A SILVER LINING TO HOCKEY’S NOT SO SUPER PLAN.

If you’ve been paying attention to the news and social media lately, no doubt you’ve seen the avalanche of criticism that has erupted over Joe Hockey’s suggestion that First Home Buyers be allowed to access their superannuation to help them purchase a home.

Mr Hockey isn’t the first politician to have made this suggestion. Last year, Senator Nick Xenophon mentioned a similar scheme he was planning on recommending to Parliament. While there are a number of different arguments about the merits of the scheme, most Australians are united in the belief that our superannuation should remain untouched.

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YOU WOULDN’T RISK A POORLY TRAINED SURGEON, WHY RISK A POORLY TRAINED AGENT?

When you’re choosing an agent to help you sell your home, their level of training is definitely one of the most important things you should be considering. Given the high financial value of real estate transactions, minimum training standards need to be high enough to provide you with a certain level of protection.

There was a recent article from The Financial Review about a large influx of new agents who are flocking to NSW to do training courses, and gaining a real estate licence in as little as 9 days, which is leading to falling standards in the industry.

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WHY SOMETIMES THE BEST HOUSE IS AN APARTMENT.

We all know that Canberrans love apartments. The interesting thing is though, when you compare Canberra to other capital cities, such as Sydney and Melbourne, you’ll notice that for the number of people we have living here and the lifestyles, income levels and demographics they represent, we actually have far fewer apartments and townhouses than you might expect.

That goes some way towards explaining why there is such a high demand for new off-plan developments in Canberra, but it doesn’t explain why some developments prove to be much more popular than others. We sat down with Wayne Harriden, the Project Marketing Director at Independent Property Group to find out what makes certain developments so successful and what you should be looking for if you are in the market for a new home or investment property.

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THERE’S NO NEED TO GO NUTS ABOUT THE SUPPOSED IMPACT SELF-MANAGED SUPER FUNDS ARE HAVING ON THE MARKET.

If you’re not sure exactly what a Self-Managed Superannuation Fund is, it’s basically a super fund that you run for yourself (the clue is in the name) rather than paying your super contributions into an industry fund, giving you a lot more control over where your money is invested. In 2007, the Australian Government allowed Self-Managed Super Funds (SMSF) to borrow to buy property.

Since then SMSFs have become more and more popular. After the tumultuous effect the GFC had on many industry super funds it’s easy to understand why some people would prefer to have more direct control over their money. Having the option to move their super out of a volatile share market into more traditionally secure real estate investments is an attractive option for many people. But as the number of SMSFs continues to grow, some people are starting to voice unwarranted, reactionary concerns over the perceived impact they are having on the property market.

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