Researchers from the University of Melbourne have created a system to model and predict house values and rental rates at the individual property level. These models have been around for a while and are commonly known as desktop valuations. It is arguable how accurate they are because they do not account for individual improvement to a property such as extensions and renovations, unless these improvements are entered into the individual database. Some common and well known ones are RP Data and PriceFinder. PriceFinder, through its association with Fairfax Domain, was involved in this project with the University of Melbourne. But this system might be a bit different because it focuses on rental yield as well as property value. The comparison of these two values offers an import metric that can be used by buyers, sellers, investors and renters to help make informed choices. The developers say that rental yields are a critical driver of rental and housing costs and act as a key indicator for property bubbles. This is also seen as a valuable investment tool with the developers maintaining it will better inform investors with location information, helping them to invest their money more securely.
In other news…… You know the saying – better that ten guilty men should escape than one innocent man should suffer. Not so it seems when it comes to real estate transactions, revenue raising and the Australian Tax Office. From July 1, buyers of properties over $2M must withhold 10% of the purchase price and pay that to the Government unless the seller can supply proof of Australian citizenship. OK, so its not going to impact the vast majority of transactions. If you want to sell any property worth more than $2 million, you’ll be deemed as a foreign investor unless you have a certificate from the ATO to prove otherwise. So to catch the few foreign investors who are doing the wrong thing, we are all assumed guilty until proven otherwise. Outrageous. And here is another question asked this week by Macro Investment – Where this will lead. For now, the threshold is $2 million and it is free to apply for and obtain the required certificate. Down the track, might the threshold drop and fees be applied? Ponder that for a moment.