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All the winners from the ‘Floor Of The Year’ Awards 2015

ATFA Floor of The Year Winners

This year’s gala for the Australian Timber Flooring Association Award For Excellence - also known as the ‘Floor Of The Year’ Awards – was held recently on South Wharf Promenade in Melbourne. Hosted by Marty Fields, the awards attracted over 200 attendees, all there to celebrate ‘the best boards in the business’. Some of the floors that won awards on the night were from a family home in Perth, a $60million private home in Point Leo, the ‘Best Tall Building in the World’ in Sydney and a Surfers Paradise hotel. Queensland was the big winner on the night, as flooring companies from Brisbane, Gold Coast and Mermaid Beach took home a total of seven of the eleven gongs. Hosts ATFA and their president John Hollis were also pleased … Continue reading

‘House Rules’ winners have mortgage paid off – and it’s surprisingly small

House Rules

The winning couple from this year’s series of renovation competition House Rules have secured the top prize of having their mortgage paid off – and it’s come as a surprise just how low it is. Steve & Tiana, the father and daughter team from NSW, won in the final stage of the contest against Brisbane couple Ben & Danielle. The result, decided by both a judging panel and a viewer phone-in vote, was revealed on Channel 7′s grand final episode to an audience of just under two million. As promised, father Steve Falzon has had his mortgage wiped for being on the victorious team. But, despite living in the notoriously pricey Sydney, this only amounted to Seven having to pay off $250,000. That was the mortgage Falzon … Continue reading

Graeme Salt: Why the RBA won’t make it tough for property investors in 2015

reserve bank

by Graeme Salt This week a client asked me if the Reserve Bank was going to make it harder for her to get an investment loan. ‘Probably not’ was my reply. The truth is that a calming market is taking out most of the hysteria itself and, as a result, there is no need for knee-jerk reactions. Sure, the annual growth in home values in October was 13.1 per cent in Sydney and 8.9 per cent in Melbourne, according to RP Data. But, growth projections for next year are something like five to seven per cent in key markets. Because some sanity is coming into the market, it appears that the Reserve Bank is less likely to make things tough for property investors. The RBA governor … Continue reading

Will Kim And Kanye soon own a private island in Queensland?

Turtle Island

Turtle Island, a private island off the coast of Gladstone in Queensland, is rumoured to have many new potential buyers interested – including Kanye West and Kim Kardashian. Agents Coldwell Banker have confirmed they are in talks with an overseas buyer who visited Turtle Island in the past few weeks, but have not disclosed their identity. Turtle Island last sold in 1999 for $3million, and was initially placed on the market this time around for $6.75million. It’s been suggested that it could soon be ‘Isle Kardashian’, The West’s retreat in Queensland, with Kim’s visit to Australia this month hardly dimishing the rumours. The Wests aren’t the first well-known names to be interested in the island this time around. Politician Clive Palmer is thought to have enquired about the … Continue reading

Elegant and opulent ‘Waddeton Lodge’ now on the market

Waddeton Lodge

‘Waddeton Lodge‘, the European-inspired estate sat over eight acres in Dural, is on the market for the first time since it was built in 2004. If you’re looking for a home in the $5million price bracket, spacious and elegant with four bedrooms, then this could be the palatial pad for you. Those four bedrooms are all ensuite with walk-in robes and heated floors, while the master suite has a fireplace and access to the gardens. There is much opulence across the rest of the lodge, including a pool, home theatre, gym, four-car garage, alfresco courtyard and more. View the property video here. 

How much you’ll pay your real estate agent, on average

Real estate agent

The most up-to-date average commission rates for each Australian state, suburb and post code are available at This month we are sharing the average real estate agent commissions and average median dwelling price with TheHomePage’s readers to let you know just how much money estate agents charge, on average, for the sale of a property in your city.   Source:   The average real estate commission generally sits between two and three percent, but with property, fractions of percentages can represent a significant amount of money. Use the averages for your city to help you make the best decision when selecting an agent. Ask yourself what you are getting for the fee, and remember that commissions are always negotiable. In general growth in … Continue reading

Graeme Salt: is housing price growth really ‘flatish’?


by Graeme Salt The Reserve Bank produced some interesting property statistics this week, which confirmed three key trends: Markets may be peaking This ‘bubble’ was not as strong as previous growth periods Growth was mainly confined to Melbourne and Sydney. In its statement the RBA said: “Nationwide housing prices increased by around two per cent over the three months to October. This is slower than the rapid pace observed in late 2013, but faster than recent growth in household income.” Looking at the RBA’s graph it would appear that it has concluded that housing price growth has come off a bit. Indeed, this weekend, Sydney’s auction clearance rate dropped to a four-month low of 75.5 per cent, according to the Domain Group. Much of the price … Continue reading

New site confirmed for next series of The Block

the block in 2015, south yarra

Channel Nine may still be reeling from the disappointing finale of The Block Glasshouse – and accusations of fakery too – but that’s not stopped them from confirming the location they’ve purchased for the next Block in 2015. Rumours that the eight-storey Hotel Saville in South Yarra was purchased for the series to follow Glasshouse, as reported in June this year, were only last week confirmed as true by Watercress Productions. It was also reported as having sold to the company for $7.35million, although it’s now emerged that the hotel cost $6.25million and a nearby lot that was previously the accompanying hotel car park was an additional $1.1million. The building has a permit for 51 apartments, which would be the largest undertaking any series of The Block has imposed upon its contestants, but … Continue reading

Graeme Salt: How to avoid ‘analysis paralysis’

holiday house

by Graeme Salt Buying a property may well be the largest single investment someone makes; you would hope that, given we are talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars, they would take their investment very seriously. In most cases people do. But sometimes they take things too seriously. Occasionally, home loan applicants want to know everything about everything. They ask for details of all the fees and charges of a home loan, forecasts on interest rates, crystal ball gazing on the property market and advice on how likely it is that they can keep their job. Of course, no-one can answer all these questions. The result is that the applicant who tries to get all the information on these questions gets ground down by all the … Continue reading

More controversy haunts Nine in The Block Glasshouse aftermath

The block glasshouse scott cam

The Block Glasshouse may have aired its finale over a week ago, with three of the five properties auctioned only just crawling past their reserve price, but that doesn’t mean the controversy around the show has stopped. It was reported this week, for instance, that the show had faked a visit and inspection by the Environmental Protection Authority during broadcast, with host Scott Cam claiming on voiceover that they were checking for soil contamination. The EPA have stated the representative on the show, introduced as “Chris from the EPA”, was not an employee of theirs – raising questions as to whether the site was checked at all. Approximately 15,000 litres of fuel were found in a tank on the High Street site during filming, as it was previously the location … Continue reading