RESTORING BALANCE TO CANBERRA’S OFFICE VACANCY RATES

Office vacancy rates in Canberra are the highest they have been since 2010.

They have risen from 12.9% to 13.6% over the last 6 months, but despite that, the ACT Government has decided to push ahead with their plans for a new office block in the City Centre that will house 3400 public servants.

Critics from the Liberal Party have nicknamed the building the “Death Star” which actually makes it sound pretty awesome, but as an analogy doesn’t really hold up under scrutiny – unless the energy efficiencies that Andrew Barr talks about are achieved by incorporating onsite trash compactors complete with weird look garbage monsters? They’ve also been comparing Andrew Barr to Jar Jar Binks (which seems like a horrible thing to say about a person, even a politician) and Han Solo, which actually sounds like a compliment.

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ARE WE BEING TOO PRECIOUS ABOUT HERITAGE LISTINGS?

One of the most divisive topics in Canberra these days is heritage listings. You could talk to 10 different people and get 10 completely different points of view. Some people, it seems, are ready to jump to the defence of any building that is more than a few years old, while others would be happy to tear down some of our city’s most iconic landmarks.

It doesn’t help that sometimes heritage listings appear to be applied completely arbitrarily. Now, no one is saying that Old Parliament House or the National Gallery shouldn’t be heritage listed. Those are hugely significant buildings. Their value and importance is obvious. But there are some buildings, objects and places that have “questionable significance” at best.

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THE REAL ESTATE BATTLEFIELD AND THE IMPORTANCE OF MARKETING

One of the most important things to realise when you make the decision to sell your home is that your property doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Homes aren’t sold in isolation, they’re sold in competition.  You have to contend with all the other homes on the market, and in today’s market you really have to fight for attention. You have to work hard to make your home stand out, and that’s where marketing comes into play.

We sat down with two of Canberra’s top agents, Mark Larmer (REIACT’s Auctioneer of the Year) and Jonathan Charles (REIACT’s Salesperson of the Year) to get their views on just how important marketing is to a successful sales campaign.

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NOISE COMPLAINTS DON’T ALWAYS FALL ON DEAF EARS

If you have ever lived in an apartment, you’ll know a little bit of noise is a fact of life. Living that close to other people, you’ll occasionally hear them when they’re leaving for work, taking the rubbish out or trying to pivot a giant couch around a narrow staircase. But what do you do when it moves beyond a little background noise and becomes unbearable?

We receive noise complaints on a fairly regular basis. While many newer apartments have specific design features to minimise noise carrying through walls, an architect or developer can’t always anticipate or handle every aspect of an individual’s daily life. Exercise equipment on a balcony, for example, can make a lot of noise, especially if your neighbour decides to squeeze in a 6am treadmill session before they head to work. But by far the largest offenders are loud music and late night parties.

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