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SSC Newspaper : March 2014
By Steve Devine The media this year have been consistent in their reporting of the incredible volatility of what some are describing as an overheated property market. Like all markets, real estate goes in cycles and there is no question that Sydney – and in particular the Inner West – has been booming for many months now. It wasn’t too far back, however, that we were experiencing a prolonged period of real estate prices in the doldrums. I remember making a comment in a 2012 edition of Strathfield Scene that “there has been for some time pent-up demand and as soon as confidence returns to the market you will see significant growth in the real estate market”. I probably wasn’t quite prepared, however, for how accurate my prediction would prove to be, nor the extent that prices would increase – as per property analysis company RP Data’s annual report, which showed that prices in Sydney rose about 15 per cent during 2013. The recent heat in the market begs a question that I am asked regularly: Where do you see property prices heading? While no one has a crystal ball when it comes to picking the exact timing of peaks and troughs in the market, there are some cracks appearing in some segments of the market. This may give us Strathfield Scene 23 PROPERTY My prediction: more strong prices after Easter some insight as to where the Strathfield market could be heading in 2014. With an influx of houses coming onto the Strathfield market in recent weeks, the psychology of some buyers has changed. Some degree of urgency has dissipated now that there is a perception buyers have more to choose from. I believe this to be only a temporary cyclical phase that may alter after Easter as these properties become sold. The unit market is still very active with a wide cross section of buyers actively looking – although quality unit stock seems to be in short supply, which is probably helping to push the market to the phenomenal levels being achieved in some areas. I predict that the market will continue to remain strong for some months to come; however it’s hard to imagine that we can sustain annual growth rates of 15 per cent. I’m almost tempted to say that it’s simply not possible for www.ourstrathfield.com.au this growth to continue – but then who knows what’s possible in an area of such high demand? My recommendation is that If you’re looking at selling, you may care to consider doing this sooner rather than later. While we’d all love to sell at the peak and buy in the trough, getting the timing right is the tricky part. Keep your finger on the property pulse and look for changing signals. This might just help you achieve your maximum return. Q I currently have an investment property that I will be putting on the market for lease in May 2014. My neighbour has told me that because Ihaveapool,Iam required to have some sort of certificate attached to a lease agreement. What is this certificate and is this correct? A Yes, your neigh- bour is correct. Due to the alarming number of drowning deaths of children aged five and under, the NSW govern- ment has introduced the Swimming Pools (Amendment) Act 2012 to mandate the installation of swim- ming pool fences. The laws are intended to protect the safety of young children by restricting their access to the area containing the swimming or spa pool. As of April 29, 2014, prior to the sale or lease of a property, a real estate agent or owner will be required to confirm if the swimming pool or spa pool is registered on the NSW Swimming Pool Register; arrange an inspection of the swimming pool for the issuing of a certificate of compliance – con- firming that the pool meets the new safety standards; ensure all "entry" and "exit" reports are completed according to the Pool Safety Standard; arrange for regular maintenance of the pool barrier; and ensure all hazardous areas are compliant.