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If You’re Happy And You Know It Buy A House


The wellbeing of mortgage holders and those who already own their own homes tends to be substantially higher than those who have no plans to buy a house, according to the RaboDirect Financial Health Barometer 2015.

RaboDirect surveyed 2,500 Australians, aged between 18 and 65 in August 2015, as part of its annual Financial Health Barometer.

Of the homeowners who were surveyed for the research, 50 per cent say they are completely happy with life, 44 per cent say they are in excellent health, 53 per cent say they feel in control of their lives and 67 per cent always try to make healthy choices.

This compares to people who say they have no intention to buy a house; 29 per cent of whom say they are completely happy with life, 27 per cent say they are in excellent health, 29 per cent say they are in control of their lives and 45 per cent always try to make healthy choices.

Interestingly, survey respondents who say they have no intentions to buy a property are also those who are most likely not to be investing in their health.
Of non-intending buyers, 15 per cent buy organic food, 10 per cent of which say they use a gym.

The same figures for homeowners are 29 per cent and 25 per cent respectively.

“It’s clear people who are in the property market are more inclined to pursue activities to boost their health and fitness, and overall feel happier with their lives,” Rabobank Australia and New Zealand Group Head of Market Research Glenn Wealands said.

“There’s a lot of commentary in the market at the moment around the booming property market and the impact it is having on Australians. These results indicate that having a savings goal and plan around items like home ownership can bring happiness.”

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Sammut nearly sell-out Surfers Paradise apartment tower just three weeks after lodging DA


Sammut Group Director Allen Sammut said the inquiry for the project had been something he had never seen in more than 35 years in the development industry

Just three weeks after submitting their development application, the Sydney-based developer Sammut Group have secured $110 million in conditional sales for Coast, their Surfers Paradise apartment tower.

They’ve secured sales of over 43 of the 49 total apartments, with sales so far ranging between $3.5 million and $9 million, at an average of $4.5 million.

A Sydney buyer, who already has a full floor apartments on the exclusive Garfield Terrace, secured a 610 sqm, full floor apartment in the development.

Sammut Group Director Allen Sammut said the inquiry for the project had been something he had never seen in more than 35 years in the development industry.


“The take up has just been incredible,” said Sammut, whose Sydney-based company’s brand is synonymous with luxury apartments in the Sutherland Shire area.

“We were confident that our luxury residential offering would be well received, although we never anticipated the sheer volume of market uptake we’ve witnessed in the past few weeks.”

“To have our debut Gold Coast project welcomed with such ferocity is a sensational result that only reinforces our commitment to delivering a project that exceeds our buyer’s expectations on every front,” Sammut added.

There was interest from interstate and local buyers, as well as a purchaser from New Zealand.

“The contracts will obviously be subject to DA approval however the project is code assessable and therefore well within the requirements of the town plan.”

Coast, designed by PBD Architects and set to soar 35 levels in to sky, will have a wide range of resident amenity, including 32m wet edge pool that wraps from the east to north, wellness facilities including a yoga studio, massage rooms and sauna, function facilities, a residential beach bar and a commercial sized gym.

“We threw the whole box and dice at the design of this project because we believe the site was purchased well, and the quality of what we have included in Coast from both luxury apartments and amenities has simply tantalised the market,” Sammut said.


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Sammut Group Lodges $350m Cronulla Retail Precinct Plan


A bold $350-million plan to reinvigorate the northern end of Cronulla ’s CBD would transform a 5225sq m site into a mixed-use residential and retail precinct.

Sammut Group acquired the Northern Gateway properties between 3 and 23 Kingsway at Cronulla with venture capital partner Alceon Group.

Plans for initial demolition works plus a three-storey basement car park and two-storey retail and commercial podium have been lodged with the Sutherland Shire Council this month.

Ultimately the site would include residential, commercial and retail mixed-use developments, including 112 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, 885sq m of commercial space, restaurants, shops and a flagship Harris Farm Markets store.

It supersedes plans for a 21-storey boutique hotel mooted for the site in 2018.

Sammut Group director Allen Sammut said the block of land between Croydon Street and Abel Place was one of the largest commercial sites in the southern Sydney beachside suburb.

“This is a game-changing development that will provide the catalyst for the future revitalisation and growth of the Cronulla CBD,” Sammut said.

“It’s a pivotal project for the area, particularly the many businesses in Cronulla that have been struggling in recent years.

“We’re extremely excited and eager to see our vision for this iconic gateway site come to life, ushering in a new era of optimism and opportunity for Cronulla.”

Harris Farm Markets co-chief executive Luke Harris said they were “thrilled” to launch their flagship store as part of the development.

“Harris Farm Markets has been looking for an appropriate location in the shire for many years… ,” he said.

“The store would be the largest Harris Farm store in Sydney and will introduce new food concepts we haven’t explored before.”

Sammut Group has an extensive portfolio and impressive reputation in the New South Wales market bolstered by the success of developments including Banc, Loft, Breeze and Drift in Cronulla and its surrounds.

Sammut Group is also awaiting approval for a development application for a commercial and hospitality precinct, PARC, in conjunction with Alceon Group, opposite Cronulla’s train station.


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Return of property investors raises questions for regulators


It is becoming clearer that the window for large numbers of first home-buyers to scramble into the property market is fast closing, with investors and speculators chasing big capital gains returning.

With the house price boom showing few signs of cooling, this baton-pass should ensure an ongoing and lively debate about whether it is time for regulators to place restrictions on mortgage lending.

Earlier this year, first-home buyers were flooding into the property market in numbers not seen since 2009, attracted by generous taxpayer incentives and record-low interest rates. Sadly, the first-home-buyer party appears to have been short-lived. New lending to this group has fallen for three months in a row, no doubt partly in response to the explosion in prices.

Meanwhile, investors are flooding back into the market, with their share of new lending rising from 23 per cent to 26 per cent. New investor commitments in April were at their highest level since 2017, when we were in another property boom.

Importantly, investors’ share of the market is still well below the sky-high 46 per cent of new lending reached in 2015, and below its long-term average of about 35 per cent. However, the harsh financial realities of this property market suggests that this trend still has a lot further to run.

For one, CoreLogic analyst Tim Lawless says first-home buyers tend to be the most sensitive to rising prices, especially when it comes to scraping together enough cash for a deposit.

Investors, on the other hand, typically have better access to funding because they can borrow against their owner-occupied residence, or other property investments. They also often have higher incomes, and Lawless says they’ll probably become more active in the market chasing capital gains.

So far, banks say there are only early signs that investors’ interest is stirring, and owner-occupiers are still overwhelmingly driving the market. That is one reason regulators have pushed back against imposing credit restrictions so far. But with the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) saying it expects to keep official interest rates at just 0.1 per cent until at least 2024, more house price growth looks likely.

If there is a further significant rebound in investor lending accompanied by related property price surges, it could force regulators to think more carefully about introducing housing credit curbs.

Why? The RBA has made it clear that an investor-driven market has distinct risks.

In 2015, the central bank said that when house prices were being fuelled by “speculative demand” from investors chasing big capital gains, it tends to “amplify” the run-up in prices, while potentially raising the risk of bigger property price falls in the future.

To be clear, we are not in a 2015-style investor housing boom today. However, interest rates are much lower and asset prices everywhere are rising, suggesting these risks are as relevant as ever.

Politicians might also find it more challenging to allow the market to continue its red-hot run if investors start playing a bigger role, while first-home buyers dwindle.

So far, the financial regulators have argued they are not responsible for house prices and will only act if the banks erode their lending standards. That does not appear to be happening, suggesting credit curbs are not imminent.

Even so, the growing signs of investors coming back to the market, as first home buyers head for the exits, is an important shift the authorities will be watching closely.


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