We’re back with Kieran Clair and Kevin Turner as they discuss interesting stories in the real estate industry this week.
Our first story features Canada trying out a new way to shake up property sales. Online auctions may be common in Australia and New Zealand, but they’re getting traction in Canada for their novel approach.
A 12-bedroom, 10-bath restored train power station known as the “Sumas Powerhouse” was previously listed for $5 million on the auction. Bidding opens on Tuesday.
Luxury real estate has been a buyer’s market for quite some time in both the United States and Canada, where agents and brokers can put a property for sale and it could take years for an offer to be made.
“The market is motivated because there’s a fear of missing out. The auction is going to end on a certain day so it creates a lot of interest,” Scott Pate, a project sales manager with Concierge, says.
Daniel Steinfeld, co-founder of On the Block, says that online auctions offer a way around some of the frustrations buyers have with the traditional system. And while auctions are a new way for Canadians to purchase property, experts say that it won’t have much effect on the market overall in terms of housing prices or competition.
For our second story, we talk about a pilot who flew in –excuse the pun– with a knockout offer for a house with a runway. The house was located in Sydney, had 16 registered bidders, and was up for sale in front of 60 people. Interest for the property spanned from all over the world with prospective buyers from Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania, South Australia, Hong Kong, and the Middle East.
The property’s most amazing feature is arguably the fully-lit and approved-for-night-flying 1100m airstrip. It comes with a hangar that has housed six aircraft, fine equine facilities, a stable, a round yard, and an arena.
The house was bought by a helicopter pilot for $5.39 million.
Given the uncertainty surrounding Britain’s exit from the EU, property prices in London continue to fall. They’re actually falling at their fastest rate since September 2009, when the country was bouncing back from the slump caused by the financial crisis.
Average house prices in London were ranging at £472,230 at the start of 2019 versus a £479,780 value last year. Westminster was most affected by the price falls, where values fell by 14%, and Camden, which slumped by 8.3%.
“Economists say that the Brexit uncertainty that has hung over the property market since the summer of 2016 would continue to depress prices if there is a delay to Britain’s departure from the European Union.”
Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Hong Kong is building an $80 billion artificial island to fix its housing shortage.
Around 1,000 hectares of land will be constructed to deal with Hong Kong’s “serious shortage of land supply.” The artificial island is reported to be able to house 260,000 residential units and will be constructed near the island of Lantau.
High demand and short supply for housing, land, and property, has driven prices to “unaffordable” levels for many of Hong Kong’s population of about 7.4 million.
Although Secretary for Development Michael Wong has said that the new island would help Hong Kong withstand the increasing pressure of the population, the plans have faced criticism. Responses include urges to develop Hong Kong’s former agricultural sites instead, claiming that it would be a more cost-effective and environmentally friendly move.
Our last story deals with a property manager who tried to bill a tenant for costs that “never happened”. The property manager was slammed by The Tenancy Tribunal after he tried to bill a previous tenant for ‘minor matters’– $4.46 for a lightbulb and $172 for cleaning.
The tenant argued that the property was clean when he moved out and that one missing lightbulb was the case of normal wear and tear.
“The [property manager] has no real evidence of the number of lightbulbs present at the commencement of the tenancy, despite claiming they were all in working order.
“The [manager] certainly has no evidence of the likely remaining life in each bulb at the commencement of the tenancy as opposed to the totality of remaining life at the end and therefore over the total number of bulbs it is not possible to ascertain if the landlord is ahead or behind in remaining usable lightbulb hours. Even if the landlord has less usable life in the bulbs at the end of the tenancy this loss could be measure in minutes rather than hours and appears minor in the extreme."
According to the adjudicator, tenants are not obliged to leave a property immaculate or even up to the standard a landlord might consider for a new tenant since landlords are expected to carry out the maintenance and cleaning of their properties. It would not be reasonable to expect all of those costs to be passed on to the previous tenant.
The Tribunal has ordered the tenants bond of $2880 to be released to him.
Plus, we have a new feature this week! Tune in to our show to see the weirdest and funniest building mistakes we have seen this week.