You know how it goes. It’s late in the evening and you’re doing your due diligence and trying to find that next deal. You want that “hit” of cranking through the numbers and finding your next deal that stacks up that will make you a small fortune. Then, the perfect property comes up that matches your strategy – the street is perfect, the zoning is correct, block size and frontage look great! You need to do some quick numbers to see if the deal will stack up – BUT – the most important factor is not listed on the website – the selling price!
You’re sitting at the desk, staring at the property listing page on www.RealEstate.com.au – and those dreaded words are staring you straight back in the face – not giving you a hint at all of its worth. You know the words – “Auction”, “For Sale”, “No Price Listed”, “By Negotiation” or worse still – “Contact Agent”. All I want to know is the price! Hmmmm…it’s about 11:30pm, I wonder if Mr LJ Hooker will pick up his phone at this time of the night?
It’s all in the meta-data! What does that mean? The term meta-data means “the data that describes the data”. Still confused? Let me explain. You see, when a real estate agent has a new property listing and uploads the property onto RealEstate.com.au, they need to supply a bunch of data describing the property. Details such as the address, the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, garages, the description, multiple images, etc.. are all required and normally displayed to us on the RealEstate.com.au website.
However, there are more fields that the agent must enter, which are never displayed to us as potential purchasers. One such field is the expected price range – this field is not shown to us on-screen, but is meta-data used to help the system “filter” properties when a user requests to only show properties between the price range of “$700k-$800k”. Starting to get the idea here? Although you could repeatedly modify the “Minimum Price” and “Maximum Price” filter and hit UPDATE over and over again until the property appears/disappears from the search results – there is a much quicker way.
“View page source” is your friend. This bit may seem a little technical, but please bear with me because it’s really very simple. On the property listing page, right-click somewhere on the page and select “View page source”.
You’ll then be presented with a new window showing all sorts of code. This is HTML – the language of the web.
Now, with that window open, press CTRL-F (or Command-F if you’re on a Mac) to invoke the FIND window/toolbar.
Type in very carefully the words “data-param-price” and press ENTER….
BINGO! You should see the meta-data string “data-param-price” highlighted with the hidden price range that the agent has entered! In this case, the hidden price range is between “$600k-$750k”.
Armed with this missing piece of critical price range information, you can now continue with your due-diligence, and are one-up on many other investors in the market right now.
And that, my friends, is how you can locate the estimated price of a property when there is no listing price shown. 🙂
Kudos to my extraordinary mate Jason over at www.iloveproperty.net for showing me this tip.
Onwards and upwards!
Author: Steven Tein, Continuum Property Group
The coal boom is over – that’s the verdict of businesses in the mining town of Moranbah in northern Queensland.
At the height of the mining boom, Moranbah real estate agent Bella Exposito did not have a rental property to spare.
The town, which was literally built on coal in 1971, was experiencing unprecedented demand for housing as workers and their families flocked to the region.
Even decades-old weatherboard homes were selling for upwards of $600,000 while tenants could expect to pay $1,800 per week for a roof over their heads.
But now it is obvious the good times have well and truly come to an end.
“Prices have changed dramatically,” Ms Exposito said, pointing at a three-bedroom home on leafy Leichhardt Street.
“They bought it for $800,000. It’s now only worth $200,000.”
As values fell, the vacancy rate climbed and there are now 300 empty rental properties in Moranbah.
Ms Exposito said she had never seen anything like it in her 27 years in the business.
“I have five houses myself and they have been empty for two years,” she said.
A string of recent announcements on job cuts and mine closures is likely to make matters worse.
Axe falls on jobs in the region
The biggest employer in the region, BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA), is planning to axe 700 positions from six local coal mines.
Hundreds more could be without work when Brazilian miner Vale and Japanese trader Sumitomo cease production at Isaac Plains by January.
This week, Prime Minister Tony Abbott officially opened BMA’s Caval Ridge coal mine and said that coal was “good for humanity”, boldly declaring it had “a big future”.
But the Caval Ridge project is staffed by fly-in, fly-out workers who typically do not spend their money in the town.
If business did not improve, local baker and long time resident Steve Hanvey said he would be forced to close down by Christmas.
“This shop relies on residents coming in and buying our bread, rolls, cakes and pies,” he told 7.30.
Every morning, before the sun has come up, Mr Hanvey loads his delivery van with fresh bread to be delivered to workers camps around Moranbah.
There used to be nearly 1,000 hungry miners to feed at each camp, but numbers have dwindled and many mining companies now prefer to source their bread from the coastal cities of Mackay and Rockhampton.
“We’ve got two delivery vans. We’re down to one van doing only one trip each morning,” Mr Hanvey said.
“We’re down to four staff and it’s getting to the stage where I need to be making some decisions shortly about the number of bakers that we’ve got.”
Companies seek to address market oversupply
Prices for both metallurgical or coking coal, used for steel production, and thermal coal, used for electricity, have plummeted since 2012.
Most analysts attributed the fall to oversupply rather than weakening demand.
In fact, demand for Australian coal is increasing, according to the mining lobby and a leading consultancy firm.
Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche said India was set to triple coal imports.
The demand across Asia is enormous at the moment. We don’t see a slowdown in demand over the next 20 years.Chris Urzaa
“Australia’s going to be a big source of that coal,” he told 7.30.
“Nobody has actually found a way of making steel without coking coal and we’re the world’s biggest exporter of coking coal.”
Director of commercial services at HDR Salva, Chris Urzaa, said Asia was a “bright spot” for thermal coal producers too.
“The demand across Asia is enormous at the moment,” he told 7.30.
“We don’t see a slowdown in demand over the next 20 years.”
Mr Urzaa said low coal prices were the result of the market being oversupplied.
“It made so much sense to produce every single extra tonne of coal that you could during the boom years because you were making so much money,” he said.
Now the boom years are over, Mr Urzaa said mining companies were trying to correct the oversupply by slowing down production.
“There are a lot of shutdowns going on in the coking coal space,” he told 7.30.
“Those shutdowns are bringing the market back into balance much quicker.
“We expect coking coal to come back into balance in 2016, but we believe thermal coal will come back in 2015.”
In the meantime, exporters are being hit hard. A recent survey by HDR Salva revealed a third of all Australian coal exporters were trading at a loss due to the low prices.
Families contemplate their future in Moranbah
At a crowded park full of mothers and their children, Moranbah Mayor Anne Baker is reminded of her hope for the town.
“We need to have permanency and people living in the community,” she said.
Moranbah’s population has always fluctuated in sync with the coal mining industry, and the latest downturn could force more residents to leave.
“It’s not a new risk, which is why I say people need to learn from the past,” she said.
“I’m asking for [mining companies] not to have such a slash-and-burn approach.”
Natalie Oram moved to Moranbah with her family last year, and while it took some getting used to, they have come to love the area.
The town has, however, become considerably quieter since they first arrived and the possibility of further job cuts weighs heavily on their minds.
“People are going to have to move if they’re going to lose their jobs because that’s what brings you here,” she said.
“My husband’s still got his job, so we’ll just have to see what happens.”
FEDERAL Member for Dawson George Christensen confirmed BMA has held meetings with GS Engineering about recruiting Mackay region workers into 100% FIFO mines.
Mr Christensen met with BMA asset president Lucas Dow and BMA head of external affairs Vincent Cosgrove in Mackay to discuss changes to the 100% policy at both Daunia and Caval Ridge mines.
Mr Christensen said he was confident the company would adopt these changes in the “short to medium term”.
“They (BMA) see a real opportunity here for the local mining service sector to reengage,” he said.
“It’s a positive development for the community.”
Relaxation of the 100% FIFO could not come soon enough for Peter Finlay, who has lived in Moranbah for 34 years.
The anti-100% FIFO campaigner said the current policy was destroying his much loved community.
“We are not allowed to have jobs which are right on our doorstep,” he said.
“It has driven so many people out of town.
“We’re not against FIFO, we’re against compulsory FIFO.”
Mr Finlay said he would not rest until he saw results.
While BMA was not keen to confirm a relaxation of the policy, Mr Christensen said the ball was now in BMA’s court.
“With the 700 job losses which were announced recently, I think there is now a lot of ground to open up Daunia and Caval Ridge and allow local workers to get in a job application.”
By now you will have heard a lot about how the market has well and truly warmed up and in some cases heated up. You may have read many stories of how many people have succcessfully profited from property leading up to this point in the market, and you have thought to yourself, “wouldn’t it be great if I could do that, too?”
So, you started looking into ways you could either enter into the property market, or perhaps increase the profits on your already existing property portfolio, but you just haven’t been able to get traction or momentum, and you are worried about missing out.
You procrastinate about taking action, perhaps there are things you are fearful of that are stopping you from taking the steps towards getting results. If this sounds familiar, you are not alone. Fear and procrastination are big hurdles that block many people from achieving their investment goals.
There are ways to easily overcome these hurdles, and safely help you reach your goals. These methods will assist anyone in getting started in property investment or creating some real momentum within their existing property portfolios:
1. List your fears
It can be hard to get over your fears unless you are actually clear on exactly what your fears are. Make a list of exactly what it is that you think is scaring you or stopping you from moving forward. Be as honest with yourself as possible and be as specific as possible, for example:
- I am scared
- I don’t understand the property market enough
- I am scared of purchasing an investment property and not being able to rent it out
You are only able to overcome your fears if you are clear on exactly what they are.
2. Understand there is a solution to fear
It will help to understand that there is a solution to fear. Fear is usually caused by ‘not knowing’, thus the more you ‘know’ the less scared you become.
So, after you have worked out what it is you are really scared of, research that topic, and write down what information you will need to ‘know’ to help you overcome that fear. If you understand your fears more, you may find they become so much easier to overcome.
So, for example, if you are scared of purchasing an investment property because you are worried about not being able to rent out the property and being stuck with a mortgage, then you need to increase your knowledge about the demand for rental properties in your area of choice.
Call local real estate agents and find out their sentiments of the rental market in the area. Go to www.yourinvestmentpropertymag.com.au for details about the vacancy rates for the area to help you assess the demand for property there.
If the vacancy rates are at 3%, this will represent a balanced market; however, if the rates are below 3%, this will mean that there is a shortage of supply of property in that market compared with demand, and thus it is likely you will not have much trouble renting out your property. Understanding this beforehand will assist you in overcoming your fear.
3. Understand research does not equal risk
Too many people allow their fears to immobilise them, so much so that they even stop themselves from doing their research.
You should understand that carrying out research and speaking to experts will help you avoid getting yourself into property transactions where you could lose. There are so many avenues of research that cost very little, if not nothing at all, so make the most of this. You can get this from your real estate agents and a lot of free information from council websites.
4. List all the reasons why it is important for you to achieve your goals
When overcoming your fears, you need a reason to do so, otherwise it is all too easy to always be scared and avoid what it is that you are scared of, rather than break through.
Make a list of all the reasons why it is important to you to reach your goals. Not just the goals that you want to reach, but the specific things that will happen if you reach them, or even the consequences if you don’t.
So, for example, it may be important for you to reach your goals so you can retire comfortably knowing you have a property portfolio working for you and you are not reliant on a pension to survive.
Or, perhaps it is important that you are able to create profits from property so you are able to have a debt-free home to live in within a certain period of time.
On the other hand, it may be important to reach your goals because if you don’t, it will mean you will not be able to take the time to travel the world as you hoped to, or you may not be able to afford to take time off work to spend with your kids.
Whatever it is for you, make sure you write this down and you are clear on your reasons for achieving your goals. You must make sure you have more reasons to achieve your goals than you do fears. So keep writing until your reasons outweigh the fears you have listed.
5. Have a plan of action
Most people will procrastinate when the task at hand seems all too much. Write out a simple plan made up of baby steps that are simple and easy to complete.
It may be as simple as:
- List my fears
- List solutions to my fears
- List my goals and reasons for achieving my goals
- Call five real estate agents in the local area and discuss the current rental market
Make sure the plan of action is specific, and that each task only has one step in it so that it makes it easier to follow and stick to. You may even want to note how long it will take you to do each task so that it may be simpler than what it seems, eg, listing goals will only take 10 minutes.
6. Set aside regular ‘property profit’ time
Schedule specific time you will use to invest in your property profits future. Make sure that the time period is not too daunting for you to complete.
Choose to do this on lazy nights when your favourite TV shows are not playing or perhaps the nights that you know you will be home. You can start off with as little as one hour a week to get things done.
If, for example, you choose to do your property research at 7pm on a Monday, don’t worry too much if businesses will not be open to take your calls when you are doing your research. Find solutions for this; you can email them and merely await their reply the next day. Do not give yourself an excuse not to commit that time to your property research.
7. Have a system to select your deals
Once you have tackled what you think is holding you back and what it is that you want to achieve, it’s now time for you to take a step towards entering the property market and this is where some people can get stuck again.
To avoid the traps of procrastination and fear, have a system to objectify the property selection process, and eliminate any emotion getting involved. I use what I like to call a funnel system in finding deals, and this helps me to avoid spending hours (if not days) of searching online for a nice “property” and instead I focus on finding the deals which are likely to be most profitable.
Here is the system that I use:
- Focus on only three areas to start with
- Choose the best three streets in those areas (according to proximity to convenience)
- Select the one to two blocks or so surrounding those streets, and specify these as your highlighted area
- Within your highlighted area, choose the kind of properties for sale that are most appropriate and in demand. You can get this information from council websites
Though the council, find the main demographics of the area and if it’s made up mainly of families, it’s appropriate to assume that larger dwellings such as houses are in most demand. If the population is predominantly singles and couples without children, then apartments may be the way to go.
Use this strategy to simplify the property research and selection process.
8. Get professional assistance and research
The most expensive advice is free advice from someone who has not got the results you want. Often, there could be people close to us with good intentions influencing us by their opinions or experiences, yet they may not have the results that you want.
Be careful not to take on the fears and opinions of these people. You can choose to work with professionals who have results and experience, and they can help you get the same results for yourself while eliminating the mistakes they have already gone through and replicating the successes they already have.
Be selective of who you work with, and make sure it is someone you feel you can communicate well with, and more importantly have personally experienced creating similar results to those that you want for yourself.
This goes for all the professionals that you will need to work with in your property investment future, ie, solicitors, lenders or finance brokers, accountants etc. You can also do courses on property investment and/or work with property research professionals, to help take you step by step through your property investment journey, which will also help save you time and reduce procrastination.
9. Enlist a friend who can hold you accountable
It can be a good idea to team up with a friend. You may either work on the same project together or perhaps you will have your own individual projects. But you can hold each other accountable for completing set tasks each week.
If you do work on the same project together, it makes it easier for you to counter check each other’s work, and you can get more done with more manpower. It can be less risky working with someone else and also a whole lot more fun. Set rewards for each other for when you are able to complete each of your tasks, and celebrate together after each milestone is achieved.
10. Don’t think too much. Just decide and start
Do not get so caught up in getting everything perfect before you start. Just get started. Remember that when it comes to property, you are never locked in or at risk of losing money unless you sign an unconditional contract of sale to purchase, thus, there should be nothing else stopping you from getting everything else done. So just start.
When you are satisfied that you have done everything to set yourself up for a profitable property deal, and you know exactly how you are going to afford the property and where you will get the money from to do it, this will be the only time that you will lock yourself into any contract. No matter how much you have prepared yourself for investing (particularly if it is your first), to some degree, it may still feel like you are taking a leap of faith; so make the decision to get over it, then… just start!
Yza Canja is a successful property investor who started investing when she was 22 and has grown a multi-million dollar profitable property portfolio.She personally coaches others to achieve high profits from their their investments using creative strategies.
Want to take your game to the next level? There are five powerful mindset traits that will help you zoom your property portfolio to unimaginable heights.
Ever wondered why some people achieve a level of greater success with their property investing than others? Is it because they started with more money? Started at an earlier age? Do they have a higher intellect? Or perhaps they’ve just had more luck than you?
As tempting as it may be to assign blame to any one of these, the truth happens to be far simpler and, once understood, enormously more empowering! Here it is. They think differently.
World renowned peak performance coach Anthony Robbins suggests that the greatest achievers of super success in any field can attribute their accomplishments to 20 per cent what they do and 80 per cent how they think.
When times get tough and everything seems to be going wrong and working against them, it’s the strength of their well-developed and sophisticated mindset that will see them through to the other side. They’ll come out stronger, more determined and ultimately achieve a much greater level of success.
Here are five of the most powerful mindset principles that super successful property investors share, and once learnt and applied, you too can greatly enhance your level of success and achieve your goals (whatever they may be) sooner!
Principle 1: Be goals/results oriented
Property investors who achieve the most success have a clear vision of where they want to be in the future and are highly goals and results driven. Identify and write down your most important goals in as much detail as possible and then map out a path of how you’ll get there in a set timeframe.
Having these clear, detailed goals visibly written down is essential. It will allow you over time to re-evaluate your progress and make adjustments where necessary. It will also keep you focused along the trajectory of success to ultimately achieve that goal.
Principle 2: Associate with the right people
The most successful property investors understand the fact that who they socialise with on a regular basis will directly impact their level of success, be it for the better or for the worse.
A Harvard University study revealed that as much as 95 per cent of your success in life is determined by the people who you regularly associate with. As human beings, we’re susceptible to the opinions, attitudes and behaviors of those who we allow near us.
As self-made multimillionaire and personal development coach Jim Rohn says: “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
The most successful investors also know that seeking out and having the right team of extremely competent property professionals around them (who also invest in property themselves) is equally essential. These may include mortgage brokers, accountants, solicitors and property managers to name a few.
In addition to developing their property team, they also understand the immense value of finding a mentor and then modeling their philosophies and strategies. Not only does this minimise their mistakes along the way and therefore reduces risk, but it also shortens the time it takes them to achieve their goals.
Principle 3: Take personal responsibility
The most accomplished property investors also possess a very high degree of personal responsibility. They simply have no time for excuses of why they can’t do this, that or the other. They just get on with the job, with a tenacious and relentless vigor.
They know that regardless of what government is doing, where interest rates are headed, the doom and gloom sentiment of the market or any other external factors, they believe that it’s up to them to just make the deal work, or move on.
While they will often take on board and listen to the advice of their expert team, they know it’s ultimately their responsibility to carry out their own due diligence. They’re the proactive, solutions-focused and well read investors who simply never, ever give up.
Principle 4: Change your perception of ‘failure’
High school dropout Brian Tracy once said: “There’s no such thing as failure, only feedback.” Then he went on to build a multi-million dollar company with an estimated $20 million net worth in 2010.
A core value that separates the average property investor from the super successful is their perception of failure. The latter know that once in a while they may get an undesirable tenant or an unexpected expensive roof leak. Or perhaps they may have a property or two in their portfolio that don’t perform as well as anticipated.
Far from feeling like a failure and throwing in the towel, ranting that property is a bad investment vehicle, they just get on with the job of fixing the issue at hand. They understand, accept and are comfortable with the fact that things don’t always go to plan.
Rather than viewing the situation as a failure, they learn from the experience, become wiser and just move on. In an interview with Michael Jordan, he was asked to comment on the topic of failure to which he replied, “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
Principle 5: Treat property as a business
Last but definitely not least, the most successful property investor has the mindset in which they view themselves as the CEO of their property business. They treat each of their properties as simply stock that they hold, constantly looking for ways to improve its value and increase their returns.
They purchase property purely based on ‘the numbers’ of the deal and the research of a particular market/area that they’ve undertaken. They’re well informed and appropriately advised by their property team on how to maximise the current tax, legal and financial systems in place.
There you have it. For the property investors who want to up their game and take their success to a new level, the above principles are an excellent place to start.
When Donald Trump was asked how much he attributed his success to a powerful mindset he replied replied that everything he knew and all of the experiences that he draws immense power from all rest on a single, most important foundation – mindset.
Sam Jacobs is a successful investor, mentor and writer. He’s the managing director of Zoom Property Creations, a wealth creation and mentorship group that educates people on how to achieve financial wealth through property. He has also featured as one of API’s ‘Young Guns’. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The property clock is a simple broad brush to explain where larger markets are.
Markets at 6, or with the hand facing south, are in a ‘bust’ or at the trough of the market. Those at 12 are in the ‘boom’ or the peak of the market. Any from 7 to 11 are in the upswing, while those in 1 to 5 are in the downswing.
Below is where the Australian Property Institute has plotted Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane onto the property clock.
Source: Australian Property Institute’s Australian Property Directions Survey
At present, Melbourne and Sydney are already nearing the top of the clock, meaning they’re close to market peak. Brisbane has some way to go. All three, however, are on the upswing.
Source: Australian Property Institute’s Australian Property Directions Survey
Next year, Sydney and Melbourne will have reached their market peak, with Brisbane still some distance behind. Sydney is progressing fastest, with some suggestion it may be just past peak next year.
Source: Australian Property Institute’s Australian Property Directions Survey
In 2016, Brisbane is the only capital to still be in the upswing.
The QBE Australian Housing Outlook 2014 expects Brisbane to outperform the other capital cities over the next three years, tipping 17% median house price growth on the back of a supply deficiency that will remain over that time.
The forecasts are from research house BIS Shrapnel.
Sydney’s forecast growth from BIS Shrapnel is 9% over the period, while Melbourne is expected to see 5% growth. Adelaide and Hobart are forecasted to see 6% and 5% growth respectively.
Perth can expect a 2% decline over the three years, while Canberra and Darwin will remain stable at 1% and 2% growth.
This will bring Brisbane’s median price to $550,000 by 2017, with Sydney still far surpassing other capital cities at $885,000.
The forecasts expect drops in 2017 for both Melbourne and Sydney, of 0.7% and 3.3% respectively, dropping Sydney down from a median house price high of $915,000 in 2016.
Brisbane will see strong growth of 7.4% next year, almost matched by Sydney’s suggested 7.2% growth. This slowly drops off in Sydney, but continues surging, with Brisbane expecting to record 7.5% growth in 2016 before a further 1.3% in 2017.
Data source: REIA. Forecast source: BIS Shrapnel
AN INDUSTRY analyst has blamed factors in addition to a low coal price for the closure of Isaac Plains Coal Mine.
CQUniversity senior lecturer in management and organisational behaviour Paul Weight said there were two reasons for yesterday’s announcement.
“One of them is certainly a drop in the coal price,” he said.
“The second one is an oversupply of coal.
“Australia isn’t the only country that produces coal. We have to compete with the coal coming out of Indonesia, South America, Siberia and more.
“If you are running a coal mine in Indonesia, for example, it costs a lot less than it does in Australia.”
Mr Weight said mining companies could have been managed better to prevent losses.
“One of the things mining houses can do better is to run their companies in a much more lean fashion,” he said, “whereby they always have an eye out on expenditure and cost.
“When companies are making a lot of money, many are bedding out and employ more people that they don’t really need.”
However, Mr Weight said there was no easy solution in economically challenging times.
“Most of the mining houses are international companies, with many mines,” he said.
“If a mine becomes uneconomical, they’ll just close it down and open it again when the coal price recovers.”
Mr Weight said there was a glut of coal in the market.
“China stockpiled coal during the financial crisis and is not buying as much now,” he said. “The value of coal is reducing. When coal cost $120 a tonne things were great, but at $85 or $90 a tonne it’s not viable.
“The bottom line is when the price of coal is less than what it costs to get it out of the ground, it’s not a viable project.”
Fears house prices will be hit hard
THE announcement Isaac Plains Mine in the Bowen Basin will close early next year has put property investors on edge.
Moranbah real estate agent Geoff Williams said consumer confidence in the town had dropped.
“There are a lot of investors here who are really hurting badly,” he said.
Current Moranbah house prices were similar to prices in 2004, Mr Williams said.
“The average house price is in the vicinity of $400,000 to $420,000.
“This is unusual for the last two years, but historically Moranbah house prices have always gone up and down.
“Prices were held up because there were some really good quality investments.”
News of the mine closure came just days after BMA announced it would be cutting more than 700 jobs in its Bowen Basin mines.
Flow-on effect in Mackay
CLOSURE of the Isaac Plains coal mine will have a flow-on effect on businesses in the Mackay region, the Resource Industry Network has warned.
General manager Julie Boyd said mining contractors would be the worst hit.
“In the current circumstances we are seeing a very low coal price,” she said.
“This has left many contractors in a difficult financial position.
“It certainly will have a flow-on effect in the region.”
Yesterday’s announcement to close the mine was a blow to Leighton Holdings.
The mining contractor was one year into a three-year contract at the site.
The company was unavailable for comment.
Brisbane-based firm Ausenco was responsible for the operation of the Coal Handling and Preparation Plant at the site.
An Ausenco spokeswoman said she did not expect the closure of the mine to have a material impact on the company.
“At this point we are still working through the details of the transition with Isaac Plains Coal Management,” she said.
“We will work closely with our employees to support people whose roles become redundant as a result of this change.”
A leading economist has called on Canberra to put an end to negative gearing as the best way to dampen frothy property markets in Sydney and Melbourne.
In its Stability Review released last week, the Reserve Bank of Australia pointed out that strong demand by investors mean that investor housing loans now account for about 40 per cent of all home loans.
The RBA also said for the first time it was working with the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) on “additional steps” to reinforce safe bank lending, particularly for lending for investors.
With investor demand surging, and steep rises in Sydney and Melbourne property prices, RBA governor Glenn Stevens last week noted it was “perfectly sound and sensible to ask ourselves whether we might at least lean on that a bit”.
But Saul Eslake, chief economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, says the central bank has made “a very compelling case for the government to consider ending negative gearing for new investors”.
He accepts that it is not politically feasible to abolish negative gearing entirely because around 15 per cent of voters are currently taking advantage of negative gearing – a tax regime that allows them to buy assets and deduct the interest costs against other income.
But he says that it would be easy for Canberra to decide that any new investment past a certain date would not be eligible for negative gearing.
Federal coalition MP and chair of the House of Representatives Economics Committee Kelly O’Dwyer dismissed calls for a change to negative gearing.
“We have no plans as a government to change negative gearing,” she said on the ABC’s Lateline on Monday.
Mr Eslake argues that the Reserve Bank has three options for tackling the “unbalanced” housing market “They can let the market run, which history has shown is not a good option.
Or they can lift interest rates which will cruel the rest of the economy to stop an alleged risk in the housing market.
“The third option is to introduce new macroprudential rules to limit how much the banks lend to certain types of borrower. But the risk here is that the new rules either don’t work or that they hurt the wrong people, such as first home buyers.”
In contrast, if Canberra decided to curtail negative gearing, it would reduce borrowing by investors, which would mean that investors either paid less for properties or did not buy as many.
Mr Eslake says that some supporters of negative gearing argue that it gives investors the same tax treatment as business.
‘This is a nonsense argument,” he says. “Unlike investors, businesses don’t get a 50 per cent discount on any profits they make when it comes to capital gains tax.”
Supporters also run the argument that scrapping negative gearing will lead to a steep jump in rents, as happened after former Treasurer Paul Keating decided to abolish negative gearing in 1985.
“Actually if you look at what happened, rents went up in Sydney and Perth, but they didn’t rise in any other market,” Mr Eslake said.
“And that was because in 1986-7, Sydney and Perth had vacancy rates of less than 2 per cent. And so rents would have gone up anyway.”
In addition, some argue that abolishing negative gearing would create a shortage of rental properties because landlords would simply dump their portfolios.
Australian Financial Review, Australia by Karen Maley 1st October 2014