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Bitcoin, renos and regional growth in store for property in 2018

Bitcoin, renos and regional growth in store for property in 2018

By Ryan Ellem on Jan 05 2018

Home sellers will further tempt buyers with cryptocurrency sales in 2018 while hefty stamp duties will spur many to renovate instead of move, real estate group LJ Hooker has predicted.

As the digital currency’s popularity increases, vendors will increasingly be open to Bitcoin offers from buyers, betting on further increases in the exchange’s value.

The LJ Hooker network has listed numerous properties for sale via Bitcoin, including a four-bedroom home set on more than 32 hectares of land in Far North Queensland. The property is listed for sale for $1m, but will reduce the price by 10 per cent if purchasing with Bitcoin.

Additionally, surges in property values in the major markets of Sydney and Melbourne has had a significant bearing on stamp duties. For instance, in Sydney, purchasers face around $44,000 in stamp duty costs for a median priced home and $30,000 for a median priced unit; in Melbourne, purchasers will pay around $47,000 and $31,000, respectively.
LJ Hooker’s Head of Research, Mathew Tiller, said: “In Sydney and Melbourne, some suburbs have seen the median sale price grow by more than 100 per cent over the past five years, which has enabled owners to build up exceptional levels of equity,” said Mr Tiller.

“We anticipate there to be a lot of sellers wanting to capitalise on their improved personal wealth in the New Year, but there will be some sellers who wonder whether the stamp duty on their next purchase is worth it? They’ll wonder whether it’s more fruitful upgrading their existing home.

“When owners stay put, it places pressure on property prices and impacts the bottom lines of State Governments who rely on stamp duties for infrastructure and administrative tasks. Governments need to review the excessive nature of these charges.”

The average house price growth over the past five years in Sydney is 71 per cent and Melbourne 59 per cent – a ‘phenomenal’ period of growth, according to Mr Tiller.

Other trends tipped to influence the market this year, according to LJ Hooker, are:
  • Regional growth to outpace capital cities – the comparative affordability of regional centres makes them more attractive for those looking to downsize, or for those that want to upsize to a large family house without taking on a large mortgage. In addition, the lower cost of housing in regional centres, less supply of new housing and steady population combine to make rental yields higher than in capital cities, which in turn attract investors.
  • Less competition from investors – listings will rise as owners look to capitalise on the price growth of the last five years. However, with regulatory authorities and banks placing limitations on investor activity, there will be less investors in the market, leaving listings at elevated levels.

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