgrades to Narellan Road, people are flocking to the area.

Thanks for joining us for our quarterly snapshot of what has been and the exciting quarter to come!

We look forward to seeing you at our open homes this weekend.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

No more jumping joeys on the lounge...

Kids will be kids whether they are drawing on the walls, putting their tiny fingers near electricals or jumping on the lounge dancing along to the Wiggles. Affectionately nicknamed the Mercurochrome kid, my parents definitely knew the struggles of keeping my childhood home safe.

With the home being the most common place for childhood injuries to occur, here are 7 important questions you should consider when assessing your home this winter:

  1. What can my child climb around the house, balcony or backyard?

Whatever a child can climb...they will climb...remove temptation by:

  • Removing all climbable and liftable objects from balcony edges and near pool fences.
  • Clear the pool area and around the pool fence of toys, furniture and objects.
  • Fit barrier gates at the bottom and top of stairwells- make sure the gates are fitted securely to prevent mishaps
  • Always supervise children when near balconies, stairs or pools.

  1. How many sharp edges in our home can be identified?

  • Assess furniture for sharp edges and avoid purchasing fragile furniture or ornaments made of glass or metals.
  • Load dishwasher with all sharp objects including utensils sharp end down

  1. What can my child fit in his or her mouth that would harm them?

  • Remove all small fridge magnets  as they can be a choking hazard for small children
  • Buy age appropriate toys for your child/children and check toys for broken pieces to remove choking hazards.
  • Ensure all surfaces in your house are hygienic, especially toys.

  1. Are chemicals and dangerous substances locked away?

Ensure that all poisons, chemicals, cleaning products, medicines, cosmetics, lighters and matches are stored up high or locked away. Out of sight-out of mind is the best policy when it comes to eliminating the risk of children accessing chemicals.

It is also mindful to keep indoor and outdoor potted plants out of reach of small children due to fertilisers and poisons that may be present such as snail bait pellets.

  1. How regularly is the smoke alarm test and/or replaced?

Install smoke alarms. Check and replace smoke alarm batteries every six months. Replace smoke alarms every ten years to ensure your family is protected. For more information please visit this site.

  1. What areas of the home can be identified as slip, trip or fall hazards?

  • Tack down loose edges on carpets and floor rugs
  • Avoid over polishing floor surfaces and clean up all spills
  • Secure open windows and ensure fly screens are well-fitted and secure.

  1. What hot / electrical surfaces can my child access?

  • Keep a fire extinguisher and fire blanket in the kitchen
  • Install guards around heaters, open fires, oven doors and stove tops.
  • Fit thermostatic valves to bathroom taps
  • Fit tap guards to kitchen taps to restrict use
  • Supervise children at all times when near heated devices, heaters or open flames.
  • Keep kettle cords out of reach of children
  • Keep pan handles turned away from the edge of the kitchen workspace
For a complete Home Safety Audit Checklist please follow this link.