Where have all the listings gone?

Open sign trans.png

The number of properties listed for sale has been extremely low over the past two years. This comes despite strong population growth and housing stock increasing by around 350,000 dwellings over the period. A lack of listings has been a major contributor to strong property price growth.

In 2016, the total number of properties listed for sale across the country was 8.9% lower than seen in 2015. This reduced the availability and choice for those looking to purchase a property. As such the number of sales transactions in 2016 was 9.2% lower than in 2015. Low listing volumes at a time when interest rates have driven buyer demand higher has fuelled price growth.

Download our free White paper for more information: http://mandurah.ljhooker.com.au/getmedia/be8cfdd1-de81-42cc-b300-23a3ffb2df97/LJ_Hooker_2017_listings_and_appraisal_survey_white_paper.aspx 

Federal Budget offers market confidence

LJ Hooker Mandurah welcomed this month’s Federal Budget; we feel it offers enticements for everyone in the Mandurah property market; from young tenants and First Home Buyers right through to seniors wanting lower-maintenance living.


Home owners aged 65 and over who have held on to their homes for more than 10 years will be given an incentive to sell. From July 2018, they will be able to pour a non-concessional contribution of up to $300,000 into superannuation from the sale of their home. If a couple, both members will be able to claim the contributions.

A recent LJ Hooker-Seniors Housing Online survey of people aged over 55 found 38.3% of respondents were living in properties with two spare bedrooms. Furthermore, almost one in five (18.6%) had three or more unused bedrooms in their family home.

“This incentive is great news for Mandurah seniors who want to realise capital growth and lessen the impact on their superannuation from selling. This has been a big consideration for seniors in our marketplace and previously dissuaded many from selling. Now they will have a greater level of confidence to sell the family home and move into an apartment or other residence that requires less maintenance. Conveniently for other buyer groups, it will increase supply in the marketplace if older homeowners decide to sell.”

The opportunity for First Home Buyers to place $30,000 in voluntary contributions in superannuation at a lower tax rate for a home deposit was good news as well.

“The scheme could work particularly well in Mandurah, when combined with the incentive for downsizing; more family homes could come to the market, offering first time purchasers greater buying choice.

“The retention of negative gearing is also welcomed. Allowing investors to offset the losses for management and upkeep of their investment properties enables landlords position their properties at a competitive tenancy price point, making renting more sustainable and increasing supply.”

Download our full budget review: LJ_Hooker_Federal_Budget_2017_18_Review

Mr Hooker Bear’s Easter on the Mandurah Foreshore.


There were smiles all round as Mr Hooker Bear visited the Mandurah foreshore over Easter. Spreading some Easter cheer among Mandurah’s children, with a quick walk along the newly developed foreshore with some Easter eggs and colouring sheets he proved once again that everybody loves a bear!

Did you spot Mr Hooker Bear? There are lots of photos from the day on our Facebook page; you could be on there too.


Mr Hooker Bear even met a dance troupe from Wicked Dance Works who were filming a music video and he couldn’t resist showing his dancing skills!


Mr Hooker Bear is always happy to join you at your community event or school function so please contact us if you’d like him to visit your next event.

Leasing Update – 1st Quarter 2017


As we head deeper in to Autumn..

Now is a good time to take stock and look at how the rental market has performed in the first quarter of 2017. At LJ Hooker we’re always keeping an close eye on the market and pride ourselves on giving accurate feedback and appraisals to ensure we find the best tenant possible in the shortest amount of time.

Central Mandurah
Central Mandurah, with its blend of homes and units, continues to perform well in the rental market with more than 50 properties a month leasing between Jan-March 2017. The median weekly rental price of a Unit is holding at $270 per week with Houses just a touch above at $275.

Halls Head
Halls Head, in terms of number of properties leased, remains high with 103 properties leased in the first quarter of this year. The median price per week of a home in Halls Head is currently $330. Some of the newer homes in Seascapes perform marginally better but as competition is high in Halls Head, renters do have an abundance of choice.

Top Performing Suburb?
It’s interesting to note that the suburb topping the chart in terms of rental return is Madora Bay. In the 3 months Jan-March 2017 only 15 properties leased in Madora Bay but the median rental price achieved for these homes was $390 which makes Madora Bay the top area for rental return this quarter overall.

A close second seems to be Wannanup, this popular suburb with its canals, man-made beach and abundance of parks achieves a median rental price of $385 per week from 30 properties leased.

Despite some reports suggesting that things in the world of real estate are tightening up it’s important to remember that there were 253 properties leased on average, each month in the first quarter of 2017.

LJ Hooker continue to work hard and achieve great results for our landlords. Over the last 12 months in Mandurah we’ve leased more properties than anyone else. Our team performs consistently and we’re proud of our record, the length of service and dedication shown by our Properties Managers.

If you want to speak to a knowledgeable professional that offers great service and results, call Mark or Jo today…

Mark-Labrow-webMark Labrow
0431 025 449



Jo-Lockwood-Hall-RPJo Lockwood-Hall
0413 076 165



*Source: Reiwa 2017

Rising rental listings signal ongoing softness across Mandurah rental market.

The last article I wrote to you was in June 2015, at the time Mandurah’s vacancy rate was at 3.25% and there were 505 properties available for rent in Mandurah and Surrounding areas. As I write there are currently 864 properties available and the current vacancy rate is 6.4%.

Why has this blown out? It is a combination of several related events that have transpired. All time low interest rates are allowing people to borrow money to purchase their own homes, large releases of house/land packages, a large down turn in the West Australian Mining Boom and a downturn in migration.

It is now more important than ever to TRUST your Property Manager. Our team is geared up now more than ever to be armed with the research and knowledge to get your property leased quicker and keep you own personal vacancy down.

The table below shows that the rise in the number of rental properties in Mandurah in the last 12 months has risen by 31.7%, which gives us a very low ebb in demand and a rise in supply, this combined is putting downward pressure on rental returns.


Table Source : Core Logic

Here are some points and strategies that will help you generate more income by reducing your vacancy rate.

  1. Standout Marketing– Investing in professional photographs is a great way to attract attention. With so many options for tenants, they are looking for reasons to exclude your property – Photos with poor lighting, out of focus or incomplete rooms do not scream RENT ME! The photos should be valid for 5 years and at a cost of around $100 (tax claimable), it acts as an insurance policy for faster leasing turnaround.
  2. See your property through the eyes of a tenant– This is a multi faceted aspect of leasing that is often overlooked by several owners.  What aspects will draw people in? What will turn people off? Are you competitively priced? Solving this can be as simple as a few minor cosmetic touch ups or a price adjustment.  It is amazing what a fresh coat of neutral paint can do to boost your appeal. Remember: Any money spent on improvements can be claimed as deductions in your next tax return.
  3. For Lease Signs– These are useful for 2 main reasons. It increases the level of awareness of your property both from people actively seeking accommodation as well as those who may want to move closer to a friend, family member, work place or school. It also helps people attending viewings find the property.
  4. Tax Depreciation Schedule– This is the gift that keeps giving! A professional report that itemizes all the wear and tear on your investment property and its fixtures and fittings. It is not uncommon for owners to receive upwards of $5,000 year on year come tax time. The report will cost around $650 (again tax claimable) and lasts for up to 40 years.
  • Appoint a PRO ACTIVE agent – when choosing your agency ensure they have a full time leasing manager who is solely responsible for ensuring they find the right tenants for your property.
  • Listen to your Property Managers Advice – Your property manager is working in the rental market day in day out, they will offer the best advice and are highly trained and skilled to ensure that we manage your risk of vacancy to increase your return on investment.

While this might feel all doom and gloom we are still witnessing a high amount of foot traffic on our websites and to our open homes, the key is to get the property positioned right in this highly price sensitive market place and secure great tenants! That is our only goal for you.

We leased 37 properties in March, this is a combination of our landlords listening to our advice and our property management team working extremely hard to get applications.

In the coming week or two one of our Senior Leadership members will give you a call if your property is vacant and we will together come up with a solution.

You can read the full Core Logic report on Rentals Nationally here:

Rebecca Freeman

Mr Hooker Bear’s top tips for your pool


Mr Hooker Bear dropped in to Poolwerx in Mandurah recently to pick up some tips on keeping your pool in top condition. Thanks to everyone at Poolwerx for their friendly welcome.

  • A long hot summer can influence the health of your pool with extra sun exposure, temperature spikes, storms and rain all effecting healthy pool water balance. Did you know, that prolonged exposure to UV rays burns chlorine that is required to kill bacteria, and combined with warmer temperatures can promote algae growth? Summertime definitely means your pool needs a lot more care and attention than usual.
  • The pool LOOKS clean, but you’re not really sure if the water is healthy? – Taking the time to vacuum and skim the pool frequently is only part of the battle when it comes to keeping your pool water clean, healthy and ready for family fun. To maintain optimum pH and chlorine levels, make sure you’re doing water tests once a fortnight, or even weekly in heavy use periods. Be sure to clean filters and basket regularly to ensure maximum efficiency.
  • Much like your home over Christmas the more visitors the pool has, the more clean-up is necessary afterwards. Chlorine levels should remain at 2-4 Parts Per Minute (PPM) to disinfect all microorganisms that can cause health issues. When your pool is getting a work out, it’s critical to do regular water tests and maintenance to prevent the water from deteriorating and causing health risks for your family like ear, nose and throat infections; all side effects of swimming in a dirty pool.
  • We know swimming with fido is fun and on a hot summer’s day it’s very tempting to let your dog jump in the pool to cool-off with the family, but this can have a significant impact on chlorine levels and water hygiene. Allowing pets, in particular dogs, in the pool can have serious consequences on pool health. Dog dirt in particular, rapidly depletes chlorine and dog hair can obstruct the filter, leaving your pool at serious risk of an algae infestation!

    For more information please speak to the Mandurah Poolwerx team.

Guide to Property Investing in Western Australia

couple in searching the real estate for a purchase

Property is one of the most popular assets any savvy Australian could have. From real estate moguls to mum and dad investors, everybody has a place at the table of building wealth through housing. However, many people end up being overwhelmed or confused by the process – to help you get started, here is a crash course in WA property investment.. Read Full Article

5 Trends to watch out for in 2017


Booms, busts, bubbles, oversupply, undersupply, strong growth, no growth … the property market has attracted plenty of headlines over the past 12 months. However, in reality, markets in 2016, generally, tracked like they did in 2015.

This is because the fundamentals that drive real estate markets – interest rates, supply, employment and population growth – saw little change over the year. If anything, these metrics moved further in favour of buyers with interest rates being cut twice and the national unemployment rate tightening over the course of 2016.

Download our full report here.

Transparent Negotiation – What, how, why?


So you’ve started seeing the words “Transparent Negotiation” pop up on real estate listings and you’re wondering what it means. Well, the answer is pretty simple… Transparent Negotiation is a totally transparent way of negotiating real estate transactions, and has been developed by agents to alleviate the frustrations and pitfalls of other selling methods. 

It blends the best characteristics of more conventional sales methods (like Auction and private treaty) into one flexible, fair and totally open method of sale, and creates an environment where agents can be totally transparent with all parties involved.

Sellers… Imagine knowing exactly how many buyers were going to be submitting offers on your property weeks before the set sale date. Or, imagine someone presenting you with an amazing offer prior to your Auction date, and still having the opportunity for all the other interested buyers to openly compete with that offer!

Buyers… Imagine never missing out on a property because you didn’t know how much you needed to pay. Imagine knowing all other buyers’ prices at all times (like an Auction) but without a public bidding process. Instead, you can bid from the comfort and privacy of your own home, and take your time to consider your next price.

Agents… imagine always being able to get your vendor the best price in a short time-frame by being able to include all buyers (e.g. those with finance or other conditions). Imagine an End Date Sale that was open and transparent, where the buyers could continue negotiating until you truly knew you had found the true market value of the home.

It really is a win-win for sellers, buyers, and agents alike – and is why agents across WA (from Broome to Bicton) are starting to adopt this new method of sale.

How does Transparent Negotiation work?

If a property is for sale by Transparent Negotiation, interested buyers are asked to submit their terms and conditions (things like settlement period, finance clauses and deposit amount) for the seller to approve. They’ll also be asked to submit a starting price on a separate form (which becomes like your ‘bidding sheet’ during the Transparent Negotiation). Your starting price does not have to be your best or highest offer (save that for the transparent negotiation). Only approved buyers (buyers who have had their terms and conditions accepted) can participate in the Transparent Negotiation.

The first starting price that the agent receives will become the advertised price for the property. If another buyer submits a higher starting price, that new higher price becomes the advertised price… and so on. This process can continue right up to the advertised date of the Transparent Negotiation.

However, if a starting price is submitted during this period which the seller would be happy to accept, the Transparent Negotiation may commence early (before the advertised date of the Transparent Negotiation) and all approved buyers will still have the chance to participate.

This process not only enables all parties to arrive at a true market value, but it takes the guesswork out of knowing what to pay by knowing what other people are offering to pay.

Another major plus for Transparent Negotiation is that it utilises technologies that we all use on a daily basis. Rather than bidding in public, buyers can submit their new price remotely by scanning, emailing, or sending a photo of their bidding sheet to the agent with each new price increase. This means buyers can bid from anywhere in the world as long as they have internet/mobile phone reception.

During the Transparent Negotiation, the agent informs all buyers of each new price that is received, giving everyone the opportunity to increase their price if they wish to. As the price increases, buyers will stop bidding or can withdraw from the Transparent Negotiation at any time if the price exceeds their budget. The buyer with the highest unchallenged price acceptable to the seller becomes the successful purchaser of the property – and the owner signs off on the bidding sheet to confirm the sale.

Why was Transparent Negotiation created?

Transparent Negotiation is a culmination of the knowledge and experience of some of WA’s top performing real estate agents and auctioneers, and has been designed to take the process of selling real estate into the 21st-century.

It brings together the best aspects of traditional sales methods, and removes the parts that don’t work so well.  By doing things just a little bit differently it puts trust and fairness at the forefront; giving sellers greater control and buyers a greater feeling of fairness.

To find out more about the Transparent Negotiation process and its success, please call us on 9586 5555 or email mandurah@ljh.com.au

RBA Rate Decision – October 2016

Effect on property markets.

Today’s decision by the RBA will have little impact on Australian real estate with property markets continuing to ramp up for the traditional spring time surge in activity. The two official cash rate cuts so far in 2016 (May and August) have continued to support buyer demand across most regions. This is evident in the very strong performance of auction markets with clearance rates consistently above 75% in both Sydney and Melbourne. Despite the onset of spring, listing numbers continue to hinder sales activity in some capital city markets. However, it’s hoped that the slow down in price growth will prompt prospective home owners to list their property over the coming spring and summer period.

rbaKey indicators

Capital city home values rose 1.0% in September and 7.1% over the past year. – Over the past 3 months Melbourne home values have recorded the strongest growth at 5.0% followed by Canberra (4.5%), Sydney (3.5%) and Adelaide (2.6%).
New listings in capital city markets are now -3.3% lower compared to this time last year.
The unemployment rate tightened by 0.1pts to 5.6% in August.
Australia’s population grew at 1.4% over the year to March 2016. This was led by Vic (1.9%), NSW (1.4%), ACT (1.3%) and Qld (1.3%).
Australia’s GDP increased by 0.5% in the June quarter, taking growth to 3.3% over the past year.
The Australian dollar fluctuated between US$0.74 and US$0.77 over the past month.

Source: RBA, ABS, CoreLogic