Rent-Bidding Apps To Shake Rental Market

Rent-Bidding Apps To Shake Rental Market

By Michael Mata | 28 Apr 2017 12:00 AM
Your Property Investor magazine

Internet rental marketplaces, where prospective tenants battle it out to secure rental properties, will soon become an unpleasant reality for renters with the upcoming launch of apps tailored for the Australian market.

LiveOffer, by US-based real estate tech company Property Connect, and Aussie start-up Rentwolf, will both launch rent-bidding apps in the coming months.

A few weeks ago, Rentberry, a controversial Silicon Valley start-up that specialises in rent bidding, said it would launch in Australia later this year.

Tenant unions are understandably alarmed, as these platforms could potentially jack up rates in Sydney and Melbourne’s already pricey rental markets.

Rental affordability is declining in most state capitals, according to Andrew Wilson, chief economist for the Domain Group. Sydney’s median asking house rent increased $25 a week to $550 in the 12 months to March, while Melbourne’s median weekly house rent rose $20 to $420.

Landlord insurance specialists have spoken out since Rentberry announced its launch in the Australian market, saying renters may financially overcommit themselves to secure properties in rent auctions.

“Impulsive, eBay-style bidding on rental apps like Rentberry may see Australian tenants fall into financial difficulty when vying for their preferred rental property,” said Carolyn Parrella, executive manager of Terri Scheer Insurance, to the Domain Group. “Tenants who use these apps could be lulled into the thrill of the chase and get caught up in the bidding process and commit to paying a rental amount that they can’t afford in the long term.”

There’s also concerns such apps could encourage renters to pay more than the market rate for rental properties, which could end up making renting unaffordable for many tenants.

Both the Tenants Union of NSW and Victoria are pushing to make rent bidding illegal in their states. In Victoria, Consumer Affairs is reviewing the issue in its refresh of the Residential Tenancy Act. “Rental bidding is one of a wide range of issues being looked at,” said a spokesperson for Consumer Affairs Victoria. “The aim is for any recommended changes to be introduced into, and passed by, Parliament in 2018, with implementation to follow.”

11 ways to co-own property without tears

by Duncan Hughes

A family has taken more than 30 years to unravel a property deal that started as a well-intentioned plan to make them richer, happier and closer but concluded in a bitter dispute and thousands of dollars in legal costs, a warning to other families considering property sharing in today’s over-heating real estate market.

Marion and Albert Taylor’s falling out with their eldest son Kevin was over the terms of a verbal agreement made around the Victorian family’s kitchen table about whether proceeds from the sale of the family home was a gift or an incentive for him to purchase a new property. The parents alleged that they had a financial interest in the new property.

Similar domestic dramas are being repeated every week in courts and tribunals around the nation as verbal, poorly-documented and ill-conceived property deals between friends, families and business partners end in expensive legal wrangles, say lawyers and mortgage brokers.

“Human memory of what was said in a conversation is fallible for a variety of reasons, and ordinarily the degree of fallibility increases with the passage of time, particularly where disputes and litigation intervene,” says Eric Riegler, Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) senior member, in his decision to divide Kevin’s property between him and his parents based on their original contribution.

“Memories are overlaid, often subconsciously, by perceptions of self-interest as well as conscious consideration of what should have been said, or could have been said,” he adds.

The case underlines a perennial problem of undocumented deals based on a handshake or verbal agreement falling apart because of misunderstandings or changing circumstances.

Exit dramas

“Problems usually emerge when one of the parties wants to sell and there is disagreement on who has paid what and how the proceeds should be divided,” warns Christopher Foster-Ramsay, principal of mortgage broker Foster Ramsay Finance.

“It’s worth investing in having a specialist lawyer draw up a contract when the deal is agreed that makes clear all parties’ rights and responsibilities,” Foster-Ramsay says. “Having no strategy increases the risks of shredding friendships and fracturing families.”

Threshold issues include splitting costs, an exit plan and, if there is a disagreement, a mediation strategy.

For example, Mark and Gayle Sherwood, Victorian-based siblings who planned to set up a property investment company, eventually ended up in VCAT with their lawyers arguing over cash and contributions, who owned what and how to dissolve the financial relationship.

Home payments, council and water rates, insurance, rental contributions by Gayle’s boyfriend and even the purchase of garden pots, a spray gun, garden tools and a chainsaw were used as evidence by their legal teams in deciding ownership.

A percentage share was awarded to each sibling.

“I have seen many business and property joint ventures end up in tears,” warns Mario Borg, a property strategist and mortgage broker for Mario Borg Strategic Finance, about co-owing a property with friends or family (excluding de factos and married couples).

“Seldom do they work,” he says about a financial relationship that might have to last the term of a mortgage, which is typically about 30 years or nearly four times the length of the average Australian marriage.

Families in court

The NSW Supreme Court recently had to decide whether a woman’s financial contributions to her parents-in-law’s household in exchange for a promise they would leave the property to her and her husband created a contract. Nearly 50 years after Temjana Smilevska entered into the relationship, the court ruled it did.

A properly structured property share arrangement can help avoid decades of stress and potentially provide a bigger deposit than a single buyer might otherwise be able to afford, which might mean being able to buy a higher quality property with a better address.

Westpac Group’s consumer bank chief executive George Frazis says saving a substantial deposit is the biggest barrier to first-home buyers. Property prices in Melbourne and Sydney are increasing at five times the rate of inflation and wages growth.

“Three decades ago an average first-home buyer needed an average deposit of about twice their annual income, but in Sydney or Melbourne they may now need almost five times their pay,” says Frazis.

Some lenders offer products designed to split the cost with family and friends while retaining individual control of finances.

But costs, terms, conditions and features vary widely between lenders and seeking expert legal and financial advice is recommended.

Shared loans

Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s property share loan obliges borrowers to guarantee each other’s loans as security. Each borrower must be an owner of the property – no third-party guarantors – and demonstrate ability to service their portion of the home loan.

Westpac and St.George have a product where family members can use their own home’s equity to provide additional security for a portion of another family member’s loan amount. But applicants must be within the same family. Eligible family differs between lenders. It typically refers to children.

This can result in a lower deposit, reducing or even avoiding the need to pay for expensive lender’s mortgage insurance.

“A well-drafted and thorough contractual agreement outlining responsibilities and obligations is the best way to avoid legal headaches between co-owners,” says Anthea Digiaris, a property law specialist with Slater and Gordon.

“It’s quite possible one of the owners will want to sell or can’t cover the mortgage at some point in the future, or even just wants out of the co-ownership arrangement.

“That’s why it’s important you consider all of the potential scenarios upfront and actually have mechanisms for one or all of the parties exiting the contract written into it,” she says.

How to set it up

1. Keep the number of partners to a minimum, say three or four, to reduce complexity and possible disputes. Choose responsible and appropriate partners. “You don’t want first-time buyers losing potential first-time benefits by partnering with those who are ineligible,” says Sally Angell, principal of Sally E Angell Lawyers.

2. Partners with equal shares – say 50:50 – should have a “memorandum of transfer” to avoid half of the property automatically passing to the other joint tenant on their death.Or they could hold the property 50:50 as tenants in common.

3. Tenants in common with unequal shares – say 75:25 – should specify in the contract the percentage ownership to make it clear.

4. Create a deed or agreement setting out who pays which bills, says Slater & Gordon.

5. Owners are usually jointly liable for the mortgage, regardless of the size of their share. Make sure liability reflects ownership. This needs to be agreed with the banks, which are often reluctant to limit liability in the event of default.

6. Try to anticipate future problems and agree on a strategy to solve them. This should include a minimum term of the deal, says Angell. Circumstances can change.

7. Seek legal advice about gifting your share to the other owners in a will to prevent disputes with respective families. This can prevent families of the deceased arguing over the will, says Slater & Gordon.

8. Decide on an exit strategy when negotiating the agreement. For example, how will the property be valued at the time of sale? Stamp duty normally has to be paid on the market value of the share being transferred.

9. If there is conflict, courts can order the property to be sold and proceeds divided in ways that owners might not expect.

10. Additional contributions to the property by one party (such as renovations or payments) could entitle them to a greater share. Ensure terms and conditions are set down, understood and agreed when the property is purchased. “It is really important that parties have a clear and comprehensive understanding of the details when they enter the agreement,” says Angell.

11. If the aim is to tenant the property, then the agreement should cover who will deal with the tenant and/or managing agent. It should also specify who has the authority (and the limit of that authority) to make ongoing payments in respect of rates, maintenance or capital expenses and in what circumstances. And it needs to set out who will maintain books of accounts and report back to the other co-owners.

Sydney Real Estate Is ‘Cheap,’ And There Is No Property Bubble

By Michael Mata

Latest news:
Chinese buyers remain undaunted when purchasing Australian property More newly-built units completed than houses in December quarter Two major retailers join Northpoint redevelopment
Sydney real estate is “cheap” by international standards and the Australian property market is not experiencing a bubble, said a senior executive at Knight Frank, one of the world’s largest residential and commercial property consultancies.

“Within a global marketplace Sydney does look cheap, there’s no doubt about that,” Lord Andrew Hay, global head of residential at Knight Frank, told the Domain Group. “And I don’t think you are heading for a crash.”

Lord Hay was in Sydney on Wednesday for an event to promote the 11th edition of Knight Frank’s Wealth Report. The report provides statistics, analysis, and predictions about the world’s high net worth (HNW) and ultra-high net worth (UHNW) individuals.

He told Fairfax Media that the world’s one percent are increasingly drawn to Sydney and Melbourne, and that London-headquartered Knight Frank was beefing up its presence in Australia as a result.

“Sydney and Melbourne didn’t really feature in the global desirability rankings 10 years ago, but now they absolutely do,” Lord Hay said. “Sydney is in 11th position and Melbourne is in 20th position in terms of most desirable cities for HNWs to live and invest in.”

Australia’s growing prominence can be partially attributed to the higher cost of buying property in other global cities. According to the Wealth Report, $1.3m can buy 17sq m in Monaco, or 26sq m in New York City. However, the same amount of money can buy 59sq m in Sydney and 110sq m in Melbourne.

“Locally, Sydney property may feel expensive now, but compared with other global markets it’s mid-range,” Lord Hay said. “It’s still, in a global context, quite affordable.”

The global elite are also attracted to Australia due to its perceived stability and safety. With insecurity a growing issue in so many parts of the world, Australia is viewed as a secure haven where the wealthy can reside and park their wealth.

HNW and UHNW individuals want to settle in stable countries that boast world-class educational institutions, mature financial markets, well-developed regulatory systems, as well as transparent government. Australia clearly fits this description.

Three ways to get cheaper flights

Airfares are often the most expensive part of travelling overseas.

But with the right cost-cutting tips, you could save hundreds of dollars, which ultimately means more money to spend on sightseeing, shopping and having fun.

Here are three ways to help you find a cheaper flight.

1. Clear your cookies

Airlines, like many online retailers, use a strategy known as “dynamic pricing” to set their fares.

This traditionally means that the price of an item, or in this case an airfare, can fluctuate based on supply and demand.

But these days, dynamic pricing has come to mean that prices can change based on your search history – in other words, how much you might be willing to pay.

The best way to avoid being slugged with a higher charge is to delete your cookies and conduct all future searches via a private window or virtual private network (VPN).

2. Search for prices over the whole month is a good starting point if you’re looking for sharp deals. To find the cheapest time to fly, SkyScanner has a “whole month” option when selecting your travel dates.

This shows you the cheapest flight every day over the month, so you can pick your time to fly based on the cheapest days.

3. Find the cheapest destination

If you’re spoiled for choice and are just looking for a cheap getaway, has a map detailing the average flight price for almost every country in Australian dollars.

Pick a destination that fits your budget, select a departure date and sift through the flight options.

You can arrange results according to the cheapest fare (expect a huge layover) or quickest arrival.

In some instances, you might find a regional airport closer to your destination that works out cheaper, such as Melbourne’s Avalon airport as opposed to Tullamarine.

Preserving cities: how ‘trendies’ shaped Australia’s urban heritage

James Lesh, University of Melbourne

The Australian Ugliness, architect and critic Robin Boyd wrote in 1960, incorporated the “background ugliness” of Australia’s cities: a suburbia of:

… unloved veneer villas and wanton little shops, and big worried factories.

These are the kinds of suburban places that in 2016 sell at weekend real estate auctions for six or seven figures. Despite the frequent outcries of today’s residents of “Trendyville”, these buildings are readily converted to fashionable heritage homes, or demolished to make way for new apartment blocks.
Heritage has a history. The kinds of things and places that Australians have preserved and the ways they have gone about preserving them have expanded in recent decades.

This heritage exists not only in museums and galleries or at historic properties and CBD buildings. It also forms part of our everyday urban experiences: located in suburbs and neighbourhoods, along and between streets, among current and former factories, stores, pubs and homes.
Finding Trendyville

A place where this heritage history has played out dramatically has been in the inner suburbs of the Australian city.
Why call this place Trendyville? Without a conventional gentry, the term gentrification is arguably historically inappropriate for Australia. So we might instead consider gentrification as trendification, the inner suburbs as Trendyville, and the residents as trendies.
The trendies arrived in the late 1960s. Like hipsters today, few people considered themselves a trendy, except perhaps ironically. More commonly, a trendy was identified by another person based on dress, clothing and shopping bags.
For urban historians Renate Howe, David Nichols and Graeme Davison, Trendyville evokes:
… the junction between geography, culture and politics, on the road between memory and history.
The city of memory is a productive way of thinking about urban heritage. It is also a powerful way of tackling the relationship between cities, people and history.

Before Trendyville

Until the mid-to-late 20th century, the Australian inner suburbs – New Farm and Subiaco, Carlton and Glebe – were not the desirable places of today.
The houses, terraces, villas, cottages and other buildings that lined the streets of Trendyville had been built in the 19th and early 20th century. By the post-war period, many of these buildings had become run down, perceived as both unsustainable and contrary to social progress: in need of urban renewal.

Those people able to do so moved to the then-outer suburbs, and so the inner suburbs experienced population decline. Drawing on North American sociological thinking, Australian urbanists imposed similar “rings” on the nation’s cities.
These rings included a CBD core for commercial activities, an underdeveloped inner circle, and an aspirational outer suburban circle. Post-war urban planners thought the emptying out of the inner-city – “the doughnut effect” – was inevitable.
The residential suburbs of the inner circle were identified as transitional zones, assuming that aspiring residents would eventually seek out the outer suburbs. Urbanists designated these seemingly dilapidated areas as slums, to be cleared for comprehensive modern redevelopment.

High-rise social housing schemes were built, inspired by French architect Le Corbusier. The results of these policies include the Brutalist Sirius Apartments in Sydney and the 1960s high-rise housing that circles inner Melbourne.

Heritage in Trendyville

From the 1960s, the backlash against these inner-suburban clearances was led by the trendies. Not everyone was enraptured by the “white-picket fence” suburban ideal. Following southern and eastern European migrants, students and middle-class professionals moved to the inner suburbs. Other people had never left, witnessing the demolitions around them.

With the assistance of the National Trusts and other sympathetic organisations, the trendies formed resident action groups to advocate for their urban heritage. Their efforts prevented further clearances, whether for modern housing or often freeways.
The union-imposed “green bans” – at places like the Rocks and Woolloomooloo, South Melbourne and Collingwood, Highbury Park, and Fremantle – was another powerful way to intensify this heritage advocacy.

Resident protest, Woolloomooloo, Sydney, ca. 1973. City of Sydney Archives
A particular achievement of the trendies was to redefine the boundaries of heritage. No longer were the things worth preserving limited to, say, grand 19th-century public and commercial CBD buildings or stately suburban mansions.
The trendies transformed Boyd’s “background ugliness” into heritage that warranted preservation. Australia’s residential vernacular, its neighbourhoods, streets and homes, were looked upon with increasing fondness. This occurred amid a shifting mentality toward community building, the environment, sustainability and local amenity.
Drawing on urbanists such as North American Jane Jacobs, heritage preservation became an aspect of community-making. The resident action groups brought people together, and the green bans helped people to claim their right to the city.
Trendyville’s troubles

From the 1970s, Trendyville became subject to new heritage laws, which sought to preserve its “historic character”.
Although these heritage protections were in part intended to give residents a greater say, those responsible for making the assessments were nevertheless heritage experts, often distanced from the communities.

Soon, the now-perennial question surfaced: whose heritage was being preserved?
The trendies had arrived at a time when the inner suburbs were still perceived as in decline. The heritage protections had been implemented in response to their aesthetic and historical sensibilities.
Today, those heritage protections envelope large and sought-after areas of the inner city. With Australia’s population booming, urbanists advocate for greater density. More people will need to live in existing suburbs to make our cities sustainable.

Former Tip Top Bakeries, Brunswick East, Melbourne, 2014. Little Projects
How heritage places are preserved and new places constructed amid living historic environments must be reconciled with these urban and social realities. Striking a balance between heritage, development and the desires of local communities is key.
What it means to meaningfully preserve Trendyville’s heritage, Australian inner-suburbia, must be rethought for the 21st century.

After all, as illustrated by recent calls to preserve Sydney’s Sirius Apartments (which were once opposed by heritage advocates) our understandings of heritage are always shifting.

The Conversation
James Lesh, PhD Candidate, School of Historical and Philosophical Studies and Melbourne School of Design, University of Melbourne

Buy a new car courtesy of the tax man

If you own/run a small business (turnover of the business plus the turnover of any other businesses run by the same entity must be less than $2 million per annum), one of the most effective tax breaks of recent years has been the ability to write of $20,000 immediately. Under this scheme, people in small business are allowed to claim an immediate tax deduction of all assets acquired for use in the business, up to the value of $20,000.

The $20,000 deduction can be made up of anything that is used in the running of the business eg. computer/office equipment, furniture, coffee machines, vacuum cleaners etc. – all qualifying items up to an aggregate of $20,000 until 30 June, 2017.

Motor vehicles are also included in the scope of the scheme provided the purchase cost is $20,000 or less. Second hand vehicles are also included for an immediate deduction. However, if a trade in is to be included in the purchase transaction, then the amount received on the traded vehicle is also to be included in the transaction ie your new vehicle is $25,000 and you trade your old vehicle for $6,000 making the purchase of your new vehicle $19,000 – unfortunately this is not a permitted deduction as the tax man considers the purchase price still to be $25,000 and this vehicle would have to be depreciated for tax purposes in the usual manner.

The $20,000 allowable deduction is also GST exclusive, therefore if the price is quoted at GST inclusive prices, you can make a purchase up to $22,000 ie $20,000 plus GST $2,000).

In order to be eligible for the full deduction the vehicle must be used wholly for business purposes. If the vehicle use is a mix of business and private the deduction can be pro-rated to show the break up between business and private use ie if you spend $20,000 on a car and 25% of the usage is private then the deduction claimable will be $15,000. To support the use between business and personal use, a log book should be kept in support to establish the breakdown of the deduction in the event of a taxation audit.

Social Media attracts the attention of the Australian Taxation Office

As the end of the financial year fast approaches and we sort our receipts and payments into something that can be recorded accurately for our tax purposes, we are reminded that the Australian Taxation Office is turning to improved data tracking methods as well as less conventional monitoring methods to hoan in on people with perceived wealth. If your Facebook page depicts a lifestyle and holidays etc. that is not evident in your income disclosed for taxation purposes, you could be a target for the Australian Taxation Office.

Individuals and businesses have been on high alert since the Federal Government announced last year its intention to raise $1 billion in additional revenue from its taxation audit activity.

“Don’t be under any misconception, the ATO is actively monitoring individuals through their social media pages, whether their kids are registered in private schools, their motor vehicle registrations and property search titles. With business they’re looking for any inconsistencies in your tax filing records, whether your GST filings reconcile with your income tax filings and whatever else they can find on the public record” says Murray Howlett, tax partner with Pilot Partners, Chartered Accountants.

“The ATO’s data tracking and interpretation capabilities have improved exponentially over recent years and they’re looking to make sense of the data” says Howlett.

Be aware, the Australian Taxation Office has access to your banking records including credit card transactions and even down to who has paid your children’s school fees (particularly if your child has attended a private school with higher school fees). Howlett warns “ … they (the ATO) have run a program where they contacted private schools to understand who was paying the school fees for the students that attend”.

We also know that the ATO monitors records are the various state titles offices and vehicle ownership, particularly when changes in ownership occur.

In more recent times, we are seeing the ATO employ more abstract methods to undertake their checks on taxpayers.

Things that an 18 years old should know about money

Have you every thought about things that you know now and wished you had known when you were 18? As time passes, lessons about personal relationships, life in general , work or money are learnt : these would have been a valuable tool for our future, had they been available at that young age. Unfortunately everyone has had to experience negative situations and learn and grow from them into the person they have become now.

Not long ago, my brother and I had a serious talk about finances. Talking with loved ones about how to handle money is difficult but essential.

The result of this dialogue was that handling money is tough and perplexing and at times not very rational. It lead me to revisit what the last 10 years of work and studies in the financial and planning industry brought or taught me. I then wondered what advice I would give my 18 years old me taking into account the knowledge of the past 10 years.

1. Get your wage first
Open a savings account and pay yourself the same amount each week/fortnight. It has to be an amount that will test you, not to the point that you cannot afford to pay your invoices, but that maybe you have to give up outings like restaurants by the end of the month.

You may have to put some measures in place so that you cannot access your account easily such as not having a debit or credit card for this account but having to physically go in the bank to withdraw some money. An idea could be to ask the bank for an account that gives you some interest for regularly depositing funds and not withdrawing any (check the interest rate). As time passes, it becomes increasingly difficult to save because of added monetary obligations, so start saving from the beginning.

2. Put 3 months of earnings aside
What is a good amount to save? It is a personal point of view but I regret that no one told when I finished high school that 3 months of wages would be a solid starting point for saving. Once you have this sum in your savings account, make sure that you do not go under in any circumstances unless emergency (Not holidays!) and consider this to be your $0 balance.

3. Maintain easy finances
With time money matters get more and more intricate . Appreciate the ease of few monetary commitments whilst you are a teenager and a young adult and carry that through your financial life. Keep and eye on and check your regular subscriptions ensuring that they are still needed. This will allow you to check your bank balance regularly (every fortnight). Remember scams happen and you need to keep being aware.

4. Debts that will not bring you any income in return are bad
These debts consist of car loans, personal loans and credit cards. Make sure to keep your credit cards to only the minimum amount required by YOU not the bank. Don’t let the banks determine the maximum limit and don’t accept any rise. These debts should only be used for radical or emergency situations. It is so much more satisfying to have a vacation or to buy a new car with money that you have saved up with.

5. Earnings should come from varied sources
In our present society, there is a variety of means to increase your revenues. Don’t depend on a single income source from your paid job. Become original and have a a variety of incomes. The best sort of returns are from passive income – the ones that “happen’ by themselves automatically such as interests on savings accounts, rent from investment properties, bonuses on stocks, creating a new app or an online business, etc.

6. Know how your superannuation works
It may seem far away now but your super will be your 2nd biggest possession in life after properties. Ask your fund how it works and what you should do to grow it as it will determine when you can retire and how well you can live from then on. So take care of it!

If all the above is too much, another option is to think of consulting a financial adviser who will advise and lead you to the right path with your financial goals.

When all is said and done your financial situation is reliant on you. By creating your own wealth you will be in a position to take pleasure and live your life the way you want.

What can you get with $4m in Bondi Beach?

In Sydney’s thriving property market, Bondi Beach is very popular amongst owner-occupiers, property developers and investors. Although this suburb is famous for averaging $2.5m for a house and $1m for a unit , last’s weeks sale of $4.4m for a detached house at 101 Hasting Parade has astounded many.

Albeit the above-average price paid by the buyer for the house, this house doesn’t not stand out as being extraordinary. The old fashioned kitchen has a missing cabinet, the bedroom has 90s gold-trimmed mirrors and the home is only on the ground floor.

Yet this property stands out because of its peak position being next to the golden triangle. It is located close to the beach and to the nearby cafes/restaurants etc. according to Ron Bauer, principal at Ray White Unlimited.

Mr. Bauer, who was involved in the sale process, informed that more than 150 people inspected the house and many potential buyers listed their interest on the auction day.
The owner who got the astronomical sum of $4.420.000 “was happy to settle for $3.5 m”.

Numerous potential buyers were families hoping to establish themselves in Bondi and to benefit from the surf and sand way of life, others were builders looking at giving the house a “face-lift” or dividing it into duplexes. One of the builders won the auction but was extremely contested by all Mr. Bauer said.

Bearing in mind the enormous opportunity for investment properties in Bondi’s elite streets, it comes to no surprise that practical entrepreneurs and property investors try anything to put their hands on Bondi’s properties which become available to buy.

Increase in the number of people living on their own and its consequences on the accommodation market.

A lot of people in the big Australian cities are making the decision to live by themself instead of living with other people/and or their significant others. This tendency comes from the changes in urban areas, the longevity of life, and more acceptance of unmarried females.

Alternatively the increase in one-person family in NSW is an issue. One-person household in NWS are predicted to increase from 630,000 in 2011 to over 1.03 million by 2036, according to information from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. At present the requirements for studios or 1-bedroom apartments as well as homes for single person is exceeding by far the availability.

“It’s happening too at both ends of the spectrum” Professor Peter Phibbs, geographer, planner and social economist at the University of Sydney said. “At the older end, a lot of older people, maybe widowed, are living alone, while there are also a lot of younger people alone. But the dilemma for this fastest growing household type is the supply of suitable housing, and its price.” But the dilemma for this fastest growing household type is the supply of suitable housing, and its price.”

Disturbingly not much is happening to fix this situation. As stated by the latest BASIX data, only 19% of new apartments are studios or 1 bedroom. On the other hand, 2 bedrooms count for 64 % and 3 bedrooms for 16% of the supply.

NSW and local council planning guidelines usually control the combination, as Murray Wood, Director of residential projects at CBRE. “They dictate what developers can and can’t do,” said. “Many would like to build more studios and one-beds, partly because they sell quicker as they’re at lower price points so they can get the building underway quicker with presales. But there is generally a better return for two beds and the construction costs – since they both have a kitchen and bathroom which are the most expensive elements – are similar.”

Numerous younger singles would rather rent or purchase smaller properties with fewer facilities in order to use their funds in a different way. “For a lot of [single young people], the only time they spend at home is sleeping time,” said Phibbs.