A Brisbane couple living in a tiny house on wheels has won the right to keep their home in the backyard of an inner city property.
In a landmark decision, the Queensland Building and Development Dispute Resolution Committee ruled tiny homes with wheels should be treated like caravans and thus do not require a building permit.
Lara Nobel and Andrew Carter were facing the prospect of having to move following a complaint from a neighbour and a decision by the Brisbane City Council that their tiny home required a building permit to stay on site.
“It’s not a fixed structure so you can’t get a building approval for it,” Ms Nobel said.
The pint-sized house, measuring a compact 18 square metres of floor space, comes with a self-composting toilet and a demountable deck — all of which can be moved within a few hours as it sits on a registered trailer.
The couple built and designed their home, and have been living at their current address for about seven months.
A month ago, they were joined by baby daughter, Charlie.
Mr Carter said it was a huge relief to know they could stay.
“This is one of the very few ways we can achieve home ownership anywhere near the city in a way that suits us,” he said.
ESC Consulting environmental planner Rikki Pieters, who helped the couple with their appeal, said the decision was a significant win for this type of housing model.
“If you required the tiny house on wheels to have a building permit, basically you would be attaching that dwelling to the land and you would need to go through the planning process similar to if it was a granny flat or a secondary dwelling,” she said.
Brisbane may soon change the rules
But there is still a legal hitch — in Queensland it is not always legal to live inside a caravan in a backyard.
“On the Gold Coast they prohibit it, in Moreton Bay Regional Council you can do it but there are a lot of rules that you need to follow,” Ms Pieters said.
On the Sunshine Coast a permit is required for anyone wanting to live in a caravan in a backyard beyond four weeks in any calendar year.
While living in backyard caravans is currently legal in Brisbane, that could soon change.
Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said the situation would be reviewed as the regulations needed to be uniform on tiny homes.
“I don’t think we want to see these splattered all over the city, but nonetheless it provides an opportunity if people are trying to get into a first home ownership situation. It provides them with a stepping stone, so to speak,” he said.
Valerie Bares from ESC Consulting said the tiny housing model potentially had a big future.
“The State Government has released its regional plan and wants to increase density and this is a great option,” she said.
Originally Published: http://www.abc.net.au/
Desperate renters squeezed out of Qld market
The property market is so squeezed in one state at the moment that Aussies are taking desperate measures to simply secure a home.
Desperate renters are being squeezed out of the Gold Coast and Brisbane rental markets, with some forced to stay in cars and caravan parks, agents say.
Dozens of potential tenants are competing for scarce rental properties with some offering up to $50 more than the asking price to secure a home.
First quarter results for 2021 show 70 per cent of Queensland’s rental vacancies remain under one per cent according to Real Estate Institute of Queensland figures released in April.
“There’s an over demand of tenants and lack of stock,” said Carmen Kennedy from Coomera Realty on the Gold Coast.
Two recent rental properties on the Gold Coast’s Coomera area both drew more than 40 people to inspections, she said.
“They weren’t aware, they thought it would try and help them get the property over other people applying.
“They were just so desperate, staying in cars and sleeping at caravan parks. It’s been pretty tough couple of months for people out there.”
The development is being driven by record-low rates, government support measures and a pandemic-driven migration, pushing Brisbane’s private rental market’s vacancy rates to their lowest levels since October 2012, the REIQ says.
In the last year, rental vacancies dropped 1.1 per cent across the Brisbane local government area, while Greater Brisbane saw the market tighten by 0.9 per cent.
Meanwhile, the Gold Coast rental market tightened to reach a record low of 0.6 per cent in the last 15 years of data records. The western suburb of Oxenford had the lowest vacancy rate of just 0.1 per cent.
Ms Kennedy said advertised on its rental promotional material for people not to call or email the agency because it was so overwhelmed.
“We received over 200 inquiries per property, so it’s just too overwhelming for us to do our job to try and speak to every single person who’s interested in the properties,” she said.
“That was probably six weeks ago now and we haven’t had another available property since then.
“We’ve had lots of people crying to us, begging for properties, leaving domestic violence situations and having to get accommodation for them and their kids.
“It’s pretty hard to have to process those applications.
“Everyone has a bit of a situation at the moment where they don’t have friends or family to stay with, so they’re in caravan parks or staying in short term accommodation and it’s costing them double the rent if they were renting a normal house.
“It’s pretty heartbreaking.”
Natgroup Real Estate in the Gold Coast suburb of Helensvale has a register of more than 1200 people looking for a rental property.
Manager Edgar Natolo said people were applying for properties without seeing them in person, based on the online ad alone.
“We’re now leasing them to pre-approved tenants, so they’re not even hitting the market,” Mr Natolo said.
“You probably get 60 inquiries in one day and 30 turn up for the open home inspections, and by the time you get back to the office you’re flooded with applications.
“It is a bit sad because a lot of them do cry when one of the girls rings them up and says they’ve missed out.
Tenants Queensland CEO Penny Carr said some renters were being asked to leave without grounds, then seeing the property have a significant rent rise.
“Some of those people might have been living there for some time, paid the rent all the time and then asked to leave,” she said.
“Then they’re turning up to inspect properties and there’s large numbers of people there and they’re having to put in multiple applications.
“That’s pretty stock and standard in terms of reports I’m getting from across the state.”
Ms Carr said some renters were offering long periods of rent upfront, which agents aren’t allowed to ask for, but can accept.
“Sometimes there’s subtle encouragement for offering up higher rent or a longer period of rent upfront,” she said.
“It’s a very difficult situation for renters statewide. It’s not just Queensland, it’s across Australia.
“They’re under enormous pressure.”
Ms Carr said some renters were being taken to the tribunal for not moving out while others were staying at inappropriate accommodation like boarding houses or couch surfing.
The situation was preventing renters from asserting their rights, for fear they would be pushed out and would have to find another property.
“You don’t ask for repairs, you don’t push for things you need or want in the property,” she said.
“You don’t assert your rights, basically.”
Article Source: www.news.com.au
Apartments Drive Growth in Building Approvals
The highs of Australian house approvals have been joined by the apartment sector, with a huge increase recorded.
The number of multi-unit dwellings approved in March jumped 63.6 per cent, the biggest increase since November 2017, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
New house approvals remained at near-record highs, edging up by 0.1 per cent to 14117, an increase of just nine houses on February’s results.
Total dwelling approvals rose in New South Wales by 26.9 per cent, Victoria 24.7 per cent, Queensland 12.1 per cent and South Australia 3.5 per cent, in seasonally adjusted terms.
Western Australia and Tasmania fell -6.4 per cent and -4.8 per cent respectively.
Dwellings approved by building type
ABS director of construction statistics Daniel Rossi said the apartment market was the major contributor to building approvals continuing the record climb this month.
“The total number of dwellings approved in March was the second-highest recorded, only exceeded by the November 2017 result,” Rossi said.
“The number of private sector house approvals also remained at elevated levels due to HomeBuilder.
House and apartment approvals
Commonwealth Bank senior economist Kristina Clifton said the end of HomeBuilder on March 31 would have an impact on new house approvals.
“We expect approvals for houses to drop off relatively sharply during the next few months as many people who were looking to build a home would have brought this decision forward in order to receive the grant,” Clifton said.
“Nonetheless, record low interest rates will continue to support the demand for dwellings.”
Article Source: www.theurbandeveloper.com
Speculators back in the game to push up property prices
Investors in residential property have come out of hibernation and were the driving force behind the record 5.5 per cent increase in housing finance in March.
Having kept a low profile during the pandemic, investors and speculators are now returning to the market with gusto. And that suggests only one thing – home prices will continue to be pushed higher.
The colloquial definition of what turns a housing boom to a housing bubble is the increasing participation of investors. Judging by the latest numbers from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) investors could soon replace first home buyers as key drivers of the red-hot property market.
The 12.7 per cent increase in financing to investors dwarfed the (already strong) 5.2 per cent increase in finance to owner occupiers. And the value of those loan commitments to investors is up 54 per cent on March last year.
And the phoenix-like rise in housing investors has coincided with early signs of a peak in demand for finance by first home buyers whose participation in the housing market appears to be running out of steam. In March first home buyer finance fell by 3.1 per cent (seasonally adjusted), according to the ABS.
The levelling out of first home buyer demand was only ever a matter of time as this group would ultimately come up against the barrier of affordability.
Government assistance and low interest rates spurred demand from first home buyers last year but as prices have moved up the window of opportunity has narrowed. Meanwhile, some of the robust demand from those making their first move into property is thought to have been pulled forward.
Investors deserted the residential property market in response to COVID as rents and returns fell as did values in the early stages of the pandemic. The apartments segment was hit particularly hard as immigration disappeared.
While rents remain at historically low levels, there are clear signs that rental increases are starting to come through – particularly in the outer suburbs of capital cities, the smaller capitals and in regional areas. In March rents rose by 0.6 per cent in Sydney and by 0.2 per cent in Melbourne according to CoreLogic
But the broader enticement for investors is capital gains on offer in the housing market, which is now in full swing. Prices nationally rose by 1.8 per cent in April and by 2.8 per cent in March and careered ahead 6.8 per cent over the past three months.
For big banks lenders the return of the residential property investor could provide them a new source of demand growth in the event the first home owner market continues to run out of puff.
Despite historically low interest rates, the banks say they are not seeing any deterioration in the quality of their loan books. This is despite intense competition among bank and non-bank lenders to capitalise on the demand for housing finance driven by low rates.
Westpac’s accounts for the six months to March, which were released this week ,showed that only 2 per cent of customers were behind on repayments – a level that has remained the same for a year.
For the most part the banks are arguing that there is no need to apply any macroprudential brakes to the housing market.
But history tells us the rise in investor participation also sets off alarm bells within the regulatory agencies, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) and the Reserve Bank.
Both have been disinclined so far to wade into the rapidly heating property market and introduce measures that will hamper first home owners. But regulators have plenty of form in targeting the more speculative investor cohort with macroprudential tools. And the banks will need to avoid the riskier lending that has traditionally been associated with financing investors.
’The resurgence in investor financing and the continuing surge in owner occupiers who are trading up points to further near term strength in home prices,” according to AMP chief economist Shane Oliver.
“It also points to a further acceleration in housing debt, a further rise in the share of interest only loans and increasing lending at high loan to valuation ratios. All of which is increasing pressure on the RBA and APRA to move to tighten lending standards in order to head off increasing risks of financial instability – which we expect to occur sometime in the next six months.”
Article Source: www.brisbanetimes.com.au
Property Management6 years ago
7 Common GST Mistakes On Property
Residential5 years ago
Ipswich Proves Frontier In Affordable Housing
Infrastructure3 years ago
Decision on horizon for key marina section of huge North Harbour development at Burpengary
Market Place3 years ago
How to make $1 million ‘flipping’ houses
Market Place3 years ago
Moreton Bay makes top 10 list of places to invest in property
Developments3 years ago
Brisbane and interstate investors drawn to up-and-coming King Street precinct
Infrastructure2 years ago
Watch: Route of Gold Coast’s new ‘M2’ motorway revealed [video]
Brisbane2 years ago
Queensland leads the way in market recovery