State of Markets – NSW January 2012

By Phillip Tarrant

Essential information, plus expert insight on what is shaping the national property market...


Agency investigated for trust account abuses
Allegations of trust account abuse by a Sydney-based real estate franchise have followed two recent cases relating to Gold Coast agents who were found to have breached trust account rules.

NSW Fair Trading said it is investigating a Surry Hills real estate franchise following allegations of trust account deficiencies.

Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe said recently that his agency is investigating irregularities in the trust accounts operated by CBD Commercial Pty Ltd, trading as LJ Hooker Surry Hills.

Mr Stowe urged clients of the real estate agency to contact the appointed independent manager as matter of urgency: “In particular, this applies to anyone who has purchased a property or entered into a lease using this agency,” he said.

“Fair Trading requires real estate agents to comply with the laws that govern the industry and to ensure appropriate arrangements are in place to manage large sums of clients’ money.”

Sydney investors are savvy borrowers
Property owners in Sydney are savvy borrowers who are not afraid to refinance for a better deal, new research has revealed.

According to a new survey of more than 30,000 home owners, 80 per cent of Sydney borrowers know their home loan rate and 85 per cent think refinancing could reduce their costs further.

HSBC head of mortgages Alice Del Vecchio said Sydney’s higher average dwelling price of $504,500 – which compares with the national average of $443,000 – is the likely driver of borrowers’ high level of awareness around loans.

“Having a larger financial commitment means home loan rate payments and fees are front of mind for Sydney borrowers. Being more sensitive to interest rate changes, Sydney borrowers clearly see the benefit of shopping around for their home loan,” Ms Del Vecchio said.

Although Sydney borrowers’ refinance awareness is higher relative to their Melbourne counterparts, the survey shows some customers are still missing possible savings by failing to explore refinancing.

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State of Markets – NSW January 2012
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